After Napoleon’s defeat at Waterloo, well-heeled British citizens flocked to Europe. Having been restricted from Continental travel, they could now go where they wanted at will. Young men began taking Grand Tours, and young ladies were taken to Paris for the latest fashions.
However, the actual mechanics of travel were not as easy as many would have wished. The roads, not having been repaired from damage caused by years of war and neglect, were abysmal to travelers used to the well-maintained British toll roads. It was difficult to obtain good carriages and riding horses, so those who could afford these resources brought their own.
Travel from Calais to Paris generally took four to five days, making it necessary for travelers to have arrangements for overnight accommodations. Fortunately for them, Monsieur Charles-Augustin Meurice anticipated their needs. In 1815, the Le Chariot Royal was opened on rue Edmond Roche in Calais. Monsieur Meurice offered an English-speaking staff, rooms to fit most every need, parlors, and other amenities to assist travelers. He also opened the Hôtel Meurice in Paris, offering the same services. Both hotels are still in business.
Single gentlemen and others who could not afford private coaches and horses, or did not want to, could purchase seats on the French government-run “diligence,” their version of the British stagecoach. However, there were differences. The long-distance diligence had three passenger compartments and a covered seat for the coachmen. Baggage stored on the top was also covered. Compartments covered the inside walls to safely store books, small packages, and other items. The diligence was able to travel six to seven miles per hour, even laden with packages and people. The coaches could carry between fourteen and seventeen people, including seats on the top with the luggage. The diligence covered the major routes from Paris to other French cities and into Italy. The cost of a ticket was about a penny a mile, making fares extremely affordable.
As long as one did not suffer from mal de mer, or sea sickness, an easier way to travel to Europe’s major Atlantic and Mediterranean coastal cities was by ship. Ships departed frequently from Dover and down the coast to Portsmouth. It wasn’t at all unusual for a merchant ship to take passengers. Some still do.
Ella Quinn is the USA Today best-selling author of smart, spicy Regency romances, including The Worthingtons, The Marriage Game, and The Lords of Londonseries. Prior to writing romance, Ella Quinn was an adjunct professor, a lawyer, and the first woman to be assigned to a Green Beret unit. She is a member of Romance Writers of America and has extensively researched the Regency era, immersing her stories with the flavor and feel of the period so that readers lose themselves in the time. She and her husband currently live in Germany when they aren’t cruising the world on their sailboat. Visit her online at EllaQuinnAuthor.com.
USA Today best-selling author Ella Quinn’s bachelors in The Marriage Game series are charming and cunning when it comes to the ways of love—until the right woman captures their unsuspecting hearts.
Custom-made gowns, nights at the theater, and a host of eligible bachelors. Accustomed to living a quiet life in the Scottish Borderlands, Lady Serena Weir has never had any of these distractions. But when Serena’s brother demands she finally have a season in London, she’s thrust into a glamorous and enticing world.
Robert, Viscount Beaumont, remembers all too well what it feels like to be in love. That is why he must keep his distance from Serena. He’s only felt his pulse stir the way it does now when he made the mistake of loving the wrong woman once before. Yet the more he strives to resist his feelings, the nearer he is to falling under Serena’s seductive spell.