Happy Hop – and Meet Henry!!!

Welcome to my little blog, mes amis! It’s such a treat to have you join me on my first attempt at blog-hoppery!

First an introduction. My name is Arabella Stokes, and I write about love. Mostly historical, with lots of lords, ladies, rakes and scoundrels, and maybe even a scallywag or two thrown in. I love and adore the English Georgian/Regency era, and hope that you will join me there this coming Fall when my first published novel, Proof of Love, will be released by Champagne Books.

Proof of Love is about the Duke of Danesleigh, who only believes in things he can weigh, measure and investigate scientifically. But even a rational, logical Duke needs a wife, so he sets out to find a mother for his heirs in a most scientific manner. Just as he runs his stables and his kennels.

When Lady Susan Lanier’s fiancé made her the scandalous laughing-stock of the Haute Ton, she lost all faith in love. Still, she’s a healthy young lady from a fine family, and she fits the Duke’s bridal specifications to a tee.

Together, these two come to learn that love may just be the greatest experiment of them all. 

So, you may be asking (probably not, but you might be) – why a scientist, Arabella? People always ask writers where we get our ideas. Most of the time I give them a dumb look and say, “Umm, I dunno.”

 But I know exactly where I got the inspiration for the terribly logical Duke of Danesleigh. After I saw Keira Knightly in The Duchess, I read several books about the Devonshire family. One of the odder sprouts I discovered on Georgiana’s family tree was her husband’s cousin, the scientist Henry Cavendish.

Henry was quite brilliant. He was the discoverer of hydrogen, which he named “flammable air,” he was the originator of the “Cavendish Experiment” (the first laboratory exploration of gravity between masses), and was one of the earliest scientists to study electricity.

Brilliant, yes. A typical Georgian/Regency rake, not so much. Poor Henry had some issues, to say the least. He was viewed as an eccentric, even by the somewhat generous standards of the Cavendish family. He communicated with female servants only through notes, built a new back staircase in his home so he could avoid contact with his housekeeper, and had no known friends outside of his family. He was so painfully shy that he did not publish accounts of his work, which nearly resulted in his discoveries being credited to other, more vocal colleagues. In fact, modern researchers believe he may have suffered from autism or Asperger’s syndrome.

Now, my scientist/Duke is far from shy and retiring, and definitely not afraid of the ladies. But if you trace him back to his roots, he was indeed inspired by poor Henry.

Have you a favorite odd duck from history to tell us about? A strange yet interesting personality who might make a good story? Leave a name and a brief blurb about him/her in the comments, if you would be so kind. One lucky commenter will get a gift certificate to my e-publisher, Champagne Books! (Which would let you buy my book this Fall, though there are lots of other yummy books in our bookstore!)

I hope you’ll check out my blog again soon. I write about anything that seizes my crazed imagination, from book reviews to the proper care of your muse, from classically erroneous rejection letters to the music I listen to as I write.Every so often the Duchess of Danesleigh even pops in to criticize modern manners.

Yall come back now, ya hear???

10 responses to “Happy Hop – and Meet Henry!!!

  1. The more I read about Benjamin Franklin the weirder he gets. Whether the stories about his sexual likes with his mistresses are true or not, they’re fun to read.


  2. Well, ain’t that a kick in the pants? You had me going there for a moment. I was looking for Henry CAVILL pics. You tease!

    I’ve always been a chubby chaser. Helloooo Henry the Eighth. Then The Tudors burst that bubble. Boo JRM. I know he’s not AS odd as others in history.

    I can’t wait to read your book Romance Mama =)

    ~Kati R
    romancingrakes AT gmail DOT com

  3. Now that I’ve found you…

    Who do I like in history? Oh, boy, many, but I have to admit that
    Charles the second is probably my favorite. He was UGLY, I mean
    really ugly, yet the lord knows how many mistresses he had. He was
    either the smartest ruler or the dumbest. He didn’t do much, which
    leads me to wonder if, because his father lost his head, he avoided
    conflict by pursuing the ladies and doing little for his kingdom. Did
    you know he escaped Cromwell by hiding in a tree before he fled
    England for France? What a character!
    But you can’t fictionalize a king…..

  4. I’ll go with William Wallace who led Scotland’s fight against the English in the 14th century but his story has already been done. An early description relates that he was very tall-maybe as tall as 6’7”. His sword displayed at Abbey Craig is 5 feet 4 inches (162 cm) long. Another history describes him as “a tall man with the body of a giant, cheerful in appearance with agreeable features, broad-shouldered and big-boned, with belly in proportion and lengthy flanks, pleasing in appearance but with a wild look, broad in the hips, with strong arms and legs, a most spirited fighting-man, with all his limbs very strong and firm.” His traitor’s death was truly a waste and hang, drawn and quartered is no way for anyone to go. Love Franklin, Henry VIII and Charles II, not so much. Rita Bay

  5. Hi Arabella – great post and I’m looking forward to your book. I don’t know where to start with the ODD characters in history, for there are so many. But one of my favourites is Lord Byron, as he is such a contradiction. Pursued by women (of all ages), a rake, a poet, yet a fighter of freedom for the Greeks – and he thought the waltz scandalous when it came to Britain.

    I’ve written articles about him and gave him a walk-on scene in Dangerous Deceit!

  6. I think anybody from the early days of the Royal Family are slightly whacky. A colorful lot for sure.
    Your book sounds very entertaining, love to read it.

    skpetal at hotmail dot com

  7. I absolutely love history. I am racking my brain trying to think about someone really wacky in history. There are a lot, I know. I would have to say that the people I don’t tire of learning about are Beethoven and Mozart. I am a musician, and I always want to know the details!

  8. LOL, I loved the post and love Champagne Books! You landed with a good publisher there. I can’t wait to read your book that is out this fall. Can we preorder it on the Champagne site? Thank you for giving us a chance to win.


  9. Michelle Bledsoe

    I so love historicals. It’s fun to watch a scientific man fall in love. I can’t wait to read your book.

  10. Interesting post, though I don’t really know any specific people from history, sorry. I’d still love to read your book or check out any other cool books from Champagne.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s