This month on the #TBT portion of the blog, I’ve decided to take a look at some unusual happenings in the Spy Series, things that could happen but likely did not. So come along for some lessons in something we writers like to call creative license.
“But where do babies come from, Lady Jane?”
Jane blinked at Nathan, letting the question settle in the room while Alec happily murmured encouragement to his letter block tower as it teetered precariously on the floor of the nursery. She knelt there, the folds of her evening gown a stark black against the red hues of the carpet that covered this part of the nursery floor. She had removed her gloves and wrap at the door when Hawthaway had advised her that his Grace was currently not in residence. It was not uncommon for Richard to be tardy for one of their social engagements, especially if he was sorting through some War Office assignment. So when Hawthaway had suggested she wait in the drawing room, she had made her way upstairs to find the children, knowing Nurse would just be preparing them for bed.
What she did not expect to find was Nathan trying every way a seven-year-old mind could come up with to convince his five-year-old brother that to be a human canon ball was a lofty aspiration and one they should begin practicing for immediately. She had caught Alec mid-air as he had made his first attempt at launching himself from one of the small beds in the nursery to the other. He had made it a scant six inches into the air when his head took a precarious turn for the floor. Only Jane’s timely arrival prevented injury from occurring. And the only thing that kept them distracted from their pursuit of becoming human cannonballs was when Jane knelt on the floor with them to commence a different kind of game.
What had prompted Nathan’s question she could not say as she was fairly certain that procreation had nothing to do with the letter block tower they were currently constructing. But for curiosity’s sake, she listened to Nathan attentively and gave as diplomatic a reply as she could muster.
“You must ask your father that one, Nathan. A lady is not at liberty to say.”
There are several things in this scene that would make a die hard historian go: I don’t think so. A lady of the realm would never have been caught dead in a nursery, and more importantly, a lady would never call on a gentleman to pick him up for a night out at the opera. This scene, like many, happened by accident. Inevitably a Duchess was written after Nathan and Alec’s stories were already published and largely came from a demand from my readers to see Jane and Richard’s story. This creates an incredible burden for the writer. I was charged with the task of creating a history for Jane and Richard that not only lived up to the expectations set forth in the first two books of the Spy Series, but also to the expectations of my readers.
This homey scene, although historically unlikely, sets the tone for Jane and Richard’s story. Their relationship is anything but conventional, and from there, their story unfolds.
Along with this month’s theme, I’ll be featuring historical romances that are very good at using the creative license when it comes to history. Here’s a favorite –