BY GINA DANNA
In The Wicked Bargain, Arabella Covington spent her youth following her father, a country physician, to his visits and helped him treat his patients. She learned medicine through this, like an apprentice. With this knowledge, she wants to be able to help the sick and wounded but she can’t. At this time period, early 1800s, women were only allowed to be midwives and nothing more.
Arabella, coming to London, quickly found her training meant nothing. Or did it?
Medicine at this time was an evolving science. In the mid 17th century, medicine was lumped with alchemy. Science had yet to emerge as fact over magic strangely enough. To be taught cures and how to treat patients, many also learned incantations and the latest way to turn wood into gold. As time turned, medicine pulled out of the dark ages and into a science, however limited the knowledge base was in the field. Many methods were lost during the Dark Ages when western civilization backtracked from what had been learned during the Ancient times, through the Romans and Egyptians. But during the late 18th century, science extracted itself from the idea of prayer for a cure to something more viable. Men pursued this career, not women. Women remained steadfast as midwives, knowing the workings of a woman’s reproductive cycle.
Yet does that mean women couldn’t handle medical knowledge to treat men and women? No, wives were often the healer of the family. The trend that continued to the Victorian era was that the injured or sick did better if they stayed at home and were tended in a loving atmosphere. In other words, nursed by their mother or wife. Wives handled everything from fevers to illness to wounds from farming, hunting, war and even everyday living.
Yet, it was truly believed that women could not handle severe wounds or illnesses. Really? I think not…
This is the world Arabella must deal with. Her training goes further than a midwife, able to treat men as well as women and children. No doubt her frustration is palatable. To find Ethan’s place and the ability to help Mary must have made her thrilled to be able to help.
Little did she know, the man who broke societal rules to hire her medical services for his ladies and would himself desperately need her aid, would show her a world she didn’t know. Nor did she realize her greatest talent would be in his redemption.
Born in St. Louis, Missouri, Gina Danna has spent the better part of her life reading. History has been her love and she spent numerous hours devouring historical romance stories, dreaming of writing one of her own. Years later, after receiving undergraduate and graduate degrees in History, writing academic research papers and writing for museum programs and events, she finally found the time to write her own stories of historical romantic fiction.
Now, under the supervision of her three dogs and three cats, she writes amid a library of research books, with her only true break away is to spend time with her other life long dream – her Arabian horse – with him, her muse can play.