by Isabel Cooper, guest blogger and author of No Proper Lady
When Joan, the heroine of No Proper Lady, finds herself back in Victorian England, she’s pretty happy about it. Sure, she takes issue with some expectations for women—but compared to the post-apocalyptic future she came from, where demon lords rule the Earth, 1888 is a pretty easy time to live. Since my time includes more lattes and laptops and fewer tentacled things trying to eat my face, I think I’d be less enthused about going back permanently.
As a tourist, though? Absolutely. Get me some money, a fake name, and a chance to go back to the twenty-first century next time I get a cavity, and I’d take all my vacation days in Victorian England. Here’s why:
10. An Age of Discovery! Evolution, spiritualism, railways, automobiles—the Victorian era was as inventive and controversial as our own, and people really seemed to get invested in the theories as well as the gadgets. They also used More Capital Letters, which may or may not be a good thing.
9. Travel Was Fun. If you had the money, first class on a railway sounds like it beats any road trip I ever took. Plush seats, private compartments, and great dining when you stop, plus nobody would be talking on their cell phone. Likewise, I’d much rather cross the ocean by boat than by plane if I could go in luxury. Sure, it’s slower, but that brings me to my next point…
8. Life Was Slower. Which is weird, because I am not a patient woman—ask anyone. But maybe that means it would do me good to go to a time and place where I had to slow down and take it easy. Maybe I’d take more in, relax a little, and be better for it. Sounds nice, anyhow.
7. Food. Again, this is one of those things that depends on having money. But if you did…wow. I’ve seen some menus from the time. Meat. Cream. Pastries that defy the imagination. I would explode, but I would enjoy myself until I did.
6. You’re a Time Traveler. In itself, that’s pretty cool. You can try and change the past; if you can’t change the past, you can always make strangely knowing predictions and impress young men/women; and you can always hope to run into David Tennant.
5. The Clothes (Women). Oh my God, the clothes—and the reasons to wear them. In my daily life, it’s hard not to just wander around in jeans and a turtleneck, and while that’s good in its way, I’d love to have some motivation to make myself all pretty and have tea, or go dancing, or similar.
4. Dancing. Yes, people dance today. I do it myself, and it’s fun—and the ratio of men to women in most dancing groups my age is not great. Back in the 1800s, men who danced were not rare and majestic creatures like the noble…I’ve run out of metaphor here, but you get my point.
3. Active Recreation. Or at least different recreation. I like video games as well as the next geek girl, but it would be nice to sing for fun, or dance, or ride horses or row boats—and to have those things be regular amusements rather than once-in-a-while novelties.
2. Meeting Future Famous People. Darwin. Dickens. Tennyson. Eliot. You could have harsh words with Freud, if you wanted, and maybe set him straight about a few things. Why not?
1. The Clothes (Men). Insofar as I have recently been a single young woman, and insofar as the baseball cap dude-bro look does not flatter one single person ever, and neither does the cartoon-t-shirt neckbeard look…I would so not mind an era when the average guy wore a nice suit regularly. Nope. Would not mind that at all.
NO PROPER LADY BY ISABEL COOPER – IN STORES SEPTEMBER 2011
It’s Terminator meets My Fair Lady in this fascinating debut of black magic and brilliant ball gowns, martial arts, and mysticism.
England, 1888. The trees are green, the birds are singing, and in 200 years demons will destroy it all. Unless Joan, a rough-around-the-edges assassin from the future, can take out the dark magician responsible. But to get close to her target she’ll need help learning how to fit into polite Victorian society to get close to her target.
Simon Grenville has his own reasons for wanting to destroy Alex Reynell. The man used to be his best friend—until his practice of the dark arts almost killed Simon’s sister. The beautiful half-naked stranger Simon meets in the woods may be the perfect instrument for his revenge. It will just take a little time to teach her the necessary etiquette and assemble a proper wardrobe. But as each day passes, Simon is less sure he wants Joan anywhere near Reynell. Because no spell in the world will save his future if she isn’t in it.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Debut author Isabel Cooper lives in Boston and maintains her guise as a mild-mannered project manager working in legal publishing. She only travels through time the normal way and has never fought a demon, but she can waltz. Her next book, No Honest Woman, will be in stores in April 2011. For more information, please visit http://isabelcooper.wordpress.com.
GIVEAWAY: I have 2 copies of No Proper Lady for 2 lucky readers. Open to US and Canadian readers/addresses only. Enter by leaving a comment about why you would want to visit Victorian England! Last Day to Enter: October 15, 2011.