Jilly: The Mistress Problem

I’d really, really like to find a different form of address for the gentlewomen in my WIP, especially my heroine.

Lately I’ve been working on a sequence of set piece scenes toward the end of the book. The setting is a fantasy world, historical, before the invention of guns. Horses ‘n swords. Vaguely Tudor-ish, with a few creative liberties taken. The action takes place at the most important event in the city’s calendar. Everyone who’s anyone is present: royalty, aristocracy, military, and a lucky few gentlefolk. All the guests are addressed formally, even (especially!) when they’re hurling deadly insults at one another.

The problem is my heroine, Alexis Doe. She’s 25. Unmarried, but old enough to be a wife and mother. Of no acknowledged family (her name indicates she’s illegitimate), but invited as a guest of the Princess Dowager, scary and powerful grandmother of the Crown Prince. Alexis has no title, but her connections would carry a certain level of cachet and she would be addressed with respect. As far as I can see, she would be called Mistress Doe.

I did a fair amount of reading around, looking for possibilities, and I found a fascinating article describing research done by Dr Amy Erickson at the University of Cambridge (click here to read more about Mistress, Miss, Mrs or Ms: untangling the shifting history of titles).

Apparently both Mrs and Miss are abbreviations of Mistress. Continue reading

Jilly: Good Book Squee – Anne Bishop

Anne Bishop - Vision in SilverDo you have an auto-buy author or authors? Do you love any of them so much that you count the days to publication of their next book? What makes their stories special?

Next Tuesday, 3 March, is publication day for Anne Bishop’s Vision in Silver, the third book in her urban fantasy series set in the world of the Others. I can’t tell you how much I love this series, or how excited I am to read this book. There are a few authors that I auto-buy, but I’ve been watching and waiting for this particular story for a whole year, ever since I read the first two books in the series, Written in Red and Murder of Crows. I’ll be trying to make my treat last. I read on Anne Bishop’s website that there will be two more books in the series, and at the current pace that means I’ll get my hands on the final one in spring 2017. Sigh.

I’m not the only one Continue reading