10 Facts About
1. SPOILER! -- In the first draft of the manuscript, Belle was officially engaged to Bletchley when Quinn arrives at Glenarvon, and it was Quinn who absconded to Scotland with Belle at the end of the novel instead of Bletchley.
2. The name for Castle Glenarvon was inspired by Downton Abbey’s real-life counterparts. It’s a combination of parts of Highclere Castle, which plays the part of the manor house, and the Earl of Carnarvon, with the hard C changed to a hard G. Highclere Castle + Carnarvon = Castle Glenarvon. (The river and glen that Annabelle says make up the estate’s name do not exist in real life.)
3. The name for Sir Harold’s estate of Kinnybroch is a variation on Jamie’s home in Outlander, called Lallybroch. At the time I wrote this novel, my entire knowledge of Scotland and the borderlands came from watching the first season of Outlander and participating in Burns Day festivities with my Scottish landlord when I lived in London.
4. SPOILER! -- Although Belle seizes on the idea of divorce as an answer to her problems in the novel, in real life a divorce during this time was nearly impossible to obtain. In fact, only about 300 divorces were granted in the 157 years between 1700 and the marriage reform laws under Queen Victoria in the middle of the 19th century. It took an act of Parliament to grant a divorce, and the only justifiable grounds were adultery, although if a woman sought divorce she also had to prove extreme cruelty (which was nearly impossible to prove, given that husbands had the legal right to beat their wives). Divorce was extremely expensive, took years to obtain, and ended in horrible scandal for both parties.
5. In the first draft, it wasn’t a stolen kiss in the garden with Quinn that ruins Belle’s reputation but a practical joke that Robert played on her and Quinn, in which he rigged a bucket of blue paint to fall over Quinn’s head (blue paint for kissing a bluestocking), but mistakenly targeted Belle instead.
6. The manor house of Castle Glenarvon is based on Haddon Hall. Located along the River Wye in Blakewell, Derbyshire, the house dates from the 12th century. In the 17th century, it was virtually abandoned. Uninhabited for over two hundred years, the house and gardens were restored to its current state in the 1920’s by the Duke and Duchess of Rutland. The house is considered the finest example of a fortified medieval manor house still extent, complete with a magnificent Great Hall and two inner courtyards. (Photo credit: William Collinson from Britain Magazine.)
7. Names of characters have been switched around from book to book. 1) The name of Quinn’s aunt—Agatha North, Viscountess Ainsley—was originally the name for Edward’s aunt in DUKES ARE FOREVER, and 2) Sir Harold Bletchley was originally the name of the villain in HOW I MARRIED A MARQUESS.
8. Bowmore is the name of a real scotch whisky distillery, founded in 1779 and one of the oldest in Scotland. A single malt whisky made on the isle of Islay in the Inner Hebrides, it is regarded as among the best in the world. An interesting note: when referring to whisky made in Scotland, there is no E; whiskey made anywhere else in the world has an E. And scotch, which is another name for whisky from Scotland, is not capitalized when referring to the drink.
9. The foreman, Angus Burns, is named after Scottish poet Robert Burns. (I was unable to work in his poem, “Red, Red Rose,” but in the original draft, Quinn leaves Glenarvon and rides to Lincolnshire to request money from Sebastian to buy the estate, then all the way back in order to arrive the night before Belle is to wed Sir Harold…I will come again, my luv, though it were ten thousand mile..."
10. The reference to Cervantes’s Don Quixote continues the theme of great literature referenced in the Capturing the Carlisles series. In IF THE DUKE DEMANDS, it was Shakespeare’s Hamlet and Milton’s Paradise Lost. And in book 3, AS THE DEVIL DARES, the novel is loosely based on Shakespeare’s play, Taming of the Shrew. Both IF THE DUKE DEMANDS and AS THE DEVIL DARES reference Mozart’s operas.