Medieval Scotland Vs. Regency England In Amanda Forester's Historical Romances
Today on the RT Daily Blog, historical romance author Amanda Forester compares her medieval stories to her Regency tales. Welcome, Amanda!
The release of A Wedding In Springtime represents a dramatic 400-year change for me, all the way from medieval Scotland to Regency England. My first three books, The Highlander's Sword, The Highlander's Heart and True Highland Spirit were all set in, you guessed it, the mid 14th century Highlands! I loved my rugged Highlander heroes. But for my next three books, A Wedding In Springtime, Midsummer Bride (Nov. 2013), and Winter Wedding (Sept. 2014) I travel to the elegant ballrooms of 1810 Regency England. I love both settings, but they do have their differences ... and some similarities. Let me share what I've learned so far:
Heroine's attire: Long, richly appointed gowns in bright colors (although Morrigan in True Highland Spirit bucked tradition and wore a tunic and trews.)
Heroine's attire: White or pastel muslin gowns, as befitted debutants, high-waisted with stays underneath to keep everything in its place.
Heroine's home: Castle belonging to her clan, with its primary function to offer protection against enemies. Most folks slept communally in the large great hall, but the laird and lady and their family had their own private solar. It was drafty but it was home.
Heroine's home: Large country estate, with its primary function to be elegant and impress the neighbors. Servants slept up in the attics or in the kitchen, while family and guests each had their own private, lavishly decorated room.
Heroine's occupation: Serving as chatelaine of the castle and accepting an arranged marriage to benefit the clan
Heroine's occupation: Learning how to be "accomplished" through playing piano, drawing, needlepoint, and having excellent comportment to entice a gentleman of large fortune to propose marriage.
|Hero's attire: Plaid wore in a style of the great kilt, wrapped around the waist and thrown over one shoulder.|
Hero's attire: Impeccably tailored coats, waistcoat, and breeches, (perish the thought of bare knees), with a cravat tied expertly at the throat.
|Major benefits to attire: Ability to travel, fight, sleep, all without having to pack anything more than your own multi-purpose plaid.|
Major benefits to attire: The ability to impress one's company with your exquisite tailing, never mind if you can hardly move and were sewn into the garment by your valet.
Hero's occupation: To act as laird and primary protector of his clan. This meant being the ultimate arbiter for any dispute within the clan, and protecting the clan from any and all threats by riding first into battle.
Hero's occupation: To act as a gentleman, which basically meant to live a life of elegant leisure, with occasional meetings with one's steward to ensure all the details of the estate were being handled correctly.
|A good meal: Whole roasted wild boar, venison pies, platters of cod, haddock, and salmon, with roasted apples (uncooked were not healthy for you don't you know) washed down with whiskey, ale and a bit of mead. Everything can be eaten with your hands or your knife. When you're done with your meal throw the scraps down for the dogs.|
A good meal: Would begin with the food elegantly presented. The hostess would serve the soup, then the host will serve the fish, followed by all the meats. Footmen will take the portions to the guests. Twenty or more dishes would be served in at least three courses, and naturally the tablecloth would be removed to reveal a fresh one under it after each course. Every course would have a specific utensil to use. Wash down your meal with a fine wine. When you're done with your meal the servants will politely take it away.
Insults: Delivered with a sharp sword
Insults: Delivered with a sharp wit
Villain: Devious person who is not what he seems
Villain: Devious person who is not what he seems (some things don't change)
Background of war: England at war with Scotland and France during the Hundred Years War
Background of war: England at war with France during the Napoleonic War (England and France really didn't get on)
Series: Highlander series — The Highlander's Sword (2010), The Highlander's Heart (2011), and True Highland Spirit (2012)
Series: Marriage Mart series — A Wedding in Springtime (just released!), followed by Midsummer Bride (Nov. 2013), and Winter Wedding (Sept. 2014)
To compare Amanda Forester's books for yourself, you can pick up the Highlander series, available now as well as book one in the Marriage Mart series, A Wedding in Springtime. And for more historical goodies, check out our Everything Romance Page.