Celebrating the Release of Mr. Darcy’s Bet with an Excerpt + a Giveaway

Today, I celebrate the birth of my 48th book baby. 48!!!! The idea shocks me!!! I will be at 50 by the end of this calendar year, with the release of The Heartless Earl in October and “Last Woman Standing” in December. 

 

Mr. Darcy’s Bet: A Pride and Prejudice Vagary is a story which came to me one night in my sleep. I had been thinking all day (outside weeding flower beds, where I do some of my best thinking) of how Elizabeth must have felt when moving into Mr. Darcy’s world. After all, Mrs. Bennet was not the best example of the mistress of an estate, nor of the wife of a man of the landed gentry. Despite her remarks to the contrary to Lady Catherine, surely Elizabeth held doubts about whether finally to accept Mr. Darcy, if the gentleman renewed his proposal. How would she serve as Pemberley’s mistress? It would take more than her bravado to see her through what she might encounter there. What of his relations? Obviously, Lady Catherine would never accept her, but what of his mother’s brother, whom most of us who write JAFF refer to as Lord Matlock? That concept became the base of this story. 

This story begins on Jane and Bingley’s wedding day. I am certain some of you have read part of this excerpt on Austen Authors, but I have added a new scene to the mix. Enjoy!

Leave a comment to be part of the giveaway of 2eBook version of Mr. Darcy’s Bet. The giveaway will end at midnight, EDST, Friday, September 27. 

Book Blurb: 

“Our doubts are traitors and make us lose the good we oft might win, by fearing to attempt.” – Act 1, Sc. 4, William Shakespeare’s Measure for Measure

FITZWILLIAM DARCY has done everything within his power to prove his devotion to ELIZABETH BENNET. He believes they are so close to knowing happiness; however, when his aunt, Lady Catherine de Bourgh, accosts Elizabeth with predictions of Elizabeth never being able to fit in with his social connections, everything changed. Although the lady sent his aunt packing with words to the contrary, a bit of doubt has slipped under Elizabeth’s shield of confidence, and she again refuses his hand in marriage, this time to protect him from the gossiping beau monde.

Therefore, Darcy has taken a leap of faith, he has proposed to her before the congregation gathered for the marriage of Elizabeth’s sister and his friend Bingley. A public proposal from which he cannot legally or morally withdraw, one only Elizabeth Bennet can refuse. He bets he can win not only her heart this time, but also her consent. With the assistance of her family and his, a plan is put into motion to prove Elizabeth Bennet, not only worthy of his attentions, but also the only one he should consider marrying.

Excerpt:

He glanced up from his musings to view the woman whose image haunted his dreams coming toward him, and his heart sang its song of love and devotion. “Is it time?” he asked when she took her place beside him, for they were to stand up with Bingley and Miss Bennet during the ceremony.

“Mama agrees, so here I am,” she said with a grin. “In truth, I assume she means to present Jane the talk regarding what to expect on the wedding night. Mrs. Bennet does not know Mrs. Gardiner has already spoken to each of us.”

Darcy grinned. Whether the lady realized it or not, Elizabeth Bennet considered him one of her closest confidants, for she spoke to him on a level not afforded “indifferent” acquaintances. “May I say you look lovely?” he whispered.

Her brows drew together in disapproval. “Your tone says you would place an addendum to the compliment.”

He hesitated before answering. “If such were possible, I believe you would be more lovely if you were wearing jewels in your hair, rather than the flowers.”

A sound at the rear of the church drew everyone’s attention—everyone’s but his. From the corner of his eye, Darcy noted Mrs. Bennet scampering up the aisle to assume a place on the front pew. Miss Bennet paused at the head of the aisle, the lady’s attention on Bingley as Jane Bennet approached them.

“Is she not beautiful?” Elizabeth murmured.

Darcy’s eyes, however, remained on Elizabeth. “Not as exquisite as you,” he said in hushed tones.

She glanced up at him, displeasure crossing her expression.

Yet, before she could react, Darcy took the ultimate leap of faith. “When we marry, would you prefer a large wedding or a more private affair?”

“Neither,” she hissed. Embarrassment, or perhaps it was anger, colored her cheeks.

“You would prefer one comparable to the future Mrs. Bingley?” he asked in what he hoped sounded of innocence. Convincing Elizabeth to agree with him would take all his skills at negotiation.

“We are not marrying, large, small, or—” Her voice increased in volume with each denial. “Or—”

“Or would you prefer to leave for Gretna Green? Is a marriage over the anvil more to your liking?”

“Enough, Mr. Darcy!” she exclaimed in a voice and tone rarely used in a church.

“Elizabeth Bennet!” her mother warned from her position on the pew. “This is not your day.”

Elizabeth nodded her apologies, but Darcy ignored everyone but the woman he loved. “Autumn has already made itself known. If you hold no objections, I would prefer we pronounced our vows before Christmastide. You have not lived until you celebrate a Christmas and Twelfth Night at Pemberley.”

She spun around to face him. Pointing her finger at him, as if he was a misbehaving child, she enunciated each of her words slowly. “I once told you I would not marry you even if you were the last man in the world.”

“But we both know you did not mean those words. You have had a change of heart. No absolutes!”

“I am not marrying you, sir,” she growled.

Darcy thought her adorable when she was so angry she had lost her ability to reason. “Never? Let us ask your mother,” he said with a smile.

“You would not dare.” Elizabeth no longer spoke in soft tones.

“Before I do, answer me this: Are you set against me? Completely set against me?”

“Not if we were the last two people on earth,” she said with a stomp of her foot to emphasize her irritation.

“We would require at least one more person,” he continued logically. “To witness the joining.” He thought it exhilarating to watch the passion flowing through his Elizabeth when she was angry. Just imagine how it will be when we are alone together, he cautioned his heart. “Simply explain what obstacles remain to prevent us from marrying.”

She shot a glance to the congregation, who was watching their interactions with great interest. Darcy refused to look, knowing his daring would die if he encountered a scowl upon her father’s face or those of her neighbors. “You know my reasons without my pronouncing them aloud.”

Off to the side, he heard Miss Bingley announce, “I knew the chit did not have the brains of a sluggard.”

“Mr. Bennet,” Darcy called out; yet, his eyes remained on Elizabeth. “Do I have your permission to marry Miss Elizabeth?”

Her father’s voice held his amusement. “As I said, son, you must convince Lizzy on your own.”

“Understood, sir. But you hold no objections?”

“Not if Elizabeth is happy.”

Mrs. Bennet shot to her feet, finally comprehending what was happening. “Elizabeth Bennet, you present Mr. Darcy your assent this very moment.”

Bingley stepped up beside him. “In case neither of you have noticed, this is my and Miss Bennet’s wedding day, not a battlefield.”

“All this is Mr. Darcy’s fault,” Elizabeth accused, refusing to abandon her anger.

Bingley growled, “I do not care for faults. All I care about is my Jane and our pronouncing our vows. I swear one more interruption, and I will personally escort you both outside.”

“I apologize, Bingley,” Darcy said in contrition.

“I will be silent,” Elizabeth said obediently.

Darcy listened in as Bingley leaned closer to speak to Elizabeth without an audience. “You do know something of Darcy’s dogged determination once he sets his mind to a task. It might be best if you offered your consent now. It would please both Jane and me to see the two of you happy.”

Darcy noted how Elizabeth stiffened in denial. “I am determined I will not marry him. No matter how may proposals he issues, I shall not be moved. In fact, some find ‘my’ stubbornness endearing.”

“My money is on Mr. Darcy,” Colonel Forster called out.

“Then you will lose, Colonel,” Elizabeth declared adamantly. “I remain unmoved.”

Sir William announced, “Those who wish to place a bet, see me outside after the ceremony. For now, Mr. Bingley wishes to claim his bride.”

Before the focus switched away from him and Elizabeth, Darcy called to the man, “Put me down for fifty pounds. Before this is over, Miss Elizabeth will change her mind. She will accept my proposal. I mean to prove I possess more resolve than does Miss Elizabeth.”

***


“You coxcomb!” she growled when Darcy finally cornered her in the churchyard. “Do you have any idea how miserable you have made my life? My mother will not rest until she browbeats me into accepting your proposal,” Elizabeth hissed.

Darcy caught her elbow and directed her steps further from those still gossiping about the spectacle he had caused. He still could not quite believe he had acted so boldly—the man who had always preferred the outside rim of a crowded ballroom had strode to the center of the floor for all to observe his most vulnerable moments. She jerked her arm from his hold, drawing his attention back to the exhibition he had created. Despite his qualms over how things had turned out, a grin still marked his lips.

With a sigh of resignation, he schooled his countenance and suggested, “You could change Mrs. Bennet’s dudgeon to elation by accepting my proposal now.”

“N—O—T ever a possibility,” she growled in elongated syllables.

“Are you so set against me?” he demanded. “What happened to the vibrant Elizabeth Bennet I knew in Derbyshire?”

“Life,” she said, her shoulders dropping in obvious defeat. “Reality. Lady Catherine. Lydia. Mr. Wickham. Miss Darcy. They all happened.” She looked up at him, tears forming in her eyes. “I am begging you to leave me in Hertfordshire. Return to Derbyshire and your life.”

Holding himself stiff so as not to reach for her, he whispered. “A life without you would be a shadow of what God intended for either of us.”

Her bottom lip trembled when she responded, “Is it your wish to force me into a marriage not of my choosing?”

“You know it is not. I hold you in great affection, and I had hoped—” Her tears, just as they had at the inn in Hunsford when she had received word of Miss Lydia’s elopement with Mr. Wickham, were like a fist to his midsection, only this time, he had proven to be the source of her misery. Darcy took a step back, placing distance between them. “If such is your true desire, I will leave Meryton immediately.”

She glanced about in bewilderment. “You mean tomorrow, do you not? You cannot think to leave today. We hold obligations to Mr. Bingley and Jane. The wedding breakfast. People will expect us both there. If you are absent, the guests will assume I sent you away.”

“Which is exactly what you are doing,” he insisted.

“But—” she began.

“You cannot have it both ways. You asked me to leave, and I have agreed to do so. Now, you insist I stay. I must assume you wish me to shoulder my share of the blame for interrupting your sister’s marriage. Or do you have another motive? Do you mean to ring a pell over my head before your neighbors and friends to demonstrate your indifference to me? If such is so, my leaving will prove your denials equally as well and without either of us facing further embarrassment. Permit me a bit of dignity. Your adamant rejection will indicate your triumph.”

“What of Mr. Bingley?” she protested.

“My friend will have nothing but his new wife on his mind,” Darcy argued. “He will offer a mild denial and then return to his elation. Moreover, your declaration of your disgust for me will embolden Miss Bingley. I shan’t chance her taking it in her head I am now vulnerable to her charms simply to satisfy your pride. If I must choose another, then the woman will be someone to my liking.” He presented her a brief bow. “If you will pardon me, I will make my excuses to Bingley. Please know I wish you all the happiness life has in store for you.”

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Posted in Austen Authors, eBooks, Georgian England, Georgian Era, giveaway, Living in the Regency, Pride and Prejudice, publishing, Regency romance, Vagary, writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 18 Comments

Did Lady Bertram Suffer from a Thyroid Condition? a Guest Post from Eliza Shearer

This post originally appeared on Austen Authors on July 23, 2019. Enjoy!

Mansfield Park’s Lady Bertram is the epitome of laziness and indolence. Her favourite activity is sitting on her favourite sofa, with a piece of sewing on her lap and pug at her feet.

Jane Austen’s character is wonderfully well depicted. But as a writer, I like to ask questions, and mine in her case was: what if her laziness, which everyone took for a personality trait, was, in reality, a health issue?

Laziness or Tiredness?

Mansfield Park has been on my mind a lot of late. My new Austeniana book, Miss Price’s Choice, begins in the home of the Bertrams about five years after the elopement of Mrs Rushworth. The protagonist is Susan Price, Fanny’s spirited little sister, who becomes Lady Bertram’s companion when Fanny marries Edmund.

Writing Austen-inspired fiction involves re-reading Austen in no small degree. This time, as I was listening to Karen Savage’s excellent audiobook version, something hit me. I realised that Lady Bertram may well have a thyroid condition.

The thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland that sits in our necks, wrapped around the base of our throat. It is small but mighty and is responsible for much of the body’s metabolism. When it does not work well, the consequences are severe. In hyperthyroidism, the body speeds up and goes too fast. In hypothyroidism, everything slows down, and the sufferer is in a permanent state of exhaustion.

A Personal Experience of Hypothyroidism

My thyroid began to misbehave in my twenties. My thyroid was underperforming. I had dry skin, and I was always cold. Unbeknownst to me, I also had a swollen neck (or goitre), although it was only discernible to those with medical knowledge. Above all, I was tired all the time.

I began to wonder if Lady Bertram might not have been tired instead of lazy. She often naps during the day, and that is certainly something I wanted to do all the time before I was diagnosed. Lady Bertram is not fat, but neither was I: although weight increase is typical in hyperthyroidism, I did not experience it. She is also the age at which many women experience thyroid issues. A story began to form in my head.

Lady Bertram’s Possible Thyroid Problem

Hypothyroidism is slow to develop. The changes to the body happen so slowly that they are difficult to notice. The person affected and her loved ones do not immediately realise that something is wrong.

Lady Bertram had a lethargic disposition, so a thyroid problem may well go unnoticed for some time. It would take a while for her loved ones to notice the tiredness and foggy brain. Perhaps they would not worry until other symptoms like the dry skin or the bulging eyes made an appearance.

At that point, a loving husband like Sir Thomas would surely take decisive action. But what remedies would have been available to Lady Bertram?

New and Old Solutions for Goitre

Once I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism, I began to take synthetic thyroxine. The difference in my energy levels took a few weeks, but the change was striking. After a while, my thyroid was working well again. Going for long walks, keeping focused or having a late night was no longer a struggle.

Of course, synthetic thyroxine was not available during the Regency, but there were medical treatments for the condition. Iodine, an element essential for the thyroid gland to function, was discovered in 1811 in France. Bernard Coindet, a pioneering Swiss doctor, began to use it as a tincture to treat his patients soon afterwards.

However, remedies for goitre had long existed. Seaweed and kelp, naturally rich in iodine, were used in ancient China and Central and South America to treat goitre issues. Word of such treatments probably made its way to Europe in the Middle Ages, and eventually, England as well.

The Coventry Remedy

The famed “Coventry remedy”, first written about by Thomas Warton in 1656, was a tincture developed by a Dr Bate sold as a remedy for goitre. The enterprising Dr Bate and his descendants kept the recipe secret for many years, earning a tidy sum in the process.

By the late eighteenth century, the main ingredient in the Coventry remedy was revealed to be the ashes of burnt sea sponge. The reason why the tincture worked was not understood, but some doctors continued to prescribe it to their patients.

 1da2c2488bc45d8d9b539890211591d1.jpgA Decision for the Bertrams

I thought that Sir Thomas, given a choice between a cutting-edge new therapy developed by a foreigner and an English-made remedy with centuries of proven success, would not think twice. The Coventry remedy had decidedly rustic roots, but it would surely be his preferred course of action.

And this is precisely what happens. After a few weeks of following the treatment, Lady Bertram’s energy levels surge, just as mine did when I started to take thyroid supplements. She even begins to take her new puppy for walks!

But this is a different story, one that I hope to share with you in the autumn.

Miss Price’s Decision launches on 17 October and is now available for preorder.

 

Do you suffer from a thyroid condition or know someone who does? Was there a symptom in particular that told you that something wasn’t right? What do you think of the Coventry remedy and Regency medicine in general?

Posted in Austen Authors, British history, Georgian England, Georgian Era, Guest Post, Jane Austen, Living in the Regency, Mansfield Park, medicine, real life tales, Regency era, Regency personalities, Regency romance, research, writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

“Bell, Book, and Candle” and Excommunication During the Georgian Era

In the Roman Catholic church, “bell, book, and candle” came to be synonymous with “major excommunication,” or “anathema.” The phrase dates back to the 9th Century and has symbolic meaning. The “bell” came to mean the public character of the action taken by the church and its presiding bishop against the one to be excommunicated. The “book” represented the church’s authority over the person charged. The “candle” represented the hope of the ban eventually being lifted, through the person’s repentance and an open show of having changed his ways. The ceremony would be a very public one, and the bishop would write letters to other bishops to report the fact. In that manner, the person could not simply up and move himself into another “see,” the area of a bishop’s ecclesiastical jurisdiction. 

In the traditional ceremony, the bishop and 12 priests would preside, each carrying a lighted candle. “The bishop, wearing violet vestments, then recited the formula, ending thus: ‘We separate him, together with his accomplices and abettors, from the precious body and blood of the Lord and from the society of all Christians; we exclude him from our holy mother the church in heaven and on earth; we declare him excommunicate and anathema; we judge him damned, with the devil and his angels and all the reprobate, to eternal fire until he shall recover himself from the toils of the devil and return to amendment and to penitence.’ Those present answered, ‘So be it!’ Then the bishop and the 12 priests extinguished their candles by dashing them to the ground, and, as a general rule, the ceremony then ended.” [Bell, Book, and Candle]

A form of ecclesiastical censure, what we call excommunication excludes a person from the communion of believers, the rites or sacraments of a church, and the rights of church membership. Sometimes the governing body goes so far as exclusion. 

The Roman Catholic Church distinguishes between two kinds of excommunication. In the first kind, the person is termed to be “toleratus,” or tolerated. The second form is more severe. The person is termed “vitandus,” or one to be avoided. The person is announced by name in a public “shaming,” generally at the See, itself, but for the gravest of crimes, this could take place at the Vatican. The accused is barred from the church sacraments, as well as Christian burial. The Catholic Church has a specified list, set out in the Codex Juris Canonici, of actions that end in excommunication. In January 1983, Pope John Paul II revised the list to “include abortion, violation of the confidentiality of confession, absolution by a priest of one who has committed a sin with the priest’s assistance, profanation of the consecrated communion host, consecration of a bishop without Vatican approval, a physical attack on the pope, and heresy and ‘abandoning the faith.’ 

“If excommunicated persons confess their sins and undergo penance, they are absolved; in some cases this absolution may come from any priest, but in many others it is reserved to the bishop or even to the Holy See alone, save in periculo mortis (‘in danger of death’). Excommunication should be distinguished from two related forms of censure, suspension and interdict interdict [a remedy granted by a magistrate on the sole basis of his authority, against a breach of civil law for which there is no stipulated remedy. Interdicts can be provisionary, opening the way for further action or final.] Suspension applies only to clergy and denies them some or all of their rights; interdict does not exclude a believer from the communion of the faithful but forbids certain sacraments and sacred offices, sometimes to an entire area, town, or region.” [Excommunication]

Various churches handle the situation differently. In fact, some churches do not use the term excommunication, preferring to speak of church discipline. Reformed churches vest the authority for exercising discipline and, if need be, carrying out excommunication, in the session, which consists of the minister and the elders. The 30th article of the Westminster Confession of 1646 specified ‘admonition, suspension from the sacrament of the Lord’s Supper for a season, and excommunication from the church’ as the proper steps of discipline. The Lutheran tradition has followed Martin Luther’s catechism in speaking of ‘the power of the keys’ and in defining excommunication as the denial of the communion to public and obstinate sinners; the clergy and the congregation together have the right to exercise such discipline. In the Anglican Church the bishops have the right to excommunicate, but this right is almost never exercised. Where a Congregational polity and the principle of ‘believers’ Baptism’ are observed, discipline is often very rigorous. In American denominations of the Free Church tradition the term ‘churching’ a sinner refers to excommunication, while in the Mennonite-Amish tradition excommunication also entails social ‘shunning.’ [Excommunication]

During the Georgian Era, in which most of my books occur, two types of excommunication existed: Lesser and greater.

Some changes were made in 1813, which allowed the ecclesiastical courts to send people to the secular courts for contempt, instead of excommunicating them. Also, offense of church rites and tithes were to be sent to the secular courts instead of through excommunication. In such cases, one simply deprives the offender of church services and sacraments–including marriage and a Christian burial. This is pronounced in those who are obstinate and disobedient, such as not appearing at church court when summoned, not submitting to a penance, or not obeying another injunction of the court.

Google Books ~ Ecclesiastical Law by Richard Burns 

The Doctrine of the Trinity Act 1813 (53 Geo. III c. 160. sometimes called the Trinitarian Act 1812) was an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. It amended the Blasphemy Act of 1697 in respect to it Trinitarian provisions. The Blasphemy Act applied only to those educated in or having made profession of the Christian religion. The Act, passed July 21, was also variously known as the Unitarian Relief Act (Trinity Act)The Unitarian Toleration Bill, and Mr William Smith’s Bill, after Whig politican William Smith. The Act granted toleration for Unitarian worship, as previously the Toleration Act 1689 had only granted toleration to those Protestant dissenters who accepted the Trinity. [Note! The Blasphemy Act was repealed in 1967, implicitly taking the Doctrine of the Trinity Act with it.]

 

Screen Shot 2019-08-06 at 11.59.35 AM

The English Reports: Ecclesiastical, Admiralty, and Probate and Divorce https://books.google.com/books?id=fJRDAQAAMAAJ&pg=PA990& amp;lpg=PA990&dq=Lady+Ferrars +and+divorce&source=bl&ots= pU6j3dqWUT&sig=ACfU3U3sQ207 LvdC_GS82CI8Nav7GgjAlw&hl=en& amp;sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwiO8MHwze 7jAhVlmeAKHaTQBdMQ6AEwEnoECAgQAQ #v=onepage&q=Lady%20Ferrars%20 and%20divorce&f=false (link broken on purpose) 

As one can see, there were several incidents brought for excommunication against gentlemen of the Realm. For example, Lady Ferrers went to the House of Lords to request a separation from her husband the earl. She told the HOL members that her husband had no fear of the church courts or of being excommunicated so she feared he would not allow her to live in peace apart from him.

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Lady Vane v. Lord Vane. Mich. Term, 3rd Session, 1736. 

Cheslyn returned citation and prayed an appearance, or that Lord Vane be pronounced in contempt. The judge pronounced Lord Vane in contempt, but reserved his pain, and continued the assignation to next Court 

Lady Ferrers v. Laurence Lord Ferres. Mich. Term, 2nd Session, 1757. 

Proclamation for Laurence Earl Ferrers, and he not appearing, Crespigny accused his contumacy and prayed him to be decreed excommunicate for not giving in his answers. 

The assignation and certificate to next Court, upon which day Earl Ferrers being thrice called and not appearing Crespigny accused his contumacy, and the judge (Sir Edward Simpson) at his petition pronounced him contumacious for not giving in his answers, but reserved his pain and continued the certificate and assignation to next Court. From which the assignation was continued to the by-day, when the earl not appearing, Crespigny accused his contumacy, and porrected a schedule of excommunication, which the judges read and signed in the presence of Stevens, and continued the rest of the assignation to the first session of next term. 

11 January, 1757-8. — A requisition to take Lord Ferrers’ oath for absolution at the petition of her proctor, and also for his answers. 

Lady Ferrers v. Robert Lord Ferrers* 23 May, 1792. 

Heseltine alleged that Lord Ferrers had not paid the alimony due to his client pursuant to the monition with which he had been personally served; and therefore prayed the Judge to decree Lord Ferrers excommunicate, and porrected a schedule of excommunication which he prayed the Judge to read and sign; but the Judge (Sir Wm. Scott) declined doing so, and continued the certificate to the next Court. 

Note.  — The certificate was continued for several Court-days; and the alimony was at length alleged to have been paid. 

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The greater excommunication deprived the man of church services and published his name abroad so that no church members who wanted to stay in good standing or have any communication or business with him. The church members were not to patronize the man’s shop, if he were a tradesman. He was not to be invited to dine or to visit or to attend a ball. One was supposed to shun his society until he repented.

One could be excommunicated for refusing to have a child baptized or for refusing the sacraments of the Lord’s Supper, or for idolatry, usury, simony, or perjury. All of these were brought before the ecclesiastical courts. One could be excommunicated for fighting in church. Though the clergyman was to say the person was excommunicated right then and there, it was truly necessary to have the bishop endorse the sentence to have the desired effect. If a plaintiff is excommunicated, a defendant can tell the court so. He must do this before he answers the plaintiff. If he can prove the excommunication, he need not answer the plaintiff in court until the plaintiff has been admitted back into the good graces of the church.

  • All excommunicated persons were not to step into the church.
  • Any one who pronounced himself an atheist and spoke out against the church could be excommunicated.
  • One who refused to pay his tithes or who shortchanged the rector and vicar of their tithes could be excommunicated, but after 1813, were likely to be sued in a secular court, rather than be brought before an ecclesiastical court.
  • One guilty of defamation could be excommunicated.
  • One could also be excommunicated for refusing to go to church.
  • Those who socialize with a excommunicated person or trade with him could be excommunicated as well.
  • An excommunicated person could not be a witness in a court.
  • He could not be buried in church grounds. He could not have the burial service read over his body.
  • If a person remains obstinate in refusing to answer or attend a church court, the church could ask the High Court of Chancery to send out a writ, which was to be answered in the Court of Kings’ bench. The writ was to be opened in King’s bench with all the justices present and handed to the sheriff to enforce. The Bench of Kings Court could put out notices to every sheriff and assize that the person is to be summoned, if not found at the usual address. If it takes all these people and writs, to find the person, he can be put into prison. He can be fined for not obeying. If arrested, he cannot have bail.
Posted in British history, England, Georgian England, Georgian Era, Regency era, religion, research, writing | Tagged , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Birthdays and Jane Austen

 

Tomorrow, I turn the ripe old age of 72. I am a VIRGO. Some of you know what that means. Some of you are about to learn. 

Horoscope.com tells us these Virgo Facts

  • Symbol:   The Virgin
  • Element:   Earth
  • Polarity:   Negative
  • Quality:   Mutable
  • Ruling Planet:   Mercury
  • Ruling House:   Sixth
  • Spirit Color:   Silver
  • Lucky Gem:   Peridot
  • Flower:   Sunflower & marigold
  • Top Love Matches: Cancer   
  • Key Traits:   Graceful, organized, kind
  • Motto:   “My best can always be better.

Smart, sophisticated, and kind, Virgo gets the job done without complaining. Virgos are amazing friends, always there to lend a hand and also lend advice. Practical Virgos are incredibly adept at big picture thinking, and planning out their life, their vacations, and what they’re going to do today isn’t a drag it makes them feel in control and secure.

Virgos have a rich inner life, and can sometimes seem shy at first meeting. A Virgo will not spill secrets right away, and it is important to earn a Virgo’s trust. But once you do, that Virgo will be a friend for life. 

Virgos expect perfection from themselves, and they may project those high standards on the other people in their lives. A Virgo hates when someone lets him or her down, even if the indiscretion is minor and unavoidable, like a last-minute cancellation. Virgos never want to disappoint the people in their lives, so they may spread themselves too thin and put themselves last.

Intelligent and a lifelong learner, Virgos loves trying new things, reading books, and learning about the world. They will happily sign up for an adult-education course, and they consider an afternoon in bed with a book pretty much ideal. A Virgo prefers an evening with good friends to a huge party and values downtime just as much as socializing. This sign does not need to fill their calendar to be content.

All this talk of birthdays got me thinking about the lack of birthday celebrations in Austen’s novels. It is quite disheartening to have others forget one’s birthday, but it was not so for Jane Austen and her family. We know Christmas had not the “glorious significance” as it does these days, but what of birthdays? Quite simply, as Anglicans, such humoring of a person, would have been frowned upon.

Sense-and-Sensibility-007Can you think of one person in Austen’s books who even mentions a birthday? The only one which springs to mind to me is Harriet Smith in Emma. Harriet speaks of hers and Robert Martin’s birthdays occurring within a fortnight, and those birthdays were separated only by one day.

As readers we know many of the characters’ ages. Lydia Bennet is but fifteen when we first meet her, but she is sixteen when she marries George Wickham. Marianne Dashwood is seventeen at the beginning of Sense and Sensibility and is nineteen when she marries Colonel Brandon. Fanny Price is a child when she first comes to Mansfield Park; yet, never once are her birthdays mentioned as a passing of time. Jane Fairfax is approaching one and twenty and the prospect of becoming a governess. Charlotte Lucas at seven and twenty has “become a burden to her family.” Elizabeth Elliot is nearly thirty and not married, and Anne Elliot is seven and twenty when Captain Wentworth returns to claim her. Catherine Morland turns eighteen just before Henry Tilney claims her as his wife. Even Elizabeth Bennet must have had a birthday somewhere in the year she had taken Mr. Darcy’s acquaintance. But when? There is no mention of her chronological aging, only her emotional aging. The closest we come to knowing something of Elizabeth’s age is when she admits to being twenty to Lady Catherine. But we do not know if she was nineteen when the book began and turned twenty some time between November when she dance with Mr. Darcy at the Netherfield Ball, or whether, like me, she is a September baby, turning one and twenty after she encounters Darcy again at Pemberley. Is such true for all of Austen’s characters? Austen wrote from her life experiences. If she did not “celebrate” such milestones, why would her characters? Tell me what you think. Am I being bizarre or is there some truth in this assumption?

Meanwhile, enjoy this list of September birthdays celebrated by some of our favorite Austen Actors. 


party-clip-art-balloons-different-coloursHappy September Birthday to these Fabulous Austen-Inspired Actors…

 

images September 1 – Aisling Loftus, who portrayed Charlotte Lucas in Pride and Prejudice and Zombies

 

Unknown-3henrySeptember 7 Christopher Villers, who portrayed Tom Bertram in 1983 Mansfield Park

September 7 – Henry Maguire, who portrayed Jack Wickam in 2003’s Pride and Prejudice: A Latter Day Comedy

 

Unknown-4Unknown-5September 9Hugh Grant, who portrayed Edward Ferrars in 1995’s Sense and Sensibility

September 9 Julia Sawalha, who portrayed Lydia Bennet in 1995’s Pride and Prejudice

 

 

Unknown-3September 10 Colin Firth, who portrayed Fitzwilliam Darcy in 1995’s Pride and Prejudice Unknown-4

September 11 – Alan Badel, who portrayed Fitzwilliam Darcy in 1958’s Pride and Prejudice (11 September 1923 to 19 March 1982)

 

 

images-2September 15 – Sabina Franklyn, who portrayed Jane Bennet in 1980’s Pride and Prejudice Unknown-5

September 16 – Alexis Bledel, who portrayed Georgiana Darcy in Bride and Prejudice

 

 

imagesUnknown-3September 19 David Bamber, who portrayed Mr. Collins in 1995’s Pride and Prejudice 

September 22 – Billie Piper, who portrayed Fanny Price in 2007’s Mansfield Park

 

Unknown-4September 22 – Rupert Penry Jones, who portrayed Captain Frederick Wentworth in 2007’s PersuasionUnknown-6

September 23 – Crispin Bonham Carter, who portrayed Charles Bingley in 1995’s Pride and Prejudice

 

 

2b03d4f0September 23Peter Settelen, who portrayed George Wickham
in 1980’s Pride and Prejudice 

 

 

 

hqdefault September 24 – Ryan Paevey, who portrayed Donovan Darcy in Unleashing Mr. Darcy

 

images-1 September 26Talulah Riley, who portrayed Mary Bennet in 2005’s Pride and Prejudice

 

 

2202857,tjUBdj3LNXhm0qAuo3TLB1ygUfTrZOGQXAeMS1OawmjRfXEvlZLprOD9Mx5Ha3GHNTcYybJh04GQPbBKSvfyoQ==Unknown-3September 26Edmund Gwenn, who portrayed Mr. Bennet in 1940’s Pride and Prejudice (26 September 1877 to 6 September 1959)

September 27 Gweyneth Paltrow, who portrayed Emma Woodhouse in 1996’s film version of Emma

 

Unknown-4September 29 – Greer Garson, who portrayed Elizabeth Bennet in 1940’s Pride and Prejudice (29 September 1904 to 6 April 1996)

Posted in film adaptations, Jane Austen, real life tales, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 14 Comments

People of Colour in Jane Austen’s Time, a Guest Post from Catherine Bilson

This post originally appeared on the Austen Authors’ Blog on 18 July 2019. Enjoy! 

[Last week], Twitter blew up when some more casting for the Bridgerton series was announced and – shock, horror! – not all of the actors were white.

For those of you who don’t know about the Bridgerton series, it’s a TV series based on the Bridgerton novels by Julia Quinn. Produced by Shonda Rhimes, it promises  to be the most ‘Regency’ project possibly ever to hit the small screen, and it’s being released on Netflix sometime in 2020. The Regency fandom on Twitter had a little meltdown a few weeks ago when Julie Andrews – yes, THAT Julie Andrews – was announced as the voice of Lady Whistledown, the anonymous, biting gossip columnist who chronicles a lot of events in the series. (Link goes to a Deadline article with some more details about the series).

And then, on July 10 a  whole stack of new casting information dropped and a bunch of people lost their collective minds.

Because the actor cast to play Simon Basset, a duke who’s the hero of the first book… isn’t white.

Regé-Jean Page is, however, quite obnoxiously gorgeous. And look at the rakish angle of THAT HAT!

duke-2015_276.jpg There were a lot of cries of ‘”Not my Simon!” and “But Simon has blue eyes!” and, frankly, I found it all just as distasteful as the uproar over a black girl being cast to play Ariel.

This is an adaptation of a fictional story. A story which has been loved by people of lots of different nationalities and skin colors, and denying them representation on the grounds of ‘but historical accuracy’ is an ugly, ugly argument. About as ugly as the 27 dukes who were actually real in Regency England, but we rarely mention that little bit of unpleasant truth. There’d be more than 27 books coming out every month which feature a sexy duke, so please, let’s just own the fantasy that Regé-Jean could turn up at a Regency ball and sweep us away into a forbidden waltz!

One thing that bothers me when people use ‘historical accuracy’ to excuse whitewashing their Regency romances is that Regency England was most certainly not all-white. The wealthiest woman in Sanditon, Jane Austen’s last novel? Miss Lambe, a mulatto from the Caribbean. There were free black men and women all over Europe (called Blackamoors) for centuries before Austen’s time, and during her lifetime she would have heard a great deal about the struggle for emancipation. The slave trade is mentioned only a couple of times in her novels, but her disapproval of its ugliness is clearly expressed through Fanny Price in Mansfield Park, where a good deal of the Bertram family’s wealth comes from the ownership of a sugar estate on Antigua, which undoubtedly would have included a number of slaves.

Everything we know about Austen shows her despite for the slave trade – she once declared herself to ‘be in love with’ Thomas Clarkson, author of the History of the Abolition of the African Slave Trade. Her brothers, both in the Navy, wrote of their distaste for the conditions in which slaves were kept and transported. The newness of the Bingley fortune? Almost certainly sourced from the slave trade, and a reason why they would never be accepted by the upper crust of London society.

Honestly, the more I look at that picture of Regé-Jean Page above, the more I can see him as Charles Bingley. Imagine if Mr. Bingley senior married a mulatto woman… possibly after his first wife died, so Caroline and Louisa are white, while their brother is distinctly Not. I can definitely see Darcy befriending a young man of color very much out of his element at Cambridge, and maintaining the friendship years later. But would Charles Bingley being of a different skin color have made a difference to his reception in Hertfordshire? Would he still have been encouraged to court Jane? Well, his five thousand a year would probably still have endeared him to Mrs. Bennet, at least, but I wonder if anyone would have considered Jane Bennet ‘beneath him’ in that case?

Now I’m thinking about it, it’s very possible that this will be a Pride & Prejudice variation I’ll write, one day.

And in the meantime, I’m just going to get ever more excited for The Bridgertons series to start airing!

Posted in Austen Authors, British history, film, film adaptations, Georgian England, Georgian Era, Guest Post, Jane Austen, Living in the Regency, Regency era, Regency romance | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

The Home Office, a Government Agency During the Georgian Era

I often have the heroes of my Regency romances be associated with the Home Office. Each of the seven men in my “Realm” series served the Home Office, with Sir Carter Lowery, eventually, assuming one of the leadership roles in the agency. The three men in my “Twins” trilogy did the same. In fact, I even had Lord John Swenton and Sir Carter Lowery from the Realm make brief appearances in the last two books of the trilogy. My Christmas novella, “Last Woman Standing,” also has a hero involved with the Home Office. 

The Realm: A Touch of Scandal; A Touch of Velvet; A Touch of Cashémere; A Touch of Grace; A Touch of Mercy; A Touch of Love; A Touch of Honor; and A Touch of Emerald

The Twins’ Trilogy: Angel Comes to the Devil’s Keep; The Earl Claims His Comfort; and Lady Chandler’s Sister.

Exactly, what were the responsibilities of the Home Office during the Regency Era? The Home secretary dealt with prisons, probation, courts, and public order. For example, one very important case of the era dealt with William Oliver, the plotter of a general insurrection after 1818, and known as “Oliver the Spy.” 

To Learn More of This Case, See This Piece on A Web of English History: 

http://www.historyhome.co.uk/c-eight/distress/oliver.htm

The first duty of the government is to keep citizens safe and the country secure. The Home Office has been at the front line of this endeavour since 1782. As such, the Home Office plays a fundamental role in the security and economic prosperity of the United Kingdom. The Home Office (HO) is a ministerial department of Her Majesty’s Government of the United Kingdom, responsible for immigration, security and law and order. As such it is responsible for policing in England and Wales, fire and rescue services in England, and visas and immigration and the Security Service (MI5).

Wikipedia provides us a brief overview of the “history” of the Home Office in the Georgian Era. “On 27 March 1782, the Home Office was formed by renaming the existing Southern Department, [This Department was initially established in 1660. It had a variety of responsibilities, including domestic and Irish policy, colonial policy and foreign affairs concerning southern European powers such as France, Spain, Portugal, Switzerland, Italy, Greece and the Ottoman Empire.] with all existing staff transferring. On the same day, the Northern Department [The department was responsible for dealing with government business in the northern part of Europe. This included foreign affairs concerning such northern powers as Russia, Sweden, Denmark, the Netherlands and the Holy Roman Empire.] was renamed the Foreign Office. To match the new names, there was a transferring of responsibilities between the two Departments of State. All domestic responsibilities were moved to the Home Office, and all foreign matters became the concern of the Foreign Office.

“Most subsequently created domestic departments (excluding, for instance, those dealing with education) have been formed by splitting responsibilities away from the Home Office. The initial responsibilities [of the Home Office] were:

  • Answering petitions and addresses sent to the King
  • Advising the King on
    • Royal grants
    • Warrants and commissions
    • The exercise of Royal Prerogative
  • Issuing instructions on behalf of the King to officers of the Crown, lords-lieutenant and magistrates, mainly concerning law and order
  • Operation of the secret service within the UK
  • Protecting the public
  • Safeguarding the rights and liberties of individuals

“Responsibilities were subsequently changed over the years that followed:

  • 1793 added: regulation of aliens 
  • 1794 removed: control of military forces (to Secretary of State for War) 
  • 1801 removed: colonial business (to Secretary of State for War and the Colonies) 
  • 1804 removed: Barbary State consuls (to Secretary of State for War and the Colonies)[9]
  • 1823 added: prisons  
  • 1829 added: police services” 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Home Office was part of the Palace at Whitehall. A book From Palace to Power: An Illustrated History of Whitehall  tells us the Home Office took over the Board of Trade premises in the old Tudor tennis court in 1782. This was an indoor tennis court—a big building by Dover House. The palace includes many buildings.”

This passage from Spartacus Educational provides us some idea of what the Home secretary did.

“In 1812, Lord Liverpool became prime minister, and he offered Sidmouth the post of Home Secretary in his new government. Viscount Sidmouth now had the responsibility of dealing with social unrest in Britain. This included making machine-breaking an offence punishable by death. On one day alone, fourteen Luddites  were executed in York. Social unrest continued and in 1817, Sidmouth was responsible for the passing of what became known as the Gagging Acts. The unpopularity of Sidmouth increased in 1819 after he wrote a letter supporting the action of the magistrates and the Manchester & Salford Yeomanry  at what opponents called the Peterloo Massacre. In November 1819, Sidmouth persuaded Parliament to pass a series of repressive measures that became known as the Six Acts.   Sidmouth retired from office in 1821.”

The National Archives provides us some information on the Home Office from the late 1700s to 2005. See the link HERE:  http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/records/looking-for-subject/19th-century-political-history.htm#

Regan Walker has written a novel about some of the spying the Home Office engaged in. There were two under-secretaries and a chief clerk. Clerks, a law clerk, a private secretary who was  Lord Sidmouth’s son, and minor workers. Sidmouth was paid  £6000 a year. His son received 300£.

The offices and more formal rooms have not been changed much since the Regency time period. They tended to be wooden floored, with formal wood paneling (wainscoting) half way up the wall and plaster coving at the top of the wall connecting to the ceiling. Some of the light fixtures were quite elaborate chandeliers, especially in the formal meeting rooms

That being said, no one now knows how the office looked then. The building has been renovated  over two centuries. In many ways, the office might have looked more like modern offices with open cubicles rather than having separate offices for all except those in power. The secretaries would have a large room with a place to meet distinguished visitors. The Foreign Secretary would have a place to meet foreign dignitaries. Secretaries were the head men, though the term used with private secretary was used as we do. The ones doing  clerical work were called clerks. They are the ones who might work in a large open room.

The Home Office was located in the Palace of Whitehall. The Palace of Whitehall gave its name to the street. Whitehall is the building. When I researched the Foreign Office a few years ago, I discovered it was housed in the Treasury Building during the Regency. 

The Royal Kalendar of 1815 says the Home Secretary was at Whitehall. It was a large building. The addresses given provide the street address if the building is not well known and there are a couple of addresses of places on Downing Street – with  numbers.

The palaces of Westminster and White hall were used as public offices They were multipurpose  buildings. 

Westminster was  the name of the city in which Mayfair was located. There is also Westminster Abbey. I need my Visitors Guide to London of 1809 or one of the Gentlemen’s guides to the government buildings to keep them straight.

Hierarchy of 1815 officers in Home Office:

Henry Addington, 1st Viscount Sidmouth, Home Secretary

Undersecretary: John Beckett, Esq. and the Honourable John Addington

Chief clerk

senior clerks

law clerk

Private secretary  W. L  Addington

Librarian

Addington’s sons would probably have people under them who did the work.

There was an Irish division with a chief secretary to the Lord Lieutenant, Robert Peel.

Here’s a free PDF on archive.org entitled The British Civil Service: Home, Colonial, Indian, and Diplomatic by Francis George Heath.   https://archive.org/details/britishcivilserv00heatrich if anyone else is curious. [Also, available on Amazon.]

There was a big push for reform of the Home Office starting in the 1830’s. One or two sources refer to Bathurst and Liverpool being more “government aristocracy” than part of the old landowning aristocracy. Henry Addington was Sidmouth, head of the Home Office, two of his sons worked under him. Like the Bathurst family, much of their income came from the government positions. This was before the British form of civil service was established and patronage and nepotism were acceptable.

You might also find this Google Book of use: Calendar of Home office papers of the reign of George iii. 1760-(1775) preserved in her majesty’s Public record office. Ed. by J. Redington (R.A. Roberts).

Posted in British history, buildings and structures, George IV, Georgian England, Georgian Era, Living in the Regency, political stance, real life tales, Realm series, Regency era, Regency personalities, research, trilogy | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

A Fight for Inheritance: James Innes-Ker, 5th Duke of Roxburghe and “Lady Chandler’s Sister”

One of the minor characters in my 2019release, Lady Chandler’s Sister, was inspired by James Innes-Ker, 5th Duke of Roxburghe, whose tale I came across when doing research on a piece on primogeniture and inheritance laws. At the time, I thought the contest for the dukedom more than interesting, but had not thought to use the real life character in one of my stories. However, Roxburghe’s life and the location of his home, Floors Castle, fit perfectly for my story line, but I did not wish to name the actual person, for the Roxburghe line continues. Moreover, in the rewrites, I realized Roxburghe’s real-life tale, did not fit with my fictional one. Therefore, I kept the character, and, in the rewrites, left out Roxburghe’ history. Instead, I made the location less specific and made the character the godfather to the hero, but it was the Roxburghe legacy I had in mind while writing. 

Coat_of_arms_of_the_duke_of_Roxburghe

coat of arms of the duke of Roxburghe Arms. uarterly, 1st and 4th grandquarters: quarterly, 1st and 4th, Vert on a Chevron between three Unicorns’ Heads erased Argent armed and maned Or as many Mullets Sable (Ker); 2nd and 3rd, Gules three Mascles Or (Weepont); 2nd and 3rd grandquarters: Argent three Stars of five points Azure (Innes). Crest. 1st: A Unicorn’s Head erased Argent armed and maned Or (Ker); 2nd: A Boar’s Head erased proper langued Gules (Innes). Supporters. On either side a Savage wreathed about the head and middle with Laurel and holding in his exterior hands a Club resting on the shoulder all proper. Motto. 1st, Pro Christo Et Patria Dulce Periculum (For Christ and country danger is sweet); 2nd, Be Traist. Cracroft’s Peerage Saltspan – This file was derived from: Royal Hanover Inescutcheon.svg Coronet of a British Duke.svg Coat of Arms of the College of Arms.svg Wildman Supporter (Heraldry).svg Badge of the Snawdoun Herald.svg White Boar Badge of Richard III.svg Torse of a British Gentleman.svg Coat of Arms of John of Austria (1545-1578).svg ~ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Duke_of_Roxburghe#/media/File:Coat_of_arms_of_the_duke_of_Roxburghe.png

 

Derived from the royal burgh of Roxburgh in the Scottish Borders, the title was originally created as Earl of Roxburghe in 1616. Before the title was elevated to that of “duke,” other subsidiary titles, all part of the peerage of Scotland, except one) were held, including Marquess of Bowmont and Cessford (created 1707), Earl of Kelso (created 1707), Earl Innes (1837 – the exception, for it was a title belonging to the peerage of the United Kingdom), Viscount Broxounth (1707), Lord Roxburghe (1600), and Lord Ker of Cessford and Cavertoun (1616). The Duke’s eldest son bears the courtesy title of Marquess of Bowmont and Cessford.

The dukedom and its associated titles descend to heirs who shall inherit the earldom which in turn had a very specific line of descent. On the death of the 4th duke the titles became dormant as no one could prove their claim. In 1812 the House of Lords ruled in favor of Sir James Innes-Ker, 6th Baronet, of Innes, rejecting claims by the heir female of the second earl and heir male whatsoever of the first earl. The Duke of Roxburge is considered the Chief of Clan Innes, but cannot be so recognized as he retains the name Innes-Ker. 

The line of succession for the period in which I write had the eldest son of Sir Henry Innes, 5th Baronet, James Innes succeed to the baronetcy upon his father’s death. He was a descendant of Robert Ker, 1st Earl of Roxburghe, and in 1812 placed a claim to the vacant Scottish Duke of Roxburghe title. 

According to Wikipedia:

It took seven years of litigation for the dukedom to be secured by James Innes-Ker. As indicated above, the 3rd Duke never married. The title then devolved upon William Bellenden-Ker, who died within a year of assuming the title. He had no heirs. The succession was contested by Major-General Walter Ker and the Right Honorable William Drummond; and only at vast cost decided, on 11 May 1812, in favour of Sir James, as descended from Lady Innes, the third daughter of Hary, Lord Ker, son of the first Earl of Roxburghe.

Encyclopedia Britannica gives us the following explanation: “John, 3rd duke of Roxburghe (1740-1804), the famous bibliophile. John was betrothed to Christiana, daughter of the duke of Mecklenburg-Strelitz; but when the princess’s sister Charlotte was affianced to George III., reasons of state led to the rupture of the engagement, and he died unmarried on the 19th of March 1804. The duke’s library, including a unique collection of books from Caxton’s press, and three rare volumes of broadside ballads, was sold in 1812, when the Roxburghe Club was’ founded to commemorate the sale of Valdarfer’s edition of Boccaccio. Roxburghe’s cousin William, 7th Lord Bellenden (c. 1728-1805), who succeeded to the Scottish titles and estates, died childless in October 1805, and for seven years the titles were dormant. Then in 1812 Sir James Innes, bart. (1736-182 3), a descendant of the 1st earl, established his claim to them, and taking the name of Innes-Ker, became 5th duke of Roxburghe. Among the unsuccessful claimants to the Roxburghe dukedom was John Bellenden Ker (c. 1765-1842), famous as a wit and botanist and the author of Archaeology of Popular Phrases and Nursery Rhymes (1837), whose son was the legal reformer, Charles Henry Bellenden Ker (c. 1785-1871).

“The 5th duke’s great-grandson, Henry John Innes-Ker (b. 1876), became 8th duke in 1892. The duke of Roxburghe sits in the House of Lords as Earl Innes, a peerage of the United Kingdom, which was conferred in 1837 upon James Henry, the 6th duke (1816-1879).”

Lord Bellenden, mentioned above,  was descended from the second Duke; General Ker claimed to be heir male of the first, and Mr. Drummond heir male of the second Earl, so that the issue turned on the construction of an entail, which gave the right to the female line. One can understand why it took seven years to sort out who was who. “Other claimants included John Bellenden Ker (c. 1765–1842), famous as a wit and botanist and the author of Archaeology of Popular Phrases and Nursery Rhymes (1837), whose son was the legal reformer Charles Henry Bellenden Ker (c. 1785–1871). It is notable that 25 years later, Walter Ker’s daughter Essex Ker was involved in litigation against her father’s lawyers in connection with bonds issued to cover the costs of the succession litigation.” [James Innes-Ker, 5th Duke of Roxburghe]

James Innes-Ker married twice. His first wife, Mary Wray, died in 1807, a mere ten years after they had married. The same year of Mary’s death, Innes-Ker married Harriet Charlewood. His son, James Henry Robert Innes-Ker, delivered by Harriet, succeeded to the Dukedom upon his death.

LCS eBook Cover-01

Lady Chandler’s Sister: Book 3 of the Twins’ Trilogy [March 23, 2019]

Finalist, Romance Novel, 2019 International Book Award 

Sir Alexander Chandler knows his place in the world. As the head of one of the divisions of the Home Office, he has his hand on the nation’s pulse. However, a carriage accident  on a deserted Scottish road six months earlier has Sir Alexander questioning his every choice. He has no memory of what happened before he woke up in an Edinburgh hospital, and the unknown frightens him more than any enemy he ever met on a field of battle. One thing is for certain: He knows he did not marry Miss Alana Pottinger’s sister in an “over the anvil” type of ceremony in Scotland.

Miss Alana Pottinger has come to London, with Sir Alexander’s son in tow, to claim the life the baronet promised the boy when he married Sorcha, some eighteen months prior. She understands his responsibilities to King and Crown, but this particular fiery, Scottish miss refuses to permit Sir Alexander to deny his duty to his son. Nothing will keep her from securing the child’s future as heir to the baronetcy and restoring Sir Alexander’s memory of the love he shared with Sorcha: Nothing, that is, except the beginning of the Rockite Rebellion in Ireland and the kidnapping of said child for nefarious reasons.

An impressive ending to the beautifully crafted Twins’ Trilogy – Starr’s ***** Romance Reviews

Love. Power. Intrigue. Betrayal. All play their parts in this fitting conclusion to a captivating, romantic suspense trio. – Bella Graves, Author & Reviewer

Kindle: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07PVT5GQ9/ref=sr_1_2?keywords=lady+chandler%27s+sister&qid=1553390378&s=gateway&sr=8-2

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/1091376581/ref=sr_1_2?keywords=lady+chandler%27s+sister&qid=1553430979&s=gateway&sr=8-2

Kobo https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/lady-chandler-s-sister

Nook https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/books/1131002644?ean=2940161421314

NOTE!!! Black Opal Books has graciously lowered the price of the eBooks 1 and 2 of the trilogy to $2.99 each. Those are Angel Comes to the Devil’s Keep and The Earl Claims His Comfort. 

Posted in Black Opal Books, book release, books, British history, eBooks, Georgian England, Georgian Era, Great Britain, Inheritance, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , ,