Cambridge Fellows speculation

Sooner or later I’ll get organized enough to write a review of Charlie Cochrane’s Cambridge Fellows mystery series. In fact, I started a reread of the series to date (four books) in order to do an overview of sorts. As I was reading, I was struck by the thought that given the setting (England, 1905-07), the HEA that Jonty and Orlando enjoy might not be so ever after.

This prompted some tweets about the effect of WWI on England, and then some introspection about war in fiction as an obstruction to the HEA. How is it that Regency-set romances don’t inspire this same sense of mourning or melancholy in me, or skepticism of the HEA? SarahF and maybe Bronwyn Parry pointed out that despite the continental campaigns and other wars that are so often the backdrop of Regencies, there was a certain isolation and safety because of the distance. That distance was erased in WWI by the advent of air travel.

That makes sense to me, but I can’t help feeling there’s more to it than that, at least in my head. Industrialization and mechanization feed into it, I suppose.

In any case, I was pleased to read today that Charlie Cochrane is contracted for three more books (for a total of seven) and has the ideas for an eighth book, set in 1919. It’s ridiculously reassuring to learn that Cochrane contemplates a life for Jonty and Orlando post-WWI, and presumably some sort of HEA in its aftermath.

ETA: After thinking about it, I realized that I’ve read very few genre romances or genre fiction with romance threads that are set between 1900 and 1945. In fact, the only one I could think of with positive feelings is Rilla of Ingleside, which made me cry in two places.

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2 responses to “Cambridge Fellows speculation

  1. This came up on a google alert and I couldn’t resist responding.
    For me, there’s such a sense of scale about WWI which outranks the Napoleonic wars. And, while there’s some analogies between being couped up on a ship for years blockading Brest or skirting the globe and being in the trenches, the horrors were more constant in 1915 than in 1805. (Trafalgar was few hours of carnage, paling into almost insignificane compared to the Somme.)
    Book eight is just in the ideas stage – I’m under significant pressure from eldest daughter to not let anything bad happen to ‘the lads’ during the Great war. She has plans for them doing cryptography or driving ambulances. We shall see…

    • Thank you for stopping by!
      “Sense of scale” — that is a good way to put it.
      As a reader, I wouldn’t expect “nothing bad” to happen to Jonty and Orlando during the Great War. I would hope that they would survive it, though, even if presented with obstacles or damage to overcome in the aftermath. Of course, the characters are yours to do with as you please 🙂

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