A Warriner To Tempt Her by Virginia Heath
A shy innocent
She’s wary of all men.
In this The Wild Warriners story, shy Lady Isabella Beaumont is perfectly happy to stay in the background and let her sister get all the attention from handsome suitors following a shocking incident. However working with Dr Joseph Warriner to help the sick and needy pushes her closer to a man than she’s ever been before. Is this a man worth trusting with her deepest of desires…?
The Glorious Georgians
Guest post by Virginia Heath
As a former history teacher I’m a total history nerd. I enjoy all time periods and the varied and fascinating history of other countries, but my absolute favourite is the history of 19th century England. Aside from the ridiculous shenanigans of the royal family at the time and the ongoing tension between England and their arch enemies France and their former colonists America, it’s such a wonderful century to study. The history is as diverse as it is revolutionary and was a real turning point for the country of my birth.
As a lover and writer of Regency romances, it is easy to get swept away with Jane Austen’s view of that world, where ladies and gentlemen lived in grand houses, attended balls and the most challenging thing that they encountered in their day to day lives was how to behave politely to one another. Of course, I love to include these things in my books. What would a decent Regency romance be without them? The staid, measured reserve of Mr Darcy and Captain Wentworth as they navigate the structured waters of society is a glorious thing to read and write about. However, for the majority of British people in the early 19th century, daily life was a constant struggle and they were becoming increasingly upset about their lot in life. I love to include this aspect of life too.
Britain was becoming ‘Great’ on the backs of their work. The Industrial Revolution meant that the ruling class were dependent on these underlings to provide the labour in the factories and mines that sprang up all over the country. However, they were paid a pittance to do it, worked ridiculously long hours and lived in the most horrendous conditions imaginable. While they were suffering, the rich got richer and wielded all the power. Only men with a significant amount of land could vote. As a result, until 1832, less than 5% of the total population could vote and most of the new industrial towns and cities, such as Manchester, did not even have an MP to represent the tens of thousands who lived there. There were riots for better treatment. The most famous of which was the infamous Peterloo Massacre of 1819 saw the sword-wielding cavalry charging on 60,000 unarmed working-class protesters whose only crime was to demand food in their bellies and some say in their lives. I’ve written about that turbulent time in The Discerning Gentleman’s Guide- a Regency romantic comedy with a very real and dark backdrop.
But not all of the period’s ‘revolutions’ were negative. It was also a time of great technological and scientific strides. The first railways were born at this time, eventually making transportation quicker and more efficient. Steam powered machinery allowed mass production for the first time. Britain became the workshop of the world, exporting goods to all corners of the globe. Our little cluster of islands became the richest and most powerful nation in the world.
Medicine too, was revolutionised. The first anaesthetics and the discovery of both germs and the need for antiseptics slashed the huge mortality rate during surgery. Doctors could take their time and as a result, the sorts of things that could be operated on went from simply amputating a gangrenous limb to removing tumours.
The history of medicine at this fascinating time is one of the main themes in my latest release A Warriner to Tempt Her. Joe Warriner is a brilliant young physician using cutting edge science, for his time at any rate. Thanks to a deadly smallpox epidemic, he tries to convince a whole town to try another Georgian revolutionary invention- vaccination. Nobody knew how it worked, or why it worked, but thanks to a brilliant physician called Edward Jenner, they learned that the centuries-old killer smallpox could be easily prevented by exposing people to cowpox instead. Yet despite the huge success rate, the people of the past remained suspicious of change and took umbrage at vaccination. They protested, they rioted and they outright refused it. Who wouldn’t want to write about that? Or the other medical treatments that I had to research from the time to include in the story.
In ten books (I’ve only just started book eleven) I still feel as if I have only just scratched the surface of fascinating things to write about the 19th century. There is a rich seam of potential storylines from the era still to be researched.
It will be years and years before I run out of Glorious Georgian history to inspire me, a nerdy history teacher to the bitter end.
Author Bio –
When Virginia Heath was a little girl it took her ages to fall asleep, so she made up stories in her head to help pass the time while she was staring at the ceiling. As she got older, the stories became more complicated, sometimes taking weeks to get to the happy ending. Then one day, she decided to embrace the insomnia and start writing them down. Fortunately, the lovely people at Harlequin took pity on her and decided to publish her romances, but it still takes her forever to fall asleep.
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