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When I started writing The Misbegotten Misses several years ago, I wanted to tell the story of young women who didn’t quite fit the pre-conceived mold of the wealthy, privileged young ladies of Regency London. During these years, I discovered and decided that very few people probably did. The haut ton of the London ton or the ‘marriage mart’ were undeniably privileged. But beyond class, they were as diverse in personality and interests as any segment of society. The wealthy set to which Fiona, Abigail, Gloria and Genevieve belonged included academics, artists, musicians, county and country dwellers we would now identify as ranchers or farmers, business men (and women), herbalists, gardeners, chemists, architects, politicians, fashionistas of both genders, gay and straight folks, criminals and psychopaths, the devout and the blasphemous, reformers, progressives, conservatives, royalists, those who struggled financially and those with the Midas touch.
Wherever we fit in the scheme of society, there was somebody in the ruling class of England with whom we could find to identify. Most of us — including me — probably would have lived on the poorer end of society, just struggling to get by. I’d like to think that I’d be married to a barrister or a man of business, providing our family with a semi-decent income in a function in which I could have assisted him if need be. Perhaps I would have served as an aging spinster instructor for young ladies in a genteel school, or as a wealthy lady’s amanuensis, or private secretary.
I might also have been a bespectacled bluestocking, out of sync in ballrooms but perfectly comfortable in a gentleman’s library.
But now The Misbegotten Misses as a series is concluded. The three main books — The Outcast Earl, The Rusticated Duchess and The Troubled Knight — and The Second Sons have all been published.
I hope you, too, find something of yourself in these women.