Search Results for: Lady P

Lady P and Susana Visit Vauxhall Gardens (Part I)

Agatha Tate, Lady Pendleton

Agatha Tate, Lady Pendleton

Susana: Readers, I am elated to report to you that Lady Pendleton has finally granted my wish to travel back in time with her. We are going to Vauxhall—a place that no longer exists in this century—and I am going to actually stroll down the Dark Walks and see for myself what is going on behind the bushes.

Lady P: Now Susana, you will promise to behave as a proper lady would or there will be no trip to the past for you. Ever.

Susana [rolling her eyes]: Whatever you say, your ladyship.

Lady P [inspecting Susana’s clothing]: The gown your mother made you is unexceptionable, I suppose. The hair will have to do since there is no time to have Izzie [her abigail] work her magic on it.

Susana [peering into the mirror]: I think it looks fabulous with the ringlets piece added.

gown427-4Lady P: Of course you do. [Shakes her head.] Now, as for the accent… I suppose I can pass you off as American as I did with Helena [from A Home for Helena], but it would be best if you said as little as possible and allowed me to do the talking.

Susana [eyes widening]: Now wait a minute…

Lady P [straightening her posture]: Do you wish to go or not?

Susana: Yes!

Lady P: Then…

Susana: I promise to follow your lead, my lady. [Aside] This is going to be great! I’ll tell you all about it when I get back!


I wanted to arrive by boat, but her ladyship clearly did not trust me not to overturn it and cause a scandal, so we went by carriage instead. Although it was shiny and black and carried the Pendleton crest, it was nothing like the Dress Coach owned by the Emperor Franz Josef that I saw a few weeks ago at the Carriage Museum here in Florida. The interior was a lovely purple velvet, and the seats were reasonably comfortable, although the ride was definitely jerkier than riding in an automobile. The springs were fairly good; however, I know I’d get nauseous if I ever tried to read anything in one of these things.

Entering a carriage with a long dress and train is not the easiest thing to do, even with a set of steps and coachman to hold your hand. But I assure you that leaving the carriage is even more hazardous. My foot got caught in my train and I ended up falling into the coachman’s arms. He seemed taken aback for a few seconds, and then set me firmly upon the ground and afterward straightened his fine purple and gold coat. Lady P shook her head, looked around quickly to see if anyone was watching, and then took my arm and dragged me to the entrance.

This a photo taken from a scene you can see at the Museum of London. The costumes are too early, of course, but Lady P would not let me bring a camera along.

This a photo taken from a scene you can see at the Museum of London. The costumes are too early, of course, but Lady P would not let me bring a camera along, so you’ll have to imagine 1817 costumes instead.

My first impression of Vauxhall Gardens was the brilliance of the thousands of lanterns in the trees. I briefly wondered how long it took someone to light all those lanterns and how safe it was to have burning flames in trees, but then someone bumped into me and I became aware that the place was teeming with people. People of all sizes and shapes and social classes. Elegantly-dressed ladies and gentlemen with canes and reticules strolled on the same ground as working-class folk in their Sunday best. Some were dancing in front of the orchestra building while others stood on the outskirts chatting and laughing, some leaning on trees. I stood there, mesmerized by the colors, sounds, and smells until her ladyship informed me that she had bespoken a supper-box.

“Are we going to have shaved ham as thin as paper?” I asked eagerly. Everyone knows that the food at Vauxhall was overpriced. That was how they made a profit. Nothing has changed in that regard. In modern times you still pay unreasonable prices for food at airports and amusement parks like Cedar Point.

A nearby gentleman eyed me suspiciously, and Lady P reminded me that I had promised to keep talking to a minimum.

Squidgeworth and the Handel statue that used to sit in Vauxhall Gardens

Squidgeworth and the Handel statue that used to sit in Vauxhall Gardens

The supper-box was simply a covered nook supplied with a table and benches on three sides. The supper-box paintings were long gone, as I knew from having blogged on Vauxhall for nearly a year. I had seen some of them at the Victoria & Albert Museum, as well as the statue of Handel. I craned my neck to look around for it, but couldn’t remember where it was in 1817, since it had been relocated many times its ±200 years in the gardens. The waiter (nattily dressed in fawn breeches with a turquoise shirt and purple waistcoat) who promptly appeared to take our food order said it was in the eastern alcove on the ground floor of the Orchestra. He seemed surprised to hear that I was interested in seeing it. I guess it was old and boring to people of 1817. I seemed to recall that it was removed from the Gardens soon after. Well, tastes change over time. What attracted people in the 17th century seemed tame by the 19th century. Vauxhall lasted for so much longer than others did primarily because its owners continually sought to re-invest their profits into upgraded facilities and entertainment.

Isaac Cruikshank, A Country Farmer & Waiter at Vauxhall. A farmer in country dress, on his first visit to Vauxhall, has ordered ham in expectation of a plateful of English gammon. When the waiter brings him the notoriously thin slices that were Vauxhall ham, the farmer is furious.

Isaac Cruikshank, A Country Farmer & Waiter at Vauxhall. A farmer in country dress, on his first visit to Vauxhall, has ordered ham in expectation of a plateful of English gammon. When the waiter brings him the notoriously thin slices that were Vauxhall ham, the farmer is furious.

Mr. Jackson (the waiter) was much more eager to tell of us Madame Saqui’s upcoming performance on the tightrope. He told us she had been a personal favorite of the former emperor Napoleon Bonaparte and had even crossed the Seine River on a tightrope. She had been performing at Covent Garden in the past year since the war with France ended, and the proprietors were over the moon to have snagged her for Vauxhall. I wanted to get up and head over to the venue immediately, but her ladyship insisted I remain until the food arrived, since she had been required to pay for it first (Waiters were more like independent contractors. They had to pay for the food themselves when they picked it up from the kitchen.)

We had plates of ham and chicken, cheese, salad, and a plate of cakes and custards, with wine to drink, which I did with good humor, even though I don’t normally drink wine. Any Regency author worth her salt should know that you don’t go around ordering water in that time period, since it wasn’t safe. Since I don’t like the taste of wine, I didn’t mind that it wasn’t of good quality. Lady P winced when she drank it, though. But she said it was definitely better than the cooking wine she had been reduced to drinking in my alcohol-free kitchen in Toledo. [She was quick to learn to pick out the good wines at the nearby liquor store, though.]


The music varied from military tunes to softer ballads and classical music, much by Handel, as Lady P informed me (being not terribly knowledgeable about music). “Cherry Ripe” and “Lass of Richmond Hill” were among them. It was simply fascinating to sit there eating and listening to the music and watching all the people enjoy the atmosphere. I had to pinch myself to make sure I was really there. In Vauxhall Gardens. In 1817. With real Regency-era people. Wow. Just wow.

More next week, same bat-time, same bat-channel!

Lady P and Susana Visit Vauxhall Gardens, Part I

An Evening at Vauxhall Gardens, Part II

An Evening at Vauxhall Gardens, Part III

An Evening at Vauxhall Gardens, Part IV

An Evening at Vauxhall Gardens, Part V

Judith Laik: The Lady Protests

Terriers in Great Britain during the Regency period

by Judith Laik

The British Isles have been the flowering place for a disproportionate number of breeds that we know today. Even given the US ties to Britain, which might have predisposed early settlers to favor dogs from there, as the years have gone on and more breeds have been introduced from once-exotic places, it must be noted that the cluster of islands off the northwest coast of Europe has proven to be especially rich soil for the development of dogs.

This is especially true for the group of dogs known as Terriers. Among the thirty breeds currently recognized by the American Kennel Club, only four have an origin other than the British Isles!

That means that as writers who set our novels in England, Scotland, Wales, and Ireland, we have a wide selection of dog breeds to use. However, one caution: until around the middle of the nineteenth century, people did not think of specific breeds of dogs in the same way we do today. Previous to and during the Regency, dogs were bred more for function that to maintain a pure strain.

Though a number of breeds had been bred “true” – to a conformation and behavioral type – these were more likely to be dogs whose function benefited the aristocracy, such as Foxhounds, Greyhounds, and Sporting or Gun dogs. Paintings of the time show that these dogs could easily be compared with their counterparts today.

However, the more lowly, working breeds, such as herding dogs, were not uniform in type until later in the century. Terriers also ranked mostly as “dogs of the people.” People of all ranks owned Terriers. They were literally the “in the trenches” fighters against the most populous and harmful of humankind’s enemies. And they were the “dog of all work” – guarding the homestead, tending flocks, hunting rabbits and other small game – for the family who couldn’t afford to keep a separate dog for every purpose. As well, the larger landholder frequently used Terriers as an adjunct to his other dogs. They accompanied the Foxhounds on the hunt, Gundogs on a shoot.

And a few lucky terriers did end up becoming pampered pets. Because of their smaller size, they could be easily fitted into a house and live a life of leisure, their only work to serve as companions to their masters and mistresses.

So, when I needed my secondary heroine to adopt a stray dog in my story, The Lady Protests, a Terrier seemed to be a perfect choice. I could easily see it having gotten lost from a careless, or perhaps even abusive master, and it wasn’t too large to conveniently (or not so conveniently, in this case!) travel with the heroine in a coach. But, I never named his breed in the story, only describing his brown coat color and shagginess.

Here’s an image of what Rags might look like:


Image from A BREED APART: The Art Collections of the American Kennel Club and the American Kennel Club Museum of the Dog, William Secord, 1988; the painting is by Maud Earl, a famous late-nineteenth century dog artist

And, yes, this painting came from well past our era. It’s hard to find images of Terriers earlier in the century. What follows are some from the late eighteenth century to around 1830.

One of the best sources for the history of dogs in the British Isles is the Cynographia Britannia, published in several parts from 1799-1805. The image below is of the Terrier group, by Sydenham Edwards. From Collection American Kennel Club. Photography by Dave King. DOG PAINTING, 1840-1940 by William Secord, 1992*:


This is a good representation of Terrier breeds one could have seen early in the nineteenth century. The smooth-coated dog on the left was a Smooth Black-and-Tan Terrier. The breed name was later changed to Manchester Terrier; it also became an ancestor in other breeds. Sleeping underneath him is a White English Terrier, which also was an important ingredient in several breeds, but which is now extinct. In the center, by my guess, is an example of the old Scotch Terrier, from which all the Scottish terrier breeds descended; or it could be an early Norwich Terrier. At back on the right, I believe, is an early Wire Fox Terrier. And in the foreground is a Wire Black-and-Tan Terrier, or early Welsh Terrier.

Warning: some of the following paintings may offend our modern-day sensibilities!

Billy, the rat-killing terrier. Coloured engraving from The Kennel Club’s Art Collection Catalogue. Note: The Kennel Club is the English equivalent of the American Kennel Club, the chief registry for purebred dogs in the country.


The caption states: “The Phenomenon of the Canine Race, and Superior Vermin killer of his day having killed nearly 4,000 rats in about Seven Hours.” From a broadsheet for the Westminster Pit in March 1825.

Here’s another image, also described as a rat terrier, which illustrates that in this time a “breed” was what its function was, not what it looked like:


Rat Terrier in an Interior, 19th Century, English School. Oil on panel. Private Collection. DOG PAINTING: The European Breeds, William Secord, 2000.

Secord says: Many of the early Terriers evolved from what was known as the English Black-and-tan Terrier (now called the English Toy Terrier), a rough-coated little dog noted for its ability to catch vermin. This one is depicted in a barn-like interior, where his abilities would have been very much needed.

Here’s an image of a very young Princess (later Queen) Victoria. It’s not the best quality, and the little black dog at the left is hard to see, but it’s from not much past our time. Victoria was an avid lover of dogs, and owned many breeds in her lifetime, often leading to a huge bump in the popularity of a particular breed.

Young Victoria With Nellie, Her Black and Tan Terrier, 1830, Richard Westall. Oil on canvas. Collection: Her Majesty the Queen. DOG PAINTING, 1840-1940, William Secord, 1992.

Young Victoria With Nellie, Her Black and Tan Terrier, 1830, Richard Westall. Oil on canvas. Collection: Her Majesty the Queen. DOG PAINTING, 1840-1940, William Secord, 1992.

Later in the century, this breed would be renamed the Manchester Terrier, with standard and toy varieties. Secord notes that Westall was known mostly as a watercolourist and book illustrator who exhibited actively at the Royal Academy, and the drawing master to Princess Victoria. Nellie was one of Victoria’s first dogs; she showed her love of animals early.

Viper, by Sartorius, 1796. Catalogue, temporary exhibit of The Kennel Club Art Gallery.

Viper, by Sartorius, 1796. Catalogue, temporary exhibit of The Kennel Club Art Gallery.

A very early image of a Smooth Fox Terrier. The painting may not be that anatomically correct; the head looks very small for the size of its body.

Smooth Fox Terrier, c. 1790, John Boultbee. Oil on canvas. Private Collection. Photography by Grant Taylor. DOG PAINTING, 1840-1940, William Secord, 1992.

Smooth Fox Terrier, c. 1790, John Boultbee. Oil on canvas. Private Collection. Photography by Grant Taylor. DOG PAINTING, 1840-1940, William Secord, 1992.

Secord says: Reputed to be the first known painting of a Smooth Fox Terrier, this painting is typical of the work of Boultbee. Influenced by the paintings of George Stubbs, Boultbee was known as a horse and animal painter with a highly finished, polished style.

Compare with the dog below, listed as a White English Terrier:


Secord’s caption reads: The now extinct White English Terrier and other early Terriers were often used to catch foxes and badgers, the latter being seen in the left middleground of this painting. Notice the small size of the little dog at the sportsman’s foot, a Terrier of unknown origin.

I think the smaller dog in the painting could be a Waterside Terrier, an early ancestor of the Yorkshire Terrier, or a small rough-coated Black-and-Tan.

Vixen, 1824, Edwin Henry Landseer. Oil on panel. Collection Ruth Havemeyer Norwood. DOG PAINTING: The European Breeds, William Secord, 2000.

Vixen, 1824, Edwin Henry Landseer. Oil on panel. Collection Ruth Havemeyer Norwood. DOG PAINTING: The European Breeds, William Secord, 2000.

About this painting, Secord says: Described as a ‘thorough-bred Scotch Terrier’, a pet of Mrs. W.W. Simpson, this painting was published in 1824 in a sporting magazine with twenty lines of descriptive text. It was later etched by Jessica Landseer, the artist’s sister. Very small in scale, the painting was completed when the artist was only twenty-two years old.

Landseer was a noted painter of dogs, a favorite artist of Queen Victoria, painting many of her pets through the years. Note that, although the caption says Vixen is a pet, it still is living up to the terrier reputation as a killer of vermin.

The following information about the history of the Scottish breeds came from the West Highland White Terrier Club of America, which I found there when I was researching for a class on dog breeds in the Regency in 2005. Unfortunately they have considerably changed their site and the history of the Westie now is very brief. Here’s the older entry, as I think it is informative:

The short-legged terriers of Scotland are now recognized as the Scottish, Skye, Cairn, Dandie Dinmont, and West Highland White Terriers. All undoubtedly descend from the same roots. All of these dogs were valued as intrepid hunters of small game. Originally, their coat colors ranged from black to red to cream or white.

There does not seem to be any consensus as to how the five breeds evolved. Information I found led me around in a circle.

Here is an image of two more dogs described as Scotch Terriers:

Terriers Fighting Over a Rabbit, Martin T. Ward (1799-1874), oil on canvas. Collection AKC. A BREED APART: The Art Collections of the American Kennel Club and the American Kennel Club Museum of the Dog, William Secord, 1988.

Terriers Fighting Over a Rabbit, Martin T. Ward (1799-1874), oil on canvas. Collection AKC. A BREED APART: The Art Collections of the American Kennel Club and the American Kennel Club Museum of the Dog, William Secord, 1988.

Secord, in the text near this painting, says: While the terriers are certainly cleaned up, with none of the dirt or burrs in their coats that one would expect, they are nevertheless depicted as working terriers, rather than pets. The West Highland White Terrier-type dog with the cropped ears, for instance, is shown with a wild, determined expression, his teeth firmly planted in the black and tan terrier’s ear. The object of their attention lies dead beneath them, his eyes lifeless and blood trickling from his nose on to the ground.

I don’t have any early images of these breeds, but Wire Fox Terriers, and the Wire or Rough Black and Tan Terrier would have been in existence early in the century.

This is information I found on the Border Terrier club in 2005, which was removed when I looked again a few years later:

The BT is one of several working terrier breeds to emerge along the borders of England and Scotland where terriers have been used to hunt fox, otter, and vermin for centuries. The Border, the Bedlington, and the Dandie Dinmont are thought to have a common ancestor. A soft top knot, characteristic of the Bedlington and the Dandie Dinmont, is seen sometimes in the Border along with white on the chest and the occasional white on the foot. The Border has rarely been sought out for his appearance. However, his plain brown coat and self-effacing manners in public disguise a cheerful and sensible companion for those who enjoy a terrier bred to think for himself.

Note that this contradicts what I quoted above as the ancestry of the Dandie Dinmont Terrier, which grouped it with the other Scottish breeds. I don’t know what the truth is in this case.

The BT can be identified in hunting scenes painted in the eighteenth century, bringing up the rear behind horses and the hounds, obviously determined to get there on his sturdy legs in time to help with the action.

I haven’t found any of those hunting scenes in my research.

The Lakeland Terrier originated in the Lake District of Cumberland, England near the Scottish border in the 1800’s. He is related to several terrier breeds and is one of the oldest working terrier breeds still in use today. His diverse ancestors include the now extinct Old English Black and Tan terrier, the early Dandi Dinmont, Bedlington and Border Terriers. He probably existed in extremely early form, if at all, in the first years of the century.

Sealyham Terriers were developed in mid-19th century in Wales by a Capt. John Edwards, so wouldn’t have been around during the Regency. And the Airedale Terrier developed too late to use one of our books. If you find a silhouette of each breed, you can see that the body and head type of the Airedale, Lakeland, Fox (both smooth and wire), Irish, and Welsh Terriers is very similar. Early types of some of these breeds would have existed.

My evidence suggests Staffordshire Terriers and Bull Terriers, although in the Terrier group now, would still be considered “crossbreeds” during the Regency. The Parson Russell Terriers and Russell Terriers have a fascinating story, but their development, as an offshoot of Fox Terriers, was in the mid-19th century.

DNA testing would probably settle the questions about how the various breeds developed. I haven’t come across any information that suggests such testing has been done. For our purposes as writers, it suffices to get some idea of whether the various breeds would have existed in our time, and how they looked.

* William Secord was the founding director of the AKC’s Museum of the Dog, and owns a gallery in New York City specializing in dog and other animal art. He is considered “the recognized expert on 19th century dog paintings.”

Most of the images in this article, except the two from a catalogue of an exhibit of art by The Kennel Club, are from one of three gorgeous coffee-table books, authored by Secord, with fantastic illustrations and a great deal of information about the dogs, the art, and the artists. They are a rich source of images of the dogs of the past:

A BREED APART: The Art Collections of the American Kennel Club and the American Kennel Club Museum of the Dog, by William Secord, Antique Collectors’ Club ltd, Woodbridge, Suffolk, England, ©2001, ISBN 1-85149-400-6

DOG PAINTING, 1840-1940, A Social History of the Dog in Art, by William Secord, Antique Collectors’ Club, ©1992, ISBN 1-85149-139-2

DOG PAINTING: The European Breeds, by William Secord, Antique Collectors’ Club, ©2000, ISBN 1-85149-238-0

About The Lady Protests (Coming Soon)

Book Three in the Unsuitable Brides series

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000038_00074]

A Lady in Charge

Since the death of her musician stepfather, Beatrice Foxworth has struggled to hold her remaining family together: her innocent, head-in-the-clouds stepsister, Arietta; and her devastated mother. When Arietta is abducted, Beatrice must save her from ruin – or worse

A Pleasure-seeking Gentleman

Philip Hollesley carelessly promised a friend to oversee his naïve younger brother’s first essay into London bachelorhood. When Jasper Linton elopes with an unsuitable young woman, the last thing Philip wants to do is become involved. But he gave his word, so it’s up to him to chase down the young fool before he can tie the knot in Gretna Green.

Adversaries Turned Reluctant Allies

But there never was so strange a pursuit. Beatrice and Philip, chaperoned by her devious mother, discover an odd assortment of humanity is also tracking them: a rejected suitor, a debauched lord, an aging demimondaine and her aristocratic lover, a group of rowdy young bucks, and a mysterious man.

The Lady Protests

Beatrice and Philip can’t agree on anything – except the necessity to overtake Jasper and Arietta – and to fight their inconvenient attraction to each other.


Jasper Linton’s mistaken assumption about the beautiful musician Arietta Foxworth’s lack of virtue forces him to insist that they must be married. He’s not swayed by her insistence that she doesn’t want to marry him, and they find themselves on the road to Gretna Green, where a series of misadventures leaves them with no traveling money. Now he has to depend on her ability to make money by singing and playing her violin in the public squares of the towns on their way. In Mansfield, she adopts a starving, abused little dog, who takes violent exception to their attempt to clean him up with a nice bath and runs away again. The story picks up the next morning as a broken-hearted Arietta prepares to continue their journey:

Listlessly, Arietta prepared to travel to Chesterfield, and entertain the good folk after they arrived there. She donned her new gown and bonnet, and decided she looked more like her usual style than she had at any time since Jasper had carried her off. Except for the dark marks under her eyes, and the skin still slightly mottled from crying.

Her new gown didn’t give her spirits a lift, however. What she really wished for was to stay in bed with Jasper’s arms around her, and never have to face such a cruel world again.

Descending to breakfast in the common room at the inn with him, she made an indifferent meal despite his coaxing. His worried gaze followed her, and when he at last gave up and asked if she were ready to travel, she apathetically agreed.

They walked out of the inn and crossed the courtyard to where their coach stood waiting. Just as Jasper gave her a hand to step up into the carriage, a small form darted from the shadows and leaped at her.

She gave a small scream, and then recognized the little dog from the day before. Clasping him to her breast, she sobbed, “Oh, Rags, you’ve come back to me!” and buried her face in his still matted, still damp, not-too-clean ruff. He twisted about in her arms, trying to lick her face, as enthusiastic and happy as she.

“‘Rags?’” Jasper queried.

“Yes, I had decided yesterday that is the name I would give him, but when he ran away it hardly seemed worth mentioning.” She sniffed, but felt a huge grin splitting her face at the same time.

“No doubt he realized his best chance of getting his next meal was to wait in hopes you’d come back outside.”

“Oh! Yes, I’m very sure he is starving! Jasper, please go back to the pie lady and buy more pies for Rags!”

“Oh, very well,” he said, pretending annoyance, but he had a huge smile on his face as well. “You get in the carriage and hold on to him, especially when I come back. If he runs off again, we’re not staying in town to look for him.”

While she clutched the dog to her, Jasper boosted her into the carriage and slammed the door behind her. Rags began wriggling to get free, and she spoke soothingly to him, but he kept up the struggles. She needed a leash, but where could she procure one?

Knowing it would take Jasper several minutes to reach the pie stall and return again, she let Rags free. The ribbons on her new bonnet flopped forward as she set him on the carriage floor, which gave her an idea. Pulling off the hat, she tore the ribbons loose and tied them together, then fastened the joined ribbon around the dog’s neck. He didn’t care for that either, but she placed him on the seat beside her and stroked him, speaking in a consoling voice, and he quieted.

To ensure he didn’t pull his improvised leash out of her hands, she tied the loose end to her own wrist. Now all she had to worry about was whether the ribbon was strong enough to hold when Rags pulled on it.

She was about to find out. Apparently, the process of getting the ribbons off her hat and onto Rags had taken longer than she realized, because Jasper’s voice came to her from immediately outside the carriage. “I’m back. Hold on to the dog.” A small pause, and he opened the door.

Rags barked and growled fiercely and threw himself at Jasper, who reflexively stepped back, leaving a gap between him and the door. The dog’s leap took him to full extension of the ribbons and they parted.

By this time, however, Rags had caught the scent of pies, and instead of escaping, he leaped at Jasper again, trying to procure a pie. Arietta caught the little dog, Jasper entered the carriage, and gave Rags one of the pies as he closed the door.

“If he’s been starving, we don’t want to feed him too much at once or he’ll become ill. I have six, and we’ll parcel them out during the day,” he said, sitting across from Arietta.

Rags had other ideas, though. He bolted down the pie, lunged for the nearest in Jasper’s hands, and proceeded to make short work of it also.

Arietta and Jasper both laughed at the dog’s eagerness. Jasper said, “I shall have to place the rest out of his reach.” Keeping a firm grip on the remaining pies, he called out to Cobleigh, “Hand me my portmanteau.” When the coachman obliged, Jasper tucked the pies away securely inside and handed the case to Cobleigh to stow. “My clothes will smell like beef pies, but that can’t be helped.”

He looked at the broken-apart ribbons and said, “The ribbons didn’t tear; they just came untied. They should work as a leash with a better knot.” He refastened them and ordered Cobleigh to proceed. Arietta heard the coachman give orders to the post boys, and the carriage moved off. Rags whined and jumped at the window, but she petted and soothed him, and he settled down again in her lap and went to sleep.

By the time Arietta and Jasper arrived in Chesterfield, they had fed Rags two more meat pies in an attempt to keep him quiet. Jasper and Arietta finished off the other two pies themselves.

Rags, although still disgracefully matted and dirty, appeared to have already filled out, his abdomen bulging with food. To Arietta’s eyes, his ribs seemed to stick out noticeably less, although she could not be sure whether that was wishful thinking on her part.

After the fourth pie, he finally curled up on the seat next to her and snoozed. He roused when the coach arrived in Chesterfield, jumping up with his front paws on the window edge and peered out.

The coach pulled into the yard of yet another inn. Jasper stepped down and made arrangements for the carriage to remain there while he and Arietta performed in the Market Place, although he seemed not to feel it necessary to inform the landlord of their purpose.

When he tried to leave Rags in the care of Cobleigh, however, his coachman and Arietta both protested quite vocally. Cobleigh didn’t wish to be saddled with the pup, and Arietta refused to be parted from him.

So, with Arietta holding the blue ribbon attaching her to the dog and Jasper carrying her violin case, they made their way to the Market Place.

“Maybe we should see if there’s another pie seller here before we set up to entertain. Rags will want more pies, and I will be hungry again when I finish.”

“Good idea,” Jasper nodded, and they began a tour of the stalls in the market. An hour later, they had found the pie seller and stocked up on pies.

Finally, they found a good place for Arietta to sing. Jasper handed her the violin and took Rags’ leash so she could concentrate on playing.

She set to tuning the violin. With the first notes, Rags yelped loudly and sat, tearing at his right ear with the back paw. Arietta stopped, and the dog cast an offended look her way. She hurried over to pet Rags, but the hurt expression in his eyes did not offer absolution for Arietta’s crime.

“What am I to do?” she asked, turning her attention to Jasper. “I have to play. We need the money.”

“Keep going. He’ll get used to the sound. Dogs have sensitive ears.”

Doubtfully, Arietta picked up the violin again and continued tuning it.

Rags lay on the ground, a pitiful series of groans and growls issuing forth, while it appeared he tried to cover his ears with his front paws.

To top Arietta’s humiliation, a crowd began to gather, laughing and pointing at Rags.

“Start playing a tune,” Jasper suggested. “He’ll like that better. Most people don’t much care for the sound of tuning an instrument either.”

She launched into a soft melody.

Rags did not like it any better.

The crowd grew, along with the laughter.

Nearly crying now, Arietta bravely kept playing.

Rags continued making pathetic sounds as if he were being tortured. “Ow-wow-wow-grrrrr-uff-ow-grr-wow-wow-grrrrr-uff!” He apparently had not found a way to cover both ears with his paws at the same time, so he twisted from side to side, placing a paw over his left ear, then the right.

Arietta brought the song to a premature end. “I cannot do this.”

“Try just singing with no accompaniment,” Jasper suggested.

Arietta set the violin aside, and Rags quieted, although his eyes still held accusation. Arietta began to sing, starting out softly, “‘The water is wide, I can-not cross o’er. And neither have I the wings to fly.’”

Fortunately, Rags did not seem to mind her voice quite so much. Although he turned her back to Arietta and lay in a position that indicated disapproval, he at least did not express it vocally.

Arietta sang more strongly, noticing gratefully that the crowd lingered, even without the hilarious sight and sound of the music-critic dog. “While there’s breath in my body, he’s the one that I love still,” she finished, looking at Jasper.

She sang a few more songs, although having to ignore shouts from the audience to “play the violin again!” Eventually she felt obliged to answer them. “I would not be so cruel to my poor little dog, or to you, as to play my instrument again!”

She took some comfort from the fact that her voice had returned to normal, all trace of her cold gone. And even more that it seemed despite what she felt was the ruin of her performance by Rags’ adamant displeasure, it appeared a good many people had contributed to the pile of coins in the violin case. Jasper again put them into his purse, packed the violin away, and gave an arm to her to leave the square.

About the Author

I live on a mini-farm near Seattle with my husband, daughter, some horses (only two are ours), two cats, and a number of Collies — we’re a dog show family.

Our vintage farmhouse needs constant upkeep, which we can barely keep up with, since it always needs new paint or new fences or…Luckily the most recent thing we repaired is the plumbing, so that’s working pretty well these days. With us living out in the country, we experience frequent power outages. There’s nothing more romantic than huddling under blankets in front of a cozy fire in the fireplace, with more blankets blocking the drafts from the other rooms in the house. The downside is that without power the well doesn’t work, either.

My husband and I like to get away as often as we can, taking off for a few days at the ocean or the lake. I usually bring my laptop with me on these excursions, working on whatever my current writing project is. I love to travel to more faraway places also. Our big adventure this year was a family trip to my husband’s birthplace, Estonia with all three of our children and two of the grandchildren. We visited beautiful places all around the country and had a couple of gatherings of relatives. We received the most amazing welcome from them. I know now what it’s like to be treated like royalty!

My favorite destination, though, is England. My most recent trips there, in 2003 and 2005, were with groups equally fascinated with the Regency period, and we visited many sites with associations to that time. Heaven! There’s nothing like actually seeing the locations where my stories took place, even if altered to varying degrees by the 200-some years since those events happened. As a bonus, the gift shops at many of the museums and historic sites have more lovely books that I would never have come across at home!

Lady P in Florida and a Sneak Preview of “A Home For Helena”

Susana: Lady P has been having a wonderful time with me this winter in central Florida. She gets along well with my parents, especially my mother.

Susana's mother, Mrs. Ellis

Susana’s mother, Mrs. Ellis

Lady P: In many ways, Mrs. Ellis and I are kindred spirits. Why, she even looks like me when she puts on that navy bonnet with the crimson trim. She dotes on her grandchildren, as I do, of course, and I even helped her make the most darling little dresses and skirts for them, as well as a vest and trousers for the boy. Did you know that Susana’s sister has eleven children, nine of them girls? Goodness, I don’t know how she manages without any servants. My own daughter Sarah cannot manage her three even with a houseful of servants.

Susana: I don’t think that’s fair, your ladyship. Having your mother there to nitpick over everything you do can be nerve-wracking for anyone. Especially when your mother—or your houseguest—thinks everything should be done her way

Lady P: Well really, Susana, your housekeeping skills are sadly lacking, and you don’t even have the sense to feel remorseful about it. If you refuse to clean your house yourself, the very least you could do is hire someone else to do it.

Susana [shrugging]: Cleaning is a waste of time. It’ll only get dirty again, after all. Besides, I don’t care to have some stranger in my house while I’m busy writing and need to concentrate. Your banging around is about as much as I can stand. In any case, Romeo Roomba does a fabulous job cleaning the floors. All I have to do is push the “on” button and when he’s finished he returns to his charging station and turns himself off. What could be better?

Lady P

Lady P

Lady P [clucking her tongue]: What is the world coming to when you have to get a machine to do such a simple task for you? Why, in my day, the maids had to take up the rugs and beat the dust out of them.

Susana: Oh yes, I’m sure everything was done much better in the 19th century. No doubt you had to walk three miles to school every day, and you and your siblings used to fight over the gizzard when roast chicken was served.

Lady P: Well! I can see you’re not in a proper mood for a conversation. Perhaps I shall indulge myself with a dip in the bathing pool.

Susana: A wonderful idea, Lady P! The other residents always enjoy chatting with you. Why, when you left the other day, it was so quiet you could hear a pin drop, and several people got up and left out of sheer boredom.

Following Lady P’s Departure

Susana [chuckling]: And they do get a kick out of seeing her in her outlandish bathing costume too. She couldn’t find a proper one here, of course, so she made one out my mother’s old capri pants and a belted T-shirt. She insists she can’t possibly be seen in a modern bathing suit, not even one with a skirt.

Anyway, in spite of all our bickering, Lady P has been assisting me with my current work-in-progress, A Home For Helena. The story is loosely based on a true story in which Lady P played a pivotal role. Of course, the names and details have been changed to protect the innocent—and the guilty, I suppose.

A Home For Helena

Helena and James

Helena and James

Helena Lloyd grew up in foster homes until she was finally adopted by a kind old lady who loved her and taught her how to live by example. When she died, she left Helena enough money to attend college and get her MBA. But Helena discovered the business world was not for her, so she tried a few other things. When the story starts, she has just quit her job as a nanny for a wealthy couple in London, but is being stalked by her former employer. She runs into a gypsy lady who tells her that she is a soul lost in the wrong era. Sounds crazy, but when she thinks about it, there seems to be a ring of truth in it. So she agrees to travel to the era she supposedly “belongs” in, which is Regency-era England.

Helena doesn’t know the first thing about the Regency era, but fortunately, the gypsy lady gives her the address of a prominent London lady who has done a bit of time traveling herself. You guessed it—my own Lady Pendleton!

While staying with Lady P, an urgent message arrives from Lady P’s daughter in Kent. The Newsomes are in desperate need of a governess, and at Lady P’s urging, Helena agrees to travel there and fill in until a permanent governess can be found.

That’s when she meets James Walker, a neighboring widower whose daughter Annabelle is temporarily lodging with the Newsomes. His first marriage was a disaster, and he’s not keen on remarrying, but since he can’t seem to manage his young daughter on his own, everyone is telling him to find a wife.

The Newsomes’ new governess is about as un-governess-like as you can get. She’s young and beautiful, wears stylish clothing, and her teaching methods are decidedly odd. Not to mention her manner of speech, which is nothing like any American he has ever met. She is also quite free with her opinions, and James could never bear to have a wife like that. Not that he’s interested in marrying her. His next wife will be quiet and biddable and content with what he can offer her.

But is that what he really wants?

Helena finds James Walker devastatingly handsome, but she’s not there to find a husband. She doubts that a modern woman could bear to live in a period where women lived completely under their husband’s control. And even if she could, surely the knowledge of her journey through time would send him running in the opposite direction.

Wouldn’t it?

Who were Helena’s parents and how did she end up two hundred years in the future? Will Helena and James be able to resolve their differences and live happily ever after?

And most of all, what role will Lady P play in the final showdown?

Tune in later this year when A Home For Helena hits the digital shelves

If you could travel through time, where would you go and why? Do you think you could make the decision to remain there permanently?

Lady P and Hyde Park

LadyP2Lady P is back! She stayed a bit longer with her grandchildren than expected, but hey, who wouldn’t want to spend Christmas with the little ones? But she became weary of cold English winters and couldn’t resist the temptation of spending the winter with Susana here in central Florida. Mrs. Barlow, who came for an interview in a previous post, had already spoken enthusiastically of the palm trees and alligators and orange trees, so she arrived post-haste this morning—Twelfth Day—following a lovely Twelfth Night celebration with her family in the 19th century.

Over a quick breakfast of coffee from Susana’s new Keurig (which fascinates her), yogurt and boiled eggs, they discussed the new story Susana is working on, which features Lady P herself and her daughter’s family. It’s a bit out of the usual thing for Susana, being a time travel with a heroine who travels back to the 19th century to find her family, and Lady P’s advice has been invaluable. For one thing, the heroine lands in 1817 Hyde Park, and right from the beginning Susana ran into problems trying to find out what Hyde Park looked like in 1817. For example, the Marble Arch wasn’t built until 1827.

Lady P: No rose garden either. Although that does seem a nice touch. I must mention it when next I encounter His Royal Highness.

Susana [sighing]: No, I’m going to have rewrite the entire first scene! I’m thinking she’ll have to land somewhere near Hyde Park Corner and the Rotten Row.

Lady P: Be sure to keep her well out of the way of the horses and carriages, then. Tattersall’s is there too, you know.


Susana: What about Sister Ignatia? Would a religious reformer be hanging about in Hyde Park, do you think?

Lady P: Generally, you don’t see the riffraff there. Hyde Park is primarily for the upper classes. But there are exceptions…servants who accompany their masters and mistresses, and there are Tattersall’s employees, of course. I have seen a few do-gooders handing out tracts from time to time.

Susana: Is it likely an unaccompanied young lady might be attacked by ruffians there?

Lady P [frowning]: An unaccompanied young lady might be attacked by ruffians anywhere, Susana! I regret to say that even gentlemen might try to take advantage. It’s not common, but crime in Hyde Park is not completely unknown.

Susana: Ah, so I won’t have to change the scene completely, then.

Lady P [peering out the window]: Are those ostriches out there? Do let us go for a stroll, Susana. And oh, what are those funny little vehicles with the canvas roofs? Can we ride in one?

Susana: Golf carts. People use them here to get around the park. I don’t have one myself, but I’m sure the neighbors will give you a ride. Oh, and the birds are sand hill cranes. Aren’t they pretty?

Regency Rites: Hyde Park

hyde-park-london-running-route-serpentine-rcOriginally, the Manor of Hyde was part of the Roman estate of Eia, and included what is now Green’s Park and Kensington Park. About 600 acres until the establishment of Kensington Park, it was given to Geoffrey de Mandeville by William the Conqueror. De Mandeville left it to the Holy Fathers of Westminster Abbey, where it remained for five centuries until Henry VIII dissolved the monasteries.

It was a great hunting ground, rich in deer, boar, hare, otter, wildfowl, and game birds.

Under Charles II, the route was called “the Ring” or “the Tour”. A French visitor said:

They take their rides in a coach in an open field where there is a circle, not very large, enclosed by rails. There, the coaches drive slowly round, some in one direction, others the opposite way, which, seen from a distance, produces as rather pretty effect, and proves clearly that they only come there in order to see and be seen.”

Paintings by pissarro3

Painting by Pissarro

Samuel Pepys wrote (of Charles II):

After dinner to Hyde Park. At the Park was the King and in another coach my lady Castlemaine , they greeting one another every turn:”

William II bought the manor at Kensington and Kensington house grew into Kensington Palace, and the western end of Hyde Park was taken for the Palace estate, which would one day become Kensington Gardens.

William III and Queen Mary used to drive along the road, and it became known as La Route du Roi, which became corrupted into Rotten Row.

For showing off coaches and their teams, Hyde Park remained the place to be.”

In 1730, George II laid down a radius of paths and his wife Queen Caroline had the Serpentine constructed by widening the Westbourne brook and draining its pools.

Hyde Park was also a popular location for duels, military floggings, and suicides (drownings). The gallows at nearby Tyburn was used for hangings until 1783, when it was moved to Newgate.


Painting by George Leslie Hunter

There were soldiers’ camps and military parades, and in 1814, 12,000 men marched past the Prince Regent, the Duke of York, the King of Prussia, the Emperor of Russia, General Blücher, and Lords Beresford and Hill. A reenactment of the Battle of Trafalgar was performed on the Serpentine.

In 1821, Hyde Park was the scene of an elaborate celebration of George IV’s coronation. There were Chinese lanterns, clowns, conjurors, swords swallowers, fire-eaters, acrobats, swings, roundabouts, fireworks, military bands, boat races, elephants, and dancing donkeys and dwarfs.

After John Loudon McAdam improved roads with stone broken small enough to make a hard smooth surface, all sorts of carriages appeared in Hyde Park, and being a good whip became a mark of social distinction. George IV was known to be an excellent whip, as was his daughter, Princess Charlotte of Wales. The Four-in-Hand Club made its appearance, with only the very best whipsters allowed as members.

Horse & Carriage: The Pageant of Hyde Park, J.N.P. Watson, London: The Sportsman’s Press, 1990.


Painting by William Heath

Lady P Quizzes Jane Livingston, the Hero’s Sister From “A Twelfth Night Tale”

Lady Pendleton (the eccentric aunt of Damian Ashby from the epilogue to Treasuring Theresa) is a time-traveling Regency lady who is currently enjoying the Little Season in 1813 London. She was introduced to Miss Jane Livingston at a ball, and being notoriously meddlesome, she corners Jane in the ladies’ retiring room and quizzes her unmercifully, as is her custom.

Lady P: I understand that your family resides in Oxfordshire, Miss Livingston. Are you related to the late Ruth Livingston, perhaps?

Jane [stiffly]: She was my mother, ma’am.

Lady P [with a nod]: Indeed, just as I thought. I knew her when she came out, as Ruth Marley, of course. I was newly married at the time, but I recall her being a most gracious young lady, and the match with young Livingston seemed unexceptional. [Cocking her head to the right] She wasn’t much in London over the years, was she?

Jane: She was more comfortable in country society. My father too. We did go to London occasionally, though. My brother and I loved to go to Astley’s Amphitheatre and the British Museum.

Lady P: Ah, you have a brother. Tell me about him.

Jane [swallowing back tears]: We’ve just received word that Andrew has been wounded at Roncesvalles, and will be returning home soon. We haven’t been notified as to the nature of his injury, but he is alive, and for that we are exceedingly grateful.

Lady P [taking Jane’s hands]: Oh my dear, I do apologize for distressing you. I had no idea. Here, take my handkerchief.

Jane [dabbing at her eyes]: Thank you, Lady Pendleton. You need not apologize; the news has only just reached us that Andrew is on his way back to us, accompanied by his comrade, a Mr. Bainbridge. We are anxious to see him, of course, but also quite worried about the nature and gravity of his injuries.

Lady P: Of course, my dear. Take comfort in the fact that his injuries will surely mend more quickly once he is in the bosom of his family.

Jane [looking doubtful]: Perhaps. But there is just Papa and me. [Frowning] And Cecilia, of course. [At Lady P’s blank look] Andrew’s betrothed.

Lady P [with a reassuring smile]: A young lady to fuss over him…just what the doctor ordered.

Jane: [wrinkling her nose]: Cecilia Ashburton? Fussing over him? Somehow I can’t imagine it.

Lady P [frowning]: I take it you don’t approve of Miss Ashburton?

Jane [sighing]: Well, she did seem to care for him at first, but when he left for the Peninsula she seemed to have forgotten all about us. Her lively social life makes all the society columns, and her behavior—well, she’s surrounded by beaux who don’t seem to know about Andrew at all! I’ve been in Town this year for my come-out and she hasn’t called even once!

Lady P [patting Jane’s hand]: Perhaps she has been fretting for him and is simply trying to fill the void of his absence. One never knows what another person is feeling, you know.

Jane: Perhaps, but I could wish that Andrew would marry a nice, down-to-earth girl like my good friend Lucy Barlow. She’d be perfect for him, and then we would be sisters! But he still treats her like a child—even though she’s all of eighteen now!

Lady P: Lucy Barlow? I don’t recall that name. Has she been presented at court?

Jane [sadly]. No. The Barlows haven’t the means for it, and there are five daughters. Not much hope that any of them will marry to advantage, stuck in Charlbury the way they are.

Lady P [clasping Jane’s hand]: Take heart, my dear. Things work out the way they were meant to be. For now, let us pray that your brother returns safely and makes a satisfactory recovery.

Jane [swallowing]: Indeed, my lady. Andrew must be our first concern. Thank you for your counsel. I shall endeavor not to meddle in my brother’s personal life.

Lady P [rising]: As to that, my dear, I believe I have quizzed you long enough. Let us return to the ball and set our minds on happier things. I believe young Lord Needham was seeking a dance with you before I whisked you away.

Jane [with a rueful smile]: A reminder that I have yet to find my own match, after a whole Season! It is much easier to find matches for others, do you not agree, Lady P?

Lady P [with a secret smile]: Sometimes it is, Miss Livingston. And sometimes it just comes naturally.

About A Twelfth Night Tale

twelfthnighttale_4inchA wounded soldier and the girl next door find peace and love amidst a backdrop of rural Christmas traditions.

Without dowries and the opportunity to meet eligible gentlemen, the five Barlow sisters stand little chance of making advantageous marriages. But when the eldest attracts the attention of a wealthy viscount, suddenly it seems as though Fate is smiling upon them.

Lucy knows that she owes it to her younger sisters to encourage Lord Bexley’s attentions, since marriage to a peer will secure their futures as well as hers. The man of her dreams has always looked like Andrew Livingston, her best friend’s brother. But he’s always treated her like a child, and, in any case, is betrothed to another. Perhaps the time has come to put away childhood dreams and accept reality…and Lord Bexley.

Andrew has returned from the Peninsula with more emotional scars to deal with than just the lame arm. Surprisingly, it’s his sister’s friend “Little Lucy” who shows him the way out of his melancholy. He can’t help noticing that Lucy’s grown up into a lovely young woman, but with an eligible viscount courting her, he’ll need a little Christmas magic to win her for himself.


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A Blush® Regency romance from Ellora’s Cave

Chapter One

The Barlow Home

near Charlbury, Oxfordshire

23 December 1813

“It’s so kind of you to call, Lord Bexley. The flowers you sent are simply lovely, are they not, Lucy?”

Unable to miss the warning tone in her mother’s voice, Lucy sat up straight in her chair and smiled sweetly at their caller.

“Oh yes indeed. They are undoubtedly the most beautiful I’ve ever received, my lord.”

Of course, she did not mention that they were the first flowers she’d ever been sent by a gentleman. And considering that there were few opportunities to meet eligible gentlemen in the quiet little neck of the woods where the Barlows resided, the arrangement was quite likely to remain the only floral tribute to come her way.

Her caller beamed with pleasure. “They were the best I could find at the florist, but of course they cannot hold a candle to your beauty and sweetness, Miss Barlow.”

Lucy swallowed and forced herself to reply. “You embarrass me with your flattery, my lord.”

“Not at all,” he insisted. “You were quite the belle of the Christmas Ball last evening, Miss Barlow. I was much envied to be allowed the honor of two dances with you when so many gentlemen had to be turned away.”

The “Christmas Ball” was merely a small celebration at the local assembly rooms. Her mother had encouraged her to favor Lord Bexley, but in truth, Lucy herself had not found him objectionable. He was an accomplished dancer and quite distinguished-looking, in spite of the fact that he had at least twenty years over her.

At eighteen, she was of an age to be out in society, and Lord Bexley, a wealthy widower from Warwickshire, was undoubtedly the most eligible gentleman in the county. Recently out of mourning, he was seeking a new wife and a mother to his three children, and as Mrs. Barlow kept telling her, Lucy should be flattered that he seemed to be favoring her for the role.

Well, she was flattered. Wasn’t she? The number of young ladies far exceeded that of eligible gentlemen, and she didn’t wish to be left on the shelf. With her family in financial difficulties and four younger sisters to be married off, Lucy knew she owed it to them to marry well and do what she could to find her sisters suitable matches as well.

She was prepared to do her duty and make the best of it, but somehow, when she thought of marriage and children, it was not the kindly Lord Bexley who came to mind. It was the face of the strapping, dark-haired Adonis with laughing gray eyes who lived on an adjoining estate with his younger sister—her bosom friend Jane—who had teased her unmercifully from the time she learned to walk. She couldn’t remember a time when she hadn’t been in love with Andrew Livingston—she’d even asked him to marry her at the age of five when he’d been twelve and about to leave for Eton. He’d laughed and quipped that it would be like marrying his sister, and she’d nursed a broken heart ever since.

She sighed as she frequently did when she thought of Andrew and his affianced wife, and her mother glared at her. Fortunately, Phillips wheeled in the tea cart and Mrs. Barlow’s attention was mercifully diverted.

“Please do the honors, Lucy. An excellent opportunity to practice your housewifely skills.”

Lucy flushed. Could her mother’s intentions be more obvious? But Lord Bexley did not seem to notice. He smiled kindly at her somewhat shaky inquiry as to his preferences, and thanked her graciously when she brought him his tea and a plate of cherry tarts.

“Quite charming,” he commented as he regarded her with obvious approval. It was unclear whether he was speaking to her or to her mother, and Lucy wasn’t sure how to respond.

Fortunately, there was a shriek followed by the sound of fierce arguing from the back rooms of the house. Lucy turned instinctively to the door, which was promptly thrust open and filled by the figure of her sister Lydia, who was breathing hard and wringing her hands in agitation.

“Do come, Lucy! Lila and Louisa are having one of their rows again, in the kitchen of all places. Lila broke one of Cook’s mixing bowls, and Cook swears she’ll leave if someone doesn’t stop them and you know you’re the only one who can, Lucy!” She flushed when she saw Lord Bexley and her mother’s angry face. “Oh…pardon me, I didn’t realize we had a guest.” She backed out into the hall, shooting Lucy a pleading look as she did so.

Relieved for an excuse to terminate the social call, Lucy muttered her excuses and scrambled out of the room. But not before she heard her mother’s mortified apology and Lord Bexley’s soothing reply that he found it quite agreeable to discover a young lady so accomplished in the maternal skills.

Goodness, he really was intent on courting her! She should be flattered. She was a sensible girl, and it was pointless to set her cap at Andrew Livingston, in any case. Lord Bexley would be an excellent match for her. His three daughters could not possibly be as troublesome as her two youngest sisters, after all.

She gritted her teeth and hurried to the kitchen, the ineffectual Lydia as usual trailing behind her. The second eldest Barlow daughter was as helpless as their mother at controlling the two youngest children. When Lucy married and left the house, as she would in time, her bookish middle sister Laura was going to have to take up the reins.

About the Author

P1smsqA former teacher, Susana is finally living her dream of being a full-time writer. She loves all genres of romance, but historical—Regency in particular—is her favorite. There’s just something about dashing heroes and spunky heroines waltzing in ballrooms and driving through Hyde Park that appeals to her imagination.

In real life, Susana is a lifelong resident of northwest Ohio, although she has lived in Ecuador and studied in Spain, France and Mexico. More recently, she was able to travel around the UK and visit many of the places she’s read about for years, and it was awesome! She is a member of the Maumee Valley and Beau Monde chapters of Romance Writers of America.


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Susana’s Parlour (Regency Blog) • Susana’s Morning Room (Romance Blog)

Ella Quinn and “The Seduction of Lady Phoebe”

The Seduction of Lady Phoebe is the first of a series called The Marriage Game. The second in the series, The Secret Life of Miss Anna Marsh, was featured earlier on this blog.

About The Seduction of Lady Phoebe

phoebePolite society has its rules for marriage. But for Ella Quinn’s eligible bachelors, their brides will show them that rules are for the weak of heart…

Phoebe Stanhope is not a typical Lady. As feisty as she is quick witted, no one can catch her, especially when she is driving her dashing phaeton with its perfectly matched horses. And unlike her peers, experience has guarded her against a growing list of would-be suitors. But when she encounters Marcus Finley, what she fears most burns deep within his blue-eyed gaze…

For Lord Marcus, the spark of recognition is but a moment in the love he has held these many years. Now that he’s returned to England, all the happiness he desires rests on Lady Phoebe never finding out that he was the one who turned her heart so cold and distant. He must work fast to gain the advantage—to convince her what she wants is exactly what she denies—but in order to seduce her into his arms, he must be willing to give up more than he can control…

“A passionate tale full of humor, romance, and poignancy. Quinn writes classic Regency romance at its best!” —Shana Galen, author of If You Give a Rake a Ruby

SUSANA SAYS: Two delightful characters who truly deserve their happy ending! 5/5 stars!

SusanaSays3Marcus Finley “knows” Phoebe Stanhope is for him the first time he sees her. Unfortunately, his cockiness and inebriated state cause him to take far too many liberties with the innocent fifteen-year-old, and she runs away, traumatized. Marcus realizes he has burned his boats with her, and agrees to be sent to the Caribbean to manage the family holdings. But he doesn’t forget Phoebe; he names his ship after her and hopes against hope that when he returns she’ll still be available and willing to forgive him.

Unfortunately, the name Marcus Finley only holds contempt for Phoebe. She turns down suitors and hopes to be able to set up her own establishment, fearing to put herself into the power of a man like Marcus. But when they finally meet again, she doesn’t recognize him, and, in fact, finds herself drawn to him, and eventually allows him to “court her”, as long as she can be in charge of the courtship.  Her brothers-in-law, who approve of Marcus, agree to help speed up the process, and before too long the pair is deeply in love.

But Marcus has a deadly enemy determined to get revenge on past events who decides that Phoebe would be an excellent target. Both Marcus and Phoebe have to fight to eliminate this threat before they can settle down to their life together.

I happen to love feisty heroines who know what they want and don’t bow down to outside pressure…and if they can fight with swords and pistols and knives, so much the better!  I also love heroes who love deeply and truly and don’t give up hope even when their chances of success seem hopeless.

Ella Quinn is a bright new star in the Regency genre, and this, her debut novel, won’t disappoint.


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About the Author

Ella QuinnElla Quinn lived all over the United States, the Pacific, Canada, England and Europe before finally discovering the Caribbean. She lives in St. Thomas, Virgin Islands with her wonderful husband, three bossy cats and a loveable great dane.

Ella loves when friends connect with her.

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Episode #15: Lady P On Assignment in 1814 Kent

Susana: Lady P, who is still visiting her daughter’s family in 19th century Kent, heard some rather juicy gossip about the scion of a prominent family in the area and decided to investigate, intending to present the results of her investigation to me in an attempt to make reparations for making free with my credit card to buy gifts for her grandchildren prior to her return to her own time period.

Lady P [interrupting]: Although I know Susana well enough to know that it is not the money that concerns her; it’s something called the Prime Directive. So silly really, to think that something as innocuous as the Laugh and Learn Learning Puppy could cause the end of the world. [Shaking her head] In any case, I sent a note to Lord Rutherford to call upon me at my son-in-law’s home in Thanport at his earliest convenience, and he was pleased to do so.

* * * * * *

Lady P: I am much obliged to you, sir, for your prompt response to my invitation.

Rutherford [bowing]: You indicated that it was a matter of some urgency?

Lady P: Yes, indeed. Rumor has it, my lord, that you are a sapskull.

Rutherford [eyebrows raised]: A sapskull, madam? Indeed? And how did you come to that conclusion?

Lady P: Although perhaps it is merely a ploy to draw attention from your dabbling in the area of espionage.

Rutherford: Espionage? Really, my lady. I think you’ve been reading too many Minerva romance books.

Lady P [waving an arm]: Do not be alarmed; your secret is safe with me. I am more concerned about your attentions toward a certain highly-regarded young lady in the area.

Rutherford [rather stiffly]: If you mean Miss Marsh…I suppose it is no secret that I am courting her.

Lady P: It is hardly flattering to Miss Marsh that you spent so many years sniffing after Lady Phoebe and only turned to her when Lady Phoebe became engaged to another.

Rutherford: I was not sniffing after Lady Phoebe. She has never been more than a friend. I was merely waiting until Miss Marsh attained an age to marry. [Under his breath: Shocking how meddlesome older ladies can be!]

Lady P [with narrowed eyes]: What was that about older ladies?

Rutherford: Nothing ma’am. Are you quite finished with your interest in my affairs?

Lady P: Not even close, my lord. Then you waited on the sidelines while Miss Marsh received countless offers of marriage…surely any sensible man would have made an effort to fix his interest with the woman he intends to marry. What if she’d have accepted one of them? Where would you be, then?

Rutherford: I had the situation well in hand. If it appeared as if she were interested in another gentleman, I would have stepped in.

Lady P: Why did you decide on Miss Marsh? What are the qualities you saw in her that gave you the impression that she would make a suitable wife for you?

Rutherford: I have known her all her life. She is a well-behaved, proper lady who has all the attributes I desire in a wife. Furthermore she is used to taking her lead from me. I wish to live a well ordered life. With Miss Marsh there will be no surprises.

Lady P: I understand, however, that Miss Marsh has turned down your offer of marriage.

Rutherford [running a finger down his cravat]: That is true. A fit of pique, only.

Lady P: But you persist in pursuing her. What makes you think you can prevail upon her to change her mind? Miss Marsh appears to be a young lady who knows her own mind. I doubt she will be easily importuned.

Rutherford: I have been busy during the past couple of years. Once I spend some time dancing attendance on her, I’m sure she’ll come around. After all, we have been close friends for years.

The Secret Life of Miss Anna MarshLady P: What can you offer Miss Marsh that her other suitors could not?

Rutherford: I beg your pardon, my lady, but these questions are extremely intrusive. [To himself: not to mention something I don’t wish to think about.]

Lady P: How have your feelings changed toward Miss Marsh since your return to Kent?

Rutherford: Really, these questions are outside of enough. My feelings toward Miss Marsh are no concern of yours. All anyone need know is that I intend to make her my wife. You can tell that to Lady Blanchard. [Rutherford mutters behind his hand: Now if I can only convince Anna. I wish I knew why the devil she is being so difficult.)

[A maid comes in and whispers in Lady P’s ear.]

Lady P [to the maid]: Tell my daughter I’ll be along shortly. [to Lord Rutherford]: I do beg your pardon, Lord Rutherford, but a domestic squabble requires my attention. Before you depart, however, there is one last point of curiosity I should like you to satisfy, if you would be so kind.

Rutherford [rolling his eyes]: By all means, my lady. I have no wish to leave your curiosity unfulfilled.

Lady P [with a saucy grin]: Can you tell me where I might find a copy of that book Miss Marsh found in the library? You know, the one with all the—er—fascinating illustrations? I have a novelist friend who would give her eye-teeth to have one.

Rutherford [clearing his throat] I believe I must take my leave of you, madam. It’s been a pleasure, of course.

Lady P [winking and offering her hand]: Indeed it has, Lord Rutherford. I wish you well in your endeavor to win Miss Marsh’s affections. Perhaps a match between you is not quite so ill-conceived as I thought.

Rutherford: À bientôt, my lady. [softly cursing as he walks out the door]

About The Secret Life of Miss Anna Marsh

Since she was a young girl, Anna Marsh has dreamed of Sebastian, Baron Rutherford asking for her hand in marriage. But that was in another life when her brother Harry was alive, before she vowed to secretly continue the work he valiantly died for. Now as Sebastian finally courts Anna, she must thwart his advances. Were he to discover her secret, he would never deem her a suitable wife…

Sebastian has always known Anna would become his wife someday. He expects few obstacles, but when she dissuades him at every turn he soon realizes there is much more to this intriguing woman. Somehow he must prove to her that they are meant to be together. But first he must unravel the seductive mystery that is Miss Anna Marsh…

Available for pre-order on

SusanaSays3Susana Says: Fabulous Read, 5/5 stars

On the surface, Anna Marsh appears to have everything a young lady could wish for. She’s beautiful, accomplished, well-mannered, and sought after by countless eligible gentlemen. She’s also a wealthy heiress. But Anna is not a typical debutante. She has a secret life that she is determined never to give upeven if it means she must remain unmarried the rest of her life. In any case, the man she’s always loved, Sebastian, Lord Rutherford, seeks a biddable, compliant wife, which she knows she’ll never be.

Sebastian, Lord Rutherford has been waiting for Anna to mature into a desirable young lady, and now that she has, he’s ready to pop the question. But when he doesn’t get the answer he expects, he becomes all the more determined to win her heart. But how can he truly love Anna when he doesn’t really know her? The question becomes: is he a suitable husband for her?

Anna is a strong, independent woman determined to make more of her life than the typical society maven. There were times in the beginning when I wanted to slap Rutherford silly for taking Anna for granted for so long, but, on the other hand, there is nothing quite like seeing a man grovel to appease his lady, and Rutherford manages to do so quite satisfactorily.

There is a very sweet secondary romance in this story, and also a mystery to solve originating from Anna’s “secret life.”

The Secret Life of Miss Anna Marsh is the second in a series, following The Seduction of Lady Phoebe. The book stands well on its own, however. This review was written from an ARC provided by the author, who, incidentally, has the first book on pre-order. Ella Quinn is a wonderful new talent in the Regency world, and this Regency devotee looka forward to enjoying her future works.

About the Author

Ella QuinnElla’s studies and other jobs have always been on the serious side. Reading historical romances, especially Regencies, were her escape. Eventually her love of historical novels led her to start writing them.

She is married to her wonderful husband of twenty-nine years. They have a son and granddaughter, Great Dane and a Chartreux. After living in the South Pacific, Central America, North Africa, England and Europe, she and her husband decided to make St. Thomas, VI home.

Ella is a member of the Romance Writers of America, The Beau Monde and Hearts Across History. She is represented by Elizabeth Pomada of Larsen-Pomada Literary Agency, and published by Kensington. Her debut novel The Seduction of Lady Phoebe, will release in September 2013


Website: (Up soon)



Blog http://ellaquinnauthor.wordpresscom


The Lady P Series

Episode #1: Susana’s Adventures With Lady P: The Introduction

Episode #2: Lady P Talks About… Pride and Prejudice?

Episode #3: Lady P and the Duchess Who Lost a Billion Dollars

Episode #4: Lady P and the Face On the $100 Bill

Episode #5: In Which Lady P Discovers Sparkly Fabrics and Ponders Violating the Prime Directive

Episode #6: Lady P Dishes the Dirt on the Duchess of Devonshire

Episode #7: The Political Exploits of Lady P and the Duchess of Devonshire

Episode #8: Lady P and the Prince Regent’s Illicit Marriage

Episode #9: In Which Lady P Depletes the Cooking Sherry During Her Discussion of Caroline of Brunswick

Episode #10: Lord Byron: Mad, Bad, and Dangerous to Know

Episode #11: In Which Lady P Talks About Hannah More and the Rights of Women

Episode #12: Lady P’s Revelations Regarding George III and His Peculiar Progeny

Episode #13: Lady P Discusses the Luddite Uprising, the Assassination of Spencer Perceval, and the General Unfairness of Life

Episode #14: In Which Leticia, Lady Beauchamp, Pops In For an Interview On Her Personal Acquaintance With Princess Charlotte of Wales

Episode #15: Lady P On Assignment in 1814 Kent

Lady P Quizzes Jane Livingston, the Hero’s Sister From “A Twelfth Night Tale”

Episode #13: Lady P Discusses the Luddite Uprising, the Assassination of Spencer Perceval, and the General Unfairness of Life

Lady Pendleton, Damian Ashby’s eccentric aunt (see the epilogue to Treasuring Theresa on Susana’s web site), is visiting Susana from the early 19th century. She’s intrigued by life in 21st century Toledo, Ohio, and, of course, Susana is thrilled to have the opportunity to pick her brain about life in Regency England. It certainly gives her a great deal to write about in Susana’s Parlour!

Susana: Lady P and I recently returned to Ohio after spending a month in Florida where she enjoyed taking daily “constitutionals” around the retirement village where my parents live, and eventually condescended to take a dip in the heated pool, although the bathing costume she rigged for herself raised more than a few eyebrows from the other swimmers.

Lady P [indignantly]: My dear Susana, I could not possibly have appeared in public in those-those underthings you and your mother wore. I should have been utterly humiliated!

Susana: They are called swimsuits, Lady P. Bathing costumes. And that’s what everyone else wore.

Lady P [with a hand to her head]: The gentlemen—such as they were—were much worse. I thought I would swoon when I saw those naked chests!

Susana [chuckling]: But surely you have seen a bare-chested man before, Lady P. Why, you and Lord P were married for nearly twenty years, were you not?

Lady P: Well, of course I did, but not in public, Susana. Why, my Pendleton was exceedingly conscious of propriety. He would never have appeared in public half-dressed; why his valet would have slit his own throat before allowing it!

Susana [biting her lips to keep from laughing at the thought of the suicidal valet]: These gentlemen are from the 21st century, Lady P. Frankly, what these men wore was quite modest compared to some of the younger gentlemen. Don’t you remember that day when we went to the beach and saw—

Lady P [shuddering]: Do not even remind me, Susana. The young women’s attire…why they were nearly as naked as the day they were born! Where is their sense of modesty?

Susana [making a mental note to avoid beaches and pools in the future]: Perhaps we should get back to today’s topic—the Luddite revolt in 1811-12. Can you tell my readers what you recall of that uncertain time?

Lady P: Indeed I can, although one could wish to forget it.

ludditesSusana: It started in the Midlands with the stocking industry, when stockingers, using looms and equipment leased from their employers in their homes, lost more than half their income when they were forced to produce cheap stockings that their employers could sell in larger quantities and increase their profits. Is that correct?

Lady P: How could I forget? Those stockings fell apart after barely a week of wear, and even the servants disdained them!

Susana: That was the same year the harvest failed, and food prices rose to an alarming level, and more and more people were suffering in economic distress.

Lady P: A shilling for a loaf of bread! It was outrageous!

Susana: People became desperate, and before long, gangs of disguised men started going around destroying the frames and looms used to produce the stockings to protest the treatment of the workers and the poverty more and more of them were forced to endure.

Lady P: That may be how it started, Susana, but it escalated into so much more than that. Why, many of us feared an uprising against the monarchy comparable to the French Terror of barely two decades past. And there wasn’t much to be done about it; Pendleton told me that fully half of the militia had taken up the cudgel for General Ludd in stealth and would turn against their officers in a trice if ordered to put down the revolutionaries.

Susana: I’m curious to know what Lord P thought should be done about it. He was a Tory, and the Tories were in power. Did he approve the decision to make frame-breaking a capital offense?

Lady P [shaking her head and sighing]: No, of course he did not. He thought it was incredibly stupid to think that masses of starving insurgents could be deterred by fear of the gibbet if they were caught. [Swallowing hard] He was, in fact, quite moved by Lord Byron’s speech in the House of Lords, where he decried the Tories’ attempt to solve the problem by force. He insisted—quite eloquently, Lord P admitted—that the Midland workers were being exploited to increase the profits of a few hosiers, and that the resulting misery benefitted no one.

Susana [thoughtfully]: The more things change, the more they stay the same. [Seeing Lady P’s raised eyebrow]: I was just thinking of how the Ohio House of Representatives just voted to eliminate the forty-hour work week so that employers won’t have to pay overtime—pay them double—for working more than that.

Lady P: As to that, I can’t say, Susana. But that is one reason I became a Whig. I would never go so far as to overturn the entire government and plunge the country into turmoil and terror such as what happened in France, but I have always believed that certain reforms to prevent the poor from being exploited could be instituted without much upheaval, and that the entire country would be the better for it. [Sighing] Dear Pendleton felt the same, but he was unable to persuade his colleagues to listen to reason. As afraid as they were of a revolution, the only solution the Tories could agree on was to threaten the insurgents.

Susana: It wasn’t long after that the Tories fell out of power, didn’t they? After the assassination of the Prime Minister?

Lady P: Indeed, and it was well-deserved too. Not because the Whigs’ ideas were much better, although they certainly used the Tories’ imprudence to their advantage. The Prince Regent’s intemperate behavior and his treatment of his wife made him vastly unpopular, so the Whigs took up the cudgel for Princess Caroline, proclaiming that she was being badly treated, and causing more riots, spreading to the north.

percevalSusana: And didn’t the people actually cheer the assassin as he was led to his execution a week later? There was that much dissatisfaction with the government that they cheered the murderer of the Prime Minister?

Lady P [tight-lipped]: Poor Lord Perceval. He was a good man. Had twelve children, you know. A family man. He could have gone far, if it weren’t for that Bellingham fellow shooting him in the House of Commons. Do you know the government wouldn’t even give him a public funeral because they were fearful of riots? I hardly knew what to say to his wife Jane when I saw her after that.

Susana [sighing]: Some things seem so unfair, don’t they? Like my friend whose daughter just died of breast cancer at age thirty-seven. Or many of my friends whose husbands lost their jobs and couldn’t find anything comparable afterward because of their age and the cost of health insurance. What do you say? How do you help them?

Lady P [clucking]: I suppose there will always be misery and injustice, no matter how diligently we try to eliminate it.

Susana: But that doesn’t mean we should stop trying.

Lady P [smiling]: Exactly. Now, Susana, don’t you think something should be done about all the weeds in the back garden? Since the weather turned warmer, they seem to be popping up all over the place.

Susana [leaving the room]: Have at ’em, Lady P. There’s a hoe in the shed and some work gloves in the drawer over there.

Lady P [frowning]: And where might you be going, then?

Susana [from the office]: I have a Christmas story to write. Deadline, you know. Can’t be bothered with weeds for awhile.

Lady P makes a beeline for the back door, audibly grumbling about “misplaced priorities,” “writing Christmas stories in May,” and that she “really should go back to the 19th century where there were gardeners to do such onerous tasks.”

As always, please do comment if you have any questions you’d like to ask Lady P about the late Georgian/Regency era. She does love to chat!

The Lady P Series

Episode #1: Susana’s Adventures With Lady P: The Introduction

Episode #2: Lady P Talks About… Pride and Prejudice?

Episode #3: Lady P and the Duchess Who Lost a Billion Dollars

Episode #4: Lady P and the Face On the $100 Bill

Episode #5: In Which Lady P Discovers Sparkly Fabrics and Ponders Violating the Prime Directive

Episode #6: Lady P Dishes the Dirt on the Duchess of Devonshire

Episode #7: The Political Exploits of Lady P and the Duchess of Devonshire

Episode #8: Lady P and the Prince Regent’s Illicit Marriage

Episode #9: In Which Lady P Depletes the Cooking Sherry During Her Discussion of Caroline of Brunswick

Episode #10: Lord Byron: Mad, Bad, and Dangerous to Know

Episode #11: In Which Lady P Talks About Hannah More and the Rights of Women

Episode #12: Lady P’s Revelations Regarding George III and His Peculiar Progeny

Episode #13: Lady P Discusses the Luddite Uprising, the Assassination of Spencer Perceval, and the General Unfairness of Life

Episode #14: In Which Leticia, Lady Beauchamp, Pops In For an Interview On Her Personal Acquaintance With Princess Charlotte of Wales

Episode #15: Lady P On Assignment in 1814 Kent

Lady P Quizzes Jane Livingston, the Hero’s Sister From “A Twelfth Night Tale”

Episode #12: Lady P’s Revelations Regarding George III and His Peculiar Progeny

Lady Pendleton, Damian Ashby’s eccentric aunt (see the epilogue to Treasuring Theresa on Susana’s web site), is visiting Susana from the early 19th century. She’s intrigued by life in 21st century Toledo, Ohio, and, of course, Susana is thrilled to have the opportunity to pick her brain about life in Regency England. It certainly gives her a great deal to write about in Susana’s Parlour!

georgeiiiSusana: [to the Reader]: Lady Pendleton’s opinions on George III tend to be diametrically opposed to mine, which she attributes to my “ignorance due to indoctrination by history books written by misguided wretches attempting to justify the dreadful bloodbath caused by the radical colonists.”

It seems doubtful that we will ever come to agreement on that score—too many years of July 4th picnics and fireworks and, pledging allegiance to the flag, and singing “The Star-Spangled Banner”—but I have begun to see George III in a more sympathetic light. More than 200 years have passed and since my trip to England last year, I have come to realize that the English do not see him as the tyrant “we” do (and I say “we” even though at least some of my ancestors still lived in England during that time), and most never did.

And I have to say—in spite of all the patriotism instilled in me over decades—I am intrigued with the idea of growing up speaking with a British accent. (Can I be deported for saying that?)

Lady P: You must admit that the American accent sounds decidedly low class, Susana. Perhaps I could give you lessons in enunciating. Much like that Henry Higgins did to Eliza in that film we saw the other evening. You would never pass for upper class in society, of course, but it would be a definite improvement.

Susana: I thank you for offering, Lady P, but I’ll stick with the lazy American drawl for now. Perhaps some other time.

Lady P: Very well. Shall we discuss His Royal Highness King George III for your readers? Where shall I start?

Susana: At the beginning would be best. Where did you meet him?

Lady P: I was too young to attend his wedding to Queen Charlotte, but I do recall my mother bringing home a flower—was it a camellia or a rose?—but it was pink and she put it in one of the heaviest books in the library for pressing. I remember feeling very sad that she had to destroy such a pretty posy in order to preserve it. I wonder what happened to it? I believe my brother Henry inherited all the books in the library, so perhaps it’s still there. He was never one to read or study overmuch.

Susana: But you did meet him at some point?

Lady P: Goodness, yes. During my come-out—my mother was so vexed that the Royal Pair failed to attend my presentation ball—I was presented to Queen Charlotte, as were all of the young debutantes, you know, and I did meet them once or twice that season. After I was married to Lord Pendleton, we met more often. Lord P was in the House of Lords, you know, and we were obliged to attend certain political events.

Susana: What did you think of him?

Lady P: He was a kindly old man, quite stodgy, you understand. As a young girl, I didn’t appreciate that quality in him. One expected the King to be a cut above the rest of society, and he wasn’t at all. I recall complaining to Pendleton about the plainness of the fare at Windsor Castle and why the King could not have a French chef as skilled as ours, and he said the King didn’t appreciate rich food anymore than he did the French. Good, hearty English fare was good enough, he said.

Susana: I hear his marriage was a love-match.

Lady P [snorting in a very unladylike manner]: Romance again, Susana? Americans seem obsessed with it. The King met his betrothed on the day of the wedding. He wasn’t allowed to marry Lady Sarah Lennox when he wished to because she was only the sister of a duke. Royalty must marry royalty, you know. Or at least they did in my time.

Susana: But they did have fifteen children, so the marriage must have been somewhat of a success.

Lady P: Oh indeed, they got on well after that. Queen Charlotte was not well-favored, but she had a very pleasant disposition. She was a perfect wife for a down-to-earth man like the King.

Susana: So what happened to their children? The sons, at least, did not seem to be able to sustain such happy marriages. Look at the Prince Regent, for example. His life was like the antithesis of his father’s.

Lady P: Indeed. The King disliked his oldest son intensely. Frederick was his favorite. Pendleton told me the King often bemoaned the fact that Frederick was not his oldest son. Brought up to be a military man. He was the Commander-in-Chief of the Army, you know, until the scandal.

Susana: The scandal?

Lady P: Apparently he passed on military secrets to his mistress, a sly little hussy by the name of Mary Anne Clarke. She took bribes in exchange for promotions, and although she was the one to blame, it was his indiscretion in telling her such things that caused him to resign in disgrace. [shaking her head sadly] Should have stuck by his long-suffering wife. Frederica was a most amiable woman.

Susana: So even his favorite had feet of clay. What about the others? Wasn’t one of them accused of murder?

Lady P: Ernest, that was. He was an odd sort. Spread all sorts of cruel rumors about his brothers. His valet turned up with his throat cut, and it was whispered that he’d been seduced by his master, who murdered him when the man attempted to blackmail him.

Susana: Oh my. Homosexuals were hung in those days, were they not?

Lady P: Indeed they were. It would have been a massive scandal had that little fact become known. Which is no doubt why the inquest determined that the man committed suicide.

Susana [shuddering]: Who commits suicide by cutting their throat?

Lady P: Exactly. Not to mention that the man was left-handed, and the deed had to have been done with his right hand. [sighing] But I suppose such things must be done to protect the monarchy and the nation.

Susana: Surely among fifteen children there must have been at least one or two who turned out well. What about the daughters?

Lady P: Poor Amelia died in 1810. She was 27 and unmarried, since she had not been allowed to marry the man of her choice, Charles Fitzroy. She was the youngest and the King’s favorite and he was never the same after that. The other girls—well, the oldest, Princess Charlotte was married to the King of Württemburg—remained unmarried and living at home, and dear me, they never dissembled about expressing how they felt about that. Well, they were all rather plain, like their mother, and ran to fat, but they did adore their father, no matter how unstable he become as the years passed.

Susana: The Prince of Wales was made Regent because of his illness, which has been called dementia. Did you ever see him in that state, or know someone who did?

Lady P: I did not, of course, since he was kept in seclusion as soon as he began to exhibit symptoms. But Pendleton did, on one occasion, when he was attending the King on parliamentary business. [clucking her tongue]. He began speaking in shrill tones, so quickly that he could not be easily understood, calling for “the woman he loved,” a certain Lady Pembroke who served at court. His eyes bulged and he dropped his breeches to reveal his backside. Pendleton was horrified when I nearly fell over laughing when he described it. He said it was a horrifying experience.

Susana: The King of England mooned your husband? Heavens, what a sight that must have been! [grinning broadly]

Lady P: Harrumph! It was, rather. And yet I did feel very sorry for him. He was a fine king and deserved much better than to be afflicted by such an undignified malady. And then to have his sons to be such bounders, and one of his daughters to bear an illegitimate child… It is almost a blessing that such distressing news was kept from him.

Susana [sighing]: My belief in fairytale royal marriages died a tragic death after what happened with Princess Diana. Although I can’t help hoping that Prince William and Kate will end up happily.

Lady P: They do seem a sensible pair, and very well-matched, like my nephew Damian and his wife Theresa. Have I told you Theresa is expecting again?

mi_hacienda_edited-1Susana: You’ve mentioned it a few times. What do you think about Subway for dinner?

Lady P: What was that Spanish place we went to last week? I rather fancy one of those—what do you call them—burros?

Susana: Burritos, Lady P. And it was Mexican, not Spanish. Mi Hacienda, on Glanzman Street. They offer salsa lessons on Wednesday nights. What do you say we paint the town while we’re at it.

Lady P: A burrito will do, Susana. And perhaps some of those savory chips. Never had anything like them before. Do you suppose I can take the recipe back with me for my own cook to prepare?

Susana [shaking her head]: Sorry, Lady P. We’ve had this discussion before. Remember the Prime Directive?

As always, please do comment if you have any questions you’d like to ask Lady P about the late Georgian/Regency era. She does love to chat!

The Lady P Series

Episode #1: Susana’s Adventures With Lady P: The Introduction

Episode #2: Lady P Talks About… Pride and Prejudice?

Episode #3: Lady P and the Duchess Who Lost a Billion Dollars

Episode #4: Lady P and the Face On the $100 Bill

Episode #5: In Which Lady P Discovers Sparkly Fabrics and Ponders Violating the Prime Directive

Episode #6: Lady P Dishes the Dirt on the Duchess of Devonshire

Episode #7: The Political Exploits of Lady P and the Duchess of Devonshire

Episode #8: Lady P and the Prince Regent’s Illicit Marriage

Episode #9: In Which Lady P Depletes the Cooking Sherry During Her Discussion of Caroline of Brunswick

Episode #10: Lord Byron: Mad, Bad, and Dangerous to Know

Episode #11: In Which Lady P Talks About Hannah More and the Rights of Women

Episode #12: Lady P’s Revelations Regarding George III and His Peculiar Progeny

Episode #13: Lady P Discusses the Luddite Uprising, the Assassination of Spencer Perceval, and the General Unfairness of Life

Episode #14: In Which Leticia, Lady Beauchamp, Pops In For an Interview On Her Personal Acquaintance With Princess Charlotte of Wales

Episode #15: Lady P On Assignment in 1814 Kent

Lady P Quizzes Jane Livingston, the Hero’s Sister From “A Twelfth Night Tale”

Episode #11: In Which Lady P Talks About Hannah More and the Rights of Women

Lady Pendleton, Damian Ashby’s eccentric aunt (see the epilogue to Treasuring Theresa on Susana’s web site), is visiting Susana from the early 19th century. She’s intrigued by life in 21st century Toledo, Ohio, and, of course, Susana is thrilled to have the opportunity to pick her brain about life in Regency England. It certainly gives her a great deal to write about in Susana’s Parlour!

Susana: [to the Reader]:

The other day, Lady P and I got to talking about the position of women in the Regency period and how it evolved from the late 18th century when women such as Georgiana Cavendish held political salons and marched in support of political candidates to a time when women were to be saintly and devout and “protected” from the seamier side of life, leaving the important decisions to their sturdier husbands.

Miss_Hannah_More-304x400Lady P: ‘Twas Hannah More and the Evangelicals that popularized it. Women were to be seen and not heard, at the same time obedient to their husbands and revered by them. [Snorting in an unladylike manner] Pendleton and I laughed about it on many an occasion. I’ve never been the obedient sort, and Lord P would not have wed me if I were. Nor did I wish to be worshiped either. The very idea!

Susana: No doubt it was a reaction against the excesses of the previous generation. The Devonshire ménage-à-trois, for example. The Prince Regent and his illicit marriage, as well as all of his mistresses and excessive spending. The scandalous behavior of Lady Caroline Lamb.

Lady P [Frowning]: There were excesses, of course, which did lead to the pendulum swinging in the other direction. But such extreme changes more often than not led to equally harmful excesses on the other side.

Susana: Indeed. I can certainly see that is true in the 21st century. But do explain what you mean, Lady P. What were the harmful excesses caused by the Evangelical movement?

Lady P: A popular interpretation of the wife-as-saintly approach was that the husband was allowed and even expected to be a sinner.

Susana: Which gave him the freedom to take mistresses and carouse as often as he liked, while his “sainted wife” stayed home and raised the children.

caroline_lambLady P: Well, yes, but it was rather more than that. As unrealistic and unfair as it was to the women, I believe it was equally unfair to the men. Lord Byron, for example. Why would such a dissolute young man choose to marry a staid bluestocking like Annabella Milbanke?

Susana: Because she was an heiress and he was close to bankruptcy?

Lady P: Then why would she agree to marry him? She had turned him down flat in the past, having recognized that he was a loose screw.

Susana: Because opposites attract? Because she thought she could reform him?

Lady P: Exactly! She was quite forthcoming about it, actually, and Lord Byron seemed to agree that she would be a good influence on him, at least at first. But as the wedding drew near, he began to have doubts, complaining to his bosom bows that he feared the medicine would be far more disagreeable than the disease itself.

Susana: It can be tiresome to be preached at all the time. In a true partnership, both partners accept each other, flaws and all.

Lady P: Precisely. In this case, Annabella overestimated her own influence and underestimated the extent of her husband’s vices. She did not know of his immoral relationship with his half-sister Augusta until after the marriage, for example, and like most women who incessantly nag their husbands, she came to be regarded by her husband as a nuisance.

Susana: But as you say, Byron was a bit of a loose screw. Would it have worked between them, do you think, if he’d been on some sort of medication?

Lady P [with a loud harrumph]: Your society seems to be of the opinion that all can be cured with a tiny pill, Susana, but I’m not so sure. We had quacks touting medicines in our day too. Why, the stories I could tell you about laudanum…!

Susana: But getting back to the issue of women’s rights, what did you think of people like Hannah More, Lady P? Was she a good influence or a bad one? She did influence people to care for the poor, did she not?

Lady P: Hannah More and those around her were neither good nor bad, Susana. The mistake, in my opinion, is to paint everything in life broadly as either white or black. Hannah More did a great deal to awaken society to the plight of the poor and stir up support on their behalf, that is true. But I believe that she did a disservice to both women and men in promoting the role of women as subservient to men.

Susana: But women were still legally the chattel of men, were they not? And they were not given the right to vote for another hundred years.

Lady P [somewhat impatiently]: Legally, yes, that is true. But my dear Susana, you must not assume that every marriage was built on such an unequal basis. Discerning women always knew how to manage their husbands, so long as they took care to marry a husband who could be managed, that is. I daresay even the redoubtable Hannah herself could not have managed such a bedlamite as Lord Byron.

Susana: But you said yourself that you never told Lord Pendleton about your Whig activities with the Duchess of Devonshire.

Lady P: Indeed not. It was for his own protection. His family would have been scandalized.

Susana [shaking her head]: Sometimes your logic escapes me, Lady P.

Lady P: I’m not saying that my own marriage was ideal, or that most marriages were not unequal in my day, Susana. There was just as much hypocrisy in society then as there is in your century. Why Hannah herself apologized in her books for having the temerity to write them at all, being a mere woman as she was. My point is that one must consider one’s options and make the wisest choices possible in whatever circumstances one finds oneself. I may have decided to become a Whig, but I wasn’t foolish enough to believe they should have unilateral power. No indeed. Some of their official policies were ridiculous in the extreme, and I was glad there were rational voices on the other side to temper their excesses.

Susana: In that respect, I certainly agree with you, Lady P. I find I cannot blindly accept any philosophy or ideology without considering each facet of it on its own merits. But I find it extremely frustrating that there are so many who do, as though they haven’t a brain to think for themselves.

Lady P [dryly]: So I’ve noticed that about you. But Susana, it does appear that you are missing the point. People are who they are, and there’s not a lot you can do to change them. My counsel in such cases has always been to do what you can and let the rest be, else you work yourself into a state fit for Bedlam.

Susana: [shaking her head]. You remind me so much of Dr. Ellis, author of How To Stubbornly Refuse To Make Yourself Miserable About Anything, Yes Anything.

Lady P: What a singular title for a book! The logic seems sound, however. Why, many was the time when Lord P left me alone to go to his club that I could have spent the night fuming, but I decided instead to use that time to follow my own interests.

Susana: Such as attend the Whig salons at Devonshire house?

Lady P: Yes, and attend balls and musicals that Lord P did not enjoy. It wasn’t fashionable to live in one another’s pockets, in any case. We muddled along well enough, I do believe. How I do miss the dear man! [Sigh]

As always, please do comment if you have any questions you’d like to ask Lady P about the late Georgian/Regency era. She does love to chat!

The Lady P Series

Episode #1: Susana’s Adventures With Lady P: The Introduction

Episode #2: Lady P Talks About… Pride and Prejudice?

Episode #3: Lady P and the Duchess Who Lost a Billion Dollars

Episode #4: Lady P and the Face On the $100 Bill

Episode #5: In Which Lady P Discovers Sparkly Fabrics and Ponders Violating the Prime Directive

Episode #6: Lady P Dishes the Dirt on the Duchess of Devonshire

Episode #7: The Political Exploits of Lady P and the Duchess of Devonshire

Episode #8: Lady P and the Prince Regent’s Illicit Marriage

Episode #9: In Which Lady P Depletes the Cooking Sherry During Her Discussion of Caroline of Brunswick

Episode #10: Lord Byron: Mad, Bad, and Dangerous to Know

Episode #11: In Which Lady P Talks About Hannah More and the Rights of Women

Episode #12: Lady P’s Revelations Regarding George III and His Peculiar Progeny

Episode #13: Lady P Discusses the Luddite Uprising, the Assassination of Spencer Perceval, and the General Unfairness of Life

Episode #14: In Which Leticia, Lady Beauchamp, Pops In For an Interview On Her Personal Acquaintance With Princess Charlotte of Wales

Episode #15: Lady P On Assignment in 1814 Kent

Lady P Quizzes Jane Livingston, the Hero’s Sister From “A Twelfth Night Tale”