Word of the day: Ignoble

A useful word for a writer of historical romance, as there’s often a great deal of play as to what constitutes noble behavior among our characters.Graphic: "ignoble" and its definition, via Merriam-Webster

It came in handy, in fact, while writing You May Kiss the Bride. The day after my hero, Gabriel Penhallow, has been forced into agreeing to marry my heroine Livia, he dutifully calls upon her uncle to codify the arrangement. Still smarting at this unexpected turn of events, he declines her uncle’s offer to summon Livia downstairs:

It would give Miss Livia Stuart her own little taste of the Penhallow way.

He knew it was petty, yet still it gave him a small sense of control in a situation which had spun wildly into chaos. “You may inform Miss Stuart that we’ll come for her tomorrow morning. We go to Bath, where she is to reside with my grandmother and be taught all that she needs to know to properly enter Society as the future Mrs. Penhallow. And you need not worry, sir,” Gabriel concluded with a slight, ironic smile. “The proprieties are to be observed. Naturally I shall be elsewhere.”

And with that, conscious of an ignoble feeling of triumph as he pictured Livia Stuart’s mortification (having put on her best day-dress, no doubt, and carefully done up her hair), he returned to the Glanville mansion, where it would have been difficult to imagine a scene of greater awkwardness.

This snippet appears in Chapter 4, but if you like, you can read all of Chapter 1 here.

 

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