Shakespearean Romance in a Regency Novel

By Christy English

Author of HOW TO TAME A WILLFUL WIFE:

A Regency Re-Telling of The Taming of the Shrew

 At first glance, The Taming of the Shrew has little in common with the staid civility of Regency England. A medieval romp and a broad comedy, Shrew has a female lead too strong to be tamed…until she is. And in no romance novel will a woman ever be truly tamed. So, how to bridge the gap between Shakespeare’s world and the Regency?

Very carefully. 

The way I did it was by creating two characters who are very different from Petrucchio and Katherine in the play. Anthony and Caroline meet for the first time in her bedroom, a completely inappropriate place for lovers’ first meeting, both in the medieval world and in the Regency. He has snuck into her room after signing the marriage contract drawn up by her father’s lawyer, so Caroline’s fate is sealed before she ever meets her husband-to-be. Unlike Katherine, Caroline has agreed beforehand to live with her father’s choice in an effort to shore up his debt-ridden estates.

In spite of this devotion to familial duty, or perhaps because of it, Caroline Montague is a strong young woman. Unlike Katherine, she has been trained by her father’s veterans to ride astride a war horse, to fight with a rapier and a dagger, and to shoot arrows both from horseback and while competing at archery.  

Anthony Carrington, her chosen amour, is another bridge from Shakespeare into the world of my novel. While he is a military man who seeks to control everything in his life, from his horse to his wife, Anthony is not a medieval man. Unlike Petrucchio, he does not attempt to starve or sleep-deprive his wife into submission. Indeed, in spite of their many arguments, Caroline never surrenders, and as the novel goes on, Anthony begins to love her for it. 

Anthony is very strict, and Caroline is very bold. And for the first half of the novel, the only place they come to an agreement is between the sheets of their bed. But no true romance is based on sex alone, just as no good marriage is. Over time, they begin to listen to each other as well as fight, and they begin to better understand the person they have chosen to marry. They grow into love, unlike Katherine and Petrucchio, and by the end, it looks like a love that will last. 

**Christy has graciously offered a free paperback copy (US only) to 1 commentor: What is your favorite Shakespearean play and why?**

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

After years of acting in Shakespeare’s plays, Christy is excited to bring the Bard to Regency England. She can often be found hunched over her computer, immersed in the past. Her latest novel is HOW TO TAME A WILLFUL WIFE, a re-telling of The Taming of the Shrew. She is also the author of the historical novels TO BE QUEEN and THE QUEEN’S PAWN. Please join her on her website http://www.ChristyEnglish.com

 

0 thoughts on “Shakespearean Romance in a Regency Novel

  1. I have to say Romeo and Juliet. I know it doesn’t have a happy ending but it does stay with you longer I think because of the tragedy. I love historicals 🙂

  2. MacBeth. I do believe what you put into life, you will get back. I appreciate the lesson learned by this tragedy.

    I cannot wait to read How To Tame A Willful Wife. I see some laughter and love ahead for me while reading it. Thank you for the chance in the giveaway. 🙂

  3. My favorite Shakespearean play is A Midsummer’s Night Dream. I enjoy the comedy of it.
    How To Tame a Willful Wife is now on my wish list!

  4. Leah, Macbeth is my favorite too! 🙂 Monica I’m happy to hear your answer because the second book in this series was inspired by that play. Catslady, I am a fan of R&J too b/c the poetry is just gorgeous. Thank you all for coming by and tossing your name in the hat for our give away.

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