“Eventually, the audience went quiet, and the play began. As the lamps around the auditorium were extinguished, there was a knock on the door to her box. Rising rapidly, she opened the door to find Harry there. He strode into the box and while keeping in the shadows and well away from the front he pulled Jane to her and kissed her passionately.
She returned his kiss, and she felt his hands moving up the outside of her dress to cup her breasts through her clothes. She grasped his hands and pressed them further to her.
“Oh my love,” he whispered. “This is a happy chance to find you here.”
“What about the rest of your party?”
“They won’t mind. In fact, they won’t even notice. They are set for an evening’s carouse. They are all younger than me, Ensigns and Lieutenants. They don’t want to be out for the night with someone so much older.”
“Sit with me then, and enjoy the play!”
“I’d much rather show you my rooms on Brook St.”
One of the advantages of a complicated and “easily findable” family tree is that, for a historical novelist, it really is “the gift that keeps on giving.”
My Work-in-progress has a working title of Strange Bedfellows – and the main protagonists certainly were that.
Jane Butler, the daughter mentioned in Heart of Stone, duly grew up and married another Irish peer – as you do. Brinsley Butler, Lord Lanesborough. They were happily married for about twenty years, and had a total of six children, when – suddenly – Jane announces that she is leaving her husband and going to live in London.
This she does, taking her 3 youngest children with her. While in London she:
- Goes broke,
- Loses her income,
- Meets John King,
- Becomes one of the “Faro Ladies”
- Is involved in forging banknotes,
- Travelled all over Europe,
- Was run out of Naples, owing money to everyone.
- Knew Emma Hamilton there.
John King, our hero, is the antithesis of conventional heroes.
- He is a Jewish moneylender,
- He was 15 years younger than Jane,
- He was already married,
- He makes a living by broking loans for the younger sons of the Irish nobility,
- He was in and out of Debtors Prison at least four times.
- He endowed the Jewish Orphans School in London,
- He was a supported of Thomas Paine (The Rights of Man) – and then fought with him!
And lots more!!
My publisher, Crooked Cat Books, have been transformed into Darkstroke! They are open to submissions, too, particularly if you write in any of the “Dark” genres or tropes.