As any historical author can tell you, we really research all those little details that make for authentic reading. Triumph and Treasure, the first book in my Highland Heather Romancing the Scots Series, is releasing in December 2014 had me snooping around for information on sandwiches.
Not because I planned on having my characters eat any, but because I wanted to use the word in another context.
Since the story is set in the early 1800s, I wanted to make sure John Montague, 4th Earl of Sandwich had lived prior to that time. A most unsavory and unpopular chap, he’s credited for the word sandwich as it refers to two bread-like pieces enclosing a filling of some sort.
Conveniently, he was born in 1718, which suited my purposes just fine.
For those of you who don’t know the story, legend has it that around 1762 the 4th Earl of Sandwich was so fond of playing cards—interpretation, gambling—he didn’t want to leave the table to eat, nor have food brought to him which required a fork and knife. Or, eat the meal with his fingers.
He ordered beef between two pieces of bread be brought to him, which not only allowed his game to continue, but kept grease from his cards.
Other sources insist he actually began the custom of eating meat and bread, or cheese and bread, as sandwiches were called prior to the earl’s “invention,” while working at his desk as the chief admiral of the English Navy.
In any event, the story goes that people started ordering their food, “The same as Sandwich,” and thus the name stuck.
I almost wish I hadn’t looked up the man’s history, since every time I want to eat a sandwich now, I recall the debauched lecher and seducer of virgins for whom my meal is name after. On the other hand, as a fan of tea parties and the dainty little bits of deliciousness served for them, I might be persuaded to overlook the word’s origin and just enjoy my food.
I have always wondered though, what would have happened if a different lord of the realm had been credited with the invention. We might be eating tweedmouths or portlands.
Today is the cover reveal for Triumph and Treasure.
Angelina Ellsworth once believed in love—before she discovered her husband of mere hours was a slave-trader and already married. To avoid the scandal and disgrace, she escapes to her aunt and uncle’s, the Duke and Duchess of Waterford. When Angelina learns she is with child, she vows she’ll never trust a man again.
A privileged English lord.
Flynn, Earl of Luxmoore, led an enchanted life until his father committed suicide after losing everything to Waterford in a wager. Stripped of all but his title, Flynn is thrust into the role of marquis as well as provider for his disabled sister and invalid mother. Unable to pay his father’s astronomical gambling loss, Flynn must choose between social or financial ruin.
When the duke suggests he’ll forgive the debt if Flynn marries his niece, Flynn accepts the duke’s proposal. Reluctant to wed a stranger, but willing to do anything to protect her babe and escape the clutches of the madman who still pursues her, Angelina agrees to the union. Can Flynn and Angelina find happiness and love in a marriage neither wanted, or is the chasm between them insurmountable?
ENJOY AN EXCERPT FROM TRIUMPH AND TREASURE.
“Moll and Lasses . . . for molasses?” Angelina’s lips twitched in amusement.
“Exactly so.” Lord Bretheridge regarded Lady Francesca affectionately. “She named my horse Kane.”
“She didn’t.” Angelina grinned unabashedly. “Truly?”
He winked and nodded. “Indeed.”
“Have you other pets?” She made a pretense of scanning the grounds. “A cat named Sugar or Sweetie perhaps?”
Angelina patted Sir Freckleton’s mottled head. “I’m surprised he’s not named Sir Bon Bon.”
“Mrs. Thorne, are you poking fun at my pets?” The marquis pressed an arm across his broad chest in mock offense.
“Most assuredly, my lord,” she quipped, before she could stop herself.
Not prudent. He might get the wrong impression about her interest in him. Not that she was interested, because she wasn’t. However, if she was ever to become fascinated in a man again . . .
For pity’s sake, Angelina. Do stop your mental prattling!
She purposely changed the subject to something far safer. “Now, about those roses . . .”
They’d dawdled long enough. Angelina wasn’t altogether comfortable with this light-hearted bantering. It was too personal, too intimate, and after what Charles put her through, she never wanted to be intimate, physically or emotionally, with a man again.
Lord Bretheridge didn’t offer her his arm as they headed for the conservatory, for which she was grateful. She’d no desire for her traitorous body to respond to him. She was sure it would. Maybe there was something wrong with her. That’s why she was attracted to handsome men who turned her into to quivering plum pudding whenever they touched her.
Well, two men could at least, though everything beyond Charles’s kisses proved wholly disappointing.
New rule, avoid attractive men. And ones causing curious quivers in unmentionable places.
Today’s Romantic Trivia Pursuit question is: What is Lord Bretheridge’s horse’s name?
All images except Triumph and Treasure are courtesy of Wikimedia Commons