So I fell down a great house rabbit hole today. I was looking up pictures of some of the English great houses, trying to scout potential locations for my steampunk character, Esme, to reside with her husband, the Earl of Harrogate (no, that’s not a real title), and I found an article on Architectural Digest listing some amazing English country homes for sale… including Highclere Castle from Downton Abbey! OMG. If I only had a mere 11 million! Wanna go in with me?
Also for sale was this beauty – Chedington Court. Just a quaint little place in the Dorset countryside, right? We’d have to rough it a bit, might have to struggle to find accomodations for our lady’s maid or valet, but I suppose if it’s just for the weekend… 🙂
One of my favorite things about writing steampunk – other than the steampunkiness of the gadgets and the airships and the Don’t Point That at My Continent weapons – are the Victorian influences. The gorgeous clothing, genteel manners, and elegant speech patterns create a civilized and rarified experience… right up until my sassy heroine sticks a gold-plated derringer up the charming villain’s nostril and threatens to blow his oh-so-proper brains out.
These lovely country homes are part of the fabric of those times. And just as soon as about a million of you fans go out and buy the first book in the upcoming series, The Harrogate Chronicles, (available this summer, so stay tuned), I’ll be booking a trip for me and co-author Susan Wachowski to stay in one of these grand old places!
In the meantime, however, as I am forced to enjoy more mundane environments, I believe a spot of tea is just the thing to lift my spirits. I’ll just call for my
butler dog, Admiral Lord Nelson, to trundle the tea cart into my drawing room home office. Okay, so it’s not a tea cart, it’s a rusty Radio Flyer wagon with a wonky wheel. And in actuality, he refuses to be harnessed to it. So, I suppose I’ll be carrying the tea tray tea cup mug myself. Sigh. It’s just so hard to get good help these days!