Blog Tour for A Seditious Affair by KJ Charles

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This post is part of the Blog Tour for the release of A Seditious Affair by KJ Charles. Book 2 in the historical mm series, Society of Gentlemen series, comes out on Dec 15.

The banner is made by El @ Just Love Romance

These are some fabulous, well-searched, historically grounded stories exploring the possible for love and relationships between gay men in Regency England, a period of political and social unrest which affect in many different ways the life/fate of the character.

I'm very happy to welcome Ms Charles on the blog, talking about the Past and Points of View. Enjoy her piece and don't forget to enter a giveaway for a chance to win a copy of A Seditious Affair and $25 gift card at All Romance.


The Past and Points of View


One of my pet hates is sentences that begin “The Victorians…” because the odds are whatever’s coming is going to be a wild generalisation that will annoy me intensely. “The Victorians put covers on their piano legs because they were indecent.” “The Victorians believed in the Empire and their right to rule.” “The Victorians had a crisis of faith.” “The Victorians only had sex under the bedclothes.” Etc. 

SOME. The word is “some”. (And in the case of the piano leg thing the word is ‘none’ because they didn’t.)

The problem with the “The Victorians…” way of looking at the past is that it erases people. “The Regency” has come to mean Mr Darcy and Elizabeth Bennett; aristocratic men in breeches and women in silk gowns. It’s rarely associated with, for example, massive working class unrest and agitation for votes, or villages stripped of their male population by the endless wars, or starving veterans begging on the street, or the early women’s rights movement, or the 15,000 black people then living in Britain. It’s much easier to treat the past as a settled thing, a monolith. Everyone in Britain 1800-1820 was Colin Firth: the end.

So you might read that, for example, ‘sodomy was condemned in Regency England’, along with the horrible laws and a few examples of terrible judicial murders. But that passive ‘was condemned’ is a fraud. Condemned by who? The law itself and the people who enforced it, sure, and appallingly. But not the people voluntarily engaging in it, or those who made a living in sex work, or those who knew their friends and families had illegal love lives and chose to love or ignore rather than condemn, or by philosophers like Jeremy Bentham, who wrote (though didn’t publish) a huge essay arguing for homosexual law reform in 1785. 

In A Seditious Affair, my Regency m/m romance, the heroes are Government official Dominic Frey and radical bookseller Silas Mason. Dominic believes in the social order, the supremacy of king, church and state, the ruling classes’ right to rule. Silas believes in universal suffrage, women’s rights, legal rights for children, land reform, a universal basic income, universal free education, the separation of church and state, and homosexual law reform. (Not all of this is discussed in the book, you’ll be pleased to hear.)

It might seem that Dominic is an accurate representation of Regency thought and Silas a ridiculous anachronistic mouthpiece for a set of modern left-wing views. But in fact people did hold all of Silas’s views in the Georgian period, and argue for them, loudly and were often jailed or ostracised for it. Silas is a man of his time as much as Dominic, albeit Dominic’s views were a lot more widely held. Because people in the past were just as argumentative and different and venal and selfless and fanatical and conservative and freethinking as they are now.

What it comes down to is, human nature doesn’t change. People differ wildly, always have, always will. So when you see “The Victorians…”, give it side eye for me. The word is always “some”.


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Author Bio and links

KJ Charles is a writer and freelance editor. She lives in London with her husband, two kids, an out-of-control garden and an increasingly murderous cat.

KJ writes mostly romance, gay and straight, frequently historical, and usually with some fantasy or horror in there. She specialises in editing romance, especially historical and fantasy, and also edits children’s fiction.

Find her on Twitter @kj_charles or on Facebook, join her Facebook group, or get the newsletter here. She is represented by Deidre Knight at The Knight Agency, and published by Samhain and Loveswept.


A Seditious Affair (Society of Gentlemen #2)

Blurb

Silas Mason has no illusions about himself. He’s not lovable, or even likable. He’s an overbearing idealist, a Radical bookseller and pamphleteer who lives for revolution . . . and for Wednesday nights. Every week he meets anonymously with the same man, in whom Silas has discovered the ideal meld of intellectual companionship and absolute obedience to his sexual commands. But unbeknownst to Silas, his closest friend is also his greatest enemy, with the power to see him hanged—or spare his life.

A loyal, well-born gentleman official, Dominic Frey is torn apart by his affair with Silas. By the light of day, he cannot fathom the intoxicating lust that drives him to meet with the Radical week after week. In the bedroom, everything else falls away. Their needs match, and they are united by sympathy for each other’s deepest vulnerabilities. But when Silas’s politics earn him a death sentence, desire clashes with duty, and Dominic finds himself doing everything he can to save the man who stole his heart.


Advance praise for A Seditious Affair:

“This book is so good I read it in one sitting. I just couldn’t put it down. K. J. Charles has long been one of my favorite authors, and this book doesn’t disappoint. A Seditious Affair is a beautiful love story interwoven with the realism of the political unrest of the time—another winner from K. J. Charles!”—USA Today bestselling author Carole Mortimer

Add on Goodreads
Pre-order links: Publisher / Amazon.com / Amazon.co.uk / ARe

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10 comments

  1. KJ Charles is one of my favorite historical author. And this book is so good I never wanted it to end!!
    Happy almost release day, KJC. ;-)

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  2. KJ: I really appreciate the way you mix politics into your romances. I love the tension you create with it, and how I get to learn more about a historical period in Britain that I am not very familiar with. All in all, I can't wait for the book!

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  3. I love the mix of politics and romance especially being American and not knowing much of what was going on in england after our revolution. So excited for this book!

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  4. Congratulations on your up coming release K J I'm looking forward to reading the book.

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  5. KJ made me love historicals against my own will! She is a great writer and I have several of her books in paper, which is reserved for only the best.

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  6. Another great post! Whenever we generalize when it comes to people, I think some people get erased. I wish more people would look for the diversity rather than a way to pigeonhole people. Although, I would not mind if there were some Colin Firth replicas running around. ;-)

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  7. Thank you, for writing it more real :)

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  8. I admit that I'm not a huge fan of historical in general, but every once in a while one grabs me and won't let go. Charles' work has done it in the past and I'm sure when I get around to reading this one, it will too.

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