I'm thrilled to have lovely Anna Campbell here today to talk about her Christmas novella, THE WINTER WIFE, and to share some Christmas history. So without further ado, I'm handing over to Anna...
Hiya Love Cats!
This is just the purr-fect place for me to be today! I think you’re all the cat’s whiskers! OK, enough of the feline revelry, let’s get into some Regency revelry.
But first, a word from our sponsor – and no, it’s not Whiskas!
On 1st December, I published an e-novella with a Christmas theme, THE WINTER WIFE. It’s an extended version of my first reunion romance, written a couple of years ago for THE MAMMOTH BOOK OF REGENCY ROMANCE. I’d always wanted to go back and give the Earl of Kinvarra and his estranged countess a bit more room to breathe so this year, I thought why not?
Will a chance meeting on Christmas Eve…
Alicia Sinclair, Countess of Kinvarra, cannot believe that fate has been so cruel as to strand her on the snowy Yorkshire moors with her estranged husband as her only hope of rescue. During their rare encounters, the arrogant earl and his countess act like hostile strangers. Now that Alicia has fallen into Kinvarra’s power, will he seek revenge for her desertion? Or does the dark, passionate man she once adored have entirely different plans for his headstrong wife?
...deliver a second chance at love?
Sebastian Sinclair, Earl of Kinvarra, has spent ten wretched years regretting the mistakes he made with his young bride, but after long separation, the barriers between them are insurmountable. Until an unexpected encounter one stormy night makes him wonder if the barriers of mistrust and thwarted desire are so insurmountable after all. When winter weather traps Sebastian and his proud, lovely wife in an isolated inn, could the earl and his headstrong countess have a Christmas miracle in store?
You can buy THE WINTER WIFE: A CHRISTMAS NOVELLA from Amazon - click here!
Given THE WINTER WIFE’S Christmassy atmosphere and the time of year, I thought I’d talk a little bit about Christmas in the Regency.
You might be slightly surprised to hear that Christmas as we celebrate it is mainly a Victorian invention. In fact, in the Regency there were people like Leigh Hunt the writer actively working to revive interest in Christmas which was fading from the public mind as a general celebration.
Can you believe that? The Sheriff of Nottingham nearly got his way! They almost cancelled Christmas! A large part of the revival of interest in Christmas can be put down to Charles Dickens and his A CHRISTMAS CAROL which was published in 1843, well past the Regency age.
So what would you do at a Regency Christmas? Well, you’d go to church. It was primarily a religious occasion. You’d do something charitable. If you were lucky, you might have a nice dinner with friends and family. Gift giving, especially among adults, doesn’t seem to have been widespread.
All the tinsel and stuff is a later tradition although “Deck the Halls” got it right – one of the oldest traditions was bringing winter greenery inside. You can see a trace of that in the picture with the holly in the chandelier. Kissing under the mistletoe was also a game people played – lots of romantic possibilities there!
|George III - portrait by Zoffany|
So a Regency Christmas was a much quieter, less commercial affair than the day we enjoy in 2012. However you spend the 25th December, I hope it’s happy and full of love and laughter.
Do you have a favourite Christmas romance? One of my favourites is LoveCat Michelle Douglas’s CHRISTMAS AT CANDLEBARK FARM, a beautiful story. I love to read Christmas books at this time of year so I look forward to hearing your recommendations.
Thanks, Anna! I always enjoy your fascinating historical snippets!
Anna is giving away a download of THE WINTER WIFE: A CHRISTMAS NOVELLA to one lucky commenter! This contest is open internationally! Good luck, everyone!