Tuesday, 12 April 2011

Historical Romance & Research!

As anybody who knows me from regular blogging over at my fun-writer blog (see sidebar), I love writing historical romances. With historicals comes research, and although I often get carried away on research I never allow it to encroach on the story beyond that of background setting. There's nothing worse than getting into a novel and then it appears to be more a lesson in history than that of mere escape to another era where love and romance are supposedly key.   

I love Tudor/Elizabethan novels and adored Jane Austen's works, so too more modern classics written by Daphne du Maurier and others. The latter probably more to my liking writing-wise, in that I haven't as yet felt compelled to write within the Napoleonic era. My favourite period  remains 1700s. After all, it was a truly swashbuckling era when men wore flamboyant outfits and women glorious gowns, the better-off that is.



The richness of embossed velvets, satins, silks and lace trims, literally fabulous in my mind. I quite believe I was born several hundred years too late, because these same fabrics (bar lace) I have draped around the house and, apt to hoard in abundance! In today's lifestyle such fabrics are only suitable for extremely posh functions and special occcasions, and a total no-no for pushing super-market trolleys around. 

My writing often stems from images, mostly that of portraits, and the following became the catalyst to my first venture into writing historicals. I  have no idea why, but the young lady in the portrait introduced herself as Anna Lady Maitcliffe: to the subconscious. 


Subsequently, Anna's story and that of the one she loved above all others came to me in overnight dream movie sequence. 


So taken with  her - and the awfulness of the Civil War - I felt compelled to tell her story. While divided loyalties tear her family apart and hidden truths come to light, her beloved is banished from his family home and estate lands, and her life becomes one of survival at any cost. And, despite trials and tribulations faced by all the characters, and her personal sacrifice for fear of being married off to a young Cavalier rake, war comes to Axebury Hall Estate and turns her world upside down and inside out. Although death heralds a turn in the war, can past deeds and that of heartbreak and betrayal ever be put aside? The new lord wonders whether love or rejection awaits him on his return!       

4 comments:

Bluestocking Mum said...

Hi Francine. It's funny how you find people.
So good to make your acquaintance.

I LOVE historical romance. And everything Tudors/Elizabethan, as well as Jane Austen's works AND Daphne du Maurier (and Tracy Chevalier, Phillipa Gregory, etc etc.)

Really look forward to following your posts and writing.

Warm wishes
Debbie
x

Francine Howarth said...

Hi Bluestocking Mum,

Nice to meet you, too.

I keep bumping into people met years ago on the Internet whom I'd lost contact with due to site moves., and it's lovely when it happens all over again in blogoland. :)

best
F

Theresa Milstein said...

I haven't read many books with historical settings, which is odd because I teach history!

If I were to choose a favorite era, I'd pick late 1800s. I like the hustle-bustle of cities filled with immigrants. It was the period I concentrated on in college. Maybe I should be reading steampunk.

Francine Howarth said...

Hi Theresa,

I love history, so in reality I'll read novels set in any period. But, 1700's I feel at home with in the writing stakes. Steampunk? Now there's a thought for indepth urban storylines. ;)

best
F