My historical novels Rebel Puritan and The Reputed Wife, Herodias (Long) Hicks Gardner Porter, colonial New England, travels, and whatever else seizes my fancy...

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Can a Willful Wife be Truly Tamed? Let's ask Christy English

How to Tame a Willful Wife
My good friend Christy English has just launched her latest novel, HOW TO TAME A WILLFUL WIFE.  Christy is the author of two excellent novels about Eleanor of Aquitaine.  She has now turned her talent to introducing one of Shakespeare's wildest women into the unsuspecting world of Regency England.

Today it is my great pleasure to let Christy share her thoughts about our favorite strong-willed women, and why we all love them so.  Take it away, Christy!

Strong Women in Fiction: Reflections of Ourselves
Christy English

Scarlett O'Hara
I have always been fascinated by strong women in literature. Since I was in seventh grade and first read Gone with the Wind, and watched as Scarlett O’Hara destroyed and rebuilt her world time and time again, I have been obsessed with strong characters as they reflect my own strength back to me.

Eleanor of Aquitaine
Of course, it took many years before I realized that these women drew me in because they were an exploration of my own strength and weaknesses. Anytime an author picks up her pen, she explores herself, her own world and her view of it. My fascination with strength in women in my own writing began with Eleanor of Aquitaine, one of the most powerful women in Western European history. She ruled vast territories in her own right, and added to those territories with each marriage, first to the King of France, and later to the King of England.
She did not hesitate to leave her first husband when he would not give her a son, and she went on to rule a vast empire at the side of Henry II, while giving him eight living children, seven of whom survived to adulthood. Though her alliance with her second husband fell apart as had her alliance with her first, she went on to rule as Regent for her favorite son, Richard the Lionhearted while he was on Crusade. Eleanor of Aquitaine has held a place in my imagination since I first read about her, reminding me of what it means to be dedicated to a goal, and to work toward it even as it changes beneath you, never relinquishing the final outcome, only letting go of the present obstacles until they can be overcome.
Herodias Long - the Rebel Puritan
Herodias in REBEL PURITAN is much like Eleanor in this regard. She is touted as Scarlett O’Hara meets THE SCARLETT LETTER, and that is true. Though she is a woman of her time, she does not allow herself to give up and give in when obstacles rise in her path. She does not hesitate to defend herself or her children, leaving an abusive husband at a time when women simply did not do this.

Now, in my latest novel, HOW TO TAME A WILLFUL WIFE, I find myself in the joyous world of Regency England, exploring the strength of my latest character, Caroline Montague. Another strong woman, she rides a war stallion, fights with a knife and a rapier, and shoots a bow and arrow not just for formal target practice, but hunting from horseback. When her father returns from the Napoleonic wars to arrange her marriage, she finds that the man she is called on out of duty to marry has never known a woman like her. Raised in the wilds of Yorkshire and taught to fight by her father’s veterans, Caroline does not resemble the staid, demure women of the south where Anthony Carrington hails from.

Between them begins a battle of wits and wills as they vie for supremacy. Who will be tamed in the end? My intention was to write a novel in which the male and female leads work out their differences and learn, step by step, moment by moment, to face each other as equals. I can’t speak for Scarlett or Herodias, or even for Eleanor of Aquitaine, but Caroline and Anthony discover that equality in a romantic relationship is a goal worth seeking.

Description of How To Tame A Willful Wife:
1. Forbid her from riding astride
2. Hide her dueling sword
3. Burn all her breeches and buy her silk drawers
4. Frisk her for hidden daggers
5. Don't get distracted while frisking her for hidden daggers...

Anthony Carrington, Earl of Ravensbrook, expects a biddable bride. A man of fiery passion tempted by the rigors of war into steely self-control, he demands obedience from his troops and his future wife. Regardless of how fetching she looks in breeches.

Promised to the Earl of Plump Pockets by her impoverished father, Caroline Montague is no simpering miss. She rides a war stallion named Hercules, fights with a blade, and can best most men with both bow and rifle. She finds Anthony autocratic, domineering, and...ridiculously handsome.
It's a duel of wit and wills in this charming retelling of THE TAMING OF THE SHREW. But the question is...who's taming whom?
Link to the novel on Amazon

Christy English
 After years of acting in Shakespeare's plays, Christy English is excited to bring the Bard to Regency England in her romantic re-telling of The Taming of the Shrew, HOW TO TAME A WILLFUL WIFE. When she isn't acting, roller skating, or chasing the Muse, Christy writes historical novels (The Queen's Pawn and To Be Queen) from her home in North Carolina. Please visit her at


  1. Thank you for hosting me, sweet Jo Ann. I love talking about our powerful women :)

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