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Thoughts on Naughtiness in Regency Romances by Elizabeth Keysian

Occasionally a reader will tell me, “A Regency young lady would never have behaved like that.” In answer, I say, “Ah, but can you prove that she wouldn’t?

Miss Cassandra Blythe, heroine of my latest book, Unmasking the Earl, does break the rules, I admit. In order to win the man she wants, she comes up with, “A plan so bold, so wicked, she could hardly believe her own mind had conjured it up.”

Let’s face it, Cassie’s story could end up rather dull if she only did the right thing all the time…

There were plenty of contemporary manuals written about how women should conduct themselves, but just because these existed, doesn’t mean everyone followed them. If they had, Georgian and Regency Britain would have been deadly dull—there would have been no gossip for the rumor mill, and nothing to talk of but the high price of corn, infant mortality, war and the latest fashions from France. Ugh, spare me.

If you want to find naughty women in Regency Society, it’s not difficult. In fact, I challenge you to find much mention of well-behaved ones, because then, as now, these paragons of virtue tended to escape the public notice.

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