Why the Regency is Romantic - ROGUES AND RAKES
Regency men were dangerous! For a lady to alone in their company meant risking her reputation, such was their potency. And in return, men had to be protected from their insatiable urges to ravish the nearest well born lady…and so the bastion of the gentleman’s club was born. A place where men could do mannish things together, where testosterone dripped from the chandeliers.
At his club a rake was safe from the distraction of women, this outrageous segregation allowed him to boost his virility through wagers and gambling. Within those hallowed walls men discussed business, politics and sports, topics totally unsuited for feminine ears - because Regency men were real men, taught from an early age that crying was soft and emotions were for sissies.
And talking of romantic, there are few things more appealing than a well dressed man, and regency men were the epitomy of good taste. Urbane and yet masculine in breeches and top boots, shirt, neck cloth, waistcoat and finely tailored tail coat. The aptly named ‘unexpressibles’ were a close fitting trouser shaped to the leg – what better to show off a finely toned thigh or hint at masculine prowess! Rakes prided themselves on being well groomed, so how delightful for our heroine to slowly undo a cravat that took hours to tie.
And let’s not forget the romance of good manners; of escorting a lady, opening doors, pulling out chairs, is a seduction in itself. How much more thrilling then when a hitherto perfect gentleman behaves badly….need I go on?
How about you? Do you secretly relish men being in charge or is that a big turn off? I’d love to know, please leave a comment.
With his hawkish features set in a scowl, Lord Ranulf Charing settled deeper into the embrace of leather armchair. In no mood for company he’d retreated to his London club, secure in the knowledge that there at least he was safe from female pursuit. He stretched out his long legs, his attention fixed on a glass of fine brandy. With a square jaw, shadowed cheekbones and unreadable dark eyes, Charing exuded the air of a man not wishing to be disturbed.
A valet peered nervously into the Reading Room then withdrew, electing instead to throw the unsuspecting messenger into the lion’s den. With the innocence of youth the lad entered, gawping at the yellowing, tobacco stained oil paintings on oak paneled walls and with trepidation approached the reclining figure. For his part Lord Charing was well aware of the antics of the footman and was secretly pleased by his efforts to discourage interruption. As the gawky youth cleared his throat, a muscle twitched on Ranulf’s cheek as he fought the urge to grin.
“A message for Lord Charing, Sir.”
Lazily Ranulf extended a hand. “I am he.”
The boy passed over the sealed letter as if it were a hot coal. In return Ranulf pressed a silver coin into his palm and winked. Startled, the lad’s eyes grew even rounder.
“T’ank you very much Sir. T’ank you indeed.”
But the moment had passed and Lord Charing’s face was once again all hard plains and sharp angles.
“Be gone.” With a flick of the wrist the boy was dismissed.
Recognizing the Cadnum crest, Charing took a slug of brandy and broke the seal. His eyes skipped over the text; the writing hurried and uneven, the parchment bordered with black.
“Make all haste…gravest concern…deteriorating health…”
As Charing lowered the missive, the lamplight caught a moment of fleeting vulnerability, but then his wide sensuous lips set into a hard line as habitual coldness reasserted itself.
“Bolton,” he barked. In an instant the valet’s head appeared round the door. “Bolton with all haste send word to saddle my horse.”
“Very good Lordship.” Bolton bowed obsequiously. “Will there be anything else Sir?”
“Pen and paper…I must get word to my valet that I leave London immediately.”
“Consider it done, sir.” Bolton backed hastily from the room, avoiding his lordship’s eye.
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Join me tomorrow for my final, post on Why the Regency is Romantic – Stallions.