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This section features my answers to questions about my books which may be of interest to other readers.

 

Questions about Col Francis Masterton
(from Gallant Waif)

Erica wrote: I finished Waif last night, _very, very_ late! I just had to finish it, and by the end I was sobbing contentedly ;) But I must say that I nearly swooned over Colonel Francis Masterson. So calm, so in control! I would love to see him get his own book. Have you considered writing his story?

Connie wrote: Francis was wonderful. I wish he had his own story because he was such a wonderful secondary one. He was an excellent friend to both Jack and Kate. More importantly, I love that he would have married her despite her past just like Jack. I had wondered throughout the course of his stay at Sevenoakes whether he knew or not. But then, by not mentioning it at all he proved to be a more remarkable character for it. It truly didn't matter to him. If it had, he might have brought it up in an aside to Jack.

Anne's response: Yes, Francis was rather gorgeous. In fact I had to prune the poor fellow quite drastically because he seemed in danger at one stage of taking over! Just about everyone who read Gallant Waif has asked for Francis's story. I have tried to write it, several times, but he kept on turning into someone else, because it was not quite right. However, recently I had yet another idea for Francis, one which I think might work. Unfortunately, I have several books planned before I can write than one, so it might be a long wait.

***

About travel in Tallie's Knight...

Judy wrote: What would paperwork have been like then for travel between countries? Would Magnus have applied for it in Dover? It certainly doesn't seem likely that Tallie would have owned any sort of travel documents, as she had never even seen the ocean before. Even Magnus left his home without expectation of foreign travel. Did gentlemen carry references of some sort with them all of the time? . Judy.

Anne's response: I can't answer these in detail, but I got the basics of how it all happened from 2 main sources --The Grand Tour, by Christopher Hibbert and also from a collection of contemporary letters, from 1801 - 1802, about travel on the continent at that time, which I discovered though following up footnotes in the Hibbert book.

In those days a passport was not a document like we have now, which proves identity and in which various cooperating governments stamp their permission to enter and exit.There was not an overall system. It seems that you needed a passport literally to pass in and out of a port. So one needed a passport to leave Dover to go to France, and then another one after you entered Calais for permission to travel to Paris.<

In a letter from Catherine Wilmot, (1801) who was traveling with Lord and Lady Mount Cashell to France, she says:

"The 29th Novr. at 3 o'clock in the morning, we got on board the "countess of Elgin" commanded by Captain Samson, and Lady Mount Cashell smuggled in her suite, Monsieur Amoulin, a young Frenchman, who couldn't get a passport. But that unfortunately he was a stupid, clumsy piece of goods, we should have been amus'd at the mystery that accompanied the transaction. After a desperately rough passage of 5 hours and a cruel delay before we were permitted to land, occasion'd by our names being written down and reported to the municipality we at length got on shore, reeling after our sufferings, and in that plight, we were taken to the Custom House, transferr'd from there to the municipal officers, and then to the examination of the Commissaires. They were the most shocking sharks I ever saw altogether; even after trunks, Pocket Books, Writing Cases, Green baize bags, &c,. were quietly deliver'd in, they put their hands into our pockets and then felt down our sides, even to our ankles, for contraband commodities. At length we were walk'd up by our national guard to the Hotel Dessein and were soon put into good humour by the contemplation of Novelty"

She goes on to describe what people looked like, and I have pretty much pinched that for Tallie to see. (p111 ff US edition) But you can see there is no apparent fuss over their smuggling a Frenchman into France illegally -- all the fuss is over the search for contraband.

Hibbert says:

"The inspection over, and a passport obtained for the onward journey through France - for his English passport would not be recognized on the continent, the tourist could seek out his inn."


My book of letters reports people having to apply for permission at various points in their journey, not necessarily at the borders of countries; it seems the Postmaster of a town not only supervised mail, but also the horses (traveling post) and more importantly, giving permission for travelers to go on the next
stage of their journey.

However I didn't research it in much more detail than that. I was able to use much of the real Catherine Wilmot's journey for many details of Tallie and Magnus's trip. If Catherine Wilmot did it, I didn't worry too much about finding other sources unless I needed more detail for the story or didn't understandsomething.

But it seems that things were a lot less uniformly organized than now. Also, if you recall, in Heyer novels, people (eg Leonie and Rupert in These Old Shades) dashed back and forth from England to France without being prepared for it. And also Phoebe and Tom in Sylvester, went inadvertently to France and nothing dreadful seemed to come of it, even though their travel documents were left behind. Although I suspect it was different for the upper classes - things would be organized much quicker and more easily. It's a fascinating area of study.

 

 


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