Friday, March 1, 2019

Oh, What a Knight!

A knighthood. Sounds like something King Arthur bestowed (and likely did). But being knighted wasn’t just something from medieval times (as we detailed here). During the early part of the nineteenth century, many gentlemen were knighted for various services to the crown, but the type of knight mattered in the level-conscious Society.

At the bottom of the knighthood ladder was the Most Honourable Order of the Bath, begun in 1725 for military or civilian service to the King. At ceremonial events like crownings or royal christenings, Knights of the Bath wore almost fuchsia silk cloaks emblazoned with a large gold sunburst with a center showing three crowns and the motto “Three joined in one” in Latin. In 1815, the order was split into three classes to include more military heroes from the war with France.

Near the top of the ladder was the Order of the Garter, founded in 1348. At ceremonial events, they wore deep blue velvet cloaks and short-brimmed hats with white ostrich plumes. Their emblem was an embroidered garter (see the buckle in the picture?) with the words “Shame on him who thinks ill of it” in Latin in gold.

Not to be outdone, the Prince Regent founded his own knightly honor in April 1818. The Most Distinguished Order of St. Michael and St. George awarded commanders serving on the Continent. Their ceremonial garb were blue silk cloaks, and their emblem was a silver star surmounted by a crimson cross, a picture of St. George slaying the dragon, and the words “Token of a better age” in Latin.

While quite showy at times, none of these knighthoods was hereditary. You might be Sir William Pompousface, but your son would be Mr. Pompousface. A baronetcy was considered a hereditary knighthood. You would become Sir William, and your son would become Sir Frederick. Note that neither is Sir Pompousface. A baronetcy was not considered an aristocratic title like duke, earl, etc. And you had to do something rather special to earn it.

Like save the Prince Regent’s life.

Such is the case of my hero in Never Kneel to a Knight, available for preorder now. Some of you may remember Matthew Bateman and Charlotte Worthington from Never Vie for a Viscount.

When the thoroughly poised Charlotte Worthington requests that Miss Thorn and her cat Fortune find her a position, she never dreams the savvy employment agency owner would reunite her with Matthew Bateman, her brother’s former bodyguard. Matthew is about to be knighted for an act of valor, and he and his sisters could use some polishing if they’re to enter Society after his elevation. Yet how can Charlotte maintain her calm, cool demeanor as their sponsor when she harbors a secret love for him?

Matthew Bateman cannot forget the beauty who is miles out of his league. Once a boxer called the Beast of Birmingham, Matthew would like nothing better than to be worthy of Charlotte’s hand. As old enemies and new ones attempt to bring him low, can Matthew prove to Charlotte that their love is meant to be?

Preorder now from fine online retailers such as


And look for more information when the book launches in mid-March.

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