Sunday, February 19, 2012

Meet Lady Richelda Shaw

RIW:                     Please introduce yourself and tell us your story? Why would someone come up with a story about you, my Lady?

Lady Shaw:        My rightful name is Lady Richelda Shaw. In order to understand my predicament, you need to know the background to the times in which I live.

                              Charles II fathered many children, but not one was legitimate. After he died, his Roman Catholic brother, James II, came to the throne. Forced into exile, first his Protestant daughter, Mary, and her husband became king and queen. When they died, his younger daughter, Anne, ascended the throne. While James lived, my father, Baron Shaw, refused to swear an oath of allegiance to either Mary or Anne, so he followed James to France, leaving my mother and I unprotected.

                              Before Father left, I swore on the Bible to do all I could to regain our ancestral home, Court House. After making my oath, Father gave me a ruby ring, which I treasure and wear on a chain round my neck. It is inscribed with our family motto: Fortune Favours the Brave. I hope I am brave enough to overcome every difficulty.

RIW:                     Can you tell us about your hero?

Lady Shaw:        Dudley Wynwood, is the son of the parson, who educated both of us. As children we promised to marry each other, and I love him as much now as I did in childhood. Dudley is as beautiful as an angel, but he is poor and I am impoverished, so he wants to marry an heiress. Unfortunately, at university, he got into debt and his father, who could ill afford it, paid Dudley’s debtors. Nevertheless, I am devoted to Dudley and would help him if I had the means.

RIW:                     What problems do you have to face and overcome in your life?

Lady Shaw:        After my father left for France, my mother died. Reduced to poverty, my only companions were mother’s good-hearted old nurse, Elsie, and my devoted dog, Puck. Fed up with shabby clothes, and a diet of boiled puddings containing vegetables, and occasionally rabbit, partridge or other wild game, I decided to try to make some money by selling a stand of oak to the Navy.

                              My wealthy aunt rescued me from poverty on condition I marry a man of her choosing. In love with Dudley, I did not want to obey.

RIW:                     Do you expect your hero to help or is he the problem?

Lady Shaw:        I was sure Dudley would help me, but his need for money became a problem. When he courted my best friend, an heiress, he broke my heart.

RIW:                     Where do you live?

Lady Shaw:        When my aunt took charge of me, I moved from dilapidated Bellemont House in Hertfordshire to her luxurious London House where I now live.

RIW:                     During which time period does your story take place?

Lady Shaw:        My tale of Tangled Love begins in 1683 when my father went to France. It       continues in 1702 when Queen Anne, God bless her, came to the throne.

RIW:                     How are you coping with the conflict in your life?

Lady Shaw:        With great difficulty. My aunt refused her permission for me to bring Elsie and Puck to London. I like Chesney, the handsome young Viscount she wants me to marry, but I love Dudley and am reluctant to agree to wed Chesney. If only Dudley and I could find the treasure legend says my buccaneering ancestor hid in my father’s ancestral home, which is now owned by Chesney, Dudley might marry me and I would be free from my domineering aunt.

RIW:                     Those are all the questions we have for you. We’re honored that you agreed to speak with us, Baroness.

Lady Shaw:        Thank you for inviting me to be your guest, but I’m not a Baroness.  That title is entailed and goes to my father’s closest living male relative.  I can only become a Baroness if I marry a Baron.

RIW:                     That seems awfully unfair to a modern woman living in the United States during the twenty-first century.  Still, it has been an honor speaking with you, Lady Richelda.

Here’s a taste of Tangled Love:

The throne has been usurped by James II’s daughter and son-in-law, Mary and William of Orange. In 1693, loyal to his oath of allegiance, ten year old Richelda’s father must follow James to France.

Before her father leaves, he gives her a ruby ring she will treasure and wear on a chain round her neck. In return Richelda swears an oath to try to regain their ancestral home, Field House.

By the age of eighteen, Richelda’s beloved parents are dead. She believes her privileged life is over. At home in dilapidated Belmont House, her only companions are her mother’s old nurse and her devoted dog, Puck. Clad in old clothes she dreams of elegant dresses and trusts her childhood friend Dudley, a poor parson’s son, who promised to marry her.

Richelda’s wealthy aunt takes her to London and arranges her marriage to Viscount Chesney, the new owner of Field House. Richelda is torn between love for Dudley and her oath to regain Field House, where it is rumored there is treasure. If she finds it, Richelda hopes to ease their lives. But, while trying to find it, will her life be at risk or will she find true love?

Finally, please meet Lady Richeld’s auhor, Rosemary Morris.

Rosemary Morris was born in 1940 in Sidcup Kent.  As a child, when she was not making up stories, her head was ‘always in a book.’

While working in a travel agency, Rosemary met her Indian husband.  He encouraged her to continue her education at Westminster College.  In 1961 Rosemary and her husband, now a barrister, moved to his birthplace, Kenya, where she lived from 1961 until 1982.  After and attempted coup d’etat, she and four of her children lived in an ashram in France.

Back in England, Rosemary wrote historical fiction.  She is now a member of the Romantic Novelist’s Association, Historical Novel Society and Cassio Writers.

Apart from writing, Rosemary enjoys classical Indian literature, reading, visiting places of historical interest, vegetarian cooking, growing organic fruit, herbs and vegetables, and creative crafts.

Time spent with her five children, and their families, most of whom live near her is precious.

Tangled Love

Price:  $5.95


  1. Fascinating interview with Baroness Shaw. I have just purchased this novel from MuseItUp Bookstore and am looking forward to an enlightening read. I love British History. I have to admit, from what Richelda says, I'm kind of pulling for Viscount Chesney at the moment, but of course I won't know where my loyalties lie until I begin the novel.

    Of one thing I'm certain, the author's life reads like a romantic novel. I hope she writes that book one day. :)

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  3. I've corrected this post since Wendy read it. Fan of Downton Abbey that I am, how could I forget that women did not inherit their father's titles because estates were entailed? Thanks for reminding me, Kate!

    PS: I needed to edit this after I posted it due to thinking ahead of my fingers. ;-)