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Susana Welcomes the Lucky in Love Blog Hop!

luckyinlove

We have TWO grand prizes. You as a reader can go to EACH blog and comment with your email address and be entered to win. Yep, you can enter over 200 times!

 Now what are those prizes?

  1. 1st Grand Prize: A $100 Amazon or B&N Gift Card
  2. 2nd Grand Prize: A Swag Pack that contains paperbacks, ebooks, 50+ bookmarks, cover flats, magnets, pens, coffee cozies, and more!

But wait…there’s more!

Win a $20 Amazon Gift Card and/or a Treasuring Theresa coffee mug!

Susana’s Parlour is celebrating the Lucky in Love Blog Hop with the Treasuring Theresa Lucky In Love Giveaway. To enter the contest, click the graphic at right or the Treasuring Theresa graphic in the side bar.

Before you go, leave a comment on today’s guest post for five contest entries. Be sure to include your email address in your comment so that you are eligible for Carrie Ann’s Grand Prizes!

Lucky Like Lizzie or Lucky Like Jane?

Like just about anything else, finding love is just as much as matter of choice as luck. Let’s take Elizabeth Bennet of Pride and Prejudice. She was fortunate to be born into a genteel family, but since she had no brothers, and her father’s estate was entailed to the nearest male heir, her prospects of making a good marriage were minuscule. There were other problems too, such as her mother’s lack of breeding and connections to the merchant class, but Lizzie, out of all her sisters, was determined to marry someone she could love and respect or else become a maiden aunt to all of her sisters’ children.

lizzieConsidering her prospects, most would have agreed with her mother that she was fortunate indeed to have won the admiration of Mr. Collins. After all, he would one day own Longbourn and if she were his wife, her mother and sisters would still have a home after her father’s death. It was no more than the truth when Mr. Collins told her that she might never get another proposal of marriage.

But as much as she loved her family, Lizzie was intelligent enough to know that it would be a mistake to marry a man she despised just to secure a home for her family. Had things not worked out with Mr. Darcy, no doubt there were relatives who would have provided for them to prevent them from being cast into the street. But they would have been reduced to living in straitened circumstances, making it even less likely that they would find suitable matches, and they would be beholden to their relatives for the rest of their lives.

So Mr. Darcy’s appearance was a lucky stroke for Lizzie. And yet…if she’d been the sort of woman who was on the lookout for a meal ticket, he wouldn’t have looked twice at her. Because it was her character that attracted him as much as her appearance.

jane_bennetNow Jane Bennet is another story. I get the feeling that Jane would have married Mr. Collins if she’d been given the chance (and it’s not just Lost in Austen that makes me think so). Because of her astonishing good looks, she’d been brought up to believe that she owed it to her family to marry well, no matter what. For her, yes, it was an amazing stroke of luck that she managed to win the affection of the man she loved, and that he was wealthy as well.

I don’t know about you, but I have to respect Lizzie for her strength of character more than Jane for her willingness to sacrifice herself for her family. It might have something to do with the fact that the heroine of my current project, Cherishing Charlotte, faces a similar dilemma. But I can’t help thinking that in general, luck is a fickle friend. What if you marry a Mr. Collins for security and then meet the love of your life? What you considered good luck has now turned into a dreadful mistake. And in the Regency era, marriage was pretty much forever. And in spite of what is implied in so many historical romances (and in Lost in Austen), it wasn’t at all simple to get an annulment or a divorce. For most people it was impossible.

So I guess what I’m trying to say is that the romantic side of me likes leprechauns and pots of gold and love at first sight, but the practical side reminds me that what many consider “luck” is at least partly the result of a sense of self-worth and determination to be true to oneself, no matter what the consequences.

If you were a Bennet daughter, would you be more like Lizzie or Jane in your attitude toward marriage? Why do you think so?

Click here to continue your journey through the Lucky in Love Blog Hop.

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

Lady Pendleton, who is visiting Susana from the 19th century, is the aunt of Damian Ashby, the Earl of Granville, the hero of Treasuring Theresa. In last week’s installment, Lady P agreed to assist Susana in her project of creating a Regency ball gown, and they have included a trip to the linen-draper’s—that is, Joanne’s—in the near future. In the meantime, Lady P, when not experimenting with modern-day gadgets, entertains us with tales of life in Regency England…and a myriad of other things we’d never have thought to ask. Enjoy!

Lady P:

Goodness, I hardly know where to start. I’ve never done this before, of course. I suppose I should mention that Susana could not be with us this morning because she has an appointment with…oh dear, I can’t seem to recall his name—some Italian fellow, a bone doctor, I believe—for a consultation. I told her physicians are nearly always quacks and offered her some of the special elixir my apothecary mixes up for me, but she insisted she’d rather get the quack’s opinion first. Ah well, so be it. I did offer, after all.

Although… I think I’ll have a dose or two of Mr. Mullens’s miraculous potion before I continue my commentary. Always seems to clear my head.

Ah, yes. Much better. Well, Susana thought I might talk about that most excellent novel, Pride and Prejudice, by Miss Austen. As a matter of fact, I started to watch the—uh—play—on that curious picture machine, but I discovered I could not manage to operate it in her absence, so I found a copy of the book instead. Such a delightful story, as I recall.

My good friend Sally Jersey recommended the novel to me as superior over Mrs. Radcliffe’s, so I purchased the three volumes at Hatchard’s. I recall that I was visiting Granville Manor at the time I started reading it—my nephew Damian and his wife had invited me for the Christmas holidays and I was laid up for a time after a fall. Little Amelia’s nursemaid had neglected to put away the child’s toys, you know, and I did give her quite a scolding about it, but Theresa had it in mind to pardon her—she’s far too tenderhearted, especially when she is enceinte, but there it is.

In any event, I took the opportunity to begin reading the first volume, and I found it so engrossing that I did not wish to stop. That Mrs. Bennet—the girls’ mother, you know—was such a character. I suppose most people know someone like that, silly and frivolous and without the least knowledge of how to get on in society. My husband’s mother was such a one. Always railing at someone—usually her husband—although he quite deserved it, the way he treated her. What chance did she have to become anything other than what she was? Pendleton and I avoided her as much as possible, but there were always holidays, and then when she took ill and came to live with us…well, the servants took the brunt of it, I’m afraid. I made sure to give them extra vails at Christmastime.

Of course, I was a much more sensible woman, more like Miss Elizabeth herself, I daresay. Which is undoubtedly why Pendleton and I rubbed along so well together. He enjoyed his clubs and sporting events and left the rest to me. Why, many a time he said to me, “My dear Agatha, I could not have found a better wife had I been looking for one,” and quite true it was, too. His mother was pushing the Notting heiress at him, and had I not stepped in to rescue him, it’s quite probable my daughters would have had a fool for a mother.

Ah well, where was I? Oh yes, Miss Austen’s novel. So true to life. My older sister Edith—Damian’s mother, you know—was much like Elizabeth’s sister Jane, although her husband was a great deal more sensible than Bingley…much more like Mr. Darcy. And Lady Catherine de Bourgh reminded me so much of my Great-Aunt Harriet. Her husband was only a baronet, but you would think she was a duchess for all that she lorded it over the rest of us…boasting about those children of hers—such a shame that she passed away and can’t see what a scapegrace that Richard of hers has turned out to be.

Oh dear, was that the clock chiming? How the time has flown! I’m afraid I must be going now. Susana will be home at any moment and she has agreed to teach me how to drive a motor vehicle! Of course, she wasn’t particularly enthusiastic about it, but I simply would not take no for an answer. These 21st century vehicles are far superior to the horse-drawn carriages from my era. The speed alone…and well, no indelicate odors from the horses to deal with! I insist on learning to operate one. Why, I could drive a curricle with nearly as much skill as my nephew, and he was a member of the Four-in-Hand Club. This is just a machine, after all, not a live horse with a mind of its own. I’m sure I shall be a true proficient after a bit of practice.

Susana’s turn:

After the experience with the Russian exchange student, I promised myself I’d never teach another person to drive again, but Lady P has a mind of her own. I’ll take her over to the shopping center parking lot—early, when no one else is there—and keep my foot as near the brake as I can. There’s no way she’s going anywhere near the road. I’m not that crazy. Besides, she’ll never get a driver’s permit without a birth certificate, and even if they issued them in 1755, there would be a lot of raised eyebrows at the DMV when she produced it.

We’ll be back next week. We’ve decided to hold off on the shopping expedition because Joanne’s has announced a big sale toward the end of the month, so that Lady P can have a new gown as well. I’m afraid her grasp of economizing is bit sketchy…she doesn’t quite grasp that the MasterCard eventually has to be paid and is not just a magical piece of plastic.

As always, please comment if you have anything you’d like Susana to ask Lady P while she’s here.

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”