Tuesday, July 25, 2023

Time for an Adventure!

Never Admire an Adventurer, the second book in my Fortune’s Brides: Guarding Her Heart series, launched on July 17. It was fun imagining all the ways a gentleman set on adventure would respond to a fake engagement with a spirited heiress!

Kristof Tanner grew up dreaming of glorious adventures far beyond the little kingdom of Batavaria. He’s followed his king and crown prince across Europe to England, but he never expected his first position there to be guarding the daughter of a wealthy businessman, who doesn’t seem to have a care in the world. Still, it’s hard not to see adventure calling in Julia Hewett’s warm brown eyes.

Julia has been fretting under her father’s demands for years. She won’t allow him to dictate a husband, especially when he insists no less than a duke will do. So, when her father refuses to listen to her pleas, she concocts the most unsuitable engagement she can imagine—to her bodyguard. If the charming Tanner plays along, they might both get what they want.

But it soon becomes apparent that someone is stalking Julia, intent on her downfall. Tanner and Julia must work together to uncover the culprit and save her reputation and his. In doing so, they may discover that the greatest adventure of all is falling in love.

The Huntress Reviews said, “Regina Scott pens some of the best Historical Romance that I have read in recent years. BRAVA!”

I hope you agree! You can find the book at fine online retailers or order it from your favorite local bookstore, including mine:

Directly from me (ebook only) 


Amazon (affiliate link) 

Barnes and Noble 

Apple Books 


Bookshop.org, benefitting local bookstores 


Tuesday, July 18, 2023

Retro Blast: The Royal Waterloo Bath


As much of the US is gasping through a heat wave, I hope those affected have access to somewhere cooling, though not perhaps this particular one, which originally appeared here in December 2009.

* * * * *
From the June 1819 edition of Ackermann's Repository, may I present to you, with mingled delight and horror...



"This very elegant floating bath is stationed near the north end of the Waterloo-bridge, and has recently been built and completed with entirely new and substantial materials, in a style of superior accommodation, at a very considerable expense: it contains a plunging bath, 24 feet long by 8 feet wide, and two private baths, 10 feet long by 8 feet wide. The depth may be regulated at pleasure by machinery, which raises or depresses the bottom as required, secured by cross timbers, and bound with iron. To each of the baths are attached small dressing rooms, commodiously fitted up, with proper persons to attend upon visitors. These baths are so constructed, that the water, being a running stream, is changed every two minutes. The advantage of bathing in a flowing stream is obvious, and gives a decided preference over a cold still bath, which is frequently dangerous from the violence of the shock. The terms of bathing, as our readers will see, are extremely moderate:--they are--
In the plunging-bath. . £0 1s. 0d.
For the season. . . £1 11s. 6p.
In the private baths . £0 1s. 6p.
For the season. . . £2 2s. 0p.
Constant attendance at Waterloo-bridge to convey visitors to and from the bath.
Bathing is so essentially connected with health, that we cannot but congratulate the public on this new establishment. It is singular that so few of the kind should be known in London, while there is scarcely a street in the French metropolis that has not its cold, warm, vapour, Chinese, and Tuscan baths, with a variety of others, suiting the capricious tastes of the inhabitants. Yet how deficient they are in the most important article connected with bathing every body knows, while we have a noble river filled with the purest and most wholesome waters in the world. The want of baths in London has led to the incommodious and indecorous practice of public exposure in the Thames.
All I can say is, eek! Or maybe just ick. Though the waters of the Thames might indeed have been pure and wholesome upriver, at this point it served as drainage for all the city...gulp! I applaud the recognition that bathing was associated with good health and understand the desire for cleanliness (and for getting the nudists off the banks of the river!) but do have to wonder if the writer of this article visited the baths in person. Unfortunately, no interior views were provided--it would have been interesting to see how the water depth controls worked.
I don't think any young ladies of fashion would come here; I expect it was for the working class population of London who didn't have hip baths before the fireplaces in their bedrooms and legions of servants to carry up cans of hot water to fill them.

Tuesday, July 11, 2023

The Ups and Downs of Ballooning

Balloon ascensions were an exciting part of the nineteenth century. Some daring individual would set up a balloon in a public space like Hyde Park, and crowds would gather to watch the intrepid adventurer take off and ascend into the skies. In most cases, the balloon would fly a short distance and come down in some field. In a few cases, the event was an attempt to set a record. For example, in 1785, Jean-Pierre Blanchard and John Jeffries left Dover in the first successful attempt to cross the Channel by balloon.

But sometimes, things did not go as planned.

I discovered the following 1895 graphic not too long ago. It was originally an uncut set of 10 cards showing the early history of ballooning. As you can see, the emphasis appears to be on disasters!

Starting from top left, we have Joseph Louis Gay-Lussac and Jean-Baptise Biot, who ascended to 4,000 meters to conduct scientific experiments on gas. They lived. So did the second fellow, André-Jacques Garnerin, who, despite the illustration, made the first successful parachute jump from a balloon in 1797. He owed much to the third fellow, Louis-Sebastien Lenormand, who had conceived the idea of a parachute and jumped from a building with his umbrella-like contraption in 1783.

The fourth card on the top row has ideas for every steampunk author! These are purportedly utopian dreams of flight from the “last century.” Some very interesting flights of fancy! Next to it we have Commander Jean-Marie Coutelle at the Siege of Mainz in 1795, where he used a balloon for reconnaissance (and seems to have earned the wrath of the enemy in the process!).

The first card on the bottom row is a balloon commemorating Napoleon’s achievements. Interesting that he is still revered nearly 80 years after his ultimate defeat. I was both delighted and saddened to see my beloved Sophie Blanchard featured on the next card. Of course the artist had to include the queen of aeronauts. But perhaps they might have shown something besides her fiery death!

Next to her is Count Franceso Zambeccari, who flew the first unoccupied balloon in England in 1783, but instead of commemorating that achievement, the artist decided to cover his crash in the Adriatic in 1804. A number of balloons took off from the Vauxhall Pleasure Gardens, but the artist chose to depict the one from which Thomas Harris fell in 1824. Finally, we have the rescue of Francois Arban by Italian fishers in 1846, after he too had crashed into the Adriatic Sea.

Doesn’t exactly make you want to jump into the next balloon, doesn’t it?