Katherine Givens: Regency Masquerade: The Sinner’s Temptation

Regency Masquerade: The Sinner’s Temptation

by Katherine Givens

Unescorted women disguised in a domino, a mask to disguise their identity to protect their reputation. Rogues scouting the crowd of Marie Antoinettes and Grecian goddesses for their next target. Dandified fops, bucks, and ladybirds mingle with one another as the music lilts in this raucous setting certain to fatigue the most righteous of society’s Grande Dames.


A Masquerade at the Pantheon on Oxford Street in London.
Dated 1809, Wikimedia Commons.

A masquerade is always the setting for interludes and intrigue in regency romances. A masquerade plays a central role in my debut novella, In Her Dreams. And why not? The backdrop masked balls provide are absolute fun to envision while writing, and the history is just as interesting!

Masquerades originated in Italy and flourished on the European continent during the Renaissance era. However, masquerades were not introduced to London until 1708 by a Swiss dandy named John James Heidegger. The masked balls slowly gained popularity in the following decades. The stylized masks, gowns, and costumes allowed for the ton to be freed from society’s constraints in an intimate setting where rendezvouses were possible. Venues such as Vauxhall Gardens hosted masquerades, and the reputation of Vauxhall was already in question.

Masquerade at the King’s Theatre in Haymarket.  Dated 1724, Wikimedia Commons.

Masquerade at the King’s Theatre in Haymarket.
Dated 1724, Wikimedia Commons.

These functions gained the disdain of society in the Regency era. Movements against the immorality and sin attached to the masquerade tried to end the popularity. Activists behind this movement accused “foreign influence” as the reason behind its corruption, but the movements had little effect. The masquerade thrived well through the Victorian era. And thank goodness, for it gives me a fun playground to have my characters romp around in!

About In Her Dreams

A flirty, fun, mix-and-match romance about two sisters who are betrothed to the wrong men…

Givens3Evangeline Vernon is a woman on the verge of spinsterhood — until the prim and proper Duke of Manchester steps in. Her family is pleased with the match, but the duke is not the passionate man Evangeline craves. Her heart belongs to an alluring, golden-haired gentleman, perfect in every way…except one: he doesn’t exist.

Angela Vernon is everything a proper, well-brought-up woman should be. She knows her place and understands society’s expectations — which include not being jealous of her sister and not coveting her sister’s suitor. But how can she bear the heartache of watching the only man she loves marry not only her sister, but a woman who doesn’t see past his exterior to the man he is beneath?



About the Author

Katherine Givens is a museum employee with a secret. Few know the truth of her greatest passion, but those closest to her know she loves to write historical romances… Alright, maybe more than a few people know she is a writer. Anyone who will listen to her can glean this from a conversation.

Givens4So, Katherine Givens is a museum employee who wishes she had a devilish secret or a jaw-dropping double life, but the characters in her manuscripts often do. From the withdrawn duke mesmerized by his quiet maid or the savage viking eager to ravish a Christian girl, her heroes are always bound to have a secret or two. It is often up to the headstrong heroine to unravel the mysteries surrounding the man that has captured her heart.

Katherine is a member of the Romance Writers of America and Romance Writers of America PRO. She has two novellas, one already released and another upcoming.  In Her Dreams (Harlequin Australia’s Escape Publishing) was released October 1, 2013. much to her delight! Love Amidst the Egyptian Sands (Red Sage Publishing) will be released on January 1, 2015. Her short stories and poetry have been published in various magazines, including The Copperfield Review, Tipton Poetry Journal, Nazar Look, and WestWard Quarterly.


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