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Archive for July, 2015

Regency Personalities Series
In my attempts to provide us with the details of the Regency, today I continue with one of the many period notables.

Charlotte Montagu Douglas Scott Duchess of Buccleuch and Queensberry
10 April 1811 – 18 March 1895

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Charlotte Montagu Douglas Scott

Lady Charlotte Anne Thynne was born at the Thynne family seat of Longleat in Wiltshire on 10 April 1811. She was the youngest daughter and tenth child of Thomas Thynne, 2nd Marquess of Bath and the Hon. Isabella Elizabeth Byng, daughter of George Byng, 4th Viscount Torrington. Her siblings included Henry Thynne (later 3rd Marquess of Bath) and Louisa Lascelles (later Countess of Harewood as the wife of Henry Lascelles, 3rd Earl of Harewood).

On 13 March 1829 Charlotte married Walter Montagu-Douglas-Scott, 5th Duke of Buccleuch at St George’s, Hanover Square, London, becoming Duchess of Buccleuch and Queensberry. He had succeeded to the dukedom at the age of thirteen upon his father’s death, and was five years older than his wife. According to the contemporary journal The Lady’s Realm, their “romantic” engagement resulted when the young Duke visited her father and met Lady Charlotte. Upon their parting, he saw tears in her eyes which prompted him to turn his coach around and approach her father directly to ask for her hand in marriage. The couple would produce three daughters and four sons. Among their children were William Montagu Douglas Scott, 6th Duke of Buccleuch and Henry Douglas-Scott-Montagu, 1st Baron Montagu of Beaulieu.

In 1841, she succeeded the Duchess of Sutherland as Mistress of the Robes to Queen Victoria. The new prime minister, Robert Peel, personally selected her to be a member of his newly formed ministry. The post would later also be filled by her daughter-in-law Louisa. Her husband was a staunch Conservative and became Lord Privy Seal in Peel’s ministry from 1842 to 1846; the Duchess used the connection to help her brothers gain patronage.

The Duchess of Buccleuch and Queen Victoria were lifelong friends, and the latter considered the Duchess to be “an agreeable, sensible, clever little person.” In 1842 at Buckingham Palace, during Queen Victoria’s preparations to visit Scotland, the Duchess helped advise her on the country. The Duke and Duchess of Buccleuch helped entertain the Queen and Prince Albert when they arrived at Dalkeith. Historian Alex Tyrrell writes that the Duchess helped “consolidate Conservative influence in the royal household and counteract memories of the Bedchamber Crisis.” The Queen stood as godmother for the Duchess’ eldest daughter Victoria Alexandrine, who was christened at Buckingham Palace in April 1845. The Montagu-Douglas-Scotts were patrons of the artist Robert Thorburn, and commissioned him to paint several portraits of the Duchess, including a double portrait of her and Lady Victoria; this was given to Queen Victoria in 1847.

The Duchess of Buccleuch resigned the post of Mistress of the Robes in 1846, and was succeeded by the Duchess of Sutherland. She was a member of the Royal Order of Victoria and Albert, Third Class.

The Duchess’s high church faith was an influence of her brother Revd Lord John Thynne, who was high church canon of Westminster Abbey. She and her husband built St Mary the Virgin, an Episcopal church in Dalkeith. To the Duke’s distress, she converted to Roman Catholicism in 1860, “after struggling with her conscience for many years over the distress it would cause her Presbyterian husband.” Soon after being married, she befriended Cecil, Marchioness of Lothian, another prominent Roman Catholic in Scotland. The two engaged in philanthropic work in Edinburgh together, and Lady Lothian helped persuade the Duchess to come to the decision to convert. Her brother Lord Charles also converted to Catholicism.

The Duchess enjoyed gardening and landscaping, and spent much time overseeing the gardens of Drumlanrig Castle. Her husband died in April 1884, and she moved to Ditton Park in Slough, Buckinghamshire. She was much affected by the death of her son Lord Walter; The Lady’s Realm wrote that the Dowager Duchess “never recovered” from this. She died at Ditton Park on 28 March 1895, and was buried at Dalkeith Palace. She supported the religious congregation Poor Servants of the Mother of God until her death, and had engaged in other fund-raising activities as well.

  • The Duke and Duchess of Buccleuch had a total of seven children, three daughters and four sons:
  • William Henry Walter Montagu Douglas Scott, 6th Duke of Buccleuch 9 September 1831
  • Henry John Douglas-Scott-Montagu, 1st Baron Montagu of Beaulieu 5 November 1832
  • Lord Walter Charles Montagu Douglas Scott 2 March 1834
  • Admiral Lord Charles Thomas Montagu Douglas Scott, GCB 20 October 1839
  • Lady Victoria Alexandrina Montagu Douglas Scott 20 November 1844
  • Lady Margaret Elizabeth Montagu Douglas Scott 10 October 1846
  • Lady Mary Charlotte Montagu Douglas Scott 6 August 1851

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An Unofficial Guide to how to win the Scenarios of Soaked

I have been a fan of this series of computer games since early in its release of the very first game. That game was done by one programmer, Chris Sawyer, and it was the first I recall of an internet hit. Websites were put up in dedication to this game where people showed off their creations, based on real amusement parks. These sites were funded by individuals, an expense that was not necessarily as cheap then as it is now. Nor as easy to program then as it might be to build a web page now.

Prima Books released game guides for each iteration of the game, Rollercoaster Tycoon 1, Rollercoaster Tycoon 2 and Rollercoaster Tycoon 3 (RCT3) but not for the expansion sets. And unlike the first two works, the third guide was riddle with incorrect solutions. As I played the game that frustrated me. And I took to the forums that Atari, the game publisher hosted to see if I could find a way to solve those scenarios that the Prima Guide had written up in error. Not finding any good advice, I created my own for the scenarios that the “Official” Guide had gotten wrong.

Solutions that if you followed my advice you would win the scenario and move on. But if you followed the “Official” version you would fail and not be able to complete the game. My style and format being different than the folks at Prima, I continued for all the Scenarios that they had gotten right as well, though my solutions cut to the chase and got you to the winner’s circle more quickly, more directly.

My contributions to the “Official” Forum, got me a place as a playtester for both expansions to the game, Soaked and Wild. And for each of these games, I wrote the guides during the play testing phase so all the play testers could solve the scenarios, and then once again after the official release to make changes in the formula in case our aiding to perfect the game had changed matters. For this, Atari and Frontier (the actual programmers of the game) placed me within the game itself.

And for the longest time, these have been free at the “Official” Forums, as well as my own website dedicated to the game. But a short time ago, I noticed that Atari, after one of its bankruptcies had deleted their forums. So now I am releasing the Guide for one and all. I have added new material and it is near 100 pages, just for the first of the three games. It is available for the Kindle at present for $2.99.

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(Click on the picture to purchase)

Not only are all 9 Scenarios covered, but there are sections covering every Cheat Code, Custom Scenery, the famous Small Park Competition, the Advanced Fireworks Editor, the Flying Camera Route Editor which are all the techniques every amusement park designer needs to make a fantastic park in Rollercoaster Tycoon 3.

Scenarios for Soaked!

1) Captain Blackheart’s Cove

2) Oasis of Fun

3) Lost Atlantis

4) Monster Lake

5) Fountain of Youth

6) World of the Sea

7) Treasure Island

8) Mountain Spring

9) Castaway Getaway

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Regency Personalities Series
In my attempts to provide us with the details of the Regency, today I continue with one of the many period notables.

George Rennie (Sculptor)
1802 – 22 March 1860

George Rennie (Sculptor) was born to George Rennie, agriculturist, and his wife in Phantassie, East Lothian, Scotland. He was a nephew of John Rennie, the civil engineer. Interested in art from an early age, Rennie studied sculpture at Rome as a young man.

After his return to Britain, Rennie worked as a sculptor. He exhibited statues and busts at the Royal Academy from 1828 to 1837. He also exhibited three times at the Suffolk Street Gallery during the same period.

His most important works at the academy were: A Gleaner and Grecian Archer, 1828; Cupid and Hymen (depicting Cupid blowing on the torch of Hymen to rekindle its flame) and busts of Bertel Thorvaldsen and his uncle John Rennie, 1831. Also considered of merit are The Archer (which he afterwards presented to the Athenaeum Club) and a bust of the artist David Wilkie in 1833. He exhibited The Minstrel in 1834; and a group of four figures in marble, 1837.

Currently Cupid and Hymen is in the Victoria and Albert Museum, London. In 2005 it was temporarily removed from display during reorganisation of the museum’s sculpture galleries. It was returned to display in the sculpture court adjoining the central courtyard.

With a view to improving the state of the arts in Britain, Rennie turned his attention to politics. In 1836 he suggested to Sir William Ewart the formation of the parliamentary committee which led to the establishment of the schools of design at Somerset House. He assisted the efforts of Joseph Hume to obtain for the public freedom of access to all monuments and works of art in public buildings and museums.

From 1841 to 1847 he was Liberal Member of Parliament (MP) for Ipswich, retiring before the 1847 general election in favour of Hugh Adair. In 1842 he proposed the “New Edinburgh” scheme for establishing a Scottish settlement in New Zealand. Such a site was developed and the city is now called Dunedin.

On 15 December 1847, he was appointed to the governorship of the Falkland Islands.

He returned to England in 1855. He died in London on 22 March 1860.

Two of his sons were:

  • Richard Rennie, Chief Justice of the British Supreme Court for China and Japan
  • William Hepburn Rennie, auditor-general of Hong Kong and Lt Governor of St. Vincent

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TWO PEAS IN A POD

Two Peas in a Pod has now passed the exclusivity to Amazon test and is available in wider release, electronically (digitally) for other readers now. We sold a few copies on Amazon but nothing to warrant an exclusivity period. Amazon is too big and too full of itself.

Two Peas in a Pod is still available as a Trade paperback click here to order Regency Assembly Press.

$3.99 for an electronic copy. The Trade Paperback, due to publishing costs and the cut that Amazon takes continue to see a Trade Paperback costing $15.99 (The much hyped royalties that we writers are supposed to get is nowhere near what the news reports say. Most of that price is taken by Amazon.)

Nook-Barnes and Noble

Smashwords

iBookstore (These are my books

and still at Amazon

Here is a picture, which of course you can click on to go fetch the book:

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TWO PEAS IN A POD

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Love is something that can not be fostered by deceit even should one’s eyes betray one’s heart.

Two brothers that are so close in appearance that only a handful have ever been able to tell them apart. The Earl of Kent, Percival Francis Michael Coldwell is only older than his brother, Peregrine Maxim Frederick Coldwell by 17 minutes. They may have looked as each other, but that masked how they were truthfully quite opposite to one another.

For Percy, his personality was one that he was quite comfortable with and more than happy to let Perry be of a serious nature. At least until he met Veronica Hamilton, the daughter of Baron Hamilton of Leith. She was only interested in a man who was serious.

Once more, Peregrine is obliged to help his older brother by taking his place, that the Earl may woo the young lady who has captured his heart. That is, until there is one who captures Peregrine’s heart as well.

There is a visual guide to Two Peas in a Pod RegencyEravisualresearchforTwoPeasinaPodTheThingsThatCatchMyEye-2012-08-22-08-41-2012-11-26-09-36-2013-07-2-06-10-2015-07-30-05-10.jpg as well at Pinterest and a blog post here.

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Regency Personalities Series
In my attempts to provide us with the details of the Regency, today I continue with one of the many period notables.

Sir William Miles 1st Baronet
13 May 1797 – 17 June 1878

Sir William Miles 1st Baronet was the son of Philip John Miles (1773–1845) by his first marriage to Maria Whetham (1776–1811). His father was a landowner, shipowner, banker and sugar baron and reportedly the first millionaire in Bristol.

He was educated at Eton College and Christ Church, Oxford and was created a baronet on 19 April 1859, of Leigh Court, Somerset.

He was Tory Member of Parliament (MP) for Chippenham from 1818 to 1820, for New Romney from 1830 to 1832, and sat for East Somerset from 1834 to 1865 as a Conservative. He voluntarily retired his seat in 1865 and it was subsequently held from 1878 by Sir William’s son, Sir Philip Miles.

Sir William was a staunch Conservative, opposed to the Reform Act and was a protectionist who favoured the Corn Law and supported the Duke of Richmond’s Central Agricultural Protection Society (known as the “Anti-League”).

He supported amendments to the Poor Law to ensure that the responsibility for a bastard was not left solely upon the mother, as originally proposed, but would “place some portion of the responsibility on the head of the father”.

Miles supported Enclosure, maintaining that “Allotments of land under enclosures were much more beneficial to the poor than a common right of pasture. Not one inhabitent in ten of a parish made use of a common for purposes of pasturage; but when Allotments were made, every inhabitent participated in the benefit.”

He was deeply religious, at one stage putting forward an amendment in Parliament to prevent trains running on the then newly proposed Great Western Railway on Sundays.

Sir William was chairman of Somerset Quarter Sessions for 35 years, partner in the family’s bank, Miles & Co (which later became part of NatWest) from 1845 to his death in 1878 and commanded the North Somerset Yeomanry Cavalry as its Colonel.

When the parish church at Abbots Leigh burned down in 1847, he paid for its rebuilding from his own pocket.

This afternoon while the bells were chiming for divine service, a fire broke out in the rafters of the roof on the north side of the Church, it was ascertained the next day that the fire was caused by a crack in the chimney of the Store which was most negligently & stupidly built of only one brick thick and placed in immediate contact with the wall plate upon which the feet of the rafters rested. The fire, not withstanding the most active exertions of all the male inhabitants headed by William Miles Esq., whose exertions were almost incredible; the aid of the powerful engine from Leigh Court and after an interval of an hour and a half the assistance of three engines from Bristol, consumed the whole of the roof of the nave and south Aisle, the gallery, pulpit, reading desk and nearly all the pews leaving the tower and chancel uninjured.

Sir William was Vice-President of the Society for Improving the Condition of the Labouring Classes which sought to improve housing for working families. It eventually became part of the Peabody Trust.

A prominent agriculturalist and one of the founding fathers of the Royal Agricultural Society, he was chairman of the local committee who “contributed to the excellence of the arrangements” for the Bristol Country Meeting. He took a practical interest in experiments on his farms.

He regularly hosted the Society and served on its Management Committee as well as being Chairman of the Local Committee at Bristol in 1842 when he judged the trials at Pusey. He lent his own steam engines at Leigh Court for experiments following an anti-modernisation protest in 1847.

He was the Royal Agricultural Society’s Steward of Implements from 1841–1847 and during his Stewardship, the Exhibition of Implements grew from “a couple of sheds to an extend which even then gave promise of the vast proportions which the Shows have attained in recent years”.

He was then a member of the Council and, from 1852 until his death in 1878, one of the 12 Vice-Presidents. Upon his death, his place as Vice-President was taken by Lord Skelmersdale and the President was HRH The Prince of Wales, a shooting companion of Sir William’s son.

Sir William served also as President in 1854-5 when he headed the Society’s deputation to the Universal Exhibition in Paris when he was “received, both by the Emperor, the Ministers, and the learned Societies of that Capital with marked courtesy.”

In his obituary, it was said that
“…ample testimony should be borne to the unwearied energy which Sir William Miles displayed in everything he undertook. No day was too long for him and no obstacle too great to be surmounted… He was endowed with great promptitude of decision and although he required his decisions to be carried out to the very letter, and enforced them where necessary, there always predominated a frankness and manliness of character which won the confidence of all with whom he came in contact and endeared him to those who had the advantage of being associated with him as colleagues.”

“A keen sportsman, he was a hard rider with Sir Richard Sutton, Bt, at Lincoln in his youth (see Burton Hunt), an earnest politician, an able magistrate , and enlightened agriculturalist and a warm-hearted friend.”

Sir William was succeeded in the baronetcy by his eldest son, Philip (1825–1888), who was later an MP for East Somerset. He was uncle of Philip Napier Miles.

Miles married Catherine (1798–1869), daughter of John Gordon, on 12 September 1823, with whom he had the following children:-

  • Sir Philip John William Miles, 2nd Baronet
  • Maria Catherine Miles (1826–1909) who married Robert Charles Tudway, MP for Wells (UK Parliament constituency) and had issue.
  • Agatha Miles (1827–1912) who married General Edward Arthur Somerset, CB; they had eight daughters and one son.
  • Catherine Miles (1834–1911) who married General Sir Robert Onesiphorus Bright, GCB and had three sons and five daughters.
  • Captain William Henry Miles, JP (1830–1888) who married Mary Frances Kynaston Charlton, daughter of Rev John Kynaston Charleton, they had a son, Eustace Miles and two daughters.
  • Emma Clara Miles (1830–1911) who married Reverend Hon James Walter Lascelles, son of Henry Lascelles, 3rd Earl of Harewood and had nine children.
  • Captain Charles John William Miles (1832–1874) who served in the 5th Regiment of Foot and married Elizabeth Maria Lloyd, daughter of Rev Henry Lloyd, but had no children.
  • Frances Harriett Miles (1835–1923) who married Sir William Augustus Ferguson Davie, 3rd Baronet, Senior Clerk to the House of Commons and grandson of General Sir Henry Ferguson Davie, 1st Baronet, they had five children.
  • Florence Louisa Miles (1840–1862) who married The Reverend Francis Edmund Cecil Byng, 5th Earl of Strafford, Chaplain to Queen Victoria and had two children. She died after giving birth to their second child Edmund Byng, 6th Earl of Strafford.
  • Arthur John William Whetham Miles (1841–1853).
  • Harriott Ellin Miles (1841–1864) who married Robert Gurdon, 1st Baron Cranworth, MP for South Norfolk (UK Parliament constituency) and Mid Norfolk, JP, she died after giving birth to their only child, a daughter.
  • Sir Henry Robert William Miles, 4th Baronet (1843–1915) who succeeded his nephew Sir Cecil Miles to the Baronetcy.

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A Trolling We Will Go Omnibus:The Early Years Not only do I write Regency and Romance, but I also have delved into Fantasy.

The Trolling series, (the first three are in print) is the story of a man, Humphrey. We meet him as he has left youth and become a man with a man’s responsibilities.

We follow him in a series of stories that encompass the stages of life. We see him when he starts his family, when he has older sons and the father son dynamic is tested.

We see him when his children begin to marry and have children, and at the end of his life when those he has loved, and those who were his friends proceed him over the threshold into death.

All this while he serves a kingdom troubled by monsters. Troubles that he and his friends will learn to deal with and rectify.

Here are the first three books together as one longer novel.

A Trolling We Will Go, Trolling Down to Old Mah Wee and Trolling’s Pass and Present.

Available in a variety of formats.

For $6.99 you can get this fantasy adventure.

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Barnes and Noble for your Nook

Smashwords

Amazon for your Kindle

Trade Paperback

The stories of Humphrey and Gwendolyn. Published separately in: A Trolling we Will Go, Trolling Down to Old Mah Wee and Trollings Pass and Present.

These are the tales of how a simple Woodcutter and an overly educated girl help save the kingdom without a king from an ancient evil. Long forgotten is the way to fight the Trolls.

Beasts that breed faster than rabbits it seems, and when they decide to migrate to the lands of humans, their seeming invulnerability spell doom for all in the kingdom of Torahn. Not only Torahn but all the human kingdoms that border the great mountains that divide the continent.

Feedback

If you have any commentary, thoughts, ideas about the book (especially if you buy it, read it and like it 😉 then we would love to hear from you.

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Regency Personalities Series
In my attempts to provide us with the details of the Regency, today I continue with one of the many period notables.

Lady Elizabeth Herbert, Countess of Pembroke and Montgomery
March 1737 – 30 April 1831

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Lady Elizabeth Spencer

Lady Elizabeth Herbert was born Elizabeth Spencer to Charles Spencer, 3rd Duke of Marlborough and Elizabeth Trevor.

Her siblings were George, Charles, and Diana.

At nineteen she married Henry Herbert, 10th Earl of Pembroke.

She was admired by George III in the early 1760s, becoming a Lady of the Bedchamber to his wife, Queen Charlotte. The King and Queen stayed for two nights with Henry and Elizabeth at Wilton House in 1778.

“Husbands are dreadfull and powerful Animals” wrote the long-suffering Elizabeth after taking her husband back in 1762, though she did manage to prevent his illegitimate son from that affair from keeping the surname Herbert. She and Henry ended up living in separate quarters at Wilton (he downstairs, she upstairs), with her eventually leaving for Pembroke Lodge in Richmond Park in 1788, which the king had put at her disposal. However, the King – who had been attracted to Elizabeth all his life – suffered his first bout of insanity that same year, and she had to endure the embarrassment of his sporadic and unwanted attentions until his recovery later that year.

Children:
George Augustus Herbert, 11th Earl of Pembroke, 8th Earl of Montgomery 10 September 1759-26 October 1827
Charlotte Herbert 14 July 1773-21 April 1784

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Colonel Fitzwilliam’s Correspondence For your enjoyment, one of the Regency Romances I published.

It is available for sale and I hope that you will take the opportunity to order your copy.

For yourself or as a gift. It is now available in a variety of formats.

For just a few dollars this Regency Romance can be yours for your eReaders or physically in Trade Paperback.

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Visit the dedicated Website

Barnes and Noble for your Nook or in Paperback

Smashwords

iBookstore

Amazon for your Kindle or in Trade Paperback

Witnessing his cousin marry for love and not money, as he felt destined to do, Colonel Fitzwilliam refused to himself to be jealous. He did not expect his acquaintance with the Bennet Clan to change that.    

Catherine Bennet, often called Kitty, had not given a great deal of thought to how her life might change with her sisters Elizabeth and Jane becoming wed to rich and connected men. Certainly meeting Darcy’s handsome cousin, a Colonel, did not affect her.   

 But one had to admit that the connections of the Bingleys and Darcys were quite advantageous. All sorts of men desired introductions now that she had such wealthy new brothers.    

Kitty knew that Lydia may have thought herself fortunate when she had married Wickham, the first Bennet daughter to wed. Kitty, though, knew that true fortune had come to her. She just wasn’t sure how best to apply herself.

Feedback

If you have any commentary, thoughts, ideas about the book (especially if you buy it, read it and like it 😉 then we would love to hear from you.

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Regency Personalities Series
In my attempts to provide us with the details of the Regency, today I continue with one of the many period notables.

Nathaniel Sneyd
1767 – 31 July 1833

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Nathaniel Sneyd

Nathaniel Sneyd was an Irish Politician, landowner and businessman.

He was Member of the Parliament of Ireland representing the Carrick constituency from 1794 to 1800 and was High Sheriff of Cavan in 1795.

He briefly represented the Cavan County Parliament of Ireland constituency which was succeeded after the Union with Great Britain in 1800 by the Cavan Westminster constituency which he represented from 1801 until 1826. In general election of 1806 he had contested two constituencies for Parliament winning both and choosing to represent Cavan over Enniskillen.

In Cavan, Sneyd lived in Ballyconnell and owned plantation lands around Bawnboy. From 1800, he was president of the Bawnboy Farming Society, the first founded in County Cavan.

On 29 July 1833, in Westmoreland Street, Dublin, Nathaniel Sneyd was shot in the head by a madman, John Mason, who had a grudge against the firm of wine merchants Sneyd, French and Barton, where Sneyd was senior partner. Sneyd died of his wounds two days later. He had two memorials, one in Cavan and a life-size neo-classical recumbent effigy in the crypt of Christ Church Cathedral, Dublin. Sculptor, Thomas Kirk represents Sneyd lying dead with a female figure weeping over him.

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A new Regency Anthology

Beaux, Ballrooms, and Battles anthology, celebrating the 200th anniversary of the victory at Waterloo in story.

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Looks good, huh? The talented writer and digital artist, Aileen Fish created this.

It will be available digitally for $.99 and then after a short period of time sell for the regular price of $4.99

The Trade Paperback version will sell for $12.99

Click on the Amazon Link—>Amazon US

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My story in the anthology is entitled: Not a Close Run Thing at All, which of course is a play on the famous misquote attributed to Arthur Wellesley, “a damn close-run thing” which really was “It has been a damned nice thing — the nearest run thing you ever saw in your life.”

Samantha, Lady Worcester had thought love was over for her, much like the war should have been. The Bastille had fallen shortly after she had been born. Her entire life the French and their Revolution had affected her and all whom she knew. Even to having determined who she married, though her husband now had been dead and buried these eight years.

Yet now Robert Barnes, a major-general in command of one of Wellington’s brigades, had appeared before her, years since he had been forgotten and dismissed. The man she had once loved, but because he had only been a captain with no fortune, her father had shown him the door.

With a battle at hand, she could not let down the defenses that surrounded her heart. Could she?

As her father’s hostess, she had travelled with him to Brussels where he served with the British delegation. Duty had taken her that night to the Duchess of Richmond’s ball. The last man she ever expected to see was Robert, who as a young captain of few prospects, had offered for her, only to be turned out by her father so that she could make an alliance with a much older, and better positioned (wealthy), aristocrat.Now, their forces were sure to engage Napoleon and the resurgent Grande Armée. Meeting Robert again just before he was to be pulled into such a horrific maelstrom surely was Fate’s cruelest trick ever. A fate her heart could not possibly withstand.

Here are the first few paragraphs to entice you:

Chapter One
“Come father, we shall be dreadfully late. Already the other guests of the inn have all departed for the ball.” Samantha distinctly heard him grunt. Her father did not like balls.
“You will not fault me if I stay to the card room with the other old gentlemen. We always have much to discuss,” he said. Her father served with the delegation led by Sir Charles Stuart.
In a moment he would complain about the pains caused by his gout. Always handy when social obligations were required and never present when he had his ‘important’ work to do.
“Father, are you sure that there is going to be a battle? I just can’t believe that Her Grace of Richmond is hosting a ball when the soldiers will be going off to fight.” Lady Worcester, who had been once just The Honourable Samantha Villiers, asked of her father, the second Viscount Haddington.
She had married the Earl of Worcester twelve years before, a man who had died before the Peace of Amiens had been shattered. They had no children, and as there were only distant heirs, the property went to those relations whilst the title became extinct. Samantha was the last Lady Worcester.
“The fighting is close at hand, but I have every confidence in the Duke of Wellington. Marvellous man. The French will be quite surprised when he takes this army and invades their lands,” her father said. “I am afraid I shall not be able to stand up and offer one dance with you, my good girl. The pains in my foot are troubling me.”
As Samantha had predicted.
That was always the excuse. Samantha was assured that her father had not once stood up to dance since her mother had died.
Over the many years she had had to study her father, for she had taken to being the hostess of his household upon the death of her husband, her mother having died before her own marriage, she had noted that her father was more impressed by title, position, and wealth, than by capabilities.
However, her own study of Wellesley, now the Duke, paralleled her father’s assessment at least when it came to Wellington’s successes as a commander. Yet the Duke had never faced Napoleon. Until only the most recent years, the Emperor of France had seldom lost any engagement. The Duke of Wellington had faced Napoleon’s lieutenants, and captains, but never the very best commanders of Le Grande Armée.
“It is understandable, Father, with your foot being troublesome, that you wish to proceed to the card room. You should enjoy this night. It will all be over too soon, and as you say, the engagement is imminent. Many here this evening we may never know again.” More than twenty years of war and she had known the loss of several military men.
Her father nodded. He had trained her to recognize the truth regarding these years of war. It was why he had been so against a liaison with Robert Barnes when she had first come out. Her other ardent suitor during her Season in ’03.
A time long ago.
Samantha and the Viscount were in the foyer of their lodgings. All the best places had been taken by those of great rank and wealth. This was a small inn that six other families shared.
She and her father were ready to leave for the ball, their hired carriage at the front of the building even then. Samantha had looked from the window and seen their coachman, Phillipe, waiting patiently.
He was paid for from her Worcester monies. The two years that Samantha had not lived with her father whilst married, had resulted in his losing near all the Haddington monies. He had retained very little of the capital, none of grandfather’s lands, and survived on monies advanced by the government to see to his office as well as what monies Lady Worcester was able to provide to the expenses of his household. Expenses that she managed with prudence.
Shaking her head and exiling the thought away, she pondered on a ball in a coach house. How novel to attend.
She had called on the Duchess several times, as they knew each other socially. Samantha well knew many of the women that had formed society here in Brussels. Her father’s stature with the delegation caused her to be a hostess to much smaller events than the ball.
With the assured defeat of Napoleon the war would end and her father’s service would be over. So also would the service of that other man who had asked for her before.
Robert had gone back to fight once war broke out again when the Peace of Amiens fell apart. She had since lost track of him.
Samantha had forced herself to lose track of him.

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