Jane Brody is a passionate follower of Mary Wollstonecraft’s beliefs about the rights of women. She campaigns for better education and employment opportunities for girls so they can be independent of men. Conservative Jonathan Everslie, Marquis of Dalton, needs a wife and heir, but can’t find a woman who doesn’t bore him. Then he meets Jane Brody. He finds her attractive, but her politics dangerous.
After Jane’s father dies, she is left to raise her younger siblings. Her efforts to support them by running a girls’ school fail because Society decries her beliefs. Marquis of Dalton wants her, but can Jane overcome her fears and put aside her beliefs to marry him to save her family? Will Dalton risk his political career to win Jane’s love and persuade her that they belong together?
Elizabeth introduced them in her breathy voice and Jonathan courteously responded. “Charmed to meet you Miss Brody. My sister insisted that I accompany her to hear your views.” And I will certainly do so again after seeing how very much more attractive you are close up.
“I’m delighted to meet you Lord Dalton. I trust I have convinced you that women have voices which ought to be heard. This fraternity needs people in high places such as you to spread the word and convince men that women are entitled to equal rights.”
Surprised by her calm expectation that he was a supporter of her women’s cause, Jonathan felt compelled to disabuse her. “I’m afraid that I do not yet believe there is reason or need for women to demand an equal place in our society.”
“If they do not need equality of rights, then why do women die every day from too many confinements weakening their health?” she demanded quietly.
“Unfortunately they do die,” he replied. His face was impassive. “But that is an issue for man and wife to debate and settle – not society as a whole. And surely not a subject for an unmarried woman to concern herself with?”
“And how do you expect women to control their reproduction if they are not permitted to discuss the question and the means before they are wed? Afterwards it becomes a fait accompli, does it not?” she queried.
She spoke quietly. “I took you for a man of greater moral fibre my lord. I see I was mistaken.” She turned to his sister and then Mrs Courtice on her right offering them tea and cake.
He was dismissed – as if of no further interest or use to her. It was an unfamiliar feeling – of being ignored by an unmarried woman, or by anyone else for that matter. Stunned, he stepped back from the group and strode away to talk with Dr Logan, the middle-aged doctor who aided a mission in Wapping for unmarried mothers. It was a charity to which Jonathan had given funds for some time but in which he had never taken a close interest, preferring instead to let his money do the work. He listened distractedly to the doctor but his mind was churning.
This woman, this Miss Jane Brody, the daughter of a clergyman, had challenged his very usefulness in the world and found him wanting.
The Persuasion of Miss Jane Brody has been short-listed in the Favourite Historical Romance category of the Australian Romance Readers Awards.
I’m an Australian author of historical romances mainly set during the Regency period. My first novel, The Persuasion of Miss Jane Brody was awarded joint second place part in the Steam eRead’s ‘Some Like it Hot’ Romance Writing competition held earlier this year. It was published by Steam eReads on 28 November 2013.
Upcoming novels are set in eras from Anglo-Saxon England to 1920s outback Australia.
AUTHOR’S SOCIAL LINKS:
• Facebook: isabella.hargreaves.14
• Twitter: @IsabellaHauthor
• Author Website: www.isabellahargreaves.com
• Amazon Author Page: amazon.com/author/isabellahargreaves
BUY THE BOOK: