essex-companion Archives - Eloisa James

"A reigning queen of romance" - CBS Monday Morning

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Bookcode: essex-companion

What IS the Essex Sisters Companion Guide, exactly?

It’s a present for all my readers who loved the Essex Sisters—my series about four Scottish girls who find themselves orphaned and under the care of a drunken, rascally duke. But in reality, you don’t need to have read those books—or remember them—to enjoy this book.

Do you love history? The Companion includes essays about fashion, newspapers, gambling, theater and more.

Do you love my novellas? There’s a novella here that you can’t get elsewhere! “A Midsummer Night’s Disgrace” is pure pleasure in a small package—the story of a young lady who’s made up her mind to rebel!

Are you interested in how romance novels are constructed? I wrote a 100-page essay that traces this series from its very first idea right through editing, copyediting, making the cover, and more.

Are you curious what the first version of Kiss Me, Annabel looks like? Here, for the very first time, is a 140-page alternate ending to this popular novel. It’s the novel the way I initially constructed it—a passionate, darker version of the novel you can read in publication. Read them both and see which one you like best!

So, in short, the Companion is over 500 pages of fascinating fiction and history, the perfect gift for a writer, reader, or yourself!

A Glorious Table of Contents for the Essex Sisters Companion Guide

The Essex Sisters Companion includes not only Eloisa’s original notes about each book in the Essex Sister series and her Extra Chapters, but also a 140-page alternate ending to Kiss Me, Annabel. Eloisa discarded this shockingly different plot after writing one draft, and the published novel went in an entirely new direction. Also in the Companion: a new novella: “A Midsummer Night’s Disgrace,” a lot of wonderful insight into the fashion of the period, and so much more. What follows is the table of contents… doesn’t it look delicious?


Presenting the Essex Sisters Series, by Jody Gayle


The Boundaries of a Book, by Eloisa James

  • In the Beginning
  • On the Challenges of Writing
  • The Stages of Writing a Book
  • Notes for The Taming of the Duke
  • Notes for Pleasure for Pleasure
  • “On Marriages of Convenience, Arranged Marriages, Fake Marriages, and All Sorts of Delicious Marriages”
  • On Writing Sex … After the Eleventh Book
  • “When the Hero Puts on a Dress” by Anne N. Bornschein
  • The Place of Research in Writing Historical Romances
  • Editing a Manuscript
  • When the Manuscript Is Finished
  • The Taming of the Duke Bonus Chapter
  • Introduction to Essex Sisters Series Extra Content
  • “A Midsummer Night’s Disgrace,” A Brand-New Story in the Essex Sisters World
  • Essex Sisters Family Tree
  • A Final Chapter to the Essex Sisters Series
  • “A Heroine Whose Story Needs Telling” by Franzeca Drouin


The Essex Sisters and What They Wore: A Fashion Fairy Tale, by Jody Gayle

  • Vogue by Any Other Name
  • Ruffles, Ruffles, and Then Even More Ruffles!
  • “Regency Fashion Categories” by Candice Hern


Publications, by Jody Gayle

  • Debrett’s Peerage of England, Scotland, and Ireland
  • The Sporting Magazine
  • General Stud Book
  • Challenges and Gambling
  • Depicting Life in London, with the Help of La Belle Assemblée
  • Publications in Pleasure for Pleasure
  • Nocturnal Revels
  • Malefactors’ Bloody Register
  • One Last Thought on Publications …


Attending the Theatre, by Jody Gayle

  • Theatre Royal, Covent Garden
  • Theatre Royal, Drury Lane
  • Shakespeare, My Love
  • Pantomimes