I loved writing Dangerous Decisions, and almost equally loved researching the Edwardian era. I don’t suppose I’m alone in daydreaming when a small girl that I was in reality a princess, adopted at birth! One of my favourite books and one I would borrow several times from the library was ‘A Coronet for Cathy’ by Gwendoline Courtney, the story of a young school girl who was in reality a duchess. Fiction afficionado – me? Absolutely, and the more romantic the better. DD is set the Golden Age of the Edwardian era, and I was astonished to discover that even among clever men there was the widespread belief that education should be witheld from the female sex as ‘too much thinking causes their wombs to wither’. Or maybe that was yet another ploy to maintain their own superior status. Certainly arrogance – as portrayed by Oliver, and so often in novels written during that time, seemed to be regarded as essential in a hero. I prefer the sensitive and idealistic Nicholas.
Which brings me to my competition question. If you were born during that time and had the choice, would you opt for a silver spoon, or an ordinary family. Pampered and sheltered as Helena was? Or would you prefer, however harsh your background, to at least live in the real world? (Leave a comment and you could win an advance paperback copy of Dangerous Decisions.) As for the 21st century, many say that the rigid class divide portrayed in the Upstairs and Downstairs mentality of Dangerous Decisions, no longer applies. We are, the politicians claim, a ‘classless society’. Mmn, that takes some thinking about. While it is true that massive changes have taken place, subtle social divisions still remain, perhaps they always will.