Inside Duchess in Love

  • If you’d like to see more of Carola, read the novella “A Fool Again.”  Since this book takes place after Duchess in Love, Carola and Tuppy are happily married. Tuppy doesn’t appear, because he’s off fishing, but Carola is happily knitting tiny booties!
  • The Duchess quartet should be read in this order: Duchess in LoveFool for Love A Wild PursuitYour Wicked Ways.
  • In Duchess in Love, Gina’s husband Cam returns from Greece and travels to a house party with his cousin, Stephen Fairfax-Lacy. Stephen is the hero of A Wild Pursuit, the third book in the series.
  • By the end of Duchess in Love, Esme is carrying a child. If that child is male, her deceased husband’s nephew will not inherit his estate and title. In Fool for Love, that heir, Simon Darby, travels to Esme’s estate, bringing his two small sisters with him. Simon’s story makes up Fool for Love.
  • Enjoy the extra chapter of A Sampling of Letters exchanged between 1803 and 1814 ~ From Ambrogina (future Duchess of Girton), to Camden William Serrard (future Duke of Girton).
  • I wrote most of Duchess having no idea what was inside the Aphrodite statue. It’s a good way to give oneself an ulcer as a writer. But, as Stephen King writes in the incomparable On Writing: “Why worry about the ending anyway? Why be such a control freak?” By the time I got to the finish it was absolutely clear that what was inside the Aphrodite would be the thing that Gina most needed, and I finally knew what that was.
  • The last chapter of Duchess in Love is a direct result of going to see The Mexican with my sister. I translated a plane into a carriage and voila!

Mea Culpa, Duchess in Love

  • Kylie pointed out that on page 127, Gina is waiting with “ill-concealed patience” for Annie’s return. That should be impatience—though wouldn’t it say nice things about Gina’s personality if she were so patient that she couldn’t even conceal it?
  • And Kylie caught another one too: On page 309, Gina thinks anxiously that she could have already become a marquess. No, she couldn’t! She’d be a marchioness by now. A marquess is male and without a sex change, Gina doesn’t have a chance.
  • Molly noticed that in Duchess In Love , Stephen Fairfax-Lacy’s title is Earl of Splade, but in his own book he is the Earl of Spade. Oh dear. I have to say, “Splade” is not a very good name, and I don’t know what I was thinking. At least, “Spade” is a useful garden implement!
  • And finally…the erratum! As soon as I’m informed of typos, I have them corrected in the next printing. But that leaves hundreds of thousands of books out there with errors. Page 149 in the first edition reads: “If Sebastian had ever seen death in another man’s eye, it was in those of the marquess.” But we’re in Cam’s point-of-view, and that sentence should read: “If Cam had ever seen…” Again, on page 227, Miles is sitting with his wife Esme and the text says that “he unthinkingly clutched Gina’s hand so hard that it began to ache.” But he’s clutching Esme’s hand!
  • I wouldn’t want to say that the novel was universally loved, because it wasn’t. But hiring a research assistant caused a great fall-off in the number of vituperative letters. We still let a bunch of mistakes get through though. One particularly angry (and yet rational) reader pointed out on Amazon that one of my characters talks of going “up two sizes.” Oops! There were no dress sizes in those days.
  • And, since she bothered to type out the whole thing below, I thought I’d just put it for you to read as well, from a Reader living in a small rural village in the English midlands (and doesn’t that sound intimidating to an American living in New Jersey!):

    “I am the Duchess of Girton … I have been the duchess for twelve years and I’ve run the estate for eight, since your father (eg the duke’s father) became incapacitated.” Wait a minute! The duke must have died 12 years ago for Cam and Gina to become duke and duchess – he couldn’t succeed to the title just because his father was incapacitated.

    She is obviously correct.