Home of the Bluestocking Belles

Because history is fun and love is worth working for

Author: Aunt Augusta Page 1 of 12

Letters to the Editor – May 1808

1 May 1808

Haikus to the Editor

They call me harlot. 
For I got my belly full.
But I will survive.   
They left me to die.
Fallen Lady in St. Giles.
A year on, I thrived. 
Hunger, pain, and fear, 
Kept me company at night.
My thoughts on revenge. 
The prince who trained me 
Coaxes vengeance in my heart.
Villains must be stopped. 
This is my warning, to members of the Society for the Purification of England. We are coming for you.
Signed,
A Fallen Woman
London

5 May 1808

Have our standards truly sunk so low? Whereas once our superior paper printed articles on proper etiquette, interesting insights into the movements of Society, and important information regarding current events affecting our great nation. Must we now resort to reading the type of drivel that was posted on the 1st of May? And from a self-proclaimed Jezebel, no less? What is happening in this great nation, when the words of a fallen woman are being forced upon persons of superior standing and greater morals? 
This type of behavior—nay, this type of voice—leads to women having ideas. Demands. Entitlements.
What’s next, then? Women voting? Wearing trousers? Going to school?
This must stop, before our great nation falls to ruin! 
Signed,
Hester T. Smythe
4 Poston Houses
Little Nottingshire, Sussex 

6 May 1808

Hester, you old hag. Put a stocking in it.
Signed,
Lady Harriett Ross 
 —Self-proclaimed Matchmaking Motley Meddler 
 —Mistress of Destiny 
 —Wielder of the Infamous Umbrella 

Bloomfield Place Bath, England 
I’m just an old woman with opinions. On everything.
Woman Reading Book in Wooden Landscape
 Edouard Jean Conrad Hamman (Belgian, 1819–1888)

Von Tempsky: A Newspaperman? Really?

December 1863, Auckland, New Zealand

It has been heard about Auckland Town that Mr. von Tempsky, that intrepid adventurer, (and don’t try to tell me that a man who has fought in the jungles of South America would ever truly settle to such a staid existence as being merely a newspapermen, even in as wild a place as the mining towns of the Coromandel), a newly made commander in the Colonial Army, is currently involved in the rescue of a female settler-to-be somewhere in the wild Hunua Ranges, to the south of our good town.


This female, they say (and I hesitate to call her a lady, or perhaps even a person of womanly means), has made her way, alone, all the way from the feral East Coast of our fair land to Auckland, riding a wild Indian pony. It appears she had finally, after some searching, found Mr. von Tempsky, an acquaintance of her husband, after riding (swimming?) her Mustang across the large swamps between the town of Thames and Pukorokoro, (at the Miranda Redoubt). The good commander, in the middle of his preparation for war against the wild men of the Waikato, had rightly sent her north to abide in safety with his wife and children. However, after some bungling by the men sent to guide and protect her, it appears the girl has disappeared—and foul play is suspected.

Awaiting the news with bated breath, I remain,

Yours, etc.

Mr. Samuel Clemens

A Sea of Green Unfolding

December 1863, Maketu Pā, south of Auckland, New Zealand

“I appreciate the Pākehā working so hard to help us.” Tangawai watched the uniformed men in the distance to the southwest of his outpost, high atop the Maketu pā.

“They clear the bush beside the Great South Road to keep their supply trains safe from us, not to help us,” Mahi replied in Māori, his brows drawing together as he looked at the young rangatira from the corners of his eyes.

“Their stripping back of the bush from the road also lets us see who comes and goes on their road.” Tangawai grinned and raised the telescope back to his eye. The colonial army soldiers continued to toil and wear themselves out in the morning sun. He wiped sweat from his brow with the back of his forearm. The weather was already hot and humid for this hour, and he wasn’t swinging an axe.

As he scanned the Great South Road northward from the loggers, three mounted men came into view, trotting toward Auckland. Two wore military uniform and one was clad in a ragged-edged leather tunic.

“Tangawai,” a female voice called up to him from below.

He handed the scope to his cousin and leaned over the wall. The woman was climbing the steep side of the before him, a flax kete on her back. He threw a coil of rope to her and she climbed the last bit with its help.

Tangawai smiled as he took her hand and helped the slim, but heavily pregnant, young woman over the last parapet. “It must be getting difficult to climb, my Tūī.” He pulled her to him and kissed the top of her head on her glossy black hair.

“It won’t be long now, and your son will be on my back instead.” She smiled up at him and pulled his kai from the satchel.

He sat and ate with her while his cousin kept watch.

“Tangawai,” Mahi called over his shoulder, “weren’t there three riders heading north before, from Williamson’s Clearing?”

“Yes, two in uniform and one other.”

“There’s only the one Pākehā now.”

“Can you see the uniformed men?”

“No,” he said, and watched for awhile more. “Ah, there they are…they’re going away from us, toward the homesteads on the west side of the road. It might be a trap.”

“We’d better go spring it, then.” Tangawai frowned and pulled Tūī to her feet. “I’ll signal the village to ready the riders, but you’ll need to get down there and explain. The rest need to be ready to disappear into the bush. The Pākehā won’t follow them there.” He gave her a quick hug and a kiss, then she slid over the edge and lowered herself on the rope. Tūī waved from the bottom, then turned and ran down toward the village.

Yes, the Pākehā made it easy to see their road…and easy to see the figure on a small buckskin horse. Alone, when he’d just had a military escort. Why had they left him alone? This was a new trick.

He signaled via mirror to the village below and four men made ready. They approached Tūīwhen she reached the encampment and stood beside her for a few minutes, gesturing, before they mounted up and raced from the encampment. Their horses were gaunt and hard from their time in the bush on rough feed, now that the Māori were beginning to be pushed from the lands of their ancestors.

Tangawai returned to his telescope and scanned the horizon as his men galloped down the hill toward the newly-cleared road. The dust cloud raised by their passing diminished as the warriors settled themselves just inside the bush on both sides of the track to await the lone rider.

He was soon in their own trap. Tangawai gripped the parapet before him as his men surrounded the Pākehā. The rider looked small and puny, now that his whanau surrounded him. His men seemed to be speaking to the rider, then the little horse made a dash to escape, but its way was blocked. The Pākehā’s horse reared and sunlight glinted off metal near the hand of the rider as his men rushed toward him.

The rump of the gray horse was stained scarlet by the time the diminutive rider was dragged off the buckskin by two of his remaining, seasoned warriors. The man who’d been riding the gray crouched next to his horse, holding his bleeding forearm, and the other lay face-down on the ground. Tangawai shook his head and swore, while the men beside him on the walls stepped further away from him. He watched as his men picked the rider up off the ground and shook him.

And knocked his hat off.

Tangawai took the telescope away from his eye and blinked, glanced at the telescope, then peered through it again.

It was still there.

The blonde hair, down past his knees.

Pākehā men didn’t wear their hair that way.

The man who’d just bested two of his finest warriors had blonde hair cascading down past her knees…for it had to be a wahine.

This wasn’t normal, by anyone’s reckoning.

sea of green

A Sea of Green Unfolding

When you’ve already lost everything, the only place left to go is up…

Tragedy strikes in Aleksandra and Xavier’s newly-found paradise on their Californio Rancho de las Pulgas and newspaperman Gustavus von Tempsky invites them on a journey to a new life in New Zealand—where everyone lives together in peace.

Unfortunately, change is in the wind.

When they reach Aotearoa, they disembark into a turbulent wilderness—where the wars between the European settlers and the local Māori have only just begun—and von Tempsky is leading the colonial troops into the bush.

Want to read more?

You can find A Sea of Green Unfolding here or at your favorite online store!

Amazon.com

Barnes & Noble

Kobo

iBooks

Lizzi Tremayne

About the Author

Lizzi grew up riding wild in the Santa Cruz Mountain redwoods, became an equine veterinarian at UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine and practiced in the Gold and Pony Express Country of California before emigrating to New Zealand. She is the proud mother of two boys in that sea of green. When she’s not writing, she’s swinging a rapier or shooting a bow in medieval garb, riding or driving a carriage, playing in the garden on her hobby farm, singing, cooking, being an equine veterinarian or high school science teacher. She is multiply published and awarded in special interest magazines and veterinary periodicals.

With her debut novel, A Long Trail Rolling, she was Finalist 2013 RWNZ Great Beginnings; Winner 2014 RWNZ Pacific Hearts Award for the unpublished full manuscript; Winner 2015 RWNZ Koru Award for Best First Novel and third in Koru Long Novel section; and finalist in the 2015 Best Indie Book Award.

Find Lizzi

Lizzi’s website and blog

Subscribe to Lizzi’s VIP Club

BookBub

Horse and Vet Books website              

Facebook

Amazon author page

Books + Main Bites

Instagram

Pinterest

Twitter

Goodreads

YouTube

Bounder deceives Lady Taffy

Mr. Clemens–

It is with great reluctance and heaviness of heart that I write to you today, but decency demands I must. Were that it not so! A most intriguing stranger arrived at the Pump Room not a fortnight past — you’ll note I hesitate to call him “gentleman”! The Chevalier d’Aubusson — if indeed he holds the honor — has charmed all and sundry with a practiced grace and the face of an Adonis, but I rather suspect –nay, I am certain! — he means to abscond with one of our impressionable young ladies. For their part, the young ladies are only too happy to comply!

His attention has fallen upon the rather tragic figure of Lady Emilia Lloyd-Marshal, known to some by the affectionate appellation “Lady Taffy” because of her unfortunate Welsh roots. As you well know, Lady Emilia was presented late, and is now on her sixth — sixth! — season with not a suitable swain in sight. What does she expect, carrying on the way she does? She shocked the assembly into silence with an impromptu harp recital whilst we were attempting to take the waters in peace. She discarded her gloves, then emptied her glass into a ficus — a ficus, I ask you! At the ball this Thursday last, I espied her sneaking gin from a flask concealed on her person, then she stole a dance with the chevalier from my daughter, and deported herself like a veritable harlot. If that isn’t enough to scandalize you, my dear Mr. Clemens, you may need to find your seat for what I am about to impart.

Lady Emilia Lloyd-Marshal is to appear in a play with none other than the infamous Countess of Somerton — in a theater!

Truly, some Good Samaritan ought to save that girl from her own worst impulses. I suppose it cannot be helped. Though I have not seen her parents in your scandal sheet of late, I can assure you their behaviour is as reprehensible as ever. It is an open secret Lord Brecon lives in sin with a fishwife in some Welsh backwater, while Lady Brecon frequents the bawdy houses of Soho with her retinue of misguided lords, chief among them the hapless Lord Dorchester, who seems quite devoted, poor lamb. In such a household, I daresay Lady Emilia hadn’t the slightest chance of reaching maturity unscathed. But I digress–!

Mr. Clemens, I only wish to caution the unmarried ladies of the ton against this mysterious chevalier. He must be a pretender, for what gentleman would ever seriously court Lady Taffy? Fortune cannot make up for shamelessness or ill manners, and I’m afraid Lady Emilia has an abundance of both. I shudder to think what machinations the “chevalier” has in store for her, but whatever fate awaits her, I am assured she brought it on herself.

Regretfully,

Lady C—-

Beauty and the Bounder by Jessica Cale

He’s a liar and a fortune-hunter . . . and exactly what she needs.

The moment Lady Emilia sets eyes on the Chevalier d’Aubusson, she knows their fates are tied together. For good or ill, she cannot say. A mysterious aristocrat with a tragic past, the chevalier makes waves with his considerable charm.

Seb Virtue is not as he seems. A once-famous actor with a limited options, his future depends on him catching a rich bride. He thought it would be easy, but he didn’t count on Emilia.

There are cracks in Seb’s story, and Emilia never could resist a mystery. Whether he’s a gentleman or a bounder, he might just be the man for her.

Beauty and the Bounder in Valentines from Bath — see more, including buy links, here.

Excerpt

Seb had as much right to be here as anyone. Birth be damned, he was just as good as them if not better. Hadn’t he fought and nearly died for his country? So, he didn’t have a fortune or an ancient name that meant anything outside of Southwark, but he knew how to treat a woman. If Emilia took a chance on him, she’d find out just how good he was at that.

As the couples split into pairs, Seb took Emilia in his arms. She looked startled as his hand found its natural place at the base of her back. At a loss, her free hand skimmed his chest and settled behind his neck. Holding their joined hands tighter, he led her around the room. As he spun her in clockwise circles in an anticlockwise direction, the unavoidable dizziness gave one the sense of flying.

Emilia followed him easily, but he had the sense he’d shocked her. They were moving too quickly to properly converse, and he preferred it that way. He relaxed into the familiar steps and focused on her face. Her eyes were bright, her cheeks flushed, and her lips parted in surprise. She was a little breathless, but not nearly breathless enough. As he twirled her, a sprig of lavender fell from her hair and was crushed underfoot, adding to the perfume of beeswax and warm bodies in the air. She gasped as he caught her and held her to his chest.

Her gaze fell to his lips. “I’m quite scandalized.”

He regarded her with interest. Not yet, she wasn’t.

Jessica Cale is an author, editor, and historian based in North Carolina. Originally from Minnesota, she lived in Wales for several years where she earned her B.A. in History and MFA in Creative Writing while climbing castles for history magazines. She kidnapped (“married”) her very own British prince (close enough) and is enjoying her happily ever after with him in a place where no one understands his accent. She is the editor of Dirty, Sexy History, and you can visit her at dirtysexyhistory.com.
Website: http://www.dirtysexyhistory.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/dirtysexyhistory
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/JessicaCale
Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/caleisafourletterword

Auckland

The Lords and Ton of New Zealand… and the Scumbags… or are they?

“Mama, why must we,” Emma twitched at her crinoline with a scowl in an attempt to keep it clear of the mud and manure in the middle of the main thoroughfare, “wear the height of London fashion in this God-forsak—”

“Emma!” Mrs.Wyndham-Smyth hissed. “Ladies do not use that sort of language.” She flicked glances over both shoulders, her face paling.

Her daughter continued like she hadn’t heard her. “I thought we were moving to the wilderness when we came all the way to New Zealand and we’re still stuck in this filthy town. At least if we went to the provinces we could have some fun and not dress like trumped-up—”

“That really is enough, young lady.”

Auckland
from http://www.aucklandcity.govt.nz/dbtw-wpd/heritageimages/index.htm

Emma took a deep breath to steady herself before she went on. “Tūī says we wear too much clothing. I agree. It’s steaming hot in these woolen dresses. We should dress like—”

“Heathens!” her mother declared. “You pay no mind to what the servants say. They are servants and we are their masters.”

She stared at her mother. “Tūī is my friend. She works for us, even though New Zealand is their land. The Māori’s land. I’m not sure why you treat them with the disdain you and so many others do.”

“It’s just the way it is.” Her mother tried to look indignant, but she seemed to be losing ground and stole more looks around her. As if her friends might be nearby.

“Anyway, I want to go live in the provinces. Coromandel Town seems a nice place.”

Driving Creek, Coromandel

“The mines?” Mrs. Wyndham-Smyth’s eyes goggled and she turned a shade whiter. “Wherever did you hear that claptrap?” Her knuckles whitened on her shopping basket and she walked faster toward the market.

“From that nice Prussian newspaperman, ummm…”

“You mustn’t say ummm, my—”

Emma went on. “That Mr. von Tempsky whom Papa invited to supper last month.”

Her mother’s lips tightened. “He’s not a newspaperman any more. He’s leading our colonial troops into the bush… against the Māori. To ensure the successful invasion of the Waikato.”

von Tempsky

“But…” Emma froze, then finally slapped her mouth shut a full half minute later. “That can’t be true.”

“True it is,” the woman said, turning back toward her. “And don’t let your father hear you say that. He’s the one who secured the commission for ‘The Prussian’ to help our army.”

“But we can’t…” Emma whispered. “It’s their land. They have all the land south of the—”

“Not any more.” Her mother gritted her teeth. “Seems the land in the Waikato has already been offered to the Australians and mercenaries who are coming to help fight.”

“Clear the way, prisoner coming through!” shouted a burly man. It was the jailor, bundling along a tall, dark man who would’ve been as handsome as Mr. von Tempsky if only he wasn’t so dirty and wearing manacles.

“Do you know who that is?” Emma whispered to her mother.

“It must be that Spaniard—Xavier Argolli or something, I think they said. The constable just caught him. He’s been running free after murdering his ship’s captain on the voyage to New Zealand.” She sniffed. “Imagine that.”

The prisoner looked up then and his eyes met Emma’s. He shook his head and just had time to whisper something before his captor dragged him past.

Fort Britomart, Auckland

Find von Tempsky,” had been his words.

Emma stared after the prisoner. He must’ve heard her mention the Prussian’s name. “Excuse me, Mama, I’m not feeling well,” she said as she spun on her heel and raced for home, already planning what to pack in her saddlebags. She’d find him.

scottish

Excerpt from A Sea of Green Unfolding:

December 1863, Auckland

Crowned by a spired white church, a high, rocky headland jutted out of the coastline to their port side. The captain of the whaler steered wide of the breakwater extending from the point and headed his ship into the next big bay.

“Auckland,” the captain said, nodding his head at the sprawling city behind the ships filling the inlet and docked at the wharves.

Upon the headland ranged several cannon and many one- and two-storied stone buildings. A Union Jack, flying from a flagpole, presided over the site.

“Complete with fort?” Xavier said.

“Fort Britomart, on the point of the same name.” Thompson nodded at the cluster of buildings. “Built on an old site.”

“Big ditches around the outsides and all,” Xavier said, staring up at them as they passed.

“They’d be the original Māori trenches,” the captain said, never taking his eyes from the rocks to their port side. “We’ll dock at Queen’s Wharf,” he added.

The city of Auckland spread out before them, rising up the gradual slope beyond the bay. The fort was sizable, but the church dominated the skyline behind Point Britomart. Warehouses and stores lined the road running along the water’s edge and houses covered the hills in the background.

“That’s a bit grand for this little place,” Xavier said, pointing to the church.

“Eh? Oh, that’s St. Paul’s Anglican. It was the first one here. It’s been there for twenty years, already. And up there,” he jutted his chin up the hill a little further, “is St. Patrick’s. Take your pick. They’re both grand.”

“I think I’ll find Aleksandra before I start looking around at churches,” Xavier said, with a grin.

The sounds and smells of port hit him when they edged up to the wharf and threw out their hawsers to the waiting men. As soon as the boat was moored, Xavier grasped the hand of the captain and thanked him profusely, then climbed down the rope ladder to the dock.

“Von Tempsky shouldn’t be too hard to find,” the captain called down after him. “Just ask at Fort Britomart. They’ll know where to find him.”

“Thanks again,” Xavier said, waving, as he headed for the point.

The rough scoria of the road surface grated on the soles of his boots as he passed the church. With its tall spire and elegant lines, it was truly beautiful. Certainly a finer building than he’d expected to find here. Perhaps it wouldn’t be such a backwater, after all.

His legs were proving a bit unsteady from his time at sea, so he stretched them out as he walked, nodding to passers-by, many of whom turned their faces away as he neared them. He grinned, despite himself. He must smell like a fiend after being on ship for three months, and the last of that on a whaler. Once he set the wheels in motion to find von Tempsky and Aleksandra, he’d get a room and a bath. He could almost feel the warm water of a scented bath enveloping him.

“Hold there,” the guard at the entrance to the fort challenged.

He held up his hands and stood still, coming out of his daydream.

“Hello,” Xavier said. “De veras, of course.”

“State your name and business,” he barked.

“Xavier Argüello, looking for Captain Gustavus von Tempsky. I understand he may be near Drury?”

Several men looked up at his comment, brows narrowed.

“Right this way,” the guard said, giving him a sideways glance, his hand on his sword hilt.

The other men melted away, then the guard stood aside for him to precede him into a stone building.

The door slammed behind him and metal scraped upon metal.

Xavier turned, but the guard was nowhere to be seen.

He surveyed the waiting room. A five by five room, with only a wooden bench against one wall and a high, barred window.

Some welcome.

If they were trying to discourage visitors, they were doing a good job. He knocked on the door. A shiver ran up his spine when no one replied. He tried to lift the latch, but it wouldn’t budge. Even when he shook it. “Hey, you’ve locked me in! Guard!”

Only silence, then retreating footsteps on the boardwalk outside the door.

It finally clicked.

This was a gaol cell. But why? Had von Tempsky disgraced himself?

Xavier sat down to wait patiently, but eventually he rose to prowl from one wall to another. He pulled the bench before the grilled window, but it didn’t give him enough height to see out, so he put it back and continued to walk the walls.

There must be some mistake.

scottish

A Sea of Green Unfolding

When you’ve already lost everything, the only place left to go is up…

Tragedy strikes in Aleksandra and Xavier’s newly-found paradise on their Californio Rancho de las Pulgas and newspaperman Gustavus von Tempsky invites them on a journey to a new life in New Zealand—where everyone lives together in peace.

Unfortunately, change is in the wind.

When they reach Aotearoa, they disembark into a turbulent wilderness—where the wars between the European settlers and the local Māori have only just begun—and von Tempsky is leading the colonial troops into the bush.

Buy Links:

Amazon (All) ~ Barnes & Noble ~ Kobo ~ 24 Symbols ~ Playster

About the Author

lizzi tremayne image

Lizzi grew up riding wild in the Santa Cruz Mountain redwoods, became an equine veterinarian at UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine and practiced in the Gold and Pony Express Country of California before emigrating to New Zealand.

Busy raising two boys, farming, and running her own equine veterinary practice, she never thought she’d sit down long enough to write more than an article. A serious injury, however, changed all that, and planted her in one place long enough to jump-start her new career as an author!

With Lizzi’s debut historical romance, A Long Trail Rolling, she was: Finalist 2013 RWNZ Great Beginnings; Winner 2014 RWNZ Pacific Hearts Award for the best unpublished full manuscript; Winner 2015 RWNZ Koru Award for Best First Novel and third in the 2015 RWNZ Koru Long Novel section; and Finalist, 2015 Best Indie Book Award. She’s working on her eighth story!

When she’s not writing, she’s swinging a rapier or shooting a bow in medieval garb, riding or driving a carriage, playing in the garden on her hobby farm, singing, cooking, practicing as an equine veterinarian or teaching high school science. She is multiply published and awarded in special interest magazines and veterinary periodicals.

Lizzi loves the friendships she’s developed with the rest of the Belles. She adores how they’re so progressive, organized, and fun. Best of all, they are all willing to put themselves out there, together, to achieve more, create more, than would be possible going it alone.

Lizzi loves to connect with her readers. How would you like to connect?

Read more about Lizzi’s books

Musings of a Motley Meddler: Complicated Stuff. Wink. Wink.

5 January 1815
Bath, England

Dear Interested Parties,

Today’s Topic: Classical Mechanics or the Magic of Numbers. Honestly, I’m not entirely sure which.

It is with great honor that I announce that none other than the reclusive Dr. John Edward Hartwell has agreed to give a lecture on Mathematics and Sir Isaac Newton’s Laws of Classical Mechanics as well as discuss his own theories, recently printed, with regards to chaotic tendencies in orderly systems, at my home near Bath on Monday the 9th of January.

Perhaps, after I attend his lecture, I will understand what, precisely, all that means.

In the meantime, my guests and I await with baited breath, the arrival of our mysterious genius. Never fear, dear readers, for you will be the first to hear all the delicious details regarding this elusive man. Here. In the Teatime Tattler.

My Umbrella is at the ready.

Signed,

Lady Harriett Ross
—Self-proclaimed Matchmaking Motley Meddler
—Mistress of Destiny
—Wielder of the Infamous Umbrella

Bloomfield Place
Bath, England

I’m just an old woman with opinions. On everything.

Editor’s Note:

  1. More Information to follow as Lady Harriett Ross and author Amy Quinton reveal more of what’s to come in the 3rd Installment of the Umbrella Chronicles: John and Emma’s story. Due in time for Valentine’s Day, February 2019.
  2. The image is an engraving of Sir Isaac Newton (1642-1727), English scientist and mathematician. It captures the story of Newton’s dog, Diamond, who once knocked over a candle while Newton was out of the room, causing the papers piled on Newton’s desk to catch fire. Those papers contained some pretty important information – they were filled with calculations which had taken him twenty years to make! Upon finding nothing but ashes remained of all his hard work, he cried, “Oh, Diamond! Diamond! Thou little knowest what mischief thou hast done!”

 

Page 1 of 12

Powered by WordPress & Theme by Anders Norén