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Archive for October, 2012

‘The Prize is Not as Great as You Think

As I have been plugging for the last few weeks, I now present you with the serialization on Wednesday’s of The Prize is Not As Great As You Think. That has been my working title and it is possible that before all is done, something different will suggest itself. Something shorter.

As mentioned it is a Ruritanian Romance. I can’t remember just now how the idea came to me, but then after it did I started to research, and reread such works as Edgar Rice Burroughs 240px-E-R-Burroughs-2012-10-10-07-55-2012-10-31-10-59.jpg the, The Mad King The_Mad_King-2012-10-10-07-55-2012-10-31-10-59.jpg as well as the The Prisoner of Zenda 51RcgGgZclL._BO2252C204252C203252C200_PIsitb-sticker-arrow-click252CTopRight252C35252C-76_AA300_SH20_OU01_.yqqGlLNydzRb-2012-10-10-07-55-2012-10-31-10-59.jpg to prep for writing my tale.

To prep you, the tale deals with events in the Grand Duchy of Almondy, as I describe ‘bordered the north of Switzerland. To the east was France and now Belgium. The Germanies to the west, and finally the Netherlands to its north. Almondy was landlocked.’

One of the characteristics of a good Ruritanian Romance is intrigue. And as you can tell from the position of the country, the buffer between Germany and France, there certainly will be opportunity for it. With such neighbors, and set 836 years after the conquest. The conquest that took place the same year the William invaded England and defeated Harold. The year of our story begins in 1902, September.

A period of time when the Great War is brewing.

I hope you enjoy and should you like to leave feedback before next Wednesday and the next installment, please do so.

Chapter One can be found either at our website

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Or here on the blog

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Chapter Two
Chapter Three
Chapter Four
Chapter Five
Chapter Six
Chapter Seven
Chapter Eight

With a new Crown Prince, one who is young and who is a bachelor, and when he becomes Grand Prince, will need a Grand Princess at his side. A lady to produce an heir to the throne, he is a catch. How good of one, and how much he has heated up the water that surrounds him, as well as he would plunge such a lady into is explored.

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Dramatis Personae (so far)

People
Athelstan Perry-Bastard son of the Grand Prince of Almondy
Crown Prince Reginald Baxter Simeon Fitzroy Perry-Heir of throne of Almondy
Grand Prince Michael Alan Henry Fitzroy Perry-Ruler of Almondy
Michael VII-Grand Prince around 1640’s
Gerald Henry William Fitzroy Perry-2nd in line to Grand Prince
Princess Margaritte-sister of Baron William
Baron William Fitzroy Perry-Leader of government
Prince Michael Fitzroy Perry the Castle Snatch, Founder of the Fitzroy Perry, and conqueror in 1066 of the Almondian Keep.

Samuel-Bodyguard of Crown Prince Reginald
Franc-Bodyguard of Crown Prince Reginald

The Citizens of Splatz
Pieter-Baker
Henry Samuelson-Carter
Father Guiseppe
Doctor Coyne
Chief Constable Lestaing
Master Helmut-a Farmer and neighbor of Prince Gerald’s
Farmer Friedrich
Mr. Mueller
Master and Mistress Bette Kramer-onwers of the Blue Belle
Hilda-maid at the Blue Belle
Mr. Granowitz–the Bookseller
Mayor Goretz–previous mayor of Splatz

Captain Sir David Lieven-Captain in First Cavalry Regiment
Captain Adolphus Krabbe
Sergeant Phillipe

William Glau
Henry Levi
Francois Diedrou

Lady Catherine Keller-Daughter of the Minister of Justice
Captain Dain-an Aide to Crown Prince Gerald

Places
Celebont Palace-The permier castle of the Grand Prince of Almondy
SunDawn Palace-Home of the Crown Prince of Almondy, on St. Alban’s Square
Ritzlauer Hotel-Where Athelstan Perry lives
Steilenberg-Capital
Almondy-Our mythical Country, north of Switzerland
Castle Repos where Reginald is headed to spend a few weeks before he is killed
South Street
The High Street
St. Alban’s Square
The Cathedral of St. Alban
Splatz–Small village where Prince Gerald has his farm on the outskirts of
Nantz–nearest town to Splatz and Castle Grayton where there is a railroad stop
Castle Grayton–Hunting Lodge near Splatz of Prince Reginalds
Glemaire–Village between Splatz and Nantz

 

9) The Belle of the Ball

Margaritte did not know if she looked forward to the festivities after Prince Gerald’s investiture or not. There was to be a feast at the Guildhall and a ball as well. Well not a ball, but dancing, and she always excelled at dancing. At least the men all told her so even if she knew that she occasionally would stumble in figures whilst she did them. Their eyes never caught that, for men were always looking upon her face, her figure, her legs that showed as she danced. She had them all fooled, but did she fool herself the most? Her mother, thank goodness, had long ago left Steilenberg for their country manor, otherwise Margaritte knew she would have been berated about her skills.

The dowager baroness, for Margaritte was a Princess, her mother was not, did not like the society of Steilenberg. At least her mother did not like that part which Margaritte and her late father encouraged. That the Prince her father had now been dead for six months did not help Margaritte navigate the court of Steilenberg. Her half brother, William, though did his best. William was a Baron with the family’s sizable holdings, he was betting a great deal that she should land the Crown Prince as her husband. William knew Gerald much better than she though.

He had marched with the man in the St. Michael’s pageants for years. That helped to paint a friendship out of an acquaintance. Next year William’s own son was to march in the parade carrying the palanquin of the Saint’s statue. William thought the new Crown Prince was sharp, having realized that the safest place for the spare heir was far from the court which was surrounded by vultures. Her brother and she were two of those vultures. They had done their best to promote Margaritte to the top of the pyramid of good Almondian women for the crown prince to wed.

Even the very day that Reginald had been killed they had been pursuing that plan. Margaritte had nearly given herself to the man. Years of kissing and caresses from admirers had fanned the flames of desire within her that fateful morning, and she had wished to culminate those passions in an act of lovemaking that still had been denied her.

Margaritte had to be pure for the Crown Prince lest word be spread that some man knew her carnally. That some man who she would give up all her charms to would then tell others of the deed, she found hard to credit, but her brother and her father had both told her such was the case. And should she have given them to Reginald, the Grand Principalities worst womanizer, then surely her reputation would have been destroyed.

“Play him just enough to arouse him. You know what I mean?” Her brother had said.

“Yes, I know when a man becomes so. When he is hard and stiff. Then he is mine?” she had asked.

The Baron had shaken his head, “Not entirely. He has known so many women that even should you marry him and be the Grand Princess, know that Reginald will cheat on you. Often. It is a drug that he can not free himself from. He must have variety often and he will not stop.”

She had done as her brother had said and the Prince surely became interested. But Reginald also had told her the truth.

That his interest was real but he could not choose her to be his bride unless the Principality required it. That the French had a candidate for the job as well. She knew the French or Germans married into the ruling branch of the FitzRoy Perry family often over the centuries. It had balanced out diplomacy. As did the other noble houses, such as Britain, Austria, the Low Countries, even Sweden once. Almondy was the largest of the secondary powers on the continent. They were a force to be reckoned with, a quarter the size of France in population, and land. And proportionately the same amount of soldiers, especially if a full induction of all serving men was undertaken.

Her brother sat in the Assembly and said that could be two million men or more. And Almondy was not ready for a war. Her brother William questioned her just as Reginald had before he had been blown to bits. Did she want to be a Grand Princess in wartime Almondy? An Almondy that became the battlefield between France and Germany. Knowing that it seemed destined to become such a battleground, how could the Principality afford a French Grand Princess? If the Germans were strong and won, then they would doubly hate the Almondians despite nearly a third of the population with Germanic heritage.

Though the same would be said about the French, and a French bride would probably guarantee an alliance with that nation. Margaritte could not think of that, for such way led to madness. Just as thinking of a life with Reginald, or worse, having given into the desire she had that morning when she held his hand to her breast. If she had succumbed to him then, she would have lost her most precious possession and then, what would she have to offer another. Especially with no promise of marriage by the Prince.

She knew now to hold onto her needs and guard it closely. Margaritte would speak to Prince Gerald, whom she had not much interaction with before. She had been introduced in years past. Then she had made eye contact with him several times over the last week. He had shaken his head with a little speed at the funeral of poor Reginald, and again today, after she had given him a big smile, ensuring he saw her figure. If Gerald liked girls then he would have liked what he saw.

If Margaritte had not been cultivated to marry the Prince then she could have been wed to any of half a dozen Almondian nabobs. Or dozens if she allowed herself to be courted by the other wealthy of Europe. The Glaus, the Renards, the Packers. All wanted to get to know her better, and that was just the families here in Steilenberg. The crossroads of Mittleuropa was also a place that could be used to make many rich. Perhaps that was the play to keep Almondy neutral. So many of the railways passed through Almondy now and the Grand Prince received a little tariff from everyone.

Did she like Gerald? Margaritte could not say, for she only had his looks and his actions to judge him on. She had not gotten to know him like she had Reginald.

She had loved that Prince, but then her father and the Grand Prince had been trying to make her love Reginald for years. She may have loved him, but she also loathed him.

All those girls he slept with. Carousing to late hours all the time. That was not what she wanted in a man.

Gerald, she had heard, often went to sleep before ten, retiring with some reading and a glass of warm milk. The capital was all a buzz about their new Crown Prince for he had made great changes for being in town just a little more than a week. The former Colonel of the Guards had committed suicide after Prince Gerald had demoted him. Gerald, rumor had it, berated the man in the hallway of the Celebont Palace for leading a unit ‘that could not protect a baby in a cradle,’ were the words that had been said.

Her brother had said the Colonel had been a fool. And that the talk about a baby and a cradle was not from Prince Gerald, but said by others. And was generous as well. The entire Guard corps was in an uproar. All officers had been recalled and many were standing guard for twelve hours a day as punishment for all their laxness before. Each day others were dismissed by the Crown Prince, losing honor. The papers said he was making enemies of a large group of men.

There had been one statement from Gerald that had been reported, “You all know about the bad apple in the barrel. Well I am doing my best to find the good ones. Now if these officers are serious about their service to Almondy, they have all been offered commissions in the regular army. Places where they may very well be called on to serve, in a few years or even mere months, in combat. All feel the winds of war about Europe, but these officers of ours have been attending every party in Steilenberg, Something they had rather have done, instead of guarding their Princes.”

The condemnation had the wags in the taverns making songs that satirized the Guard. Her cousin, Charles-Marie FitzRoy Perry, who was the Minister of the Military, had to speak up and say that his highness was concerned for the men in the Guards were quite good. The problem was just the indolent officers, and Prince Gerald was correcting that problem.

Gerald did look good in uniform. He spoke well, though she had heard that sniffle of a woman, Catherine Keller helped him write his speeches. Always at the palace. If Sir Pascal Renard had not claimed the woman for his own, Margaritte would be worried that Lady Keller was trying to get her claws into the Crown Prince. Clearly, Gerald was Margaritte’s property just as Reginald had been her property.

The other ladies who sought advantageous marriages in Steilenberg all knew that the Crown Prince was hers and not to interfere. Though Catherine Keller had not learned to play the game, for she had been too busy reading musty old law books.

Fool of a woman thought she could enter the world of men that way.

Margaritte would show that woman.

Tonight by virtue of her rank in Almondian society, Margaritte was the highest ranking lady of the court and would be seated next to the Crown Prince for balance. The Grand Prince had even sent her a note saying as it would warm his heart if she would ensure the succession of the crown. That she was his hope to do so, thinking that as she had been the last to see Reginald alive, it would be a continuation of Reginald’s life should she marry Gerald.

The Grand Prince had known that Reginald had gone to see her in order to talk of a marriage between them and he had been certain that when his son returned from his estate that they were going to make such an announcement.

Well she did not want to disabuse the old man, nor did she want to let the chance of being Grand Princess of Almondy slip through her fingers. Reginald had asked what would she do if she were not to become Grand Princess. That was just not worth thinking of for she had no idea what she would do. She had been trained to be Reginald’s Grand Princess since she was five. It would happen.

* * *

“Ah, Princess Margaritte. I have been instructed to take you to the Crown Prince,” William Glau greeted her. Rumor was that with the new year he and several other friends who met daily with the Crown Prince would be made Barons of the court. They spent hours in service to the Crown Prince, it was said, making Gerald ready to lead the government, and these men had his full confidence.

Glau’s brother Louis was certainly wealthy and Glau had a great deal of money himself. It was also said that William was a lady’s man, though not on the scale that Reginald had been.

“Mister Glau, so good to see you once more,” She let him take and kiss her hand.

It was smart to be civil to the Crown Prince’s friends. “Come, there is a room full of people to navigate around. And in that dress, well we must let them all see you.”

“I think that was a compliment,” she smiled. It was not original but men always wanted to be thought of as brilliant.

“I hope you think that, and the likelihood that it was is a near certainty, though you are paid far too many compliments to your looks. I should like to learn more of you that I could compliment other attributes,” Glau said. That was a little forward but, better than the usual foolishness she heard.

She smiled, “You are very creative Mr. Glau. I have not heard this of you before.”

He frowned as he took her arm and began to walk a circuitous rout to a cluster of people near the high table. “Surely that was misspoken. If you do not follow the society papers I should be forced to eat my hat. And that will not do. I like my hat.”

“Ha, I am sure you do. Yes I read the society pages. Are you mentioned there?”

“Do you say that you read them and never see my name mentioned?” He countered.

“Does one read those pages to see other persons names mentioned? I must confess that I look only for my own. You are truly listed there?” Then she had to laugh, “Oh my, your face Mr. Glau. Of course I see your and your brother’s name listed. We are all fodder for the mill I guess.”

“I would not say that near his highness. He shall give you a farm analogy should you do so. Prince Gerald is very much a man who makes a play on his farm experiences,” William said.

Margaritte had heard that. Not that she was not surprised. It was thought that the Prince was eccentric. She had heard that the man had actually been milking cows when he had learned that Reginald had been killed and he had become the Crown Prince.

She was not a fool. She knew that there were poor branches of the FitzRoy Perry family. Some so poor that they engaged in trade. But to think that the man who had become the next in line to the Crown Prince and now was the Crown Prince should be near poverty and a farmer was hard to reconcile with the man who stood at the center of the cluster near the high table.

Gerald was a big man, even larger than Reginald and in better trim. There were ladies of the court who had been able to observe the fencing and combat practice that was conducted before the midday meal in the Celebont Palace courtyard. Despite the temperatures in the low sixties, Crown Prince Gerald by the end of the hour had worked up a good sweat and had stripped off his shirt yesterday as he retired into the barracks to shower. Her confidants had reported to her that he had massive shoulders and a slim waist.

If she was going to marry someone, that was her ideal. She had heard his core friends were very good with the sword as well. “Do you spar with his highness? I hear that he is spending time learning the sword.”

“I do, but he is not learning the sword. He was one of the best in his regiment before he left the army. Gerald says he is a little slow since leaving the service and becoming a farmer. That he had forgotten a lot, but he seems to best many of those he spars with. As for I and the others, we always were adequate, but Gerald insists we get better. Our friend Henry Levi, never fired a gun before and he has proved very good at stationery targets,” William said.

“Does he think you all must learn to be warriors?” she asked.

“Actually, his highness does. He thinks every man from seventeen to sixty best learn to fight and take orders in case we need a general mobilization. That is a possibility and doing so might make the Great Powers think a little before the fighting starts.” Glau said.

As he continued to guide her about, she was able to nod and curtsey to all those she should. She had a blue and white stripped gown and across the front a sash of the Order of the Lark. The honor for the twelve most important women of the realm. She had received that at the hand of the Grand Prince when she came of age on her seventeenth birthday.

Reginald had danced with her that night. Actually Prince Gerald had as well, though she barely remembered it. In this very hall, for her birthday was attached to her investiture in the order. Athelstan had danced and talked to her as well. Talked to her bosom. Reginald had held her close enough to crush her bosom. Prince Gerald, she now remembered, had met her eyes. He had called her Princess and had danced silently. But correctly. She finally remembered that. He did not make any mistake in his dance that night and led her about the floor perfectly. Few of the other princely partners of an age to appreciate her beauty had done as well.

“I see that the Prince thinks of many things that will aid Almondy.”

“Margaritte, you best beware of Gerald. He might be the only thing that keeps Almondy safe these next years. The last thing he needs is to have a woman try to snare him in her web. He has been my friend near ten years and I should hate to see him manipulated. Why, I think I might do my best to cause such an action an inconvenience. That may be the reason he asked that I fetch you to his side. For I am the only one who knows you well enough to say that to you.”

“You know me well? We have met socially a few times these five years.” She hedged. They saw each other more than once each month. During the spring and summer in Steilenberg they probably encountered each other three times a week.

She felt pressure on her arm as he gripped it. “I am serious Margaritte. Gerald may marry you as a matter of state and he may fall in love with you, for you are designed for men to do so. But he has done more this week, then Reginald did in all the years that he was old enough to do anything for Almondy. Gerald may not stop us from being in the war that is coming. But of all the others in our realm, I can think of on one else who is trying. That alone should tell you to look at the man and see what you can do to help him. You better yourself at his expense and I shall ruin you.”

She looked at the man’s face and saw that he was in earnest. But then he was a young man. Just a few years older than she. All young men read books and heard great lines. Clichés. They then quoted them in passion, but with no ability to do anything about them. Glau though was rich and connected, outside of his connection to Gerald. He might indeed have a way of causing her harm. She would not like that at all.

She took a deep breath, “I shall not do anything that compromises our realm. But should the principality have need of me, you should remember that I have been raised to aid the realm as a Princess, as a Grand Princess. My father wished this and so to does our Grand Prince. If Prince Gerald can do his duty to aid the Principality, know that I am up to the task as well.”

Glau nodded, “Good, they you may be one of us yet. One of his Highnesses Musketeers. One for all and all for one, of course.”

“That’s the French book?”

“Precisely. Though all know that Dumas may have cast his piece in his native France, our Prince’s Guard were braver and more debonair then anything that the French Musketeers were. Our men served Prince Michael VII who sent men to guard the English Prince Charles when he snuck into Scotland and England. It was our guards that showed all Europe what flamboyance meant. Prince Gerald calls each of those that are aiding him a modern musketeer. So we call ourselves His Highnesses Musketeers.”

They were about to enter the circle near Gerald, “Who? You and Mr. Levi? He is the famous lecturer.”

“Yes. He is the one who debunked communism. Also Francois Diedrou and Sir David Lieven. Others too.”

She nodded, “What of Lady Catherine Keller? I hear she is often in the company of His Highness.”

William smiled, “Yes, she is our Constance. She writes all of his speeches. Not that anyone else has taken a name from the series, for we would be forced to call his highness D’Artagnan and quickly run out of names from the tale. Also we think if we did this, Henry was sure that the German ambassador would be upset. I thought then that we would counter with names from the Ring Cycle, but half of my friends hate that notion.”

She laughed. “Why last summer when they performed Siegfried at the Royal Opera house I was sure I saw you snoring in your box…” She then put her hand to her mouth for she knew she had seen that.

“Ha, I see you have been keeping track of me. The lady I escorted that night was so boring that I am afraid she had so little to add to any conversation that she put me to sleep long before any music did.”

Glau did not say who he escorted but Margaritte did not care. Glau was a charmer and had wealth beyond what one could imagine. If she had not been raised to marry the Crown Prince, perhaps she would have allowed him to escort her to the opera at some time.

“Well monsieur Aramis, for I am sure that would be your character, best present me to His Highness now.”

“Yes my lady.” If the part of Constance was taken from the Dumas’ book, who was the other woman? The Queen of France, Anne of Austria, or Milady d’Winter. No Margaritte refused to be the villain of the piece.

A moment later space was made next to the Crown Prince and she noticed that Lady Keller was part of the circle. In order to make room Lady Catherine was moved a little further away. She was on the arm of Sir Pascal Renard which was where she should be. Margaritte would have to encourage Sir Pascal to propose marriage to the wench and ensure she was out of the way. Constance from the Musketeers’ story indeed.

Margaritte looked at the other women that clustered near the Prince. There were other men who claimed that title just as other women were close enough to the blood line to claim the title Princess. But when the Grand Prince or Crown Prince were in the room, they were the only Princes of Almondy that mattered or that was really given any deference. Certainly there were relations who were highly placed in the government, counsellors to the Grand Prince, or Generals in the army. Other ‘Princes’ often held high position in the churches.

Gerald though, was a prize, and by the number of women about him, it was clear that her competition thought so as well. “Highness, I need to congratulate you but I should think that your ears have probably worn away by so many saying that. May I ask, when you harked back to your speech of pledging to do better for Almondy, and so many who heard it at the first Evensong over Prince Reginald, how may we who also pledged to do better, aid you?” There, that would be unexpected

“Very refreshing question highness, but a few others have asked that of me of late. I simply ask that you examine what you do each day here and see if your choices lead you to making Almondy better for all of us, or if it goes the other way. Our Cousin wishes he could do this thing for all of Almondy but he is tired and the tragedy has sapped his strength. He has little more to give after giving a lifetime. Athelstan, where has he gone to now, the bar? Well Athelstan will tell you how we both try to comfort Prince Michael Alan and he tells us just to lead the country. That is all he wants. So I try and want to do the right thing, the best thing for us all. If we all do that. It shall alleviate his pain,” Margaritte saw that she had allowed him to speak to something he was passionate about.

“Then I shall aid you in doing that. Uncle Michael Alan has long given me courtesy and presents and I want to make him smile brighter during this tragic time for him. For you though, it is a night of celebration. Have these many guests been entertaining you with their stories and exploits. Why Captain Cartier here was with Prince Liugi in his expedition to the North Pole not so long ago. On the Pole Star…” Margaritte pointed out one of the more famous attendees.

“Yes, I am impressed. I read about that in the papers.” Gerald turned to the explorer, “Will you come and speak to me at the Sundawn Palace. I am to take up residence tomorrow and if you speak to Krabe I should like to talk to you about that. Especially if you have any ideas that may aid us in infusing such adventurousness into some of our troops and officers. You are retired?”

Margaritte had done a good deed there, for Gerald wanted such men to aid him, his Musketeers. Well Cartier was perfect and one of the men who would remember he was championed by Margaritte. She would have to find other such men that she could recommend to the Prince. It would build in Gerald an obligation. Perhaps not one that would force the man to offer marriage, but it would add to that. It would also show how much of a help she could be to him in society.

And that was the ultimate test of a Grand Princess or Queen. How well she could take care of the politics of people’s emotions of his court would highlight that he needed such a spouse. That a woman who could ease ruffled feathers, or bring forward worthies to be noticed that had been overlooked would be the most valuable wife Gerald could find. Especially if she could do something between the French and Germans, though doubtful if in the same room. They would have their wall faces on. No true emotions to be betrayed for that would provide information on their thoughts and plans.

She had found two others that she was able to praise and have the Prince decide he must meet and talk to in the space of the next fifteen minutes. She also had a chance to talk to each of the current Musketeers of the Prince. Glau was the only one who would live up to the namesake of Aramis. She wondered if she need reread the book. She had read it once, but why read it again?

No, when they walked to their tables for dinner, she knew that she did not need to read the book, for what was happening in her principality in no way reflected that ending. There Dumas could control who was good and who was bad. Here in Almondy one day the French were good and the Germans bad, the next it was different. Then you had to add the anarchists that killed Reginald and had to ask of yourself, were the men who the Prince surrounded himself with actually swashbuckling guardsmen? The Royal Guard wore swords and she would have to watch Gerald train, but when was the last time a man fought a duel in the country? The 1820’s?

Sitting next to the Prince on his other side was Catherine Keller. How he could do that was beyond thinkable, but then other places at the high table were taken up by dignitaries of Almondy. No foreign power was close to him. The closest at the table below, the preferred spot of all in the room, were the Swiss Ambassador and his wife.

Almondy had long had history with the Swiss, first when they were in their Cantons and then the Confederation. Almondy also took some pride in keeping Napoleon at bay while the Swiss did not. As the borders of the Cantons and the border of Almondy joined, they had to maintain relations. Though that did not mean they had not fought each other. Before Napoleon took over Switzerland and made of it the Helvetic Republic, the Cantons and Almondy had clashed more than a dozen times.

Was honoring the Swiss Ambassador a way to tell the world powers that were in attendance that Almondy wished to be neutral? That it thought it could be? Margaritte would have to think about that, for if such were the case then the git that the French Ambassador thought to push into the marriage bed of Gerald had been taken out of competition. Did that mean that Lady Keller was her rival? Were there any others?

She did not like this game and would have to find a way to pay a call upon the Grand Prince. Michael Alan would have some influence over his successor and help Margaritte become the next Grand Princess. Athelstan had always wanted to be of aid to her. She looked for him and found him seated further down the table. Raising her goblet to him, she caught his eye. He would know that they must talk.

Though she always had found talking to Athelstan a trial once she had begun to have a woman’s body. He seemed even more of a roué than most. If Athelstan could have touched her, kissed her, taken liberties, he would have done so. He gave off that air that men like he had. Athelstan was not filled with decency. She wondered if men could see such amongst themselves.

Athelstan was the son of the Grand Prince, though. He had connections. So many of her  friends thought that he was a conduit to power but they were wrong. Though he could take people to meet the Grand Prince.  Athelstan could get to the man in hours rather than days. Access to the royalty of any country, Almondy included, could be a slow process.

Finally the speeches came, and the last was that of the Crown Prince. Gerald rose and then Margaritte saw him glance at the Keller girl. He brought forth notes to read from. Gerald started with a joke that they should become used to his notes for he did not want to say something wrong or forage to say something he might have trouble remembering that was important to say. He had been speaking to his cows so long and he knew that they took everything he said just as he wanted, that speaking to a human audience caused him to make some adjustments.

Certainly that set the audience at its ease. Margaritte did not like the deprecation he indulged in, nor that he had looked to Lady Keller. She had helped to write the speech, so Margaritte had to remind herself that Catherine Keller was not a contender for the role of Grand Princess. She ranked so much lower than Margaritte that making her so was absurd.

The speech was not spectacular. Gerald thanked those who had heaped praise on him, but reminded all he had done relatively little yet to earn it. Many had talked of his years before his return to the capital he remarked. How he had been a good officer in the army and handled his duties to a high standard. His scholarship as a child and the courses he had completed at the university were mentioned often. It was said how he had become a leading citizen of Splatz in a short time. All were designed by those who spoke to make the Crown Prince seem qualified and an exceptional person.

Gerald spent a few moments debunking that. “Should I be all that has been said I am, I would very much like to shake my hand, for I assure you not half of what has been said of me is accurate. And please don’t ask which half is the truth, for now, even I am hard pressed to remember what was true and what has been fabrication. Of course the right false praise I might never deny.”

Then he was serious again and said he hoped he would lead as well as some of the great Princes, and prayed that no one would think of him with some of the lessor princes that had ruled Almondy. Gerald was smart enough to name the great ones and not name those who were insignificant in the leadership of the country’s long history.

Gerald added to what he had said at the ceremony at Evensong and at the Funeral. That his current agenda was narrow. Peace, prosperity and punishment for those who had killed Reginald. He praised Grand Prince Michael Alan. Then he praised others that he had met in the week since he had come back to Steilenberg. Those who had continued the task of governing the country when the Grand Prince was so beset by tragedy. All this played into the hands of those in the room. Mostly Almondians.

Perhaps Gerald was a great politician. He had every Almondian thinking that he would be a fabulous Prince. He said the right things and strayed from anything that would make him look dumb. His cow joke was at the beginning of his speech and by the end, as he talked of bringing to justice those who had murdered Reginald, everyone in the room was shouting and applauding at nearly the end of each of his sentences.

Margaritte’s brother William was near the Swiss Ambassador at one of the main tables on the floor. William was now standing with other members of the Assembly, those in his party as well as others. They were shouting their enthusiasm and continued to applaud almost constantly. She looked up at Gerald and knew she had been applauding for near as long as her brother. The other men and women that were honored to be at the high table applauded as well. If Gerald could rule as well as he spoke, and by the look of the Royal Guard and the new Constables, he just might be able to, Gerald could be the Prince that they needed in these times. Much more so than Reginald ever would have been.

A meeting with Athelstan when the speeches were done was the first thing she needed to attend to, “He was magnificent. I am much relieved,” she said.

Athelstan said, “You were worried that the Diary Farmer would not perform well? He is a master of that I think. He and his friends debate each morning and throughout the day what to do to run the country and Lady Keller writes it all up so he will look good.”

That struck her funny, “I thought you too went to those meetings in the morning?”

“Of course,” he smiled. “It is how I know how all this had been staged.”

Margaritte knew that Athelstan was upset that he was not fully a part of the FitzRoy Perry family because of his illegitimacy. Being a bastard cut him off from some things that others who were not deserving, received just because of their parents being wed. She immediately thought Athelstan jealous of their cousin.

“Do you worry then about what will happen when he is Prince?” she asked.

He nodded, but then quickly started to shake his head. “Not if we can get the right people around him. I do not worry much about the Prince’s Ministers for they have been at their positions for some years and the government does run smoothly. Perhaps Lord Winter is tired. It is the new men he talks to. His friends. For instance that man Glau, whom I think you know. What qualifications does he have to help lead the government except that he is rich.”

“Very rich,” Margaritte said. “But I see your point. Do you think that I could be of use?”

“Yes.” Athelstan said quickly. “Yes. It is why father and I wanted you and Reginald to finally make plans. You can be of immense use to all should you emerge as the Prince’s intended.”

“Good, for that is why I came to you. I need to see his Highness, your father. I think that Prince Gerald needs a little push to remind him that he should pursue me. That he needs to look at me as the woman who can keep his Court for him. Not someone like that Catherine Keller.”

Athelstan looked to Lady Keller then back to Margaritte and she could see the hunger that usually was in his eyes when they were close. “You have nothing to worry about there. I think Sir David would beat cousin Gerald to the punch over the girl, and Sir Pascal Renard seems to make it clear that he has an interest in her. Gerald sees her as the woman who puts words into his mouth, or makes straight the meaning of what he wants to say. No, you have other competition.”

“Who! I would know.” She found herself inflamed.

He laughed then, “Do not worry. I do not think you need fear any lady in the realm for they will have seen your possessiveness and know to keep away. It is the ladies from outside our principality that you must worry about. These are instruments of their governments and they will be seen a great deal more now that the gauntlet is down.”

Margaritte shook her head. “Gauntlet?”

“You did not listen carefully enough to his speech. Look about the room and see all the various foreigners. They talk in their own groups. Peace. Gerald told them he wanted peace and some of them can provide alliances that will give it to us. If we are allied with France, they would have our new weapons of war, and we would have their millions of troops come and stand at our Eastern border. The same the other way with the Germans. Or even the Swiss. Combined with them, would anyone challenge us because we could lock up a great deal of the world’s wealth? Just a doubling of the tariffs on the cargo shipments that cross our nation’s railways would cause the world’s economy to become fragile. But I see this is too much for you. Come tomorrow at one, and join his Highness and I for lunch. Father knew he should have come out tonight but he did not want to grieve in front of anyone. Tomorrow you and I can tell him all the gossip from tonight and he will be pleased.” It was thus arranged and the following day she would get a great ally in her quest to wed Gerald.

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Regency Personalities Series
In my attempts to provide us with the details of the Regency, today I am bringing back a favorite of mine whose research I shared at the English Historical Fiction authors site. I previously posted there. But as this had so many notables involved, who will be profiled in the upcoming months, I thought to add it here again. I am also swamped today preparing for NaNoWriMo, and helping on the EHFA book that is to be published this coming year.

If you are so inclined to friend me at NaNoWriMo, I shall help to encourage you to victory and hope you will do so for me as well.

Previous Notables (Click to see the Blog):
George III
George IV
William IV
Lady Hester Stanhope
Princess Charlotte
Queen Charlotte
Princess Caroline
Queen Adelaide
Dorothea Jordan
Maria Fitzherbert

There will be many other notables coming, a full and changing list can be found here on the blog as I keep adding to it. The list so far is:
Lord Byron

Shelley

Keats

Jane Austen

Lady Caroline Lamb

Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire

Charles James Fox

William Wilberforce

Thomas Clarkson

Hannah More

Richard Brinsley Sheridan

Edmund Kean

John Phillip Kemble

John Burgoyne

Harriet Mellon

Mary Robinson

Wellington (the Military man)

Nelson
Howe

St. Vincent

Packenham

General Banastre Tarleton

Henry Paget

Stapleton Cotton

Thomas Picton

Constable

Lawrence

Cruikshank

Gillray

Rowlandson
Isambard Kingdom Brunel
Marquis of Stafford George Leveson-Gower
George Stephenson
William Huskisson
Robert Stephenson
Fanny Kemble
Paul III Anton, Prince Esterházy
Charles Arbuthnot
Thomas Egerton, 2nd Earl of Wilton
Henry Herbert Southey
John Nash
Thomas Hope
William Beechey
Beau Brummell
William Arden, 2nd Baron Alvanley
Henry Mildmay
Henry Pierrepoint
Scrope Davies
Henry Holland
Sir Walter Scott
Lord Elgin
Jeffery Wyatville
Duke of Argyll, George William Campbell (1766-1839)
Lord Barrymore, Richard Barry (1769-1794)
Lord Bedford, Francis Russell (1765-1802)
Mr. G. Dawson Damer (1788-1856)
Duke of Devonshire, William Cavendish (1748-1811)
Lord Foley, Thomas Foley (1780-1833)
Colonel George Hanger (c.1751-1824)
Lord Hertford, Francis Seymour-Ingram (1743-1822)
Lord Yarmouth, Francis Charles Seymour-Ingram (1777-1842)
Edward “Golden Ball” Hughes (1798-1863)
Earl of Jersey, George Bussey Villiers (1735-1805)
Sir John , John Lade (1759-1838)
Duke of Norfolk, Charles Howard (1746-1815)
Duke of York , Frederick Augustus Hanover (1763-1827)
Louis Philippe Joseph, Duc de Chartres, acceded 1785 as Duc d’ Orleans (1747-1793)
Louis Philippe, Duc de Chartres, acceded 1793 as Duc d’ Orleans (1773-1850)
Captain John (Jack) Willett Payne (1752-1803)
Viscount Petersham, Charles Stanhope(1780-1851)
Duke of Queensberry, William Douglas (1724-1810)
Duke of Rutland, John Henry Manners(1778-1857)
Lord Sefton, William Philip Molyneux (1772-1838)
Admiral Lord Hugh Seymour (1759-1801)
Sir Lumley St. George Skeffington Baronet (1771 – 1850)
Lord Worcester, Henry Somerset (1766-1835)
Lord Worcester, Henry Somerset (1792-1853)
Hon. Frederick Gerald aka “Poodle” Byng
Edward Pellew
Thomas Cochrane
Warren Hastings

Patronesses of Almacks
        Emily Lamb, Lady Cowper

        Amelia Stewart, Viscountess Castlereagh

        Sarah Villiers, Countess of Jersey

        Maria Molyneux, Countess of Sefton

        Mrs. Drummond Burrell

        Dorothea Lieven, Countess de Lieven, wife of the Russian Ambassador

        Countess Esterhazy, wife of the Austrian Ambassador

The Trial of Warren Hastings
The Road of Politics has a lot of Potholes and certainly no true friends

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Warren Hastings

Warren Hastings, was the first Governor of India, and is a fascinating Regency Era study since many believe him to be the natural father of Eliza de Feuillide PastedGraphic1-2012-10-30-08-50.jpg, who married Henry Thomas AustenPastedGraphic2-2012-10-30-08-50.jpg, the brother of Jane Austen.

That connection, provides many of those who love novels of the Regency, and Jane Austen, a connection. Real history, interacting with our literary giantess.

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Jane Austen

As with the OJ Simpson trial, a few years ago, this trial between 1788 and 1795 was the big court case of the times.

What we see is that the door to a greater discussion of what was happening in India and what the East India Company was doing came about.

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Prime Minister Lord North

Hastings became Governor General of India in 1773, after 23 years with “The Company,” The East India Company. Appointed by Prime Minister North whose government was also the party in charge when the British lost the American colonies.

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Sir Phillip Francis, the sore Loser

A great deal of the foundation of the impeachment trial was based on the governing Calcutta Council that Hastings led as Governor General. He had one man who was in opposition to nearly all that he did. Sir Phillip Francis and he disagreed so much that they even fought a duel, which Francis was wounded in. Francis then returned to England and began to raise questions about Hastings conduct. He found support in the Whigs who were in opposition to Lord North’s government.

After this, the Second Mysore War came, when Mysore thought to take on the British while they were heavily involved in the American colonies. The war ended with the status quo from when it started. However, back in England much was made of the company’s mismanagement, and thus Hasting’s position.

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William Pitt the Younger

The many wealthy nabobs who returned to England were quite unpopular, and Francis’ attacks did not make Hastings any better received.

Then after the Fox government fell, Charles James Fox PastedGraphic3-2012-05-25-07-58.tiff-2012-10-30-08-50.jpg attacked Hastings as well. Pitt made no mention of Hastings in introducing a new India Act in 1784 and this was seen as the government not supporting the Governor General.

Hastings returned to England in June of 1785. On the return journey, he wrote ‘The State of Bengal,’ the defense of his conduct. He expected to be attacked by Parliament and the press when he returned, but it to be short lived. King George III 1__24214021__PastedGraphic5-2012-05-25-07-58.tiff-2012-10-30-08-50.jpg gave him an audience and he received a unanimous vote of thanks by the East India Company when he returned. He even thought he might get an Irish peerage. Edmund Burke 1__24214021__PastedGraphic6-2012-05-25-07-58.tiff-2012-10-30-08-50.jpgwho is regarded as the father of Anglo-Conservatism, supporter of American Independence and opposed to allowing the French such rights, though, had other plans for Hastings.

In reviewing the material of what the politicians were up to, it seems that Hastings was a nice little scapegoat for the opposition party to embarrass Prime Minister Pitt’s government. Francis (and one can only surmise that he hated that he lost to Hastings in India, and then was wounded by him as well in their duel) made eleven specific charges against Hastings.

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Hastings in later years

William Pitt finally said, after defending Hastings against all charges, that perhaps one action, the punishment of the Rajah of Benares, was excessive. This led to Hastings being arrested on May 21, 1787 and taken to the House of Lords to hear the charges against him. Not often had the house of Lords had an Impeachment trial. There has been only one other since this case.

Hastings trial began on February 13th 1788. It took place in Westminster Hall Members of the House of Commons were seated to Hastings right, the Lords to his left and a large audience of spectators, including royals in boxes and public galleries.

Edmund Burke began the proceedings with a long public address. He took four days and treated it all seriously. However most thought the trial resembled a social event.

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Westminster Hall in the Palace of Westminster, London, November 1808

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The Coronation Banquet of King George IV in Westminster Hall, 1821 (A very Regency Era representation of the site that was used to try Warren Hastings)

Hastings was granted bail, despite Burke arguing that he would flee the country with the wealth he had allegedly stolen from India. Other leading Whigs made speeches over the coming weeks against Hastings. Proving that the trial was not about wrongdoing so much as political maneuvering. Charles James Fox spoke against the man as well as Richard Brinsley SheridanPastedGraphic4-2012-05-30-15-45.tiff-2012-10-30-08-50.jpg was a playwright and a poet. Sheridan served as Treasurer of the Navy 1806-1807 and also was the owner of the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane. He is known for his plays such as The Rivals, The School for Scandal and A Trip to Scarborough.

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Interior of Theatre Royal, Drury Lane. Circa 1808. Plate 32 of Microcosm of London (1808) The play is Coriolanuis.

In total nineteen spoke against Hastings as part of the Impeachment Committee. With Sheridan and so many gathered to witness, it does sound like a theatrical production. While at first, the Whigs had gotten public sympathy on their side over the issue, Sir Phillip Francis having worked so hard to vilify Hastings. But the trial dragged on for months, then years.

When the French Revolution began in 1789, Sheridan, obviously attuned to his audience as a member of the theater community said that he was “heartily tired of the Hastings trial” despite being one of its instigators. Doubt now had permeated into society about Hasting’s guilt. James Gilray the cartoonist depicted Hastings as the “Saviour of India” and he was being assaulted by Burke and Fox.

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“Saviour of India”

Then on April 9th, 1794 Lord Cornwallis PastedGraphic7-2012-05-30-15-45.tiff-2012-10-30-08-50.jpgwho was the second Governor General of India gave testimony in defense of Hastings. He reported that the natives of India respected Hastings. When asked if he had “found any just cause to impeach the character of Mr Hastings?” he replied “never”.

William Larkins the former Accountant General of Bengal then testified that there were no irregularities with Hasting’s administration. The Whigs had hoped that they would have had a lot of testimony showing corruption but many came forward as character witnesses for Hastings.

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For the trial of Warren Ha(stings)’ (includes Edmund Burke; Charles James Fox; Sir Philip Francis; Warren Hastings), by James Sayers (died 1823)

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Lord Chancellor Lord Loughborough

23 April 1795 the Lord Chancellor Lord Loughborough presided over the delivery of the verdict. A third of the lords who had attended the opening of the trial seven years before were now dead. Only 29 had sat through enough evidence to pronounce judgement. Most of the charges, there were 16, Hastings was found not guilty unanimously. On three questions only did five or six peers say he was guilty, but 6 of 29 meant that 23 at least found him not guilty of those charges. It was an overwhelming verdict and had been expected for some time.

Edmund Burke died 2 years later and believed in Hasting’s guilt to his dying day. He believed that the Lords acquitting Hastings would lead “to the perpetual infamy of the House of Lords.”

If Hastings had been super wealthy, the impeachment broke him and left him with debts of £70,000. The government and the East India Company did come to his aid in the end and helped to pay for it. The Lawyer made out like a true Nabob of India, though. Richard Shaw(e) had his mansion Casino House in Herne Hill built from his fees. He had John Nash and Humphrey Repton as the architect and Landscaper.

In 1812 Hastings was asked by Parliament to speak as an expert on India. After which, all the members rose in acknowledgement. Something that they only did for members of the Royal family.

As more came out, the role of Pitt abandoning the support of Hastings, and allowing the impeachment to go forth was seen as a Political power play. Pitt feared that he was to be tarred by the same brush wielded by those trying to ruin Hastings. And in the end, the total exoneration of Hastings proves he had never been guilty but helped to begin the transition of rule in India by the East India Company, to the British Government.

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In my attempts to provide us with the details of the Regency, today I am bringing back a favorite of mine whose research I shared at the English Historical Fiction authors site. I previously posted there. But as this had so many notables involved, who will be profiled in the upcoming months, I thought to add it here again. I am also swamped today preparing for NaNoWriMo, and helping on the EHFA book that is to be published this coming year.

If you are so inclined to friend me at NaNoWriMo, I shall help to encourage you to victory and hope you will do so for me as well.

Previous Notables (Click to see the Blog):
   George III
   George IV
   William IV
   Lady Hester Stanhope
   Princess Charlotte
   Queen Charlotte
   Princess Caroline
   Queen Adelaide
   Dorothea Jordan
   Maria Fitzherbert

There will be many other notables coming, a full and changing list can be found here on the blog as I keep adding to it. The list so far is:

Lord Byron
Shelley
Keats
Jane Austen
Lady Caroline Lamb
Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire
Charles James Fox
William Wilberforce
Thomas Clarkson
Hannah More
Richard Brinsley Sheridan
Edmund Kean
John Phillip Kemble
John Burgoyne
Harriet Mellon
Mary Robinson
Wellington (the Military man)
Nelson
Howe
St. Vincent
Packenham
General Banastre Tarleton
Henry Paget
Stapleton Cotton
Thomas Picton
Constable
Lawrence
Cruikshank
Gillray
Rowlandson
Isambard Kingdom Brunel
Marquis of Stafford  George Leveson-Gower
George Stephenson
William Huskisson
Robert Stephenson
Fanny Kemble
Paul III Anton, Prince Esterházy
Charles Arbuthnot
Thomas Egerton, 2nd Earl of Wilton
Henry Herbert Southey
John Nash
Thomas Hope
William Beechey
Beau Brummell
William Arden, 2nd Baron Alvanley
Henry Mildmay
Henry Pierrepoint
Scrope Davies
Hon. Frederick Gerald aka “Poodle” Byng
Edward Pellew
Thomas Cochrane
Warren Hastings

Patronesses of Almacks
   Emily Lamb, Lady Cowper
   Amelia Stewart, Viscountess Castlereagh
   Sarah Villiers, Countess of Jersey
   Maria Molyneux, Countess of Sefton
   Mrs. Drummond Burrell
   Dorothea Lieven, Countess de Lieven, wife of the Russian Ambassador
   Countess Esterhazy, wife of the Austrian Ambassador

The days the world’s most powerful man, the richest man and smartest man came together

While such an occurrence probably happens often enough these days, Warren Buffet in a room with Stephen Hawking and the US President, perhaps, before mass transportation, the airplane, and instant telecommunications, this event would have been hard put to have taken place.

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I should hazard that in the time of the Regency era, it hardly ever happened.

While researching previous Regency era novels, I developed a fascination for the early introduction of trains and railways. In

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The End of the World which is set in the exact area that rail tracks were laid down well ahead of train engines being invented, I had found that the practice was developed to haul copper from the mines to the coast. A theme shown in that book.

The research on early locomotion led me to learn of George Stephenson
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and his son Robert. Prior to this I had heard of Stephenson’s Rocket. Now I learned more about the locomotive engine that won the Rainhill Time Trials for the Liverpool and Manchester Railway of 1829.

The day our three greatest titled men on earth met was for the opening of that very railway, and it turned out to be fateful in many ways.

It certainly would have taken men of vision to realize that the steam engine had so many uses, including the change of how we felt about distance. That is a societal change that I would argue, though not here, altered the world. Prior to this event, the use of steam engines to power a means of transport, we were reliant on our feet, horses (camels, elephants, etc.) and shipping either by rowing, or wind powered. (Of course that last mode required water as well.)

The advent of steam which leads to the use of railways, I thought to make a centerpiece of a Regency story, but the events of September 15th, 1830 were so momentous that I had written three chapters in The Fastest Love on Earth before I realized that it was the predominant opening theme that brought my hero and heroine together.

Not only they, did I have attend this event, but in reality so too did the Prime Minister of England, Arthur Wellesley the Duke of Wellington.

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One of the few investors, or owners if you will, of the Liverpool and Manchester Railway was the friend of the Duke and also the wealthiest man of the 19th century. The Marquess of Stafford, or George Granville Leveson-Gower was thus there with the most powerful man, Wellington.

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With Wellington as the world’s most powerful man, Leveson-Gower as its richest, and Stephenson whose inventions fundamentally change the world as its smartest man, none could see that what they were doing that day would bring such a great change to all mankind, or the fall of the very government that had backed it within a matter of weeks.

While the government of Great Britain understood the event to be momentous enough that the Duke travelled north to participate, the success that railway travel became was not anticipated by the company at the time.

This new form of transport proved so successful that in the first six months of 1831, over 188 thousand passengers were carried on the trains. By the end of one full year from the start, September of 1831, nearly half a million travelled on the railway.

But the first day when these great men came together is what is important. The key additional personality that would cause the fall of Wellington’s government was that of William Husskisson.

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On this momentous day, there were several political realities also taking place. The North was much different from London and the South and Wellington’s presence was not only to praise the achievement of the railway, but also to show that he was concerned with the people of the North.

Husskisson was the MP for Liverpool and had been a member of Wellington’s Cabinet. He had been Secretary of State for War and the Colonies. He resigned over the lack of representation for Manchester. He was thus very much involved in the political life of the North, representing one end of the railway, and concerned with the other end.

Now at this juncture, it was thought that Huskisson and Wellington would make amends and they would shake hands while the events of the day played out.

There were so many special attendees on the day of the event that several locomotives were put into service. There was also so much to do that things got started late. By 11, the trains were rolling.

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All seemed as it should, a band had been playing and was on one of the cars pulled by the Northumbrian locomotive to continue playing. Behind the car with the band was a special car that Wellington and the most important of those invited that day were on. Not Husskisson, though.

After the late start the next thing to go wrong was a collision. The first day of rail travel on Earth (aside from some small time freight hauling) there was a crash. Two lines were being used that day and one train had a wheel jump the track. The train following, not able to fully determine that this one had stopped hit it, but no one was injured as the trains were not traveling very fast.

This was minor. A few miles later though, at Parkside, things turned the day of triumph into one mixed with tragedy.

Recognizing that people would not be used to any sort of vehicle moving so fast, speeds of 10 and fifteen miles an hour, the Liverpool and Manchester had printed flyers advising the celebrants to not disembark from their train cars and visit with the other passengers. This though was ignored.

Mr. Husskisson especially had reason to leave his car and walk to that of the Duke’s carriage attached to the Northumbrian. Should the two find common ground, it would mean much for both. Husskisson might return to the cabinet, while Wellington would get support in the North.

With an eye to reconciliation, Husskisson approached the Duke and the two shook hands. Even as this occurred, others saw that the Rocket locomotive was approaching on the parallel track. Soon the cry was taken up that an engine was coming and all needed to the clear the track. There were no steps up to the Duke’s car, as these were detachable and had not been deployed. When the oncoming train was within 80 feet all that remained on the tracks were William Holmes, The Prince Esterházy, and Husskisson.

All but Husskisson reached safety. The Member for Liverpool, and once again hopeful of joining the Wellington government was struck by the Rocket. His leg and thigh crushed. (The first day of passenger rail service, the first passenger rail accident.)

There were three doctors amidst the contingent of celebrants, one of whom was Henry Herbert Southey who most recent posting had been with the recently deceased King, George IV. One would believe the man to be a very accomplished doctor since he had been the physician to the king. Yet he and the other two, had no practical experience with such accidents.

As all became calm enough to think, George Stephenson proposed transporting the injured MP to Manchester as the trains were pointed that way. The cars behind the Northumbrian locomotive were detached, and Husskisson was placed on the band’s carriage, the band now turning to walk back to Liverpool. (As the day grew longer, a hard rain came as well and poured on these entertainers.)

The Northumbrian departed and worked up to speeds of 40 miles an hour, the fastest speed ever achieved. It did little to save Husskisson, who insisted to be carried to his friend’s home, Reverend Blackburne who lived at Eccles, 4 miles short of Manchester. While there, Husskisson became too traumatized to be operated on by the time competent surgeons arrived to assess the situation. He died sometime after nine PM.

During this time it took a while to have the trains with the celebrants continue their journey. The mobs of people began to get restless and remembered how much they disliked Wellington. They even pelted his car with vegetables.

The trains were to have made their round trip and finish by 4 PM, by 9 they still had not done so. The death of William Husskisson, and certainly the actions of the crowd that day would lead Wellington to decide that he could not return to the North for the funeral of the man. Husskisson was not only noted for his views in the North, but wanting to reconcile with Wellington. The Duke however, through his actions, or inactions after Husskisson’s death lost the support of those who were friends of the deceased lawmaker.

When Wellington decided not to attend the funeral of the man who had only moments before the cause of his demise, had shaken the Duke’s hand, it forced a breach in his support large enough that by two months from the opening of the railway and the fateful events of that day, there was a no confidence vote against him. He was replaced as Prime Minister by Earl Grey.

The beginning of modern transportation, the age of Steam, saw the end of Wellington’s government. If Husskisson had survived, or never been injured. If the trains had returned to course, or Wellington had journeyed back to the funeral. It is highly possible that the world would have known a different outcome, then what did occur.

What I see, when looking at the facts, and the ability to share them with my readers is that the truth is stranger than fiction. I don’t think it is possible to arrange for so much fodder for a good story, than what occurred on September 15th, 1830.

Research
Wolmar, Christian (2007). Fire & Steam
Garfield, Simon (2002). The Last Journey of William Huskisson

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Evolution

Since joining the English Historical Fiction Authors, many who follow my blog will have noted that I stepped up my game with it. A lot more history has been presented here, including such articles on Regency Money, The Prime Ministers of the Regency, The Regency Timeline and the Regency Lexicon. All these pages have detailed followups at various parts of the Regency Assembly Press website.

Recently I have started biographies or the Regency Personalties Series, having done so far

Previous Notables (Click to see the Blog):
George III
George IV
William IV
Lady Hester Stanhope
Princess Charlotte
Queen Charlotte
Princess Caroline
Queen Adelaide
Dorothea Jordan
Maria Fitzherbert

There will be many other notables coming, a full and changing list can be found here on the blog as I keep adding to it. The list so far is:

Lord Byron
Shelley
Keats
Jane Austen
Lady Caroline Lamb
Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire
Charles James Fox
William Wilberforce
Thomas Clarkson
Hannah More
Richard Brinsley Sheridan
Edmund Kean
John Phillip Kemble
John Burgoyne
Harriet Mellon
Mary Robinson
Wellington (the Military man)
Nelson
Howe
St. Vincent
Packenham
General Banastre Tarleton
Henry Paget
Stapleton Cotton
Thomas Picton
Constable
Lawrence
Cruikshank
Gillray
Rowlandson

Patronesses of Almacks
Emily Lamb, Lady Cowper
Amelia Stewart, Viscountess Castlereagh
Sarah Villiers, Countess of Jersey
Maria Molyneux, Countess of Sefton
Mrs. Drummond Burrell
Dorothea Lieven, Countess de Lieven, wife of the Russian Ambassador
Countess Esterhazy, wife of the Austrian Ambassador

Widgets

If you take a look at the sidebar on the right (and even click on the links to the books and buy a few) you will notice that there are now some hyperlink widgets to previous posts, so they will be easy to find. There are even a double list for some where the website has more detail then the old blog posts that are here.

The plan will be to have much of the references of the history from the blog displayed on the right sidebar (also giving you a chance to buy some of my works, the only way I can afford to go to the supermarket to get food) including a list linking you to the Prime Ministers, the Lexicon, and other research that has been posted here.

Kickstarter

For those who have been following the Sunday Posts, they know that this is the day we release another chapter in the Duology, Steam and Thunder. So far we have released 8 chapters and that is over half of the first book. This is a call for artists who would like to be paid, should the book go to print, and copyeditors. The plan is to make this a well done KickStarter project. With interior illustrations. We need quotes though so we can price out the project. Please get in touch with us.

NaNo Novel

It is that time of year again, and next week we begin the first draft of Food and Art. A contemporary romance. During NaNoWriMo I shall be hard at work to do a post of the Regency Personalities, write 20 pages a day, look for work, and edit more of The Prize is Not As Great As You Think, our Ruritania Romance that goes up on Wednesdays.

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The preliminary work on the Timelines of the Regency Era has now been presented. 50 years of happenings, events, births and deaths of prominent figures. It is not over. There are probably a good thousand more events to be recorded. In fact, at this point only those details through 1802 have been added into the Timeline.

The rest takes a great deal of editing, as well as searching and placing the graphics. The first years of 1787 to 1801 can all be found at Regency Assembly Press’ Timeline page

There are a lot of pictures shown there. It will add to your visualization of the Regency. But now, what to include in my daily posts. For months now we have had something new every day, and by the number of hits we are not getting, there is a small following.

Soon we will have an Edwardian Timeline, but for now, Regency Personalities is something I have thought to start on.

Over the next few days I thought it might be useful for me to have a guide.

Amongst other royalty and notables will be:

        Lord Byron

        Shelley

        Keats

        Jane Austen

        Lady Caroline Lamb

        Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire

        Charles James Fox

        William Wilberforce

        Thomas Clarkson

        Hannah More

        Richard Brinsley Sheridan

        Edmund Kean

        John Phillip Kemble

        John Burgoyne

        Harriet Mellon

        Mary Robinson

        Wellington (the Military man)

        Nelson

        Howe

        St. Vincent

        Packenham

        General Banastre Tarleton

        Henry Paget

        Stapleton Cotton

        Thomas Picton

        Constable

        Lawrence

        Cruikshank

        Gillray

        Rowlandson

        Patronesses of Almacks

                Emily Lamb, Lady Cowper

                Amelia Stewart, Viscountess Castlereagh

                Sarah Villiers, Countess of Jersey

                Maria Molyneux, Countess of Sefton

                Mrs. Drummond Burrell

                Dorothea Lieven, Countess de Lieven, wife of the Russian Ambassador

                Countess Esterhazy, wife of the Austrian Ambassador

Previous Notables (Click to see the Blog):

George III

George IV

William IV

Lady Hester Stanhope

Princess Charlotte

Queen Charlotte

Princess Caroline

Queen Adelaide

Dorothea Jordan

Today, the next personality of our period, Maria Fitzherbert, mistress of George IV. Much of this is work I have done for the English Historical Fiction Authors, of which I am a member of.

Maria Anne Fitzherbert

July 26th 1756 to March 27th 1837

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George IV’s mistress/wife Maria Fitzherbert from 1785 to 1794, and then from 1798 to the 1820’s, though he was married to Princess Caroline of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel.

We all should know that George did not like the bride he took to secure the payments of his debts (600,000 pounds or about 1.2 billion in todays reckoning) and achieve the allowance he desired, a woman to whom he was only dedicated for a few short years until the birth of his beloved Charlotte. Three days after which he wrote a new will giving all to Mrs. Fitzherbert. And separating from Caroline forever after. (Later in life George was to say that he only had sex with Caroline three times.)

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For over 30 years Mrs Fitzherbert and the Prince were together, and when asked directly if she had ever had children of the Prince and King, she coyly changed the topic of conversation to something else. And never would she sign a statement saying she had not had children.

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Maria had been married twice before she met and married George. It is fairly well documented that now she had proof that she and George did get married secretly on December 15th, 1785. Her uncle and brother were witnesses to the ceremony performed by the Reverend Robert Burt. Burt’s debts were paid by George and the reverend was released from the Fleet Prison to perform the ceremony.

The marriage was illegal for several reasons. As a royal prince, he had to first have approval. Further, if he had sought approval, then since Maria was a Roman Catholic, George would have been removed from the succession. (This was the problem that came with Charles the 1st. Head of the Church marrying a Roman Catholic and having two Roman Catholic sons for Kings. Caused all sorts of problems. At least Charles II had the good sense to act as the Head of the Church of England, James II lost the throne over his religious scruples, proving once again that Politics and Religion don’t mix!)

She was the granddaughter of a Baronet and niece of an Earl. Her first husband was Edward Weld who died 3 months after the marriage and left her with nothing. (The money all going to Weld’s young brother whose son became Cardinal Weld.) She had to remarry quickly and then did marry Thomas Fitzherbert who died in 1781, but left her with 1000 pounds (about 2 million dollars) and a town house in Park Street, in Mayfair. (That is a very nice location.)

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The legality of the marriage is an interesting conundrum. But the reality is the two acted as if they were married for a number of years. They were devoted to each other. They lived together. And George, once with Maria, only broke from her and had other mistresses a few times. (Unlike his younger brother William who once with Dorothea Jordan, took no other woman, until he had to search for a wife for the Matrimonial Marathon and then took Adelaide and again, did not stray.)

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Thirty of more years, with the minor interruption of Princess Caroline. An interruption that began with a letter on June 23rd 1794 and then ended with a reconciliation during the summer of 1798. Their final separation came in the early years when he began to reign as George IV. At his death though, it was discovered that George had kept all her letters.

From 1804 till her death in 1837 she resided at Steine House in Brighton. It has been suggested that she had children with George. In her wills, and after her death, claimants were named or came forward.

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William IV, finding the truth in the assertions of the marriage, offered to make Mrs. Fitzherbert a Duchess, but instead she just asked to wear widows’s weeds and dress the servants in royal livery. She died in 1837.

Read Full Post »

The preliminary work on the Timelines of the Regency Era has now been presented. 50 years of happenings, events, births and deaths of prominent figures. It is not over. There are probably a good thousand more events to be recorded. In fact, at this point only those details through 1802 have been added into the Timeline.

The rest takes a great deal of editing, as well as searching and placing the graphics. The first years of 1787 to 1801 can all be found at Regency Assembly Press’ Timeline page

There are a lot of pictures shown there. It will add to your visualization of the Regency. But now, what to include in my daily posts. For months now we have had something new every day, and by the number of hits we are not getting, there is a small following.

Soon we will have an Edwardian Timeline, but for now, Regency Personalities is something I have thought to start on.

Over the next few days I thought it might be useful for me to have a guide.

Amongst other royalty and notables will be:

        Maria Fitzherbert

        Lord Byron

        Shelley

        Keats

        Lady Caroline Lamb

        Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire

        Charles James Fox

        William Wilberforce

        Thomas Clarkson

        Hannah More

        Richard Brinsley Sheridan

        Edmund Kean

        John Phillip Kemble

        John Burgoyne

        Harriet Mellon

        Mary Robinson

        Wellington (the Military man)

        Nelson

        Howe

        St. Vincent

        Packenham

        General Banastre Tarleton

        Henry Paget

        Stapleton Cotton

        Thomas Picton

        Constable

        Lawrence

        Cruikshank

        Gillray

        Rowlandson

        Patronesses of Almacks

                Emily Lamb, Lady Cowper

                Amelia Stewart, Viscountess Castlereagh

                Sarah Villiers, Countess of Jersey

                Maria Molyneux, Countess of Sefton

                Mrs. Drummond Burrell

                Dorothea Lieven, Countess de Lieven, wife of the Russian Ambassador

                Countess Esterhazy, wife of the Austrian Ambassador

Previous Notables (Click to see the Blog):

George III

George IV

William IV

Lady Hester Stanhope

Princess Charlotte

Queen Charlotte

Princess Caroline

Queen Adelaide

Today, the next personality of our period, Dorothea Jordan, mistress of William IV. Much of this is work I have done for the English Historical Fiction Authors, of which I am a member of.

Dorothea Jordan

November 21st 1761 to July 5th 1816

This is my favorite of the mistresses of the sons of George III, for with ten children, this was a true marriage between successful people. Dorothea Bland was the daughter of a stagehand and an actress, theater people, and when thirteen, her father left her mother and four other siblings for another actress.

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Dorothea thus went into the family business and became famous, known to have the most beautiful legs on stage of the day. There was no Mister Jordan, as the other ladies of the royals were married prior to catching a Prince. She did have an affair with the manager of the Theater Royal, Cork, Richard Daly and had a daughter when she was twenty, named Frances.

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Then in England, she had an affair with an army Lieutenant named Charles Doyne. He proposed but she went to work for the theater company operated by Tate Wilkinson. This is when she took the name Mrs. Jordan. After Wilkinson, she had an affair with George Inchbald. She would have married Inchbald, but he did not ask. In 1786, she began an affair with Sir Richard Ford, who promised to marry her. They had three children together. When she realized that Ford was never going to wed her, she traded up to William.

She began her affair with William in 1791 and moved in with him at Bushy House.

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They raised their ten children there for the next twenty years. Sounds like a marriage to me. While married she contented to act, and also made public appearances with the Duke. William had been rather sexually active in his youth but once with Mrs. Jordan he was dedicated to her, and then when he married Adelaide, he transferred his affections to his new wife. As an actress during this period she became a favorite of the public which included Jane and Cassandra Austen.

After twenty years Dorothea and William separated, William having to enter the Matrimonial Marathon and William gave her a yearly stipend. William and Dorothea’s eldest son George was made the 1st Earl of Munster, so that family can trace their roots to Dorothea.

Dorothea raised the girls and he took custody of his sons. For his dignity, he asked that she not return to the stage to continue to receive her stipend. When one of her son-in-laws came into debt and needed funds, she did return to the stage to raise the necessary monies. William then cut her off and took back care of their daughters.

Now broke, she fled to France in 1815 and died a year later in poverty. Her descendants include many of the famous. One is David Cameron, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom as of this posting.

Read Full Post »

The preliminary work on the Timelines of the Regency Era has now been presented. 50 years of happenings, events, births and deaths of prominent figures. It is not over. There are probably a good thousand more events to be recorded. In fact, at this point only those details through 1802 have been added into the Timeline.

The rest takes a great deal of editing, as well as searching and placing the graphics. The first years of 1787 to 1801 can all be found at Regency Assembly Press’ Timeline page

There are a lot of pictures shown there. It will add to your visualization of the Regency. But now, what to include in my daily posts. For months now we have had something new every day, and by the number of hits we are not getting, there is a small following.

Soon we will have an Edwardian Timeline, but for now, Regency Personalities is something I have thought to start on.

Over the next few days I thought it might be useful for me to have a guide.

Amongst other royalty and notables will be:

        Dorothea Jordan

        Maria Fitzherbert

        Lord Byron

        Shelley

        Keats

        Lady Caroline Lamb

        Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire

        Charles James Fox

        William Wilberforce

        Thomas Clarkson

        Hannah More

        Richard Brinsley Sheridan

        Edmund Kean

        John Phillip Kemble

        John Burgoyne

        Harriet Mellon

        Mary Robinson

        Wellington (the Military man)

        Nelson

        Howe

        St. Vincent

        Packenham

        General Banastre Tarleton

        Henry Paget

        Stapleton Cotton

        Thomas Picton

        Constable

        Lawrence

        Cruikshank

        Gillray

        Rowlandson

        Patronesses of Almacks

                Emily Lamb, Lady Cowper

                Amelia Stewart, Viscountess Castlereagh

                Sarah Villiers, Countess of Jersey

                Maria Molyneux, Countess of Sefton

                Mrs. Drummond Burrell

                Dorothea Lieven, Countess de Lieven, wife of the Russian Ambassador

                Countess Esterhazy, wife of the Austrian Ambassador

Previous Notables (Click to see the Blog):

George III

George IV

William IV

Lady Hester Stanhope

Princess Charlotte

Queen Charlotte

Princess Caroline

Today, the next personality of our period, Queen Adelaide of Saxe-Meiningen, wife of William IV. Much of this is work I have done for the English Historical Fiction Authors, of which I am a member of.

Adelaide Amelia Louise Theresa Carolilne of Saxe-Meiningen

August 13th 1792 to December 2nd 1849

Wife of William IV

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Born to the most liberal of German States, though small (423 square miles), Saxe-Meiningen had a free press and was able to criticize Adelaide’s father the Duke.

When Princess Charlotte died after giving birth to a stillborn, the English Throne was in jeopardy and the marriage race was on again. Adelaide and William married on July 11, 1818 at Kew Palace in a joint ceremony with Prince Edward Duke of Kent and his choice, Victoria, Dowager Princess of Leiningen. William and Adelaide had met for the first time a week before, on the 4th of July. William was 27 years older than she.

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The couple moved to Hanover, William’s father was King of Hanover, and in his youth, William hated Hanover. (See the entry on William) William, who had mistresses in his youth (and in Hanover, see that entry) and then settled for 20 years with Dorothea Jordan and remained devoted to her until he had to enter the marriage olympics, was devoted now to Adelaide.

The overriding imperative at this stage was for Adelaide to have a child. And the royal couple did try. Adelaide was pregnant several times. Through 1822 two children were born, one Charlotte living a few hours, and Elizabeth a few months. There were stillborns and miscarriages. (DWW-One would think that this was a very unhappy time. William had ten grown children with Dorothea Jordan.)

By 1827 it was clear the race for heirs to their generation was going to have to be carried on by others. Edward, the Duke of Kent, William’s older brother had a daughter, Victoria, who would succeed William, and in 1827, Frederick died, so William was to succeed George IV.

In 1830, William became King and he immediately gave over the Rangership of Bushy Park, where he had lived with Dorothea Jordan, to the Queen Consort so she would always have a place to live.

Adelaide now as queen was beloved by the British people for her modesty, piety, charity and most likely because of her tragic attempts to conceive and raise a family for them all. She went out of her way to treat Victoria with kindness even though she had no family and had not produced an heir. She was the antithesis of the previous reign. Women in her court were to be dressed modestly.

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In public she did not talk about politics, but it is held that behind closed doors she was very conservative and tried to influence William to be so as well. This then began to spread unfounded rumors that she was having affairs. (DWW-Unfounded and maliciously false IMO)

One thing that comes out is that Victoria’s mother was horrible to the Queen Consort. So much so that William took official public notice and insulted Victoria’s mother hoping to show all he supported his wife. This however caused upset to Victoria, her mother the Duchess of Kent, and Adelaide.

Adelaide stayed awake for ten days as she sat at William’s deathbed. After William’s death she lived quietly and was quite accessible to her neighbors and the public, the locals being very fond of her. (She was the first queen dowager since 1705.)

* *

Peter Pindar wrote of the Matrimonial Marathon:

                        Yoics! the Royal sport’s begun!

                        I’ faith, but it is glorious fun.

                        For hot and hard each Royal pair

                        Are at it hunting the heir.

* *

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