Rakes: Wine, Women and Drugs – Or Did Their Wives Really Drive Them to It?

rake rogueGuest blog by Sandra Scholes

Which came first? The rakish behavior or the wife?

In modern day society if you marry, it’s usually for love and mutual interest. So a husband cheated on his wife, they are all sorts of names under the sun. If he had cold feet about the seriousness of a permanent commitment, then he could have called it off. However, in the Regency or Victorian eras, it was a different story. Back then the sons of rich families had to marry and have heirs who would carry on the family title whether it was Lord, Baron or Earl. They had no choice in the matter, because usually parents arranged the matches as soon as they were considered to be of age.

While there was some courting, he would never be allowed to date her as they do today. A man’s closest relationship with the opposite sex was probably his mistress. The rules for interaction were different between a man and a mistress then with a genteel lady. With a mistress the man could have love, emotional comfort, and most of all–regular sexual relations. Interactions with his lady wife would not be as open or passionate.

In many cases, wives wanted their husbands to see a mistress, to relieve them of marital duties they found unpleasant or disruptive to their day-to-day lives. (As long as he was discrete!) In that case, it could be said that the wife drove the husband into the life of being a rake. What do you think? Is it possible that the rake’s debauchery, constant thrill-seeking, and drug usage could be linked back to his wife? Or do you think rakish behavior started well before marriage?

12 Pieces of Advice for the Rakish Fellow

by Sandra Scholes, guest blogger

The Regency rake is a sensual male—smart, streetwise and savvy when it comes to romancing women. His women come in all walks of life too. One moment he is dallying with a young woman, the next with a not-so-innocent lady. Never think though that he is a perfect gentleman, even if he is the product of excellent breeding, and has impeccable manners and taste. No, the rake, or rakehell as he is known by many, is quite an animal, and mainly of the nocturnal variety. He knows how to woo, to converse with women, and courtesans, and may even enjoy his time with the local ladies of the night from time to time; but don’t think for a second he will change his naughty ways if he decides to marry a true lady. That sort of thing only happens in romances you know… a reformed rake in real life is very much a mythical creature.

1.) Bad Habits: If you need your reputation to be impeccable, don’t introduce your bad habits into polite Ton society, or you might find someone else in your huge family gets that inheritance and even huger estate! Bringing ordinary girls into your father’s mansion for your friends is out of the question too, and anything else scandalous you can think of; opium, whores, gin, and gambling for high stakes.

2.) Keep Your Scandalous Ways Hidden: If you want to make out with a girl who likes the company of a rake like you, you have to find an area where no one is around a lot of the time. Remember, a locked door never arouses suspicion-especially if she happens to be the lady of the house!

3.) Beware Shocking the Lady: To avoid confusion, while at a ball, please whisper to the lady in question you want to seduce how many women you have had in bed; at least then she will be in no doubt as to the kind of rake you are!

4.) Sweet Seduction: If you are setting out to seduce the soon-to-be wife of a rival, make sure you don’t make her fall madly in love with you. That way she can keep quiet about any immoral acts you might wish to perform with her and get on with marrying someone who really matters.

5.) Secrecy At All Costs: Even though you have a fancy for a lady, you must realize that she cannot act or rush the romance, or she risks being a wanton jezebel. She must want you body and all, without coercion, yet even keeping this secret will be hard for the both of you and you know it. Think about it – is it worth the scandal?

6.) The Rake You Know: You suspect that a close relative knows what kind of a rake you are, and rumor is he or she’s written a book about your exploits and plans to have it published under a pseudonym. You can only find out who this relative is, and stop them, but what if he or she is miles away? It’s your problem!

7.) Former Spurned Conquests: Being at a ball can be a nice affair, yet you’ve had your fair share of women, haven’t you? Your problem is her eyes are on you, she was a former conquest and she’s about to tell all. Beware; she is more dangerous than she looks.

8.) Unique Settings: If you want to go about being a libertine, do it abroad with friends you can trust. Overseas women, as you well know, can be a great source of scandal and pleasure, and if you’re going to do anything caddish, then Vienna is your perfect place!

9.) Covert Conversations: If there is an old busy-body around who has inadvertently taken a great dislike to you, you can always direct attention by talking about more normal, innocent subjects such as hunting, shooting, sports and your lady’s sewing – that will teach her to try and listen in to your tales of Rampant Harry, the dashing and
dastardly hero of your new erotic novel.

10.) Demon Drink: Whatever the rake you are, don’t forget that when you drink, your personality changes as well. So when you are at some swank soirees, be sure to limit your drink intake or risk looking like too much of a lecherous cad.

11.) Being Daring: So, you’re as daring type of gentleman, dashing, a magnificent sight and a handsome character and you like to dress up to go out on a night as a highwayman. Be very careful your girl does not find out your true identity, especially if you happen to be a lord, earl or viscount – as her knowledge will be all over the Ton in no time!

12.) Great Expectations: There will be women out there who want to marry, and will expect a lot in return. This can lead to time spent with them, on their every whim, attending lavish balls, and, horror of horrors for you, nights in where she talks of nothing but crochet piano tuition and flower arranging and you are honor bound to listen.