Theme Suggestion for a “Historical Novel”

The rich and lavish households of history were not just a symbol of wealth, but also served as a hub for hospitality. This article delves into the world of guests who inhabited these grand estates, from local dignitaries to international celebrities. From medieval castles to Regency era house parties, discover how hospitality was a fundamental part of a wealthy household's social obligations and how guests played a crucial role in shaping society through the art of entertaining and being entertained.


Theme Suggestion for a “Historical Novel”

In the historical context, the concept of guests in large and wealthy households played a significant role in society. Hospitality was considered a major aspect of the social obligations of wealthy families, as travel was both expensive and time-consuming. As a result, it was expected that wealthy households would provide lodging for their friends and acquaintances who were traveling. This act of hospitality was also seen as a demonstration of one’s high status, as being able to accommodate a large number of guests was considered a marker of wealth and social standing.

For example, in the medieval era, castles and manor houses were often used to host guests and travelers. In Renaissance Italy, it was common for wealthy families to host artists, musicians, and scholars, many of whom would stay for extended periods of time. During the Regency era in England, the concept of “house parties” became popular, where wealthy families would invite guests to stay at their homes for several days, allowing for socializing and entertainment.

In addition to friends and family, large households were also expected to host a diverse range of guests, including government officials, artists, philosophers, traveling nobility, and other notable individuals. Refusal to do so could be seen as a snub and even an admission of poverty. This resulted in households often hosting a variety of guests at any given time, including friends, relatives, celebrities, dignitaries, con artists, and even miscellaneous weirdos.

In some cases, being an entertainingly weird guest was a career in and of itself, with individuals traveling from household to household, relying on their outlandish reputation to secure hospitality and staying until their welcome was worn out before moving on to their next host. For example, Giacomo Casanova, the famous 18th-century adventurer and writer, was known for relying on his charm and wit to secure hospitality from wealthy households across Europe.

In conclusion, the role of guests in large and wealthy households in history should not be overlooked in creative writing, especially if the story is set in a historical setting and focuses on domestic affairs. A little extra thought on the subject can add depth and nuance to the story, providing a richer and more accurate portrayal of the time period.

Writer | Lilith Ava Regina

Proofreading and editing | Noor Ali



  • “Medieval Castles.” Castles of the World,
  • “The Renaissance in Italy.” The Metropolitan Museum of Art,
  • “Regency Era.” The Regency Era,




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