Critically acclaimed historical romance author Rosemary Morris loves to research and visit places of historical interest in order to convey the lives and times of the characters in her novels. When she’s not writing or spending time with family and friends, you can find her in her organic garden in South East England where she grows her own herbs, fruit and vegetables. Learn more about Rosemary and her books at her website.
I enjoyed plotting and planning Far Beyond Rubies, my romantic historical novel set in England during the reign of Queen Anne Stuart, 1702-1714. Amongst other things, Far Beyond Rubies was inspired by ancient Indian epics, such as the Mahabharat and the Ramayan, that rival, and in my opinion surpass, the Greek classics. My interest in them led to a four-year retreat in an ashram, where I studied A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada’s translation and commentary on The Bhagavad Gita, also known as The Gita Govinda, The Song of God.
For a long time, I wanted to write a novel with a hero influenced by his experiences in India, where he was employed by the East India Company. So, another source of inspiration was William Dalyrymple’s acclaimed nonfiction, White Mughals, “…the romantic and ultimately tragic tale of a passionate love affair that crossed and transcended all the cultural, religious and political boundaries of its time. “
The hero, Gervaise, and the heroine, Juliana, whose tale would not end in tragedy, introduced themselves to me as though they were flesh and blood, not figments of my imagination. I understood that when Gervaise saw Juliana for the first time, he sensed the love they had once shared, but never before had he thought the Hindu belief in reincarnation was worthy of consideration.
I asked myself, what effect Gervaise had on Juliana, whose half-brother declared her parents were not married, and that he had inherited Riverside, a great estate?
From the time Juliana met Gervaise and he became her champion, she liked him but could not foresee the future.
Far Beyond Rubies
Set in 1706 during Queen Anne Stuart’s reign, Far Beyond Rubies begins when William, Baron Kemp, Juliana’s half-brother claims she and her young sister, Henrietta, are bastards. Spirited Juliana is determined to prove the allegation is false, and that she is the rightful heiress to Riverside, a great estate.
On his way to deliver a letter to William, Gervaise Seymour sees Juliana for the first time on the grounds of her family estate. The sight of her draws him back to India. When “her form changed to one he knew intimately – but not in this lifetime,” Gervaise knows he would do everything in his power to protect her.
Although Juliana and Gervaise are attracted to each other, they have not been formally introduced and assume they will never meet again. However, when Juliana flees from home, and is on her way to London, she encounters quixotic Gervaise at an inn. Circumstances force Juliana to accept his kind help. After Juliana’s life becomes irrevocably tangled with his, she discovers all is not as it seems. Yet, she cannot believe ill of him for, despite his exotic background, he behaves with scrupulous propriety while trying to help her find evidence to prove she and her sister are legitimate.