Anyway I want to continue the travel theme started by Diane and Cara. I’m not going anywhere remotely exotic this summer (a cottage on Lake Erie doesn’t count, does it?) but I do love travel. While the British Isles are my favorite destination, I enjoy stories that take characters to different settings, even if sometimes those setting aren’t places I’d actually want to go for real. (I’m averse to heat stroke and political unrest.)
Mary Jo Putney has written some of my favorite Regency (or thereabouts) stories with unusual settings: SHATTERED RAINBOWS, which includes Peninsular War and Waterloo scenes and ends on a fictional island called Skoal and THE CHINA BRIDE. The interesting thing I noticed about these books is that in each, the timeline of the story is rearranged so the first scene takes place in England. I’ve always wondered if this was done for dramatic purposes or, perhaps, to reassure readers hesitant about exotic settings.
I say this because many times I’ve heard that settings outside the British Isles don’t sell, readers don’t like them as well, etc… I can already hear members of our Risky community protesting!
But MJP isn’t the only one who’s made a success of exotic settings. Loretta Chase’s RITA winning THE SANDALWOOD PRINCESS starts in India. MR IMPOSSIBLE, my favorite so far in the recent series (NOT QUITE A LADY is still in my TBR pile) is set in Egypt.
(Note: this illustration is from a delightful book I found on Project Gutenberg titled “A Museum for Young Gentlemen and Ladies”, 15th edition, published 1799.)
Anyway, it seems to me that the historical market may be opening up to more unusual settings. Amanda’s upcoming story, A NOTORIOUS WOMAN, is set in Renaissance Venice and Janet’s FORBIDDEN SHORES on a fictional island in the West Indies. (Brava to both of you!)
So, Riskies and friends, do you like exotic settings? Any favorites? Any you’d like to “visit” that you haven’t before?
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