Above painting: Louis Jean Francois - Mars and Venus an Allegory of Peace


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Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Wild and Passionate Ladies of an Era by Kathleen Bittner Roth

Welcome back to History Undressed, our first Tuesday blogger and author, Kathleen Bittner Roth! She's here today with another riveting post. Enjoy!


by Kathleen Bittner Roth

I have a predilection for collecting stories of eccentric women throughout history who were daring enough to step outside the dictates of society. One woman in particular is dear to my heart, the willful daughter of an earl, Lady Hester Stanhope (12 March 1776—23 June 1839).

Niece to William Pitt the Younger, the unmarried socialite acted as his hostess and personal assistant when he was England’s Prime Minister (he was a bachelor). Noted for her beauty, intelligence and conversational skills, Lady Hester did such a smashing job serving her uncle that upon his death, the government awarded her a lifetime pension, which she promptly used to pursue a scandalous life in the Middle East. Never to return to England, wild and daring Lady Hester went off to sea, eventually heading for Constantinople, but she never arrived—her ship crashed on the rocks in Rhodes.

She lost every stitch of clothing and had to borrow those belonging to the Turks'. That's when she discovered how she loved the way they dressed—the men, that is. Lady Hester refused to wear veils and thereafter, never wore anything but men’s robes, turbans, and slippers. She tramped about in the desert for several years, slept in the tents of Bedouin sheikhs, traipsed through Turkish palaces, visited a Pasha or three and learned to smoke a water pipe. She also thought nothing of taking a string of lovers, including one twelve years her junior. Her archeological expedition in 1815 was hailed as the first modern excavation of its kind. Soon, she was referred to as the Queen of the East.

In my Victorian series, Those Magnificent Malverns, which takes place in the countryside of Kent, the elderly grandmother, Mum, as she insists on being called, is my representative of these unconventional women who lived during the Regency and Victorian periods. All the stories Mum regales about her past are based on actual events belonging to Lady Hester Stanhope. I simply made Mum Lady Stanhope’s best friend in my stories and had her tramping about the Middle East alongside her. 


Kathleen Bittner Roth thrives on creating passionate stories featuring characters who are forced to draw on their strength of spirit to overcome adversity and find unending love. Her own fairy tale wedding in a Scottish castle led her to her current residence in Budapest, Hungary, considered one of Europe’s most romantic cities. However, she still keeps one boot firmly in Texas and the other in her home state of Minnesota. A member of Romance Writers of America®, she was a finalist in the prestigious Golden Heart® contest. Find Kathleen on Facebook, Goodreads, Twitter, Pinterest and www.kathleenbittnerroth.com.

THE SEDUCTION OF SARAH MARKS is book one in Those Magnificent Malvern series and is currently on sale for .99: When a proper Victorian miss awakens next to a handsome stranger, she must rely on the man's benevolence as she struggles to regain her memory and hold onto her heart. BUY LINK
PORTRAIT OF A FORBIDDEN LADY is book two in Those Magnificent Malvern series and is due to release in May 2016 (cover not yet available): A young widow returns to her childhood home after a forced absence and faces her first and only love, but despite their powerful attraction, danger compels her to remain his forbidden lady. 

CELINE, book one in the When a Heart Dares series, is on sale now! BUY LINK

1 comment:

Mary McCall said...

Wonderful post, Kathleen. I always enjoy hearing tales of female rogues. You always impress!