So what made me decide to write a Regency spanking story? A couple reasons. First, I find the era rather intriguing with all it's rules about behavior, particularly for ladies. Second, I'm just geeky enough (or too much) to enjoy learning about a different era. Once I got started, I realized there was so much to learn, I think I have barely scratched the surface.
For today's lesson let's talk about titles. No, not book titles, but the proper form of address for certain people.
The heroine of my Regency spanking story is Lady Katherine Winchester. She is referred to as Lady Katherine.
Now...that seems simple enough, right. Oh no...there is a difference between when you can call someone Lady Firstname and when you call them Lady Lastname.
To be honest, I'm still not sure I got it right.
Initially, Lady Katherine came from a modest background and when she married Lord Winchester, she became Lady Winchester. But I wanted to call her Lady Katherine and not Lady Winchester.
Don't worry, I think I figured it out. Turns out that if you are the daughter of an earl, you are referred to as Lady Firstname all your life and you can retain that title regardless of whether your husband has a title or not.
So, I just changed Katherine's backstory from modest to being the daughter of an earl. Voila!
However, being the daughter of an earl didn't mean that she would have a life of financial security, as this excerpt shows.
She retired to her room to rest before dinner. She had come to love her private sanctuary at the London house, nearly as much as she loved her suite of rooms at Aprilvine Park. Her husband, Charles, had indulged her every whim and she had used his accommodating nature to her advantage, creating a sumptuous boudoir filled with comfortable furnishings in the most luxurious fabrics available.
She ran her fingers along the heavy velvet curtains attached to the posts of her bed. It was not simply the opulence of her surroundings which meant so much to her, but the security that they represented.
The only daughter of an earl, she had grown up in luxury and indulgence. Her brother had inherited the title, but soon gambled away most of the assets set aside for the care of Katherine and her mother, which left Katherine’s unsurpassed beauty as the only real asset she and her mother had to support themselves. Her mother had guarded her daughter’s virtue like the treasure it was until Charles, the Earl of Winchester, had fallen madly in love with Katherine.
Charles had been an attentive and kind husband and Katherine found that over time she had grown to care for him very much. Her deepest regret was her inability to conceive an heir.
Not only had it saddened both Charles and Katherine to be childless, but because the estate was entailed upon the male line, sudden widowhood had thrust Katherine into the role of dowager, though without any relationship or affinity with the new earl, she assumed he would consider her as simply an extra responsibility to be dealt with as expediently and thriftily as possible.
She could live out her days in the role of dowager countess, but even the mere sound of it was too dreary and uninspired to consider. Life was meant to be experienced and enjoyed. There were balls and concerts to attend. Gossip to be shared. How she longed to promenade along Hyde Park in a fine new dress and hat. She had performed the requisite period of mourning for her husband and the social season was just beginning. She had no intention of sitting on the sidelines.
Her best option was to find a new husband, no small task, even for her. For one, although still beautiful, she was no longer a maiden. Secondly, her inability to conceive had not gone unnoticed by the eligible gentlemen of her acquaintance.
Beauty, without fertility, would only get her so far.