In romance novels, carriages are more than just a mode of transport. These rockin’ conveyances move the story along. Whether they provide the means for a gentleman to woo his lady on a scenic ride to the park or they serve as the meeting place for late-night trysts after the opera, they are always versatile. In Juliana Gray’s Top Pick! debut novel, A Lady Never Lies, which won our August Seal of Excellence award, the invention of the horseless carriage is a major plot point and bone of contention between the hero and heroine. It got us thinking: If we were alive in ye olden days, what sweet ride would we want to see pull up to the curb?
We can't deny it, a luxury ride does get a lot of attention. True today as it was in the Regency. Who’d want to be courted a by a man driving a busted buggy when she could have someone who pulled out all the stops — like Lionel Walter, Baron Rothschild? Now there was a man with presence. He trained a team of zebras to lead his carriage, and, as we all know, animal print never goes out of style.
Whatever chariot sets your soul a’fire, our modern historical heroes (mostly) had the means to choose the pick of the litter. Here’s an overview of their choices and what they would signify to a discerning lady.
The classic choice for a leisurely summer ride, the barouche is perfect for a man with courting on his mind. If you’re a young miss who frequents Almack’s in the hopes of meeting the Earl of your dreams, this is the vehicle you want to see.
You’ve got a man who is fast and furious on your hands! Driven by sporty high-flyers, the phaeton is ideal for races. Whether you’ll be able to pin him down is anyone’s guess, but you’re sure to have fun trying.
Cinderella, you’ve just found your Prince Charming. Can we say, cha-ching? This large, yet elegant, carriage is a true mark of high social standing. This man’s a catch, but don’t forget to be on your best behavior. The coach’s enclosed passenger box makes it easy for a seductive man to work his wiles — don’t let him put the moves on you without that ring.
The Hansom Cab
Oh girl, no. Did he just show up to your townhouse in a rental? It’s unacceptable. You want a man with a title and funds — funds that would easily buy him a carriage of his own. This man probably still lives at home with his mother even though she has her own dowager house.
We’re curious here at RT and would love to know if you’ve ever been swayed — one way or the other — by a man’s automobile. Tell us your story below! For more genre news and coverage, visit our Everything Romance Page!