All available for free on KU.
Once upon a time there were a series of books about women living in the Regency period who dared. Who dared each other to do something somewhat scandalous in that period of time. There are 12 books in this series – and another series just starting about their daughters. [You should be aware that due to timing of babies and that one marriage had 8 children, daughters were being born just as the oldest daughters were being married – not that wasn’t unusual in those days, it happened to my own grandmother!]
The books are of course rather feminist in tone and include women who dare to break the conventions – to begin with because the original set of ladies were unconventional – bookworms, unmarriageable due to birth circumstances, and so on. So they formed a club – The Peculiar Ladies. Note that birth circumstances in that time included being Irish or Scottish as well as partly Indian, illegitimate, without a dowry etc etc and definitely including having some intelligence and showing it. Remember, this was a time when the law made women effectively chattels. Once married they were ‘owned’ by their husbands. There was no law to protect them from any abuse, their property was controlled by their husbands unless it was legally tied up before their marriage as some fathers did, and opinions were things they should not have. Some men went so far as to forbid their wives to read because it meant they might form their own opinions rather than accepting his.
Now 12 books is too many to review. Suffice to say they are all fun, include some naughty Bridgerton scenes, and I shall indicate by an image for each one, the denouement or a keen clue.
To Dare a Duke (Girls Who Dare Book 1) (29 Mar 2019)
To Steal a Kiss (Girls Who Dare Book 2) (3 May 2019)
To Break the Rules (Girls Who Dare Book 3) (7 Jun 2019)
To Follow her Heart (Girls Who Dare Book 4) (9 Aug 2019)
To Wager with Love (Girls Who Dare Book 5) (13 Nov 2019)
To Dance with a Devil (Girls Who Dare Book 6) (12 Dec 2019)
To Winter at Wildsyde (Girls Who Dare Book 7) (7 Feb 2020)
To Bed the Baron (Girls Who Dare Book 9) (24 Apr 2020)
To Ride with the Knight (Girls Who Dare Book 10) (29 May 2020)
To Hunt the Hunter (Girls Who Dare Book 11) (3 Jul 2020)
To Dance until Dawn (Girls Who Dare Book 12) (14 Aug 2020)
I thought I would just add a rider about marriage and the 3 ways you could marry in Regency times.
According to the Marriage Act of 1754 you could:
- Call Banns in a church where you were a congregant. as now.
- Have a Special Licence – which enabled you to marry in haste. Archbishop of Canterbury and allowed a marriage to take place anywhere, not just within a place of worship licenced for marriages. A handful were granted each year, usually to members of the upper reaches of the aristocracy. See Jane Austen’s London for more details of Marriage in Regency times.
- Obtain a Commons Licence. this was normally issued by one of the following – an Archbishop, an Archdeacon, the Minister of a named parish such as St Paul’s. You went to Doctor’s Commons in London for the Registry. There needed to be no impediments. You had to be over age of consent for marriage. Sometimes you had to provide a money bond. And in theory you needed to be resident in the Parish where you were to be married, for 4 weeks – but often ignored.