10 Facts About
IF THE DUKE DEMANDS
1. Sebastian was originally planned to be an earl. The Carlisle family was going to be given the earldom forfeited by the Earl Royston when he was found guilty of treason. But the title was increased to duke, placing even more weight onto Sebastian’s shoulders when he inherits.
2. Although it was the dream of every young lady to be presented at court during her first London season, Miranda cannot be presented. Only daughters of peers could have a court presentation, which is why Elizabeth Carlisle arranges for Miranda to be invited to a tea with the queen instead.
3. The name of the dance that Miranda and Sebastian dance to open the St James’s ball is never given in the novel. This is because no one is certain what kind of dance would have opened balls during this time. But we do know that it would not have been a minuet (too old-fashioned) or a waltz (too scandalous!). In IF THE DUKE DEMANDS, I’ve envisioned the dance as a variation on a quadrille.
4. The aria that plays around Sebastian and Miranda when they kiss backstage at the opera is the Queen of the Night’s aria from The Magic Flute, quite possibly the most famous aria in all of opera.
5. Elizabeth Carlisle gives Miranda a copy of the latest book by adventuress Georgiana Bradford, which would have been a very nice gift indeed. Although books had become much more plentiful and cheaper by the Regency period, the cost of such a book would have been equivalent to a week’s wages for an average worker.
(BTW, don’t bother Googling her--Georgiana Bradford is a fictional
character I’m hoping will get her own romance story someday.)
6. The interior of Park Place is based upon Spencer House in London, especially the grand drawing room and sweeping staircase.
7. Vauxhall Pleasure Gardens gained a tarnished reputation during the Regency period. While its arcade near the main gate was well-lit, the dark closed paths further into the gardens were the haunts of pickpockets and prostitutes and often used for secret trysts.
8. The discussion of Milton’s poetry that Miranda attempts with
Robert, debating whether individual or society influences were more
important, was the topic of one of my graduate papers. In Paradise
Lost, Eve falls when alone, but Abdiel stands firm when surrounded by demons. An intellectual, philosophical, and theological discussion that heated the graduate hall at MSU for the entire fall of 1994—and the least romantic topic imaginable.
9. When I was in college, I wrote a pirate scene for Hamlet. (It saved the entire play.)
10. Waltzing during the Regency period was nothing like we think of waltzing today, in which couples hold each other in their arms and glide in sweeping circles across the ballroom to ¾ time. As far as can be gathered by historians, waltzing had arrived in England by roughly 1814; couples danced a five-step waltz to music of a much different tempo; and their hands and bodies were in a much different position. So yes, the waltzing in my novels is not historically accurate. But would you rather have historical accuracy or a romantic encounter in which the heroine glides beneath the chandeliers in a hero’s strong arms? (In a choice like that, history loses every time.)
[10-1/2. I managed to work Shakespeare and Milton into the novel. If I could have found a way to include Chaucer, it would have been an English major’s trifecta. (Does Mozart count??)]