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Archive for April, 2012

History

As last week we spent time with Brooks Gentleman’s club, it is only correct that we venture across the street both literally and figuratively and go to Boodles. After this, we should venture to White’s, perhaps the most famous of clubs for the men of the Ton in a future blog and having discussed Waiter’s we should look in there as well in future weeks. My NaNoWriMo novel at the end of last year I have given a work title to of The Other Shoe. While working through it I did some research on Gentleman’s Clubs and thought why not delve into other parts of the Regency besides the Squares I have been reporting on. Many of the scenes of the heroes in our stories are set at their clubs.

Boodles Gentlemen’s Club

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Founded in 1762 by the Earl of Shelburne, William Petty-FitzMaurice who later became the 1st Marquess of Lansdowne and the Prime Minister of England during the last days of the Revolutionary War, or that trifling thing regarding the colonies. (Just a little representation for our taxation and what coulda, shoulda, woulda, wow, think of the possibilities if the americas were still the colonies…)

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Shelburne was a Whig statement and this club served to be a second place for such to enjoy a day without women in it. It first opened on Pall Mall but in 1782 took over the Savoir Vivre space at 28 St. James Street which is across from Brooks Gentlemen’s club. The club in recent rimes has had such members as Ian Fleming who gave us James Bond, and David Niven who at one time was the Pink Panther…

Such notables who lived during the Regency and were members of the club include menbers we met at Brooks as well. Such as Beau Brummell, William Wilberforce, William Cavendish the 5th Duke of Devonshire. Here we also would see Arthur Wellesley, the 1st Duke of Wellington PastedGraphic2-2012-04-25-21-03.jpg. Also a member was John Fane, PastedGraphic3-2012-04-25-21-03.jpgthe 10th Earl of Westmoreland who really did run away to Gretna Green to marry Sarah Anne ChildPastedGraphic4-2012-04-25-21-03.jpg and looked to be a regency beauty as well as the rich daughter of a banker. The banker though cut his daughter and his grandsons from his will. He left his money to his granddaughter so the Fane name would not have access to his fortune.

So many major men of the Regency were members of Brooks that we have a place to when in London, our heroes will be drawn to for it is the magnet for them socially.

A Trolling We Will Go

I released a new book, an omnibus of the three first Trolling stories. In honor of that I have made the first tale of Humphrey and Gwendolyn available for a limited time for $.99 TrollingOmnibus-2012-04-25-21-03.jpg This introductory price is so those who have not discovered this fantasy work can delve into it for a very incentivised price and see if they like the series and continue on, either ordering the other two stories separately, or ordering all three in the Omnibus edition. There are still two more in the series for me to wrap up with edits and release. They have been written as those who follow my blog know. Just not yet gone through my final check protocols.

The Writing LIfe

I am now near 100 pages (about 30000 words, into writing on The Crown Imposter. A fantasy that has had two different ideas about for the last few years. Neither was working by when I decided to combine them, all of sudden it worked and I wanted to write. Something I have been too exhausted to do these last few months

I enclose a few paragraphs from the first draft and first chapter for perusal.

Chapter 1

        The door opened letting a cold blast of saturated wetness force it’s way into what should have remained a warm and cozy space. Sergeant Middlin grunted but caught his tongue before he cursed aloud. The young Baron turned as he entered the room and pushed hard to shut the door against the raging storm.

        Middlin had sons the Baron’s age. Sons older than the young man if truth were told. He knew holding his tongue was called for at that moment. At least holding some of the obvious things he would say to another man who was not his overlord.

        “Everything as it should be?”

        The Baron, Damien Everheart, had strode to the blazing fire that they had stoked to greatness once the first signs of the storm had become evident some hours before.

        The young man said, “Aye, you were right. All was good. The sentries were in their coveys and hides. You know though I did not go out just to see if they were obeying my orders.” Middlin nodded to that. The Sergeant had charge of the boy, now man, for over a decade. Middlin and a couple others. They had seen to training him for his duties.

        Duties, that with his father’s recent death, Damien had now assumed.

        “‘Course. Wanting the men to know you share in their burdens earns their trust and respect. I taught you that. But there is a limit. You catch sick from all that water nows that drenched your bones and then the Barony be without a leader.”

        Damien smirked a quick laugh, “I’ll stand here in front of the fire and warm myself. I’ll be as dry as bone in three shakes of Spotters tail.” The boy referred to the dog that lay in front of the fire. Old Spot had been a puppy and gift to Damien when he first came to train in the ways of fighting and of ruling. Now the dog had grown old these dozen years since.

        “Fool boy. You need to learn that you take care of yourself proper and you don’t need to worry about getting sick. Rushing about in a storm is a sure way to get sick, no matter how long you stand in front of a fire after.” Middlin knew that advice would not be heeded. He probably had heard something the same when he was young from an oldster, and just as Damien, ignored it. Now as his bones knew ache from the cold and wet, he knew the words to be true.

        “As you say. But you also taught me about showing myself to the men when they are in hardship. They stand watch in the cold and wet now, and they know I am colder and wetter than they are. And they know that I think it is important what they are doing out there. Standing guard.”

        Middlin shook his head. He was not going to win a battle of wits with the Baron. Damien was bright and there was no getting around him for he was stubborn too. And well he should be. He was the lord and now, the Barony was right on the border of the kingdom.

        “Your damnable cousin is responsible for all this mess, and for you having to go make the rounds of the watch. Five years ago, his Duchy protected us against the Altans. Now that he is king of all them Altans he caused all the problems that be facing us!” Middlin said with some feeling. He worried that sooner, rather than later, there was going to be war. Prince Brion, the king’s son was hot headed, if all the tales he had heard of that young man were true.

        And a hot headed prince was sure to want to make a name for himself. Retaking for the kingdom of Centrion what had been the most prosperous Duchy of the kingdom, and doing so by force of arms, was one way to add the moniker Conqueror to Brion’s name.

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History

This week another break from the Squares of London. My NaNoWriMo novel at the end of last year I have given a work title to of The Other Shoe. While working through it I did some research on Gentleman’s Clubs and thought why not delve into other parts of the Regency besides the Squares I have been reporting on. Many of the scenes of the heroes in our stories are set at their clubs.

Brooks Club

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27 men, four of whom were Dukes, set up the club in 1764. It remains one of the most exclusive gentlemen’s clubs still. It was the meeting place for Whigs of the highest rung of the Ton.

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Originally in Pall Mall, it was managed by William Almack who also ran the famed Assembly Rooms with his name. (Managing one place which was the domain of ladies that men were invited to visit, and a place where no ‘Lady’ was invited at all.)

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The current building is on St. James Street and was managed by Brooks who survived its opening there in 1778 by only three years. It is across the street from Boodles, and just up the street is the Carlton club which is associated with the Tories.

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When in London and needing a distraction, riding and hunting being unavailable, the children and the women making such a caterwauling that a lord could just not stand it, what better place to go to then to the club. Here you could meet friends. There was a kitchen that provided large meals, but not great ones. Waiters was thus founded in 1806 for a better dining experience.

Then the gaming rooms became a mainstay of the club. The Betting book at Brooks has many examples of eccentric bets. Some bets so outrageous and impossible for the time that they remain unresolved.

One of the most famous of all the clubs that exist in the Regency period is Brooks. Such notables who lived during the Regency and were members of the club were William Cavendish-Bentinck, the 3rd Duke of Portland who was Prime Minister twice.PastedGraphic-2012-04-21-14-05.jpg William Cavendish,PastedGraphic1-2012-04-21-14-05.jpg the fifth duke of Devonshire, husband of the incomparable GeorgianaPastedGraphic2-2012-04-21-14-05.jpg Charles James Fox, PastedGraphic3-2012-04-21-14-05.jpgwho was the grandson of the 2nd Duke of Richmond, himself a grandson of Charles the II. Fox was the counter to William Pitt the Younger.PastedGraphic4-2012-04-21-14-05.jpg who was the youngest Prime Minister of the United Kingdom first, and then the second time of Great Britain as the way the country was addressed changed its name. Also a member as was his friend, William Wilberforce who was a tireless advocate of the abolition of slavery.PastedGraphic5-2012-04-21-14-05.jpg. Yet perhaps the most famous of our members will be he whom we owe the Regency to, George or often referred to in our novels, as Prinny.

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His brothers as well were members, the Duke of York PastedGraphic7-2012-04-21-14-05.jpg and the Duke of Clarence PastedGraphic8-2012-04-21-14-05.jpgwho later became King William the IV. Last we should make note of one regular visitor to the Regency Novels we write. The Beau, Beau BrummellPastedGraphic9-2012-04-21-14-05.jpgThe arbiter of good taste, leader of the Dandy club and known to sit with his friends in the window seat at White’s. He is worthy of his own posting.

So many major men of the Regency were members of Brooks that we have a place to when in London, our heroes will be drawn to for it is the magnet for them socially.

A Trolling We Will Go

I released a new book, an omnibus of the three first Trolling stories. In honor of that I have made the first tale of Humphrey and Gwendolyn available for a limited time for $.99 TrollingOmnibus-2012-04-21-14-05.jpg This introductory price is so those who have not discovered this fantasy work can delve into it for a very incentivised price and see if they like the series and continue on, either ordering the other two stories separately, or ordering all three in the Omnibus edition. There are still two more in the series for me to wrap up with edits and release. They have been written as those who follow my blog know. Just not yet gone through my final check protocols.

The Writing LIfe

I am not 78 pages (about 24000 words, into writing on The Crown Imposter. A fantasy that have had two different ideas about for the last few years. Neither was working by when I decided to combine them, all of sudden it worked and I wanted to write. Something I have been too exhausted to do these last few months

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History

This week a little break from the Square of London. My NaNoWriMo novel at the end of last year I have given a work title to of The Other Shoe. While working through it I did some research on the Cato Street Conspiracy and thought why not delve into other parts of the Regency besides the Squares I have been reporting on.

Cato Street Conspiracy

On February 23rd, 1820, not even a month after George the III died, conspirators who planned to murder the entire cabinet of England were captured. On May 1st, 1820, they were executed for these attempted crimes.

That’s pretty swift justice. Today, I should think they would await their execution for more than a decade, and it would probably take a handful of years, rather than two months for the government to put forth their evidence and argue their case in court to convict such criminals.

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In a world trying to make sense of the great changes that had been occurring for the rights of men for fifty years, and where great wars had been fought that seemed to make progress in other lands but England, one should know that our Regency is and was much affected by these changes, and yet we often never address them in our portrayals of that time of history.

What need the Ton talk of such terrible things of the common man wanting a say in his governance. The fiasco with the colonies and our cousins on the western side of the Atlantic have no concern to us now, surely would be what the minds of our lords and ladies would think were we to question them. Jane Austen certainly has nothing to say of the events that saw the loss of such a great part of the empire. Or even remarks on the war with the little Corporal.

That war Austen’s own brothers went to serve in. That war permeates the era of the Regency.

Liberté, égalité, fraternité

Even once the rest of Europe finishes with the Corsican Tyrant, the movement for more power in the hands of the common man, that we know has changed the America’s and now France, has taken root in England.

And that England responds slowly leads us to the Cato Street Conspiracy. Thwarted because one of the conspirators was actually an informer for the police.

The conspirators went by the name the Spencean Philanthropists. Taking their name from radical speaker Thomas Spence.PastedGraphic2-2012-04-14-06-52.jpg

They met near Edgeware Road and there is controversy on the manner of their capture, trial and execution. The informer, George Edwards, is also the one responsible for suggesting that the conspirators elevate their game and plan to murder the cabinet ministers. He also planted the newspaper arcticle suggesting that all the cabinet were to dine together and make such a plot plausible. (Right there, changing the names and circumstances is a little would be a good political thriller proving once again that the truth can be stranger than fiction.)

The leader of the Specerians was a man named Arthur Thistlewood, PastedGraphic4-2012-04-14-06-52.jpg. The 23rd of February came and Richard Bimie, a Bow Street Magistrate, George Ruthven, and 12 other Bow Street Runners awaited reinforcements from the Coldstream Guards to make an arrest. The command of that detail was under Lt. FitzClarence, George III’s grandson. Growing impatient though, the Runners pushed ahead and in the ensuing arrest, several of the conspirators escaped, to be captured in the next few days. Thistlewood was one, and as he fought for his freedom, he killed Richard Smithers of Bow Street with a sword.

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The prosecution convinced two of the conspirators to give testimony against their compatriots and George Edwards, the man who set up the conspirators to elevate their game and then capture them, did not have to speak at the trial at all. The guilty were then sentenced to hung, drawn and quartered. But this was commuted to just hanging and beheading, as the medieval form of punishment was thought too gruesome.

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The EXECUTION of THISTLEWOOD, INGS, BRUNT, DAVIDSON, and TIDD for High TREASON

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A May Day Garland for 1820

The mere mention of these events should a novel take place around the death of George III PastedGraphic6-2012-04-14-06-52.jpg and the coronation of George IV I feel adds depth to our novelizations of the Regency Era. The sentiments that led to such actions were very prevalent. All may be fine in the drawing rooms and ball rooms of the Ton, but below stairs and outside in Town, things were seething, and not just below the surface but very much in the open.

A Trolling We Will Go

I released a new book, an omnibus of the three first Trolling stories. In honor of that I have made the first tale of Humphrey and Gwendolyn available for a limited time for $.99 TrollingOmnibus-2012-04-14-06-52.jpg This introductory price is so those who have not discovered this fantasy work can delve into it for a very incentivised price and see if they like the series and continue on, either ordering the other two stories separately, or ordering all three in the Omnibus edition. There are still two more in the series for me to wrap up with edits and release. They have been written as those who follow my blog know. Just not yet gone through my final check protocols.

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History

The location of the lord or ladies home in London is always something I spend time over. And each time I then research the square I use or re-research it. This week I look at Brampton Square.

By looking at the map when Brampton Square was developed we can see that the area was surrounded by the estates of the aristocrats and gentry. What started as a garden on five acres in the 1700s began in March of 1821 to be developed by James Bonnin from a leasehold of Mary Tatham Browne. When she inherited the property, she was a minor, related to the last Prime Serjeant of Ireland Later William Farlar purchased the entire freehold to lease out.

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The crescent houses at the North end of the the street were developed between 1824 and 1839. The square was initially home to literary people, artists and theatrical people.

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One of the inhabitants of the crescent houses at the North end of the street was the protege of the Duchess of DevonshirePastedGraphic-2012-04-7-07-58.jpg, Henry Luttrell, the wit, and illegitimate son of the 2nd Earl of Carhampton. Luttrell lived at #31henry-luttrell-2012-04-7-07-58.jpg. One of his works, “Advice to Julia, a Letter in Rhyme,’ was published early in 1820. Another was ‘Letters of a Dandy to a Dolly.’ He is further chronicled at the Lansdowne House blog, where one can find that Sir Walter Scott labeled him a “great London wit.”

O that there might in England be

A duty on Hypocrisy,

A tax on humbug, an excise

On solemn plausibilities!

Another was William Farren, the actor who was a staple at Drury Lane playing Polonius and Caesar during the Regency. Farren lived at #s 23, 25 and 30.

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The location of the square is not in the hustle and bustle of London during the Regency period. What I think is advantageous is that is in an area where there are great estates nearby and this would be a good location of those on the verge of mingling with the great of society to actually cross their paths. As Luttrell was introduced to society by his patroness, the Duchess of Devonshire. Another of our heroes, or heroines could easily make their home here and then be within close proximity to their own patron, or love interest.

Jane Austen and Ghosts

The Kindle version has been out for two weeks. It is also available now at Barnes and Noble for your Nook, or at Smashwords. The iTunes edition is also available as is the trade paperwork version so Jane Austen and Ghosts is now physically in print.

You can purchase your copy today at Amazon for $4.99. Or you can purchase at Smashwords, or at Barnes and Noble.

With the availability on the iBookstore for your iPad, and in Trade Paperback, Jane Austen and Ghosts is available at all the outlets that Regency Assembly Press publishes to. The Trade Paperback is now available for $8.99 US and of course available in other currencies for other countries based on that US price. Digital versions across all platforms are $4.99.

Click here to be taken to the webpage on Amazon

A brief synopsis of the story:

In the world of moviemaking, nothing is as golden as rebooting a classic tale that has made fortunes every time before when it has been adapted for the silver screen. Certainly any work by Jane Austen made into a movie will not only be bankable, but also considered a work of art.

That is of course until the current wave of adaptations that unite her classic stories with all the elements of the afterlife is attempted to be created. That these have found success in the marketplace amongst book lovers may not be quite understood by those who make movies. But that they are a success is understood and a reason to make them into movies.

All that being said, perhaps it would also be fair to say that the very proper Jane, were she present to have anything to say about it, would not be pleased. Of course she has been away from this Earth for nearly 200 hundred years. But does that mean were she upset enough, she wouldn’t come back?

Ellis Abbot found stories for tinseltown to make into movies. His most recent find were the batch of stories set in the regency world of Jane Austen. Jane Austen and Monsters.

Meeting with the various authors of those works, it did not seem that Ellis could get one coherent plot of script out of any of them. At least not until he got help from the best source of all.

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