The events at Peterloo play a pivotal point in my February release of His. Peterloo brings my heroine and hero together in the second of the two novellas, “His Irish Eve,” which make up this new anthology.
On August 16, 1819, the Peterloo Massacre occurred at St. Peter’s Field in Manchester. A crowd of 60,000-80,000 had gathered to protest the lack of parliamentary representation for the heavily populated industrialized areas.
With the end of the Napoleonic Wars in 1815, the Corn Laws exacerbated the famine of the Year without Summer (1816) and the growing unemployment problems. By the beginning of 1819 the pressure generated by poor economic conditions, coupled with the lack of suffrage in northern England, had enhanced the appeal of political radicalism. In response, the Manchester Patriotic Union, a group agitating for parliamentary reform, organized a demonstration to be addressed by the well-known radical orator Henry Hunt.
Fearing the worst, local magistrates called on the military to dispense with the crowd. They also demanded the arrest of Hunt and the other featured speakers. The Cavalry charged the crowd with sabers drawn. In the melee, 15 people were killed and some 500+ were injured. The massacre was given the name Peterloo, an ironic comparison to the devastation found at the Battle of Waterloo. The Peterloo Massacre became a defining moment of the age. Unfortunately, the massacre’s immediate effect was the passage of the Six Acts, which labelled any meeting for radical reform as “an overt act” of treasonable conspiracy.”
It also led directly to the foundation of The Manchester Guardian, but had little other effect on the pace of reform. In a survey conducted by The Guardian in 2006, Peterloo came second to the Putney Debates as the event from British history that most deserved a proper monument or a memorial. A plaque close to the site, a replacement for an earlier one that was criticized as being inadequate, as it did not reflect the scale of the massacre, commemorates Peterloo.
The Deepest Love Is Always Unexpected
“His American Heartsong”
Lawrence Lowery has been the dutiful elder son his whole life, but when his father Baron Blakehell arranges a marriage with the insipid Annalee Dryburgh, Lowery must choose between his responsibility to his future estate and the one woman who makes sense in his life. By Society’s standards, Arabella Tilney is completely wrong to be the future Baroness–she is an American hoyden, who demands that Lowery do the impossible: Be the man he has always dreamed of being. (A Novella from the Realm Series
“His Irish Eve”
When the Earl of Greenwall demands his only son, Viscount Stafford, retrieve the viscount’s by-blow, everything in Adam Lawrence’s life changes. Six years prior, Lawrence had released his former mistress Cathleen Donnell from his protection only to learn in hindsight Cathleen was with child. Lawrence arrives in Cheshire to discover not only a son, but also two daughters, along with a strong-minded woman who fascinates him from the moment of their first encounter. Aoife Kennice, the children’s caregiver, is a woman impervious to Adam’s usual tricks and ruses as one of England’s most infamous rakes. But this overconfident lord is about to do battle: A fight Adam must win – a fight for the heart of a woman worth knowing.