Ruined!, which you can get on this site for free, tells the story of a young well-born woman who, having been turned into a servant in her Uncle’s house, must choose to submit to poverty and degradation at his hands or make her own way in the world by finding a protector. Set in 18th century London, this sensuous historical romance novel reveals some of the realities of living when a woman really could not make her way in the world without a man.
To see images of this time, look at Hogarth’s A Rake’s Progress. Beautiful dresses, expensive houses, lavish meals and women in every state of poverty, sacrifice and despair.
As many as one in five women in London were harlots, or prostitutes who were paid for sex. Many died of sexually transmitted diseases and child birth, as well as starvation and abuse. Many started in childhood . . .
Reading about 18th century London, and seeing images from that time, allows us to see our own world and our own relationships differently. One of the interesting things about historical romance, when it strives to be somewhat accurate as well as entertaining, is that it shows the impact of tradition, culture, and law on the intimate lives of men, women and children. One can fantasize about living in a harder, more dangerous world, and come back grateful to a world where we do have human rights, protection for children, and enough food to eat.
We hope you enjoy Ruined! . . .
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