Thank you for listening to Must Love Breeches!
I hope you enjoyed Isabelle and Phin! Keep scrolling to read my historical note about the events in the book, including the seemingly anachronistic cell phone in 1973. And if you join my mailing list for the latest news, I’ll send you deleted scenes as a thank you! If you realllly loved it, and want to help pimp my books and get free content and be the first to hear of news, you can join my street team, Angela’s Time-Traveling Steampunk Regency Assassins!
Want some visuals? While drafting and revising, I created a Pinterest board to help visualize and brainstorm, and it includes not only some historic clothing, but also which actors I pictured for Isabelle and Phin 🙂
Book Two continues with Katy’s adventures. Want more? Follow Katy to medieval Wales. Trapped in the wrong time, she needs a knight in shining armor, but this damsel in distress might be the real rescuer. Learn more.
Isabelle’s choice to stay in 1834 isn’t without repercussions. Steam Me Up, Rawley is the first book in my new steampunk romance series, titled The Mint Julep & Monocle Chronicles. Set in the American Deep South, it’s a spin-off from the Must Love series, since the events that happen in Must Love Breeches creates the alternate world Steam Me Up, Rawley takes place in. Learn more.
Please feel free to reach out to me. I love to hear from readers about what they loved (or didn’t) about my books, so drop me a line if you’d like at email@example.com or find me on twitter at @angelaquarles, or on my Facebook page.
And now a big favor. Readers like you make it possible for writers to do what they love, spin tales! Thank you for your support. If you enjoyed Must Love Breeches, I hope you’ll take a moment to share your enthusiasm with other readers by posting a review. Discoverability for new authors like me is a challenge and every review helps connect a reader to a book they might enjoy. I appreciate any review, positive or negative, so if you have a moment to post one, even just a line or two about what you thought of the story, on Audible, or wherever your purchased the audiobook, I’d be grateful! The more reviews a book receives, the more other readers are willing to take a chance on a new author. It also helps a reader decide whether a book is for them or not. Regardless, I thank you for listening! If you do leave a review, send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org so I can personally thank you, or tweet me @angelaquarles.
Also by Angela Quarles
Beer and Groping in Las Vegas
an erotic geek romantic comedy
Steam Me Up, Rawley
a steampunk romance
Must Love Chainmail
Book Two in the Must Love series
Coming Fall 2016
Must Love Kilts
Book Three in the Must Love series
Wondering why I have my history all wrong in the Epilogue? Yep, I know cell phones weren’t around in 1973–I was alive then 😉 I felt like she had to have some kind of impact on the timeline, and so I created an alternate timeline where technological advances were accelerated faster than ours. By going back, she’d created the alternate universe she was born into. Trippy, right? For more information about different ways time travel can affect the timeline, see my post on the Fantasy, Futuristic & Paranormal Blog: “Did You Mess Up the Timeline? Incorporating Theories of Time Travel in Fiction”
The original germ for this story was wondering who would be cool to meet if I went back in time. I’d originally conceived to go back to Jane Austen’s era, but that idea has been well-trodden. When I came across Ada Lovelace, I had my answer. Born Augusta Ada Byron, she is the only legitimate daughter of the famous poet and bad boy Lord Byron and his wife, Annabella Milbanke. What a tumultuous and intriguing marriage that was! I had a hard time reining in Lady Byron in this story, as my interpretation of her personality is not favorable, and she was just oh-so annoying to me. I had many more scenes with her, as she lent herself easily to being an antagonist, but this story isn’t supposed to be a rant about her and they were cut and her role minimized. Ada had such a sad childhood, and while her adulthood contained many amazing accomplishments, she died unpardonably young at thirty-six from uterine cancer. I think a lot of her troubles stemmed from the tyranny of her mother, and in this novel, I took the liberty of giving her an alternate life through meeting Isabelle where she didn’t die of cancer and had a happier life. In the end, this is a work of fiction, a product of my imagination, and I wanted to give this alternate life to her.
I picked 1834 because it was the first year that Ada Byron was ‘out’ (having her Season in public). It was after her second Season that she married her husband William King, becoming Baroness King. In 1838, her husband became the Earl of Lovelace, and so that’s why she’s commonly called Ada Lovelace.
I also wanted to give Ada a childhood friend in Montagu, since she really had none. Whenever her mother found anyone getting too close to her, playmate or nurse, they were excised from Ada’s life. Ada and Charles Babbage had an interesting and unique working relationship, and if you want to learn more about her, and their work together, please see the Further Reading list. I will note that Ada actually did try to build a flying steam-powered horse!
Mary Somerville is also pulled from history; she was one of Ada’s tutors and at the time of this novel, had become a good friend and mentor. Ada often visited the Somerville home in Chelsea and attended Babbage’s soirees with the Somerville family.
I tried to capture what one of Babbage’s soirees might have been like from the few extant first-hand accounts. Wouldn’t it have been amazing to attend one of his parties? And the idea of what the world would have been like if he’d actually completed either the Difference Engine or the Analytical Engine has inspired many an alternate history story, including many in the steampunk genre. I pretend here that he did, because a) it’s cool to think about, and b) I felt like Isabelle would have affected the timeline by remaining. Babbage actually didn’t get enough money from private donors, and so her contribution tipped the scale. The changes she made in the past affected the timeline she was later born into, so she never knew that her decision to stay had changed the world from what we all know today by ushering in the Computer Age one hundred years early.
The inspiration for the production of King Lear that Isabelle and Phineas attended was pulled directly from pp. 305-306 of the reminiscences of the actor mentioned in the novel, William Charles Macready. In Macready’s Reminiscences, and Selections from His Diaries and Letters, available on Google Books, he talks about his nervousness during the opening and the audiences’ reaction toward the end. I’ve only moved the date of the performance from May 23rd to May 19th to fit the needs of the plot. He indeed was responsible for steering the British public away from Tate’s happy-ending version.
I also tried to follow as closely as documents allowed to the layout of the old British Museum, including the construction of the present building, at the time of the novel. The room really was labeled “Artificial Curiosities from Less Civilized Parts,” and the objects she sees are pulled directly from the inventory of that room, including the Magna Carta!
The people the apothecary mentions when Isabelle asks about antiseptics were actual historical figures, as were their remedies.
I tried as far as was practical to be historically accurate, but I’m sure I fell short of the mark. Any inaccuracies are wholly my fault.
About the Author
Angela Quarles is a USA Today bestselling author of time travel and steampunk romance. Library Journal named her steampunk, Steam Me Up, Rawley, Best Self-Published Romance of 2015. She has published three books and one novelette, and her latest novel, Must Love Kilts, is due out in mid-2016.
Readers have enjoyed the geeky slants to her tales. Whether it’s fan girling over Ada Lovelace by having her as a secondary character in Must Love Breeches, or outright geek references with geek types in her romantic comedy with paranormal elements, Beer and Groping in Las Vegas, or going all Southern steampunk in Steam Me Up, Rawley, Angela likes to have fun with her romances and hopes her readers do too. In addition, she loves history, folklore, and family history and combines it with her active imagination to write stories of romance and adventure.
Angela works at an independent bookstore and lives in an historic house in the beautiful and quirky town of Mobile, AL. When she’s not writing, she enjoys the usual stuff like gardening, reading, hanging out, eating, drinking, chasing squirrels out of the walls and creating the occasional knitted scarf. She’s had a varied career, including website programming and directing a small local history museum, and has discovered that writing allows her to explore all her interests.
For Further Reading
Ada, Countess of Lovelace: Byron’s Legitimate Daughter, Doris Langley Moore, Harper & Row, Publishers
Ada, the Enchantress of Numbers: Prophet of the Computer Age, Betty Alexandra Toole, Ed.D., Strawberry Press
The Bride of Science: Romance, Reason, and Byron’s Daughter, Benjamin Woolley, McGraw-Hill
Charles Babbage and his Calculating Engines: Selected Writings by Charles Babbage and Others, Philip Morrison and Emily Morrison
Charles Babbage: Passages from the Life of a Philosopher, Charles Babbage, Martin Cambell-Kelly, ed., Rutgers University Press
Irascible Genius: The Life of Charles Babbage, Maboth Moseley, Henry Regnery company
The Philosophical Breakfast Club: Four Remarkable Friends Who Transformed Science and Changed the World, Laura J. Snyder, Broadway Books
— about Charles Babbage, John Herschel, William Whewell, and Richard Jones