It’s April. In fact, this month is the first time all of us authoresses have been at one of Lady B’s balls during the London Season. Of course, I’ve missed the last two (which I have heard were fabulous!), but now I’m returned and ready to cause mischief.
Not that you heard me say that.
Sabrina: “Atchoo!” Excuse me, that wasn’t the sort of mischief I meant.
Lady B: Are you ill, Miss Darby?
Albert: << Squawk! >> The plague! << Squawk! >>
How embarrassing! I caught this cold while travelling and as I didn’t want to miss another ball, I fortified myself with every remedy known to man. (In 2012 at least. Not limiting myself only to the medical knowledge of 1810 or 16 or whatever year it happens to be in the Ballroom at the moment.)
Sabrina: I’m recovering. I feel much better, however, only the errant sneeze. And cough. And you must know that illness is very important to romance! After all, without certain near deathly ailments, many heroes and heroines would never be in close enough quarters to discover their love.
Albert: << Squawk! >> Edward and Lily in Julianne MacLean’s Love According to Lily
Sabrina: Yes, one of my favorites! And illness often pushes heroes and heroines to at long last confess their love.
Albert: << Squawk! >> Valancy and Barney in The Blue Castle by L.M. Montgomery.
Albert is being a surprisingly useful wingman. No pun intended. Or every pun intended?
Lady B: That hardly counts. Her illness isn’t attached to the crisis that makes Barney confess his love.
I’m not going to argue that one. And I’m happy to know Lady B has read that book too.
Sabrina: Well, illness also is the reason many heroes and heroines are caught in compromising positions. Think of Raine and—
Albert: << Squawk! >> and Alyx in Velvet Song by Jude Deveraux
Who knew Albert was so well read?
Sabrina: Exactly! (To avoid spoilers I will not mention how the device is used in the plot.) Oh! And I cannot forget one of my favorites: Marianne and Colonel Brandon in Sense and Sensibility. Even though it isn’t to the letter of the book, I love the way that relationship is portrayed in the Ang Lee film adaptation.
(Start around the 4 minute mark.)
Lady B: (Glowering at me) That is all very well and good, Miss Darby. I certainly concede that illness can be an important element of a budding romance but nonetheless, I insist that you rest yourself. I will not have 1812 (Aha! We have a year for tonight.) be known as the year that all of London grew ill at a Beaufetheringstone ball.
So with many apologies and a very red-face (and red nose that I couldn’t quite conceal with powder), I’m off to bed. But I do think Albert would be happy to squawk a bit more about his favorite books. How about everyone else? Do you have a book you love that uses illness as a way to get the hero and heroine together?