How did your interest in your own family history spark your interest in history? Does it play any role in your stories, and do you think it shaped your interest in writing?
This one also takes me back to my grandfather. He often talked (rattled on) about our family history. Only when I inherited the work he had done on it did I wish that I had listened more carefully to it. Since my paternal ancestors came here from Scotland and Wales, and the original one—Scotts right down to Granddad—were lawyers, I learned a lot about the value of law and order, and that theme definitely resonates throughout my books. What is legal? What is right? Are they compatible or not? So, it definitely sparked my interest in writing, and I have used more than one incident my grandfather described for me in my books.
My great-great-grandfather, Walter Ferguson Scott, married Elizabeth Rice Jones, the daughter of Welshman John Rice Jones, who was born in Mallwyd, Merionethshire, Wales in 1759, lived on The Strand in London in 1783, and left Britain for Philadelphia in 1784. He is said to have been the first lawyer west of the Mississippi and to have known Ben Franklin in Philly, but I have found only anecdotal blips about that.
In 1786, he joined the army of George Rogers Clark and eventually became Commissary General of his Vincennes Garrison. John Rice Jones—he always signed his full name, bless him—had studied law at Oxford and helped many people, primarily Native Americans, who ran afoul of a host of laws that were, needless to say, new and hitherto unknown to them.
While I was researching material for The Rose at Twilight (the hero of which is a Welshman, Nick Merion), I stayed in Brecon, Wales, with the woman who found John Rice Jones’s marriage license for me at Brecon Cathedral. I had written to ask if they had it, and the bishop turned my letter over to her. When I told her that I wanted my hero to come from Wales and was thinking of visiting the north of Wales, she said, “You can’t get there from just anywhere; you’d do better to come and stay with me.” So I did, and one of the things she had arranged by the time I got there was a visit to Mallwyd (pronounced Ma-THOO-wyd). Our guide was a history teacher from the high school in Brecon, and she took us to a place where three roads come together. There was lots of grass and hills, and sheep, and one large building that had been an inn at the time of Richard III (1485). It was now an apartment house of sorts. We also went into the church, and the baptismal font was dated 1758, the year before John Rice Jones was born and baptized there. Very cool, and one of the true perks of the research I’ve done that connects in any way with my family-history research.
Just a couple of additional, related notes: The City of London Archivist found John Rice Jones’s parents’ marriage for me at St. George’s, Hanover Square, the church that figures in so many Regency novels.
And . . . remember the bishop I wrote to about the marriage information? When I needed a Welsh epithet for my hero to exclaim when the heroine sent him into orbit, I asked my friend in Brecon, delightfully named Olive Bacon, and Olive wrote back to say that since she knew none in Welsh, she had asked the bishop for an example or two. She included them, and I used one of them, which meant “By the bones of St. David.” That bishop, whom I had met and chatted with several times during my stay, shortly afterward became Archbishop of Wales.
The first book in Amanda Scott’s acclaimed Dangerous series journeys from the battlefields of Waterloo to the ballrooms and boudoirs of London, where a deadly deception unfolds . . .
Engaged by proxy to a man she’s never met, Lady Daintry Tarrant is dismayed when the war hero returns, introducing himself as her fiancé, Lord Penthorpe. She cherishes her independence and has turned away many suitors, but this one she must marry. Penthorpe is completely captivated by Lady Daintry—but he’s not who he claims to be.
Penthorpe and Lord Gideon Deverill fought together at the battle of Waterloo, and when Penthorpe fell, Gideon assumed his identity in order to see the beautiful Lady Daintry. Gideon knows there’s bad blood between Lady Daintry’s family and his own, but he’s smitten with Daintry and determined to reunite the bitterly feuding clans. When a ghost from Gideon’s past appears, he could lose everything—including Daintry’s love.
Set in treacherous sixteenth-century Scotland, the first volume of Amanda Scott’s Border Trilogy tells the unforgettable story of a woman sworn to defy the knight she is forced to wed—only to discover a love she’ll do anything to claim
As Mary, Queen of Scots, languishes in the Tower of London as a prisoner of her cousin, Queen Elizabeth, war tears Scotland apart. To save her beloved homeland, a proud Highland beauty named Mary Kate MacPherson must wage her own battle when she’s forced into wedlock with a knight, Sir Adam Douglas, from the barbaric borderland of Tornary.
Even as she succumbs to her seductive husband’s sensual demands, Mary Kate vows never to give him her heart. She will belong to no man. But Adam burns with something deeper than desire. Sworn to carry out a long-awaited revenge, he won’t rest until he has vanquished his enemies. Accused of treason, the last thing he expects is to lose his heart to the woman he’s determined to tame but never to love: his own wife.
Forbidden passion has never been more dangerous—or more irresistible—in the first novel of bestselling author Amanda Scott’s spellbinding Highland series
Scotland, 1750. In the aftermath of the Jacobite rebellion, Maggie MacDrumin vows to keep fighting to liberate her people. But the intrepid Scotswoman is risking her life for a dangerous cause. When her latest mission lands her in a London courtroom on a trumped-up larceny charge, she has only one hope of survival. Enlisting the aid of Edward Carsley, the powerful fourth Earl of Rothwell, is a two-edged sword. The seductive aristocrat who awakens treacherous desire is her clan’s mortal enemy—a man she can never trust.
Edward will do whatever it takes to quell another bloody uprising. But how can he fight his passion for the rebellious Highland beauty in his safekeeping? As their lives come under siege, Maggie lays claim to the one thing Edward vowed never to surrender: his heart.
Review Blurbs/Praise for Author
A fourth-generation Californian of Scottish descent, Amanda Scott is the author of more than fifty romantic novels, many of which appeared on the USA Today bestseller list. Her Scottish heritage and love of history (she received undergraduate and graduate degrees in history at Mills College and California State University, San Jose, respectively) inspired her to write historical fiction. Credited by Library Journal with starting the Scottish romance subgenre, Scott has also won acclaim for her sparkling Regency romances. She is the recipient of the Romance Writers of America’s RITA Award (for Lord Abberley’s Nemesis, 1986) and the RT Book Reviews Career Achievement Award. She lives in central California with her husband.
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