1730-1760 ca. Yellow Silk Embroidered Bag, Russian. From: Collection of Natalia de Shabelsky (1841-1905), Russian noblewoman preserving vanishing folk art traditions of her country. Traveling extensively throughout Great Russia, she collected textile art of wealthy peasant class. via Metropolitan Museum, NYC.
18th Century bags, or purses, were usually designed to hang from the waist or wrist to carry essential daily items on the person rather than making the long walk back through a castle or grand house to fetch things like coins, personal seals, toiletries or medicines.
Swain Cove, Cornwall, 1815. Times are hard, and the only way to make a coin for many soldiers returning from fighting Napoleon on the continent is a little light smuggling. It’s a victimless crime, more or less, and everyone’s in on it in the village of Swain Cove. Enjoy these sexy Regency romances full of daring and adventure, and satisfying happy endings.
My book in this anthology is ‘Smuggling To Survive’.
Captain Trent Watkins is a returned soldier now reluctantly running the small farm where his mother and two step siblings live in genteel poverty. Bernadette, or Bernie, is Trent’s 25 year old neighbor living with her aging Aunt Gladys and three siblings and are in the same situation as Trent’s family. They manage in a small house and do what they can to supplement their meagre income.Aunt Gladys and Bernadette are bone setters and healers, while Jennifer does beautiful sewing which is sold in shops in the larger towns.
Both families became involved in the village occupation of smuggling in order to survive during the long years when Britain fought wars on the continent and there was a shortage of able bodied men left in the villages. Desperately needing the income from smuggling, women, children and older men became involved in moving illegal goods, such as brandy, tea and sugar, from boats that land on the beaches in the dead of night onto wagons headed for London and other large towns.