Hey! I’m taking suggestions for my next hero’s profession. Must require going into country houses. Art appraiser? Architect? 1770s-1810s OK. This is brainstorming, it doesn’t have to be brilliant, just throw it at the wall and we’ll see if it sticks!
Another case from Unquiet Lives:
In November 1788, Eleanor Smith confessed to her husband, William, a Northumberland clergyman, that she had been unfaithful and that their youngest child was in fact fathered by her lover. Eleanor and the little boy went to live with her mother and by November 1790 William had gained a separation. Yet he paid maintenance to Eleanor and 2s a week towards the child’s support. Interestingly, when William died in 1812, nearly twenty-two years later, he left no will and Eleanor, described as his widow, was appointed as administrator.
How would you like to see this show up in a book? I always love brought-together-by-a-will plotlines, even when they’re totally ridiculous from a legal standpoint. Some thoughts:
1. The hero is Eleanor’s son by her lover. When Eleanor must return to administer William’s will/estate, he falls in love with William’s poor orphaned niece, who has been serving as William’s hostess and now has nowhere to live.
2. Eleanor is the heroine, and the hero is William’s lawyer. (Is the lawyer also her lover from so many years ago?)
3. The heroine is William’s oldest daughter, whose family was torn apart when she was a little girl. Now she’s reunited with her mother and half-brother and must untangle her complex feelings about the past…I assume she has a long-term suitor she hasn’t been able to trust because of her conflicted feelings about marriage.
What do you think?
Okay, so my friend and I are looking through Those Glorious Glamour Years, an awesome old book I have about female movie stars’ costumes in the 30s and 40s. And we just stumbled across this:
Although many Hollywood stars made fortunes during their careers and actually wore glorious outfits like these off screen, acceptance by the blueblood society were often out of reach. Several stars married titled men in an effort to break into polite society, but most marriages were a sham. One designer who often fitted stars in their homes remarked that he once went to the home of a newly married and newly titled star and found that her bedroom was an enormous and gorgeous thing. There was a dressing room, a huge bath, and vast closets. A little hallway led to a small, meagerly furnished bedroom where the ‘prince’ slept. He entered her bedroom only on call was paid an allowance by that star for services rendered.
And now all I want in the world is a romantic comedy set in the 30s about a charming and impoverished English lord who marries an imperious Hollywood star for her money and then woos her charmingly while she bosses him around and tries to redecorate his enormous ancestral home in garish American styles. It would be ADORABLE. There could be a creepy housekeeper à la Mrs. Danvers from Rebecca only the heroine would be totally unimpressed by her and boss her around and Mrs. Danvers wouldn’t even know how to deal with it.
I WANT THIS BOOK.