Archive for the ‘Historical Novel’ Category

Regency Personalities Series

In my attempts to provide us with the details of the Regency (I include those who were born before 1811 and who died after 1795), today I continue with one of the many period notables.

Harriet Grote
1 July 1792 – 29 December 1878


Harriet Grote

Harriet Grote was born Harriet Lewin at The Ridgeway, near Southampton. Her father, Thomas Lewin, after spending some years in the Madras civil service, came back in the same ship with the divorced Madame Grand (from Pondicherry) who afterwards married Talleyrand, and remained with her for a time at Paris in the years preceding the French Revolution. Settling then in England, and marrying a Miss Hale (daughter of General Hale and a Miss Chaloner, descended from Thomas Chaloner the regicide), who brought him a large family, he lived in style, keeping a house in town as well as in the country.

Harriet Lewin grew up a high-spirited, brilliant girl, and at the age of twenty-two, her father then residing at The Hollies, near Bexley in Kent, attracted the devotion of George Grote, her junior by two years, who lived with his parents not far off. They were married in 1820. She began to cultivate foreigners, especially French public men. During Grote’s parliamentary period she supported to him by holding together the party of radical reformers socially; and later supported his scholarly work.

Their circumstances became easier in 1830; from 1832 till 1837 they lived mainly at Dulwich Wood, then, for greater convenience of parliamentary attendance, at 3 Eccleston Street, which they did not give up till 1848 for the well-known 12 Savile Row, associated with the literary fame and administrative activity of all Grote’s later years. From 1838 they also established a country house at East Burnham (near Burnham Beeches) in Buckinghamshire, and this they maintained till 1850. It was replaced by a small place, which they built in the neighbourhood and occupied, under the name of ‘History Hut,’ from the beginning of 1853 till the end of 1857. Then, for reasons detailed by Mrs. Grote in an Account of the Hamlet of East Burnham (privately circulated at the time), they decided to leave the area.

They took from 1859 the spacious Barrow Green House in Surrey, which once had been occupied by Jeremy Bentham; but it was inconvenient for visits to London, and was given up in 1863. In 1864 they settled finally at Shiere, Surrey, in ‘The Ridgeway’ as it was called by Mrs. Grote, after the place of her birth. Herself an accomplished musician, she cultivated friendly relations with Mendelssohn and other composers and performers, including Jenny Lind.

Though her health suffered from a fever following on premature delivery in 1821 of an only child (a boy), who lived just a week, she had an excellent constitution. Her nephew was the actor William Terriss, the father of Ellaline Terriss. She remained active to the last. She died at Shiere on 29 December 1878, in her eighty-seventh year, and was buried there.

Her first acknowledged work was a Memoir of the Life of Ary Scheffer, the painter, a graphic sketch that reached a second edition in 1860, the year of its publication. Two years later she issued a volume of Collected Papers (some unpublished). A keeper of diaries and notebooks, as well as a sprightly letter-writer, she began to write a biographical account of her husband while he was still alive. The work was rapidly pushed forward on his death in 1871, though she had already reached her eightieth year, and was published in 1873 as The Personal Life of George Grote.

She had previously (in 1866) printed for private circulation a sketch entitled The Philosophical Radicals of 1832, including a Life of Sir William Molesworth. She also wrote a pamphlet (1878), A brief Retrospect of the Political Events of 1831-1832, as illustrated by the Greville and Althorp Memoirs.

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Now available the next Regency Romance tale by D.W. Wilkin:



Beauty has been said to be in the eye of the Beholder, or is it the Beholden.




The tale of Baron Fallion Lancelot Stafford, a gentleman of perhaps too much leisure who has served in the wars of some few years before. He now has decided that all this leisure is perhaps a waste and he should be doing something. He was just very unsure what that was.

We also find Lady Beatrice Cavendish, the daughter of the Earl of Hoare who is famed for her beauty, yet cannot find any man who has more to speak to her beyond that one subject. And yet far too many think they should offer for her with only the ardent praise to her looks to recommend them. Perhaps there exists one suitor who could speak on a subject beyond that?

In the rush of the Season of 1821, where their most intimate friends have all come to the conclusion that they should marry, can Beatrice put aside her willful ways and hear sound thoughts that her mama has said on that particular subject? Beatrice was sure that her mother would be content if she accepted the Baron Tweedglen, or any of a dozen other men of good breeding, position, or wealth. Whether they had ought to speak on her attractiveness, and no other words would leave their mouths.

Certainly a marriage with such foundations was doomed to crumble once age advanced and liver spots or wrinkles appeared. Yet amongst the Ton, such marriages were often deemed successes. Would they be so for Beatrice, though? That was something she was destined to apply her own thoughts to.

For Baron Tweedglen, the haunting memory of the war caused him to avoid any reference to his time spent prosecuting that undertaking. Such deamons as consumed his psyche, were magnified as his desire was for a world that art flourished and certainly his experience had been the exact opposite of such an inclination. The Baron was desperately in need of something that could save him from his own self. Was there a remedy in marriage as the entire Ton seemed to believe?

Now available on Amazon for $15.99

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Regency Personalities Series

In my attempts to provide us with the details of the Regency (I include those who were born before 1811 and who died after 1795), today I continue with one of the many period notables.

Charles Ingoldsby Burroughs-Paulet 13th Marquess of Winchester
27 January 1764 – 29 November 1843

Charles Ingoldsby Burroughs-Paulet 13th Marquess of Winchester was the eldest son of the 12th Marquess of Winchester and was educated at Eton and Clare College, Cambridge. After graduating, he served with the 1st Regiment of Foot Guards as an ensign from 1784–86, then sat in the Commons as Member of Parliament (MP) for Truro from 1792–96. He returned to the military in 1796 as a Lt.-Col. in the North Hampshire Militia and became Lord Lieutenant of Hampshire in 1798. He also married Anne Andrews (daughter of John Andrews of Shotley Hall, near Shotley Bridge) on 31 July 1800 and they had seven children:

  • John Paulet, 14th Marquess of Winchester (1801–1887)
  • Lord Charles Paulet (1802–1870), a religious minister, married Caroline Ramsden firstly; remarried to Joan Granville
  • Lord George Paulet (1803–1879), an admiral, married Georgina Wood
  • Lord William Paulet (1804–1893), a field marshal, died unmarried
  • Lord Frederick Paulet (1810–1871), a soldier and equerry to the Duchess of Cambridge, died unmarried
  • Lady Annabella (d. 1855), married Rear-Admiral William Ramsden
  • Lady Cecilia (d. 1890), married Sir Charles des Voeux, 2nd Baronet

In 1812, Lord Winchester became Groom of the Stole to George III and continued as such under George IV and up until the death of William IV in 1837. When Queen Victoria came to the throne that year, the office was abolished. He was thus the last Groom of the Stole to the Sovereign — Prince Albert continued to have a Groom of the Stole, as did the Prince of Wales until the complete abolition of the office in 1901. On 8 August 1839, he added the name of Burroughs to his own, when he inherited the property of Dame Sarah Salusbury (née Burroughs), under the terms of her will. Lord Winchester died in 1843 and his titles passed to his eldest son, John.

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Regency Personalities Series

In my attempts to provide us with the details of the Regency (I include those who were born before 1811 and who died after 1795), today I continue with one of the many period notables.

Frank Sayers
3 March 1763–16 August 1817


Frank Sayers

Frank Sayers was born in London, being baptised at St Margaret Pattens on 3 April, he was son of Francis Sayers, an insurance broker, by his wife Anne, daughter of John Morris of Great Yarmouth. His father died within a year, and he went with his mother to her father’s house in Friar’s Lane, Yarmouth. At the age of ten he was sent to a boarding-school at North Walsham, where Horatio Nelson was his schoolfellow. A year later he was transferred to a school at Palgrave, Suffolk, a dissenting academy kept by Rochemont Barbauld and Anna Barbauld. There he for remained three years, and met his lifelong friend William Taylor.

In October 1778 his mother’s father died, leaving him a small estate, and he went to learn farming at Oulton. Subsequently he attended John Hunter’s surgery lectures in London, where he saw much of his cousin James Sayers, the caricaturist. For two years from the autumn of 1786 he pursued medical and scientific study at Edinburgh. In poor health, he visited the Lake District in June 1788, and later in the year he went abroad. After graduating M.D. from the University of Harderwyk, he returned to Norwich at the end of 1789, giving up medicine and starting to write.

In 1792, on his mother’s death, Sayers moved to the Close at Norwich, and joined Norwich literary society. Among his friends and guests at various times were Robert Southey, Sir James Mackintosh, Thomas Fanshawe Middleton, and Thomas Amyot. The death of an aunt in 1799 increased his fortune.

He died at Norwich on 16 August 1817. A mural monument was erected to his memory in Norwich Cathedral by his heir, James Sayers. Sayers left benefactions to local institutions, and bequeathed his library to the dean and chapter. His portrait, by John Opie(1800), hung in William Taylor’s library, and passed to Amyot.

From Thomas Gray’s versions of the Runic poems and Thomas Percy’s Northern Antiquities, Sayers derived his Dramatic Sketches of Northern Mythology, which he issued in 1790. The volume consisted of three tragedies, Moina, Starno, and The Descent of Frea; Jann Ewald’s Danish tragedy The Death of Balder, on which the last piece is based, was subsequently translated by George Borrow. In 1792 a reissue of the volume included an Ode to Aurora, and a monodrama, Pandora. A third edition is dated 1803, and the last in 1807. Two German translations appeared, one in blank verse by Friedrich David Gräter, with notes, and another in rhyme by Valerius Wilhelm Neubeck (1793). In 1793 he published Disquisitions, Metaphysical and Literary. He followed David Hartley and Joseph Priestley in his metaphysical essays. In 1803 he published Nugæ Poeticæ, mainly versifications of Jack the Giant-Killer and Guy of Warwick.

Sayers then devoted himself to archæology, philology, and history. In 1805 he published Miscellanies, Antiquarian and Historical. In adissertation he maintained that Hebrew was originally the east, and not the west, Aramaic dialect. Other papers dealt with English architecture, English poetry, Saxon literature, and early English history. In 1808 appeared Disquisitions, another collection of his prose works, dedicated to Thomas Fanshaw Middleton. He was also a frequent contributor to the Quarterly Review.

Walter Scott, writing on 20 June 1807 to acknowledge a copy of his collected poems, said he had long been an admirer of his ‘runic rhymes.’ In July 1801 Southey expressed to Taylor his indebtedness to Sayers for the metre of Madoc. In 1823 William Taylor published a collective edition of Sayers’s works, with Opie’s portrait engraved by William Camden Edwards as frontispiece, and an engraving of Sayers’s house in the Close. Southey favourably reviewed the work in the Quarterly Review for January 1827.

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Regency Personalities Series

In my attempts to provide us with the details of the Regency (I include those who were born before 1811 and who died after 1795), today I continue with one of the many period notables.

George Burnett

George Burnett was the son of a farmer at Huntspill in Somerset, where he was born about 1776. After an introduction to classical literature by a clergyman in the neighbourhood, he was sent to Balliol College, Oxford, with a view to his taking orders in Church of England. After two or three years’ residence he became disillusioned with college life, and took part in the scheme of pantisocracy with Samuel Taylor Coleridge and Robert Southey.

After a period supported by his father, Burnett obtained admission as a student at Manchester New College. He was appointed pastor of a congregation at Great Yarmouth, but did not remain there long. He subsequently became, for a short time, a student of medicine in the University of Edinburgh. He was at one time appointed domestic tutor to two sons of Charles Stanhope, 3rd Earl Stanhope, but both his pupils very shortly left their father’s house. Burnett then became an assistant surgeon in a militia regiment.

He soon went to Poland with the family of Count Zamoyski, as English tutor, but in less than a year returned to England, without any employment. He left Huntspill, where he had been writing, and his relatives received no communication from him. From November 1809 till his death, which took place in the Marylebone Infirmary in February 1811, he relied on friends.

He contributed to the Monthly Magazine a series of letters which were reprinted under the title of ‘View of the Present State of Poland,’ Lond. 1807. He next published ‘Specimens of English Prose Writers, from the earliest times to the close of the seventeenth century; with sketches biographical and literary; including an account of books, as well as of their authors, with occasional criticisms,’ 3 vols. Lond. 1807; a compilation forming a companion to George Ellis’s ‘Specimens of the Early English Poets.’ He also wrote the introduction to the ‘Universal History,’ published under the name of Dr. William Fordyce Mavor. His last production, consisting of a selection from John Milton’s prose works, with new translations and an introduction (2 vols. Lond. 1809,), was compiled at Huntspill in 1808–9, and dedicated to Lord Erskine.

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Regency Personalities Series

In my attempts to provide us with the details of the Regency (I include those who were born before 1811 and who died after 1795), today I continue with one of the many period notables.

Sir Everard Home 1st Baronet
6 May 1756 – 31 August 1832


Sir Everard Home

Sir Everard Home 1st Baronet was born in Kingston-upon-Hull and educated at Westminster School. He gained a scholarship to Trinity College, Cambridge, but decided instead to become a pupil of his brother-in-law, John Hunter, at St George’s Hospital. Hunter had married his sister, the poet and socialite Anne Home, in July 1771. He assisted Hunter in many of his anatomical investigations, and in the autumn of 1776 he partly described Hunter’s collection. There is also considerable evidence that Home plagiarized Hunter’s work, sometimes directly, sometimes indirectly; he also systematically destroyed his brother-in-law’s papers in order to hide evidence of this plagiarism.

Having qualified at Surgeons’ Hall in 1778, Home was appointed assistant surgeon at the naval hospital, Plymouth. In 1787 he appointed assistant surgeon, later surgeon, at St George’s Hospital. He became Sergeant Surgeon to the King in 1808 and Surgeon at Chelsea Hospital in 1821. He was made a baronet (of Well Manor in the County of Southampton) in 1813.

He was the first to describe the fossil creature (later ‘Ichthyosaur’) discovered near Lyme Regis by Joseph Anning and Mary Anning in 1812. Following John Hunter, he initially suggested it had affinities with fish. Home also did some of the earliest studies on the anatomy of platypus and noted that it was not viviparous, theorizing that it was instead ovoviviparous. Home published prolifically on human and animal anatomy.

A species of turtle, Kinixys homeana Bell, 1827, is named in his honor.

He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1787, gave their Croonian Lecture many times between 1793 and 1829 and received their Copley Medal in 1807. He was elected a Foreign Honorary Member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1832.

His son, James Everard Home, became an eminent officer in the Royal Navy.

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The Shattered Mirror

For your enjoyment, one of the Regency Romances I published. It is available for sale and now at a reduced price of $3.99, and I hope that you will take the opportunity to order your copy.

Order for yourself or as a gift. It is now available in a variety of formats. For just a few dollars this Regency Romance can be yours for your eReaders or physically in Trade Paperback.


Barnes and Noble for your Nook



Amazon for your Kindle

and in Trade Paperback

Bridget Halifax-Stokes was giddy with the excitement of her Season in London. Town had beckoned and her Season came on the heels of the end of the war against the tyrant. All the handsome men were returning heroes. What better year to come out?

Her father thought it all nonsense. Her mother believed that it would be the best showing of any of her daughters. More lords now available and the family’s luck that Bridget was just the perfect age.

All is fun and frivolity for Bridget until she literally crashes into Sir Patrick Hampton as he limps along the High Street. A man she knew once well from her childhood, now a stranger with dark and foreboding eyes. Eyes that had seen more than any man’s share of the war.


If you have any commentary, thoughts, ideas about the book (especially if you buy it, read it and like it 😉 then we would love to hear from you.


Regency Personalities Series

In my attempts to provide us with the details of the Regency, today I continue with one of the many period notables.

Major General Sir William Erskine 2nd Baronet
30 March 1770 – 1813

Major General Sir William Erskine 2nd Baronet was commissioned into the 23rd foot 1785, and transferred to the 5th Dragoons as a lieutenant in 1787, and in 1791 became captain of the 15th King’s Light Dragoons (the unit his father had served in with distinction) on 23 February 1791. His first active service was in Flanders 1793–95, during the French Revolutionary Wars, when he acted as aide-de-camp to his father. In 1794 he was made lieutenant-colonel. and fought at the Battle of Villers-en-Cauchies, where a handful of English and Austrian cavalry routed a much larger force of French infantry and cavalry.

On his father’s death in 1795, Erskine became baronet. He represented Fife in Parliament in 1796 and 1802–1805. Despite being “blind as a beetle”, according to a fellow officer, in 1808, Erskine received promotion to major general. When he heard Erskine was being shipped to Portugal, Wellington complained that he “generally understood him to be a madman.” The administrators of the army at Horse Guards responded that, “No doubt he is sometimes a little mad, but in his lucid intervals he is an uncommonly clever fellow; and I trust he will have no fit during the campaign, though he looked a little wild as he embarked.”

During the 1811 campaign in Portugal, Erskine took over the command of the famous Light Division in the absence of Robert Craufurd. He soon developed a reputation for rashness. Wellington wrote, “It is impossible to trust to his judgment in any critical case.”

While pursuing Marshal Andre Massena’s retreating French army, several sharp actions were fought at Pombal, Redinha, Casal Novo and Foz do Arouce between the Light Division and Marshal Michel Ney’s rearguard. At Casal Novo on 14 March 1811, Erskine advanced his men along the main road in fog without proper scouts. When the fog suddenly cleared, his leading elements found themselves facing elements of Jean Marchand’s division deployed in line with artillery support. This carelessness cost the Light Division 155 killed and wounded, while Marchand lost only 55 men.

At the Battle of Sabugal, the fog and Erskine’s bungling saved General Jean Reynier’s isolated French corps from destruction. Wellington assigned Erskine with the Light Division and some cavalry to cut in behind Reynier’s open left flank while four divisions attacked in front. The hapless Erskine, who was very nearsighted, issued a set of foolish orders then promptly got lost in the fog with the cavalry. The leaderless Light Division covered itself with glory in the subsequent action, but the French escaped from Wellington’s trap.

During the Battle of Fuentes de Onoro, Erskine’s 5th and Alexander Campbell’s 6th Divisions covered the Siege of Almeida. After the French relief army was turned back, the French garrison slipped out of the fortress in the night and marched straight through the blockading force to freedom. On this occasion, an exasperated Wellington said, “I have never been so distressed by any military event as by the escape of even a man of them.” This time Erskine was only one of several officers who blundered. Aware that he could not dismiss Erskine because of the man’s political influence, Wellington tried to place Erskine in positions where he could do little damage.

From 19 June 1811, Erskine led four mounted regiments in the newly organized 2nd Cavalry Division in Rowland Hill’s corps. He soon relinquished command, but reassumed his post on 8 April 1812. Soon after, he was declared insane and cashiered. He took his own life in Lisbon in 1813 by jumping out of a window, reportedly with the last words, “Now why did I do that?”.

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