My very special guest today is Victoria Vane. Victoria has just published Treacherous Temptations, her latest revel in the mad, bad and dangerously decadent Georgian Era. I’ve asked Victoria to tell us why she loves the Georgian Era so very, very much. (I will say that it seems to love her back. Her Georgian-Era romances are fabulous!)
Why I Love the Georgians (Redux) by Victoria Vane
As a historical romance author, I am often asked why I swim against the Regency tide. My reasoning has two parts. While I adore Regency romances and cut my first romance teeth on Georgette Heyer (still my all-time favorite author) my best loved stories have always been Heyer’s less popular Georgian works— The Black Moth, These Old Shades, The Masqueraders, Devil’s Club, and Powder and Patch. The Regency just doesn’t hold me in thrall the way the paradoxically naughty, bawdy, glitzy, and glamorous Georgian era does.
From almost as early as I can remember, I’ve had a particular fascination with the 18th century— the clothes, the manners, the art and the music, and the longer I have studied it, and the deeper I have delved, my interest has only magnified. The compulsive gaming, hard drinking, and fast living Georgians did everything to excess! And while it may be surpassed in its hypocritical character by the Victorian era with its puritanical social mores coupled with an underworld swimming in opium dens, in my mind, the smoky, gritty Victorians just can’t hold a literary candle to the gleaming gilt of the Georgians!
I think much of it is that we can’t take the Georgians (at least the aristocrats) at face value, for the face they presented to the world was often (literally) a painted façade. Yet, they were still able to mock themselves for it as evidenced by the satirical nature of the popular art and literature. Moreover, almost nothing was better appreciated in this jaded society than a quick wit, which oftimes alone served to elevate some of the lowliest people to the company of nobles.
In my exploration of this golden epoch, people like William Hogarth and Henry Fielding have been my guides, and in addition to consistently incorporating many real people into my stories as secondary characters, historical figures have also served as models for my fictional heroes and heroines. (Frederick, Baron Baltimore was a very loose model for Ludovic DeVere in the Devil DeVere series. Philip, Duke of Wharton inspired Hadley Blanchard in Treacherous Temptations, and the real Mary Edwardes served as a very close model for my own heiress in the same book.
My second reason for seeking my fame and fortune amongst the Georgians began as simply an endeavor to find my own niche—to stand out as a historical author amongst a flooded pool of genuine talent. I sought to do this by learning everything I possibly could about my chosen period. For four years, I have immersed myself in study of the history, politics and art, reading diaries, memoirs, and stage plays, all while listening endlessly to Baroque music.
I have done this in my endeavor to give my era life and breath, to enrich my stories in the most vivid possible way by bringing to them elements of historical reality. I have recently expanded upon this notion of vivid and elaborate world building by commissioning digitally rendered illustrations for my books that I hope will excited readers and enhance the reading experience. (More scene depictions and character portraits are available on my DeVere fan site.)
In all of this I have come to feel very much at home in Georgian England, as if I truly understand them—as if I actually belong there. And just as Georgette Heyer did with the Regency, it is my dearest desire to call the Georgian era my own.
A reluctant heiress resigned to her fate… Mary Elizabeth Edwardes has one of the largest fortune’s in England, but has no desire to leave her quiet country existence… and even less to acquire a husband she cannot choose for herself.
A dissolute nobleman bent on retribution… Trapped in a duplicitous existence since scandal destroyed his fortune and family name, Lord Hadley Blanchard has spent the better part of a decade posing as a disaffected exile while spying and seducing in the service of the English Crown.
A dangerous game of seduction, and intrigue… When summoned from abroad by a former lover, Lord Hadley perceives an opportunity for vengeance at last. By employing the full measure of his seductive charm, he woos the ward of the man who destroyed his life, little knowing that winning Mary’s fortune will mean risking his own treacherous heart.
Purchase at Amazon.
You can find Victoria at:
Victoria is kindly giving away a digital copy of any title from her backlist.