Discover the Powerful, Clever New Historical Heroine
by Julia London, author of Sinful Scottish Laird
I first began to read historical romances in the days when an innocent heroine was claimed by a man—but then charmed the pants right off him, both literally and figuratively, and bent him to her will. Because we all know that men can be made into putty in our hands, right?
Those heroines of yesterday had one thing in common: they were all innocents in every sense of the word. And there was something about a young woman figuring out how to recognize and use the power she possessed in her gender that was very appealing. Heroines lacked the physical strength and the broader knowledge of the world that their male counterparts possessed. But they made up for it with feminine attributes that could soften the edges of a man and make him yield to their wants and desires.
Times have changed. The new historical heroine isn’t innocent anymore and comes into any match on equal emotional footing. She won’t have the same social or economic advantages as men, because the world was very patriarchal two and three hundred years ago. She has to be clever about getting what she wants, but she is up to the challenge. If she is charming a man, she knows what she is doing. If she is sexually innocent, she’s not ignorant. The new historical heroine can be pitted against any hero and she won’t be passive in striving for what she wants.
In Sinful Scottish Laird, I wrote about a widow who is put into an impossible situation by her late husband who, on his deathbed, let it be known he didn’t believe his wife had the acumen to take care of their son after he was gone. His will said that Daisy had to remarry in three years’ time or forfeit her son’s inheritance. Even the selection of a husband was not her own—she was to use the counsel of the church bishop. Daisy is hamstrung by that blasted will, but she is no fool. She is shrewd and clever, and she isn’t going to submit to her late husband’s decrees without a fight. She knows what she wants and she goes after it.
What are some of your favorite attributes of historical heroines? What sort of historical heroine appeals to you most?
About Sinful Scottish Laird:
Forced to remarry in three years’ time or forfeit her son’s inheritance, Daisy Bristol, Lady Chatwick, has plenty of suitors vying for her hand…and her fortune. But a letter from a long-lost love sends Daisy and her young son to her Scottish Highland estate to buy time for his return. Along the way she encounters the powerful Cailean Mackenzie, laird of Arrandale and a notorious smuggler, and she is utterly—though unwillingly—bewitched.