I’ve been thinking about all the things I get to do that my heroines can’t. For example, yesterday I bought a tin that makes six tiny bundt cakes. When my daughter gets home from school, we’re making cakes with Christmas sprinkles on top. So I’m sitting here in a quiet apartment in Paris, waiting for her to come home so we can bake together, and watching snow falling outside the window.
Let me count the ways that wouldn’t happen for my Georgian duchess heroines. For one thing, they lived in noisy, English houses full of servants. Their children resided in the nursery. Even if a mother was particularly maternal (and my heroines are), I can’t see her snatching a child from the nursery and then making her way down three flights of stairs to the kitchen, displacing the cook to bake a bundt bake. For one thing, she wouldn’t have the faintest idea how to do it – and she couldn’t look on Epicurious.com for a recipe either.
What else couldn’t they do? Well, write a novel with a computer, take a xanax when contemplating Christmas dinner with extended family, drive across the Alps, rollerblade in the park, use a tampon (!)…
We think of duchesses as rich and powerful, beautiful and beloved. In fact, we put them in the category of movie stars and assume they can have everything they want. But take one look at Tiger Woods, and anyone can see that money doesn’t buy happiness. What do you love doing, eating, smelling, tasting – that you couldn’t do if you were a Georgian duchess?
What happened in 2009 that you wouldn’t trade for a coronet?
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