Saturday, December 26, 2009


New York Times bestselling author, Eloisa James has graciously agreed to take time out of her holidays--in Paris no less--to spend the day with us at The Romance Dish. Eloisa and her family are living in Paris for the year, and she has so many lovely adventures to share. Joyeux Noel and Bonne Annee, Eloisa!

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 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?

Please comment! Three commenters will be sent a signed copy of one of Eloisa’s Desperate Duchesses. And please do join Eloisa's Facebook Fan Page to follow her daily adventures in Paris.


  1. i finally got out of the rock (hawaii) and visited the mainland USA for the first time this summer. i visited to DC, PA, NY, and NJ for three weeks. it was one of the best vacations i've ever taken, so i wouldnt trade that for a coronet :)

    happy holidays RD ladies and eloisa. wishing you joy, peace & love and happy new year!!

  2. Hi, Eloisa!
    I love being with my family and laughing with them over fun, little things. I love being a mother to my daughter and know I would miss raising her if I were a woman of privilege in Georgian England. I love being a wife to my husband.
    I wouldn't trade all of the, seemingly, little things that go on in my life: time spent with my DH and my daughter, modern conveniences, baking brownies, sometimes running around like a mad woman when I'm trying to accomplish 3 things at once....
    Happy New Year to all!

  3. Thanks for dishing with us today, Eloisa. I love reading about your adventures in Paris.

    What happened to me in 2009? I started this blog with three fabulous women! It's something I never thought I'd be doing but I'm loving it more every day! :)

  4. No coronet for me either. In 2009 I got my book deals with Berkely and Kensington (and a brand new grandson to boot)! I've had an excess of good fortune this year.

    But I bet my duchess would not envy my Christmas present...a Swiffer, LOL. It's a wonder I didn't brain my husband with it, but there's still time.

    Eloisa, I love reading about Paris on your Twitter feed. You make 140 characters a thing of pure poetry.

  5. Happy Boxing Day, Eloisa!

    Being a practical sort, I think of the little conveniences I would miss in the 18th century. Your heroine wouldn't be able to jump into the shower whenever she wanted and just wash her hair, for instance. Or pick up the phone and chat with her friends or call distant relatives.

    And, boy! Would I miss modern medicine and contact lenses and good glasses, especially since I'm so nearsighted.

    Loving your reports from Paris - all the joys of the holiday season to you and your family!

  6. Maggie, I think you should re-gift your Swiffer back to your husband!

  7. Hi Eloisa!! Great seeing you here today. :)

    One of the things I'd miss if I were one of your duchesses would be my college years. I treasured the opportunity to go away to school, meet new people, live on my own (somewhat) and learn about so many new and interesting things.

    And I'd miss all the conviniences of daily life, like places being a car, train, plane ride away. I would not relish getting everywhere by carriage. I am absolutely addicted to technology, so I wouldn't be able to get along without the internet, TV, DVDs, etc.
    And I am so not a roughing it type person, so I am all about indoor plumbing, electricity, etc.

    But most of all, I love modern fashion! I am a jeans and sweats kinda girl, so I would not be happy with putting on Georgian fashions every day.

    I love reading all about your Paris experiences on Twitter, Eloisa! :) You're one of my first stops every morning.

  8. My daughter got into and started attending the nursing program at UMASS-Dartmouth. They only let 80 students in a year.

  9. Hey Eloisa! I hope that you and your family had a wonderful Christmas. I love the idea of baking with my children in the quietness of our home.

    There are several things I have done this year that I would not be able to do back in those times.

    1) Like PJ said, starting this blog with three fabulous ladies!!

    2) Being with my children as they experienced a few firsts in their lives -- first time on a plane, first time gazing at the awesomeness of the Grand Canyon, and see the Hoover Dam.

    3) Riding in a hot air balloon with my mother of the red rocks of Sedona, Arizona.

    So many fun things!

  10. Hi Eloisa~

    Just discovered your wonderful books this year, just finished 'Midnight Pleasures'! (I am a recent convert to romance!)

    I did a lot of traveling this year, by car and plane, I could not imagine giving that up to travel in a carriage!
    I got an Itouch for my birthday, I also could not imagine that being taken from my death grip! I take it everywhere!

    I doubt duchesses raided the pantry, I would miss that too, scarfing a midn ight snack!

    All the best in 2010 everyone!

  11. Watching my daughter breast feed her daughter and remembering what it was like....I can't imagine having my baby taken away to be fed by a wet nurse.

    I'd also miss being able to throw on my jeans and boots and ride my horse (astride).

    I love your books Eloisa!!! Can't wait for more. Happy New Year!!!

    mitzihinkey at sbcglobal dot net

  12. Nothing of note happened but I wouldn't trade my privacy for a coronet.

  13. Hi, Eloisa. I hope that you and your family had a joyous Christmas!

    2009 has been a great year and starting The Romance Dish with PJ, Buffie and Andrea is right there at the top! Attending Nationals in DC this summer and meeting so many wonderful authors--yes, you Eloisa--was definitely a highlight!

    I don't think I would want to trade all of the modern conveniences: tampons (don't want to think about that), telephones, computers, modern medicine, etc.

  14. My daughter graduated High School and began college in 2009.
    I wouldn't have traded that for a coronet.

  15. I am a throughly modern girl and know I would most miss modern bathing and medicine . Phew--I don't think I ever would get used to the smells of earlier times! And life w/o tampons? I shudder to think about it.
    Can't imagine letting someone else nurse, feed and care for my children---or missing all of life's milestones along the way.
    One of the best parts of the day--snuggling in bed and putting my COLD feet on my Dh is something else I can't imagine living without!
    2009 was a good year for us. We moved again. BOught a great house and have begun exploring a new arear and making new friends.
    Thank you Eloisa for your books and the blog. May your New year be filled with all things that bring you your greatest happiness!

  16. Hi Eloise!
    I'm actually reading your book "An Affair Before Christmas" right now. ^^ It's great so far. It's the first book of yours i've ever read.

    Right now i'd have to say i wouldn't trade our new puppy Daisy that we got in november for a new cornet. ^^ She is so sweet and funny to watch. Plus she gives my golden retriever someone to play and be best buddies with.

  17. Hi Eloisa ^^

    I just finished "An Affair Before Christmas" and i rather enjoyed it. I really didn't like Poppy, but i really enjoyed Fletcher and all of your supporting characters. I'm really looking forward to reading Jemma/Elijah and Villiers books. ^^


  18. One of the things I would miss if I became a duchess would be the independence to move about freely without people watching you and waiting for something scandalous to happen so that you could be embarrassed. :)