10 Facts About
DUKES ARE FOREVER
1. The original nickname of Edward’s regiment, the Scarlet Scoundrels, was the Dashing Devils. This name was based on the real nickname for the 88th Foot Regiment, known as the “Devil’s own,” and for the dragoons’ noted courage and dash in the charge. The Scarlet Scoundrels was based on the title of the series, The Secret Life of Scoundrels, and the red color of the dragoons’ jackets. Edward, Grey, and Thomas served in the elite First Dragoons. Known as the “royals,” this regiment was comprised almost entirely of gentlemen and was noted for their bravery in the Peninsular Wars.
2. Aunt Augusta’s imperial bearing is modeled after the wicked step mother in Disney’s Cinderella. Her original name was Agatha, but she is truly Augusta.
3. The legal wrinkle regarding Brambly House’s ownership and management was based on actual English law. While a woman might officially own the land itself, the property’s oversight and profit management belonged to her male guardian.
4. Named after the thorn bush, Brambly House was inspired by the manor house in Avebury, England.
5. Kate’s use of saleratus to cure Tom’s stomach ache was inspired by a scene from the movie Doc Hollywood. (Although Kate treat’s Tom’s upset stomach with saleratus, it is a bit of an anachronism; the first known use of saleratus dates in extent documents only to 1837. However, a similar effect would have been gotten from carbonation. Soda water was being produced in London during the Regency period, but since it would have been nearly impossible to have gotten in rural Buxtonby and before it went flat, I decided to include the anachronism.).
6. Although the postal service at the time was very expensive, the servants are able to send several letters to Edward to plead for Kate’s return because postage was paid by the person who received the letter, not the one who sent it. Peers were given the privilege of “franking” letters, which meant sending them at no charge to the recipient..
7. Kate’s black mare Misty was named after a horse I owned as a teenager. She was a little, black Tennessee Walking Horse mare I raised from a foal.
8. Kate helps the local villagers by providing medical assistance. She would love to be a real doctor--but no such thing was allowed for a woman, not in those days, except for being a mid-wife or perhaps a nurse for female patients only. Women could not go to medical school, and midwives did not receive any kind of formal medical training. So Kate must teach herself and conduct her own experiements for cures using the herbs and plants she grows in her garden.
9. The duel was modeled after the one between Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr.
10. Dominique-Jean Larrey, the French surgeon Kate quotes for bullet wound care, was Napolean’s personal physican.