The earl and the smuggling master

Devon coast at Seaton, England

Image from PhillipC (Phillip Capper): Retrieved from, and used according to a Creative Commons Attribution License

Yes, it’s time for a post about summer reading!  Recently I read The Dragon’s Bride, by Jo Beverley.

The story takes place on England’s Devon coast.  At the start the hero suddenly becomes an earl, while another character suddenly becomes leader of a smuggling group.  Since Regency romances take place in a world of hereditary titles, unexpected inheritance is a common theme in them.  We rarely see two unexpected heirs in the same story, though.  Now the leisure reading becomes a bridge to academic research.

What theories apply to accidental leadership?  I begin with a basic catalog search and find The Accidental Leader, by Harvey Robbins.  Perhaps Robbins (2004) cites some theoretical sources.  A JSTOR search brings up an article about succession (Abbott, 2005).  The Encyclopedia of Leadership would offer more ideas.

Ward (2006) encourages students to find research topics that engage them.  Why can’t our pleasure reading lead to meaningful research?  I close with a salute to USM’s Leadership & Organizational Studies program.


Abbott, P. (2005). Accidental presidents: Death, assassination, resignation, and democratic succession. Presidential Studies Quarterly, 35(4), 627–645. doi:10.2307/27552721

Beverley, J. (2001).  The dragon’s bride.  New York, NY: Signet.

Goethals, G. R., Sorenson, G. J., & Burns, J. M. (Eds.). (2004). The Encyclopedia of Leadership.  Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Robbins, H. (2004).  The accidental leader: What to do when you’re suddenly in charge.  San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

Ward, D. (2006). Revisioning information literacy for lifelong meaning. Journal of Academic Librarianship, 32(4), 396–402.