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Lindow Castle Notecards

My darling friend and fantastic artist Anne Connell has an amazing, creative Etsy shop selling unique cards. A while ago she made me a gorgeous portrait of Lindow Castle, which I use as the topper for the Facebook Group, Lindow Castle (please join if you haven’t!).

I asked her to turn her creation into a card and she did! You’ll see all of Lindow here: the swamp, the rose garden, the meadows, the stables, the round pool…see the tiny boat? And Fitzy?

These are delicious gorgeous cards you can buy from her shop to send friends who love history, castles, and romance in general.

Eloisa James Lindow Castle Facebook Group

The Wilde Family Tree

There are a lot of family members in the Wilde family and readers have said it can be a challenge to keep them all straight. Here is a handy guide to who’s who, how they are related, and where they fall in birth order.

*Please note: Some of the names are linked to Wikipedia pages. Since each of the Duke’s children is named for a historical warrior, real or literary, readers can look up the inspiration for the namesake. (Eloisa cannot vouch for the accuracy of the full content of each of these pages, but it definitely serves for reference.)

The WILDES

Hugo Wilde, the duke (1721- ). His Grace has a twin sister and has been married three times. Once widowed, once divorced, now happily married.

Lady Knowe, the duke’s twin sister (1721- ). She is also known as “Lady Know.”

Hugo’s first duchess: Marie (1721-1757) m. 1747
Hugo & Marie’s children:

Horatius (1748-1773)

Roland, “North” (1750- )
featured in: Too Wilde to Wed

Alaric (1751- )
featured in: Wilde in Love

Parth, foster son (1750- )
featured in: Born to be Wilde

Hugo’s second duchess: Yvette m. 1759; div. 1766
Hugo & Yvette’s children:

Leonides (1760- )

Boudicea, “Betsy” (1762- )
featured in: Say No to the Duke

Alexander (1763- )

Joan (1764- )
featured in: Wilde Child

Hugo’s third duchess: Ophelia m.1766
featured in: My Last Duchess

Hugo & Ophelia’s children:

Spartacus (1768- )

Erik (1772- )

Artemia, “Artie” (1778- )


Ophelia’s child by her first husband Peter
(1721-1764), m. 1759

Viola (1764- )
featured in: Say Yes to the Duke

 

The Books

My Last Duchess – Hugo & Ophelia m. 1766 [A Wilde series prequel, previously titled Wilde Denial. This was a serialized novella available exclusively to Eloisa’s newsletter subscribers that is now a stand-alone book.]

Wilde in Love – Alaric & Willa m. 1778

Too Wilde to Wed – North & Diana m. 1780

Born to be Wilde – Parth & Lavinia m. 1780

Say No to the Duke – Betsy & Jeremy m. 1781

Say Yes to the Duke – Viola & Lucas, m 1782

Wilde Child – Joan & Thaddeus, m 1783

Inside Born to be Wilde

I will begin with my dedication to my brother-in-law, Sunil. Years ago, he told me that Sunil was another name for Krishna (the Supreme God, in Hindu belief). In the great epic poem, The Bhagavad-Gita, Krishna or Sunil disguises himself and acts as a charioteer to Parth, a Pandava Prince, who is going into battle. All the Wilde children are named after warriors. Parth is, of course, an adopted child who joined the family at age 5. But he too was named after a warrior and moreover, one who is victorious in battle.

Parth is “born to be a Wilde,” and even his name signifies his wildness. Lavinia assumes that he is a lost puzzle piece, the way she is; but in fact he is part of a solid family group. One of the more diabolic plans I had for this book involved isolating Lavinia more and more, so that she learned to rely on herself. First I took Willa away, obviously, and then her mother, then Lady Knowe returns to the country. She assumes that Parth is as lonely as she is, but he isn’t. From that moment, she grows stronger and stronger.

The kiss in the rain, depicted on the front of the book, was the very first scene I wrote for this book. I generally write in a linear fashion, but I had such a clear image of Lavinia—breaking all the rules of polite society and hurling herself outdoors in a rain shower, only to be kissed by Parth, who was likewise breaking rules—that I had to write it first. Lavinia and Parth appear in Wilde in Love, in particular, bickering and (obviously) already falling in love.

I made up the tapestry-hung solar in the old part of Lindow Castle after visiting every castle I could in Scotland. I did not see any tapestries that depicted angels falling like snow, but I did look closely at tapestry designs wherever I could find them—in the museum attached to Versailles, for example. It probably would have taken longer than two years to finish these tapestries, but many people could work on a tapestry at once. I choose to imagine a light and airy French weavers’ hall, filled with cheerful artisans.