“Seeking the Niceties of Marriage”, Ch. 09:  Courting Couple, June 12, 2021 by Gratiana Lovelace (Post #1389)

(An original Regency Romance story copyrighted by Gratiana Lovelace, 2021; All rights reserved)  [(1) story cover below left]

0aaa-Seeking-the-Niceties-ofMarriage-story-cover-200x309_May-2021byGratianaLovelace[Illustrations:  I cast my stories as I write them.  So from time to time, I will illustrate my story with actors and such, including:  Richard Armitage as Lord Edward Carlisle, Daniela Denby-Ashe as Lady Emily Creighton, Blake Ritson as Lord Kittredge Wells, Polly Walker as Lady Patience Creighton, Bill Nighy as Lord Nigel Creighton the Earl of Stoke, and others as noted.]

[Author’s Note:  This original Regency romance is a work of fiction, and as such, any character names, scenes or other descriptions were made at the creative discretion of this author.  And this is a gentle romance (G to PG-13), but with some frank discussions about love and marriage put to humorous effect.  This is my disclaimer.]

 

Ch. 09:  Courting Couple

Whereas most fiances court each other before they become engaged—in order to ascertain their suitability for each other–Lord Edward the Viscount Carlisle’s and Lady Emily Creighton’s formal courtship was so quickly over taken by their betrothal/engagement that they missed doing the usual courting activities niceties.  So Lord Edward vows to correct that deficit and to woo his Lady Emily with courting activities the week before they are wed. 

In part, Lord Edward wants to woo Lady Emily in order to firmly establish that she wants to be his wife.  He wants no repeats of the last time he wed—with a reluctant wife who ran away to her death in a carriage accident as she eloped with her lover.  Though it was not Lord Edward’s fault, the tragic end to his late wife Lady Edith Lawrence Carlisle still haunts him.  Had Lady Edith’s parents—so eager were they to claim a Viscount and Earl in waiting for their daughter–taken into account their daughter’s wishes of loving another, then the whole result of their not doing so could have been avoided. 

However, there is an initial hiccup in Lord Edward’s courtship quest to woo Lady Emily.  After their most satisfactory dowry and marriage settlements negotiations on Saturday, Lord Edward and Lady Emily took a light luncheon with her parents.  This allowed Lady Creighton to observe him and to own that Lord Edward the Viscount Carlisle has gentlemanly manners and uses the proper cutlery set before him—and his napkin rather than his sleeve.  But then Lady Creighton whisks her daughter Lady Emily to the modiste’s for the afternoon for wedding gown fittings to temporarily shorten the length of Lady Creighton’s own decades old but still lovely wedding gown for her daughter to wear on her wedding day.  There are also one or two ladies delicate unmentionables that will also be created for Lady Emily, that were not already found within her new wardrobe this year.

So this leaves Lord Edward and his best friend Lord Kittredge Wells with a spare Saturday afternoon to fill in which to entertain themselves—but seven days before Lord Edward’s and Lady Emily’s wedding.  And Lord Kitt takes his role as Lord Edward’s Best Man attendant very seriously—not the least of which is due to the fact that Lord Kitt has never been this close to a wedding party before.  Nor is he likely to be ever again—with Lord Kitt disavowing himself from ever seeking the marital state. 

So these two gentlemen head to their tailor’s for them each to have new wedding suits made for themselves.  Of course, Lord Kitt’s wardrobe is so vast that there is no need for him to expand his wardrobe for several years—unless he wishes to keep up with the fashions of the day, which he does. 

And Lord Edward’s muscles have grown in the five years since his first marriage—through exercise to exhaust himself, to keep his  masculine nature needs at bay.  So now with his Lady Emily soon to be his bride, Lord Edward needs to have a new wedding suit made for his broader shoulders and muscled arms and legs.  And not so unnaturally, Lord Edward views his previous wedding suit attire to be tainted by association—with his first marriage that did not last long.  So Lord Edward is starting fresh—with a new wedding, a new wife, and a new wedding suit.

***

But the real pre-wedding ceremony week courtship begins upon Sunday of the following day when Lord Edward joins the Creighton family at church, sitting with Lady Emily in their pew box.  Of course, Lord Edward has his own sponsored pew box, but he usually sits there alone, except when Lord Kitt rarely joins him. And until Lord Edward and Lady Emily are wed, they may not even sit alone together within his pew box at Church.  Her parents are seeing that she is well chaperoned to avoid any unfortunate talk that might damage Lady Emily’s sterling reputation. 

So Lord Edward will just have to put up with it—the chaperonage–if he wants to court and woo his lady this week. Though the nosegay he selected for and gave to Lady Emily before church is lovingly clasped by her throughout the worship service. She would not even put her nosegay of down when holding the hymnal in song.  Lord Kitt had helped Lord Edward with the nosegay’s floral selection for their floral meanings [(2)]—bluebells for constancy, and gillyflowers signaling bonds of affection amongst several mixed greens.  So Lord Edward achieved just the right sentiments of enduring love and faithfulness, without overpowering Lady Emily with his fervent hopes for a successful and happy marriage to her. 

However, Monday afternoon is indeed a very pleasant prospect, with Lord Edward and Lady Emily, her Mama, and Papa—as well as Lord Kitt—all converging upon Rundle & Bridges for their wedding ring set selection.  Lord Edward also plans to give Lady Emily a Carlisle family heirloom engagement ring that will need to be sized for her small and delicate hands.

Lady Emily is both excited and thrilled to be wedding ring set shopping with her Lord Edward this day.  So much so that her cousin and friend Lord Kitt admonishes her as they enter the jewelry store.

Lord Kittredge:  “Now remember Emmy, set your eye to the quality of jewels and their settings that you view this day.  Just because a ring or brooch is large, does not make it elegant and refined.”

Lady Emily: “But Kitt, some larger pieces of jewelry are quite pretty.  One only has to look at my Dear Mama to see that is so.”  They both turn to smile at Lady Creighton while observing her pearls and diamonds and ruby rings, earrings, brooch, and bracelets that she wears—for a mere afternoon shopping outing. 

Lord Kittredge: “Indeed!”  His eyes widen at the gauche display of jewelry worn by his maternal Aunt. All Lady Creighton would need to complete her wearing the full parure would be for her to don the matching tiara and necklace.  And with no royal audience expected this afternoon, the brooch should have sufficed her.

Lord Edward: “So my Lady Emily, do you see a wedding ring set that tempts you?”  Lord LOE9A9~1Edward [(3) left] asks Lady Emily with a bit of trepidation, hoping to please her.  Then she smiles charmingly cordially at him.  And he sighs relievedly and believes that he is enjoying being engaged to Lady Emily.  And it is a revelation to him that married couples—or soon to be in their case—can take such joy in the small things that they do together.  Though selecting a wedding rings set together is very important.

Lady Emily: “Oh Lord Edward, there are so many lovely sets here.  But perhaps I may try on my heirloom engagement ring that you promised to give me—to see which wedding ring set complements it the best?”  She smiles warmly at him, her being eager to see the lovely heirloom ring that he has chosen for her.  For the jeweler had taken her finger measurement without her trying the ring on yet.

Lord Edward:  “Let us see if the jewelers have finished resizing your heirloom engagement ring to fit your delicate hand.” And Lord Edward lifts Lady Emily’s delicate hand to his lips for decorous kiss.  

And since Lord Edward’s Grandmother Elizabeth Fitzherbert Carlisle–who had bequeathed her engagement ring to him for his future bride–was a ring size bigger than Lady Emily’s finger, the resizing was very necessary.  Lord Edward raises an eye brow to the Clerk hovering in the back ground—who had no doubt heard Lord Edward’s suggestion to Lady Emily—the Clerk then goes to do Lord Edward’s bidding in retrieving the resized engagement ring.

 

LADY-E~2And when Lady Emily views her betrothal/engagement ring [(4) left] in all of its dazzling glory and thence upon her finger after Lord Edward tells her to open her eyes, she is delighted with his choice of ring for her.  Tilting her hand to see the antique gold figured band from each angle, as well as the central 1 carat round diamond sparkling in its olden gold prongs cradle in the well lit jewelry store show room, Lady Emily smiles wide.

Lord Edward:  “So, you like your betrothal ring, Lady Emily?” He asks hopefully.

Lady Emily: “Like it?  Oh Edward!” Lady Emily [(5) left] gushing informally to him due to her LACB48~1unbridled happiness.  “Like does not begin to cover my delight in this ring. It is exquisite! And the ring looks of quite ancient design—almost Roman, even.”  Not that Lady Emily is completely conversant with the jewelry customs of ancient Rome, her betrothal ring’s clean elegant figured lines in the gold band cradling a magnificent diamond make hers a most beautiful betrothal ring.  “You could not have chosen a more perfect betrothal ring for me!”

Lord Edward: “Thank you.  I am glad that you are happy with it.  And your betrothal ring is a Carlisle family heirloom.  I was told that this ring has a long history of Carlisle brides—back at least five generations.  And that each marriage was a long and happy one.”

Lady Emily: “And hopefully, this ring will bring us glad tidings for our marriage, Edward.”  She smiles up at him, but with a slight questioning look in her piquant face.

Lord Edward: Lord Edward guesses her unspoken question, but allows her to voice it or not.  “You may ask any manner of question of me, Lady Emily.  We will have no secrets from each other.”  Yet, Lady Emily is still too shy to ask her question.  “Would you like to know that the last owner of this ring was my Grandmother Elizabeth Fitzherbert Carlisle?”

Lady Emily: “Oh!”  She sighs girlishly relieved.  “So, it was not … I mean, you had not … given this ring to anyone else?”  She finally asks her question most obliquely.

Lord Edward: “No, I did not.  You will be the first Carlisle bride and wife in over 20 years to wear this ring.” He states proudly.

Lady Emily:  “Thank you, Edward!”  Lady Emily gushes.  Were they not in public, Lady Emily would literally jump into her betrothed Lord Edward’s arms.  And she hopes that they might later find an unchaperoned corner of her home’s garden, where they might kiss again.  And she trembles with anticipation.

Lady Emily’s parents smile and nod at their daughter’s beautiful betrothal ring.  Except, of course, her Mama Lady Patience Creighton is also a tad critical of the ring.

Lady Patience:  “It is a pretty little ring, My Dear.  The diamond stone itself is of good size, though the setting is a bit plain.  That was the style then, I suppose. Hhhh!”  She sighs mournfully.  But her disdain does not have its desired effect—as Lady Emily is jubilant over her ring.

Lady Emily: “I will not be dissuaded, Mama.  My betrothal ring is lovely!”  She holds her hand out in front of herself to admire her ring even more. 

And Lord Kitt smiles at his cousin Lady Emily, giving her a silent cheer of Brava!  And yet another quarter not heard from yet also verbally states his verdict about the ring—in the hopes of blunting his wife’s criticism.

Lord Creighton: “My darling daughter, your betrothal ring is a beautifully elegant choice.  Well done, Lord Carlisle!”  Lord Creighton grants that his future son-in-law seems to have good taste.

Lord Edward: “Thank you, Lady Emily, Lady Creighton, and Lord Creighton.  It is a graceful ring for a graceful lady.”  And then he lifts Lady Emily’s hand to his lips and kisses her ring finger, near her new betrothal ring.

And Lord Edward also hopes to find a quiet garden hedge corner in which to seal him giving her his betrothal ring, with a kiss.

***

The remainder of the week, Lady Emily finds herself in a whirl of final wedding gown fittings, wedding reception details, and such,  But the three of them—Lord Edward, Lady Emily, and Lord Kitt as their chaperone—do manage to steal away to Gunter’s for ices Wednesday afternoon.   Though Lord Kitt sits at a completely separate table to give the courting couple their privacy to converse, while he sips his tea and peruses the newspaper.  No sticky ices for him—his valet always complains that it is difficult to remove the ices stains from his cravat—let alone that until Lord Kitt would be able to go home and procure a fresh neckcloth for his cravat, the ices stain would blemish his overall elegant presentation.

Lord Edward: “Do you not think Emily My Love, that Kitt is being very kind to us this afternoon, by sitting at another table to give us our privacy?”  Lord Edward asks smoulderingly as he gently stroke’s Lady Emily’s hand graced with his betrothal ring. 

In fact, Lady Emily has eschewed gloves the last two days—well, her wearing only her right hand glove for propriety’s sake and carrying her left hand glove–precisely to admire and to display her lovely betrothal ring to all whom she might meet.

Lady Emily: “Kitt is usually kind, Dear Edward.  Though sometimes, I would allow that he can be a trifle …”  She searches for the proper word to convey her thoughts, while at the same time not disparaging her much admired and loved cousin Kitt. 

Lord Edward: “Pushy or forthright?”  He jests with a winning smile. 

Lady Emily: “Oh, forthright, of course—and dismissively selective where ladies are concerned.”  She demures.  “It is just that, I so wish to see him happy.  Yet, he has not seemed to like any of the young ladies that I introduced him to at ton parties—in the past six years!”  She pouts.

Lord Edward: “Kkkhh!  Ah, yes.”  He blanches, because as Lord Edward is Lord Kitt’s best friend, Lord Edward understand’s Lord Kitt’s reluctance where ladies are concerned.  “My Dear, some men are not  … the marrying kind.  And I believe that Kitt is one of them.”  He states delicately.

Lady Emily:  “And you are, Edward?  The marrying kind, I mean.”  She smiles while blushing charmingly pink.

Lord Edward: “Oh, indeed!  So much so that I wanted to make certain that my next marriage will be a happy one.  And then you and I met again, your eyebrow sacrifice, and bosom chilling for my sake have utterly charmed me—and we fell in love.”

Lady Emily: “Ha ha ha ha ha!  I am ever so glad, Edward.  Well, not about my ball gown’s low neckline, but that you appreciated my eyebrow transforming efforts.  And you truly love me?”  She asks hesitantly—they are quite a pair in that regard—being shy about their feelings and the feelings of others about them.

Lord Edward: “I do.  And I cannot wait until we are married, in three days, on Saturday—when I can tenderly hold you in my arms and cherish you for the rest of our lives.”

Lady Emily: “Yes, please!”  She whispers delightedly to him. 

Of course, Lady Emily believes that Lord Edward cherishing her  will be a very good thing–by the deepness in his voice and smouldering gaze in his eyes toward her.  Though she is still innocent of the particulars of him cherishing or ravishing her, she trusts him implicitly.  And she looks forward to her and Lord Edward’s carriage ride in the park later this afternoon—they had already had this courting ritual, but now, Lady Emily is a bride to me, she so wants to show off her husband to be.

And Lord Kitt sitting at a table off to the side smiles, glad that his matchmaking efforts between his cousin Lady Emily and his best friend Lord Edward is a success.  He believes that their happiness will help to make his own happiness—if only vicariously as an honorary brother , honorary brother-in-law, and future honorary uncle to their children.  

And now they have only got the wedding ceremony and wedding breakfast to get through on Saturday—hopefully without mishap.  Lord Kitt crosses himself superstitiously for worrying about Lord Edward’s and Lady Emily’s upcoming wedding. 

To be continued with Chapter 10

 

References for the Ch. 09  of “Seeking the Niceties of Marriage”,  June 12, 2021 by Gratiana Lovelace (Post #1389)

 

  1. My “Seeking the Niceties of Marriage” story cover illustration is comprised of: a)  ivory lace background  with Grati edit, found at torrid.com;  and  a b)  Victorian roses bouquet painting by the Boston Public Library, via Atlas Obscura (with some Grati edits ),  found at  https://www.atlasobscura.com/articles/how-flowerobsessed-victorians-encoded-messages-in-bouquets; and with c) the text in deep pinkish coral in a Vivaldi font.

    2. Flower meanings were courtesy of The GardeningChannel.com, found at https://www.gardeningchannel.com/flower-meanings-dictionary-from-a-to-z-the-secret-victorian-era-language-of-flowers/

    3. Lord Edward Carlisle looking hesitantly at wedding ring sets image is represented by Richard Armitage in in “North & South” (2004) 2013-03-28GratiCap_Jun12-2021szd-clr-brt2-crop

    4. Lady Emily Creighton’s betrothal ring image is represented by an antique gold figured band with a 1 carat round cut diamond was found at https://www.filigreejewelers.com/jewelry-time-periods_2019/ 

    5. An elated Lady Emily Creighton is represented by Daniela Denby-Ashe in “North & South” (2004) Feb03-2014 Gratiana Lovelace Cap-crop-sized2; June12-2021clr-crop

 

Gratiana Lovelace Wattpad site for Ch. 09  of “Seeking the Niceties of Marriage”:
https://www.wattpad.com/1084308126-seeking-the-niceties-of-marriage-by-gratiana

 

Previous SAL blog post #1387  link for Ch. 08 “Seeking the Niceties of Marriage”:
https://gratianads90.wordpress.com/2021/06/05/seeking-the-niceties-of-marriage-ch-08-dowry-and-settlements-negotiations-june-05-2021-by-gratiana-lovelace-post-1387/

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#RichardArmitage as #DanielMiller is standing up gif for #WonderfulWednesday, June 09, 2021 Gratiana Lovelace (Post #1388)

#RichardArmitage as #DanielMiller is “getting up for Wednesday” gif!   Well, “standing up” in this gif shared by Sarah. Thanks!

Wishing everyone a safe, healthy, & peaceful day! Hugs & Cheers! Grati ;->

Posted in Daniel Miller/Meyer in Berlin Station, Gifs, Global Team Armitage, Gratiana Lovelace, Richard Armitage, smoulder | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

“Seeking the Niceties of Marriage”, Ch. 08: Dowry and settlements negotiations, June 05, 2021 by Gratiana Lovelace (Post #1387)

(An original Regency Romance story copyrighted by Gratiana Lovelace, 2021; All rights reserved) [(1) story cover below left]


0aaa-Seeking-the-Niceties-ofMarriage-story-cover-200x309_May-2021byGratianaLovelace

[Illustrations:  I cast my stories as I write them.  So from time to time, I will illustrate my story with actors and such, including:  Richard Armitage as Lord Edward Carlisle, Daniela Denby-Ashe as Lady Emily Creighton, Blake Ritson as Lord Kittredge Wells, Polly Walker as Lady Patience Creighton, Bill Nighy as Lord Nigel Creighton the Earl of Stoke, and others as noted.]

[Author’s Note:  This original Regency romance is a work of fiction, and as such, any character names, scenes or other descriptions were made at the creative discretion of this author.  And this is a gentle romance (G to PG-13), but with some frank discussions about love and marriage put to humorous effect.  This is my disclaimer.]

Ch. 8:  Dowry and settlements negotiations

One of the niceties of marriage in many a titled gentleman’s mind is the prospect of receiving his wife’s dowry upon the occasion of their marriage.  And too often, that would be the last that the lady bride would see or hear of her dowry.  And though Lord Edward the Viscount Carlisle had received and then honorably returned his late wife Edith’s dowry funds to her parents when she died whilst eloping with her lover four months after her unconsummated marriage to Lord Carlisle, he wants to handle the situation differently this time, in the hope of producing a better marital outcome for he and his new bride. 


[P] And more forward thinking—and non-financially diminished—gentlemen like Lord Edward believe in protecting their lady’s funds for that lady.  Shockingly progressive!  So it is upon the following day after the Friday night Henderson Ball when Lord Edward Carlisle definitively proposed marriage to Lady Emily Creighton and she delightedly accepted, a Saturday at 11 o’clock in the morning—but seven days before Lord Edward and Lady Emily are to be wed next Saturday—that Lord Edward the Viscount Carlisle solemnly and hopefully mounts the steps to the Creighton’s London townhouse to discuss her dowry and the marriage settlements for he and Lady Emily Creighton with her father. 

And just as Lady Emily will join the discussion by her father’s side, so too does Lord Edward have a supporter at his side—in the person of his longtime good friend and Lady Emily’s cousin, Lord Kittredge Wells, who will also serve as his wedding attendant, Best Man.

Entering into marriage negotiations for settlements and such involving two individuals and their families can be frought with the rules of etiquette and the demands of rank and privilege.  Lord Edward hopes to dispense with such formalities and to neatly arrange the particulars to everyone’s satisfaction.  Yet he is not the administrator of today’s discussions and will need to bow, literally, to Lady Emily’s father in this matter.

As Lord Edward Carlisle and his best friend Lord Kittredge Wells are ushered into Lady Emily’s father Lord Creighton’s Study, of this distinguished Earl of Stoke, the three gentlemen bow to each other deferentially.  Lord Edward bows to Lord Creighton the Earl of Stoke, Lord Kitt bows to Lord Creighton the Earl of Stoke, then Lord Creighton the Earl of Stoke bows once to both young gentlemen. 

Then Lord Creighton gestures for the two younger men to sit in the two club chairs in front of his desk, as he leans against his desk front.  This attitude gives the older man and father a temporary height advantage over the two seated gentlemen.   It is a small point of distinction, but a deserving one for a Papa about to relinquish his beloved daughter to another.  For though Lord Stoke is a distinguished man of 65 years, time has made Lord Creighton much wrinkled about the face and his body slightly stooped over due to arthritis.  But he is determined to ensure his daughter Lady Emily’s choice for her husband is a worthy one.

Lord Stoke:  For Lady Emily’s Papa now also cloaks himself with his full rank as the Earl of Stoke for these marital dowry and settlement negotiations.  “My daughter Lady Emily will join us in a few minutes.  But first, I want to assure myself that you, Lord Carlisle, are truly desirous of wedding my daughter Lady Emily.  Her happiness is my only consideration in this matter.” 


Lord Stoke [(2) above middle]  stares daggers at the younger man’s eyes—and Lord Edward inaudibly gulps.  If need be, this strong and loving Papa would fight dragons for his daughter.  However today, he is only dealing with a suitor.  

So this suitor, Lord Edward, must be found worthy in this Papa’s eyes for him to give his daughter to him in marriage.  And Lord Creighton is well seasoned in the art of dowry and marriage settlements negotiations, since Lady Emily is his third and last daughter to be wed.

Lord Edward: “And Lady Emily’s every wish for happiness will be my life’s endeavor, My Lord.  I will love and cherish her until my dying breath—and even beyond.”  Lord Edward bows [(3) above right] his head deferentially again to the father of his bride to be.  At least he hopes that Lady Emily will be his bride.

Lord Stoke: “We shall see.”  He states ominously.  The atmosphere in Lord Creighton’s Study is thick with an air of tension that most young men would sooner try to avoid. 

Then Lady Emily enters upon the echo of the knock of their butler.  She rushes forward to greet her Papa first, as protocol and her daughterly devotion dictates. And they embrace warmly. Lord Edward and Lord Kitt also stand in deference to Lady Emily and bow to her.  She also curtsies to them.

Lady Emily:  “Papa!  Thank you for allowing me to attend these marriage settlement discussions.  I promise that I will be quiet and you  will not even know that I am in the room.”

Lord Kittredge:  “Nngghh!”  He snorts.  Never has Lord Kittredge known his sometimes shy–except around family–cousin Lady Emily Creighton to be lacking in contributing to important conversations, not the least of which when they involve her person.

Lord Stoke:  “Of course, My Dear.  Please have a seat upon the couch.”  He motions  her to the side of the room, 10 feet away from the trinity of men leading the dowry and settlement discussion.

Lady Emily: “Oh but, Papa?  May I first greet my betrothed?”  She asks sweetly.  Yet, she is even now already thwarting her Papa’s control of the discussions and the room.  Her Papa waves her in the direction of Lord Edward and she turns to fully face Lord Edward. 

Lord Edward:  Lord Edward takes one step forward and bows again to Lady Emily with a loving smile upon his face.  “My Lady Emily, I am delighted to see you again and look forward to the day when our lives will be joined together in marriage.”  Then he lifts Lady Emily’s ungloved hand to his lips and he gently kisses her soft and smooth knuckles. Then lowering her hand, he retains its shelter within his own, as they gaze sweetly at each other.

The betrothal pair’s eyes lock in understanding of each other’s loving wishes.  Lord Stoke observes this tender solicitude between them and privately acknowledges that his daughter has made a good match.  Lord Kittredge does as well and comments—him leaning into and between the two betrotheds.

Lord Kittredge:  “Hello, Emmy!  Do we even need to wait a week for your marriage to Edward?  We could have the wedding on Monday.  Edward and I secured a special license this morning, just in case.”  Lord Kittredge smiles broadly, happy that his matchmaking efforts for his sweet cousin have born fruit.

And lest the young people in the room get the better of him, Lord Stoke asserts his command by coughing.

Lord Stoke:  “Kkk!  Emily Dear, your Mama has only agreed to your wedding being set for next Saturday, we had best not seek another miracle.”   

And her father Lord Creighton had done much persuading and cajoling with his wife Lady Creighton to have her agree to that expeditious date for their youngest daughter’s wedding—not to mention the holiday he promised his wife, with a trip to Paris for new gowns for herself, which will also aid the newlyweds by not having a potentially meddlesome mother-in-law around as they begin their married life together.

Lady Emily: Recalled to her ladylike demeanor from her gazing adoringly at her betrothed Lord Edward, Lady Emily demures.  “Of course, Papa.”  Then she turns back to Lord Edward and her cousin Lord Kitt.  “One week is not too long to wait to be married, is it?”  She asks sweetly.

Lord Kittredge:  “Not really.”  He states as if he is one who knows, with him running his thumbs down and under his jacket lapels in a pleased with himself manner—for his supposed matchmaking success.

Lord Edward: “Kitt, I believe Emmy was asking me.” Lorde Edward avers without taking his gaze from his betrothed, Lady Emily

Lady Emily: “I was.”  She gives her cousin a slight nod, whilst not removing her gaze from her betrothed, Lord Edward.

Lord Edward:  “One week will only not seem like an eternity if you allow me to see you every day before we are wed, My Love.”  He then kisses her knuckles again—though he would dearly love to turn her hand over and kiss the delicate underside skin of her wrist. However, he checks his romantic impulse since they are in the presence of others–not the least of which is her father, Lord Creighton.

Sensing his Uncle Creighton’s impatience, Lord Kitt breaks into the betrothed couple’s reveries.

Lord Kittredge:  “Uh, Emmy?  I will sit upon the settee, so that you may be seated next to your fiancé.” And he goes to the settee and sits.

Lady Emily: “What?”  She asks hazily, so entranced is she in gazing upon her love Edward’s eyes tenderly conveying his love for her.

Lord Edward: “Uh, Thank you, Kitt.  Lady Emily?”  And Lord Edward helps Lady Emily to be seated in the other chair in front of her father’s desk.  Then Lord Edward sits next to her, and he retains a gentle clasp of her nearest hand in his. 

Lord Creighton of Stoke: “Well!  Now that we have settled who is sitting where, let us discuss the details of my daughter’s dowry and our expected settlement contract that we hope Lord Carlisle will agree to.”

Lord Edward:  Turning to gaze upon his beloved’s sweet face, he promises.  “My love for Lady Emily will see her be given all that her heart desires.  I will deny her nothing.”  For Lord Edward Carlisle is a very wealthy man—and a man who desires a happy marriage, this time.

Lady Emily: “Oh Edward!”  She sighs in loving wonder of her soon to married state with her beloved Edward.

Lord Creighton of Stoke: “Yes, well, to the details.”  He commandeers everyone’s attention again. 

Then after putting forth his requirements for the care of his daughter during the marriage—her pin money, her widow’s stipend and where she will live if Lord Carlisle predeceases her, and Lord Edward agreeing to or increasing the portions that Lady Emily will receive, as well as dictating that Lady Emily’s dowry should be put in trust for her use and her direction alone–Lord Creighton pronounces himself satisfied with the arrangements.

And though listening, partially to the dowry and settlement discussions–since she had made a point of wanting to attend—Lady Emily was too enraptured with her hand being sheltered within her beloved’s large and manly hand to interject herself into the discussion.

And she hopes she and her Edward  will do more hand holding and even kissing in the week leading up to their being wed—however well chaperoned they will be.

To be continue with Chapter 09

References for the Ch. 08  of “Seeking the Niceties of Marriage”,  June 05, 2021 by Gratiana Lovelace (Post #1387)

1. My “Seeking the Niceties of Marriage” story cover  illustration is comprised of:  a)  ivory lace background  with Grati edit, found at torrid.com;  and  a b)  Victorian roses bouquet painting by the Boston Public Library, via Atlas Obscura (with some Grati edits ), found at  https://www.atlasobscura.com/articles/how-flowerobsessed-victorians-encoded-messages-in-bouquets; and with c) the text in deep pinkish coral in a Vivaldi font.

2. Lord Creighton image composite  is that of Bill Nighy in Limehouse, Golem found at:

https://www.willowandthatch.com/emma-taylor-joy-movie-adaptation-news/;   And a Victorian study and desk found at https://stylesatlife.com/articles/office-table-designs/  via Grati edit, June 04, 2021

3. Lord Edward Carlisle image is Richard Armitage in N&S2004  epi1-029Oct1913ranet-Grati-crop2-brt


Gratiana Lovelace Wattpad site for Ch. 08 of “Seeking the Niceties of Marriage”:
thttps://www.wattpad.com/1080721477-seeking-the-niceties-of-marriage-by-gratiana

Previous SAL blog post #1385  link for Ch. 07 “Seeking the Niceties of Marriage”:
https://gratianads90.wordpress.com/2021/05/29/seeking-the-niceties-of-marriage-ch-07-the-henderson-ball-may-29-2021-by-gratiana-lovelace-post1385/

Posted in "Seeking the Niceties of Marriage", by Gratiana Lovelace, Creative Writing, Gratiana Lovelace, Love and Relationships, Richard Armitage, Romance, Social Justice, social media, Society, Something About Love, Storytelling | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

New Richard Armitage as HarryK June wallpaper and gardening musings, June 01, 2021 Gratiana Lovelace (Post #1386)

 

The warm and friendly smiles of the talented British actor Richard Armitage portraying Harry Kennedy on The Vicar of Dibley in 2006 & 2007 start us off in June’s late Spring and early Summer season. Below is a new wallpaper that I made, which I have also installed at the top of my sidebar. 
0-2021wallpaper--ASmile-ofWarmth-&Friendship-for-MyLadies-inJune-isRichardArmitage-asHarryK_May31-2021byGratianaLovelace

 

Sunny days, blue skies, cool breezes (for now), amid a verdant landscape of green leafy crops of corn and soy bean growing in the surrounding fields.  I’ve always loved watching the crops grow over time—”the corn (stalks)  should be knee high by the 4th of July” is the folksy phrase often heard around here.    

And the unusually frequent rains we seem to be having also make everyone’s lawn grow long and lush—requiring twice weekly mowings, by my hubby, and everyone else in the neighborhood.  So the constant vroom of lawn mowers tends to be a daily occurrence now. Ha!  But the rebirth of our lawns after Winter’s chill is a welcome change. 

But in our back yard, our deep purple lilac bush’s blossoms have already come and gone.  They emerged a few weeks ago as our first real sign of Spring. Our flowering cherry tree also bloomed with white flowers against bright green leaves for a time, and now is working on the berries—which the many local birds will all enjoy. 

So come the next several weekends, I will probably visit our local flower nurseries to makezzNature--purple-blue-yellow-flowers_Mar2716viaDinnysChild selections from among marigolds, begonias, geraniums, zinnias, chrysanthemums, daisies, pansies, phlox, impatiens, petunias, etc.   I usually pick complementary colors—such as red, yellow, and purple—then look for flowers blooming in those colors as I mix and match them.  

And I keep it simple (for watering) by planting these flowers all on our backyard deck off of our kitchen—in railing boxes (below left), hanging pots (below right), and ceramic pots here and there.  However, I do have to avoid the sacred gas grill area on the deck, that is my hubby’s domain.  Ha!
zznature-2014-blackcherrytree-yellowmarigolds-purplepansies-dsc01868_may1014gratianalovelace

I don’t really have a green thumb, and I’m always surprised when flowers grow for me.  Last year, in the dead of Winter, I received a lovely orchid plant as a gift—and I actually  kept it alive in our home for 3 months!  But I was way out of my depth in terms of delicate plant care.  Ha!   So when the orchid met its inevitable end–while snow was still on the ground–the stress of trying to keep that plant alive lifted for me.  And I was beyond relieved, and felt that I had tried my best. But then the COVID 19 pandemic hit.  And I half wondered if it was orchid karma.  No ha.

 

My late dad had always created and tended our beautiful flowerbeds and bushes in the home that I grew up in. Gardening was his passion—though he was an engineer by training and profession.  And I enjoyed his flower gardening efforts, especially the colorful irises and gladiolas—as well as roses, peonies and lilacs. And inside the house I grew up in, he had a rubber tree that eventually had to be gifted to our local library when it exceeded the ceiling heights in our home, and other smaller plants that he nurtured for decades.  So my apple that fell off his tree didn’t inherit his gardening gene.  But maybe with my meager gardening forays in our home—on the deck in Spring and Summer–I’m trying to recreate a bit of the beauty in nature that I have always appreciated.

And as my plantings progress, I will share some pictures in the future.  In the meantime, below are a few pictures of deck pots plantings that I have done in past years:

Flowers--2013-Gratis-pink-gerber-daisies-in-pot-on-deck_Apr072013byGrati   2016--Deck-pot-flowers-2pinkstripedimpatiens-pinkyellowdahlia-incenter_Jun0516grati     

Posted in Creativity, Fangurling, Flowers, Gratiana Lovelace, Harry Kennedy, Portraits, Richard Armitage, Social Justice, social media, Society, Something About Love, Vicar of Dibley, wallpaper | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

“Seeking the Niceties of Marriage”, Ch. 07: The Henderson Ball, May 29, 2021 by Gratiana Lovelace (Post #1385)

(An original Regency Romance story copyrighted by Gratiana Lovelace, 2021; All rights reserved) [(1) story cover below left]

0aaa-Seeking-the-Niceties-ofMarriage-story-cover-200x309_May-2021byGratianaLovelace

[Illustrations:  I cast my stories as I write them.  So from time to time, I will illustrate my story with actors and such, including:  Richard Armitage as Lord Edward Carlisle, Daniela Denby-Ashe as Lady Emily Creighton, Blake Ritson as Lord Kittredge Wells, Polly Walker as Lady Patience Creighton, Bill Nighy as Lord Nigel Creighton the Earl of Stoke, and others as noted.]

[Author’s Note:  This original Regency romance is a work of fiction, and as such, any character names, scenes or other descriptions were made at the creative discretion of this author.  And this is a gentle romance (G to PG-13), but with some frank discussions about love and marriage put to humorous effect.  This is my disclaimer.]

0agCh07images-Seeking-the-Niceties-ofMarriage_May29-2021byGratianaLovelace

Ch. 7:  The Henderson Ball

To aver that Lady Emily Creighton is nervous as she and her family ride in their enclosed carriage Friday night to the Henderson Ball, would be a vast understatement.  She had not been able to convince her cousin Lord Kittredge Wells of the unsuitability of the bosom revealing gown that he had selected for her to wear.  Nor would Lord Wells allow its alteration for some discreet lace or tulle coverings across her bosoms. 

So Lady Emily not only feels that her gown is scandalous, but that she is likely to fall ill from the amount of her chest skin being revealed tonight causing her to contract pneumonia.   Though it is true that she is baring no more cleavage than any other lady of her acquaintance—with charms as ample as her own.  It is just that Lady Emily is shy–except her bosoms on display tonight seem to belie that notion.

As Lord Edward Carlisle rides in his own private carriage to the Henderson Ball, he has much on his mind.  Not the least of which is the growing attractiveness of one Lady Emily Creighton.  The eyebrow surgery that his best friend and her cousin Lord Kittredge Wells performed to create two perfectly arched eyebrows for Lady Emily transformed her countenance into one of delicate beauty.  And in Lord Edward’s mind, far too many gentlemen are taking notice of her beauty–namely Reynolds and Wentworth whom he and Lady Emily happened to meet on their carriage ride yesterday.

And Lord Edward is kicking himself for not offering to bring Lady Emily with him tonight—or at least that he join them in their carriage.  She could be already at the Henderson Ball–and beset with all manner of unsuitable suitors, including the aforementioned Reynolds and Wentworth.  Lord Edward has nothing particularly against those two gentlemen, other than that they are marital competition for him with Lady Emily.  And a gentleman—such as Lord Edward Carlisle—is never so much more interested in a lady when he has competition for her.

So as soon as Lord Edward arrives and looks around the elegantly appointed Henderson Ballroom–with ivory silk window drapes, chandeliers glowing from the expensive bees wax candles, and the elegant lords and ladies in attendance–he spies Lady Emily surrounded by a flock of gentlemen–including Sir Joshua Reynolds and Major Palmer Wentworth—her erstwhile future dance partners.  Then he notices his best friend Lord Kittredge Wells–Lady Emily’s cousin–and he walks over to him.

Lord Edward:  “Kitt!  Do my eyes deceive me, or is Lady Emily suddenly the focus of every males’ attention tonight?”  I ask incredulously.

Lord Kittredge: “It is a triumph!  Dear, sweet, shy, and unassuming Emmy is the belle of the ball!”

Lord Edward smiles indulgently at his friend Lord Kitt.  Then the sea of men part for a few moments and he catches of glimpse of the very beautiful Lady Emily–and her bosoms in her revealing gown [(2) above middle left].  Lady Emily is a vision, a goddess, and the woman whom he wants in his bed, right now.   Lord Edward’s masculine nature—as Lord Kittredge Wells so euphemistically refers to it—is definitely attuned to Lady Emily’s feminine allure.  And Lord Edward decides to stake his claim to the lady and he strides over to Lady Emily and her bevy of admirers.

Lord Edward: “Excuse me, gentlemen.  But the Lady and I are engaged for this dance.” Lord Edward’s wording is precisely chosen, and he gazes smoulderingly at her.


Lady Emily:  Lady Emily looks up into Lord Edward’s eyes and she is mesmerized by his handsomeness [(3) above middle right].  “Yes, thank you, Edward.” Is all that she manages to say as she slowly and gracefully gives him her gloved hand.  He kisses it lingeringly–her hand, that is.  The other men disperse–with vows to return to claim her for their dances later, for Reynolds and Wentworth.

Lord Edward:  “You are beautiful, Lady Emily.” Lord Edward’s deep velvety voice vibrates with longing as he waltzes her around the room.  And Lady Emily trembles with maidenly modesty in his arms.

Lady Emily:  “You flatter me too much, Lord Edward.”  She smiles shyly up at him.

Lord Edward:  “My inadequate words cannot begin to describe how mesmerizing you look tonight, Lady Emily.”  His full throated admiration of her this night is entirely sincere.

Lady Emily: “It is the dress.” I nod knowingly.  “I fear were I not in it, you might feel otherwise.”  But she sees him smile at her remark.


Lord Edward:  “On the contrary, were you not wearing this gown, I fear that my gentlemanly restraint would be quickly vanquished as I expressed my adoration of you in more tangible ways.”  I smirk.

Lady Emily: “Oh!  Do you mean that you want to …  ravish me?”  She whispers looking up at him in wonder.  Lady Emily does still not know what his ravishing her would entail, but by the look of love upon his face, she guesses that she would like it.

Lord Edward:  “Every day for the rest of our lives, if you will honor me with your hand in marriage, My Dear.”

Lady Emily: “Oh!”  Her eyes widen in speechless delight.

Lord Edward:  “Come.”  Lord Edward commands as he leads her off of the dance floor with her hand tucked in his arm as they walk out to the terrace before the music has ended.  It seems that there is always a terrace adjacent to a ballroom.  No one can mistake Lord Edward’s intent–certainly not Lady Emily, nor anyone else.

Once they find a secluded and private spot on the terrace–yet well within eye sight of anyone happening by so as not to tarnish Dear Lady Emily’s reputation—Lord Edward drops to his knee before her.

Lady Emily: “Edward?”  She exclaims in half surprise, half hope.

Lord Edward:  Lord Edward takes her hands, place their palms together–as if in prayer–and then he encloses his hands around her hands and brings them to his heart.  “Emily, I have discovered that my heart beats only for you.  You are like a breath of fresh air with your candid ways of speaking.  And your sacrifice to look pretty for me has not only transformed your beautiful face, but your gesture has touched me deeply.  Please say that you will be my wife–and that we may set a date to wed for as soon as we are able to arrange things.”  Lord Edward looks expectantly at Lady Emily.

Lady Emily:  “Oh, and I am excessively fond of you Edward.   Hhhh.”  She cannot help but sigh with the romanticism of the this moment.  “I will be the happiest of women as your bride.  But are you certain that your regard for me is not a passing fancy?” She winces, waiting for his response.

Lord Edward: “Perhaps if my words do not convince you of my love, my actions will.”  He stands up again, and loosens his too tight cravat as a watching Lady Emily’s eyes widen in surprise and in curiosity.

And then Lord Edward leans forward and gently takes Lady Emily into his arms as they kiss for the first time.  Her eyes go wide and then shut almost immediately.  Lord Edward is grateful not to have her watching him kiss her, since he is a bit nervous in wanting to treat her gently–for the fine maiden and lady she is.  He touches his lips to her lips in a petal soft kiss as she rests lightly in his arms.   She does not resist.

Then Lord Edward allows Lady Emily to feel his lips upon hers more firmly as he caresses her face with his hands and slowly opens his mouth to capture her lips again, and again, and again, and again.  Though Lady Emily’s lips remain closed–as he would expect of a fair and virtuous maiden–they are plump and warm as he nibbles on them.  Then he returns to moving his mouth over her mouth in circles, and she begins to respond and opens and closes her mouth over his lips [(4) above right].  It is a deliriously glorious moment when he feels her relax and lean in to him–her trusting him completely, knowing that he will not overstep certain boundaries.

Then slowly, Lord Edward concludes their first kisses as he gently brushes the side of her face with his gloved index finger trailing down it, and he smiles lovingly gazing down at Lady Emily’s sweet face.

Lady Emily: “Hmmm.” She whimpers in feeling so cherished.  Lady Emily opens her eyes again to see her beloved’s love for her shining in his eyes.

Lord Edward:  “My love.”  Lord Edward pulls back and kisses her gloved hands again, then he turns them over and kisses both of her palms.   “You will be my wife, Emily Darling?”

Lady Emily: “Yes, Dearest Edward.  I will be your wife.”  I smile through my tears.

Then Lord Edward leans in and kisses Lady Emily again and again and again, this time even more passionately, whilst still maintaining gentlemanly boundaries.

***

However, what Lord Edward fails to realize in proposing to dear Lady Emily to be his bride, is that though she and he are in sympathy with one another, it is quite another matter altogether to contemplate her parents’—specifically Lady Emily’s overbearing mother Lady Creighton—with regard to the betrothal between Lady Emily and Lord Edward. 

And several moments later when the happy couple breaks their betrothal news, her parents are pleased, naturally.  But Lady Emily’s mother’s response to their news is altogether underwhelming—if not uncategorically insulting.

Lady Creighton:  “I beg your pardon, Lord Carlisle.  I have either gone deaf, or struck nonsensical.  Did you say that you wish to marry our daughter Lady Emily?”

Lord Edward is at best underwhelmed at Lady Creighton’s response—and he fears that this is not a good beginning.  And since this is actually his second proposal to Lady Emily—albeit a more formal one—Lord Edward feels that her parents should not be shocked by it.

Lord Edward: In a clipped voice, Lord Edward responds to the harriden that is Lady Emily’s Mama.  “It is so, Madam.  And Lady Emily has accepted my proposal.  We need only to receive your blessing and then we may set a date for our wedding without delay.”

Lady Emily:  “Oh but Edward.  What about Lady Rachel Gosford’s and Lord Montague Withers’ wedding that we are attendants at in three Saturdays, three weeks hence?  I fear that we must delay our own wedding until the Saturday after that.”

Lord Edward:  Crestfallen, Lord Edward asks her poutingly.  “Four weeks?  But when I can obtain a special license this week, why must we wait four weeks more, when the Saturday next means we would be married in eight days!”

Lady Creighton:  Having some inkling as to her daughter’s wishes for the proposed date of their marriage, she demures. “Nay, Lord Carlisle.  We must have time to find a suitable wedding gown and trousseau for our Emily.  So we must have time to arrange them.”

Lord Edward:  “Is this true, Emmy?  You want to wait for us to be married in order for you to have a pretty wedding gown made for you?”  He asks her incredulously.  Men are far less attentive to their clothes than women are—as evidenced by Lord Edward’s limp cravat that he tied himself earlier this evening.

Lady Emily:  “Wellll, ….” She smiles up at her eager husband to be. 

Lord Edward: “Yes?”  He asks hopefully. 

Then Lady Emily turns to her Mama in supplication.

Lady Emily:  “Mama, I already received a new wardrobe this year from you and Papa for this season.  So that will suffice me for my wedding trousseau.  And if you will grant me my fondest wish of wearing your lovely wedding gown as mine own, the dressmaker will only need to hem it shorter for me—or perhaps, tuck up bits of the wedding gown fabric to create scalloped draping that would shorten the gown without permanently altering its length.”  She looks hopefully at her Mama—who seems to be speechless.   

And then her father weighs in.

Lord Creighton:  “Well Emmy Dear, that sounds wonderful to me!  So you will be married the Saturday after tomorrow—a mere eight days from today.”  Then he turns to Lord Edward.  “Come see me at 11 o’clock tomorrow morning to discuss my daughter’s dowry and the marriage settlements.”

Lord Edward: “Excellent!”  But he is interrupted before he can say more.

Lady Emily:  “But Papa, should I not also be included in these discussions—so that I am aware of their particulars?”  She looks between the two men—her Papa, and her future husband.  This is a moment when one man will cede control of her, whilst the other man will take control of her upon their marriage.

Lord Creighton: “That is not how it is usually done, Emily Dear.  But be assured, the arrangements will look out for your best interests.”  He condescendingly pats her cheek tenderly, as he has done from her childhood.  But at 24 years old, Lady Emily is no longer a child—though she will always remain his child in his heart.

Lady Emily: “I still feel that I should take part.”  She mutters.

Lord Edward: “I have no objection for Lady Emily to join our discussion, Lord Creighton.  She and I will have no secrets from each other.  And I want to insure her every comfort and happiness in our future marriage.”  He gazes tenderly at his soon to be wife in eight days.

The moments tick by as Lord Creighton reflects upon his daughter’s request and Lord Edward’s agreeableness to it.

Lord Creighton: “Very well.”  He sighs at the happy couple.  Then cutting off what he surmises is his wife about to raise an objection, he says to her.  “My Lady wife, we are to present our youngest daughter’s hand in marriage to a fine gentleman, Lord Edward Carlisle.  Our work as parents is done, and she will take her place in society as we have always hoped.” 

Then Lord Creighton gently kisses his wife’s cheek with a smile—further astonishing Lady Creighton with her husband’s display of such intimacy with her in front of her daughter and soon to be son-in-law, let alone at a ball. 

They all go on to have a lovely time at the Henderson Ball—with Lady Emily and her betrothed Lord Edward gazing deeply into each others’ eyes, except for the two dances each that Sir Joshua Reynolds and Major Palmer Wentworth claimed as promised.  However, Lord Edward will then let no one else but he dance with his Lady Emily the rest of the evening. 

Lord Edward is a besotted man.  And he will find out tomorrow about the substance of Lady Emily’s Papa’s wishes for their marriage settlement agreements.

To be continued with Chapter 8

References for the Ch. 07 of “Seeking the Niceties of Marriage”,  May 29, 2021 by Gratiana Lovelace (Post #1385)

1. My “Seeking the Niceties of Marriage” story cover  illustration is comprised of:  a)  ivory lace background  with Grati edit, found at torrid.com;  and  a b)  Victorian roses bouquet painting by the Boston Public Library, via Atlas Obscura (with some Grati edits ), found at  https://www.atlasobscura.com/articles/how-flowerobsessed-victorians-encoded-messages-in-bouquets; and with c) the text in deep pinkish coral in a Vivaldi font.

2. Lady Emily Creighton wearing a lovely low bodice ball gown is Daniela Denby-Ashe in North & South (2004) Dec2213GratianaLovelaceCap-crop-sized-clr2-bkgrnd-brt

3.  Lord Edward Carlisle image in formal attire is RichardArmitage-inBBCs2004North&South-epi2-17h08m56s137Dec2213GratianaLovelaceCapManip3Brt

4. Lord Edward Carlisle kissing-Lady Emily Creighton from North & South 2004_May17-2021viaSimonne; Grati Crop


Gratiana Lovelace Wattpad site for Ch. 07 of “Seeking the Niceties of Marriage”:
https://www.wattpad.com/1077354619-seeking-the-niceties-of-marriage-by-gratiana


Previous SAL blog post #1383  link for Ch. 06 “Seeking the Niceties of Marriage
”:
https://gratianads90.wordpress.com/2021/05/23/seeking-the-niceties-of-marriage-ch-06-their-promised-carriage-ride-is-fulfilled-may-23-2021-by-gratiana-lovelace-post1383/

Posted in "Seeking the Niceties of Marriage", by Gratiana Lovelace, Creative Writing, Gratiana Lovelace, Historical Fiction, Love and Relationships, Richard Armitage, Romance, Social Justice, social media, Society, Something About Love, Storytelling | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

The #RichardArmitage #Neckitage collage by CynDainty, May 26, 2021 Gratiana Lovelace (Post #1384)

There is something so alluring about a strong and muscular male neck—especially the talented British actor Richard Armitage’s neck.  Sighhh! 

Thanks to CynDainty for curating this lovely Richard Armitage neckitage collage below! 

Wishing everyone a safe, healthy, & peaceful day!  Hugs  & Cheers!  Grati  ;->

RAPortraits--Neckitage-collage-byCynDainty_May26-2021viaGrati

Posted in AdmiRAtion, Fangurling, Gratiana Lovelace, Neckitage, Portraits, Richard Armitage | Tagged , , , , , , | 1 Comment

“Seeking the Niceties of Marriage”, Ch. 06:  Their promised carriage ride is fulfilled,  May 23, 2021 by Gratiana Lovelace (Post#1383)

(An original Regency Romance story copyrighted by Gratiana Lovelace, 2021; All rights reserved)  [(1) story cover above left]

0aaa-Seeking-the-Niceties-ofMarriage-story-cover-200x309_May-2021byGratianaLovelace[Illustrations:  I cast my stories as I write them.  So from time to time, I will illustrate my story with actors and such, including:  Richard Armitage as Lord Edward Carlisle, Daniela Denby-Ashe as Lady Emily Creighton, Blake Ritson as Lord Kittredge Wells, Polly Walker as Lady Patience Creighton, Bill Nighy as Lord Nigel Creighton the Earl of Stoke, and others as noted.]

[Author’s Note:  This original Regency romance is a work of fiction, and as such, any character names, scenes or other descriptions were made at the creative discretion of this author.  And this is a gentle romance (G to PG-13), but with some frank discussions about love and marriage put to humorous effect.  This is my disclaimer.]

Ch. 06:  Their promised carriage ride is fulfilled

Being the attentive suitor–since she had made herself sore by having her eye brows plucked into a pleasing submission in order for her to look more feminine to him—Lord Edward Carlisle visits Lady Emily Creighton the following day.  He bestows upon her another nosegay and takes tea with her–them talking about their delayed carriage ride yet to come.  For though Emily’s swelling, redness, and pain has abated by half, she is still in too much discomfort to enjoy a ride with him.  This pattern of Lord Edward’s considerate visiting of Lady Emily continues for yet a third day.

However, the fourth day with Lady Emily fully recovered from having her eyebrows plucked and tamed, she dearly wants her carriage ride outing with Lord Edward.  So she sends him a note that morning indicating that she will be most agreeable to him bringing his smart open gig around this afternoon for their promenade in the park.  And then she invites him to partake tea with her after. Lord Edward sends a reply that he will be most happy to oblige her at four o’clock this afternoon.

Lady Emily is thrilled to not only have a carriage ride with her Edward, but that they will do so on full display of other potential suitors also promenading in the park, should Edward not wish to fulfill his proposal of marriage to her.   Although Lady Emily will be crushed if Lord Edward declines to stand by his offer of marriage, she did not realistically think that she would even have a proposal from him or anyone.  So she feels that she is already ahead in her matrimonial dreams.

Lord Edward, however, is uncertain as to whether it is wise to pay such particular attention to Lady Emily were other ladies whom he might wish to become acquainted with to consider him off the market.  Though Lady Emily seems to Lord Edward to be an affable invalid during her recovery, she is quite effusive in her thanks and praise for his attentions to her.  He feels that she is trying too hard to please him–and she is.

However all such notions of easing himself away from victorian-couple-carriage-ride-illustration_May22-2021viJudeKnight_Grati-szd-flip
Lady Emily go out of Lord Edward Carlisle’s head after he collects the now quite  lovely Lady Emily Creighton for their promised open gig carriage ride [(2) right]  in The Park on Thursday.

Lady Emily Creighton is quite magnificently transformed into a confection of womanly charms today–due largely to her cousin Lord Kittredge Wells fashion influence—and the aforementioned plucking of her eyebrows.  She wears a burgundy wool spencer jacket over her slightly lighter shade of burgundy taffeta carriage dress with fine lace accents around the low scalloped collar that quite advantageously showcases her fine bosoms in silhouette.  Her burgundy kid gloved hands are in a light gray muff of soft rabbit fur.

And the chapeau atop Lady Emily’s head does not overwhelm her, but rather her bonnet has a set back brim to expose and to frame the loveliness of her features and her softly curled hair—perfect for kissing were anyone to be so inclined. Her now delicately shaped eyebrows frame lovely expressive eyes sparkling with eagerness.  Her pert little nose, rosie cheeks, a sweet little chin, and lovely rosebud lips round out her very favorable overall impression of loveliness. Yes, indeed, Lord Edward thinks that Lady Emily Creighton is definitely in the running to become his wife.

After focusing upon navigating the more congested than usual carriage traffic to The Park, Lord Edward slows his matched bays to a walk as he and Lady Emily converse.

Lord Edward:  “May I say that you look quite fetching today, Lady Emily?”  And she does look very fetching to Lord Edward.

Lady Emily smiles broadly as she shyly glances up at Edward to gauge the genuineness of his remark.  Seeing his eyes conveying his sincerity, she replies with a warm smile.

Lady Emily:  “You may, Lord Edward.  Thank you!  It is not often that I receive compliments–let alone in broad daylight, when people can see me clearly.”  She admits with some astonishment.

Lord Edward: “Ha ha ha ha ha!”  He roars with laughter.  “Oh Emmy!  You say the most amusing things!”

Lady Emily:  “Do I?”  She asks, half smiling with relief for him clarifying his laughter at her remark.  She is unused to compliments—nor others thinking that she has amusing things to say.  “Thank you, Edward.”   She replies meekly.

Lord Edward:  “Lady Emily, will I have the pleasure of seeing you at the Henderson’s Ball tomorrow night?” He asks interestedly.  “I should most like to claim at least two dances with you—with at least one of them being a waltz.” He adds huskily.  In general, the waltz [(3)] is deemed quite scandalous, since the two individuals partnered for a waltz dance so closely together, and touch their hands for extended periods of time.  Scandalous!

Lady Emily: “You will. And you may.”  She looks away from him in shy embarrassment.

Lord Edward: “What is it, my dear?  You seem distressed.”  Edward wonders if his attentions to her have been too pronounced, and that now she might be regretting his proposal to her.

Lady Emily: “Well, if you must know, it is Kitt’s fault.”  She winces and nibbles upon her lower lip—the action of which causes Lord Edward to worry that she is indeed in distress.

Lord Edward:  “Kitt?  What has he done now?” Edward wonders what other transformations his best friend and her cousin might wish to wreak upon her person.

Lady Emily: “Oh!  I shouldn’t say.” She breathes in deeply and her bosoms heave up and down.

Or at least, Lord Edward is guessing that the pleasing fullness of her person to be.  You see, Lord Edward might have a more pleasant view were it not for the chill in the air causing Lady Emily to wear a spencer jacket completely covering her bosoms’ finer details.  And though Lord Edward had discovered from time to time that the engineering of some ladies gowns give aid to ladies less endowed by nature, he believes that Lady Emily is all herself.

Lord Edward: “Come, come. If we are to be friends–and perhaps more–we should speak frankly with one another.”

Lady Emily: “Well alright.  But please tell me to stop talking if I transgress the boundaries of what you are willing to hear.”  She has noticed that her cousin Kitt has indicated to her now and then that some of her womanly pronouncements are too personal to be shared—with him, anyway.

Lord Edward:  “Very well.”  He smiles wryly at her.

Lady Emily: “Oh Dear!”  She sighs before plunging into divulging her dilemma to her suitor Edward.  “It is just that the ball gown Kitt has chosen for me to wear–as part of his reclamation project of my marital aspirations–is  … not of my usual style.”  Lady Emily vaguely mutters at the end, her not wanting to seem to characterize her gown as scandalous–which she entirely believes it to be.

Lord Edward:  “Oh?  But the day dresses and your carriage gown today that he has chosen for you so far are charming!  What is objectionable to you about your ball gown for tomorrow night?  Is the color or style not to your liking?  Or does it have too much ornamentation for your tastes?”  For he knows how much his friend Lord Kittredge Wells enjoys fripperies.

Lady Emily: “It is not so much what is on the gown, as what is not on the gown.” She bites her lower lip.  Lord Edward tilts his head toward her waiting for her to elaborate.  Then she leans close and whispers to him.  “It lacks sufficient fabric in some areas.” She pinkens.

Lord Edward: “Do you mean that the gown is too small for you?”

Lady Emily: “Yes!  Well, no, not really.”

Lord Edward: Still not understanding her concerns, he asks again.  “So what is wrong with the gown?”

Lady Emily: She blurts out in a hushed whisper.  “My bosoms show too much in it!”  She clamps her gloved hand over her mouth, mortified to have revealed to him about her ball gown’s lack of cleavage coverage–and then her noticing where Lord Edward’s gaze inevitably strays to her spencer covered bosoms.

Lord Edward: Refraining from cheekily stating  I should like to see that, Lord Edward nods sagely, with a twinkle in his eyes.  “Bosoms on display do tend to be the style these days in ballrooms, My Dear.”

Lady Emily: “But the gown is positively indecent!  And I shall surely catch pneumonia!  Let alone it causing  gentlemen to lecherously leer at me.”  Lady Emily mumbles that last bit.

Lord Edward:   Feeling the beginnings of a stirring down below, Edward grimaces.  “Can not the seamstress recommend some lace edging to cover you up more as you wish?” His voice slightly cracks with the strain of the reemergence–once more in Lady Emily’s presence–of what Lord Kittredge calls his masculine nature.

Lady Emily: “That is what I asked Kitt!  But he said that ladies must show their wares if they are to catch a husband.”  And Lady Emily deftly impersonates her cousin Lord Kittredge Wells by flicking her wrist in disdain, as he is often want to do.

Lord Edward:  “Kkhhh!”  Edward coughs and shifts position in his seat.  He needs to get the conversation away from talking about her bosoms–or any bosoms for that matter–or he will not be responsible for his continuing reaction to that topic of conversation.  And he silently agrees with his best friend Lord Kittredge Wells, Lord Edward Carlisle most decidedly needs to exercise his manly nature.   “Well, Kitt is a fashion arbiter.  Say Emmy, tell me what you make of Sir Joshua Reynolds and Major Palmer Wentworth trotting our way?”

Lady Emily:  “Who?”  She startles.

Lady Emily’s head swings to look forward again, her now noticing the handsome young bachelors trotting toward them side by side on their horses, and who pull up short with the intention of conversing with them.

Lord Edward: “Reynolds!  Wentworth!  To what do we owe the honor of your seeking us out this fine day?”

Sir Joshua Reynolds:  “Well, old chap!  We hoped that you might introduce us to your sister here.”  He gestures to Lady Emily, obviously not realizing who she is.

Lord Edward: “Oh! This is not my sister.  This is Lady Emily Creighton!  Lady Emily, this is Sir Joshua Reynolds and Major Palmer Wentworth.”  The men are a first son and a second son, respectively.

Major Palmer Wentworth: “Really?  But you are too pretty, to be she, My Lady.  Lady Emily has the single eyebrow, you know.”  He frowns and rubs his gloved index finger across his eyebrow ridge as if to demonstrate.

Lady Emily’s hands quickly flit to her forehead–as if to cover her now distinct two eyebrows from view.

Lady Emily:  A bit tongue tied at being called pretty, Lady Emily smiles wincingly.  “My cousin Lord Kittredge Wells plucked them for me—my eyebrows, I mean.”  Again, she is honest to a fault.

Sir Joshua Reynolds: “Well!  He did a damn fine job!  Oh!  Pardon my language, My Lady.”  Lady Emily nods, but she does not look up at him, so shy is she.

Major Palmer Wentworth:   “See here, Lord Edward, we heard that you had offered for the single eyebrow chit.  Does that mean that this lovely lady is taken?”

Lord Edward:  “Gentlemen, please, have a care. Lady Emily can hear you talking about her as if she were not sitting right in front of you!”

Sir Joshua Reynolds: “Of course. Apologies, My Lady.”  Emily nods again.  “But dash it, Carlisle, your caterpillar has become a swan.”

Major Palmer Wentworth:  “You mean butterfly, Old Chap!”

Sir Joshua Reynolds: “What?”  He looks at his riding companion in confusion.

Lady Emily: And Lady Emily finds her voice again. “Yes, Sir Joshua.  For your analogy to follow through, the caterpillar becomes a butterfly. It is an ugly duckling that becomes a swan.” 

She winces again.  Lady Emily would much rather be thought of as a graceful swan than a butterfly. But then the implications would be that she had been an ugly duckling.  One cannot have the sweet without the tart in these metaphorical musings.

Lord Edward:  “Gentleman. Was there a point to your greeting us today?”  He asks proprietarily.   It is one thing for Lord Edward to think that Lady Emily is pretty.  It is quite another for him to allow another man–or other men in this case–to view her as pretty.

Sir Joshua Reynolds: “Dash it, yes!  We want to claim a dance or two on your dance card tomorrow night at the Henderson Ball, My Lady.”

Lady Emily: Wide eyed, she asks incredulously.  “You do?”

Major Palmer Wentworth: “We do!”

Lord Edward: “You have not even ascertained whether Lady Emily will be attending the Henderson Ball.”  He shakes his head.

Sir Joshua Reynolds: “Well, are you not going, Lady Emily?”  He asks her forlornly.

Lady Emily: “Oh no!”  Major Palmer and Sir Joshua frown. “I mean, yes, I am attending.  And I will be delighted to favor each of you with two dances.”  Lady Emily smiles shyly at the two men–who now grin like Cheshire cats at her.

As they ride off with smiles upon their faces, the two men promise again to Lady Emily to claim two dances a piece.  Lord Edward is not amused.  Lady Emily is his almost betrothedHe offered for her.  They simply haven’t clarified their understanding yet.

Lord Edward: “The cheek of those two!  I do apologize, Lady Emily.”

Lady Emily: “Why?  You are not responsible for them. Besides, they thought me pretty.  And now I have four more dances lined up for tomorrow night’s ball!”   Lady Emily squeezes Edward’s arm as she squeals with glee.  “Oh Edward, thank you!  Being your almost betrothed, definitely has its advantages.”

Lord Edward: “Now Emmy, I should caution you to be careful with whom you decide to associate.”

Lady Emily:   “But they are your acquaintances. Are they not respectable?”  She inquires innocently whilst gazing up into Lord Edwards’ piercing blue eyes gazing down at her.

Lord Edward: “Well … yes.”  He admits reluctantly.

And though Lord Edward leans toward Lady Emily, as if to kiss her, he checks it.  They are in The Park, afterall.  And blast, thinks Lord Edward.  It would not do to do something as scandalous as to kiss her in public.  Though it would likely push forward his efforts to marry the young lady, Lord Edward does not want Lady Emily to be forced into marrying him—a situation which, in hind sight, he realizes was the situation that his first, now late wife Edith faced.  So Lord Edward returns his gaze forward and lets his horses move forward.

Lady Emily:  “Then I intend to dance with each of them!”  She bobs her head in firm resolve. No simpleton, Lady Emily understands that young men of good breeding and sound financial situation are at a premium.  And with two of them choosing to dance with her–in addition to dear Edward, of course–she feels that her husband hunting prospects are improving moment to moment.

Lord Edward:  “What about your scandalous bosom revealing gown?”  Edward tries to give Lady Emily pause.  But it has an unintended affect.

Lady Emily: “Well, Kitt did say that a low cut gown might help me catch a husband.”  She shrugs her shoulders.

Her only real concern about the gown was that her bosoms might have a better showing than her face.  But now with having two gentlemen call her pretty without even seeing her bosoms–in addition to her Dear Edward–Lady Emily is positively glowing with delight.

Whereas Lord Edward broodingly realizes that he might—nay, he will– have some competition for Lady Emily’s hand, now that she looks pretty.  And the Henderson Ball tomorrow night–Friday night–awaits for Lord Edward to test his hypothesis.  And if he is to woo and wed Lady Emily, Lord Edward must increase his efforts in fixing his attentions upon the young lady.

To be continue with Chapter 7

 

References for the Ch. 06 of “Seeking the Niceties of Marriage”,  May 23, 2021 by Gratiana Lovelace (Post #1383)

  1. My “Seeking the Niceties of Marriage” story cover illustration is comprised of: a)  ivory lace background  with Grati edit, found at torrid.com;  and  a b)  Victorian roses bouquet painting by the Boston Public Library, via Atlas Obscura (with some Grati edits ), found at  https://www.atlasobscura.com/articles/how-flowerobsessed-victorians-encoded-messages-in-bouquets; and with c) the text in deep pink coral in a Vivaldi font.

    2. Illustration (flipped) of Victorian couple riding in the park was found at https://i1.wp.com/judeknightauthor.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/victorian.jpg?resize=370%2C380

    3. For some historical information about the dance known as the waltz please visit: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Waltz

 

Gratiana Lovelace Wattpad site for Ch. 06 of “Seeking the Niceties of Marriage”:
https://www.wattpad.com/1074551883-seeking-the-niceties-of-marriage-by-gratiana

Previous SAL blog post #1381  link for Ch. 05 “Seeking the Niceties of Marriage”:
https://gratianads90.wordpress.com/2021/05/16/seeking-the-niceties-of-marriage-ch-05-consulting-kitt-may-16-2021-by-gratiana-lovelace-post1381

Posted in "Seeking the Niceties of Marriage", by Gratiana Lovelace, Gratiana Lovelace, Historical Fiction, Humor, Love and Relationships, Richard Armitage, Romance, Society, Something About Love, Storytelling | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Richard Armitage “Be grateful for love” quote inspires, May 20, 2021 Gratiana Lovelace (Post #1382)


A sweet and inspiring Richard Armitage quote:

 

A lovely Richard Armitage wallpaper of that quote by CynDainty  (shared by FranMiddaugh):

RAwallpaper--2020x--RichardArmitage-smiling-down-with-quote-about-love_May18_2021byCyn-viaFranMiddaugh

And my favorite reminder of the precious gift that love is, Shakespeare’s Sonnet 116:

Q1



Q2



Q3



C

Let me not to the marriage of true minds
Admit impediments. Love is not love
Which alters when it alteration finds,
Or bends with the remover to remove:

O, no! it is an ever-fixed mark,
That looks on tempests and is never shaken;
It is the star to every wandering bark,
Whose worth’s unknown, although his height be taken.
Love’s not Time’s fool, though rosy lips and cheeks
Within his bending sickle’s compass come;
Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks,
But bears it out even to the edge of doom.
If this be error and upon me proved,
I never writ, nor no man ever loved.




4



8



12

14

 

—William Shakespeare

 
         

And performed by Richard Armitage:
https://soundcloud.com/audible/sonnet-116

Posted in Gratiana Lovelace, Love, poem, Portraits, Quotes | Tagged , , , , , , | 1 Comment

“Seeking the Niceties of Marriage”, Ch. 05:  Consulting Kitt,  May 16, 2021 by Gratiana Lovelace (Post#1381)

(An original Regency Romance story copyrighted by Gratiana Lovelace, 2021; All rights reserved)   [(1) story cover above left]

0aaa-Seeking-the-Niceties-ofMarriage-story-cover-200x309_May-2021byGratianaLovelace[Illustrations:  I cast my stories as I write them.  So from time to time, I will illustrate my story with actors and such, including:  Richard Armitage as Lord Edward Carlisle, Daniela Denby-Ashe as Lady Emily Creighton, Blake Ritson as Lord Kittredge Wells, Polly Walker as Lady Patience Creighton, Bill Nighy as Lord Nigel Creighton the Earl of Stoke, and others as noted.]

[Author’s Note:  This original Regency romance is a work of fiction, and as such, any character names, scenes or other descriptions were made at the creative discretion of this author.  And this is a gentle romance (G to PG-13), but with some frank discussions about love and marriage put to humorous effect.  This is my disclaimer.]

 

Ch. 05:  Consulting Kitt

After a surprisingly companionable afternoon nursing Lady Emily Creighton’s sore forehead and eyebrows–and chatting with her about life and love—Lord Edward Carlisle pays a call upon his best friend and Lady Emily’s eyebrow plucking cousin Lord Kittredge Wells that very same afternoon.

Being a bachelor, Lord Kittredge has long espoused the creature comforts in his home’s décor that befit a man, such as Lord Kitt, of wealth, rank, and elegance.  His home contains the usual parlor rooms for drinking and smoking, as well as a billiards room for leisurely sport, and his study of dark burgundy hued walls and dark walnut Duncan Phyfe seating arrangements and his large desk.

And what Lord Edward likes most about his longtime friend Lord Kitt’s study sanctuary is that though it contains floor to ceiling bookshelves chock full with leisure reading literature books—as well as treatises upon agricultural management for the gentleman’s country estates—the general decoration of the room is restrained and comfortable.

Looking up to see his tall friend Lord Edward Carlisle being ushered into his study around four o’clock in the afernoon, Lord Kittredge greets him with a strong handshake and waves him to sit opposite from him at the room’s fireplace in a companion plush leather wing chair of man sized proportions befitting the tall, broad shouldered, and long legged Lord Edward.

Lord Kittredge:  “So Edward, how was your carriage ride with Emmy today?  Any developments?”   He leans forward with eager interest.   Lord Kittredge is quite proud of the transformation that he has wrought in his cousin Lady Emily, and he hopes her now pretty attractiveness will entice his good friend Lord Edward to follow through with his proposal of marriage to her.

Lord Edward:  However, with Lord Edward’s eyes looking like thunder [(2) above middle], heLordEdward-scowling-is-RichardArmitage-inN&S2004_2013Graticap-May15-2021brt2-clr-crop2-flip chastises his best friend.  “I should punch you in the nose for making Emmy suffer so from your eye brow plucking this morn.  She was in so much pain, puffiness, and redness that all she could do was lie on a chaise longue and have cold compresses handed to her to place upon her forehead every few minutes.  Therefore, we have to delay our carriage ride until she feels better.”

Lord Kittredge: “Ohhh! I am truly sorry that your outing was spoiled. But what do you think of her face now that she has two eye brows?” He asks impishly.

Lord Edward: “Your concern for Emmy underwhelms me, Kitt.”  Lord Kittredge stares in befuddlement at Lord Edward. Then Lord Edward admits begrudgingly. “And yes, the plucking did improve her appearance.”

Lord Kittredge:  “Merely, improve it?”  He asks leadingly.

Lord Edward: “Alright, Emmy looks quite pretty now that her brows frame her face more delicately.”

Lord Kittredge: “La!  Do I hear wedding bells?  You did offer for her at the Marshall’s ball last night.”

Lord Edward:  Instantly upon his guard and not wanting to be forced into a decision either way, Lord Edward retreats from his marital offer.  “Do not get your hopes up, Kitt.  I like Emmy, I do.”

Lord Kittredge: “But?” Lord Kitt pouts in consternation for Lord Edward’s underwhelming  response–with regard to his eyebrow plucking efforts with Lady Emily.

Lord Edward:   “Hhhh!  Kitt?  Emmy wants to be courted and wooed—and end up with a grand passionate romance.  I am not sure that I have the patience and dedication for such an undertaking.”

Lord Kittredge: “Are you saying that you do not want to bother getting to know Emmy better?  I would suggest that you would be repeating your former mistakes in that regard.  Or, do you prefer variety in your bed partners too much to be faithful to one woman?”

Lord Edward: “Kitt!  Please do not twist what I say.  Emmy is perfectly agreeable–too agreeable.”

Lord Kittredge: “I find that statement quite odd, Edward—especially coming from you, and given your previous marital history.  Do you not want an agreeable wife, this time?”  Of course, Lord Kittredge just had to needle his friend by adding the this time phrasal addendum.

Lord Edward: Lord Edward scowls at being repeatedly reminded of his failure of a first marriage. “I do—want an agreeable wife, that is.   But Emmy is so comfortable and friendly with me that I do not think that she considers me to have … romantic potential.”

Lord Kittredge: “Edward, Edward, Edward, I do not believe your stupidity!  Emmy submitted to my plucking her eyebrows raw for forty minutes, just so she could look pretty for you.”

Lord Edward: “Surely not, old chap.”  As he retracts his head backwards in almost a turtle like fashion, Lord Edward looks incredulously askance at his best friend.

Lord Kittredge: “Oh yes she did!  Edward, Emmy has a crush on you–she has had for years.  If you are not going to pursue her, please let her down gently now–before she gets hurt.” He pleads with his lifelong friend.

Lord Edward:  His eyes widen.  “Are you for certain that Emmy believes herself to … to care for me?”

Lord Kittredge:  “I swear on the life of my first born child.”

Lord Edward: “Kitt, pardon me for saying this, but if you wish me to believe you, perhaps you should swear upon something more likely to happen.”  I wryly counter my longtime best friend.

Lord Kittredge: “Well, I could marry and have a child some day.”  I sniff petulantly as I flick my lace edged sleeve cuffs.

Lord Edward:  When pigs fly, thinks Lord Edward.  “Alright, I will concede that it is possible–just not probable.”   I raise a knowing eyebrow in companion to my indulgent smile.

Lord Kittredge: “You wound me, Edward.”  And Lord Kittredge favors Lord Edward with his best scowling glower.

Lord Edward: “Kitt, some men are more destined for marriage and a family than others. And I feel that I am—or that I hope to have—a marriage and family destiny.  But I do not know if Lady Emily Creighton is the wife for me.” He states plainly, without emotion—though the thought of making another marital mistake is his main concern.

Lord Kittredge: “Well, I guess that is progress—you are not ruling Emmy out, I mean.” I survey my friend’s inscrutable countenance.  “Is it your first marital experience that is causing you to hesitate, Edward?”

Lord Edward:  “Kitt,I hardly feel that my unconsummated marriage of four months constitutes a marital experience–none of the usual marital niceties were involved.”  I blanch.

Lord Kittredge: “And I suppose that you have abstained from carnal relations with anyone else since before your first marriage?”  Lord Kittredge asks his friend in jest, but then perceives that it is not a jesting topic for Lord Edward.

Lord Edward: “I did–and I have.”  Lord Edward admits ruefully with a curt nod, even as his neck and cheeks flush with embarrassment for his woe begone romantic state.

Lord Kittredge: “Well, it is no wonder you are unsettled!  Your masculine nature must be fulfilled–the sooner, the better, I say.”

Lord Edward: “My masculine nature?”  Lord Edward cannot help but smile wryly at Lord Kittredge’s phrase.

Lord Kittredge: “You need a woman in your bed, Old Chap.  So why not Lady Emily?”

Lord Edward: “Kitt!  I am surprised at you suggesting that I slake my lust with your cousin!  She is a lady!”

Lord Kittredge: “I do not mean that you are to sully her.  Simply follow through with your marriage proposal and then initiate her into the joys of wedded bliss.”

Lord Edward: “This conversation has gone completely out of control.”  Lord Edward shakes his head about their discussion of his bedding his best friend’s cousin–after he makes her his wife, of course.

Lord Kittredge: “In fact, speed up your courtship and then marry Emmy in a month.”

Lord Edward: “We cannot.  Emmy and I are to stand up at the wedding of Lady Rachel Gosford to my cousin Lord Montague Withers in one month.”

Lord Kittredge: “You are so literal, Edward.  So then wed and bed Emmy the week after, if not the week before.”  I look at him with exasperation.

Lord Edward: “We shall see. Emmy might have other ideas.”

Lord Kittredge: “Oh, I am certain of it!”  Lord Kittredge smiles bemusedly–remembering his cousin Lady Emily’s statement that she would marry Lord Edward next week, if he truly wanted to wed her.

***

Lord Edward:  “Now what do you mean by that, Kitt?”

Lord Kittredge:  “You know, Edward, for a grown man of five and thirty years, you are unusually obtuse when it comes to understanding women.”

Lord Edward: “Blast my past!  And I will be hanged before I repeat the mistakes of my first marriage with my second marriage.”

Lord Kittredge: “For my part, I believe that the mistakes of your first marriage were not of your making. So absolve yourself of any worries on that head, Edward.” Lord Kittredge states encouragingly.  “And with Lady Emily, you have a fresh start and a new chance for happiness.” He claps his hands together, as if applauding himself for his own thoughts.

Lord Edward:  “What you say sounds plausible.”  Then he stares and looks more closely at his very good friend.  “What are you not telling me, Kitt?”  He asks suspiciously as his eyes narrow at his friend.

Lord Kittredge:  Lord Kittredge pauses uncomfortably, him acutely aware that Lord Edward is about to discover his predicament.  “Only this, that though my immediate family members generally accept my unwillingness to be married, yet—thank god I am a second son—certain members of my extended family believe that I will eventually capitulate and take a wife and enter the wedded state.  But that would be disastrous to both the lady’s and to my happiness.”  He frowns in all seriousness.

Lord Edward: “No doubt about that.”  Lord Edward states a tad curtly, for his good friend Lord Kittredge had long ago taken him into his confidence.  And he notices that his friend winces.  “Now, now Kitt, could not your immediate family make clear that they accept your continuing … bachelorhood … as being non-negotiable?”

Lord Kittredge: “Oh, they tried.  But the extended family in question is recalcitrant and all too happily enamored of me wedding their youngest still unwed daughter—as her last hope, despite that she and I are first cousins.  Though that aspect of it is hardly pertinent given that such a marriage between us would never be consummated.”

Lord Edward: Now Lord Edwards eyes reflect a dawning understanding as he gazes astonishedly at his friend and he sputters.  “Oh Kitt, you cannot mean?”  Lord Kittredge morosely nods his head.

Lord Kittredge: “I do.  And I cannot dissuade them from their purpose, without revealing myLO2321~1 most private and personal feelings upon the matter of why I will never marry.  And were I to do that, I would lose all whom I hold dear and be cast out from all.  Society is a fickle mistress, and unforgiving to those who do not march in step with societal expectations.”  Lord Kittredge clenches his teeth forlornly [(3) above right].

Lord Edward: “So you are their backup plan for their youngest daughter  if she does not marry soon?”

Lord Kittredge: “That is their plan.” He nods his head with a stoic look of resignation upon his face.

Lord Edward: “Kitt, does Emmy know?  I mean, what her parents have planned for she and you—were I or any other gentleman not found to be a suitable husband for her?”

Lord Kittredge: “No!  And I do not wish her to know.  She barely understands the concept of what being married will entail, beyond her entirely innocent flowery girlish dreams of a grand romance.  And I am afraid that she would accept her parents wish that she and I marry, because we are such great friends—and she does not understand about the getting of babies side of marriage.”  He grimaces distastefully.  “Nor do I want you to feel burdened about asking Emmy to marry you in order to save me, us, from her parents plans.”

Lord Edward: “You need not worry about that, Kitt.  I have already begun to have feelings for Lady Emily, Emmy.  Actually, it was quite embarrassing for me to realize these feelings as I was handing her freshly ice cooled wash cloths to lay upon her forehead every few minutes this afternoon, with my noticing how attracted to her I have become—when she was lying there in pain.”  Lord Kittredge quirks up his eyebrow.  “Well you said it yourself, I have been too long without the tender affections of a woman.”

Lord Kittredge: “See?  That is why you are better suited to Emmy than I am.  I would not make her happy, nor could she make me happy.  But the two of you might be able to make each other happy.”  Lord Kittredge brightens with a slight smile of hope.

Lord Edward: “I think, perhaps, that Emmy and I just might suit each other.”  He pauses.  “But blast it all, she wants to be courted and wooed—to give me enough time to think about it and beg off, she says.  Emmy is so caring of other people’s wishes, I wonder if she ever has occasion to put her own wishes ahead of others?” Lord Edward thinking about Lady Emily’s wishes and needs above his own are, perhaps, an inkling of his growing affection and regard for her.

Lord Kittredge: “I doubt it.  That is why I so want Emmy to find a husband who will cherish and love her as she deserves to be.  And Edward, you also deserve to be loved and cherished in return—which Emmy will do.”  He hints quite broadly to his lifelong friend.

Both men have laid bare their concerns and wishes with regard to Lady Emily.  And perhaps, if Lord Edward is able to interact more with a not in pain Lady Emily in the coming week, he might feel more resolved to seek a path toward matrimony with her.

To be continued with Chapter 06

 

References for the Ch. 05 of “Seeking the Niceties of Marriage”,  May 16, 2021 by Gratiana Lovelace (Post #1381)

  1. My “Seeking the Niceties of Marriage” story cover illustration is comprised of: a)  ivory lace background  with Grati edit, found at torrid.com;  and  a b)  Victorian roses bouquet painting by the Boston Public Library, via Atlas Obscura (with some Grati edits ), found at  https://www.atlasobscura.com/articles/how-flowerobsessed-victorians-encoded-messages-in-bouquets; and with c) the text in deep pink coral in a Vivaldi font.

    2. Lord Edward Carlisle scowling- is Richard Armitage-in N&S2004_Mar28-2013Graticap-May15-2021brt2-clr-crop3. Lord Kittredge Wells looking forlorn is Blake Ritson as Rev. Elton  in Emma 2009

 

Gratiana Lovelace Wattpad site for Ch. 05 of “Seeking the Niceties of Marriage”:
https://www.wattpad.com/1071034525-seeking-the-niceties-of-marriage-by-gratiana


Previous SAL blog post #1380 link for Ch. 04 “Seeking the Niceties of Marriage
”:
https://gratianads90.wordpress.com/2021/05/08/seeking-the-niceties-of-marriage-ch-04-plucking-may-08-2021-by-gratiana-lovelace-post1380/

Posted in "Seeking the Niceties of Marriage", by Gratiana Lovelace, Creative Writing, Gratiana Lovelace, Humor, Love and Relationships, Richard Armitage, Romance, Social Justice, social media, Society, Something About Love, Storytelling | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

“Seeking the Niceties of Marriage”, Ch. 04:  Plucking,  May 08, 2021 by Gratiana Lovelace (Post#1380)

 

(An original Regency Romance story copyrighted by Gratiana Lovelace, 2021; All rights reserved)   [(1) story cover below]

0aaa-Seeking-the-Niceties-ofMarriage-story-cover-200x309_May-2021byGratianaLovelace[Illustrations:  I cast my stories as I write them.  So from time to time, I will illustrate my story with actors and such, including:  Richard Armitage as Lord Edward Carlisle, Daniela Denby-Ashe as Lady Emily Creighton, Blake Ritson as Lord Kittredge Wells, Polly Walker as Lady Patience Creighton, Bill Nighy as Lord Nigel Creighton the Earl of Stoke, and others as noted.]

[Author’s Note:  This original Regency romance is a work of fiction, and as such, any character names, scenes or other descriptions were made at the creative discretion of this author.  And this is a gentle romance (G to PG-13), but with some frank discussions about love and marriage put to humorous effect.  This is my disclaimer.]

 

Ch. 4:  Plucking

The following morning after the Marshall’s ball, Lady Emily Creighton is astonished to find her rather fastidious cousin Lord Kittredge Wells attendant upon her in the Creighton’s cozy family parlor–or rather, he is attendant upon her eyebrow.

 

Lady Emily is wearing a rather plain light blue muslin morning gown—when her gown choice would have been light blue satin—or at least taffeta–if she had known that she would have a caller this morning.  And Lord Kittredge is resplendent in his striking indigo suit with a fuschia waistcoat and cravat.  The polished buttons and buckles upon his person gleam so well that the room is the brighter for them.  

Lord Kittredge:  “Now Emmy, be reasonable. That eyebrow thatch must be plucked if you are to make a serious effort to ensnare my best friend Lord Edward Carlisle into matrimony.”

Lady Emily:  Pouting, she rebukes him whiningly. “I am not trying to ensnare anyone!  Let alone, the sought  after Lord Edward Carlisle!  And he offered for me!”

Kittredge: “But you could, my dear—ensnare him, that is.  Or shall we rephrase and say entice him?  You just need to let me groom your eyebrows into two separate arches, such that they frame your pretty eyes more pleasingly.”

Lady Emily: “This is the first I have heard that I have pretty eyes.”  She counters, suspicious that he is trying to flatter her into capitulation.  And with his mention of her eyebrow last evening, Lady Emily wonders if Lord Edward had put Lord Kittredge up to tending to her eyebrows, plural, this morning.

Lord Kittredge: “Your eyes are pretty, Emmy.  And you are pretty.  But that single eye brow shelf is preventing everyone from seeing it. You are to ride with Edward this afternoon and you must make a good impression amongst the ton, if you hope to have his marriage proposal to you stand.  In my limited experience, marriages are best made between parties who are similar—dispositions, ranks, and handsomeness or beauty.  Edward is a strikingly handsome man.  I believe that you have the first two, but ….” He does not finish his phrase, nor does he need to.  

Lady Emily nods forlornly, for she wonders why should Lord Edward even look in her direction for his future wife?  She believes herself to be plain, when it is truly the fault of her wretched eyebrow.

Lady Emily:  “Kitt, do you really think I have a chance with Lord Edward?” She asks him wistfully.

Lord Kittredge: “I do. But it is a slim one, only while other ladies are still skittish about Edward’s widowhood–and the nature of it.”  Then he claps his hand to his mouth in mortification. “But I have spoken out of turn.”

Lady Emily: Lady Emily eyes her cousin with a shrewd squint. “What do you mean … the nature of it?”

Lord Kittredge: “It is not for you to worry about, Emmy.”  He states eyeing her eyebrow with his tweezers poised between his fingers.

Lady Emily: “Kitt, If I am to let you pluck my eyebrows, you must tell me all.”

Lord Kittredge:  “Blast it, Emmy!   I cannot break my promise to Edward!”

Lady Emily: “Then my eyebrow stays as it is.” She folds her arms in front of herself and clamps her mouth shut in a firmly sealed closure that even a defensive clam would admire.

Lord Kittredge: “Alright!  I will give you a tidbit. But do not repeat it.  And under no circumstances are you to relate to Edward–or anyone–that I told it to you.”

Lady Emily:  “Very well.” Emily settles herself on a chair at the sunny window of her bed chamber as her cousin commences plucking.  “Ouch!” Lady Emily jerks back with the pain of her eyebrow being plucked.

Lord Kittredge:  “Oh, be still you goose!  It is not like individual eyebrow hairs are feathers.”

Lady Emily: “Well?” She prods for details.

Lord Kittredge:  “Hhhhh!  Edward’s marriage was not a love match–it was arranged, as most aristocratic marriages are.”  

Lady Emily: “Of course.” She nods her head a bit in acknowledgement.

Lord Kittredge: “Do not move, Emmy.” He gently holds her head steady while he plucks.  “But that is not to say that his wife was not in love ….” He lets the implication hang in the air.

Lady Emily: “Oh!  She loved another!  Poor Edward!” She moans in distress for Lord Edward’s plight.

Lord Kittredge: “You said it!  I did not!”

Lady Emily:  “But what does Edward’s wife loving another have to do with her death?”   Then her eyes widen in horror. “You cannot mean ….”

Lord Kittredge:   “No! No no no!  Edward had nothing to do with his wife’s death. He had not even found her note saying that she was leaving him for another before the bailiff came to inform him of his wife’s carriage accident and death.”

Lady Emily: “How awful for Edward, the poor man.” She frets caringly.

Lord Kittredge: “Do not pity him, Emmy.  Edward hates that.”  They share a nod of sympathetic understanding.   “And, he has been alone—without companionship–for five long years.  I am surprised that he has lasted this long—given his previous masculine romantic pursuits.”  He states alluding to Edward not having any romantic assignations to assuage his base needs for the past five years.  But of course, Lady Emily being so sheltered, she takes her cousin Kitt’s statement more literally.

Lady Emily: “I understand being alone.  When my sisters married and moved to their new homes, I was left alone with Mama and Papa. And though I appreciate their concern for me ….”

Lord Kittredge:  “It can sometimes be quite vexing.”  He smiles knowingly. “There, all done!”  He says with a flourish.

Lady Emily: “Oh?  That was quick, Kitt.”

Lord Kittredge:  “Now Emmy, I have only just started by removing the center eye brow thatch to give you two distinct eyebrows.   Finishing shaping your eyebrows will have to happen on a future visit. I am quite exhausted.” He plops in a nearby chair and rubs his back after leaning over her in an awkward position whilst plucking her center brow thatch for a quarter hour.

Lady Emily: “Ooh!  Let me see!” Emily hops up and races over to a mirror above the small hearth in this small room–looking this way and that at her face and new eyebrows. “Oh.” She pouts disappointedly.

Lord Kittredge: “What? I gave you two eye brows. What more do you want?”  He looks at her askance.

Lady Emily:  “But you said my eyes were pretty, Kitt.  My eyebrows are still thick and unflattering. I should like to be pretty for Edward and our carriage ride this afternoon. Will you not finish shaping my eyebrows before you leave this morning?”   She looks up hopefully at her cousin.

Lord Kittredge: “Emmy?  You want to be pretty for Edward?”  She nods shyly.  “Do you want him to marry you?”  His eyes widen in realization of his cousin Emmy’s tender feelings toward his best friend Lord Edward.

Lady Emily: Lady Emily blushes crimson.  “He and I must get to know each other properly first.  But yes, I think it would be very pleasant being married to Edward.” She smiles faintly, while gazing at the ceiling.

Lord Kittredge:  “You understand that Edward will want a real marriage?”

Lady Emily: “Of course.  What other kind of marriage is there?”  She asks naively.

Lord Kittredge: “The kind where wives run away before the marriage is consummated.” He looks at her pointedly.

Lady Emily: “Consummated?”  She asks quizzically.  Her Mama has not had the talk with her yet–no need.

Lord Kittredge:  Searching for the words to delicately convey his meaning, he forges ahead.  “Marital consummation is when a husband and wife lie abed with each other and ….  kiss and caress each other,  achieving a oneness of being with each other.”

Lady Emily: “A oneness of being.”  She repeats dreamily. “That is so poetic.   I think I should like to be one with Edward.”

Lord Kittredge: Looking at his younger cousin in alarm, even he now admonishes her. “Do not repeat what I just said.  You are liable to either repel Edward’s suit, or ….”

Lady Emily: “Or?” She asks curiously.

Lord Kittredge:  “Or, precipitate his eager interest in you overwhelming his decorum—thereby needing to advance the wedding such that he will want to marry you next week.”

Lady Emily: “Ohhh!  Edward and I marrying next week will be fine!  I should be in good humor then, and enjoy becoming married.”

Lord Kittredge: “Why will you be in good humor next week?”  He asks obtusely.

Lady Emily: “Because my courses will be over–they came this morning, and I am always in a bit of a stew when I get them. And I have tummy aches, too.”  Lady Emily’s lips pout cutely.

Clapping his hands to covering his ears, Lord Kittredge also clamps his eyes shut.  And his face turns several shades of red in embarrassment at his cousin Lady Emily revealing something so private and so personal about herself as a woman.

Lord Kittredge: “La, la, la, la, la!  Good Lord, Emmy!  Have you no thought to ration your private details that you share with others?  I had hoped to live my whole life without knowing about any lady, what you just told me.”

Lady Emily:  “Well surely, Kitt, when you marry, you will know of such things about your wife.  Will you not?”  She asks innocently.  To Lady Emily, her well groomed, fastidiously dressed, and charming cousin Lord Kittredge Wells is a delightful companion.  She does not have an inkling about his lack of matrimonial wishes.

Kittredge:  “That is a discussion for another day, My Dear Emmy!  Now let me tackle shaping those eyebrows.”  He sighs with some exasperation.

Then Lord Kittredge spends the next twenty minutes or so expertly shaping his cousin Lady Emily’s eyebrows into finely arched blue eyed orb frames of delicately feathering perfection.

***

Later the same day–after her cousin Lord Kittredge Wells had plucked her eyebrows into submission this morning–Lady Emily Creighton began to feel a throbbing pain overtake her forehead.  It is not a head ache per se, as much as it is a soreness in her eye brows region that was brought on by her having too much eyebrow plucking at one sitting.  Her brow line and the bridge of her nose are also red and slightly puffy.  So Lady Emily lies fussily on the formal drawing room couch with a frequently changing cold compress upon her forehead and a maid sitting nearby handing her a newly cold cloth after dunking it in ice water and wringing it out for her.

Lady Emily is bereft. How may she go on a carriage ride with Lord Edward this afternoon when she looks like she has been beaten–and she feels worse?  And her present state of discomfort is all due to her cousin Lord Kittredge Wells’ pursuit of creating perfect eye brows plural for her.  But at least dampening fresh cloths in ice water and then laying them upon her forehead and brows is helping the swelling to go down. 

And she had changed into her becomingly pretty light blue taffeta gown, just in case she were to see Lord Edward today—even if only to beg off for their planned carriage ride. Though she hopes that he will be agreeable to rescheduling their carriage ride.

Knowing none of her travails, Lord Edward Carlisle deftly maneuvers his small open gig carriage into parking in front of Lord and Lady Creighton’s London townhouse–in anticipation of his and Lady Emily’s carriage ride.  Then Lord Edward jumps down and hands the reins to a waiting groom and he bounds up the steps of Lady Emily’s home–rapping the brass knocker three times.  He is actually looking forward to his and Lady Emily’s little outing–her singular eyebrow not withstanding.  For he reasons that if other eligible women see him promenading with a lady that they might be inclined to accept his offer of a carriage ride in the future.

Oh yes, Lady Emily Creighton might not be his most attractive carriage ride partner, but she is agreeable. And she will help him usher in his smooth reentrance to society–and courting a lady with the thought of marrying her.  And Edward uncharacteristically carries with him a small nosegay of pink roses to give to Emily as a small thank you to her for agreeing to take a carriage ride with him.  And in truth, Lady Emily being seen on a ride with Lord Edward Carlisle, heir to Earldom of Oxford, will raise her standing among eligible men as well.

 

As Lord Edward is guided into the spacious Creighton’s townhouse foyer by the butler, Lady Emily’s mother comes forward wringing her hands.  She had only just gotten over being miffed by Lord Edward’s insult at last night’s ball—she has an understanding husband in Lord Creighton who knows how to tactfully handle her vagaries—then another problem arises with her daughter Lady Emily.

Lady Creighton:  “It is good of you to come, Lord Carlisle.  But I fear that our Dear Emily feels too unwell to accompany you on a carriage ride today.”  She frets.

Lord Edward: “Oh?  Why ever not?  She seemed fine last evening?”  He bristles and wonders what subterfuge Lady Emily’s mother is playing at now.

Lady Creighton: “And she was fine this morning. Oh no! It is all her cousin Lord Wells fault.”

Lord Edward:  “Kitt?  How is he to blame?” Lord Edward asks in confusion.

Lady Creighton:  Sighing resignedly, she explains.  “Hhhh!  It seems that he convinced my Dear Emily to allow him to pluck her eyebrows for her.  And he plucked her so much that she is sore, puffy, and red from the ordeal.”

Lord Edward knows that only eyebrow plucking went on between the two cousins. But he avows that with another gentleman–and in another context–Lady Creighton’s words would be entirely misinterpreted, to Lady Emily’s ruination.

Lord Edward: “That is most unfortunate. May I be allowed to at least see Lady Emily?”  Edward twirls the nosegay between his very large thumbs.  “Perhaps my offering of flowers might cheer her spirits.”

Lady Creighton: “You are so kind.  And normally I would not recommend it.”  She coyly demures.  “But since you are such an old and dear friend of the family, I think that we may dispense with sensibilities for one day.”  Lady Creighton states as if she were granting him a particular favor–that she will expect to collect upon later.

And Lord Edward thinks that Lady Creighton dispenses with sensibilities every day.

Lord Edward:  However, he maintains his decorum.  Bowing, he says courteously. “I thank you, Madam.  Now please let me to her.”

They turn and walk down the long hallway to the smaller drawing room at the back of the townhouse–the family parlor that is well used and effuses a comfortably worn in look artfully accomplished by a haphazard disarray of objects abandoned about the room—a knitting bag with a scarf project within, a chess game left mid play, various books strewn about, and flower patterned pillows adorning every seating option of chairs, settees, ottomans, and such.

And in the center of that room lies a fetchingly light blue taffeta gown attired Lady Emily upon an ivory colored velvet chaise longue, with her eyes closed and a cloth over her forehead—with only her  trembling lips in pain showing.  Seeing only Lady Emily’s quivering lips displayed for his view quite undoes Lord Edward as he instantly goes to her side and kneels down beside her in deep concern and he takes her small hand in his large hand.

Lord Edward: “Emmy, you look quite unwell.  Should we send for the doctor?”

Lady Emily: “Edward?  Is that you?”  She asks through a haze of pain.

Lady Creighton: “It is Lord Carlisle, Emily Dear.  He has come to call for you for your carriage ride–which you will now have to postpone.”

Lady Emily: Trying to sit up, she removes the latest cold cloth from her forehead and looks intently at   Edward.  I am not so bad.  The pain is less now. Perhaps we can venture once around the park?” She asks hopefully. Lady Emily does not want to miss out on her carriage ride with Lord Edward—her fearing that he will not ask her again.

LA997C~1However, Lord Edward is struck by Lady Emily’s feminine countenance [(2) right] before him. The eyebrow plucking has, indeed, altered Lady Emily Creighton’s face to one of a very pleasing prettiness.  Apart from her blue eyes now shown to advantage, her heart shaped face is charming.  And her rosey red lips look so inviting to Lord Edward.  Then he notices the slight strain in her eyes.

Lord Edward:  “Emmy, you should not over exert yourself.  I can see that you are in great pain, though you strive so valiantly to hide it.  We will wait for a day when you are feeling better for our carriage ride.  Perhaps tomorrow.”

Lady Emily: “Do you mean that, Edward?  Are we to still have our carriage ride together?”

Lady Emily looks so innocently hopefully at Lord Edward that he is momentarily speechless, so beguiled is he.

Lord Edward:  “I do.” He affectionately squeezes her hand in his.  Then he holds out the nosegay of small pink roses to her.

Lady Emily: “For me?”  Emily sniffs the pretty pink roses and she smiles broadly, unfortunately, then she winces–for her smile inadvertently caused her to crinkle her red and puffy forehead.  “Ow.”  She squeaks meekly and lies back down again.

Lord Edward:   “Dear Emmy, may I be of service to you in any way?”  He asks sincerely.

Lady Emily: “Might you just talk to me Edward?  Your deep voice is so soothing.” The maid exchanges Lady Emily’s now warm forehead cloth, for a cool one fresh out of the ice water basin.

Lord Edward:  “If you like.  And perhaps I can hand you your cold cloths and let this maid get about her duties.”

Lady Creighton: Still hovering in the background, Lady Creighton objects.  “Oh no, Lord Carlisle.  Lady Emily must be chaperoned with you at all times.”

Lord Edward:  Inwardly fuming at the intimation that he would forget that he is a gentleman and ravish Lady Emily on the spot, Lord Edward responds through gritted teeth.   “Madam! I am hardly going to ravish Lady Emily.”  Then he sees Emily’s mouth droop.  And he realizes that his remark might sound a tad insulting to Emily.  So he amends his vow. “At least, not today anyway—when she feels so poorly.”  Lady Emily’s lips curl slightly upward at the corners.

Lady Creighton: “Well, really!”  Lady Creighton huffs indignantly and leaves the room–with the door intentionally left wide open as she beckons to the maid to follow her.  

Lord Edward sends a prayer of thanks to the deity for Lady Creighton’s swift exit from the room.  Then he stands up and positions himself in a chair near Lady Emily’s head–at the ready with a new cold compress.

Lady Emily: “Thank you, Edward. I have never had myself referred to in any way remotely connected to being ravished before.”  She whispers impishly.  And, of course, the very innocent Lady Emily does not know what ravishing her—by him—would entail.

Lord Edward:  He bursts out laughing in a big booming voice. “Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!  Oh Emmy!  Despite your being in pain, you can still maintain a cheerful attitude.”

Lady Emily: “I am trying to think of the bright side of my suffering.”

Lord Edward: “Which is?” Edward asks with a bemusedly raised eyebrow.

Lady Emily removes her cold cloth from her forehead again, turns on her side on the couch facing Edward, and clutches his hand resting on his knee.  Lord Edward’s eyes widen in astonishment–not the least of which is because Emily Creighton’s womanly charms are given a little boost by this change in position, and he can see right down the front of her bodice.  And Edward is a man–a man who has not lain with a woman in five long years.  He gulps as his poorly timed masculinity exerts itself in his trousers whilst he is in the company of a lady.

Lady Emily: “Well, Kitt said that even if nothing romantic came of you and I getting to know each other again, that we could still help each other in finding suitable matches.  I am willing to help you.  Are you willing to help me?”

LordEdward-image-isRichardArmitage-North&South-epi1-029Oct1913ranet-crop2-blur-brt-smlst2
Lord Edward:  “What?” He asks distractedly [(3) right].  With Lady Emily now being not dog faced anymore, friendly to the point of delightfulness, and femininely blessed, Edward finds himself becoming even more unsettled in her presence—but in a good way.

Lady Emily: “Helping each other?  Are you alright, Edward?”  She asks solicitously.

Lord Edward: “Kkhhh!  I am perfectly fine.”  He coughs then nods while casually laying his arm across his lap as he leans forward–thus concealing his embarrassingly aroused condition from her notice.  He hopes.

Lady Emily: “Oh!  You needn’t feel embarrassed by your discomfiture.”  She smiles pleasantly.

Lord Edward’s eyes widen.  And he wonders if Emily has seen his … ah, …response to her that he is so furtively trying to hide.

Lord Edward:  “Discomfiture?”  He asks wincingly, his voice cracking.  Really, this is most embarrassing.

Lady Emily: “The chair that you are sitting on was not made for such a big strong man as yourself.  You look most uncomfortable.”  Emily lies back down, closes her eyes, and puts the cold cloth back upon her forehead.  “If you want to move the large wing chair in the corner over to here for a more comfortable chair for you to sit in, you may.”

Lord Edward: “Ahhh!”  Edward sighs relievedly.  “Yes!  Thank you!  I will do that.”   Edward stands quickly and exchanges the placement of chairs before sitting back down again—this time onto a truly man sized wing chair.

Lady Emily: “That’s better, now isn’t it?”   She smiles, still with her eyes closed.

Lord Edward:  “Indeed!”  Edward smiles cheekily.  “What do you want me to talk about to you, Emmy?”

Lady Emily: “Ohhh!  Just talk.   Tell me of your childhood, or your home, or even what qualities you want in a wife.  If I am to help you find a wife, I must know your requirements.”

Lord Edward: “I will have to think upon that last one. I have not given it much thought.”

Lady Emily: “Fie, Edward!  Everyone has an idea of what they want in a marriage–and in a spouse.”

Lord Edward:  “If that is true, then what do you want in a husband and marriage, Emmy?” He purposely deflects her question to him, by putting the question to her.

Lady Emily: “Oh Edward.  I want what I presume most ladies want.”

Lord Edward: “Position, wealth, prestige?”  I ask cynically.

Lady Emily: “No, silly!”  She chides him.  “I want love–to be loved and to give love.  I want someone who will encourage and nurture me, as I will do for him.  And I want our children to be the loving expressions of a romance so tender that we are never apart from each other.”  Lady Emily blushes for the loving context within marriage that she seeks.

Lord Edward: “Well!  You ask for a lot!”  Lord Edward blanches as he wrings out a cold cloth and exchanges it for Emily, placing it gently upon her forehead over her eyebrows.

Lady Emily: “Hhhh!  Thank you, Edward.”  She sighs for the soothing cooling of the cold cloth.  “I want love–the rest will follow naturally.”

Lord Edward: Considering her thoughts on romance, Lord Edward replies sincerely despite his own growing, but as yet uncertain, feelings about Lady Emily Creighton.  “I hope that you find it, Emmy.”

Lady Emily: “I know I will find love. And I know you will, too, Edward.  There is someone out there for each of us.  We just have to open our hearts to them.”    And if only you will open your heart to me, Dear Edward, Lady Emily muses.

To be continued with Chapter 5

 

References for Ch. 04 of “Seeking the Niceties of Marriage”,   May 08, 2021 by Gratiana Lovelace (Post #1380)

  1. My “Seeking the Niceties of Marriage” story cover illustration is comprised of: a)  ivory lace background  with Grati edit, found at torrid.com;  and  a b)  Victorian roses bouquet painting by the Boston Public Library, via Atlas Obscura (with some Grati edits ), found at  https://www.atlasobscura.com/articles/how-flowerobsessed-victorians-encoded-messages-in-bouquets; and with c) the text in deep pink coral in a Vivaldi font.
  2. Lady Emily Creighton‘s upturned face with newly plucked and shaped eyebrows is Grati’s manip of two images: Daniela Denby-Ashe in N&S 2004 Epi417h49m20s188_Nov1013GratianaLovelaceCap-crop-Brt; and the light blue (color made-iridescent blue by Grati) taffeta gown image background fabric sample was from the history and uses of taffeta  found at  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taffeta
  3. Lord Edward Carlisle image is Richard Armitage in N&S2004 epi1-029Oct1913ranet-Grati-crop2-brt, was found at RichardArmitagenet.com in the Gallery, under North & South (2004)

Gratiana Lovelace Wattpad site for Ch. 04 of “Seeking the Niceties of Marriage”:
https://www.wattpad.com/1067459056-seeking-the-niceties-of-marriage-by-gratiana

Previous SAL blog post #1378  link for Ch. 03 “Seeking the Niceties of Marriage”: https://gratianads90.wordpress.com/2021/05/02/seeking-the-niceties-of-marriage-ch-03-becoming-reacquainted-may-02-2021-by-gratiana-lovelace-post1378/

 

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Sir Guy Day Friday:  Richard Armitage, Portraits in Leather, May 07, 2021 Gratiana Lovelace (Post #1379)

The talented British actor Richard Armitage portrayed the character of Sir Guy of Gisborne on the Robinhood tv series with such nuanced complexity that he became the star of the show.  And his adoring fans loved him in that role of the baddie Sir Guy.  Sir Guy was steeped in infamy, yet we all keep coming back to him.

Though he was and is fair of face, Richard Armitage’s scowls as Sir Guy—or later as Thorin Oakenshield in The Hobbit films—lent an air of mystery, intrigue, and danger to him. And his all black attire—in black leather—certainly aided in that mystery, intrigue, and danger.

So below, I’ve gathered some of my favorite leather wearing moments of Richard Armitage as Sir Guy of Gisborne.  Please feel free to share yours as well.

Happy Sir Guy Day Friday!  Hugs & Cheers!  Grati  ;->

SirGuy--RH3epi5--GuyStanding-wHorse-atNottinghamGate-isRichardArmitage_Oct1416viaMaxineVurley - Copy (2)

Sighhh!

Posted in Gratiana Lovelace, Portraits, Richard Armitage, Robin Hood, Sexy, Sir Guy of Gisborne, smoulder, Social Justice, social media, Society, Something About Love | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

“Seeking the Niceties of Marriage”, Ch. 03:  Becoming Reacquainted,  May 02, 2021 by Gratiana Lovelace (Post#1378)

 

Story cover for Seeking the Niceties of Marriage(An original Regency Romance story copyrighted by Gratiana Lovelace, 2021; All rights reserved)   [(1) story cover above left]

[Illustrations:  I cast my stories as I write them.  So from time to time, I will illustrate my story with actors and such, including:  Richard Armitage as Lord Edward Carlisle, Daniela Denby-Ashe as Lady Emily Creighton, Blake Ritson as Lord Kittredge Wells, Polly Walker as Lady Patience Creighton, Bill Nighy as Lord Nigel Creighton the Earl of Stoke, and others as noted.]

[Author’s Note:  This original Regency romance is a work of fiction, and as such, any character names, scenes or other descriptions were made at the creative discretion of this author.  And this is a gentle romance (G to PG-13), but with some frank discussions about love and marriage put to humorous effect.  This is my disclaimer.]

 

Ch. 03:  Becoming  Reacquainted

After securing her as his dance partner for the next set at the Marshall’s Ball, Lord Edward the Viscount Carlisle invites Lady Emily Creighton, the daughter of Lord Creighton the Earl of Stoke, to take a turn about the room with him before their dance set.  And he has learned his lesson from his first disastrous marriage, and he will not let wool gather upon his courting skills—even if Lady Emily is just practice for him.    

However, Lady Emily is elated at the prospect of walking on the arm of the handsome Lord Edward and takes his had in hers [(2) below]. 

And the smile of her Mama Lady Creighton cannot be contained. She envisions a beautiful wedding for her youngest daughter with the handsome Viscount Carlisle who will one day visit with her and Lord Creighton at their Earl of Stoke Park estate in Wiltshire with their future children, her hoped for grandchildren.  Lady Creighton’s imaginings are running away with her, and there is not even a hint of an understanding between the two young people.  Time will tell.

So as Lady Emily and Lord Edward walk away from Lord Kittredge Wells and her parents Lord and Lady Creighton, Lord Edward smiles agreeably down at her and pats her gloved hand curled around his arm.

Lord Edward:  “Emmy, I wonder if there will be any punch left, considering the press of humanity here this evening.”

Lady Emily: “Yes, it is a bit of a crush.” Then she looks down at her ballgown’s full skirt.  “And I suppose we ladies do not help the situation by our taking up more space than is necessary with our skirts.”  I say sheepishly.  “I miss the older gown styles of empire waists without layers upon layers of petticoats puffing me out.”  She winces cutely.

Again, Lady Emily’s outspokenness–about ladies’ unmentionables this time, in the form of petticoats–is perhaps why she has not caught on with anyone yet.  However, Lord Edward finds Lady Emily refreshing as he smiles indulgently at her.

Lord Edward:   Maintaining a positive attitude, he suggests. “But your ladies’ ball gowns are so becoming on you.  We gentleman could not begrudge you the space they inhabit.”

Knowing that he is not complimenting her gown–just ladies’ gowns in general—Lady Emily nods and smiles wincingly.

Lady Emily: “Thank you for being kind, Lord Edward.  You always seem to know the right thing to say.”

Lord Edward: “I would disagree.  I am woefully out of practice in conversing with young ladies, due to …”  Here he stops. There is no need to tell her he is a widower–even though he is a reluctant one.

Lady Emily: “Yes, of course.  I am so sorry.  There, you see?  I always say the wrong thing.” Lady Emily frets as she gazes up at him compassionately. 

Lord Edward at six foot three inches tall is more than a foot taller than Lady Emily.  So she is getting a crick in her neck straining to look up at him from her close prospect.  And she wonders were they to find open seating around the perimeter of the ballroom, if she could suggest to Lord Edward that he sit, whilst she remains standing.  Of course, people might think that Lord Edward was being discourteous were he not to remain standing in her presence—or that he has some infirmity.  Whereas Lady Emily would hope that with a seated Lord Edward she might be able to look him directly in the eyes.  And she gives an involuntary shiver to contemplate something so intimate as gazing directly into a man’s eyes.

Lord Edward:  “Are you chilled, Lady Emily?”  He asks solicitously.  She shyly shakes her head no.  Then he continues.”  I would not say that you always nor necessarily do you say the wrong thing, Lady Emily.   You complimented me.  It is just that my situation lends itself to melancholy responses from people.”

Lady Emily: “Of course, about your wife dying.” She nods sympathetically and bites her lower lip.  “It was truly tragic.  You were married only four months and then she was killed in a carriage accident on the way to visiting her parents.”  Lady Emily–like most people in society–has only heard the agreed upon revised story of Lady Edith Carlisle’s death, not the sordid abandoning her marriage and eloping to Scotland part of it.

Lord Edward:  “Why do people say it like that, Lady Emily–as if my late wife was currently in the process of dying?  Edith died, five years ago–end of story.”  Lord Edward states his displeasure perhaps more brusquely than he intends and slashes his arm in an upwards motion to emphasize that—as if Lady Emily bears society’s burden  of cloying sympathy toward him, merely because she is the most recent to give her condolences.  And he wonders if he will never be allowed to forget that he is a widower?

Lady Emily: “See?   I have upset you.  And that is not my intention.  I am sorry if I brought up a sad subject for you.”  There is an awkward pause.  “You must miss her very much.”  Lady Emily states forlornly—knowing that she will have a difficult enough time competing to the living debutante beauties, let alone a dead one.

Lord Edward: “Hhhh!”  He sighs heavily.  He cannot say no because then questions would arise as to why not.  “It is … complicated.”  Lady Emily tilts her head in confusion and curiously gazes at Lord Edward—as if seeking his explanation.  So he continues. “Yes, I was sorry that Edith died.  But after five years, I need to move on with my life.”

Lady Emily: “Oh!  So you wish to find a new wife?”  Lord Edward gives me a curt nod.  “Well I wish you every success, Edward.  I imagine you will be fawned over by many a fine lady since you are tall and handsome, wealthy, and will soon be in the possession of an even older hereditary title when you become the Earl.”

Lord Edward:  “Hmmm.”  He murmurs in almost a growl, Lord Edward pondering the realization that she thinks he is handsome.  “Emmy, Is that all that ladies care about these days?  My wealth and my title?”  And he wonders if that is all that Lady Emily cares about.

Lady Emily: “No, surely not. But Edward, you must avow that with respectable ladies rarely inheriting–and not allowed to be educated, nor to earn their living–what path to a full life with security is there, but to marry a man who meets such requirements?”  Lady Emily stands up for her sex, for ladies are not weaker than men, ladies are merely unprotected by law and society. 

Lord Edward: “And perhaps, gentleman have their requirements for a wife, too?” I look at Emmy sideways–which makes her singular eyebrow ridge  less noticeable.  She has a pleasing profile, and her skin is clear, she possesses all of her small and straight teeth, and she has a pleasing womanly curvy figure, he presumes, under the yards of fabric that is her voluminous pale pink silk ball gown–though, perhaps, she is a bit hippy. However, Lord Edward likes women with curvy hips.  “Hmmm.”

Lord Edward and Lady Emily go on to banter back and forth about the rights of men and women–and the marriage mart–as they procure some punch, with Lord Edward’s punch cup containing spirits that Lady Emily’s cup does not.  He needs to fortify himself for this evening if he is to find, woo, and offer for a bride. Lord Edward Carlisle does nothing by half measures.  And Lord Edward’s credo is why delay disagreeable tasks until the morrow–and worrying about them incessantly–when the tasks may be dispatched with alacrity before the moon is high?  Or something like that.

***

Then Lord Edward and Lady Emily finish their punches and their turn about the room and end up back with Lady Emily’s parents Lord and Lady Creighton and her cousin Lord Kittredge Wells, Lord Edward Carlisle’s good friend, just before Lord Edward’s and Lady Emily’s dance is to begin. 

The Creighton’s and their nephew Lord Kittredge Wells have been conversing about all matters matrimonial.  Namely Lady Emily’s pursuit of it, whilst delicately avoiding Lord Wells’ well known aversion to the notion.  But they display bright smiles as Lord Carlisle and Lady Emily return to them.

Lord Kittredge:   “Did you enjoy your punch, Emily?”  His head shifts back and forth between his cousin Lady Emily and his good friend Lord Edward.

Lady Emily:  “It was fine, Kitt.  Nothing out of the ordinary. Except a bit …”

Lord Edward:  “… warm.”  Edward interjects and smiles down at Lady Emily. And the warmth from his spirits laced punch is loosening him up.

Lady Emily:  “Yes, precisely, Lord Carlisle!”  Now she smiles up at him realizing that when Lord Edward is relaxed—as he seems to be now—his smile makes him look even more handsome to her.

Edward:  “Oh Emmy, let us dispense with formality.  I have known you since you were in leading strings and I was still in school.  Please address me as Edward when we are with your family.”  Edward states in a friendly manner.

Lady Emily: “As you wish, Edward. But pray do not remind me of our age difference. I am no longer a child, you know. Ha ha ha ha ha!” Lady Emily playfully taps Edward’s hand covering her own on his arm with her delicate lace fan–much as she familiarly would with her cousin, Kitt.  Lady Emily is not being flirtatious—per  se–but others might not realize that when the exchanges between she and Edward are viewed from across the room.

Lady Creighton:  “Now Emily, Dear, no man wishes to be admonished.”  Emily’s mother admonishes her in a strident sing songy voice.

Lady Emily pouts at yet another of her Mama’s corrections.  Lord Edward frowns.

Lord Edward: “Nor does a young lady, Madam.”  Lady Creighton’s eyes bulge in offense at Lord Edward’s remark.

Lady Creighton:   “Emily is my child, Lord Carlisle. It is my role as parent to correct her.” She states indignantly.  Lady Emily blanches at her mother making a scene.

Lord Edward: “With respect, Lady Creighton, but at four and twenty, Lady Emily is no longer a child.” 

And Lord Edward wonders if he is standing up for Lady Emily’s self respect, or does he just want to give the imperious Lady Creighton a set down. Both, possibly. And in his mind, Lady Creighton might be a Countess, but it is only through marriage to her husband Lord Creighton the Earl of Stoke.  Whilst Emmy is a bloodline Earl’s daughter.  And the Viscount Lord Edward Carlisle is heir to his Uncle’s Earldom.

Lady Emily: “It is alright, Lord Edward. Mama has only my best interests at heart.”  Lady Emily tries to make peace.

Lady Creighton: “Yes, and until Emily marries and she becomes the mistress of her own household and is no longer under my roof, my daughter will continue to benefit from my guidance.”  Lady Creighton says this so haughtily that one might say there is steam pouring out of her ears like a teapot.

Lord Edward: “Then let us pray then that Emmy’s deliverance from your oversight is soon, and that her savior husband is near to hand, Madam.”  Edward does not like over-bearing mothers–not the least of which is that they are sure to become over bearing mothers-in-laws.

Obviously, the spirited punch is what is making Edward behaving so obstreperously.  Lord Creighton and Lord Wells each take a measured step back, to stand well away from the fray—them knowing full well the ire that Lady Creighton can whip up into a rage in herself.  

So Lady Emily is caught in the middle between her overbearing but cloyingly loving mother, and Lord Edward Carlisle—Lady Emily’s childhood dream of a husband.  One is her past and present, and the other is her possible future.  She yet tenuously clings to the one, whilst yearning to break free and seek her future.

Lady Emily:  Taking her cue from the orchestra playing the prelude to their set, she beseeches.  “Lord Edward, they are beginning to play our dance.  Will you honor your promise and dance with me?” She asks him plaintively, but with a small hopeful smile.

Still feeling put out by Lady Emily’s Mama Lady Creighton, Lord Edward rises to the occasion in a most unexpected way.

Lord Edward: “I will do you better than that. I will marry you, Lady Emily.” Clumsy and awkward are not the best descriptors to have for one’s first marriage proposal—as either the one making the offer, or the one receiving it.

Lord Kittredge:   “Edward!!!”  Lord Kittredge exclaims incredulously—him being concerned for both his friend’s uncharacteristic pomposity, as well as for his young cousin’s feelings.  Her parents are stunned.

And then a purposeful Lord Edward Carlisle whisks a startled Lady Emily Creighton onto the dance floor for a waltz, amidst the other twirling waltzing couples.

***

Lord Edward and Lady Emily waltz quietly, neither saying a word. They are both in too much shock by his unexpected and off hand marriage proposal to her in front of her parents.  And they need a cooling off period.

In particular, Lady Emily’s mind is reeling with Lord Edward’s announcement to herself and her family that he will marry her.  And it does not help that he is twirling her around the dance floor with an oh so intimate waltz—causing her thoughts to muddle with the closeness of him. Could Lord Edward have really just proposed to her, she wonders?  Or was he just teasing her to goad her mother who was correcting her in front of him?

What have I done?  Is a phrase reverberating throughout Lord Edward Carlisle’s brain. He realizes that though his proposing to a lady is momentous  and should bring him joy, he feels like he might recapitulate the undigested dinner contents of his stomach onto the middle of the dance floor.  His objection is not to the lady in question—Lady Emily Creighton–but with the ill conceived and spur of the moment offer that he made to her.  And they barely know each other—as adults.  Will they even suit each other?  What must she think of him?

Before the waltz is even half done, Lord Edward knows that he must have a private talk with Lady Emily.  So he steers them near the hallway entrance, and then he switches to taking her by the hand out of the ballroom.  This unusual and highly irregular method of leaving a dance floor before the dance is finished does not go unnoticed by the ball attendees and her family.  Lady Emily’s mother had already plopped down on a nearby chair as she fans herself quite animatedly.  Kitt’s uncle Lord Creighton throws his nephew Lord Kittredge Wells a beseeching look to help resolve the situation. Lord Kittredge nods and goes off in search of his little cousin Lady Emily and his best friend Lord Edward.

Lady Emily is almost trotting to keep up with the long strides of the very tall and lean Lord Edward as he guides her down the hallway and out onto the back veranda–where the cool night air is both pleasing and a welcome jolt to her numbed senses.  Dragging her to a secluded, but well lit corner–so that none could claim that an assignation was occurring, which would sully her reputation—Lord Edward drops Lady Emily’s hand and turns to face her.  Her anxious face is bathed in the gentle moonlight, lending her countenance an ethereal quality–except for her singular eyebrow ridge.

Lord Edward: “Emmy….” He begins breathlessly, for Lord Edward does not know how to begin.

Holding up her hand to still his further speech, it is Lady Emily who now uncharacteristically takes charge and begins their conversation.

Lady Emily: “Edward, were you serious in offering for me, or did you simply want to annoy my Mama?”  Lady Emily folds her arms across her chest and taps her foot in impatience. Damn and blast!  She thinks. The first proposal she receives is so poorly done–and not probably still in force.

Lord Edward: “Perhaps both?  I … I am not certain.”  Edward wincingly gazes at Emily.  He has botched this royally.  “However, an offer of marriage was tendered by me to you.  And I will stand by it.”  He stands up tall and proud. Though secretly, he almost hopes that it will not come to pass. Then again, Lord Edward’s and Lady Emily as a marital pairing might not be such a bad idea, he muses.

Lady Emily:  Finding an inner reserve of strength buried deep within herself, Lady Emily states her concerns forthrightly.  “Edward, I promise all manner of treats to my dog so that he will be good and not chew upon the sofa pillows or mess on the carpet. But there is a limit to my promises–and so should there be for you.”  Lady Emily pointedly gazes at Lord Edward—almost daring him to contradict her.

Lord Edward tilts his head slowly as he looks at Lady Emily with both confusion and embarrassment.  Him wondering if he is the owner or the dog in her metaphorical scenario.  

Lord Edward: “What are you saying, Emmy?  That you do not wish to marry me?”  Lord Edward asks a tad incredulously, despite the unbridled relief coursing through his veins.  For he is a wealthy and handsome man, heir to an earldom—any lady would and should be swooning to accept him.  Except it seems, the lady before him.  And he is worried that Lady Emily’s misgivings, might be the harbinger of marital doom similar to his first wife’s rejection of him

Lady Emily:  “I did not say that, and please do not take offense, Edward.”  She pleads.

Lord Edward: “Then what are you saying?” He asks exasperatedly.  Lord Edward wonders why ladies are so complicated to understand. 

Lady Emily: “That your kind offer of marriage was so … spur of the moment.  And I feel that I must weigh your proposal carefully enough for the both of us.”

Lord Edward: Glad not to be immediately affianced, his honor still requires him to stand by his offer.  “Emmy, if you are uncertain as to the sincerity of my proposal of marriage to you, let me state that I am in earnest.”  At least, he thinks, she would be his choice—unlike the last time he wed.

Lady Emily: “Thank you, Edward.  You are being very gallant.”  Lady Emily nods her head politely.

Lord Edward: “ But …?”  There is always a but.

Lady Emily:  “But you must own that an unexpected offer of marriage before the two of us have even had a chance to dance together and chat privately, is half part reckless and half part decidedly unromantic.” 

Ah ha!  Lord Edward now begins to understand some of Lady Emily’s reluctance for his suit.

Lord Edward: Frowning, Edward asks with astonishment. “Am I given to understand that you wish to be courted and wooed?” And he thinks that Lady Emily might be more of a spitfire than she has shown herself to prior to this point.  And he perceives an underlying current of passion unleashed within her.

Lady Emily: “I do.  It is perhaps greedy of me to seek a love match–seeing that I am four and twenty. But it has always been my fondest wish as a young girl, to marry for love.”

Lord Edward looks at Lady Emily in astonishment.  Not only is she not letting him out of his offer of marriage, but she wants to direct the nature of their and his future communications!  In his potential wife, he sees all the forcefulness of his potential mother-in-law in her.  This is intolerable in Lord Edwards mind!

Lord Edward: “And you do not think that I love you?”

Lady Emily: “How could you?  You do not know me.”  She throws up her arms.  Then she makes her case.  “By your own admission, Edward, the last time you laid eyes on me I was in leading strings.  That must have been more than eighteen years ago, when I was a child of six years.”

Lord Edward decides to retrench slightly–in the hope that a full withdrawal of his offer might soon be accomplished.  No one wants a reluctant bride—least of all him.

Lord Edward: “And you wish to get to know me, now?” 

Lady Emily: She nods.  “Yes, Edward.  But I do not wish us to be exclusively courting.  You may interact with other young ladies and I will interact with other young men as you and I get to know each other better.”  Though she has not interacted with other young men up to this point—her cousin Kitt does not count in her mind—perhaps her having part of a waltz with the handsome Earl in waiting might increase interest in her.

Lord Edward: Feeling slighted and rather miffed, Edward replies tersely.  “Not acceptable!  Were either of us to entertain other suitors, that would be a slight to the other.  So if we are to court, we will be exclusive.” He simmers.

Realizing that she has botched this, but not knowing how to extricate herself–to get back to him proposing to her, something that she very greatly appreciates—Lady Emily feels almost desperate.

Lady Emily:  “Please forgive me, Edward.  I do not mean to offend you.  But I am only thinking of you.”

Lady Edward: Narrowing his eyes in confusion, he regards her skeptically. “How so?”

Lady Emily:  She blurts out.  “Though you are widely considered to be god’s gift to womankind, the reverse has not been said of me.  And I wish to give you time to consider whether you truly wish to become affianced to me–as much as I also wish to get to know you better.” 

Lord Edward:  Realizing that a demurral of her belief she is plain and unattractive is required, Lord Edward responds.  “Not at all, Emmy.  From the first, I noticed your pleasing womanly form, your fine complexion, good teeth, and sweet temperament.”

Lady Emily: “You did not mention what you thought of my face as a whole.”  She stares at him.  “I have often wished to thin out my eyebrows, but My Mama will not let me.”  She pouts.

Lord Edward: Realizing he is caught, he confesses.  “Well, you have good instincts there, Emmy.”  She pouts.  So he softens his phrasing.  “What I mean to say is, that your sweet face is so petite and delicate, that thinner eyebrows might allow your pleasing countenance to be more fully appreciated.”  He looks to her, and sees that her offense at his remark has lessened, but still lingers.

However, she regroups and Lady Emily smiles wanly, gazing up at Lord Edward hopefully.  She is grateful for his proposal—and for his kind compliments about her physical attributes.   But at the same time, Lady Emily is mindful that he has not, as of yet, spoken of any tender feelings toward her.  And she feels that a loveless marriage between them–without even a basis of friendship to solidify it–will be doomed from the start.  And marriage is forever.

Lady Emily:  “Are you … unable to love again, Edward?”  She asks sympathetically delicately.

Lord Edward: “I see.  So is it my widowed status that gives you pause?  Kitt had said that you would not mind it. But your skittish behavior makes me think otherwise.”

Lady Emily: “Oh no!  You cannot help your wife dying in a carriage accident on the way to visiting her parents.” She states the standard story given out about Edward’s wife’s death–without the unknown to her of the  scandalous elopement aspect attached to it.

Lord Edward: “No I cannot.   Thank you for understanding.” He states quietly. Then he asks expectantly. “Then, shall I call upon you tomorrow afternoon for a carriage ride in the park, My Princess?”  His eyes twinkle as he smilingly asks her with his tender childhood nickname for her upon his lips.  And the promenade is de rigueur for courting couples.

Lady Emily: “You may.  I would like that very much, My Prince.”  Lady Emily smiles sweetly at him, after her also employing her tender childhood pet name for him. 

And Lady Emily tries to reign in her excitement of being courted by the handsome and wonderful Lord Edward Carlisle–at least until she knows if he has any feelings for her. 

To be continued with Chapter 4

References for the Introduction and Ch. 03 of “Seeking the Niceties of Marriage”,  May 02, 2021 by Gratiana Lovelace (Post #1378)

  1. My “Seeking the Niceties of Marriage” story cover illustration is comprised of: a)  ivory lace background  with Grati edit, found at torrid.com;  and  a b)  Victorian roses bouquet painting by the Boston Public Library, via Atlas Obscura (with some Grati edits ), found at  https://www.atlasobscura.com/articles/how-flowerobsessed-victorians-encoded-messages-in-bouquets; and with c) the text in deep pink coral in a Vivaldi font.
  2. Lady Emily and Lord Edwards hands clasping is my/Grati cap from North&South2004 17h08m07s171_Dec12, 2013 Grati-Cap-szd-brt-pink-dress-manip

Gratiana Lovelace Wattpad site for Ch. 03 of “Seeking the Niceties of Marriage”:
tba

Previous SAL blog post #1377  link for  Ch. 02 “Seeking the Niceties of Marriage”:

“Seeking the Niceties of Marriage”, Ch. 02:  Introductions Again,  April 28, 2021 by Gratiana Lovelace (Post #1377)

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“Seeking the Niceties of Marriage”, Ch. 02:  Introductions Again,  April 28, 2021 by Gratiana Lovelace (Post #1377)

Story cover for Seeking the Niceties of Marriage(An original Regency Romance story copyrighted by Gratiana Lovelace, 2021; All rights reserved)   [(1) story cover above left]

[Illustrations:  I cast my stories as I write them.  So from time to time, I will illustrate my story with actors and such, including:  Richard Armitage as Lord Edward Carlisle, Daniela Denby-Ashe as Lady Emily Creighton, Blake Ritson as Lord Kittredge Wells, Polly Walker as Lady Patience Creighton, Bill Nighy as Lord Nigel Creighton, and others as noted.]

[Author’s Note:  This original Regency romance is a work of fiction, and as such, any character names, scenes or other descriptions were made at the creative discretion of this author.  And this is a gentle romance (G to PG-13), but with some frank discussions about love and marriage put to humorous effect.  This is my disclaimer.]

 

Ch. 2:  Introductions Again

Adjusting his formal crisply starched dress shirt collar—with the collar points nearly looking like tusks jutting out from his jaw with a neatly tied bow between that is his cravat–the handsome Lord Edward Carlisle  [(2) above] scans the ballroom Friday night at the start of the London Season marriage mart for someone to ask to dance–and maybe to marry.  It is the first ball of the season and he would like to find a wife soon and be done with the matter.

Then Lord Edward is jolted out of his reverie by a swift slap to his broad shoulders as his lifelong very good friend Lord Kittredge Wells joins him.  They have known each other since they were green boys just starting at Eton, through their adolescence, and randy university days, into their prime.  Lord Kittredge is the same age as Lord Edward, at five and thirty—though  Lord Kitt as he is familiarly known to his friends, has not has not had to worry about marrying, him being a second son, etc.

Lord Kittredge:  “Edward, your prune faced looks will not attract the fairer sex who might be in consideration for the post of the future Lady Carlisle.”  Lord Kittredge Wells admonishes with a decidedly flourishing wave of his hand.

Lord Edward:  Turning to his childhood friend, he replies incredulously. “No, Lord Wells?  Then my apple cheeked grin will surely shoo them away, as well.”  The two men embrace warmly–with manly pats on their shoulders–as lifelong friends. Then Edward admonishes his friend bemusedly.  “Kitt, you are the last man on Earth to give me courting advice.” 

Lord Edward stares down his rather well turned out friend Lord Kittredge [(3) above] who is wearing the appropriately elegantly restrained attire of a gentleman, for once.  Though Lord Kittredge usually sports some whimsical element in his attire, be it a boldly hued cravat or waistcoat, or an ornament on his watch fob, etc.  Lord Kittredge’s sense of men’s and ladies’ fashions is unequaled, but they are not necessarily to Lord Edward’s more austere tastes.

Lord Kittredge:  “Do not devil me tonight, Edward.  Or I will refrain from making introductions for you to a lady whom might just fill your…uh …requirements for a wife–and one who will overlook your less pleasing attributes.”

Lord Edward: “Now, Kitt.  You make this lady sound as if her lack of discernment is a sterling quality.”

Lord Kittredge: “Oh she is discerning.  Too much so, if you ask me.” He nods.

Lord Edward: “To what degree is the lady too discerning?  Does she flirt and tease gentlemen only to refuse their offers of marriage?”  Edward ponders this point since his late wife had been of this ilk.

Lord Kittredge: “No, no. And I do not believe that the lady has received any offers to date.”

Lord Edward: “Then what is wrong with her?”  Edward looks askance at his friend and his matchmaking skills.

Lord Kittredge: “Nothing is wrong with her, that a little cherishing might smooth out. And you know her!”  He finishes with a broad grin.

Lord Edward: “Come, come man.  Who is this dubious paragon of wifely aspirations?”  Lord Edward asks cheekily.

Lord Kittredge: “Why, she is my cousin Lady Emily Creighton!”  Lord Kittredge smiles triumphantly.

Lord Edward:   “Emmy?”  Lord Edward asks incredulously.  Lord Kittredge nods hopefully.  “But I haven’t seen her since she was in leading strings and I was at Eton. She is still not married?”  Lord Edwards eyes narrow in suspicion.   “I repeat.  What is wrong with her?”  He cocks a wary eyebrow at his best friend.

Lord Kittredge:  “Wrong with her? Nothing!  And frankly, beggars can’t be choosers, old man.  She is a female, and you need one.”

Lord Edward:  “I am not begging.  I have a substantial estate that will support my future family in comfort and elegance.  So perhaps I can be discerning as well.”

Lady Kittredge:  “Only if your prospective bride candidates will overlook the looming spirit of your late wife.”  Lord Kittredge raises a delicately arched eyebrow.  Touché!

Lord Edward: “Kitt, there is no spirit of my late wife—looming or otherwise.   And I am not haunted by my dead first wife.”  Lord Kittredge stares him down. “Well, not with regard to my having any lingering feelings toward her.”  Lord Edward’s best friend Lord Kittredge knows the situation, the lay of the land.

Lord Kittredge:  “That is why Lady Emily is so sensible a choice for you.  She will ignore the first wife angle and set to work in making her mark as your wife.”

Lord Edward:  “You speak as if she will gain society’s approval.  But is that possible, if she is unmarried still?  Why, she must be in her twenties now.  How old is she?”  Lord Edward’s eyes narrow acutely at his friend.

Lord Kittredge:  “She is but four and twenty.” Now Lord Edward’s eyebrow raises at the not so advanced age of Lady Emily.  “And Lady Emily will do you credit as your wife.”

Lord Edward:  “Credit?  So is she dog faced, Kitt?”  He grimaces wanly. 

Lord Kittredge: “No!  But she is petite.  Though I will own that she believes herself to be plain–no matter how advantageously her mother attires her.  But her bosoms have finally emerged.”  He adds relevantly.  Lord Edward stares him down.  “Oh, very well–it is her eyebrows, you see.  They give her a rather forceful appearance.”  Lord Edward quizzically looks at his friend.

Lord Edward:   “Hhhh!  Marriage is forever, Kitt.”  Lord Kittredge rolls his eyes.  “Well, most of the time.  And if I must be stuck with a wife, I would like a pretty one.  Well, I suppose her face is immaterial, if she possesses at least a modicum of womanly curves. One can always conjugate in the dark, I guess.”  He blanches.

Lord Kittredge:  “Ha ha ha ha ha!”  Lord Kittredge titters in slight embarrassment.  “Don’t josh me so, Edward.  I envision you not waiting until dark to do the deed on your wedding day.”  He pauses.  “Not this time, anyway.”

Lord Edward: Smiling smugly, Lord Edward avers. “I will own that my inclinations in the past were not usually in that direction–of waiting until nightfall.  But dash it, Kitt!  That was so long ago now, I am not entirely certain that I would want the glare of daylight for my early forays back into romance when I marry again.  And yet …”  Lord Edward looks up wistfully, at entertaining the prospect of female companionship of the romantic kind–when he is married, again.

Lord Kittredge:  “Then hop to it, old man!  Ah!  And here they are now!”  He gestures to the ballroom’s entrance. by ever so slightly tilting his head in their direction.    “I spy Lady Emily with her parents.  Let us greet them and I will introduce you to them–again.”

Lord Edward: “Hmmm.” Edward groans as he turns around, he being uncertain what a grown up Emmy might look like—ungainly, freckled, overly cheerful, falling down into mud puddles all the time, etc.?  But nothing prepares him for the sight of a very pleasingly curvy Lady Emily Creighton in her pink silk ball gown–only slightly in need of facial grooming for her eyebrow, singular.  “Kitt, I thought you said eyebrows, plural.  She has only one eyebrow.”

Lord Kittredge: “Now now, Edward.  Lady Emily has good bone structure and good breeding.  She just requires some plucking–in more ways than one.”  Lord Kittredge ribaldly jests with an elbow to his best friend Lord Edward’s side.

Lord Edward: “God!  Give me strength!” Lord Edward gazes heavenward, noticing the annoyingly cloying cherub angels painted on the ceiling of the ballroom at the Marshall’s home this night.  And he mutters to the ceiling cherubs.  “What are you looking at?”

***

As Lord Kittredge Wells nods his head at his uncle and aunt—Lord and Lady Creighton–his mother’s sister—and his cousin Lady Emily, he beckons them to come to him across the crowded ball room.  Lady Emily is doing her best to keep up.  But being petite and struggling with a large ball gown that engulfs her, she almost becomes swept away with the tide of attendees.  Then her mother clasps her wrist and pulls her toward her.

Lady Creighton:  “Stay close, Emily Dear.  We wouldn’t want to lose sight of you in this crush of humanity.”

Lord Edward blanches as the small blurry pink form becomes more well defined when Lady Emily Creighton appears nearer to he and Lord Kittredge–for his closer inspection with her parents.

Lord Kittredge: “Aunt Lady Creighton and Uncle Lord Creighton, and Cousin Lady Emily, please allow me to introduce to you again my good friend, the Honorable Lord Edward Carlisle, the Viscount Carlisle and heir to the fifth Earl of Oxford.

Lord Creighton: Lady Emily’s father is a distinguished looking, yet kindly smiling man somewhat North of 60 years, Lord Creighton nods with barely an imperceptible movement of his chin.  “Lord Carlisle.”

You see, one can always tell the elevation of a gentleman’s or lady’s rank by their level of disdain to move their person.  If not even their eyes move from side to side—let alone any other body part—then they are certain to be ranked among the highest echelons of society.

Lord Edward:   “Lord Creighton, My Lady,” Lord Edward bows first at Lord Creighton, before he lifts Lady Creighton’s hand to his mouth and kisses the air above her fingers. 

Then Lord Edward turns to face Lady Emily, who is looking up at him quite wide eyed [(4) above] —which rather accentuates her heavy eyebrow ridge.  But Lord Edward is proficient at controlling his reactions and does not flinch at her … eyebrow.  Conversely, Lady Emily very much likes what she sees—in the person of Lord Edward–as a small smile curls upon her mouth.

Lord Kittredge:  Realizing that his cousin seems to be a in a slight stupor, Lord Kittredge gently nudges her elbow with his own.  “Lady Emily, Cousin, you remember Lord Edward, don’t you?”

Lady Emily:  Also being elbowed now by Mother Lady Creighton, Lady Emily responds through a haze of adoration.  “Edward, My Prince!”  Then she smiles impishly as Lord Edward looks at her with astonishment.  Whilst Lord Kittredge bursts out with laughter.

Lord Kittredge: “Ha ha ha ha ha!  How you do go on, Emmy!  Isn’t that right, Edward?  Emmy is certain to enliven any dull party.”

Lord Edward:  “Indeed.”  I smile politely.  Then Lord Edward lifts Emmy’s hand to his lips and kisses it–actually touching his lips to her gloved knuckles.  Then he settles a smouldering gaze into Lady Emily’s hope filled eyes—him trying to ignore, the eyebrow.  “My Princess Emily.”

Lady Emily: “Ooh!  Ha ha ha!  Lord Carlisle, you remembered!”  Lady Emily gushes with girlish glee—despite her girlhood being long past, at her now four and twenty years.

Lord Edward: “I do.  And as I also recall, you liked to wear tiaras when you were a little girl.”  Edward’s voice deepens at the remembrance of a then charmingly blithely traipsing six year old little Lady Emily even as a smile curls upon his lips.

Lady Emily: “I still do.  But unless I marry a lord or some other noble, wearing a tiara is not likely to happen for me in my future.”  She shrugs her shoulders nonchalantly.

Lady Creighton:  “Now Emily Dear, Lord Carlisle isn’t interested in your childish wishes.”  She says a tad condescendingly.  Though loving her daughter and wanting to see her happily married off, Lady Creighton has the unintentional knack for sabotaging her daughter’s marital hopes with suitors before they can begin.

Lady Emily:  “Of course, Mama.”  Lady Emily blushes with embarrassment to be admonished in front of the man—Lord Edward Carlisle–whom she has very much admired from afar for most of her life.

Lord Edward furrows his brow at the awkward situation–and he tries to improve upon it.

Lord Edward: “Lady Emily, I would be pleased if you would stand up with me for the next set.” I ask respectfully, with a small smile of encouragement to her.  “May I enter my name on your dance card?”  I hold out my gloved hand for her dance card.

Everyone’s heads jerk in Lord Edward’s direction, at his favoring Lady Emily with a dance.  Lady Emily is not young, has no beauteous countenance–the eyebrow–and she is decidedly too girlishly outspoken.   And in truth, Lord Edward does not fancy her romantically.  He merely has compassion for her situation–her having an overbearing mother, correcting her in front of others. 

Lady Emily’s head pops up to look at Lord Edward in astonishment, as she slowly extends her wrist from which dangles her empty dance card on a pink ribbon.

Lord Kittredge:  “And when you’re done with Edward, Emmy, I hope that you will also stand up with me.” He smiles charitably at his sweet cousin Lady Emily.

Speechless, Lady Emily looks between Lord Edward and her cousin Kitt.  Two dances!  With two different partners!  What a wonderful night this will be, thinks Lady Emily!

Lady Creighton: Lady Creighton elbows her daughter.  “Emily Dear, please thank Lord Carlisle and Lord Wells.”

Lady Emily: “Thank you Lord Carlisle, thank you Kitt.” She smiles half heartedly.  Lady Emily fully realizes that the gentlemen only offered to dance with her out of pity. 

But still, Lady Emily thinks that she will get to dance two dances., and she smiles more cheerfully.  Two dances are better than none.  Because not even her father would be able to dance with her tonight–due to his gout acting up, making dancing painful. And now she has two guaranteed dance partners!

To be continued with Chapter 03

 

References for the Introduction and Ch. 02  of “Seeking the Niceties of Marriage”,    April 28, 2021 by Gratiana Lovelace (Post #1377)

  1. My “Seeking the Niceties of Marriage” story cover illustration is comprised of: a) ivory lace background  with Grati edit, found at torrid.com;  and  a  b)  Victorian roses bouquet painting by the Boston Public Library, via Atlas Obscura (with some Grati edits ), found at  https://www.atlasobscura.com/articles/how-flowerobsessed-victorians-encoded-messages-in-bouquets; and with c) the text in deep pink coral in a Vivaldi font.
  2. Lord Edward Carlisle in formal attire and looking pensively handsome is Richard Armitage in North & South 2004 epi2-116 Jan0214ranet–GratiEdit-szd-blur-shrp-crop2-clr2brt
  3. Lord Kittredge Wells in formal wear, looking pleased with himself is Blake Ritson in Emma 2009, Apr27-2021viaIMDB-Grati-szd-crop-clr1
  4. Lady Emily Creighton is Daniela Denby-Ashe in North & South epi2, Dec1513RAC–Apr27-2021Grati-crop-szd-clr2-eyebrow

Gratiana Lovelace Wattpad site for Ch. 02 of “Seeking the Niceties of Marriage”:
https://www.wattpad.com/1062262957-seeking-the-niceties-of-marriage-by-gratiana

Previous SAL blog post #1376 link for Introduction and Ch. 01 “Seeking the Niceties of Marriage”:

“Seeking the Niceties of Marriage”, Introduction & Ch. 01, April 25, 2021 by Gratiana Lovelace (Post #1376)

Posted in "Seeking the Niceties of Marriage", by Gratiana Lovelace, Creative Writing, Gratiana Lovelace, Humor, Love and Relationships, Richard Armitage, Romance, Social Justice, social media, Society, Something About Love, Storytelling | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

“Seeking the Niceties of Marriage”, Introduction & Ch. 01, April 25, 2021 by Gratiana Lovelace (Post #1376)

Story cover for Seeking the Niceties of Marriage(An original Regency Romance story copyrighted by Gratiana Lovelace, 2021; All rights reserved)    [(1) story cover above left]

[Illustrations:  I cast my stories as I write them.  So from time to time, I will illustrate my story with actors and such, including:  Richard Armitage as Lord Edward Carlisle, Daniela Denby-Ashe as Lady Emily Creighton, Blake Ritson as Lord Kittredge Wells, Polly Walker as Lady Patience Creighton, Bill Nighy as Lord Nigel Creighton, and others as noted.]

[Author’s Note:  This original Regency romance is a work of fiction, and as such, any character names, scene or other descriptions were made at the creative discretion of this author.  And this is a gentle romance (G to PG-13), but with some frank discussions about love and marriage put to humorous effect.  This is my disclaimer.]

Seeking the Niceties of Marriage”,  Introduction/Wattpad Description

Is love and marriage something that Lord Edward Carlisle can do—a second time?  His first marriage was disastrous—it was arranged by the parents– but not with taking the feelings of the two parties into account, remained unconsummated due to his deference to his wife stating that she loved another, then his wife was killed four months later with her lover in a carriage accident that was all hushed up.  All London Society thinks that he is a still grieving widower the past five years, though he is not.  But Lord Edward vows to try marriage again—and on his own terms this time, involving love, or at least some of the niceties of marriage such as bringing his future children into being.

And initially unbeknownst to Lord Edward, his best bet for marriage might be a childhood acquaintance lady who has not attracted any notice among society and no suitors during her previous  six seasons—whom is ripe for the plucking, in more ways than one.  Can two such haplessly lovelorn  individuals  find love and romance, together?  They will need much hope and interventions–on both sides–if they are to marry and find happiness with each other.

Ch. 1:  Romantic yearnings

Her first wedding was a blur in the then little Lady Emily’s memories.  She was only three years old–and looking oh so deceptively sweet [(2)] with her beribboned curled hair, her pale blue tremulous eyes, and her little mouth which was often in a pout of wanting something that had been denied her –-when she was entrusted with delicately strewing flower petals from a woven twig basket as she walked up the church aisle before her first bride.  The bride being her Papa’s younger sister, her Aunt  Lady Emmeline, for whom she was named.  They are The Emmelines in the Creighton family.  So to avoid confusion in the family, the little niece Lady Emmaline Marie Creighton was nicknamed Lady Emily.

And little Lady Emily was much more interested in the feel of the flower petals in her hand.  Soft and squishy to the touch with a faint and pleasing scent, Little Lady Emily had never experienced anything like flower petals before that she could remember–her parents shooing her away from flowers in their garden because stinging bees were often nearby.  And little Lady Emily, having been stung once before as a baby, had had quite a bad allergic physical reaction to that bee sting.  And medicine in the 1820’s had not progressed to understanding and treating allergic reactions well.

“Oh pooh! Little Lady Emily was heard to exclaim often when she was prevented from doing something that she wanted to do as a toddler–whether it was jumping up and down on her bed, eating more scones than her Mama would like—with the evidence writ upon her person of her wearing copious remnants of powdered sugar–or any other such childhood nonsense that usually got her a scolding, or at least a sighing “Oh dear!” from her Mama Lady Creighton.

And what little Lady Emily’s three year old self wanted to do at her first wedding was to toss big fisted flower petal balls at the people sitting in the pews–rather than to slowly drop them one by one on the white carpet.  If her task was to scatter the flower petals, then throwing clumps of them would get that done that much sooner, was her toddler reasoning anyway.

But Lady Emily’s Mama aptly named Lady Patience Creighton  [(3)] –this noble Mama not adhering to the maxim that the Bride should not be outshone in her attire, by Lady Creighton wearing what can only be described as a floral fuchsia explosion gown upon her person–was facing the then little Lady Emily from her seat in a pew near the front of the church with such an expression of expectancy that her little girl would behave for once, that Little Lady Emily did behave.

Except, little Lady Emily now threw flower petal balls on the carpet before her as she walked up the church aisle toward the front, instead of her  flinging the flower petals at the people sitting down in the pews.  Not as fun of course for little Lady Emily, but oh well!  At least that was a slight improvement.

After that, Lady Emily Marie Creighton rose through the ranks of wedding attendants over the years to become a minor bridesmaid, then a regular bridesmaid attendant upon her debut at eighteen years [(4)] with sun kissed honey brown hair, creamy shoulders, and a rosebud mouth–with her overall looking somewhat comely, but for the eyebrow.

But though while each wedding attendant/supporter  rank held distinction in her being selected for that post by her close and dear friends, Lady Emily still feels a hollow regard for her now august position in her now twenty fourth year as Maid of Honor to her cousin Lady Rachel Gosford—some twenty one years after her first wedding experience.

After six London seasons, Lady Emily’s debutante rose is no longer blooming–though she is a quite agreeable and sweet twenty four year old.  And Lady Emily was feeling like a shy wallflower.  So it was only after the most Honourable Lord Edward Carlisle, heir to an Earl and a Viscount in his own right, as Best Man to his cousin Lord Montague Monty Withers was announced as to whom Lady Emily will be paired with her for the walk back down the aisle at her latest upcoming wedding attendant position–and then for the post wedding banquet dancing–did the now four and twenty year old Lady Emily’s spirits perk up as the erstwhile Maid of Honor.

Apart from Lord Edward’s handsomeness and gentlemanliness having Lady Emily’s appreciation, were she to marry him, she ponders that her monogram initials could remain the same as ECM on her ladies linen hankies and such—since his last name and her last name both start with the letter “C”.  And as Lady Emily well knows, there is more involved to finding and marrying a man in actuality than a young lady’s yearnings might realize.   But Lord Edward Carlisle, her long held girlhood crush, is Lady Emily Creighton’s first choice for her husband to be.

***

For you see, the Viscount Lord Edward Carlisle is one of the most eligible bachelors in England, with a distinguished family lineage and fortune—which makes him an eligible match for any young lady of society.  A tall, dark, handsome, and wealthy man now of five and thirty years, Lord Edward [(5)] is a seasoned country squire with well managed lands, said to be a good rider, and a decent shot.  However, he has languished by himself after being widowed unexpectedly five years ago when his young bride of only a few months died in an unexpectedly distressing manner.

Well, that is not the whole of that story, nor even what Lord Edward wishes to remember about that trying time.  But his marriage had been deemed suitable by his parents and his late wife’s parents.  And so he had accepted the marriage alliance proposed to him.  At the time, he was a thirty year old man who had become well seasoned in the art of romance with many a willing theatre  actress, opera singer, or an eager widow. But it was deemed that it was time that he marry and produce his heir and a spare.  And so a suitable bride was found and he wed her–without much if any courtship.

And therein was the crux of the problem of Lord Edward’s and his then future and now his late wife Edith–their lack of prior acquaintance.  For though Lord Edward’s late wife Edith was in love, it was just not with him.  Edith was in love with someone else–and she did not make this fact known to Lord Edward until after the wedding ceremony, but before the wedding night.  So as a gentleman and in deference to her wishes, their marriage was not consummated that evening—nor any night following.  He surmised that eventually, it might be—consummated, that is, after a period of cooling off–with her being resigned to her disappointment, in the person of her husband not being her choice.  Though comely, Edith was not his choice either–but Lord Edward was ready to do his duty by siring an heir by her.

However, Lord Edward’s young bride Edith would not be resigned to her fate and she had the affrontery to resume her relationship with the person who held her love, Alton Lawrence, heir to his own father’s baronet.  And then Lord Edward’s wife Edith and her love Alton eloped to Gretna Green, only to be thwarted in their romantic flight by their carriage overturning on a turn in the road at the speed that their haste warranted—killing them both instantly. However  the elopement aspect of Edith’s death circumstance was concealed from society, such that Lord Edward Carlisle’s wife received a properly respectful funeral and burial as Lady Carlisle in spirit, if not in fact–and the required year long so called mourning period due her by her husband Lord Edward Carlisle.

Lord Edward preferred and spent his year long period of supposed mourning in solitary seclusion at his country seat at his Carlisle Hunting Lodge far North of London–him not wanting to be beset by condolences and sympathy ridden well meaning friends and family in London, and some not so well meaning acquaintances–who were not in possession of all the facts.  And he wanted to keep it that way—them ignorant of the facts surrounding Edith running away with her lover.  And the late Alton Lawrence’s parents were only too happy to distance themselves from scandal that could erupt due to their eldest son’s rash behavior–so as not to taint the marital prospects of their younger son and now heir George Lawrence–so they had also kept quiet, silent as the grave.

However what others mistook for mourning as reflected in Lord Edward Carlisle’s usual frowning countenance, was actually a melancholy spirit about all matters matrimonial.  His marriage had been a disaster–ending with the lady being so displeased with him being chosen for her as her husband, that she ran away to her death.

And Lord Edward’s late wife Edith’s displeasure was another source of consternation for him–for Lord Edward had always thought himself to be perfectly amiable.  He had friends, the ladies liked to dance with him, and, well, his dogs liked him.  And Lord Edward had flirted and oftentimes enjoyed romantic dalliances quite successfully before getting his bachelor wings trimmed when he married his late wife Edith.  But the couple was doomed from the outset, and Lord Edward could only hope that wherever his late wife was resting for eternity, that she was happy now.  The true gentlemanliness of Lord Edward’s nature shining through with him not harboring Edith and her memory any ill will.

And both Lord Edward’s parents and his late wife Edith’s parents encouraged Edward to move on and seek another wife–something that he has been ready to do since the day after that he wed the first time and realized that an annulment was possibly in the offing. But Edith had not wanted to wait for Lord Edward to propose an annulment—and propriety did not allow him to find a new wife until a suitable year long mourning period had occurred.  Nor could he slake his natural manly desires in some cheap and tawdry–but wholly satisfying–way, since everyone’s solicitude meant that his every action was under observation, if not under scrutiny.

So this time when he marries, Lord Edward Carlisle vows that his wife will be of his choosing and of his preference–that preference primarily being that she likes him, too.  He also prefers that love will hopefully blossom between he and his new wife over time. Lord Edward wants no repeats of his first disastrous  marriage.  Lord Edward vows to try marriage again—and on his own terms this time, involving love, or at least some of the niceties of marriage such as bringing his future children into being.

So back to the marriage mart that is the London Season Lord Edward goes, now five years later–to seek a bride, a wife, and the mother of his future children.  And initially unbeknownst to Lord Edward, his best bet for marriage might be a childhood acquaintance lady who has not attracted any notice among society and no suitors during her previous  six seasons—whom is ripe for the plucking, in more ways than one.

***

But perhaps, some pertinent details  about the current matrimonial yearnings of the now twenty four year old Lady Emily Creighton are also in order.  One month earlier than the wedding where Lady Emily and Lord Edward will be the main bridal attendants, Lady Emily is seated in the drawing room at the Creighton family’s  large and elegant London Townhouse in a fashionably genteel old monied section of Mayfair.  And Lady Emily’s mother Lady Patience Creighton is in her usual  corrective mood.

Lady Creighton: “Emily Dear, do not slouch so.  Sit up. A young lady must show herself to best advantage at all times.” She gently chides her youngest and still not married twenty four year old daughter.

Lady Emily:  “Oh  Mama!”  The dear girl’s constant refrain in reply to some improving remark by her mother.  “What does it matter?  We are at home with none but the servants to see us.”  Lady Emily throws up her hands pleadingly to her Mama.

Lady Creighton: “Precisely, My Dear!” She states triumphantly as if her argument has  already been won. “If you cannot manage even the smallest requests of behavior and decorum to be followed at home, how can we expect you to follow them when in the company of others outside of our home?”

Lady Emily:  “Pooh!” Lady Emily expels her favorite toddler epithet, shortened for economy.

Lady Creighton:  “Lady Emily Marie Creighton!   You are very well aware that I do not tolerate such vulgarisms in my presence.” Her eyes narrow beadily. “We will have you married yet this season—if you will only comport yourself in a ladylike manner, My Dear–you have my word!”

Lady Emily winces. Marriage–the romantic fate that all girls dream of when in the school room, becomes a tarnished goal when years go by without so much as a likely prospect, who is not in his dotage.

Lady Emily: “Mama, I do not know anyone who is so desperate to take a spinster entering into her seventh season such as I for his wife?  I should not want him any way. I want to marry for love or not at all!” Lady Emily proclaims with heart and conviction.  At twenty four years old, Lady Emily is perhaps not in the first flush of youth–but she is still in bloom with her pleasingly womanly attributes now nicely blossomed.

Lady Creighton: “A pretty speech, My Dear–but impractical. You must marry so that you will have protection when your Papa and I are gone.  And an agreeable fondness for one another by a husband and wife is far better to be hoped for, than for love–and of a much longer lasting duration.  Why, your dear Papa and I these past thirty years have managed famously together!”

Lady Emily: “Yes, Mama.”  Lady Emily sighs and rolls her eyes behind her mother’s half turned away face.  Her parents are polite and civil to one another, but it is obvious that they cohabitate in their home, and that they share little more than a passing friendship for each other.   “But I want a grand passion–a man who will cherish me and pamper me–as if I were his mistress.”  Lady Emily smiles hopefully to be so desired.

Lady Creighton: “Now, Emily, that sentiment is far and away beyond the proper sensibility you should have as my daughter!  You will be a wife and a grand lady, My Dear–most decidedly not a mistress.”  Lady Creighton narrows her eyes sternly at her youngest daughter. Lady Emily replies with a reluctant acknowledging nod. “Now!  Let us see to the accessories selections  for your new ball gowns.  With the start of the new Spring season with Friday’s ball, you must look your very best!  I will not have anyone say that you were not turned out properly and shown to best advantage.  You have several fine qualities and features that we should do well to accentuate.”  With the slight nasal whine of Lady Creighton’s voice offsetting her kinder sentiments of wishing to proudly display her youngest daughter to society at her best.

Surveying her petite daughter, who is rather short at five foot two inches tall–even more so than herself–Lady Creighton hopes that they can get their daughter married safely this season. Or, she fears, it will be her daughter Lady Emily’s last London Season as spinsterhood looms.

To be continued with Chapter 2

References for the Introduction and Ch. 01 of “Seeking the Niceties of Marriage”,    April 25, 2021 by Gratiana Lovelace (Post #1376)

  1. My “Seeking the Niceties of Marriage” story cover illustration is comprised of:  a)  ivory lace background  with Grati edit, found at torrid.com;  and  a  b)  Victorian roses bouquet painting  via the Boston Public Library, via Atlas Obscura (with some Grati edits ), found at  https://www.atlasobscura.com/articles/how-flowerobsessed-victorians-encoded-messages-in-bouquets; and with c) the text in deep pink coral in a Vivaldi font.2.  The 3 years old Lady Emily Creighton image is Portrait of a Young Girl by Paul Emile Chabas found at http://www.oceansbridge.com/oil-paintings/product/89623/portraitofayounggirl3. A younger Lady Patience Creighton image is Polly Walker in fuchsia floral dress-cls-scowl as Lady Featherington in Bridgerton_Apr18-2021 found at https://www.tvtime.com/en/actor/12885

    4. The portrait of Lady Emily Creighton, at 18 years old, as a debutante in her first season, image is the Portrait of a Young Girl by Albert Lynch that was found at https://www.etsy.com/listing/517131412/portrait-of-a-young-girl-by-albert-lynch (with Grati manip of eyebrows)

    5. Lord Edward Carlisle image in formal attire is RichardArmitage-inBBCs2004North&South-epi2-17h08m56s137Dec2213GratianaLovelaceCapManip3Brt

Gratiana Lovelace Wattpad site for Introduction and Ch. 01 “Seeking the Niceties of Marriage”:
https://www.wattpad.com/1060970042-seeking-the-niceties-of-marriage-by-gratiana

Posted in "Seeking the Niceties of Marriage", by Gratiana Lovelace, Creative Writing, Gratiana Lovelace, Humor, Love and Relationships, marriage, Regency, Richard Armitage, Romance, social media, Society, Something About Love, Soothing Sunday, Storytelling, Women | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Sexy Smiling SatuRdAy with Richard Armitage as my writing muse, April 24, 2021 Gratiana Lovelace (Post #1375)

Love the talented British actor Richard Armitage’s sexy smiles! Sighhh! Thanks to KatieC for sharing the RA portrait below!

Richard’s smiles are RAdiant with just a hint of mischief in them.  Love that!  And as he is my muse for my romance story writing, those smiles of his really help with my writing inspiRAtion.

So today I will take some time and continue writing on some of my romance stories—two in particular that I’m trying to decide  which one that I will serialize them next here on my blog and on my Wattpad site.  And it’s been a major feat for me to narrow my in-progress stories choices down to these two.

And since I started writing these two stories several years ago—returning to them periodically as time allowed, and inspiration hit me–I’m well into the dozens of pages and chapters on each of them—which I like to be when I start to serialize them. I don’t have as much time writing on weekdays, so weekends are when I mainly write.

I just have to decide if I want to share my tenderly passionate contemporary romance (PG-13)  next, or my frothy and fun Regency romp (gentle romance) which lends itself more to the humorous foibles and vagaries of romance.

Of course, Richard Armitage’ past character and portrait images help to serve as my illustrations—as well as images of some of his past costars.  I do like pairing him up again and again for my romance stories.  Sighhh!  Ha!

And though I am merely referring to them as two stories, I have working  story titles for them.  It’s just that I might be changing one of the titles.  So I’m being a bit coy.  Ha!

Heck!  I may even bite the bullet—as the saying goes—and make a decision soon, very soon.  So stay tuned for future developments.

Wishing everyone a safe, healthy, & happy day! Hugs  & Cheers! Grati ;->

Posted in Creative Writing, Fangurling, Goodwill, Gratiana Lovelace, Inspiration, Love and Relationships, Richard Armitage, Romance, Sexy, Sexy SatuRdAy, Social Justice, social media, Society, Something About Love, Storytelling | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

N&S Meeting again brings hope and love, April 11, 2021 Gratiana Lovelace (Post #1374)

The loving hope in John Thornton’s eyes is mirrored in Margaret’s eyes as they meet again.  Sighhh!

Thanks to CynDainty for sharing this romantic N&S gif!  Wishing everyone a lovely day!  Hugs & Cheers!  Grati  ;->

Posted in Fangurling, Gifs, Gratiana Lovelace, Love, Love and Relationships, North & South, Period Drama, Richard Armitage, Romance, Social Justice, social media, Society, Something About Love, Stun Day Sunday | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

@RCArmitage tweets UV film’s PBS Great Performances debut set for May 7th, April 07, 2021  Gratiana Lovelace (Post #1373)

 

 

I can’t wait to see the UV film again, this time via PBS Great Performances! Thanks to Richard Armitage for tweeting this viewing info!

Wishing everyone a safe, healthy, & happy day! Hugs  & Cheers! Grati ;->

Posted in "Uncle Vanya film in 2020, Chekhov, Dr. Astrov, Drama, Gratiana Lovelace, movies, PBS Great Performances, play, Richard Armitage, Social Justice, social media, Society, Something About Love | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Iridescent pastel butterfly of Spring, April 06, 2021  Gratiana Lovelace (Post #1372)

With Winter’s chill joined by torrential rains, our area’s Spring has been delayed.  Then this past weekend, everything warmed up, the grass was luscious green again.  Soon more birds and butterflies will come back as well.

And I have seen a butterfly or two in my time—even nurturing a few from caterpillar to chrysalis to butterfly as a child.

But none can compare to the image below shared by an online friend Sueli the other day. Thanks! 

The shimmering pale blues, greens, pinks, and purples of this butterfly’s wings are really beautiful!   And the image makes me smile at nature’s handiwork. 

The pastel yet vibrant coloring of this butterfly seems emblematic of Spring to me—and my switching over to my Spring and Summer clothes, which tend to favor pale pinks, peaches, greens, ivory, etc.


And I was just thinking about wanting to plant some flowers again on the deck railing boxes and raised pots on my back deck as in past years (pink impatiens in foreground of image below).

 

So this year, I think that I will try to see if I can find some butterfly friendly flowers to plant—like  zinnias, verbenas, and milkweed.  So here’s a little primer to get me started:



Wishing everyone a safe, healthy, & happy day!  Hugs & Cheers!  Grati  ;->

 

Posted in Butterflies, Flowers, Gratiana Lovelace, Social Justice, social media, Society, Something About Love, Video | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Happy Easter Richard Armitage wallpaper to you and yours! April 04, 2021 Gratiana Lovelace (Post #1371)

 
Wishing everyone a safe, healthy, & happy day!  Hugs  & Cheers! Grati ;->
 
2021--HappyEaster-wallpaper--RichardArmitage-rustic-board-w-egg-nest-wText_Apr03-2021byGratianaLovelace-szd-702x351
 
 
N.B. RA Wallpaper edit by Gratiana L. Original RA image by Andrea K. Thanks!  Background image via business.twitter Thanks!

Posted in Creativity, Easter, Gratiana Lovelace, Richard Armitage, Social Justice, social media, Society, Something About Love, wallpaper | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

#Richard Armitage got his vaccine shot! March 31, 2021 Gratiana Lovelace (Post#1370)

 

Good for you, #RichardArmitage!  I have also had both doses of the vaccine. Let us hope that more people will be made safe by the vaccine and all of us continuing to be cautious and wearing masks, social distancing, and such.

Wishing everyone a safe, healthy, & happy day! Hugs & Cheers!
 Grati ;->

tgh-richardarmitage-smiling-squinting-asdrtrack_jul0216vialauraday

P.S. And thanks to Laura Day for her previously sharing this The Golden Hour RA char image!

Posted in COVID 19 vaccine shot, Goodwill, Gratiana Lovelace, Richard Armitage, Wonderful Wednesday | Tagged , , , , , , | 1 Comment

THUD/Thespian Thursday! #RichardArmitage wins 2021 Audie for Chekhov Short Stories Collection!  March 25, 2021 Gratiana Lovelace (Post #1369)

 

Congratulations to #Richard Armitage and Audible.com for  winning an Audie Award for their Chekhov Short Stories Collection
AudieAward--2021--Short-Stories-ChekhovCollection-read-byRichardArmitage_Mar25-2021grati-cap
Thanks to RAMexico and RobinT for sharing this wonderful news!


RAwallpaper--2020--RichardArmitage-to-share-Chekhov-stories-Audible_May182020viaFabo

Thanks to Fabo Laktuko for earlier sharing the audiobook cover image above!


And this is such a wonderful Richard Armitage diptych portrait also shared by RAMexico (below)!
RAPortrait--2021--RichardArmitage-diptych-on-black-bkgrnd-for-Audie-Award-Mar25-2021byRAMexico-gratiszd

Wishing everyone a lovely day! Hugs  & Cheers! Grati ;->

Posted in Audible, audio books, Awards, Chekhov, Fangurling, Gratiana Lovelace, Richard Armitage, Social Justice, social media, Society, Something About Love, Thespian Thursday, THUD Thursday | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

#RichardArmitage Bag End Table Reading Commanding Charisma, March 24, 2021 Gratiana Lovelace (Post #1368)

I love this THAUJ Bag End Meal Discussion  table reading shot, thanks to DurinLass!   Richard Armitage commands the room even without Thorin’s long locks and beard. Sighhh!

 

Though the talented British actor Richard Armitage in costume and makeup as Thorin Oakenshield does look impressive when arriving at Bag End in THAUJ:

 

And finally,  Thorin Oakenshield resolving to lead his motley assortment of Dwarves, a Wizard, and one burglar on their quest is magical!:

 

Now I want to watch The Hobbit films all over again!  Wishing everyone a lovely day! Hugs & Cheers! Grati ;->

 

Posted in Drama, Fangurling, Gratiana Lovelace, Middle Earth, Richard Armitage, Social Justice, social media, Society, Something About Love, The Hobbit, Thorin, Video | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Love this Richard Armitage dramatic characters moments video! March 20, 2021 Gratiana Lovelace (Post #1367)

 

The multi-talented British actor Richard Armitage is a most wonderfully nuanced storyteller.

And I love this Richard Armitage dramatic character moments video by MsEleanorShelby, shared by Mooseturds! Thanks!

 

Wishing everyone a wonderful first day of Spring!! Hugs & Cheers! Grati ;->

Posted in British, Drama, Fangurling, Flowers, Goodwill, Gratiana Lovelace, Richard Armitage, smoulder, Social Justice, Society, Something About Love, Spring, Video | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Richard Armitage touting a new Vicar of Dibley retrospective program, March 02, 2021 Gratiana Lovelace (Post #1366)

 

 It’s always so lovely when the talented British actor Richard Armitage promotes his costars–even his past costars–creative projects!  Such a gentleman!  Thanks for sharing, Richard!

And we all remember Richard Armitage  portraying  the charming Harry Kennedy in 2006 (image below, via Cyn, Thanks! ).  Sighhh!

And I hope that we also get to view this Vicar of Dibley retrospective program in the U.S. and elsewhere.

Wishing everyone a lovely day! Hugs & Cheers! Grati ;->

 

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My Zoe film starring Julie Delpy and Richard Armitage opens in theatres today, February 26, 2021 Gratiana Lovelace (Post #1365)

 

Thanks to TeresaA for pointing me to the talented British actor Richard Armitage’s new tweets/retweets about his 2021 film My Zoe!  See her cap of Richard’s new twitter header:

 

The film is about a mother’s love that truly knows no bounds:

 

Richard Armitage portrays her recently divorced ex-husband–the father of little Zoe.  And he has to grapple with his ex-wife’s boundary shattering actions with regard to their daughter’s life and beyond.

 

Trailer via Film Independent article:

Posted in 2021, Drama, Family, Gratiana Lovelace, Julie Delpy in "My Zoe", Love and Relationships, parents, Richard Armitage, Video | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment