Two Lives

First on this Saturday post–a little bit of Shameless Bragging! I finally got to see the cover for my January ’09 Harlequin Historical release, High Seas Stowaway (Balthazar’s story). I love it! The sense of movement, the drama and passion–it’s beautiful, and even suits the story. What do you all think???

And I also got an email with a new review for my last book, A Sinful Alliance, in the Chicago Tribune, which says “In A Sinful Alliance, her latest flawlessly crafted historical romance, Amanda McCabe expertly blends political and romantic intrigue into a captivating story.” Sigh. If only all reviews could be like that, for all of us! It would make this job easier sometimes…

And on Friday October 31, be sure and join me, along with Michelle Willingham, Nicola Cornick, and Bronwyn Scott as we launch our Blog Tour in honor of the debut of Harlequin “Historical Undone” ebooks! We’ll be at Greyhaus Literary Agency on that day, and here at Risky Regencies on November 2 (full schedule to come).

Now, when I was looking online for possible topics for today, I found out that October 25 had great significance in the lives of two men who had enormous impact on the history of this country–and the world. (Seems kind of appropriate to look at the beginnings of the USA, with the election only a little more than a week away!). On October 25, 1760, George III ascended the throne of England on the death of George II, and on October 25, 1764 John Adams married Abigail Smith.

George III was born in London at Norfolk House in 1738, the son of Frederick, Prince of Wales and Augusta of Saxe-Gotha, grandson of George II. His grandfather and father did not get along, and George II took very little interest in his grandchildren. Until the Prince of Wales unexpectedly died in 1751. Three weeks later, Prince George became Prince of Wales. In the spring of 1756, as he approached his 18th birthday, his grandfather offered him his own household at St. James’s Palace, but, guided by his mother and his advisor Lord Bute (who wanted to keep him close at home) he refused.

In 1759, he became infatuated with Lady Sarah Lennox, one of the extraordinary daughters of the Duke of Richmond, but, once again guided by Bute, he gave up thoughts of marrying her and turned to Princess Sophia Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz. He met her on their wedding day in September 1761, and they ended up with 15 (mostly troublesome) children. Two weeks after the marriage they were crowned at Westminster Abbey. (The madness and the loss of the American colonies all came later…)

John Adams met Abigail Smith when they were 17 and 26 years old, and fell in love pretty much right away, though the wedding would have to wait. Abigail’s mother, Elizabeth Quincey Smith (of the Quinceys) did not approve of the son of a mere farmer for her daughter, even though John was by then a lawyer with a new practice. But even when they were apart they wrote torrents of letters, over 1100 of which survive today to testify to this great romance and partnership. Including this one, dated October 4, 1762:

Miss Adorable,

By that same Token that the Bearer hereof satt up with you last night I hereby order you to give him, as many Kisses, and as many Hours of your Company aftr 9 o’clock as he shall please to Demand and charge them to my Account: This Order, or Requisition call it which you will is in Consideration of a similar order Upon Aurelia for the like favor, and I presume I have good Right to draw upon you for the Kisses as I have given two or three Millions at least, when one has been received, and of Consequence the Account between us is immensely in favor of yours,
John Adams

The wedding finally took place several years later, performed by her father, the Congregationalist minister Reverend William Smith. They then moved to the house in Braintree John inherited from his father and had 4 children who grew to adulthood. They were married for nearly 50 years.

And if you haven’t seen the HBO miniseries John Adams, run out and rent it right now! It is one of the best historical dramas I’ve ever seen.

Any other milestones on this October Saturday???

About Amanda McCabe/Laurel McKee

Writer (as Amanda McCabe, Laurel McKee, Amanda Carmack), history geek, yoga enthusiast, pet owner!
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