E= Historical England of Bridgerton Series

When I started thinking of the alphabets, for many of the alphabets, I had to think of the places for them. But England was a place which I struggled to place. Shall I talk about London and put it for L? Shall I talk about the countryside? Shall I talk about Devon? Then I decided England; it would be E. England covers the whole country. And this England is not the modern England or United Kingdom. This is the England which is still at war with Scotland, still colonizing other countries (including India).

Historical English romance is my guilty pleasure. The world of dukes and duchesses and ball-gowns entices and entrances me. Therefore, I decided to stick to Historical England of Julia Quinn’s Bridgerton series. I have written a huge post about it once in earlier times, but today I just want to talk about this England.

There is a place where there are dukes, duchesses, marquis, earl, and viscounts. There are genteel members of the society who do not do anything but are respected by virtue of being their sons and daughters. This is the England where business has just started. The focusses of these royal people is to take care of their estates, collect the rents, and go to balls and theatres. For women, the purpose mainly seems to be to do embroidery and to make a perfect match (AND SHOP!).

While for other places, the beauty laid in the description of the city, country, food—for England, my fascination is with this lifestyle. I was/am transfixed by the question of how they passed time (except for having sex and affairs. Nobody can do that forever, not even in novels). This England taught me the meaning of the word “ennui”. I mean I could understand why Colin Bridgeton would want to travel the world and return back only after years. There was bloody nothing to do except the matchmaking and attend parties. No wonder a character had to take up writing a “Whistledown’s Society Papers” in secret because what else is there to do.

When I think of England, I can see the heavy ball gowns, evening dresses, riding dress, britches, hats, and gloves. I can see a hero kissing heroine’s hand scandalously AFTER removing her glove. I have imagined my own dance card (never empty, always full) and have even named myself blue-stocking in this fantasy. I repeat I love these characters and stories, and I truly fascinated by this glimpse of the royalty and nobility. But I still am afraid to be caught in this fantasy because seriously, what will I do!

This historical England is not kind to women whose only purpose seem to marry and get children, yet there are women who drip contentment like Violet, the mother in Bridgeton series.

I now realize that I haven’t copied anything from the book today, no quotes to speak of:  but then, this England is imprinted in my mind. The quote which can add more substance to England of my dream is from The Duke & I : Is there anything more exciting, more romantic,… or more utterly moronic? The author here is talking of duel, but this quote can also be applied to England of Historical romance where women swoon, wear corsets, don’t talk much, don’t read, and are groomed to sing/embroider/run an estate; the England where men just go to clubs, hunt, become a spy, manage the estates, and work towards their rakishness in general.