Wednesday, 1 June 2016

June o'Clock

May, for me, is a very busy month. Lots of stuff happens in May. I won't bore you with it.

But now it's June and I'm ready to delve into some work. After the successful launch of Her Endearing Young Charms, I'm ready to finish off the second A Lady of Many Charms book, tentatively titled "The Charm of Truth".

It involves a scandal.

Now, when most people speak of scandal, they usually refer to sexual scandal. But in the Regency Era, there were all kinds of scandal--not just ones between the sheets.

Scandals involved anything that was morally questionable. Certain upright citizens spotted in gaming hells?  Scandal. Caught cheating at cards? Scandal. Using your social position to wrangle certain political favours? Scandal. The list goes on. Divorce? Oooh, that's a scandal!

So when I want a nice, juicy subplot, I love turning to the 18th and 19th Century scandals that shocked and secretly titillated London Society. In The Charm of Truth, someone is caught selling something they shouldn't...

19th Century Scandals (that aren't all about the sex)

The Andover Workhouse Scandal shocked the public when they learned how the workhouse master had been treating the inmates in a manner so shocking it made other workhouses look like Club Med.
Morals broken: theft, abuse of trust and responsibility

The Trader Post Scandal meant that poor soldiers could only buy supplies from certain trader posts.
Morals broken: monopoly and bribery

Yes, even Queen Victoria had a celebrity stalker who stole her knickers.
Morals broken: theft, B&E

In the Tranby-Croft Affair, Sir William Gordon-Cumming was caught cheating at cards. Because of this, he was cut off socially forever.
Morals broken: cheating (at cards), frivolous court case

Mary Shelley (author of Frankenstein), kept her dead husband's heart in her desk for the rest of her life.  This was after she fought his friends for his remains after his unceremonious cremation on a foreign beach after his drowning.
Morals broken: good taste,, possibly grave-robbing? Corpse desecration?

Her Grace isn't above listening to other people's gossip, for it makes excellent subplots in her novels.

No comments: