In 2005, someone was worried that the lesbian would take over RWA. Lesbians are just people and their range of competencies tracks with the rest of society’s, but if lesbians taking over RWA meant I was getting more books like that, please hand over the keys to the nearest lesbian.
If you are not reading Cat Sebastian yet, you should be. She is a delight in any time period. At the very beginning of A Little Light Mischief, we learn the following things:
- Mrs. Wraxhall is a wealthy London lady who married up in class,
- she has rescued Alice from a life of drudgery at her father’s vicarage,
- Alice is not happy about her new life of leisure,
- Alice is distracted by Molly’s ample bosom and pert backside,
- Molly was a thief, but isn’t anymore because she has more financial stability as a lady’s maid,
- Molly is supporting someone,
- Molly has noticed Alice watching her.
A familiar story in regency romance is the woman turned out of her home because a cad paid attention to her, or assaulted her. Often in those stories, someone swoops in and rescue her and marriage up in wealth and class occurs. Alice is grateful for not being on her own, but does not want to go out into society or live an idle life. She also doesn’t much want to marry a man.
The woman disowned because of the actions of a bad man is one way contemporary writers have explored the harmful effects of unchecked patriarchy. But those stories still required a man, still required working within the patriarchy to survive and prosper. I love Cat Sebastian’s writing aside from any political context, but I love it even more because she is giving these women a story of love and hope, surviving and thriving on their own terms.