Please welcome Regency Author Bronwen Evans! She’s here to share some background on the Regency Wager:
I love a good Regency romance, mainly because I love the dashing rakes of the early 1800’s. Obviously having read a lot of Regency romances over the years, I became intrigued by the gentlemen clubs such as Whites and Brookes and what went on in these male bastions.
I’m sure all manner of revelry and drinking and more salacious activities occurred. But one I find mentioned more frequently in Regency romances is ‘the wager’.
I’ve read many stories where wagers were laid at Whites in the infamous betting book. I did some research and found some ridiculous and downright cruel wagers, placed by men who were obviously bored, were sadists and had far too much money.
According to Adrienne Warber
“Some eccentric bets for those with money to burn included Lord Avanley’s £3,000 bet on which of two raindrops would fall on the bottom of the famous bow window pane first. Other bets had more serious consequences. According to Anthony Lejeune’s book, Gentleman’s Clubs of London, one member bet £1,000 that a man could live under water for 12 hours. He hired a man to carry out the experiment. The bet was lost when the man died.”
Isn’t that cruel – and stupid! Whites was renowned for eccentric bets, however, most entries were on sports, or more often on political developments, especially during the chaotic years of the French Revolution and the Napoleonic wars.
What I find extra delightful, and signifies that men are just as susceptible to gossip and scandal, is that a good many wagers were social bets, such as whether a friend would marry this year, or whom etc
Betting is something that crosses all cultures and is still widely indulged and practised today. There is still a huge proportion of the population that bets on sports, horse racing, boxing, golf —in fact any sport. In addition, in England you can bet on anything a bookie is willing to give you odds on. At the moment the favourite subject is Princess Kate and the soon to be heir.
Given all of this it seemed logical to write a series based on ‘wagers’. I thought it would be great fun to write and it was. I have released a book, and eBook trilogy, of three, 40,000 word novellas called Wicked Wagers (you can buy the individual novellas in eBook too).
To Dare the Duke of Dangerfield is about Caitlin, a woman whose father gambles away her inheritance. Not one to take that sort of thing lying down, she challenges the Harlow Telford, Duke of Dangerfield to the best of three wagers to win it back. Needless to say there is a very good reason why Harlow can’t lose. (Top 5 Finalist in the Kindle Indie Romance Book of the Year.)
To Wager the Marquis of Wolverstone sees Marcus Danvers the Marquis of Wolverstone dared to help an old flame, Sabine, get revenge on the man who’d bankrupted Sabine’s father. Little does Marcus know that in helping Sabine, he is getting his own revenge.
To Challenge the Earl of Cravenswood, see’s our final rake, Henry St. Giles, the Earl of Cravenswood, envying the happiness Harlow and Marcus have found in their marriages. His friends challenge him to find a wife by the end of the season or marry his neighbor, the delightful Lady Amy Shipton. But a darkened garden, a case of mistaken identity, a drunken kiss, and a dropped emerald earring, leads Henry on a Cinderella hunt. He knows the woman he held in his arms could be the one he’s searched for all his life. He just has to find her.
I hope that these three stories embrace the culture of wagers of the time. I’m sure if I got to look through the betting books in Whites and Brookes I’d fine very similar type wagers.
Tell me what Henry St. Giles finds in the darkened garden and I’ll draw one lucky winner who’ll win a copy of my latest Regency, INVITATION TO SCANDAL in book or eBook. Open internationally.
New Zealander Bronwen Evans grew up loving books. She’s always indulged her love for story-telling, and is constantly gobbling up movies, books and theatre. Her head is filled with characters and stories, particularly lovers in angst. Is it any wonder she’s a proud romance writer?
She writes both historical and contemporary sexy romances for the modern woman who likes intelligent, spirited heroines, and compassionate alpha heroes. Her debut Regency romance, Invitation to Ruin WON the RomCon 2012 Readers Crown Best Historical and was an RT Reviewers’ Choice Nominee Best First Historical 2011. To Dare the Duke of Dangerfield was a TOP 5 FINALIST in the Kindle Book Review Indie Romance Book of the Year 2012. Look out for her first Entangled Publishing Indulgence released December 2012, The Reluctant Wife.