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Scandal Rocks Kent and the House of the de Bourghs

Hello, All. This is Romona Regency here with all the latest and greatest news from Kent. This bit of scandal comes to us from just outside of Rochester and Higham upon the estate of Lady Catherine de Bourgh, the sister to the Earl of Matlock and widow of Sir Lewis de Bourgh. It seems her ladyship is to be displaced and by none other than her “favorite” nephew, Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy, the master of Pemberley, who by a twist of fate, or, rather, should we say, a twist of “marriage” is now the new master of Rosings Park, having inherited it from his late wife. The gentleman has provided his aunt her “marching orders.” It seems the grand dame must claim a new moniker: That of the Dowager Lady de Bourgh. Sources say even Lord Matlock has refused to assist her ladyship with her removal from the estate’s mansion to the dower house.

His lordship was heard to have said:

“Devilish rum business. But Darcy has his rights. You chose to force his hand, and, now, you must live with your manipulation. Our nephew married Anne, just as you insisted he do. It is not his fault your daughter died in a little over half a year of pronouncing her vows. Even though they held nothing more than familial affection for each other, who is to say they might have made the best of it for the remainder of their days—mayhap they would have had a half-dozen children. That might have satisfied you, to have grandchildren about you. Might have softened your nature. However, I do not think such a marriage would have made either Darcy or Anne happy. Like it or not, Catherine, they did not suit. Darcy adored his parents, and, whether you wish to recognize it or keep fooling yourself, George Darcy and our younger sister Anne were happy together. They loved each other deeply. Your belief that George Darcy should have chosen you instead of Anne—that you should have been mistress of such a breathtaking beautiful estate as Pemberley—is what drove you to force Darcy and your daughter together. You made your bed, now, you must lie in it.”

Rosings Park (Belton House/Public Domain)

My goodness! Is that not scandalous enough for you? Imagine one so regal—so full of her own consequence—being brought so low as to live on an allowance and to entertain in the estate’s dower house. I suppose those without connections would know satisfaction with such a house, but none of us here at The Tattler believe Lady Catherine will know ease.

Other sources have informed me that Mr. Darcy means to bring the estate back to his former grandeur, for such was his late wife’s dying wish. We can only hope Mr. Darcy performs with more expertise than did his aunt, who is said to have shamelessly neglected her obligations to her tenants.

As of this very morning, it is my understanding that Lady Catherine has taken to her bed, supposedly from a fall upon the main stairs of the manor house, but one can logically consider her ladyship’s “accident” simply a maneuver to keep Mr. Darcy at bay for as long as possible. Several servants attached to the manor house have confirmed that Lady Catherine has agreed to employ Miss Elizabeth Bennet to oversee the refurbishing of the dower house. Miss Bennet is said to be the cousin of Lady Catherine’s cleric, Mr. Collins, and she was visiting with the Collinses when the accident occurred. We here at The Tea Time Tattler wondered why Mrs. Collins did not take up the charge of assisting Lady Catherine, but several among those who are willing to speak of her ladyship’s woes have indicated Mrs. Collins has been ordered to bed by our own Doctor Wilson. All within Rosings Park assume Mrs. Collins is with child, but nothing has been confirmed; yet, such would explain much, as few know anything of Miss Bennet, who is said to be from Hertsfordshire. We shall keep both our eyes and our ears open and report back when we learn of Lady Catherine’s removal to her new home. Shan’t that be a sight for our sore eyes?

Side Note:

After this story was set for publication, we learned that Miss Bennet, at the insistence of Lady Catherine, has moved into Rosings Park itself, which means when Mr. Darcy arrives later in the week, he will be forced to stay either at the local inn or at the dower house being repaired for his aunt. Naturally, a gentleman cannot remain is the main house, even if he owns it, with an unmarried female and no chaperone. Now, that would be a scandal worth bringing out a special edition of lovely newsprint, would it not? If such occurs, you shall hear it here first.

About the Book

The Mistress of Rosings Park: A Pride and Prejudice Vagary

Release date: January 8, 2021

I much prefer the sharp criticism of a single intelligent man to the thoughtless approval of the masses. – Johannes Kepler

When she arrives at Hunsford Cottage for a visit with her long-time friend Charlotte Collins, Elizabeth Bennet does not expect the melodrama awaiting her at Rosings Park.

Mrs. Anne Darcy, nee de Bourgh, has passed, and Rosings Park is, by law, the property of the woman’s husband, Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy; yet, Lady Catherine de Bourgh is not ready to abandon the mansion over which she has served as mistress for thirty years. Elizabeth holds sympathy for her ladyship’s situation. After all, Elizabeth’s mother will eventually be banished from Longbourn when Mr. Bennet passes without male issue. She inherently understands Lady Catherine’s “hysterics,” while not necessarily condoning them, for her ladyship will have the luxury of the right to the estate’s dower house, and, moreover, it is obvious Rosings Park requires the hand of a more knowledgeable overseer. Therefore, Elizabeth takes on the task of easing Lady Catherine’s transition to dowager baronetess, but doing so places Elizabeth often in the company of the “odious” Mr. Darcy, a man Lady Catherine claims poisoned her daughter Anne in order to claim Rosings Park as his own.

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About the Author

Regina Jeffers, an award-winning author of historical cozy mysteries, Austenesque sequels and retellings, as well as Regency era romances, has worn many hats over her lifetime: daughter, student, military brat, wife, mother, grandmother, teacher, tax preparer, journalist, choreographer, Broadway dancer, theatre director, history buff, grant writer, media literacy consultant, and author. Living outside of Charlotte, NC, Jeffers writes novels that take the ordinary and adds a bit of mayhem, while mastering tension in her own life with a bit of gardening and the exuberance of her “grand joys.”

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How Does the Rake Know the Paragon?

The end-of-season ball thrown by the Duchess of Fambrough will be the talk of Society long after the Season ends. Not for its appointments, or the excellence of the supper or the musicians, though these were fine, indeed. Not for the quality of the assembly, though the invitations had gone out to everyone of significance, and many who merely hoped they were. Not even for the long-expected announcement of the duke’s betrothal to a young lady as well born as he.

No, the defining moments of the Fambrough ball came shortly before the supper waltz, when Lord Charming, arriving late but as elegantly dressed as ever, strolled down the stairs into the ballroom, his arms full of roses, and marched straight across the floor, his eyes fixed on the Paragon herself.

Some say he had hailed the duke when that gentleman was riding in Hyde Park that morning, and that the two of them had spoken earnestly for close to half an hour, their horses pacing side by side.

Others report he visited during the time for calls, carrying even more roses and attended by two footmen similarly burdened. The ducal house was not receiving, being consumed with preparations for the ball, but he left the roses behind when he departed.

That made tonight Lord Charming’s third encounter with the ducal household, and the assembled onlookers held their collective breath in order not to miss a moment of the drama that played out before them.

The duke was between the viscount and his stepmother. His Grace moved to one side as she stood. The scandalous gentleman approached close enough to touch, and those close enough heard him say, “I promised you roses, Marie.” Those who murmured at his familiar address were shushed by those around them. His lordship ignored them all as he handed her his roses. “These are from the rose garden at Welling. The plums are ripening on the trees. I had hoped to bring you cherries, but my gardener says they will be next week.”

These were not the loverlike words we expect from Lord Charming, and his expression was unexpectedly open. Serious, too, as was the lady’s.

“What of the conservatory, Sam?” she asked. Another murmur at the intimacy of first names, again subdued by ferocious gestures.

“We are owed clement weather, are we not? But it stands ready, Your Grace, to protect us through storms.”

The duchess looked up from her roses and their eyes met. Lord Charming moved to take Her Grace in his arms. “Will you honour me with a waltz, Marie?”

Without taking her gaze off him, she passed the roses to her step-daughter, and stepped into the viscount’s embrace.

This is an excerpt from one of the stories in Chasing the Tale, Jude Knight’s latest publication. It’s one of eleven short stories, and intended for reading over a coffee or a meal, or at night before going to sleep.

I always enjoy picking up something from Ms. Knight because I know I will not be disappointed. This is a wonderful collection of unique stories ranging from medieval times to the 1800s. Nice, short stories you can read during a lunch break or a quick bedtime read. The stories were all entertaining and enjoyable with well thought out characters that were brought to life with the talented writing of Ms. Knight. The storylines had a nice smooth flow and the plots held my interest all the way through. Definitely a collection you want to have handy when you’re looking for a quick, captivating read. Highly recommend! [Advance Reader Copy reviewer]

Scandal at Christmas

Gentle Reader:

Is anyone surprised to learn that Miss Margaret Templeton, a mere vicar’s daughter, is acting as hostess for Captain Sander Morledge’s Christmas party? This reporter has learned Miss Templeton has arrived at the Captain’s estate and has begun preparations for the party… a party that is sure to be an event that most of the ton will covet an invitation to attend.

The festivities are to include skating, sledding, and of course the search for the yule log and Christmas tree. This appears to be quite the domestic scene for Miss Templeton to undertake that would usually be handled by the lady of the manor. One must remember the Captain’s recent loss of his first wife. Will his party include an announcement of an impending wedding? We must wait and see…

Anonymous Reporter
For the Teatime Tattler


Under the Mistletoe by Bluestocking Belle Sherry Ewing is currently sitting in the Belles’ holiday box set Holiday Escapes. Keep reading to learn more about the set and an excerpt!

Excerpt:

Margaret hung back to enjoy a moment to herself. She was grateful to her mother’s friend for welcoming her so warmly. If only the woman was not driven to show her the many sights of London, as though Margaret had never been here before.

She returned her attention to a portrait of a seventeenth century woman. The artist had captured her to perfection, painting the gown in exquisite detail, so that Margaret felt she could almost reach out to feel the actual pale blue fabric of material.

“What a beauty,” a male voice whispered behind her.

Margaret’s face flushed. She knew that voice, and that tone. That familiar low timbre had teased her many times in their youth. “Yes, she is indeed. See how the painter caught her expression in her eyes,” she replied, trying to sound calm as her heart raced with his nearness. “I wonder what she was staring at that caused her smile.”

The man chuckled softly and leaned closer. She could have sworn she felt the heat of his body through the fabric of her redingote. “I was not talking about the painting, Margaret.”

Catching her breath hearing her given name pass his lips, she, at last, turned to face the man whose offer of marriage she had rejected.

“Good day, Lord Beacham. How good to see you again after all these many years.” Was that breathy voice really her own? She curtseyed and held out her gloved hand. He took it, bowing low, and she tried to remain calm even though her heart was beating wildly in her chest.

Frederick rose, his roughish grin melting her heart. “After all the years we have known one another, I would think you would know there is no need to address me so formally, or for me to be formal with you, I would hope.”

“I am sure first names are hardly appropriate, my lord, given the circumstances of our last parting,” Margaret whispered with a shaky voice and trembling chin. She had hurt him with her refusal, she knew. How could they return to their old friendship?


Holiday Escapes
By The Bluestocking Belles

Holidays, relatives, pressure to marry—sometimes it is all too much. Is it any wonder a woman may need to escape? The heroines in this collection of stories aren’t afraid to take matters into their own hands when they’ve had enough.

The Ultimate Escape, by Susana Ellis – On the eve of her wedding, Julia needs to take a moment to consider what she is doing, and where better than 100 years in the past? Unfortunately, Oliver finds a way to chase her through time.

Under the Mistletoe, by Sherry Ewing – Margaret Templeton will settle for Captain Morledge’s hand in marriage, until she sees the man she once loved at her second-best bridegroom’s Christmas party.

Gingerbread Bride, by Jude Knight – Travelling with her father’s fleet has not prepared Mary Pritchard for London. When she strikes out on her own, she finds adventure, trouble, and her girlhood hero, riding once more to her rescue.

A Dangerous Nativity, by Caroline Warfield – With Christmas coming, can the Earl of Chadbourn repair his widowed sister’s damaged estate, and far more damaged family? Dare he hope for love in the bargain? 

These stories are republished here at 20% of the cost of collecting them all from each individual author.

Two bonus short stories round out the collection.

Buy Links:

Amazon US | Apple Books |  Barnes & NobleKobo

Amazon AU | Amazon BR | Amazon CA | Amazon DE | Amazon ES | Amazon FR |Amazon IN | Amazon IT | Amazon JP | Amazon MX | Amazon NL | Amazon UK Angus & Robertson

About Bluestocking Belle Sherry Ewing:

Sherry Ewing picked up her first historical romance when she was a teenager and has been hooked ever since. A bestselling author, she writes historical and time travel romances to awaken the soul one heart at a time. When not writing, she can be found in the San Francisco area at her day job as an Information Technology Specialist.

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Are Runaway Brides in the Spirit of Xmas?

Honoured Sir

I write as a concerned member of the public. This recent rash of BRIDES who refuse to do their duty to their FAMILY must be stopped.

Sir, I protest the latest offering from the Bluestocking Belles, this CABAL of females who publish FICTIONAL ACCOUNTS that encourage women to think for themselves.

As if any female has the BRAIN, sir, to know better than her FAMILY about how to choose a husband to protect and care for her.

In their latest book, the Bluestocking Belles offer stories of brides who RUN from excellent matches. The first has a maiden who is upset to find that a young man is marrying her for her dowry and her pedigree. This, young woman, if the WAY of the WORLD. It is not an excuse to flee your responsibilities.

In the second, likewise, the young woman rejects the excellent match her FATHER made for her on the specious grounds that the chosen man has firm ideas about controlling her behaviour. Clearly a case of spare the ROD and spoil the CHILD.

The third story has a commoner who refuses to marry at the behest of her AUNT, even though the COUSIN the aunt choses is a man with a TITLE, and therefore better than such a female might hope to expect.

In the fourth, a girl whose birth is questionable runs from an earl offering, or so she thinks, a liaison that is NOT respectable. What else does such a female expect?

Two more short stories complete the set, on the same scandalous theme.

I wish, sir, to express the most serious of objections to this collection.

***

If you want to know more about these brides and the grooms they choose, buy Holiday Escapes, released tomorrow. More information and buy links here.

Has the Runaway Bride Returned?

Imagine our surprise, dear reader, at what we saw today on the corner of Milsem and Bond Streets. A certain runaway bride, six months gone from London.

You may remember the scandal we wrote about six months ago; a nobody of a chit, Miss F., who trapped Lord B., the handsome and mysterious earl, into marriage. She was discovered in his bed. Drugged and placed there by her wicked uncle, the earl said. Said we, pull the other one, my lord.

Whoever came up with the ruse, they were wed within days, and a week later the new Lady B. disappeared, run away with a sailor.

Lord B. retired from Society immediately after. Does he know she has returned? And what will he do when he finds out?

‘A Gentleman Honors His Word’ is a bonus short story in the new box set by the Bluestocking Belles, coming out on 15 November. In Holiday Escapes, four runaway brides who first saw their stories told in the Bluestocking Belles’ first box set, long out of publication, are brought together again.

Holidays, relatives, pressure to marry—sometimes it is all too much. Is it any wonder a woman may need to escape? The heroines in this collection of stories aren’t afraid to take matters into their own hands when they’ve had enough.

Holiday Escapes

The Ultimate Escape, by Susana Ellis On the eve of her wedding, Julia needs to take a moment to consider what she is doing, and where better than 100 years in the past? Unfortunately, Oliver finds a way to chase her through time.

Under the Mistletoe, by Sherry Ewing Margaret Templeton will settle for Captain Morledge’s hand in marriage, until she sees the man she once loved at her second-best bridegroom’s Christmas party. 

Gingerbread Bride, by Jude Knight Travelling with her father’s fleet has not prepared Mary Pritchard for London. When she strikes out on her own, she finds adventure, trouble, and her girlhood hero, riding once more to her rescue.

A Dangerous Nativity, by Caroline Warfield With Christmas coming, can the Earl of Chadbourn repair his widowed sister’s damaged estate, and far more damaged family? Dare he hope for love in the bargain? 

These stories are republished here at 20% of the cost of collecting them all from each individual author

But wait, there’s more

Two bonus short stories round out the collection.

The Fugitive Fiancée

What can a penniless orphan do, when faced with a malodorous baron and an authoritarian baroness? She can run, that’s what.

A Gentleman Honors His Word

Dickon marries Letty to save her, but she flees him a week after the wedding, and runs off with a sailor. Now he has until their ship reaches London to give her a good reason to come home.

Order now

Order now from Amazon. Other links coming.

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