Because history is fun and love is worth working for

Author: Caroline Warfield Page 1 of 7

A Country Wedding

Clemens,

Regarding the recent marriage of the Earl of Chadbourn to that country mouse who appears to be some sort of relative of his late brother-in-law, I found the affair to be respectable enough but woefully modest for a man of his stature. I suppose some find a village church wedding charming, but your readers would no doubt prefer to hear about a fully realized society affair at Saint George, Hanover Square, or even Saint Paul’s. Still, I managed to unearth a few tidbits to report, per your request.

The Landrum family was out in force of course, even Lady Flora who so scandalously married in a rush. There was much talk about the hurry, because the family was in mourning for her sister’s husband. Neither she nor her new spouse, Lord Ethan Alcott—who makes no effort to disguise the obvious deformity he brought back from war—appeared the slightest concerned about talk. Her attendence was particularly shocking, when her obvious queasiness gave evidence that she anticipates an interesting event.

Of more interest to your readers, Lord Ethan’s brother, the very eligible Viscount Penrhyd, who is after all the heir to a Marquess, attended. He escaped entanglement last Season and showed no particular preference for any lady at the wedding, so the hopeful young women of London may take heart.

The ladies may also note that the Marquess of Glenaire stood up with Chadbourn. The man would be an breathtaking catch for any hopeful debutante—rich as Croesus, heir to the Duke of Sudbury who claims precedence following only the royal dukes, and well to look at—but alas an elusive one. Some find him as handsome as sin; I for one find him cold. Those icy blue eyes quite give one a shudder. I would warn any young lady under my patronage to avoid him.

Glenaire’s entire family attended the wedding. That the Duke and Duchess of Sudbury honored Chadbourn with their company was no surprise, given the son’s friendship. Their youngest daughter, who recently completed her second season (perhaps third, I quite forget) without a betrothal, spent the affair trying to attract the attention of Penrhyd with little success. The presence of their oldest (and let me say quite unmarried) daughter, Lady Georgiana, was the biggest surprise. They call her The Recluse of Cambridge, and she rarely appears in society.  She appeared every inch the spinster she is.

Baron Ross’s rakehell son, the Honorable James Heyworth managed to behave like a gentleman, though he imbibed a bit much. One recalls that he, Glenaire, and Chadbourn, were fast friends before war with the despicable French sent most of them off. It caused me to recall their other friend, Andrew Mallet. He lacked the connections of the other three, but went about in society with them when the four came down from university. He too went off to war and came back rather sadly scarred.

I raise his name because the presence of the others and Lady Georgiana brought to mind some old gossip. It has been several years, but I seem to recall rumors regarding the duke’s daughter and the scholar’s son. Odd that he didn’t attend, and she did. Plus, there is the Cambridge connection for I am positive he grew up there. You might want to put some of your people on it to see if there is something delicious to uncover.

I endured the wedding for your sake, my dear Clemens, overrun as it was with small boys and odd servants. (Chadbourn does hire a peculiar collection of scarred, limping, and deaf retainers, former soldiers all. Admirable, but unpleasant for his guests.) In any case I trust you to keep my name off any items you decide to publish. I do appreciate your little gifts. Leaving a packet at Williamson’s Lending Library as you have before, makes for a pleasant surprise.

Your devoted friend,

Lady Albright

About the Book

There are indeed grounds for the rumors about Lady Georgiana and Andrew Mallet. Their story is in Dangerous Works.

A little Greek is one thing; the art of love is another. 

Only one man ever tried to teach Lady Georgiana Hayden both. Now she has taken on a body of work; translating the poetry of the women of ancient Greece. If it takes a scandalous affair to teach her what she needs to complete her work, she will risk it.

Major Andrew Mallet returns to Cambridge a battle-scarred hero and would be scholar. His last encounter with Georgiana cost him eleven years of his life.  Determined to avoid her, he seeks work to heal his soul and make his scholar father proud. The work she offers risks his career, his peace of mind, and (worst of all) his heart. Can he protect himself from a woman who almost destroyed him? Does he want to?

FREE with Kindle Unlimited or for purchase at https://www.amazon.com/Dangerous-Works-Caroline-Warfield-ebook/dp/B00N9KHDWQ/

As to the Earl of Chadbourn, the story of he and his “country mouse” can be found in A Dangerous Nativity, which is always ***FREE*** at various retailers.

Lady Flora, Lord Ethan, and Viscount Penryth appear in “Lord Ethan’s Honor,” in the Bluestocking Belles’ Collection, Fire & Frost.

The very elusive Marquess of Glenaire finally gets taken down a peg or two in Dangerous Weakness, also FREE with Kindle Unlimited.

About the Author

Caroline Warfield, Bluestocking Belle and lover of romance, writes stories set in the Regency and Victorian eras from her desk in the urban wilds of eastern Pennsylvania when she isn’t traveling the world with her Beloved looking for interesting places to send her characters.

Cambridge Ladies Take Tea

Mrs. Bailey to Mrs. Smythe

Gossip over tea

First, my dear friend, I wish to thank you for hosting the Cambridge Wives Monthly Tea last May when I was indisposed. Now my turn has come again and I find myself in a quandary. Do you suppose one is required to invite that woman who dwells at Helsington? Duke’s daughter she may be, but I was never comfortable with the woman. Some have hinted we ought to ask her again if only for the titillation (Margaret Evans said that, can you believe it). Mrs. Potter still receives the woman.

Mrs. Smythe to Mrs. Clarke

Poor Maud Bailey seems to feel obliged to invite Lady Georgiana to tea this month. (If “lady” is accurate in her case.) Rumors do swirl, and Maud would get to the bottom of them if she could. She fears Margaret Evans, for one, takes salacious interest. What do you think?

Mrs. Clarke to Mrs. Evans

My dear Margaret, your Christian Righteousness continues to inspire! I understand you wish to invite the Duke of Sudbury’s Scandalous Daughter to tea—in order to let her defend against Certain Rumors, of course. I beg you do not push this issue!! I myself saw the truth of the matter. As you well know I live across the lane from Doctor Mallet’s recently returned son. Hero and fine soldier he may be, but he is not immune to a Woman’s Wiles. I personally witnessed her coming for his bachelor house at various hours. Admittedly it has been in the middle of the day but there is no chaperone in sight. When confronted she claimed she went there for help with her studies, that the man is her tutor. Who could believe such a thing! Greek indeed. She must think we’re all Babes to believe such a thing.

Mrs. Evans to Mrs. Bailey

Do not invite That Woman no matter what Molly Harding or Edwina Potter say. We’ll all hear what Abigail Clarke has to report.

About the Book

Even poetry, with its musical lyrics and sensual traps, is dangerous when you partner with the love of your life. It can quickly lead past improper to positively scandalous. A battered war hero and an abused woman come together in an emotionally complex story about the seductive power of words and the triumph of love over fear.

Lady Georgiana Hayden learned very young to keep her heart safe.  She learned to keep loneliness at bay through work. If it takes a scandalous affair to teach her what she needs to complete her work, she will risk it.  If the man in question chooses not to teach her, she will use any means at her disposal to change his mind.  She is determined to give voice to the ancient women whose poetry has long been neglected.

Some scars cut deeper than others. Major Andrew Mallet returns to Cambridge a battle scarred hero. He dared to love Georgiana once and suffered swift retribution from her powerful family. The encounter cost him eleven years of his life.  Determined to avoid her, he seeks work to heal his soul and make his scholar father proud. The work she offers risks his career, his peace of mind, and (worst of all) his heart. Can he protect himself from a woman who almost destroyed him? Does he want to?

About the Author

Caroline Warfield writes family-centered novels set in the Regency, Late Georgian, and Victorian eras. She lives in quarantine with the love of her life, while writing new stories. A lover of owls, history, and travel, she is also a Bluestocking Belle.

The Organist’s Lucky Escape

The Lower Bottleby Weekly Register, October 27, 1814

The village bade farewell last week to Miss Ann Dunwood, heretofore the resident organist and choir director at the our dear church of Saint Cunigunda in the Fields. The lady actually left rather abruptly and folk hereabouts had little opportunity to bid her farewell or any wishes whatsoever. There have, however, been reactions.

Music
Barau, Emile; The Village Church; York Museums Trust; http://www.artuk.org/artworks/the-village-church-8037

Margaret Plumbottom informed the Register that Miss Dunwood, while a pleasant enough young person, often expressed tastes in music so questionable as to put many in dislike of her. She hinted the woman may have been forced out by “certain persons prone to vicious talk.” Mrs. Plumwood insists she herself is not inclined to be so harsh. “The chit simply needs to grow up a bit. She’ll understand the importance of the soothing and familiar when she is mature.”

Can questionable music be at the root of the matter? “Likes them German composers, the modern ones like Ludwig van Beethwhatnot. I heard her pounding out some such wild music on the vicarage piano—loudly—when our beloved Reverend Pettigrew and his good wife were away,” Lorena Blodget informed our reporter. This woman felt it her Christian duty to report the incident to the vicar. “The vicar saw to it she was counseled on the matter,” the woman told us.

Music

When asked, Mabel Crouch, first soprano in the Saint Cunigunda choir these many years, refused to speak on the matter. “What’s done is done,” she said. “We will go back to the way things ought to be with proper hymns next Sunday.” After thought she recommended the reporter speak to Ernest Hackett, the church custodian.

Mr. Hackett professed to have no information about why the woman left. “Don’t know much about th’ music, but that woman were hard on the organ I can tell you that. Th’ village is lucky to have one, small though it is. Had to repair it twice when she played on it too hard. Sweet girl though. I wish her well.”

Reverend Pettigrew gave our reporter short shrift, claiming he had to work on Sunday’s sermon, though it was only Wednesday. We could only squeeze a few comments about the departed musical director. “She played well enough for a woman,” he said. “Left us in a lurch though.”

He pulled the door shut before the reporter could ask another question, but it opened back up, and the vicar’s wife’s head popped out. “You should be asking where she went,” the woman whispered. “Off to the wilds of Ornkey, up there in the far north. Uncivilized, I say.” She dropped her voice even lower, but we believe she said, “Left with that man from Edinburgh they call the Marriage Maker. Make something out of that.” The door shut for good.

About the Book

Sir Alexander Bradshaw needs a wife, a sensible woman to manage his unruly sons and sullen daughter. No suitable candidates appear, however, and Alec resigns himself to spend another long, dark Orkney winter companionless. When an acquaintance suggests a music teacher might occupy his daughter, he embraces the idea.

Ann Dunwood travels to Orkney for the opportunity to play the Kirkwall organ. For the beauty of the instrument, Ann endures the conservative choir members who wish to perform the most banal of hymns; she’s done it before. She knows how to fade into the shadows and keep to her place.

When he happens upon Ann in the cathedral, Alec is enchanted by the woman at the keyboard, who fills the room with a Bach fugue. Yet, when the music ends, the object of his fascination turns into a demure mouse. Alec determines to reignite the passion he glimpsed in her and fill his home with music.

Available October 1. Pre-order now.

About the Author

Caroline Warfield has been many things.Now in at least her third act, she works in an office surrounded by windows where she lets her characters lead her to adventures in England and the far-flung corners of the British Empire. She nudges them to explore the riskiest territory of all, the human heart.

The author in Orkney

1919: Letters in a Time of Epidemic

The Teatime Tattler has come into possession of a cache of letters and notes from the Kinmel Repatriation Camp, Wales. They appear to be from another time.

Elks Corner, Saskatchewan, January 15, 1919

Dear Harry,

It is glad we were to receive your Christmas greetings, even though they reached us the first week in January. Now the war is over I can tell you of the relief with every letter that came; it meant you were alive and well. This time we can breathe a permanent sigh of relief, no?

As to your question, yes, the influenza found the province, but we got off easy here in Elks Corner. A few folks came down sick. Old Mrs. Butterworth, you may remember from church when you visited us summers—she was ninety—didn’t make it. Come November the epidemic died back mostly. Your grandmother and I escaped it entirely.

Christmas in Ypres, huh? Maybe next year we’ll see you here at the farm again. Your grandmother is already planning what to bake.

She tells me to stop writing nonsense and just send her love.

Grandpa Matthews.

Letters and Notes

Ypres, Belgium, January 16, 1919

Dear Madame Laporte,

It is my sad duty to report that your son Emile, corporal in my unit, passed away in the army hospital in Ypres. He fought bravely alongside my company through three years of the war, only to succumb, worn out by fighting, to the demonic Spanish flu. He was buried with honors in the cemetery near Elverdinghe, along with hundreds of his fallen comrades. I was with him in the end; he died peacefully.

Lieutenant Henry W. Wheatly, Canadian Expeditionary Force

To: The priests remaining at the cathedral, Amiens, France, January 16, 1919

Reverend fathers,

I write again in hope you have some word of Rosemarie Legrand, resident of Les Hortillonnages Amiens. We lost touch some months ago, and it is imperative that I find her. I am currently confined to the Kinmel Repatriation Camp near Bodelwyddan in Wales. They plan to send us home. I need to find Rosemarie and marry her quickly so I can arrange passage as a war bride.

I continue to hope that my old friend Abbé Dejardins has returned.

Lieutenant Henry Wheatly, Canadian Expeditionary Force

letter marked returned to sender
Amiens Cathedral

January 27, 1919, Regina, Saskatchewan,

Dearest Harry,

Just the one letter after Armistice telling us you are well? Not well done of you.

Your father has been bursting with pride since word of your promotion came and he is anxious—we both are frantic, really—to have you back. He heard your regiment has been delayed in some pokey camp in Wales waiting for transport home, and he is furious. He has taken the lieutenant-governor to task, I can tell you.

Please write often.

Love, Mom

Letters and Notes

February 5, 1919

My darling Rosemarie,

I am writing once again to your cottage among the islands of les hortillonnages. I pray that you and Marcel have returned there safely. Send word to me at the address on this envelope and I will come immediately. Your letters to me have gone astray and I suspect mine to you as well.

Please know that I love you and that has not changed.

Harry

letter marked undeliverable and returned
Rosemarie Legrand

February 10, 1919

Mother,

Sorry I have not written often. Even though the fighting has stopped, my life is not my own. Please tell Father to stay away from the lieutenant-governor and to stop sending me letters about what he wants me to do when I get home.

Harry

To Sabine Legrand, Rue du Moulin Neuf, Amiens, France, February 18, 1919

Madam

We have not had the best of relations in the past. I write to beg, however, for any word of your sister-in-law Rosemarie. I am frantic to find her.

Lieutenant (formerly Corporal) Henry Wheatly

A note on the returned envelope :
Monsieur Wheatly, Sabine fled to Marseilles when the Krauts advanced in the summer. She has not returned.
S. Thierot, neighbor
Letters and notes

February 24, 1919

To whom it may concern:

It has come to our attention that no action was taken on our recommendation of commendation for Pvt. Ezekiel Willard for his actions at Vimy Ridge. As we wrote, he charged into a gun nest, capturing the gun and several enemy single handedly, likely saving two of our squads during the first day of the offensive. Witnesses can be supplied, but they will soon be repatriated and dispersed. We urge action on this.

Lieutenant Henry W. Wheatly
Sergeant Angus McNaughton

Telegram

February 28, 1919

From: Lieutenant Henry W. Wheatly, Kinmel Repatriation Camp, Wales

To: Mrs. Martha Wheatly, 538 West Marlboro, Regina, Saskatchewan

Mother: Tell father to cease writing to Gen Fitzgibbon. STOP Tell him I demand it. STOP Don’t listen to stories about Spanish Flu. STOP Have things to do before I come home. STOP Be there soon.

Harry.

March 5, 1919

Willard,

Tell the boys the Spanish crap got the lieutenant. He’s in hospital. He says watch your back from Walker. Get me if you need me.

Mac

Telegram

March 18, 1919

From: Lieutenant Henry W. Wheatly, Kinmel Repatriation Camp, Wales

To: Mrs. Martha Wheatly, 538 West Marlboro, Regina, Saskatchewan

I am well. STOP. Don’t listen to Father. STOP Down with influenza but recovered. STOP Do not worry.

Harry

March 21, 1919

Regina, Saskatchewan,

Dearest Harry,

Your father tells me you’ve gone off in search of a woman. She obviously means the world to you. Go get her Harry, and bring her so we can meet her.  Ignore your father’s interference, I beg you. He means well, truly.

Please take care of yourself, darling boy. You haven’t been well. Find your Rosemarie and come home.

Love,

Mother

About the Book

After two years at the mercy of the Canadian Expeditionary force and the German war machine, Harry ran out of metaphors for death, synonyms for brown, and images of darkness. When he encounters color among the floating gardens of Amiens and life in the form a widow and her little son, hope ensnares him. Through three more long years of war and its aftermath, the hope she brings keeps Harry alive.

Rosemarie Legrand’s husband left her a tiny son, no money, and a savaged reputation when he died. She struggles to simply feed the boy and has little to offer a lonely soldier, but Harry’s devotion lifts her up. The war demands all her strength and resilience,  but the hope of peace and the promise of Harry’s love keep her going.

In the confusion at war’s end, will their love be enough?

More information and buy links: https://www.carolinewarfield.com/bookshelf/christmas-hope/

About the Author

Caroline Warfield grew up in a perapatetic army family and had a varied career (largely around libraries and technology)before retiring to the urban wilds of Eastern Pennsylvania, and divides her time between writing and seeking adventures with her grandbuddy and the prince among men she married.

Harry’s lovely story is a departure. She writes primarily family-centered Victorian and Regency novels and believes firmly that love is worth the risk.

Servants Always Know

You can learn a lot in pubs and cafés. Your Teatime Tattler has long had a policy of lingering in such establishments on the fringe more posh neighborhoods—the sort of places servants might gather on their off days.

The Little Brown Hen Pub has been particularly useful lately. It seems one of our “better” squares, one populated by two earls, a wealthy baron, and a dowager duchess to name a few, has had an abundance of havey-cavey behavior lately—enough to make a debutante blush.

First off an upstairs maid from the Earl of W—’s house and a footman from Mr. M.C.’s both were at pains to tell our man on the spot about strange arrangements in the Earl of C—’s fashionable townhouse—he who came into his title just last summer.

servants

“Y’don’t see them servants here, do ya? They keep to themselves they do. Downright unfriendly,” complained the footman.

“That butler o’thern looks more like a prize fighter than a butler, if you ask me,” the little maid sniffed. “And have you seen that footman missing one ear? His visage has an ugly scar. What kind of earl hires ugly servants?”

They scurried off to fetch more ale when an older woman, dressed in black, and obviously an upper servant shooed them away. She introduced herself as Her Grace’s dresser—that would be the dowager—and insisted on tea. “Only tea,” she said with a sniff. This bird seemed a bit high class for this pub, but then maybe widowed duchesses don’t pay as well as others.

Servants

“If you’re interested in the Earl of C—, I can tell you more interesting things about that house than deformed footmen,” she said, rubbing two fingers together. We’re always willing to spare a few coin for a woman who can use ‘em. We obliged.

“To begin with the man doesn’t live there. He has rooms at the Albany, and God only knows what bachelors get up to there. When the old earl died, the older sister—she who is the Duchess of M— came to look after the younger girl, a flibbertigibbet of the first order, in my opinion.” She drew breath and our man quickly suspected she had many opinions loosened by coin.

“Now the Duke of M— is a fine man, but his wife is a pale shadow of a thing, utterly incapable of minding the hoyden. They must have gotten fed up with her foolish starts and outlandish taking because they up and left. Closed up the house but for a few servants.”

She leaned over and dropped her voice, those fingers moving. Another coin may have slid across the table. “I saw them leave. Saw the carriage pull round, the duchess get in, the duke pull their boy by his collar and toss him in, and then they left.”

Our man waited, and not in vain. “I did not see the younger sister get in that carriage. Nor the one with the maid, valet, and baggage,” she went on. “Neither one. I watched the whole time.” He took her meaning, but to be sure he asked, “Are you telling me the Earl of C—’s young unmarried sister is living on her own in a house that’s supposed to be closed?”

“Well I know I didn’t see her leave with ‘em, and more.” She leaned in again. “I’ve been watching a girl her size wearing the clothes of a scullery maid but walking with the bearing of a countess coming and going through the tradesmen’s door. That chit is up to something, no doubt about it, and heading for ruin.”

“Is that it?”

“Well. The Earl of C— feeds anyone who come to his kitchen. Her Grace has complained mightily that it attracts all sorts of unsavory types. This very morning I saw a particularly horrid specimen—a filthy one-armed ruffian—parade through their garden as free as you please, and get taken in. Taken in and that girl in residence! Not an hour later he was out on the street. Did they toss him on his fundament? No! One of those deformed footmen was giving him directions. I ask you, is that how a respectable household conducts itself?”

________________

The Earl of Chadbourn makes it a policy to hire as many veterans in need of work as he can. The result has been a rather unusual collection of servants. As to his sister, perhaps he wasn’t watching as closely as he should.

Watch for Lord Ethan’s Honor in Fire & Frost: a Bluestocking Belles Collection

When a young woman marches into an alley full of homeless former soldiers, Ethan Alcott feels something he thought dead stir to life: his sense of honor. Effort at charity put the chit in danger; someone needs to take her in hand.

Lady Flora Landrum discovers that the mysterious one-armed ruffian she encountered in a back alley is Lord Ethan Alcott, son of the Marquess of Welbrook; her astonishment gives way to determination. As Ethan comes to admire Flora’s courage, perhaps he can reclaim his own.

About Fire & Frost

Join The Ladies’ Society For The Care of the Widows and Orphans of Fallen Heroes and the Children of Wounded Veterans in their pursuit of justice, charity, and soul-searing romance.

The Napoleonic Wars have left England with wounded warriors, fatherless children, unemployed veterans, and hungry families. The ladies of London, led by the indomitable Duchess of Haverford plot a campaign to feed the hungry, care for the fallen—and bring the neglectful Parliament to heel. They will use any means at their disposal to convince the gentlemen of their choice to assist.

Their campaign involves strategy, persuasion, and a wee bit of fun. Pamphlets are all well and good, but auctioning a lady’s company along with her basket of delicious treats is bound to get more attention. Their efforts fall amid weeks of fog and weather so cold the Thames freezes over and a festive Frost Fair breaks out right on the river. The ladies take to the ice. What could be better for their purposes than a little Fire and Frost?

Celebrate Valentine’s Day 2020 with six interconnected Regency romances from the Bluestocking Belles.

Caroline Warfield is a Belle. You can learn about her and her writing here: https://www.carolinewarfield.com/

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