GRETNA GREEN by Stephanie Laurens
Everyone knows that couples in Regency England eloped to Gretna Green to marry – but why Gretna Green?
Because in 1753, a law was passed in England stipulating that if a bride or groom was less than 21 years old, they needed parental approval to marry, but in Scotland the law remained as it had been, so there a boy of 14 and a girl of 12 could marry without parental consent. Consequently, any youthful English bride or groom who wished to marry without parental consent fled to Scotland – and the village of Gretna Green is the first village over the border, approximately 6 miles farther on from the border north of Carlisle. Other Scottish border villages, such as Coldstream Bridge, Lamberton, and Paxton Toll, were used by eloping couples, but Gretna Green was the most favored elopement destination.
Where in Gretna Green were the ceremonies most often conducted?
Because Scottish law allowed “irregular marriages” in which a declaration made before two witnesses constituted a legal wedding, almost anyone could conduct a wedding ceremony. In Gretna Green, as in the other border towns, surrounded as they were by farms with most local people working in the fields, the one certain place to find two people at any time of day were the blacksmiths’ shops. In those times, most villages boasted at least one. In Gretna Green there were two – Gretna Hall Blacksmith’s Shop (founded 1710) and the Old Blacksmith’s Shop (built around 1712). Consequently, wedding ceremonies were often conducted over the blacksmith’s anvil, and the blacksmith and the anvil became the symbols of such runaway weddings. Indeed, the blacksmiths in Gretna were referred to as “anvil priests.” In addition to the blacksmiths’ shops, certain inns, and even some private cottages, became frequent wedding venues, but it’s the blacksmith and his anvil that remain most closely associated with eloping couples marrying at Gretna Green.
You are cordially invited to the wedding of Miss Heather Cynster
…but not before she encounters kidnappers, danger, and a daring rescue at the hands of Viscount Breckenridge.
Determined to hunt down her very own hero, one who will sweep her off her feet and into wedded bliss, and despairing of finding him in London’s staid ballrooms, Heather Cynster steps out of her safe world and boldly attends a racy soiree.
But her promising hunt is ruined by the supremely interfering Viscount Breckenridge, who whisks her out of scandal-and straight into danger when a mysterious enemy seizes her, bundles her into a coach, and conveys her out of London.
Now it’s up to the notorious Breckenridge to prove himself the hero she’s been searching for all along…
A portion of the proceeds from the sale of this book and others (up to $25,000) will be donated to the Ovarian Cancer National Alliance.
August 2: REVIEW Book Junkie
August 3: GUEST BLOG Reading Romances
August 4: REVIEW What Book Is That
August 5: INTERVIEW Tracy’s Treasure of Books
August 9: INTERVIEW Book Junkie
August 10: REVIEW Songs and Stories
August 11: REVIEW Books Like Breathing
August 12: REVIEW A Chick Who Reads
August 15: INTERVIEW Books Like Breathing
August 16: INTERVIEW Laurie’s Thoughts and Reviews
August 17: REVIEW Words of Wisdom from the Scarf Princess
August 18: REVIEW Romancing the Book
August 19: INTERVIEW Lisa Haselton’s News and Reviews
August 22: REVIEW Just One More Paragraph
August 23: REVIEW Oodles of Books
August 24: REVIEW Among the Muses
→August 25: REVIEW Reading Romances
August 26: REVIEW Tracy’s Treasure of Books
August 29: REVIEW Reviews by Molly
August 30: REVIEW News and Reviews from the Heart of the Dragon’s Den
Stephanie and Avon / HarperCollins will be giving away a $100 Amazon.com gift certificate to one randomly drawn commenter during the course of the tour AND all commenters will have the chance to win one of four autographed sets of Stephanie Lauren’s backlist from Avon.