When I first read Janet Mullany’s top 10 lists from the back of her book The Rules of Gentility, I laughed out my nose in an indelicate fashion.
Then Bitchery reader Melissa sent me a link to an LJ that had reprinted the set of top 10 lists in their entirety. I emailed Janet Mullany and asked her permission, and she says that if Avon comes after me for reprinting them here, I should…well, never mind what she said I should do. Either way, the lists are funny enough that they hurt me to read them.
Top 10 Things No One Would Ever Say in a Regency Romance
Taken from the back of the novel Rules of Gentility by Janet Mullany
1. Hell with Almack’s. I think I’ll stay home and entertain myself with the footmen.
2. I might as well marry the first man who offers for me. I can always have passionate love affairs afterward.
3. I never really wanted to be a writer/surgeon/spy/scientist/explorer/archaeologist/herbalist
/highwayperson/governess/publisher/artist/balloonist/acrobat /pirate/opera singer/engineer. It just seemed to make me more attractive to eligible men.
4. Oh, Papa, what a shame you gambled away the family fortune. I’m afraid I can’t think of anything I could possibly do to help out.
5. A devastatingly handsome, notorious, wicked rake? Eeeew.
6. I know it’s our wedding night, but would you mind terribly if I got on with my knitting?
7. I don’t care if that adorable lisping child is the apple of the hero’s eye. If she doesn’t shut up I’ll slap her.
8. Pay no attention to my siblings. They’re only here for the sequels.
9. Would you mind using one of those things made from animal intestines?
10. You don’t have any? Look in my reticule.
1. No brandy for me, thank you. It gives me terrible wind.
2. But I always wear a nightshirt and nightcap. Why should it be any different tonight?
3. Butler, remove this strange woman from my bed immediately.
4. All this striding around is giving me groin injuries.
5. No, no. I insist, madam. You take the floor. I’ll be quite comfortable in this huge bed.
6. Send my valet for some Rogaine. I have been indulging in overmuch hair raking.
7. I’m afraid some women have complained it’s rather on the small side.
8. I am Everard Dominic Benedict Ashford Alexander Artichoke FitzGrennan, Duke of Hawkraven, known and feared as Satan’s Elbow, but you may address me as…Cuddles.
9. I really don’t want to go to a gambling hell tonight. Couldn’t we just stay home and read up on the bills we’re supposed to vote on tomorrow in the House?
10. Waterloo? Oh, it was quite fun, actually.
To the heroine list, I would offer the following addenda:
a. “Raining? I should certainly not wear a pelisse. I need a heavier jacket.”
b. “I have a bit of a sniffle but I should be just fine. Tea will help.”
c. “Boys clothing? I am afraid I’d never fit in them. And why would I wear them, anyway?”
To the hero list:
a. “Laudanum? Yes, please. It hurts like the devil.”
b. “Bother the news – lets talk about sports.”
c. “Actually, I find estate management positively scintillating.”