It stings a bit to realize that if we were transported to the Regency, we probably wouldn't be "Diamonds of the First Water", but wallflowers. Author Manda Collins feels our pain. No, she is not a wallflower herself, but in her Ugly Ducklings trilogy she writes about heroines who have not had an easy transition into society. But even with their rocky starts, Cecily from How To Dance With a Duke, Juliet from How To Romance a Rake and Madeline from How To Entice an Earl all find their happily ever afters, not despite, but because they are different from the other debutantes. Today Collins visits the RT blog in order to explain why wallflowers have more fun.
It is a truth universally acknowledged that wallflowers are to be pitied. I mean, who wouldn't feel bad for a girl relegated to sit out every dance conversing with dowagers and spinsters, doomed to evening after evening of watching her peers chat up every eligible gentleman in the ton? It's enough to make a diamond of the first water lose her shine!
In my Ugly Ducklings trilogy, the heroines, Cecily, Juliet, and Maddie, are not your typical wallflowers. Their mothers before them were a celebrated trio of sisters who took the ton by storm a generation earlier. So, when the cousins don't repeat the societal success of their mothers, their position on the fringe of the ballroom is not only disappointing, it's an open invitation for the cruelest wits in the ton to sharpen their claws.
But, what those cruel wits don't know, is that contrary to their pitiable reputation, wallflowers are not only the luckiest girls in the room, they also have waaaaaaaaaaaaaaay more fun than their more socially successful debutantes on the dance floor. Here are five reasons why…
5. Wallflowers can speak their minds.
While the pronouncements of the seasons' most successful debutantes are repeated and exclaimed over from one end of Mayfair to the other, the words of a wallflower are rarely remarked upon. Which means that wallflowers can say whatever they want, no matter how outrageous, without fear of damaging their social standing or disappointing their mothers. Sure there might be some shock from those in the immediate vicinity, but for the most part, wallflowers have a wealth of conversational freedom that the more popular girls do not.
4. Wallflowers can slip away unnoticed.
The young lady who dances every set is the object of all eyes in the ballroom. Which is why the wallflower finds it so much easier to disappear into the garden for an assignation with that scandalous rake who finds her honest refreshing. Or to search the host's library for the blackmail note that her best friend's former nanny has asked her to recover since she's the only one the nanny can trust. Or to do whatever she wants to while the rest of the beau monde's social contingent dance until their slippers fall apart.
3. Wallflowers can dress for comfort if they want.
Though some ladies like nothing more than to don the season's most fashionable gowns, there are some young ladies for whom uncomfortable corsets and binding clothing are simply not a priority. And if one of those young ladies happens to be a wallflower? Even better! Not only does it not matter whether wallflowers are dressed in the first stare of fashion, even if they do wear the most up to the minute designs, it is unlikely that anyone will notice. So the girls who would rather spend their pin money on books or sheet music or writing paper are totally free to do so!
2. Wallflowers can commit social crimes without fear of punishment.
If there's one thing that a popular lady has to keep in mind, is that all eyes are upon her. Which means that should the need or opportunity arise, the wallflower can step on toes, spill drinks, misspeak, trip, blunder, insult, or give the cut direct and not a soul in the ballroom will refine too much upon it. Or at least, the wallflower won't suffer a fall from grace. After all, it's difficult to fall when you're already beneath notice. Not that the wallflower would do any of those things without darn good reason. But if she gets jostled, or gets nervous or if she finds it necessary to spill punch on the gown of her cousin's arch nemesis, then the wallflower can do so and not worry about the consequences.
1. But the number one reason why wallflowers have more fun? It's simply this. For all of those who love to read stories that pit a strong-willed, but misunderstood spinster against a handsome rogue who's had his fill of empty-headed society chits, wallflowers make THE best heroines!
Want to get to know these wallflowers for yourself? Manda Collins' entire Ugly Ducklings trilogy is out now. And to learn about more unique heroines, visit our Everything Romance Page!