Saturday, December 29, 2018

Days Between Post #2: Marriage Deal with the Viscount

Alpaca in Britain! It's a thing, really it is. The previous post focused on the heroine's situation, this post will focus on the hero and the backdrop for his story. Viscount Taunton, Conall Everard, is a man down on his luck. His father has died. He has inherited and discovered years worth of debt his father had kept from the family. Conall has to redeem the family coffers in order to afford his sister, Cecilia's Season next year, and his younger brother, Freddie's, education and of course, the estate itself. All eyes are looking to him for leadership.

He is a product of a more modern upbringing than say, a Regency hero. Having come of age in the 1840s, and into his inheritance in the 1850s, he sees the times changing and with them the lifestyle of the peerage. He recognizes that a closed system will atrophy without any newness brought into it. It is no longer enough to live off rents of tenant farmers. He needs something more proactive, less dependent on the weather and the land.  Our hero looks around Taunton and sees the rich history of the area in wool production, an industry that has sustained it for centuries. He thinks about his Grand Tour, which was not to the traditional European continent but to the Americas. He remembers the Alpaca and their wool. What if he were to bring alpaca wool to Taunton? An innovative idea is born!

Far-fetched? Not really. In 1853 Sir Titus Salt did just that.
He brings alpaca to Britain and launches a whole new line of wool. You can read a little of his industrial biography here.  http://www.erih.net/how-it-started/stories-about-people biographies/biography/show/Biografies/salt/ He also established a mill town, Saltire, not unlike the town of our heroine's ambitions. Which just goes to prove that sometimes fact is stranger than fiction.

Enjoy,
Bronwyn



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