Thursday, 18 May 2017

Quaint old England.

I suppose the title of this post says it all: Quaint Old England, the England tourists flock to in their thousands every week, Albeit the majority come merely to see London and the usual more famed tourist attractions, for those who choose to venture far and wide in search of places featured within novels there are many more treasures to discover along the way.

Bath 1800s

In one brief paragraph I can name British authors who represent places where they were born, grew up, and lived centuries ago, and not so very long ago. Daniel Defoe, Jane Austen, Charles Dickens, The Bronte Sisters, Thomas Hardy, to name but a few of the earlier great novelists. Latterly, Daphne du Maurier, Winston Graham, Georgette Heyer, Jean Plaidy aka Eleanor Hibbert, also known as Victoria Holt, and then there were Catherine Cookson's north eastern based novels.  The list goes on but one has to stop somewhere. The end...

Well not quite the end, but all the above earlier authors loved England and depicted the cities and the countryside as they knew it, and the later authors reflected the country as they knew it from childhood and the war years. Much of England had remained unchanged for centuries barring wartime Britain (WWII) and the aftermath of rebuilding after bomb damage. Thus in the last fifty years much about Britain has changed due to outside influences and cultural diversity, but old England and its city communities of old and its rural traditions are depicted with clarity within novels penned by the above authors, but even now there are places that are little changed and remain gems of Old England..

The toll gate at Porlock Weir, not only is it pretty but one can see it was a livelihood for the gate keeper, whose cottage bridges the toll gate. The problem with this lovely toll gate, is the fact it didn't exist in the Regency era, it was built much later. The toll being paid elsewhere at a local inn, and the gate was at the inn. 

St Dubricious Church in Porlock itself has an unusual spire, not unlike towers oft seen on a French chateau.

Both places are subsequently featured in my next Regency novel, albeit fleetingly, and although I only include the odd image (sketch) of a house within e-books I do now include illustrations within paperbacks. Am I right or wrong in providing images? Who knows, but for those unfamiliar with England, surely a few images as discovered within old novels does give insight to places most tourists never venture to. Thus the next novel is a follow-on from The Reluctant Duchess which for the most part was set on Exmoor, the place made famous by the novel Lorna Doone. 

Instead of the Duke and Duchess of Malchester and their love affair which developed within wedlock despite the duchess' reluctance to engage with her husband, this time around it's the Earl of Sheldon's turn to fall head over heels in love, something he thought could never happen to him, given he really is a dissolute rake hell. But feeling a tad jaded after his last soiree at a house party May Thorne has stolen his eye, The problem being she's a married woman, and when her husband is murdered, did Marcus enact the unthinkable? Due release Ist of June.          

Due release Ist of June.