Queenborough Castle and Well + the Release of “Losing Lizzy: A Pride and Prejudice Vagary” + a Giveaway

The depiction of Queenborough Castle carved on the contemporary Baptismal font at Holy Trinity Church, Queenborough (an engraving published in London in 1845). https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Queenborough_Castle#/media/File:Queenborough_Castle_font_image.png

Sheppey Castle [or Queenborough Castle] is located on the Isle of Sheppey, Kent, England. King Edward III ordered the castle and the town surrounding it built in honor of his wife, Queen Philippa. The original land came from the manor of Rushenden at the fishing hamlet known as Bynne (or Bynnee). Construction began in 1361, during a period when there was a peaceful interlude in the Hundred Years’ War. The royal family also considered it a possible refuge in case of another plague arriving on London’s docks, as the Black Death had come to London in the 1350s. The castle was the first concentric castle built in England and the only “royal” castle to be built from the floor up during the Late Middle Ages. It overlooked the Swale, which is an important part of the River Medway’s Estuary and the defense of the Thames Estuary and, therefore, of London. Moreover, the French had raided the south coast of England at Rye and at Winchelsea during March 1360. A way to defend London from invaders was required. For more than 300 years, Queenborough Castle formed part of the coastal defense of England. 

Its construction employed some 1600 craftsmen and labourers at a cost of £20,000. The large circular castle was complete in 1367. It was buttressed by six projecting towers. A outer circular wall and moat surrounded the main building. Queenborough was one of the first English castles built to withstand siege artillery and to mount guns itself. Water was channelled from the roofs through lead piping into storage cisterns for use by the inhabitants of the castle. In 1393, a contractor spent over a year digging a well in the center of the courtyard. The Queenborough well plays a major role in my latest novel, Losing Lizzy: A Pride and Prejudice Vagary

A 1784 engraving of Queenborough Castle based on a drawing by Wenceslaus Hollar (1607-1677). Published in 1915. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Queenborough_Castle#/media/File:Queenborough_Castle_1784.png

Queenborough Castle came into the possession of the Commonwealth after the execution of King Charles I. In 1650, Parliament ordered an update on the condition of the building, which was judged to be so unfit that it should be demolished. The castle was sold to John Wilkinson for a little less than £1800. Wilkinson demolished the castle down to its foundations and sold the materials to make a slight profit. The Royal Navy surveyed the well which had survived the demolition and found it to be 200 feet deep and lined with Portland stone. At the time, they were able to extract water from the well for use at the dockyard at Sheerness. The site is now a public park and only some low earthworks remain of what was once its grandeur.

Arriving Tomorrow, May 16, 2020

Losing Lizzy: A Pride and Prejudice Vagary 

She thought him dead. Now only he can save their daughter.

When Lady Catherine de Bourgh told Elizabeth Bennet: “And this is your real opinion! This is your final resolve! Very well. I shall now know how to act. Do not imagine, Miss Bennet, that your ambition will ever be gratified. I came to try you. I hoped to find you reasonable; but, depend upon it, I will carry my point,” no one knew how vindictive and manipulative her ladyship might prove, but Darcy and Elizabeth were about to discover the bitter truth for themselves.

This is a story of true love conquering even the most dire circumstances. Come along with our dear couple as they set a path not only to thwart those who stand between them and happiness, but to forge a family, one not designed by society’s strict precepts, but rather one full of hope, honor, loyalty and love.

Teaser from Chapter Twelve: 

“Mr. Darcy,” his coachman pleaded. “This is a dangerous endeavor. I must advise you against entering the well.”

Darcy continued to release the buttons on his waistcoat. His greatcoat, dress coat, and hat rested upon the ground near where his carriage sat ready. “I did not realize the well had collapsed further,” he admitted. “I know my efforts are likely futile, but I cannot walk away until I attempt to discover for certain whether my daughter is lying at the bottom. Even if she has not survived this abuse exacted against her, Elizabeth Anne should look down from heaven and know her father loved her enough to enact the impossible in her name.”

Both his coachman and footman nodded sharply, tears evident in their eyes. “We will support you, sir.” Jasper said. “Do what you must. We will not abandon you.”

Mr. Farrin backed the coach close to where the Queenborough Castle well once stood. Traces of the bricks and the hole were all any of them could see: A gaping hole—one reportedly more than a hundred feet deep.

Darcy tied the rope about his waist as Jasper placed a three-inch wide tree limb through the back wheels of the carriage to keep it from rolling. They had tied the other end of the rope to the carriage’s chassis. Mr. Farrin stood at the head, holding the horses in place, prepared to pull Darcy out if he encountered difficulties.

“We only have fifty feet of rope, sir. Not enough to reach the bottom,” Jasper cautioned.

“I understand.” If Elizabeth Anne was alive at the bottom of the well, Darcy would purchase every length of rope in Kent in order to reach her, and if she had died at the hands of Townsend, he would pay to have an expert climber retrieve his child’s body, see her buried properly, and, then, personally hunt down Townsend and exact his own revenge. Upon The Lost Sparrow, Darcy had learned several unique methods of torture, and he would see each performed on Townsend before the man died. “Perhaps there is enough to learn the truth. That is all I ask.”

Amazon https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0884F86FP

Kindle  https://www.amazon.com/Losing-Lizzy-Pride-Prejudice-Vagary-ebook/dp/B08886PXQG/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=&sr=

Kobo https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/losing-lizzy

Nook https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/losing-lizzy-regina-jeffers/1137038434?ean=2940162951087

GIVEAWAY! I HAVE 2 eBOOK COPIES OF “LOSING LIZZY: A PRIDE AND PREJUDICE VAGARY AVAILABLE FOR THOSE WHO COMMENT BELOW. THE GIVEAWAY ENDS AT MIDNIGHT ON FRIDAY, MAY 22, 2020.

About reginajeffers

Regina Jeffers is the award-winning author of Austenesque, Regency and contemporary novels.
This entry was posted in book excerpts, book release, British history, British Navy, buildings and structures, eBooks, giveaway, Jane Austen, kings and queens, medieval, Pride and Prejudice, research, writing and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

28 Responses to Queenborough Castle and Well + the Release of “Losing Lizzy: A Pride and Prejudice Vagary” + a Giveaway

  1. Glynis says:

    Oh heavens! That excerpt! Luckily I preordered this so will get it tomorrow and find out the truth! BTW please don’t enter me in the giveaway obviously!
    Love the historical info, thanks Regina. Stay safe!

  2. deborahanne2 says:

    This book sounds so interesting and the excerpt is wonderful and has me chomping at the bit to find out what happened to Darcy’s daughter and what Lady Catherine has done. Thank you for the generous give away.

  3. Danielle C says:

    I already have my copy, I just wanted to say thanks for all the research you do!!!

    Congratulations on another book!!!!

  4. Vesper says:

    So Darcy and Elizabeth anticipated their vows and then….?

  5. Beth says:

    This book sounds amazing and I cannot wait to read it.

  6. I do appreciate your kind words, Beth.

  7. ForeverHis says:

    I have no words… I have already preordered the book as I trust a story by Regina Jeffers to be interesting, well written and edited. Can’t wait till tomorrow. Congrats on another publication.

  8. darcybennett says:

    This sounds so good. Thanks for the chance to win a copy.

  9. Glenda M says:

    Love this excerpt!

  10. G Sw says:

    I look forward to learning how the well plays into the story. And I look forward to reading a new book by you! Thank you for the giveaway.

  11. Zahra Falsafi says:

    I absolutely love every book you have written about Darcy & Elizabeth!

    Your imagination after Jane Austin is so clear & powerful!

  12. buturot says:

    Congratulations on the release of your new book. Looking forward to reading it. Please do not include me in the give-away, I have pre-ordered the book and received it.

  13. Vanessa McBride says:

    I just love this story! Can’t wait to read the rest of it. Thank you for the chance.

  14. Susan says:

    I’m always interested in a new spin on Darcy and Lizzy’s relationship. Thanks for the chance to win!

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