I was not certain with this story as the ‘heroine’ seemed extremely naïve. More so than normal for the age.
Now as for multiple births – well there is the story of the Russian woman who between 1725 and 1765 Mrs Vassilyev popped out 16 pairs of twins, seven sets of triplets and four sets of quadruplets, over 27 separate labours. The grand total: 69 children.
But, bearing in mind the dubious claim that she managed to survive all these births let alone produce so many multiple pregnancies, we know that in the UK in 2012, for instance, the chances of birthing twins stood at just 1.5% of pregnancies; triplets, a vanishingly small three ten-thousandths of a percent. And every multiple birth, even today, tends to end early with smaller babies – hence the need for incubators which of course were not available in the 18th century. The data that has been compiled from parish registers in the 1600-1900s, which are not completely accurate of course, tend to show that 25% of all live twin births result in at least one twin dying. And that there was a high percentage of stillbirths. And then maternal mortality of course.
So living triplets were indeed extremely rare in his time period.
The storyline was, apart from this one anomaly, fairly standard in following the trope. The ‘hero’ was a reformed villain – in this case rather more than just a gambler or a rake with money, but a real thief and the heroine was ‘silly’ in her ideas of what life was like outside of her pampered existence.
I did look into clams on the beach, as I was fairly sure that clams had shells and were round. I did however, discover that there were razor shelled clams which are long and slim, but again they have shells, I just wondered if the beach scene on the island meant that rather than tubular items she was pulling up the razor clams from in the sand by their long rooting ‘foot’, but they don’t leave air holes in the sand. The only tubular item with air holes are the worms that are used for fishing bait! Not human food at all. So this is an example of something happening in a story which leaves the reader confused. I do wish that authors were a little more careful with things that can be fact checked.