Friday, 16 May 2014

Author Post and giveaway: Henriette Gyland

Today's guest is Henriette Gyland. Welcome!

THE MYTH OF THE HIGHWAYMAN

In fiction and in popular culture the highwayman is perceived as a romantic and glamorous figure. Mention the word “highwayman”, and everyone sees before them a cavalier-like person on a handsome horse, bursting forth from the thicket on a moonlit night and uttering the immortal command “stand and deliver!” 
He will be wearing the customary uniform of the highway robber: the cape, the tricorne hat, and the mask, and he will most likely be a gentleman by birth because he rides a horse, and horses are expensive. Only the most desperate of circumstances would have forced him to break the law. Perhaps he is a victim of an injustice perpetrated against his noble family, or a widower with five children to feed and clothe. He will rob his victims in a humorous and genteel manner, flirting with the ladies and not humiliating his male victims too much.

The reality was, of course, a lot less glamorous because these men were often violent bandits and sometimes murderers and rapists as well.

So why does the romance persist? Why did people write songs and ballads about highwaymen? Why do they feature in books and films as dashing heroes? No one wrote songs about common footpads and pickpocket – what we would call muggers today. Burglars, embezzlers and pimps are also beneath our contempt yet the highwayman remains elevated to an almost mythical status.

I think the explanation lies in our admiration for their daring, and their devil-may-care attitude. A lot could go wrong when holding up a carriage, and therefore it took courage. The horses could bolt if startled, potentially leading to injury to the robbers as well as the victims in the process. The coachman and his co-driver would likely be armed (and some passengers too), especially if the journey involved traversing a desolate area such as Hounslow Heath where The Highwayman’s Daughter is set. 18th century pistols only contained one shot, so the highwayman had to carry more than one as there would be no time to reload if he had to fire his pistol. 

There was also the chance of pursuit if other (armed) riders came upon the coach while the robbery was in progress, or it could even be a patrol of redcoats. And finally, there was the risk of disclosure or betrayal when the robber had to dispose of those stolen goods, which were not in ready coin.

You may ask why I have chosen to perpetuate the myth of the romantic highwayman in my book. The answer is that I did that precisely because it makes for a dashing hero and a gutsy heroine! What could be more appropriate in a work of romantic fiction?

Thanks!

And now to the Giveaway

1 copy of The highwayman's daughter

1. Open to all
2. Ends May 24th
3. Just enter


36 comments:

  1. Enter me please for this romantic book

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  2. This sounds intriguing. And I will confess being a big fan of Dick Turpin when I was a kid, although that might have been because I wanted his horse ;-)
    Please enter me in the giveaway :-)

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  3. It's very interesting that such a myth survives, when it's so very different from reality. But I love that sort of thing.

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  4. This story sounds wonderful - I really want to read it!

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  5. Excellent reason, Henri, and I look forward to reading the book :-)

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  6. I agree, there is always an aura of romance surrounding highwaymen - and musketeers! All good swashbuckling fun for us now and The Highwayman's Daughter is certainly that. I loved it :)

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  7. This book sounds interesting!
    Thanks for the chance and great post! :)

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  8. Looks interesting, sign me up!

    And what a great post topic. I suppose I never really got the romanticism behind the highwayman figure, but then again my experience with them is mostly in games where they're always ambushing me from the shadows and I have to put them down :\

    ~Mogsy

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  9. I would love to read this book, it sounds absolutely perfect!

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  10. Oh, awesome! Loving the cover and the sound of it. Highwayman..cool.

    Nina from j 'adore happy endings

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  11. What a fascinating myth. I had no idea. Thanks for sharing.

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  12. True, despite all the negativity and bashing social media enables sometimes, a lot of people still believe in redemption and humanizing the "villains"

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  13. Oooooh, this sounds interesting. Though I barely read romance :P
    Thanks for the great post!

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  14. I do like a good anti-hero and so nice to see that it is a woman this time. Oh and I love that cover! :)

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  15. I never get sick of reading about a dashing hero and a gusty heroine, so I'm excited to check this out!

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  16. I love Alfred Noyes' poem The Highwayman, and Loreena McKennitt's musical version. Romantic and tragic!

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  17. I also love the antihero and the "highwayman" is the perfect example! Thanks for sharing :)

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  18. I love this. It sounds really great. Thanks for the giveaway.
    fsteph55(at)yahoo(dot)com

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  19. I wouldn't want to meet any highwaymen, thank you very much.

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  20. Thank you for the post Henriette .)

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  21. Great post, I didn't know about the highwayman myth. The book sounds good!

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  22. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  23. Hm. I don't think I've ever read one with a highwayman as the hero. Maybe once long ago.

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  24. There is something romantic about "highwayman" rather than just violent thief. Great post thank you.

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  25. a must-read for me!!!!

    cyn209 at juno dot com

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  26. It sounds like an amazing romance. I would love to read it. Thanks for having the giveaway.

    ayancey1974(at)gmail(dot)com

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  27. would like to be entered as well. Thanks
    leah.labbe@gmail.com

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  28. I would love to win The Highway Man's Daughter.

    1dozenstars(at)gmail(dot)com

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  29. No need to enter me, but I love the concept of the "romantic" highwayman. Of course it helps the one of y favorite poems is "The Highwayman" by Alfred Noyes.

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  30. Thank you for the chance at winning this book. I love the cover and it looks like a great read. Have a great day!

    Muzzley56(at)aol(dot)com

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  31. Enter me please. :)
    The book looks awesome!

    eriel(underscore)ejvm(at)yahoo(dot)com

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  32. I LOVE Choc Lit publishers as they have such a fantastic range of AMAZING books!

    I am so excited about "The highwayman's daughter" and so would love to be entered for this brilliant book giveaway.

    My email is - lfountain1(at)hotmail(dot)co(dot)uk

    It sounds like an interesting and appealing read, especially as i am a hopeless romantic at heart! x

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  33. This book sounds so good! Please enter me in the giveaway :)

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  34. Hello ... I am really really interested, please enter me in the givaway!

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