Sci-Fi Friday:  #RichardArmitage and #JulieDelpy film “My Zoe” to stream on Amazon, September 24, 2021 Gratiana Lovelace (Post #1415) 

The 2019 My Zoe film poster, courtesy of IMDB, with Sophia Ally as Zoe (left) and Julie Delpy as her Mom Isabelle (right), as well as being the film’s writer and director:

Cool!  I hope iTunes gets it, too!  I’m really looking forward to seeing #RichardArmitage and #JulieDelpy in #MyZoe!

And here is a character poster of Richard Armitage as Zoe’s Dad James, courtesy of an RCAtweet on February 26, 2021:

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

Posted in "My Zoe" film, Drama, Family, Fantasy, Fathers, Fiction, film, Gratiana Lovelace, Hope, Husbands, intrigue, Julie Delpy in "My Zoe", Love and Relationships, marriage, Medical, Morality, Mothers, parents, Richard Armitage, Science Fiction, Social Justice, social media, Society, Something About Love, Thriller | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

“Seeking the Niceties of Marriage”, Ch. 20:  A Mother’s Love, by Gratiana Lovelace, September 20, 2021 (Post #1414) 

 (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 Carlisle, Blake Ritson as Lord Kittredge Wells, Polly Walker as Lady Patience Creighton the Countess of Stoke, Bill Nighy as Lord Nigel Creighton the Earl of Stoke, Christina Cole as Lady Cecily Englewood Wells, 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 written at the creative discretion of this author.  And this is a gentle and tender romance (G to PG-13), but with some frank discussions about love and marriage put to humorous effect.  This is my disclaimer.]

 

Ch. 20:  A Mother’s Love

The following week, even as Lord Kittredge and Lady Cecily Wells extend their wedding trip by journeying to France for a few weeks, the fates are with them.  For though as Lord Kittredge and Lady Cecily disembark from their ship at the Port of Calais in France–and Lord Kittredge spies his aunt and uncle the Earl and Countess of Stoke—Lady Emily Creighton Carlisle’s parents blessedly do not see the newlyweds as the Creightons board their ship for Dover, England after an extended pleasure trip in France.

Ostensibly, the Creighton’s trip to France was expertly coordinated by the astute and experienced husband of thirty years Lord Nigel Creighton in order to give their youngest daughter Lady Emily Creighton Carlisle and her new husband Lord Edward Carlisle some private newlywed time to themselves—without familial intrusion or interference.  And with Lord Creighton the only parent in possession of the possible fact that their beloved daughter Lady Emily might gift them with another grandchild in the new year, Lady Patience Creighton is blissfully unaware of that her Grandmama status will be increasing from two to possibly three grandchildren.

But though Lady Patience Creighton was promised by her husband Lord Nigel Creighton a new wardrobe in France—which she delightedly received–she will not be delayed in returning home to England any longer.  She wants to congratulate her much loved nephew Lord Kittredge Wells upon his recent and surprisingly quick marriage to Lady Cecily.  Though the Wells’ ship has literally sailed back to England and Lady Patience will be thwarted in that goal.

So it is with the full force of motherly love and devotion, that Lady Patience and Lord Nigel Creighton hurry home to London to see how their daughter Lady Emily Carlisle fares as a newlywed.

***

This ship from Calais, France took an interminable six hours to reach England due to little wind, but choppy seas making sailing safely quite arduous.  And though the Creighton’s stayed overnight at Dover, England when they arrived–and then they had two seven hour carriage traveling days to reach London–Lady Patience insists that their first visit the very next day will be to their daughter Lady Emily Creighton Carlisle’s new London town home, Carlisle House.

And sensing that their lack of mother-in-law idyll is at an end—especially, since Lord Edward tasked two footmen to watch the Creighton London townhouse night and day for their arrival—their 11 hour warning from 9pm the night before means that the earliest they might expect Lady Emily’s parents is in the morning after breakfast.

Of course, mornings until about 12 noon are still a most unfortunate time for dear Lady Emily Creighton Carlisle, due to her virulent with child morning sickness.  And if her Mama were to see Lady Emily in that state unwell state, Lady Patience will know instantly of the happy event they anticipate.  And Lady Patience would end up trying everyone else’s—patience, that is.

For you see, Lady Emily does not feel that she could handle morning sickness with her over bearing Mama fluttering around her.  But Lord Edward has a plan to whisk his dear wife two hours away to Wells Castle in the countryside, where they spent their wedding trip—which, as it happens, nicely aligns with his dear wife Lady Emily’s wishes, as well.

So, as Lord Edward and Lady Emily Carlisle’s large traveling carriage is made ready with hot bricks, blankets, a picnic basket of food and drink to nibble upon, etc.—with a small wagon carrying their baggage, along with extra footmen for protection—they plan to set out for Wells Castle.

However, best laid plans, as the saying goes.  Because Lord Edward did not want to risk their safety by traveling at midnight, when marauders and criminals are about in force preying upon unsuspecting travelers.  And Lady Emily’s morning illness comes to her with a vengeance the following morning—and she cannot be moved, with traveling completely out of the question.

So it will remain for Lord Edward to forbid Lady Patience from terrorizing her daughter—his wife, Lady Emily—about her likely with child condition.  And he will then truly learn the measure of his Mother-in-law, Lady Patience.  For a Mother’s Love is never to be vanquished.

***

The following day after the Creighton’s returned from Paris, something extraordinary occurred.  Or rather, it did not occur, unexpectedly.  For Lord Edward and Lady Emily receive a short note from her parents relating that they have returned, and hope to pay a visit to them for tea this afternoon, if that is convenient.

Lord Edward is caught off guard by Lady Patience not pouncing upon them in the morning when Lady Emily’s with child nausea illness is at its worst.  Nor even do they turn up unannounced—nor uninvited.  But rather, Lady Patience requests to make a visit and she waits to hear her daughter and son-in-law’s reply.

Cuddling with his wife in the later morning to aid in her feeling better, Lord Edward and Lady Emily chat a bit.

Lord Edward: “Well, my guess is that we have your father Lord Creighton to thank for your Mama not descending upon us precipitously this day, My Love.”  He smiles, ever more grateful for his father-in-law.

Lady Emily:  “Perhaps.”  She states weakly for her morning travails always weaken her.  And her nausea and such illness seems to becoming more virulent. So during these times of later morning with child illness, she is less than her privately loquacious self.

Lord Edward: “So shall I reply to your Mama and Papa that we look forward to seeing them for tea around 4 o’clock today? Hmmm?  Best to get their return visit over with, don’t you think?”  He asks hopefully.

Lady Emily: “As you wish, Edward Dear.  And I think that I would like to sleep some now.”  She states rather forlornly.

Lord Edward:  “Very good, Emmy Love.  I will join you.”  For he know that her best comfort is found in his arms.

So first, Lord Edward writes the requisite note of invitation to tea to his Mother-in-law and his Father-in-law, the Creightons.  Then he removes his outer clothes as silently as he can, then slides into bed with his wife as gently as he can so as not to cause unnecessary vibrations upon their bed surface for Lady Emily.

***

At precisely 4 o’clock in the afternoon, Lord and Lady Creighton’s carriage arrives at Carlisle House in London, in order to take tea with their daughter Lady Emily and her newlywed husband Lord Edward Carlisle.  The Carlisle House Butler shows them to the front parlor and then goes to fetch Lord Carlisle.

For you see, Lord Edward had hoped to be downstairs already to greet them.  But Lady Emily had a relapse of nausea and such after their light luncheon at 1 o’clock.  So she is still abed, and without having gotten any rest yet.  So Lord Edward hastily redresses and promises his wife that he will be back soon.  Lord Edward is so very worried for her healthy and well being, that he forgets to tie his cravat, leaving it hanging around his neck.

As Lord Edward bounds down the stairs and then greets his in-laws in the front parlor, he smiles broadly for their benefit.

Lord Edward:  “Lady and Lord Creighton, I am so very glad to welcome you to Carlisle House.  For you are almost our very first visitors since Lady Emily and I married four weeks ago.”

Lady Patience: “Oh?  Who was the first?”  She pouts, her thinking that the Bride’s parents—such as they are—should have been granted the first visit.

Lord Creighton: “My Dear one, we were out of the country.  Or I am certain that would have been the case.”  Then he changes the subject.  “And the lovely gown you wear now, and the gifts we brought for Emmy and her new husband will be certainly appreciated.”

Lord Edward: “Indeed they will, Lord Creighton.  And you do look very fetching Lady Creighton.”  Lord Edward had caught on to his Father-in-law’s deft handling of his wife.  “And our only other visitors were Lord Kitt and his new bride Lady Cecily before they headed to France as well.”

Lady Patience: “Oh!  We missed seeing them.  Well, c’est la vie, as the French say.  We will see them upon their return.”  She states sanguinely.

And sanguine is not a state that Lady Patience is frequently in, but Lord Edward is grateful for it now.

Lord Edward:  “And we must beg your indulgence, but dear Lady Emily is feeling under the weather.  It came on after luncheon, so perhaps something she ate did not agree with her. So it will be just me hosting you for tea today.  And we hope that you can come back when Lady Emily is feeling better.”  Though he thinks that might be months from now.

Lady Patience:  “Or, her pregnancy illness is even more severe than was my own.  Do you remember, Nigel?”

Lord Creighton: “Oh yes, My Love.  You suffered so greatly, but our daughters were the happy results of your sacrifice.”

Lord Edward is stupefied that has not only Lady Patience guessed the truth—that Lady Emily is with child—but that she is so calm about it.

Lady Patience: “Let us not trouble you with hosting us to tea today, Lord Edward.  Your undone cravat tells me that you have been tenderly comforting our Lady Emily, and we do not want to delay you.  But might we at least be able to see our daughter for a few minutes before we leave?”  She requests plaintively, with a worried loving mother’s look.

Lord Edward: “Of course, we thank you.  Now I must ask that you make no loud noises, nor vibrations in walking into the room.  Emmy is very sensitive to both at the moment.”  Her parents nod their heads in agreement.

***

So it is with only mild trepidation that Lord Edward leads and precedes his in-laws up the stairs to the second floor where his and Lady Emily’s master bedchamber suite is.  Lord Edward give a light tap of two knocks upon their bed chamber door.

Lord Edward: “Emily Darling, Your parents have come to see you for but a moment before they leave so you can rest.  May we come in?”  He asks solicitously—and alerts her to her parents’ imminent presence.

And with her ladies maid having directed one of the cleaning maids to clear away the evidence of her illness a quarter hour ago—along with her ladies maid helping her refresh herself in her bathing chamber—Lady Emily feels a bit better, though she is still quite unwell.

Lady Emily: “For a moment.”  She states concisely.

So Lord Edward ushers Lady Emily’s parents into their bed chamber, with Lady Emily lying upon several fluffed up pillow in a fresh nightgown.  And at Lord Edward behest, Lady Patience slowly walks to her bedridden daughter with a sweet smile upon her face.  Then she gently kisses her forehead, barely making contact so as not to jostle her.

Lady Patience: “Emily Dear, Your Papa and I are so glad to see you again.  But we’re sorry that your illness prevents us from staying long.  You must have your rest.”

And from standing behind his Mother-in-law Lady Creighton, Lord Edward mouths to his wife and points to Lady Creighton.

Lord Edward:  “She knows.” Not being able to see him clearly, Lady Emily looks quizzically at him.

Lord Creighton: “It’s alright, Emily Dear.  Your Mama knows. Though I did not tell her.”

Lady Patience:  “Well, not directly anyway.”  Seeing the lingeringly confused expression upon her daughter’s face, her Mama enlightens her.  “He talks in his sleep.  So I have known for several days now that you hope to make me a Grandmama again in the new year.  Congratulations to you both!” Lady Patience smiles radiantly and gently kisses her daughter’s forehead again.

Lord Edward: “Hmmm.”  That solves that puzzle, thinks Lord Edward.  But he really wants to find a diplomatic way to end this audience so his Dear Wife Lady Emily can try to rest.

Lord Creighton: “But you rest now, Emmy Dear.  We have brought you and Edward some presents from France, that you may look at later.”  He sets down one of the two bags that he is holding.  Then Lady Patience takes the other bag from him.

Lady Patience: “And Emmy Sweetheart, we brought a few things you might like from your oldLadyEmilys-Fabric-dolly-MissPetunia_Sept19-2021byCerisebbcom--Grati-edit-crop-szd room to cheer you.”  First, she pulls out of the second bag a much loved medium sized cloth dolly with a flower patterned dress [(2) right].

Lady Emily: “Miss Petunia!”  Lady Emily whispers in hushed wonder as she takes her much loved dolly from her Mama, kisses it, and then hugs it to her breast.  Lady Emily is petite anyway.  So with her now cradling her dolly in her arms, she looks almost child like.

Lady Patience:  After setting out a few more decorative items, she brings out of the bag a small wooden angel and sets it on her daughter’s bedside table.  She pushes a switch and the angel turns while a lilting lullaby plays. “When you’re feeling better, you can tell us what else to bring you from your old room.”

Lady Emily tearingly holds up her arms for her Mama’s embrace, and Lady Patience gently hugs her daughter.

Lord Creighton: “We must go, Patience Dear, so Emmy may get some rest.”  Lady Patience nods her head and blows her daughter a kiss, before they leave.

The Butler hovering nearby, guides Lord and Lady Creighton back downstairs and out to their waiting carriage.

Lord Edward quickly and gratefully removes his outer clothes not 20 minutes since he donned them again.  And then he gently slides into his wife’s bed again, in order to cradle her in his arms as she tries to rest.

Lord Edward: “Your parents short visit was lovely, Emily Darling.  Now you rest.”  He kisses her temple.  But Lady Emily is already fast asleep, clutching her childhood dolly Miss Petunia—as the angel music box continues to play a lilting lullaby.

And Lord Edward thinks that though his Mother-in-law Lady Patience can be overbearing at times, she is also a loving Mother toward his dear wife Lady Emily.  And with Lady Emily becoming a  new mother in the new year, that Lady Patience’s loving mothering might be just what Lady Emily needs to help get her through the long months ahead—in moderation, of course.

And with his own parents having passed on, Lord Edward finds it a welcome boon to have kind parental figures in the form of his in-laws Lord and Lady Creighton.  Who, along with Lord Kittredge Wells and his new bride, are family to him now.  And expanding Lord Edward’s family is certainly a very nice bonus of his being married to Lady Emily.

To be continued with Chapter 21

References for Ch. 20  of “Seeking the Niceties of Marriage”, by Gratiana Lovelace (Post #1414)   September 20, 2021

  1. My “Seeking the Niceties of Marriage” story cover  illustration is comprised of:  a) an  ivory lace background  with Grati edit, found at torrid.com;   b)  a 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’s much loved medium sized cloth dolly Miss Petunia with a flower patterned dress was found at  https://www.cerisebb.com/listing/1016926230/petite-doll-handmade-doll-one-of-a-kind

 

Gratiana Lovelace Wattpad site link for Ch. 20  of “Seeking the Niceties of Marriage”:
https://www.wattpad.com/1132031224-seeking-the-niceties-of-marriage-by-gratiana

Previous SAL blog Post #1411  link for Ch. 19  “Seeking the Niceties of Marriage”:

“Seeking the Niceties of Marriage”, Ch. 19 (PG-13):  In the family way, by Gratiana Lovelace, September 07, 2021 (Post#1411) 

Posted in "Seeking the Niceties of Marriage", by Gratiana Lovelace, Creative Writing, Gratiana Lovelace, Historical Fiction, Love and Relationships, Mothers, Richard Armitage, Romance, Storytelling | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Sir Guy Day Friday! Richard Armitage as Sir Guy smiles sweetly, September 17, 2021 Gratiana Lovelace (Post #1413)

Sometimes we just need the talented British Actor  #RichardArmitage as Sir Guy’s smile. Thanks to CatiaB for sharing the RA image! ❤
SirGuy--RH3-RichardArmitage-as-long-hair-smiling-SirGuy_Sept16-2021viaCatiaB
Wishing everyone a safe, healthy, & peaceful day! Hugs ❤ & Cheers! Grati ;->
Posted in Gratiana Lovelace, Guy Day Friday, Richard Armitage, Sir Guy of Gisborne, Social Justice, social media, Something About Love | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Soothing Sunday Smiles from Richard Armitage! September 12, 2021 by Gratiana Lovelace (Post #1412)

Sometimes all we need is a small hopeful smile to brighten our day. Thanks to FranJustFran for sharing this RA char image below!

RAchar--2020x--RichardArmitage-character-w-sml-hopeful-smile_Sept10-2021viaFranJustFran--Grati-brt

And here are a few more RAndom smiles to brighten our day (their file names contain who previously shared the image):

RAPortrait--2020x--RIchardArmitage-bearded-longer-hair-in-blue-sweater-next-to-window_June01-2021viaPinterest-viaGrati  RAPortrait--2017x--RichardArmitage-leaning-&smiling-in-blue-gray-plaid-suit-and-ltbl-sweater_Aug21-2021viaSimonne

RAPortrait--2020June--Empire-Podcast-ChekovShortStories_part1_June01-2021viaGrati-szd  RA9DC7~1

keepcalmrichardarmitageissmiling_sidebarrevjun0813gratianalovelace200x297

And I find that smiles often elicit a smile in others, brightening their day.

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

P.S.   And as a side note, I hope to do more story writing today.

Posted in Fangurling, Fun, Goodwill, Positivity, Richard Armitage, Smiles, Social Justice, social media, Society, Something About Love, Soothing Sunday | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

“Seeking the Niceties of Marriage”, Ch. 19 (PG-13):  In the family way, by Gratiana Lovelace, September 07, 2021 (Post#1411) 

(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 Carlisle, Blake Ritson as Lord Kittredge Wells, Polly Walker as Lady Patience Creighton the Countess of Stoke, Bill Nighy as Lord Nigel Creighton the Earl of Stoke, Christina Cole as Lady Cecily Englewood Wells, 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 written at the creative discretion of this author.  And this is a gentle and tender romance (G to PG-13), but with some frank discussions about love and marriage put to humorous effect.  This is my disclaimer.]

Ch. 19 (PG-13):  In the family way

Elsewhere in London, Lord Edward Carlisle muses upon his lifelong best friend Lord [Kittredge Wells] hasty wedding as his young and also newlywed wife Lady Emily naps next to him in their London Carlisle House bed chamber’s large bed after a lovely romantic tryst after returning home from Lord Kitt’s and Lady Cecily’s wedding this Saturday evening.  He hopes that the new Earl and Countess of Fielding will come to a marital understanding that is mutually agreeable to them both—him not knowing that they already have reached an understanding.  Lord Edward is especially concerned because he knows how blessed he is with his dear wife Lady Emily. She is his treasure and his sweet love.

And the also recently wed Lord Edward’s own wife Lady Emily dreams happily in the loving cocoon of romantic tenderness that she and her husband share.  She also dreams of their child that is to be in eight months time.  It will be a long wait, but they will be rewarded at the end with their baby son or baby daughter.  She cannot wait to be its Mama.  Of course Lady Emily’s Mama Lady Creighton will also be a doting Grandmama—Lady Emily only prays that her Mama will not be too doting.  And she thanks the stars that her Mama Lady Creighton is still in France.  For now.

Lady Emily also hopes that Lord Kitt and Lady Cecily will be similarly blessed with children so they can be playmates and second cousins to each other—since she and Lord Kitt are first cousins.  So it is accurate to surmise that Lady Emily has also not been taken into Lord Kitt and Lady Cecily’s confidences about their marital arrangement.

So the Viscount and Viscountess of Carlisle—Lord Edward and Lady Emily—will be in for a surprise about their newlywed friends and cousins Lord Kittredge Wells and his new bride Lady Cecily Englewood Wells.

***

And so it is that the [second] weekend following the Earl and Countess of Fielding’s nuptials that the newlyweds return home to London in order to arrange their subsequent departure to journey to France that Lord Kitt promised his new wife Lady Cecily.

And they are both delighted to be back in London to see friends and family before they are off to a real foreign country on an extended wedding trip.  So after refreshing themselves at Lord Wells main London Townhouse—with first a loving tumble in their master bed chamber, since their two hour journey back to London from Wells Castle did not afford them enough privacy [and comfort] within their carriage to be loving with each other, and then baths—the newlyweds visit their cousins, the Carlisle’s this fine afternoon.

Upon being announced by the Carlisle House butler upon the back terrace,  the newlyweds are engulfed in hugs and handshakes.

Lady Emily: “Cecily!”  She squeals in delight with her usual youthful zeal as she embraces her new cousin by marriage warmly.  “How was your wedding trip?  Did you have a nice time at Wells Castle?  We loved our wedding trip there.”  Lady Emily asks the usual questions,

Lady Cecily: “Emily.”  She smiles blushingly at being questioned so directly about their wedding trip.  “Our stay at Wells Castle was lovely.”  Lady Cecily replies sweetly, with her being more reserved than Lady Emily.

Lord Kittredge:   Grasping his best friend’s hand Lord Edward and shaking it warmly, he seems to have boundless energy and radiant smiles. “Old man, you are a sight for sore eyes.”

Lord Edward: “Am I?  And look at you, Kitt.  I have never seen you look so happy.  I trust all is well.”  He phrases his last statement sotto voce, so the ladies do not over hear.

Lord Kittredge: “Oh my yes!”  He grins sheepishly happily.  Then he sneaks a little look at his wife Lady Cecily, and winks at her.  She blinks and blushes shyly at him in response.

Lord Edward: “Hmmmm!  By the look of the both of you, everything is very well.” He smiles as his wife Lady Emily gracefully takes his arm and the two couples stand gazing at each other.

Lady Emily: “And I hope that you both will be also blessed with a baby soon, so our children can grow up together.”  She smiles beatifically at them.  Then she notices Lady Cecily’s blush paling somewhat.

Lady Cecily: “Oh I would like nothing better than to adopt a daughter[, to love and nurture].  But I fear that I am too petite to become pregnant.”

Lord Kitt: “Yes, My Dear wife Lady Cecily and I have agreed to co-parent an adopted daughter together.”  Then he spontaneously kisses her temple as she snuggles into her husband’s side.  Scandalous!  But they are merely mirroring Lord Edward and Lady Emily’s loving embrace now.

Lord Edward: “Ahh!  Well, we wish you well in that endeavor.”  And Lord Edward guesses that Lord Kitt’s seemingly radiant happiness is due to him not having to bed his wife Lady Cecily—which was Lord Kitt’s lifelong philosophy, before he met and married his wife Lady Cecily.  It is just that Lord Edward has not been informed of a change in his best friend’s philosophy.

Then as couples do, the ladies break off to talk about womanly  topics in Lady Emily’s very feminine boudoir, and the men repair to Lord Edward’s study to discuss manly topics.

***

Lord Edward: Ever one to get to the point, he manfully asks.  “So, Kitt.  Any developments that I should know about?”

Lord Kittredge: “Developments?”  He asks quizzically, not understanding his best friend’s line of questioning.

Lord Edward: “Did you, or did you not bed your wife, Lady Cecily [during your wedding trip]?” He asks bemusedly.

Lord Kittredge: “That, Old Man, is private and personal.” He blushingly bristles.

Lord Edward: “Oh really?  You were not so private about [disdaining] taking a wife to bed [prior] to getting married.”

Lord Kittredge: “Well[, um, I …].”  He stammers embarrassedly.  “I do not understand it, Edward.”  He shakes his head.  “[But my] wife and I are quite in sympathy with each other.”  He states vaguely[–again, with a smile].

Lord Edward: “I see.”  Lord Edwards nods his head knowingly.  “And about how many times have you been in sympathy with each other since you married [two weeks ago]?”  He asks knowingly, as nearly a newlywed himself.

Lord Kittredge:  “So far, about two or three times [… each] day.”  Lord Kittredge’s smile is half astonishment and half a silly grin.

Lord Edward:  “Well then Kitt, you should be well on your way to setting up your nursery.  Congratulations!”

Lord Kittredge:  “What do you mean setting up my nursery, Edward?” He looks quizzically at his best friend.

Lord Edward:  Lord Kitt’s question causes Lord Edward to stare at him in incredulity.  “Kitt.  You do know where babies come from, do you not?”

Lord Kittredge:  “Of course.” Lord Kittredge huffs in annoyance.  “From their mothers.” He rolls his eyes.

Lord Edward’s eyes widen in shock at Lord Kittredge’s seeming [lack of] understanding about the cause and effect of marital loving.

Lord Edward: “Khhh!”  He coughs at his best friends seemingly total [ignorance about procreation].  Then he proceeds to relate the basic knowledge of how babies come into being for his friend.

Lord Kittredge: Lord Kittredge’s face now ashen pale, he turns to Lord Edward.  “But my wife is adamantly opposed to becoming pregnant herself—due to her belief that she is too petite for child bearing.  Good Lord! She could already be with child, but we simply do not know it yet.  And if she is not with child, how do we prevent her becoming so?”

Lord Edward enlightens Lord Kittredge further, giving him options for baby making prevention—with the caveat about the only certain way to prevent babies.   Lord Kittredge vehemently shakes his head no to that option.  For given Lord Kittredge’s and his wife Lady Cecily’s loving passions, that seem to only grow stronger, they will not be giving them up.

***

The ladies are having a much more enjoyable time chatting about all things being newly married.

Lady Cecily: “Oh and Emily, Lord Kitt gave me carte blanche to change the decoration of any room I wish in our London townhouse–well, except for his study.”

Lady Emily: “Ha ha ha ha ha!  Our husbands must have their little enclaves of manliness.”  She cutely rolls her eyes.  “But that is a small indulgence that we give them, when they are so tender and loving with us.”  Lady Emily pinkens to think of her husband’s [loving] consideration of her.

Lady Emily:  “Oh yes!”  Then Lady Cecily forthrightly shares her changed views upon the subject of marriage.  “Our first time [loving] was a bit awkward—with seemingly neither of us knowing what we were doing.  But now?”  She wistfully gazes up at the ceiling.  “Now?  We are quite enamored of our loving trysts.”  She smiles sweetly saucily—if they are not considered to be mutually exclusive descriptors.

Lady Emily:  “I am so glad for you both, Cecily!  And perhaps our future children will be playmates, as well as cousins.”  She adds gleefully.

Lady Cecily:  “Indeed!”  She smiles [sweetly].

And though neither Lord Kittredge nor Lady Cecily Wells has an inkling yet about her possible with child state as they prepare to visit the real foreign country of France for their extended wedding trip, Lady Emily might just get her wish for a new generation of cousin friends, in their children.

To be continued with Chapter 20

References for Ch. 19  of “Seeking the Niceties of Marriage”, by Gratiana Lovelace
(Post #1411)   September 07, 2021

  1. My “Seeking the Niceties of Marriage” story cover  illustration is comprised of:  a)  an ivory lace background  with Grati edit, found at torrid.com;  b)   a 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.


Gratiana Lovelace Wattpad site link for Ch.19  of “Seeking the Niceties of Marriage”:
https://www.wattpad.com/1126555848-seeking-the-niceties-of-marriage-by-gratiana

Previous SAL blog Post #1410  link for Ch. 18  “Seeking the Niceties of Marriage”:

“Seeking the Niceties of Marriage”, Ch. 18 (PG-13):  Loving Tenderness,  by Gratiana Lovelace, August 28, 2021 (Post #1410)

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“Seeking the Niceties of Marriage”, Ch. 18 (PG-13):  Loving Tenderness,  by Gratiana Lovelace, August 28, 2021 (Post #1410)

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

Story cover for Seeking the Niceties of Marriage[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 Carlisle, Blake Ritson as Lord Kittredge Wells, Polly Walker as Lady Patience Creighton, Bill Nighy as Lord Nigel Creighton the Earl of Stoke, Christina Cole as Lady Cecily Englewood Wells, 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 written at the creative discretion of this author.  And this is a gentle and tender romance (G to PG-13), but with some frank discussions about love and marriage put to humorous effect.  This is my disclaimer.]

Ch. 18:  Loving Tenderness

Silk. His wife’s skin feels so soft and smooth, like fine ivory silk.  And her long golden curly locks smell of rosewater.  Then Lord Kittredge gently, softly bestows a tender kiss upon her soft bare shoulder.  His senses are heightened as he awakens upon their first morning after their wedding night.  He smiles drowsily to find himself with his arms wrapped around his newlywed wife Lady Cecily, with her bare back flush against his bare chest.  She is a tiny thing and fits perfectly within the tenderness of his arms’ loving caresses.

Then memories of their tenderly loving wedding night flood back into his thoughts and become a waking dream as he remembers their each tender moment together—evoking feelings of newness and wonder, in him at least.  He has yet to solicit her opinions upon the matter, she is still sleeping.  And he will not intrude upon her rest. Though happily, her sweet responsiveness to his kisses, caresses, and such, last night were wholly encouraging of his nascent loving ministrations.

Then Lady Cecily moves slightly—she wiggles actually, nestling further into her husband’s loving embrace of her from behind.  And quite naturally, Lord Kittredge finds himself quite not so sleepy any more.  And this pleasing tactile intimacy of husband and wife is all so new to him, that he is uncertain whether his wife will want to be not sleepy with him, again.

For their marriage was [finalized] last evening with their consummating their marriage. The towel with the Earl of Fielding crest embroidered upon it lies slightly folded in the wicker basket to the side of the bed, with the towel bearing the legal evidence of their union.  And they had agreed to only one loving coupling. So he feels that he must respect her wishes upon the matter—unless, of course, they have altered, as have his.  And he muses that they do have a second embroidered linen towel, under her bed pillow.

Lady Cecily: “Hhhh!”  She sighs in her still sleeping state, her feeling warm and cared for within her loving husband’s arms. Her memories of their loving wedding night inhabited her sleeping dreams in a very pleasant way—for Lord Kittredge was a most tender and considerately loving husband—despite the painful bit in the middle.

Realizing their bed chamber has turned cold, Lord Kittredge moves to slip out of their bed to stoke up the fire. Lady Cecily instantly feels his absence—of his personal body warmth and his loving embrace.  She turns [onto] her back and drowsily opens her eyes to see her husband sitting up in their bed, and she reaches out to gently touch his arm.

Lord Kittredge: He turns back toward her.  “Ohhh! Good morning, Cecily Darling.   I am sorry to have woken you.  I am simply going to stoke up the fire to warm our room.”  He pauses.  “Uhh.  Then I must, ah, …do a few things before returning to bed.”  He strokes his stubbly chin, which needs a shave if he is to not irritate her skin with his kisses, he hopes.  And he must chew on a mint leaf to freshen his breath, and such.

Lady Cecily:  “Oh yes, of course.  Perhaps while you are increasing the fireplace warmth, I will also … do a few things.”  She dissembles cutely as she rises [with her back to him,] and dons her silk robe.

It is early yet, with the sun’s rays of dawn not penetrating their North facing room’s curtains—which are closed, anyway.  So each of them attends to their personal needs in their respective bedrooms’ bathing chambers.  And a mostly clean shaven Lord Kittredge lies back down in his bed in his bedchamber, wondering if his wife Lady Cecily will return to him—or if, she will finish her rest in her bed chamber.  The minutes tick by, and he thinks that she must not be returning to him.  Though, he had interpreted her phrasing this morn as indicating that she would rejoin him.  But perhaps, she had a change of heart.

Lord Kittredge looks fixedly at his closed bed chamber door leading to the sitting room between the two bed chambers.  Then he hears a faint knock at his bed chamber door—and he wonders if it is a servant come to collect the wicker basket to take to Mrs. George, for her to witness the evidence of the legality of his marriage with Lady Cecily.  Though servants usually annoyingly scratch on the doors as a supposedly less jarring way of indicating their presence—except for the need to paint the doors due to the scratching wearing [away] the paint, thinks Lord Kittredge

Lady Cecily: “May I come in, Kitt?”  Lady Cecily asks shyly yet eagerly, betokening her wish to return to her husband’s arms.

Lord Kittredge: “Of course, Cecily!”  He replies eagerly.  He would stand to greet her properly, but he forgot where he placed his robe last night—him not seeing that his robe had fallen onto the floor between the end of the bed and the settee.  When he had tended to the fire in the fireplace this morning he had done so with alacrity due to his unclothed state, when she was out of the room.  So he stays seated in his bed, with the bed linens covering him up to his stomach.

Lady Cecily smiles as she enters her husband’s bed chamber again.  Their wedding being only yesterday—and their unplanned wedding night loving tenderness last night to legalize their union—making her uncertain if her husband wants to extend their understanding as she does of their visit to a foreign country as she metaphorically described their marital loving last night.

Lady Cecily: Not yet moving to return to her husband’s bed, she remarks with a smile.  “Oh, the fireplace is emitting a pleasing warmth again.  Thank you.  I had found that my bed chamber and bathing chamber were quite cold.”

Lord Kittredge:  Him seeing her standing still and not moving toward him, he asks solicitously.  “Would you like me to stoke up those fires in your bed chamber and bathing chamber for you, or did you ring for a servant?”

Lady Cecily: “Thank you, no.  It is warm in here, if I may stay?”  She asks hopefully.

Lord Kittredge: “Of course, come back to bed and warm up.”  Then he blushes at his bold entreaty  to her, then adds.  “If you want to.”

Lady Cecily:  “I do.”  She smiles and walks around the bed to her side, removes her robe with her bare back to him, and then she gracefully slides back into bed and lies down, covering herself up to her bare shoulders..

They are each a little shy with the other, not knowing the protocol for their post wedding night interactions—since they have yet to reaffirm or to set new terms.  Then they each speak at the same time.

Lord Kittredge: “Good morning, My Darling Cecily.” He smiles brightly at her, his admiration for her shining through.

Lady Cecily:  “Good morning, Kitt [Dear].”  She smiles sweetly at him.  He nods, encouraging her to continue as they each turn to their sides facing each other.  “I just wanted to thank you for your loving tenderness toward me last night, as we … finalized our union, for the legal formalities.”  She blushes.

Lord Kittredge: “Of course!  It was my honor to treat you gently.”  Now he smiles, also slightly blushing.  “Are you feeling well this morning, My Dear?”  He asks solicitously of her.  Because he does not know if her wedding night pain still lingers.

Lady Cecily: “I am well, thank you.”  She smiles shyly, understanding what he was referring to.  “And you, are you well?”

Lord Kittredge:  “I am, thank you.” He nods.  Actually, Lord Kittredge feels more than well.  But he does not want to intrude upon his wife’s person, if she wants to keep them to their original agreement of loving only once, for the formalities.  And his face must be showing his possible disappointment.

Lady Cecily:  “You frowned, Kitt.  What is wrong?  Did I do something wrong?”  She worries because what they did together on their wedding night was something that she never would have expected—let alone, that she would like it so much.

Lord Kittredge:  “Oh!  Nothing to trouble you about, My Dear.”  He replies stoically.  Lord Kittredge is too untutored in the ways of love and romance to discern her feelings upon the matter.

Lady Cecily: “Very well. Shall we sleep in a bit longer?” She asks coaxingly.

Lord Kittredge:  “Of course.”  He agrees congenially, then he lies flat upon his back and closes his eyes.  And he tries to relax his face, so that he does not frown in disappointment—of their not loving again this morning.

Lady Cecily:  “And, Kitt, though the fireplace is emitting a pleasing warmth, may I cuddle with you again?”  She asks boldly, for they are each unclothed under the bed covers. And for a recently bedded and formerly innocent wife, Lady Cecily is quite the alluring seductress of her husband.

Without opening his eyes, Lord Kittredge raises his left arm from lying over the bed linens—inviting her to cuddle with him.  She scoots over to him and lifts up the bed linens and cuddles closely with her husband.  Naturally, Lord Kittredge reacts to her closeness [lying] upon his person.

Lord Kittredge: “Ohhh!”  He gasps in eager desire and opens his eyes to gaze into her eyes.

Lady Cecily: “Hmmm.”  She purrs in answering accord, her pupils dilated with desire as she gazes into her husband’s eyes.

Then as Lord Kittredge’s other arm also embraces her, Lady Cecily leans up and tenderly kisses her husband upon his lips.  Naturally, he kisses her back–as they begin their very loving morning.

So the newlyweds Lord Kittredge and Lady Cecily decide that they will LO7802~1
very happily continue with the rest of their two week wedding trip at Wells Castle as if they are still visiting a foreign country–as well as, them also enjoying visiting the local village shops and having idyllic countryside picnics [(2) right], now and again.  Besides, they can also truly visit a foreign country at some other point in time—maybe even France as they had first settled upon.

And when the newlyweds will eventually return to London at the end of their wedding trip, their friends and family will be in for quite the surprise.

To be continued with Chapter 19

 

References for Ch. 18  of “Seeking the Niceties of Marriage”, by Gratiana Lovelace (Post #1410)   August 28, 2021 

  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 Kittredge and Lady Cecily happily and cozily  picnicking during their wedding trip to Wells Castle is represented by an image of Blake Ritson as Rev. Elton and Christina Cole as Mrs. Elton in Emma (2009) and found at https://www.imdb.com/title/tt1366312/mediaviewer/rm447252224/; photo by Laurence Cendrowicz

Gratiana Lovelace Wattpad site link for Ch.18  of “Seeking the Niceties of Marriage”:
https://www.wattpad.com/1121965754-seeking-the-niceties-of-marriage-by-gratiana

Previous SAL blog Post #1406  link for Ch. 17  “Seeking the Niceties of Marriage”:
https://gratianads90.wordpress.com/2021/08/15/seeking-the-niceties-of-marriage-ch-17-newlyweds-dilemma-by-gratiana-lovelace-august-15-2021-post1406/

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

Grati’s Something About Love blog celebrates 10 year blogiversary! August 25, 2021 Gratiana Lovelace (Post #1409)

Today is my 10 year blogiversary for my Something About Love blog here.  Wow!  Time flies when you’re having fun, as the saying goes!

Thank you to all of you, my friends across the miles and around the world, for making my experience of sharing with you my stories, essays, and graphics–and my admiRAtion for a certain tall, dark, handsome & brilliant British actor and storyteller named Richard Armitage [below]–such a joyous one!
A 2012 Richard Armitage portrait in my wallpaper "Every cloud has a silver lining--with Richard Armitage in our thoughts."

I continue to strive to have my SAL blog be a positive place where you can come to relax and enjoy–perhaps, letting go of your cares as a respite, to recharge your batteries and to renew your energies.

There are some serious moments as well, especially as now, when world events at home and abroad make us all wish for resolution to illness, strife and tragedy.  Those in need are never far from our thoughts.

And we all do our bit to help when we can.  Small actions of aid for others are sometimes the most vital, helpful, and welcome expressions of care.  Never doubt that we all have the power to lift up each other.

So as my SAL blog continues to roll along here for another 10 years and more, I thank you most sincerely for your participation in reading/enjoying my stories, essays, and graphics– voting/starring them, and sharing your thoughts with me.  And I have to admit, it gives me a little thrill when you also return to stories and essays that I have shared in the the past, as well as, my current work.

I wish for you you every happiness that you wish for yourselves–including safety, health, and peace.

Hugs, Love, & Cheers!  Grati  ;->

Posted in 2021, blogiversary, Community, Compassion, Creative Writing, Creativity, Graphic, Gratiana Lovelace, Richard Armitage, Social Justice, social media, Society, Something About Love, Storytelling, Thanksgiving, TheRApy, Wonderful Wednesday | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 17 Comments

Fun Day Sunday! Richard Armitage’s 50th Birthday Video Message! August 22, 2021 Gratiana Lovelace (Post #1408)

 

Happy 50th Birthday to the talented British actor Richard Armitage!  Wishing you every happiness that you wish for yourself!

And here is his fabulous 50th Birthday video message:

Thanks to TeresaA for sharing the video link!


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

Posted in Birthday, Blessings, Fangurling, Fun Day Sunday, Goodwill, Gratiana Lovelace, Richard Armitage, Social Justice, social media, Video | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Guylty’s 2021 #RA50 Auctions for the LOROS charity for Richard Armitage’s 50th bday are live, August 18, 2021 Gratiana Lovelace (Post #1407) 

 

With the talented Richard Armitage turning 50 on August 22nd, 2021,  what are his admiring fans to do? And thanks to KatieC for the RA image below!

RAPortrait--2021x--RichardArmitage-smiling-sexy-in-black_Apr23-2021viaKatieC-viaGrati

Celebrate by making donations to one or more of his designated charities. 

#RA50-Auctions-are-live_Aug17-2021byGuylty

And RA blogger extRAordinaire Guylty has created an extRAvaganza of an #RA50 Auctions for his birthday to benefit the LOROS Hospice charity.  

 

And the #RA50 Auctions only go through Aug. 20th, so be sure to visit early and often.  There is even an option to donate if you aren’t able to bid on anything.

Guylty’s rules and regulation for the #RA50Auctions are found here.

And here is an excerpt on the #RA50Auctions for finding the ebay auction link etc (found at the bottom of her #RA50Auctions are live post, after the list of 50 items in the auction):

“All auctions are set to run for three days, hopefully making it possible for everyone, no matter what time-zone, to take a look and bid.ETA: NOTE: In case you experience problems accessing the auctions by navigating to eBay directly, there is a work-around. Instead of going to eBay and searching for my name, access my page on eBay via the link above (https://www.ebay.ie/usr/guylty). Once there, change the country ending “.ie” to “.co.uk” (or your local eBay) and press enter, and you will hopefully see my page with all the auctions on offer. Thank you to Rachel for this tip! …”

Enjoy!  And Kudos to Guylty for creating and organizing this event!   Wow!

Hugs & Cheers!  Grati  ;->

Posted in #RA50 Auctions in 2021, Auction, Birthday, Charities, Fangurling, Gifs, Goodwill, Gratiana Lovelace, Guylty Pleasure, Portraits, Positivity, Richard Armitage, Smiles, Social Justice, social media, Society, Something About Love, Wonderful Wednesday | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

“Seeking the Niceties of Marriage”, Ch. 17:  Newlyweds’ Dilemma,  by Gratiana Lovelace, August 15, 2021 (Post#1406) 

(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 Carlisle, Blake Ritson as Lord Kittredge Wells, Polly Walker as Lady Patience Creighton, Bill Nighy as Lord Nigel Creighton the Earl of Stoke, Christina Cole as Lady Cecily Englewood Wells, 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 written at the creative discretion of this author.  And this is a gentle and tender romance (G to PG-13), but with some frank discussions about love and marriage put to humorous effect.  This is my disclaimer.]

Ch. 17 (PG-13):  Newlyweds’ Dilemma

As their friends and family wave them off for their wedding trip, Lord Kittredge and Lady Cecily Wells—as the new Earl and Countess of Fielding–the newlyweds settle into their large sumptuously comfortable enclosed carriage with small talk.

However, Lord Kittredge is feeling a bit nervous as a new husband LordKittredgeWells--isBlakeRitson-asRevElton-in-Emma-2009-looking-pensive_Apr18-2021viaIMDBcom[(2) right], and he is not well versed in making small talk with ladies as his blanching countenance attests. Whereas his Bride Lady Cecily initially looks interestedly outside the window.  So silence ensues for a bit.  They are a handsome couple, who with the rush to the altar had little time for true courtship—wherein a feeling of familiarity might have had a chance to flower.

Eventually, Lady Cecily’s curiosity comes to the forefront and she turns to her new husband, who cordially smiles at her but waits for her to speak.  So her sensing her new husband’s unease in just chatting, Lady Cecily asks a most pertinent question of him.

Lady Cecily: “Where are you taking me?  Us?”  The new Countess of Fielding forthrightly asks her new husband with her piercing gaze [(3) right].  Lady Cecily rarely, if ever, dissembles.  Rather, she poses the central issue in question.  And the central issue in question currently is their wedding trip.

Lord Kittredge:  Warming to the topic and [to] his wife, he cordially responds to her.  “My Dear, we are going to my country estate at Wells Castle, to stay for the week.  Emmy and Edward enjoyed their wedding trip there, so I thought that we might give it a go.  It is a delightful area with lovely landscapes and outdoor activities, as well as small villages for local fare–and also a nearby large port city for wider interests in culture and art.”  He smiles warmly at her.

There will be no romance between them, so they will each or together need to find other activities to enjoy.

Lady Cecily:  “Very well.” She pouts.  “It is just that traveling and new places can be vexing. One always feels out of place.”

Lord Kittredge: “Ah, are you speaking of our trip now, or your family’s residence on the continent many years ago?” He asks with trepidation.

Lady Cecily: “I suppose a bit of both.  Mama Duchess and Papa Duke felt that our spending a year living in each of selected countries would expose me to various cultures—and royal houses in other countries for potential betrothals.” She pouts.

Lord Kittredge: “Oh Dear.”  His eyes twinkle.  “And to think that in your returning to London two years ago–and befriending my Dear cousin Emmy again–would put you into the path of a mere English Earl.”

Lady Cecily:  “Precisely!  But what Papa Duke did not realize, but perhaps my Mama Duchess did realize, was that I was not interested in—let alone enamored of–any of the royals we met in other countries.  Though I did enjoy the cultures and landscapes that we resided in over the years. And though it is possibly non-patriotic to admit it, France claimed my heart. The beauty of their manors and estates—let alone their fashions and food—quite entranced me.”

Lord Kittredge: “Ah!  Parlez vous Francais?” (Do you speak French.)  He asks teasingly while executing a credible French accent.

Lady Cecily:  “Oui!  Je parle un peu.” (Yes! I speak a little.)  Lady Cecily replies animatedly with her thumb and index finger close together.  “Avez-vous visite la France?” (Have you visited France?)

Lord Kittredge:  “Oui.  Juste une fois.” (Yes. Just once.) Then he asks, also in French. “Allons-nous en France? Bientot?”

Lady Cecily:  “Ce sera merveilleux!”  (That will be wonderful!) With sparkling eyes, Lady Cecily lightly claps her hands together five times in that delicately graceful and soundless way that ladies so favor.

Lord Kittredge having secured the knowledge that their visiting France will make his new wife Lady Cecily ecstatically happy, he hopes to make plans for them to do so soon—perhaps, even next week.  So the remainder of their two hour journey to Wells Castle from London this later afternoon after their wedding is interspersed with talk of the delights to be had both at home in the English countryside as well as in France.

***

When Lord Kittredge and his new Bride Lady Cecily reach Wells Castle, the later afternoon is still bright and sunny.

Lady Cecily:  “Kitt, Truly this is your castle—even before you became an Earl?”  She marvels at Wells Castle’s large size and grandeur.

Lord Kittredge:  “Indeed, My Dear.  Let me show you to one of your new homes.” He emphasizes that they have several homes to share together.

Upon Lord Kittredge assisting his new Bride Lady Cecily in exiting their grand carriage, they are immediately greeted by their Wells Castle Housekeeper Mrs. Griffin.

Mrs. Griffin:  “My Lord and Lady Fielding, it is a pleasure to welcome you home to Wells Castle!” She states brightly as she does a deep curtsy then returns to standing.

For Lord Fielding as he is now called has chosen to make Wells Castle his main country home until they visit his Earldom’s country seat and London home and other properties to assess their suitability, need for repairs or renovation, etc.

Lord Kittredge: “My Lady wife, this is Mrs. Griffin, our longtime Wells Castle Housekeeper.  Mrs. Griffin, my wife, the new Countess of Fielding.”  He gestures proudly to Lady Cecily in her smart coral pink and peach carriage gown.

Lady Cecily: “I am delighted to meet you Mrs. Griffin.”  She states parsimoniously, but bestowing respect to their esteemed longtime Housekeeper.  Again, Lady Cecily’s innate reserve with individuals she is unacquainted with comes to the fore.

Lord Kittredge:  “Mrs. Griffin, Might we trouble your staff for two baths and some food sent to our chambers before … well before we go exploring the castle?”  He realizes that their visit to Wells Castle today and for the following week carries the distinction of them being on their wedding trip—so his activities might be presumed to be of a unique nature from his other visits.  He thinks discomfitedly.

Mrs. Griffin: “Certainly, Lord Fielding.  We have prepared the Royal Suite as you requested for  you and your Bride.” She smiles sweetly at the blushing Lady Cecily who has wandered over to a life sized painting of a long ago knight upon his horse.   Yet, she can still hear what Mrs. Griffin said.

Then Mrs. Griffin tips her head to Lord Fielding and walks six feet further away from Lady Cecily, in order to whisper something to his Lordship.  Lord Kittredge quizzically follows behind her.

Lord Kittredge: “Yes, Mrs. Fielding?”  He asks in a kindly voice.

Mrs. Griffin: “I just wanted you to know that your wedding  night bed chamber has been made ready for you.”  She states whispering portentously.

Lord Kittredge: “Thank you Mrs. Griffin.  I am certain we will find the Royal Suite most comfortable.  Lord and Lady Carlisle remarked how much they enjoyed their visit here on their own wedding trip two weeks ago.

Mrs. Griffin: Still whispering and sneaking a glance at Lady Cecily to make sure she is still engaged with gazing at the painting.  “Yes, My Lord.  But with respect, you are the new Earl, and there are certain wedding  traditions that must be attended to in verifying the … the marital consummation.”  She blushes crimson.

Lord Kittredge: “Oh?”  Lord Kittredge’s eyes go wide as he also blushes crimson.  He had forgotten about the whole issue of someone need to witness the consummation—and the evidence of his wife’s virginity—or the results after the consummation.  But he and Lady Cecily will not be consummating their marriage—at least, that was their negotiation before they married.

Mrs. Griffin:  Continuing delicately, she informs him of the details. “Yes, there is a fine linen hand towel with the Fielding crest placed under each pillow on the bridal bed in your bed chamber, My Lord.” After your Bride lies on the towel during your marital consummation this night, you need only remove the towel to the nearby basket.  And in the morning.  I will then have the basket brought to me and serve as your legal witness.”

Lord Kittredge: “Thank you, Mrs. Griffin.  That is most thoughtful of you.”  He thanks the heavens that noble marriages no longer required actual witnesses [(4)] of the consummation act itself.  He shudders in thinking of the ancient and intrusive practice.

But Lord Kittredge has yet to discern how he and his Bride Lady Cecily can have any consummation results for Mrs. Griffin to witness—when they are not consummating their marriage, this night or any night.  But he will have to think of something.

***

So Lord Kittredge and Lady Cecily are guided to their bridal bed chambers in the Royal Suite to have their baths—separately.  Lady Cecily is glad to have this luxury afforded to her in her bed chamber’s dressing room in this very old castle.  And she enjoys  the little details of  rose scented bath crystals lending a pleasing aroma.   Lord Kittredge also bathes and shaves in his bed chamber’s dressing room—rather less languorously than Lady Cecily. He has a rather rough later afternoon stubble that he always has to tame with a nightly shave.

Then both will return to their shared Royal Suite sitting room for some late afternoon refreshments. It is now that Lord Kittredge must elaborate what is expected of them this night,  and enlist her help in coming up with an agreeable solution for it.  So he waits for her sitting in a chair and nibbling a biscuit. Then he spies her and stands.

Lady Cecily wearing a pretty white muslin daytime gown with pink ribbon rose embellishments interspersed along the scoop neckline and sleeve cuffs, and  with a lovely 2 inch wide pink satin ribbon detail under her bosoms that is tied in a bow at her back, exits her bedchamber and into the sitting room. Her blond ringlets are still very curly, and Lord Kittredge wonders if she has naturally curly hair. He supposes that as her husband, he will come to know the many womanly secrets of his wife.  Hmmm.

Lord Kittredge: “My Lady Cecily, you look charming.”  He smiles broadly at her and guides her to a cushioned chair at the small table where their light repast has been set.

Lady Cecily:  “Thank you, My Lord Kitt.  You look very handsome, yourself.”  She kindly returns a compliment to him—her admiring his sporty look of shiny brown boots, buff colored pantaloons, a tan waistcoat and a dark blue jacket.

They each select some delicacies to place upon their respective china dining plates, then nosh for a bit—with some lemonade to drink with the cheese, bread, meat, and such, and tea to drink with the fruit and biscuits.

After they are done eating, but still sipping more tea, Lord Kittredge decides to begin the delicate discussion.

Lord Kittredge: “Cecily, My Dear.  As you know, we are not a love match, nor had we planned to be romantic with each other—nor anyone else.”

Lady Cecily: “Yes, that is our understanding.”  Then she picks up on him using the past tense.  “… had planned?”

Lord Kittredge: “Yes, Mrs. Griffin informed me of the marital consummation evidence that we must provide tonight, in order for our marriage to be considered legal as the Earl and Countess of Fielding.”

Lady Cecily: “But…”  Her brow furrows, but Lord Kittredge raises his hand to interrupt her arguments.

Lord Kittredge: “At least in our modern society, the marital act does not need to be witnessed directly by persons. [(4)]  But the results, do seemingly need to be shared.”

Lady Cecily: Crossing her arms in front of herself—unknowing that she is nicely plumping up her bosoms. Though Lord Kittredge does not take notice of it. “What results do you refer to, Sir?”  For her Mother had not given Lady Cecily a detailed marital advice talk.

Lord Kittredge: “Well …  uh.  What do you know about the conjugation of husband and wife?”  He asks, hoping to forestall telling her all.

Lady Cecily: “Nothing directly, nor do I ever wish to know.”  She states plainly.

Lord Kittredge: His hopes dashed, he continues.  “Ah, well, you see.  When a well bred lady, such as yourself, is first married, her virginity is a sacred thing to her family, to her husband, and to society.  Such that, it is only her husband, on their wedding night who may …” He is temporarily at a loss for words.  “Well, her husband lies in bed with his wife and they join their bodies together as one.”  He blushes crimson. Though Lord Kittredge is also a virgin, boys and men are usually informed of the particulars.

Lady Cecily: “Join together?  You mean kissing is what causes babies?” She asks innocently, her pinkening slightly.

Lord Kittredge: “Well passionate kissing can lead to babies coming into being.  But small kisses on the lips or cheek do not.”

Lady Cecily: “And what has that to do with us?  We are not planning to do that, ever.”  She reiterates.

Lord Kittredge: “Of course.  But as you and I had previously discussed whether I had injured my baby fathering parts—and I have not…”  He hastens to remind her.  “There is still the expectation that we will have a wedding night wherein the husband’s baby fathering parts and the wife’s baby mothering parts join together for the first time—with the wife’s virginity being breached, causing her some pain, and causing her to bleed.”  He rushes through that last bit.

Lady Cecily: “You cannot be serious?”  She frowns and shakes her head, her blond ringlets bouncing about.  “That sounds positively beastly—for the husband to cause pain to his wife, that also makes her bleed?”

Lord Kittredge:  “Oh, I agree most heartfeltly with your assessment.  And though the pain and bleeding does not occur again, with subsequent marital couplings—that I am told—the marital couplings are necessary for begetting future blood line children.  Hhhh!”  Lord Kittredge is quite flustered with having to give his bride this marital talk.

Lady Cecily: “So what is your point, Kitt?”  She asks shrewdly.

Lord Kittredge: “Well, Cecily, I foresee only two options before us.  The first option is that we do the marital coupling joining bit, in order to insure that you are legally my countess—lest your virginity be discovered at some later date and our marriage annulled by parties trying to wrest the Earldom and its holdings from us.”  He blanches about what he is proposing.  And she frowns further. “Or, the second option is that we somehow fake the bloody results tonight–without doing the marital coupling joining. Though were your virginity discovered at some later time, our marriage might be considered null and void. So we might eventually have to do it.” He looks forlornly at her.

Lady Cecily:  “These are not true options.  It seems as if we only have one option to protect my legal status as your wife and countess.  Why did you not mention this before?”  She accuses him.

Lord Kittredge: “Truly, I did not think of it.  I had never thought to marry. I am a second son.  So the legalities surrounding marriage were not ones that I contemplated.  In marrying you, I sought only for us to be congenial companions—a lady wife  whom I would enjoy spoiling and indulging.  And perhaps, we could also co-parent an orphan daughter together as you had previously expressed that wish.  Hhhh!”  He sighs in exasperation, because he does not even know if he can do what is required of him physically.

Lady Cecily: “My head aches.”  She rubs her temples with both hands.

Lord Kittredge:  “Mine, too.”  He sighs in sympathy as he also rubs his forehead.

The two forlorn newlyweds stare in shock at each other at what they must do this night.  Their headaches are not helping their state of mind at all.  So Lord Kittredge rings the bell for two tisanes to be brought up to them to sip—after which, they each decide to forgo their castle tour and take naps in their respective bed chambers before their first formal private dinner together in the main dining room downstairs at 9 o’clock this evening, some two hours from now.

***

Lord Kittredge and Lady Cecily had each drunk copious amounts of wine during dinner as they pondered what awaited them tonight.  And though the Lord Kittredge did not want to get so foxed that he would pass out—him needing to keep his wits about him to remember what he needed to do, and in what order—Lady Cecily kept having her wine glass refilled.  And even though Lady Cecily is a tiny petite woman whom one might wonder if one glass of wine might adversely affect, she drank at least 3 glasses of wine tonight.

Somehow, the newlyweds stumble upstairs to their bed chambers and undress and put on their night clothes and robes.  Then Lord Kittredge waits patiently for Lady Cecily to join him—they decided that since Lady Cecily does not want her bed chamber associated with any marital coupling memories, his bed chamber will be where the deed is done.

A naked Lord Kittredge lies resolutely in his bed in his bed chamber, him still feeling the relaxing affect of the wine whilst he also tries to recall what he has to do.  He is covered by the bed linens up to his chest, with his bare shoulders peeking out.

After a few moments of trying to decide which nightgown she will wear, Lady Cecily chooses a soft silk sleeveless nightgown with an empire waist to support her bosoms.  And she firmly decides to stay in this nightgown tonight, no matter her husband’s entreaty.  So she walks through the sitting room to her husband’s bed chamber.  Her long curled hair falling about her shoulders and back in all of its unpinned golden glory.

As Lady Cecily walks into her husband Lord Kittredge’s bed chamber she notices that only the fireplace glows a warm light onto her husband’s handsome face with his eyes closed.  And she wonders if he is asleep and they will merely sleep with one another,  if that will be sufficient.  Then she realizes, that it will not.  So she resignedly walks to her side of his large bed, removes her robe and slides into bed with him.

With each of them lying in bed, on their backs, near the side edges of the large bed, there is about an arm’s length distance between them.  The moments tick by, waiting for one of them to make the first move.  It is an awkward silence between them.

Lady Cecily: “Kitt?  I have been thinking.”

Lord Kittredge: “Yes, Cecily?” His deep voice trembles a bit in anticipation—of what, he knows not.

And in Lady Cecily’s very relaxed state from the wine she had consumed, she rolls to her side facing him and gazes upon his bare chest and shoulders.  He is handsome, she acknowledges to herself.  Then she gently touches his bare muscular shoulder—which makes clear that his tailor does not need to pad his coats.  Hmm.

Lady Cecily: “Kitt?  Since we are only doing this marital coupling once for the formalities, perhaps we could look upon it as if we were traveling to a foreign country in order to experience its culture and delights, but then return home to what is comfortable and less foreign to us?”

Lord Kitt finally opens his eyes to gaze upon her as he turns his head upon his pillow.

Lord Kittredge: “What are you saying, Cecily?”

Lady Cecily: “Well, that we should not feel ashamed for doing what we are going to do this night as husband and wife.  I would imagine that each of us wants to feel comfortable with each other tonight and after it.”  He nods his head.  “And I believe that we can only do that if we give each other permission to share fully in this experience—and then look forward to different experiences that we shall share as life companions.”  She smiles hazily at him.

Lord Kittredge:  “Hmmm.”  He ponders.  Then he turns his body to face her, now fully seeing her lovely curled blond hair falling about her shoulders, her silk nightgown indicating that she is not naked—which relieves him greatly, as well as seemingly frustrates him.  He feels very vulnerable being unclothed. Perhaps he should put his night shirt on—if he could find it.   Because, if he has to be naked, then she should also be naked to be fair–is the logic running through his mind.

Lady Cecily: “You know, I did not realize that you had such impressive muscles under your jacket.”

Lord Kittredge: “And I did not realize that your hair was so beautifully long and curly on its own.”  He offers his wife a compliment of her.

Lady Cecily: “And your skin is very warm.  You do not have a fever, do you?” She asks in concern as her hand rests flat at the base of his neck.

Lord Kittredge: “I do not have a fever. I am always warm.”  Then he considers her statement.  “Are you chilled, Cecily?  I can put another log upon the fire.  Or, there is another blanket on the settee at the end of the bed.”  He suggests solicitously.

Lady Cecily: “No thank you.  But perhaps I could simply cuddle next to you and be warmed by you.”

Lord Kittredge: “Oh!  Well, um, I am not properly dressed underneath the bed linens.”

Lady Cecily: Scooting toward him in the bed, her curiosity grows.  “Oh?  What do you mean?”  She asks innocently.  Lady Cecily has only ever seen her family wearing their night clothes at night, so she presumes that he is wearing something.

Lord Kittredge: “I am unclothed, below.”  He blushes in embarrassment.

Lady Cecily: “Oh!  Um, such as when a person swims naked in a private lake?  Ladies’ clothes are too voluminous and we would drown with them on.”

Lord Kittredge: His eyes widen, he gazes at her.  “Yes, I have swum naked when I was a boy. Have you swum naked as a girl?”

Lady Cecily:  She lowers her eyes shyly.  “Yes.  But I was wearing my undergarments–except when wet, they became nearly transparent.”  She relates forthrightly.

Lord Kittredge: “Would that I could see you naked now.”  He murmurs deeply.  She blinks.  “I mean, I am naked already.  So if you wish to be also, that would be fine with me.”  He encourages her.

Lady Cecily:  “Yes, but my bosoms need support.”  She has never slept nor swum without such support.

Lord Kittredge: “Please?”  He whines cutely, with a fake pursed lips pout.  “Since we are only doing this once, we want to have the full experience, do we not?” Lord Kitt’s inebriated state has quite made him forget himself, and his previous aversion to taking a woman to wife.

Lady Cecily: “Oh very well.”  She agrees with a smile.

Lady Cecily purses her lips together and Lord Kittredge leans up and kisses her adoringly—bringing her to lay flush to him under the bed linens.  She does not move away, her liking feeling his warmth and the muscularity of his arms, legs, and torso. And though she had intended to sit up and remove her nightgown herself, it seems to be accomplished without too much awkwardness with her lying down, with her husband’s help.

As they tenderly clasp themselves together, their hands and lips roam sweetly exploringly over each other—marveling in pleasing wonder at how different their bodies are, and seemingly more beautiful in person than the marble statues that they have seen in museums.

And at some point during their wedding night, Lord Kittredge and Lady Cecily tenderly and legally finalize their marital union as husband and wife [(5) below]—then they promptly fall asleep.

Newlyweds-feet-under-covers_Oct1012instforenergyresearchorg_May1614-crop-sized

To be continued with Chapter 18

References for Ch. 17  of “Seeking the Niceties of Marriage”,  by Gratiana Lovelace
August 15, 2021 (Post #1406)

  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  Kittredge Well  looking-pensive at his wife Lady  Cecily is represented by Blake Ritson in Emma 2009, Aug14-2021viaPinterest
  3. Lady Cecily looking pensive is represented by Christina Cole in Emma 2009; portrait by Laurence Cendrowicz, BBC2009 and was found at Christina’ Cole’s IMDB page; Grati edit brt
  4. Witnessing the marital consummation tradition  history was found at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bedding_ceremony
  5. Image representing Lord Kittredge Wells  and his new wife  Lady Cecily canoodling as newlyweds was found at https://ak7.picdn.net/shutterstock/videos/4728737/thumb/2.jpg?i10c=img.resize(height:160)


Gratiana Lovelace Wattpad site link for Ch.17  of “Seeking the Niceties of Marriage”:
https://www.wattpad.com/1115830466-seeking-the-niceties-of-marriage-by-gratiana

Previous SAL blog Post #1403  link for Ch. 16  “Seeking the Niceties of Marriage”:
https://gratianads90.wordpress.com/2021/08/02/seeking-the-niceties-of-marriage-ch-16-leave-it-to-the-ladies-august-02-2021-by-gratiana-lovelace-post1403/

Posted in Creative Writing, Gratiana Lovelace, Love and Relationships, marriage, Social Justice, social media, Society, Something About Love, Storytelling | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

A mesmirizing Richard Armitage images gif shared by franjustfran, August 11, 2021 Gratiana Lovelace (Post #1405)

Wow!  Thanks to franjustfran for sharing this talented British actor Richard Armitage images gif! Mesmirizing!  And a non-caffeinated jolt to start our day!

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

 

 

Posted in Fangurling, Gifs, Gratiana Lovelace, Portraits, Richard Armitage, Sexy, Social Justice, social media, Society, Something About Love, Wonderful Wednesday | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Soothing songs in memory of Angie K. Long, August 04, 2021 Gratiana Lovelace (Post #1404)

Angie K. Long’s passing is a shock and sadness to all of us.  Personally, I was stunned into disbelief and heartbroken to learn Monday of Angie’s passing on August 1st.  She was such a sweet and incandescent soul of joy and kindness as an online friend.  Angie encouraged so many of us on our journey in the Richard Armitage Fandom and as bloggers, writers, and such. 

And Angie was unflinchingly forthright about the difficulties that she faced in her life—such as her recuperation after her harrowing car accident years ago, and  such—helping us to see that even when bad things happen to us, we can overcome them.  We shared laughter and tears together with Angie over the years.  And now her passing brings us more tears.

And the tributes to Angie pouring in from everywhere online and around the world  are merely a scintilla of how much Angie was loved by all of us.  We loved her fearless optimism, her joy, her hats, her gorgeous smiles with red lipstick, her wicked wit, her storytelling  and videos and artistic wallpapers—and so much more.  Her talents and joie de vivre were boundless.   Angie will be dearly missed by us all.

My thoughts are with Angie’s husband, family and friends.  May their memories of their happy times shared together with Angie help sustain them in their grief and sorrow.  One never gets over losing a loved one—especially, in losing dear sweet Angie.  The ache is always there, a poignant echo of the pain of loss.  But loving someone as deeply as Angie was loved in return, reminds us  we will always carry our loved ones  in our hearts, forever and a day.

And for us, Angie’s  online friends across the miles, we are already missing her sweet smiles–she took the best selfies (see below), next to RA!  So in our remembering Angie with the joy that she gave us and everyone, may our broken hearts mend a little bit every day, for her legacy of love and kindness.

       

So I share below some soothing  songs in memory of Angie.  May we each remember Angie in joy and love—and carry her joy and love forward  in her memory and in her honor.   Hugs & Love, Grati ;->

P.S.  And thanks to Jazzbaby1 and Guylty for sharing their tribute blog posts, and a link to Angie K. Long’s  obituary page.

 

KD Lang sings Hallelujah

 

Josh Groban, You raise me up
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uyEokxi2hWY

 

Israel Kamakawiwo’ole , Somewhere over the Rainbow

Posted in Fangurling, Friends, Gratiana Lovelace, Grief, In Memoriam, In Remembrance, Inspiration, Memories, Mentor, Portraits, Social Justice, social media, Society, Something About Love, Women | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

“Seeking the Niceties of Marriage”, Ch. 16:  Leave it to the ladies, August 02, 2021 by Gratiana Lovelace (Post#1403)

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

0aoCh16images-Seeking-the-Niceties-ofMarriage_Aug02-2021byGratianaLovelace[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 Carlisle, Blake Ritson as Lord Kittredge Wells, Polly Walker as Lady Patience Creighton, Bill Nighy as Lord Nigel Creighton the Earl of Stoke, Christina Cole as Lady Cecily Englewood, 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 written at the creative discretion of this author.  And this is a gentle and tender romance (G to PG-13), but with some frank discussions about love and marriage put to humorous effect.  This is my disclaimer.]

Ch. 16:  Leave it to the ladies

Almost as soon as the Duchess of Marshbanks learn[s] that her youngest daughter Lady Cecily Englewood is likely soon to be affianced—and to a new young Earl with also a Baronial title—that noble Mama launche[s] into raptures of bliss that quite exceed her sentiments upon the night that her dear Lady Cecily was conceived.  Her husband the Duke Marshbanks [bears] her effusive joy with resignation and a small smile.  Though he would not let anyone see him smiling.

His Grace the Duke of Marshbanks plans to put this new Earl of Fielding, Lord Kittredge Wells to the test and [in his place] starting Monday—just as he had done with his other two sons-in-law. A daughter is a precious gift, and [the] Duke [of] Marshbanks plans to ensure that giving her hand in marriage will bestow happiness upon her—especially since Lady Cecily has been so against even entertaining the notion of her marrying anyone.

Though their Graces cannot account for the turnabout in their daughter Lady Cecily’s views, they are delighted and relieved.  For a lady in their society does not have her own legal standing, and therefore she needs the protection of a husband.  And in fairness to the ladies, one might say that for a gentleman in their society, gaining a good and proper wife can be the making of him.

So bright and early this Sunday morning after the momentous events of Lord Kittredge Wells’ and Lady Cecily Englewood’s understanding that developed regarding their mutual benefit in marrying each other, while they were still at the Gosford-Withers wedding reception last evening, Lord Wells escorts his parents to church.  With his parents also retaining their own astonishment that their youngest son Lord Kittredge has found a lady whom he wants to [marry].  And the fact that their son’s intended Lady Cecily Englewood is a Duke’s daughter, is the proverbial icing upon the wedding cake.

Lord Edward and Lady Emily Carlisle will also be present at the same Sunday morning worship services.  And providentially, they are still yet to look forward to her parents Lord and Lady Creighton returning from Paris in a few weeks.  Though Emily would wager her new bonnet that her Mama Lady Creighton will insist upon returning to London as soon as news reaches her about her beloved nephew Lord Kittredge Wells likely to becom[ing] affianced—and with a Duke’s daughter, no less, in Lady Cecily Englewood.  Indeed, upon her return, Lady Patience Creighton will [certainly] try everyone else’s [patience] with her suggestions for Lord Wells wedding planning arrangements.  Though as the intended bride groom, Lord Kittredge will likely have only need to focus upon his wedding attire and being certain to show up.

And though each family sit[s] in their own pew boxes—with church services being as stratified an affair as any other event in society—they still nod cordially at each other before the worship service begins. And Lady Emily delights in noticing the small smiles that her cousin Lord Kittredge exchanges with his likely intended Lady Cecily.  Lady Emily just is not privy to the understanding reached between Lord Kittredge and Lady Cecily—of the particulars regarding their mutually hoped for [companionable] marriage, with no romance involved.  Nor has Lord Kittredge divulged to his lifelong best friend, and now cousin by marriage Lord Edward Carlisle the nature of his hoped for marriage to Lady Cecily.

It was a lovely [Sunday] church service, and Lord Kittredge was glad that the Vicar does not drone on so as he had remembered the last one did.  His Mama Lady Wells is simply glad to get her son inside a church, after his several years of abstaining to attend.

***

And so it is that after the Sunday worship service, Her Grace the Duchess of Marshbanks formally invites the other set of [betrothal] parents Lord and Lady Wells and [their son] Lord Kittredge [Wells], [and] Lord Edward and Lady Emily Carlisle with her family for an impromptu luncheon at Marshbanks House.  The stated purpose for the luncheon is to get to know each other.  However, not so unnaturally, the men are somewhat alarmed by this [wholly unexpected] change to their schedules.

Whereas the ladies of Her Grace [the] Duchess of Marshbanks, Lady Cecily, Lady [Emily] Carlisle, and Lady Wells knew and accepted the informal invitation before they left the Gosford-Withers wedding reception last evening.  Because, of course, the Duchess of Marshbanks had to inform her cook of the small but important luncheon so they could insure they had enough food to go around.

The ladies are in battle mode in siding for Lady Cecily in her hoped for marriage to Lord Kittredge.  And they will not let any fit of pique or possible recalcitrant reluctance on the part of either of Lady Cecily or Lord Kittredge to wed each other—[if] their fathers to prove stubborn about any issue regarding the marriage settlements, etc.  Ladies can be quite formidable in that regard.  Men may think themselves Masters of the Universe—but that is only true when their wives or fiances are not around.

And the Duchess of Marshbanks refuses to let her husband the Duke of Marshbanks in any way [befoul] her daughter Lady Cecily’s wedding plans.  She had seen his machinations toward her other then future sons-in-laws, and thinks that her husband has quite met his match, with regard to Lord Kittredge Wells, Lord Fielding—not to mention their beloved daughter Lady Cecily being no one’s fool, and a person to be reckoned with [in her own right, of either sex].

It is a lovely luncheon of cold meats, fruits, cheeses, and a warm potato soup.  Then the ladies retire to the Duchess Marshbanks’ private drawing room to discuss wedding planning—assuming the courtship goes well this week.  Similarly, the men proceed to give Lord Kittredge courtship wooing and marital advice—primarily about managing a wife as her husband.

And much to Lord Kittredge’s dismay, Lady Cecily’s father the Duke, his best friend Lord Edward, and even his own father Lord Wells wax poetic about the infinite joys of connubial bliss and the inherent niceties of marriage, in that regard.  If he could do so without attracting attention and unwanted questions, Lord Kittredge would cover his ears with his hands to shut out hearing about the need for tenderness with one’s bride.  With any luck, Lord Kittredge feels that finding an agreeable companion in Lady Cecily—who shares his views about not wanting to be married, let alone [not being] romantic with one’s spouse—will make their marriage both congenial and not a burden to either of them.  He hopes.

But as it happens, Lord Kittredge excuses himself from the gentlemen chatting in the billiards room, for a private moment and a footman discreetly directs him to that which he seeks. And upon exiting that room, he encounters Lady Cecily upon her own expedition.

Lady Cecily:  “Ah!  Lord Kitt.”

Lord Kittredge: “My Lady Cecily.”

Each bows or curtsies to the other, in their turn.  Then there is a shyly awkward moment of silence—each of them wanting to broach a subject, yet dreading it.

Lord Kittredge: “I wonder, Lady Cecily, how you are faring with the Ladies?”

Lady Cecily:  “They are all lovely and helpful.”  She states diplomatically.

Lord Kittredge:  “Ah!  Well perhaps it is different for men then for women.  The gentlemen have been sharing their expertise with me upon how best to court you and to woo you. And that it will all be  worth it, once we are wed.”  He blanches at their implication of what he had bemusedly [teased] his cousins of doing—having [conjugal friction].  Then he smiles [in jest].  “And if I hear one more euphemism regarding the joy of marital relations between a husband and wife, I will insist upon hastening our wedding to cease their marital advice.”  Thinking he had put just enough pathos into his remarks, he finds that Lady Cecily erupts mirthfully, her pealing with laughter.

Lady Cecily: “Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!”  She giggles unrestrainedly.  “Oh Kitt!  Not you as well?  The ladies are also harping on the joy of the union between a husband and wife that I will come to know when you and I are wed.  My Mama and your Mama each are quite encouraging me to realize that it might not be so joyful the first couple of times.  But as with anything, practice makes perfect.  Ha ha ha ha ha!”  She giggles again.  “I wish that I could disabuse them of their seeming need to put me at my ease about my soon to be new duties as a wife—since it will not be happening between us.  But that would reveal the personal understanding that we have reached, and I do not want to breach your confidence, nor my own[.”]

Lord Kittredge: “Thank you, My Lady. So, shall we make a dash for the border and be wed in Scotland this very day?”  He teases.

Lady Cecily: “Oh, do not tempt me, Kitt”  I really do not know how anyone manages not to tear their hair out during wedding planning?”  She almost imperceptibly shakes her head, her being so ladylike as to not give in to publicly disdaining the ladies well meaning help.

Lord Kittredge:  “Indeed!”  Then he changes subjects.  “Would you like to sit in on your father Duke’s and my settlement discussions tomorrow?  My cousin Emmy sat in on Lord Edward’s similar discussion with her father.”

Lady Cecily: “She did?”  She asks in surprise.  Though Lady Cecily is not the easiest of daughters for her parents to deal with, she does not set out to willingly flaunt societal conventions.

***

So Lord Kittredge Wells courtship and de facto wedding settlement discussions with his Grace the Duke of Marshbanks on Monday morning takes on an added element of urgency, when it is revealed that Lord Kittredge and Lady Cecily wish to marry in less than a week, upon the upcoming Saturday—with a smaller scaled back wedding and reception.  They see no need to wait to marry, and they threaten to make a dash to Gretna Green—to the horror of the Duke of Marshbanks. Neither set of noble parents will countenance them eloping via a Gretna Green marriage.  So the nuptials are moved up to this upcoming Saturday as requested/extorted of them.

Then Lord Kittredge and Lady Cecily take their requisite ride in the Park Monday afternoon as planned—thus signaling to society that they are a couple.  With them also telling everyone they meet of their swiftly upcoming nuptials.  Naturally, hasty marriages usually lead some individuals to believe that an anticipation of their wedding vows has already taken place.  However, that is so not the case here. And each of Lord Kittredge’s and Lady Cecily’s unblemished reputations, dissuade others from thinking anything salaciously negative about them.

And then with not two but three waltzes shared between them at Almack’s on Wednesday evening cement[ing] the notion that Lord Kittredge Wells is wedding—and then likely bedding—Lady Cecily Englewood this coming weekend.  And [the] [reality] will be some variation of that—just without the bedding part.

So it is a lovely small church wedding and then a large wedding breakfast back at Marshbanks House [early] on Saturday [afternoon]—thanks in large part to the ladies [and] their Mama’s as well as their cousin and friend Lady Emily’s help.  The blushing bride in her favorite cream gown that she wore when she met Lord Kittredge looks like any blushing bride.  Except Lady Cecily’s blush is for being so overjoyed not to have her parents harping on her needing to marry anymore—because she will have done it.  And Lord Kittredge, beams smiles at his beautiful bride on their wedding day.  And with no romance destined to happen between them, he still looks forward to getting to know Lady Cecily better—as she does of him.

Meanwhile, though Lady Creighton’s continued absence from London as her husband indulges her with a new wardrobe from the leading Paris couturiers, the latest London [on dits] news still reaches her.  And though it is too late for them to attend and felicitate their nephew Lord Kittredge’s wedding to Lady Cecily, Lady Creighton is determined to be no longer absent from the social whirl of London.

To be continued with Chapter 17

References for Ch. 16  of “Seeking the Niceties of Marriage”,  August 02, 2021 by Gratiana Lovelace (Post #1403)

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.

Gratiana Lovelace Wattpad site link for Ch.16  of “Seeking the Niceties of Marriage”:
https://www.wattpad.com/1109174506-seeking-the-niceties-of-marriage-by-gratiana

Previous SAL blog Post #1397 link for Ch. 15  “Seeking the Niceties of Marriage”:

“Seeking the Niceties of Marriage”, Ch. 15:  A Lady Intrigues Lord Kitt, July 18, 2021 by Gratiana Lovelace (Post #1399)

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

Look who’s turning Nifty 50 in August 2021!  Richard Armitage! August 01, 2021 by Gratiana Lovelace (Post #1402)

Every year fans of the talented British Actor Richard Armitage celebrate his birthday on August 22nd.  And with his birth in 1971, that means that he will be 50 this year.  My he looks so good from this previous year’s portrait!

And so I thought that I would combine my now first of the month sidebar Richard Armitage wallpaper sidebar images with the beginning of our countdown to his birthday, with this new wallpaper image below and posted at the top of my sidebar during  the month of August 2021:

0-2021wallpaper--August-RichardArmitage-gains-his-50th-year-aged-and-well-seasoned_Aug01-2021byGratianaLovelace

I hope that you enjoy it!

And I’m sure if you do a keyword search for “birthday” among my posts, you’ll see a variety of other fans wallpaper tributes to this wonderful actor and storyteller extraordinaire by myself and others!

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

P.S.  And for those of you patiently waiting for the next chapter of my current Regency romance “Seeking the Niceties of Marriage”, I plan to do some writing today/Sunday and post it on Monday!

Posted in Birthday, Creativity, Fangurling, Goodwill, Gratiana Lovelace, Portraits, Purrrfection, Richard Armitage, Social Justice, social media, Society, Something About Love, Soothing Sunday, Stun Day Sunday | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

#ThorntonThursday! #RichardArmitage as #JohnThornton in #N&S2004 is a romantic hero for the ages,  July 29, 2021 Gratiana Lovelace (Post #1401)

 

The talented British actor #RichardArmitage’s portrayal of #JohnThornton in #North&South2004  is definitely a heart swooning  love story romantic hero!  Sighhh!
Thanks for sharing, Mujer Tropical!

https://twitter.com/chattypatra/status/1420697498465751040

And here’s the lovely North & South (2004) collage, since the tweet won’t embed:
N&S--2004--Collage-of-RichardArmitage-as-JohnThornton-last-scene-collage_July29-2021viaMujerTropical

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

Posted in Fangurling, Gratiana Lovelace, John Thornton, Love, Love and Relationships, North & South, Purrrfection, Richard Armitage, Romance, Social Justice, social media, Society, Something About Love, Thornton Thursday | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Richard Armitage laughing gif is joy personified,  July 23, 2021 Gratiana Lovelace (Post #1400)

Love this gif of a 2014ish Richard Armitage laughing—note the Chop era sleek ponytail hair.  He is joy personified!

Thanks to Antonella Montanari for sharing this gif!

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

Posted in Fangurling, Fun, Gifs, Goodwill, Gratiana Lovelace, Joy, Laughter, Richard Armitage | Tagged , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

“Seeking the Niceties of Marriage”, Ch. 15:  A Lady Intrigues Lord Kitt, July 18, 2021 by Gratiana Lovelace (Post #1399)

 

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

Story cover for Seeking the Niceties of Marriage[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 Carlisle, Blake Ritson as Lord Kittredge Wells, Polly Walker as Lady Patience Creighton, Bill Nighy as Lord Nigel Creighton the Earl of Stoke, Christina Cole as Lady Cecily Englewood, 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 written at the creative discretion of this author.  And this is a gentle and tender romance (G to PG-13), but with some frank discussions about love and marriage put to humorous effect.  This is my disclaimer.]

 

Ch. 15:  A Lady Intrigues Lord Kitt

While still at the Gosford-Withers wedding celebration this later Saturday afternoon, and with his wife Lady Emily Carlisle chatting pleasantly with her sisters about their young children, Lord Edward Carlisle takes himself off for him to ostensibly visit the Men’s Lounge, but really for him to locate his lifelong best friend Lord Kittredge Wells.  For Lord Edward has noticed something about Lord Kitt’s unsettled mood at the wedding reception.

Lord Edward: “Kitt?”  Lord Edward asks wryly as he sidles up to his long time best friend Lord Kitt [(2) right].  “You are positively transfixed! I have never seen your gaze so focused upon a lady.  What has you so engrossed about her?  Are her dress decorations gauche or is her feathered hair ornamentation preposterously large?” 

Lord Edward teases as he also gazes at the lady, who now also gazes at the two men. 

Lord Kittredge:  “Hmmm? Not in the least.”  Lord Edward stares at him, waiting for an answer.  “Well, if you must know, what do you think of her, Edward?  The petite blond lady in cream silk organza sitting in Spinster’s Row.”  Lord Kittredge clarifies as he regally tilts his head toward the petite and exquisitely lovely youngish lady sitting with the other spinsters [(3) right]—as if Lord Edward had not already guessed to which lady Lord Kittredge was referring.

 

Lord Edward: “You are interested in a lady?”  Lord Edward asks incredulously.  He has never heard Lord Kittredge even mention ladies, much—except to disdain them for himself and therefore eschewing marriage, for very logical reasons.  So Lord Edward can be allowed his surprise at his friend’s seeming interest in one of them, ladies, that is.  “Hmmm.  I do not know whom she is?”

Lord Kittredge: “She is Lady Cecily Englewood, the Duke of Marshbanks youngest daughter.  A pretty little thing, do you not think, Edward?”  Lord Kittredge smiles at his friend Lord Edward.

Yet another kind remark about a lady by Lord Kittredge leaves Lord Edward astonished.

Lord Edward:  He takes a sip of his unspirited punch to have a moment to formulate an answer.  “Ah, Then I am surprised that she has not wed—what with her lineage and possibly high dowry.”

Lord Kittredge: “Exactly!”  He nods, with a knowing air of understanding.  Yet that understanding is not patently obvious to his friend.

Lord Edward: “Kitt, I think you will have to clarify for me your interest in the lady.”  Then a thought occurs to him.  “I say old chap, after the success of my and Lady Emily’s marriage, are you matchmaking again?”

Lord Kittredge: “Possibly.” He nods cryptically to Lord Edward.  “And I have made a few inquiries.  The primary reason for so delicate and lovely a lady as she sitting with the spinsters is that Lady Cecily does not wish to marry, at all—similar to my own wishes.  But her parents are pressuring her to find a suitable match—much as mine are for me.”

Lord Edward: “Ah, I see. She is to be pitied, then.   And do you have such a match in mind for her, Kitt?”

Lord Kittredge:  “I do. To myself!”  He announces quietly jovially to Lord Edward. 

To which, Lord Edward promptly coughs upon sipping his punch. And subsequently,  Lord Edward mops up his chin whilst Lord Kittredge’s statement stuns Lord Edward into a stupefied silence.

***

And as luck would have it, Lady Emily Carlisle gracefully glides to her cousin Lord Kittredge and her husband Lord Edward, after farewelling her older sisters moments ago.

Lady Emily: “Edward, Kitt, you both seem quite engrossed in conversation.  Is it something you may share with me, or is it a confidence only shared between men?”  She smiles bemusedly, then she notices the astonished looking upon her husband’s face.  “Edward, are you feeling well?”  She asks caringly as she gently places her ungloved left hand upon his cheek to check his temperature, and to giving him a caring touch.  She has been showing her wedding and engagement ring to so many people at the wedding reception who asked to see them that she has just kept her left glove off.

Lord Edward gazes down at his wife and smiles.  But Lord Kittredge’s news is his own, and Lord Edward is still not entirely informed as to what his friend’s news might entail.

Lord Kittredge: “Emmy?  Might you be acquainted with the lovely Lady Cecily Englewood sitting with the spinsters along the far wall?”  He asks shyly.

Ever without guile or subterfuge, Lady Emily boldly turns her gaze to the row of spinsters sitting along the far wall and finds Lady Cecily–then she turns back to Lord Kittredge.

Lady Emily:  “Oh yes!  Cecily and I have known each other since we were in leading strings. We are about the same age and would run into each other at the park when out with our nurses and we played together.  But after she turned 11 years, her father the Duke took his family on an extended tour of and residence on the continent and such.  So we lost touch for several years.  And it was not until we happened to visit the same modiste in our sixteenth years to … to be fitted for our first ball gowns that we met briefly again—since her family had returned to London to prepare her for her debut—before our come outs two years later, six years ago.”  Well Lady Emily could not be so bold as to mention her first corset fitting, so she changed it to a gown.  “Lady Cecily is a nice lady, though she is a little shy, which people assume is reserve on her part.  But once she gets to know someone, then she is quite congenial company.”

Lord Kittredge: “That is high praise, Dear Cousin.  She and I have never met.  Though I wondered how so lovely a lady as she could not have been snapped up and married by now.  Then I overheard some other gentlemen expressing that Lady Cecily shooed them away from dancing with her.”

Noting her cousin Lord Kittredge’s interest in Lady Cecily, she offers.

Lady Emily: “Kitt?  Would you like me to introduce you to her?” 

Her husband, Lord Edward, also wonders about that, but sees Lord Kittredge’s hesitance.  So he gives him a nudge with his elbow, then places his wife Lady Emily’s arm upon his own.

Lord Edward: “Come, Kitt.  Let us take a turn about the room with Lady Emily.  And should we three arrive at the far wall, where a certain intriguing almost spinster sits?  Well, so be it!”  Lord Edward smiles knowingly at his now blushing best friend Lord Kittredge.

Lord Kittredge:  “Ohhh, very well.  But do not try to force an interaction between she and I.”  He widens his eyes pleadingly at them, since he will not gauchely roll his eyes.

***

So the three friends and cousins stroll about the large and elegantly decorated Gosford House ballroom that is the Gosford-Withers wedding reception venue—with them amiably chatting with other friends whom they meet along their wa y.  It takes about ten minutes for their circumnavigation of the ballroom, only to find that Lady Cecily is not to be found. 

Lord Kittredge:  “Where is she?  I thought that we were at the correct support column and palm frond planter next to the spinsters’ chairs?” 

Lady Emily: “Oh!  I thought that Lady Cecily was here as well.”  She pouts.  Lady Emily was so looking forward to returning the favor, and possibly doing a little matchmaking between her cousin Lord Kittredge and Lady Cecily.  “Edward, you are taller.  Do you see Lady Cecily nearby?”

Lord Edward: He turns his head 90 degrees to his left and then to his right, but does not look behind himself.  “Not at the moment.” 

Then all three of them turn around and look toward the refreshments room across the ballroom from themselves.  But they do not see Lady Cecily there either

Then they each feel a gentle breeze and turn from whence it comes behind them.  And they notice that a French style window door is now open.  Wondering if Lady Cecily escaped from the warmth of the  wedding reception to the cooling breezes of the night air, the three of them walk through the door to the large exterior terrace that is lit with torches as partial illumination.

And then Lord Kittredge spies the object of his interest, Lady Cecily facing them—facing him—from near a side balcony stone railing.  He smiles at her, and she raises her eyebrow in a querying gaze—almost daring him to approach her.  What she has not reckoned with is that Lord Kittredge’s own usual standoffishness at London social engagements is quite difficult to surpass in herself. 

So the three of them walk over to Lady Cecily, and Lady Emily and she kiss cheeks.

Lady Emily: “Lady Cecily, it is so good to see you again!  You look lovely, My Dear.”  She smiles cordially at her former play pal.

Lady Cecily: “As do you, Lady Carlisle.”  She curtsies to Lady Emily out of protocol.  “My felicitations upon your marriage.”  She smiles warmly at the happy couple.

Lady Emily: “Oh thank you! And as we are old friends, I am still just Lady Emily to you Lady Cecily.  Let me introduce you to my new husband, Lord Edward the Viscount Carlisle.”  She gestures to her husband, he bows to Lady Cecily, and she curtsies to him.

Lord Edward: “My Lady Cecily.”  He also gently takes her fingers and kisses the air just above her gloved knuckles, as is the proper form of the day.

Lady Cecily: “Lord Carlisle.”  She slightly nods her head and retrieves her hand.

Then seeing Lady Cecily imperceptibly turn to look at Lord Kittredge, Lady Emily introduces him to her.

Lady Emily:  “May I also present our dear cousin [and] friend Lord Kittredge Wells.”  She states in the form of a question, but her phrasing is declarative in nature—rather than interrogative—therefore, rhetorical, and not requiring Lady Cecily’s consent for introductions to be made.  Now Lord Kittredge steps forward.  “Lord Kittredge, my old friend Lady Cecily Englewood, youngest daughter of the Duke of Marshbanks.”  For detailing lineage and connections is de rigueur in societal introductions.  Though hardly necessary, because children of the nobility are expected to memorize who is who among the nobility, as they grow up.

Lord Kittredge:  “It is my honor to meet you, Lady Cecily.”  He states austerely, then bows, and she curtsies.  Then he brings her gloved hand to his lips for a kiss—which he places directly upon her knuckles encased in fine kid skin gloves.

Lady Cecily:  “My Lord.”  Lady Cecily stiffens.  She does not like gentlemen taking liberties with her—such as actually kissing her hand, even though she is wearing gloves.

Lord Kittredge gazes pleadingly at Lady Emily for helping him in conversing with Lady Cecily.  She does facilitate a conversation, but the rest will be up to they two.

Lady Emily: “If you will excuse us, Lady Cecily and Kitt, I want to show my husband a particular garden feature that the bride Lady Rachel and I enjoyed as children.”  She smiles and her cheeks dimple slightly.  “I had mentioned your tour of and residence on the continent, Lady Cecily, and Kitt seems eager to learn more.  So perhaps you might share that with him.”

Thereupon Lady Emily and Lord Edward descend the three stone steps from the terrace and walk toward a nearby fountain feature—thereby leaving alone the two as yet unspoken for individuals, though they are still  visible to each other twenty feet away as a measure of chaperonage.

***

There is a silence between Lord Kittredge and Lady Cecily, as Lord Kittredge smiles cordially and gazes upon her loveliness in the twilight of the later afternoon upon the Gosford ballroom terrace.  Lady Cecily haltingly returns Lord Kittredge’s smile, but with a curt nod to him.  She does not wish to be courted—which she makes plain to every man who attempts to engage her with flattery or dancing.

Lady Cecily:  “Cat got your tongue, Lord Wells?”  She asks tartly.

Lord Kittredge: “I am more of a dog man myself, Lady Cecily.  And you may address me as Lord Kittredge, if you wish.”  He adds cordially.

Lady Cecily:  “Well, I do not wish, Lord Wells.  And as I have made quite clear to other potential suitors, I am not interested in matrimony.”  Then she sees a twinkle in his eyes as if he were about to jest again.  “Nor anything else to do with men.” She clarifies.

Lord Kittredge: “Ah!  Then we are kindred souls and we are certain to become boon companions, My Lady.” He places his hand upon his heart, affecting a lady’s about to swoon pose.  Lady Cecily quizzically eyes him with suspicion.  Then he clarifies.  “For I do not wish to be wed, nor to be entangled with any lady.”  He ends with a flourishing wave, which he usually restrains.

Lady Cecily: “Is that so?”  She asks, wondering if he is teasing her, or if he is in earnest.

Lord Kittredge: “It is, My Lady.”  He nods with a smile.

Lady Cecily:  “Hmm.”  Lady Cecily tilts her head, thinking. “And your cousin Lady Carlisle addresses you as Kitt?”  She wonders how this abbreviation of his name came about.

Lord Kittredge: “She does indeed, from her childhood.  For like her husband Lord Edward, Lady Emily is eleven years our junior.  So when she was very little, she could not pronounce my name of Kittredge—only getting Kitt out.  And the nickname stuck.”  He smiles.  “And I address her as Emmy, when we are in not in public.”

Lady Cecily: “So you and your cousin Lady Emily are a close friendship?”

Lord Kittredge: “Indeed we are. In fact, I am the one who played matchmaker for she and her now husband Lord Edward, who is also my longtime best friend since childhood.”

Lady Cecily: “I see.  And what prompted your seeking me out this late afternoon?” She is ever forthright in her dealings with others.

Lord Kittredge: “Well…” He pauses a bit shyly now, but decides to be honest.  “When I saw you enter the wedding reception this afternoon, I was mesmerized by your beauty.  You are exquisite.”  He sighs, like a lovesick swain.  Although in Lord Kittredge’s case, he merely appreciates her beauty.  Or,  is it something more?

Lady Cecily: “Thank you for your kind compliment, My Lord.  But as I told you earlier, I am not interested in marrying anyone.”  She states this without rancor.

Lord Kittredge: “Nor am I interested in marrying, despite the constant urging of my parents.”

Lady Cecily: “My parents are also quite determined that I marry.”

Lord Kittredge: “Perhaps, Lady Cecily, we should combine our respective wills not to be married in a constructive way.”  He hintingly suggests.

Lady Cecily:  Not knowing this man–except that her friend Lady Emily likes him, he is her cousin—she is perplexed?  “How?  My parents will not relent until I am married—or carried off by pirates to parts unknown.”  Now she jests.

Lord Kittredge: “Ha ha ha!  That is the spirit, My Lady.  We should thwart our parents at every turn—court each other, but not become betrothed—nor married.”  Though Lord Kittredge’s object is to marry the little spitfire, he does not want to bed her—but rather to form a companionable friendship with her.

Lady Cecily: “Yet, my parents will view our courtship as tacitly implying a betrothal and then a marriage.”

Lord Kittredge: “Ah!  Yes, I see your point. Though I am very wealthy and considered quite a catch.  I am only a second son, and only have my baronial title to recommend me.”  He dissembles, forgetting about a recent development in that regard.  “What is your wisdom on the matter on our stymying a full betrothal while courting?”

Lady Cecily: “Well though I do not want to become pregnant [if] I marry—I am too petite for childbearing—I would like to have a daughter—by, perhaps, parenting an orphaned child.  But my parents want more blood grandchildren.  Do you have an impediment to suggest that you would not be able to  …. procreate, to lessen my parents harping upon the subject of grandchildren?”

Lord Kittredge: “I do not know, My Lady.”  He shakes his head ruefully. He has never dallied in romance, [at all].  “But by my bloodlines, I am the second son of my Earl father, and I also have two sisters. And my siblings each have two children a piece.   So fecundity is reflected in my immediate family.”

Lady Cecily: “What about an injury that would prevent you from …”  She pauses discreetly.  “…ah… um… prevent you from fathering a child?”  She asks hopefully as she begins to consider that Lord Kittredge might be her lifeline to a future without parental oversight and without the [troubles] of a [true] husband.

Lord Kittredge: “No luck there, My Lady.  Though I could feign a long ago injury, I suppose—possibly a forced stop by my horse that bruised my … baby fathering parts?”  Lord Kittredge squirms embarrassedly, also wondering if his … bfp’s were supposedly injured, should he walk with a limp—let alone, him have difficulty riding, one of his favorite things?

Lady Cecily: “That is an excellent notion, My Lord.”  She smiles radiantly at him, and he quite forgets his misgivings about seeming injured.  “Oh, and one more thing, in the marriage settlement negotiations, I want you to insist that my dowry be held in trust for me and my use alone.  So many ladies have been left impoverished when their husband’s died unexpectedly.  And they had to be taken in by recalcitrant family.  That is not for me.  I want to be independent.”

Lord Kittredge: Pleased that the lady of his choice is warming to the notion of their courting and marrying, he agrees with her.  “Your retaining your dowry funds is also my wish, My Lady.  My wealth is more than enough to keep you in comfort and style as a Duke’s daughter.”

Lady Cecily: “Then we are in agreement.”  They both nod.  But she still ticks off the nature of their agreement upon her fingers.  “One, ours will not be a marriage with romance.  Two–nor will you attempt to get me with child, though I may wish to parent an orphan as our daughter.  Three, friendship and fondness are pleasing, but nothing more between us.  Four, I keep my dowry money, jewelry, and possessions that I bring with me to our marriage.  And five, …”  She thinks for a moment.

Lord Kittredge:  He helps her out.  “Five, our marriage will reflect our mutual respect for each other by not seeking romance outside of our marriage.”   For though, Lord Kittredge has spoken with his best friend Lord Edward of his non-romantic tendencies for women, Lord Kittredge has never acted upon them, so restrictive is their society in that regard.

Lady Cecily: “Hmmm.  I accept, Lord Kitt.” She nods her head in a satisfied way.  She and Lord Kitt—a nickname she rather likes—will have companionship and protection and other [niceties of marriage], without the [burden] of the difficulties.  Or so she reasons.

Having returned to the terrace, Lady Emily and Lord Edward are a bit surprised at the closely intimate [nearness] they now find their friends in discussion.

Lady Emily: “What do you accept, Lady Cecily? If I may ask.”  Lady Emily smilingly looks back and forth between her cousin Lord Kitt and Lady Cecily.

Lord Kittredge: “Well, if I may, My Lady?”  He deferentially seeks her permission to divulge their decision.  “Lady Cecily and I have decided to court each other for the next week or so.  Then if we feel that we will suit …”  Which they both feel they will, but have to follow the usual protocols of society for courtship and marriage.  “I will then seek her hand in marriage and we will be wed two weeks after that.”

Lady Emily:  “Oh Kitt!  Cecily!”  Lady Emily flings herself and effusively embraces first Lord Kittredge and [then at] Lady Cecily in congratulations!  “How wonderful!”

Lord Edward: However, Lord Edward is more circumspect. “By all means, if you both decide that you will suit, I wish you my very best.”  Lord Edward’s tone is tempered because he has known Lord Kittredge his whole life and this change in his friend’s life plan is [life altering] for Lord Kittredge.  But he will be supportive of his friend as much as he can.

Lady Cecily: “Kkhhh!  Perhaps three weeks after you propose, My Lord?”  For Lady Cecily has done the calculations in her head, with regard to when she will feel her best in the coming month.

Lord Kittredge: “As you wish, My Dear Lady Cecily.”  He offers her his arm and she delicately clasps her petite hands around his arm with a smile as they turn toward the French window doors leading from the terrace to the ballroom.

***

As they walk back into the ballroom from the terrace together arm in arm, Lord Kittredge Wells and Lady Cecily Englewood are smiling quite pleasantly—belying their clear happiness at reaching an agreeable understanding with each other. It would not [do] for them to show their full emotions in public.  They are closely followed inside by Lord Edward and Lady Emily Carlisle, who served as their chaperones while they were on the terrace.  So propriety is satisfied.

As it happens, Lady Cecily’s father [the] Duke [of] Marshbanks and [her] mother [the] Duchess [of] Marshbanks had been looking for their daughter, and so were nearing the spinsters chairs sitting area when they see their daughter walking back inside from the terrace—and upon the arm of Lord Kittredge Wells, a mere Baron, as far as they know.

And they wonder what is [Lady] Cecily about?  Her beauty could catch her a Duke—though [young]  dukes are thin on the ground—or at least, a Marquess.

Knowing that look in her parents’ eyes, Lady Cecily diffuses the potentially volatile situation.

Lady Cecily: “Papa Duke.” She curtsies to him and kisses his cheek.  Then she repeats that greeting for her “Mama Duchess.

Lord Kittredge: He bows deferentially to the Duke and Duchess.  “Your Graces.”

Duke Marshbanks: “And just who is this, Lady Cecily[?]”  Though he knows who Lord Wells is, they have not been formally introduced.

Duchess Marshbanks:  “Now, now, My Dear.  Cecily, please perform the introductions.”  She states placidly.

Lady Cecily: “Thank you, Mama Duchess.  Allow me to present Lord Kittredge Wells, Baron …”  She stops, her realizing that he had not said what his barony was founded upon.  She turns to him.

Lord Kittredge: “Thank you, My Lady. With respect, Your Graces, I am Baron Lakeland and Earl of Fielding.”

Lady Cecily: “[Why did you] not tell me that you were an Earl, too, Lord Wells?”  She asks in astonishment—hoping that her parents will like her becoming a Countess, which is [two ranks] higher than a Baroness. And if she marries [him], [when] she marries Lord Kitt, she will have both titles. 

Lord Kittredge: “Apologies, My Dear.  But I forgot.  My Earldom is a relatively recent development.”  

Lord Edward: “I’d say, Old Man.  I had not even heard about it from you.”  He pouts a bit since he and Lord Kitt are lifelong best friends, they know everything about each other.  Well, not everything, he surmises.

Lord Kittredge: “Well you must admit, Old Man, with your wedding and such just two weeks ago, the past month has been rather a busy time.  My paternal uncle died recently without issue.  And my Papa bestowed his late younger brother’s title upon me as his second son …”  Then he gazes directly at the Duke.  “… in the hope that my elevated rank would be pleasing to the family of any noble lady whom I would court and hope to marry.” 

Duke Marshbanks: “Hmmm.”  Is all the response the elder statesman Duke gives at the moment to Lord Wells’ declaration.  “Lady Cecily, please continue with your introductions.”  He is a stickler for form and protocol.

Lady Cecily: “Oh yes, thank you Papa Duke.  And this lovely and kind couple are the newly married Lord Edward and Lady Emily Carlisle—the Viscount and Viscountess of Carlisle.  You will remember that she is the daughter of the Earl and Countess of Stoke, Lord and Lady Creighton.”

Lord Edward and Lady Emily bow and curtsy, respectively.

Lord Edward: “My Lady Wife and I are honored to make your acquaintance, Your Graces.”  Lord Edward intones soberly for the both of them.   With Lady Emily smiling broadly about their cousin Kitt soon to become betrothed to her friend Lady Cecily.

Duke Marshbanks: “Lord Fielding, I expect to see you in my study at 10 am Monday morning for our discussion.”

Lord Kittredge: “I look forward to it, Your Grace.”  Lord Kittredge smiles pleasantly, feeling that since he has won over the most formidable Lady Cecily, that her Father Duke’s acceptance will also be forthcoming.  Afterall, Lord Kitt is a man of rank and considerable wealth in his own right.

Lady Cecily:  “Thank you, Papa Duke.”  She curtsies to her father for him not rejecting Lord Kittredge outright.

Lord Kittredge: Then Lord Kittredge turns to his hoped for betrothed.  “My Lady Cecily, might I join you for Sunday services tomorrow and then, perhaps, a drive in The Park on Monday afternoon—after I speak with your father in the morning?”

Lady Cecily: First Lady Cecily looks to her father and mother, and her Mama Duchess, nods her assent. “Thank you[,] Lord Fielding, I look forward to both.”

Lord Kittredge: Raising Lady Cecily’s delicate hand to his lips, Lord Kittredge says in parting from her this day.  “My Lady Cecily, until we see each other upon the morrow at church.”  She curtsies gracefully to him. 

So the now three couples part.  The Duke and Duchess take their daughter Lady Cecily home for a chat about her possible intended.  While Lord Kittredge takes himself off to his parents’  home to inform them of his wish to court and possibly marry Lady Cecily. 

And finally, Lord Edward and Lady Emily look forward to a quiet dinner and evening at home tonight.  The days and weeks ahead will hold many events and happenings for the newlyweds and their friends and family.  So they will need all of their rest to be able to enjoy them.

To be continued with Chapter 16

 

References for Ch. 15  of “Seeking the Niceties of Marriage”,  July18, 2021
by Gratiana Lovelace (Post #1399)

  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 Kittredge Wells in formal wear pleased with himself is Blake Ritson in Emma 2009, Apr27-2021viaIMDB-Grati-szd-crop-clr1

    3.  The image of Lady Cecily Englewood in a creamy-satin gown and smiling-knowingly at Lord Kittredge Wells at the Gosford-Withers wedding reception is represented by Christina Cole, in Jane Eyre 2006-asBlanch Ingram July17-2021viaPinterest; the image was found at https://www.pinterest.ru/pin/485544403548318562/

 
Gratiana Lovelace Wattpad site link for Ch.15  of “Seeking the Niceties of Marriage”:
https://www.wattpad.com/1101994583-seeking-the-niceties-of-marriage-by-gratiana

Previous SAL blog Post #1397 link for Ch. 14  “Seeking the Niceties of Marriage”:
https://gratianads90.wordpress.com/2021/07/11/seeking-the-niceties-of-marriage-ch-14-another-wedding-july-11-2021-by-gratiana-lovelace-post1397/

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

Richard Armitage shines in shy Sir Guy gif, July 16, 2021 Gratiana Lovelace (Post #1398)

Love this gif of an uncharacteristcally shy & very young looking Sir Guy of Gisborne as portrayed by the talented British actor Richard Armitage!  Sighhh!

https://twitter.com/JanBlac89089506/status/1415938986074382338


SirGuyofGisborne-gif-viaJanBlack-withRichardArmitage_July16-2021Grati-cap-shrp

Thanks for sharing the gif, Jan Black!

And Richard was two years older above than when he portrayed the sternly smouldering  mill master John Thornton in 2004’s North & South below!:

N&S--2004--JohnThornton-standing-on-Mill-platform-scowling-isRichardArmitage_Jul3117viaRAFrance

Thanks to RAFrance for the N&S image above!

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

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“Seeking the Niceties of Marriage”, Ch. 14:  Another Wedding, July 11, 2021 by Gratiana Lovelace (Post#1397) 


(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 Carlisle, 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 written at the creative discretion of this author.  And this is a gentle and tender romance (G to PG-13), but with some frank discussions about love and marriage put to humorous effect.  This is my disclaimer.]

Ch. 14—Another Wedding

One week.  In one week, Lady Rachel Gosford—Lady Emily Carlisle’s cousin—will be wed to Lord Montague “Monty” Withers, Lord Edward Carlisle’s cousin.  And Lady Emily and Lord Edward are promised to stand up with their cousins as Matron of Honor and Best Man, respectively.

It is a disaster waiting to happen.  Oh!  Not that Lady Rachel and Lord Monty are to wed.  These two have long been attached to one another from childhood—and lovingly betrothed since her fourteenth birthday and his eighteenth birthday.  So now that the intended bride is ten and eight years—with her groom being two and twenty years—the wedding will proceed, in one week.

Unfortunately there is a slight problem with their wedding party. It is not that the wedding breakfast lost its venue nor food.  No, the issue lies with their main attendants, the Best Man and Matron of Honor—respectively, Lord Edward and Lady Emily Carlisle, the newlyweds of soon to be three weeks.

For with Lady Emily’s seemingly with child state achieved almost as soon as she and Lord Edward married—a state for which Lord Edward is exceedingly and masculinely proud—his poor young wife is beginning to suffer all the effects of the morning pregnancy illnesses that usually affect soon to be mothers.  With Lady Emily experiencing a particularly virulent form of stomach upset.

Of course, Mrs. Griffin as the Carlisle House’s Housekeeper had to be told of Lady Emily Carlisle’s delicate condition.  And she promises to be ever so helpful in promoting calm and comfort in her Ladyship’s new home of Carlisle House in London.  Though redecorating discussions willd have to wait until Lady Carlisle feels better—once she is in her fourth month of pregnancy, in two months time—all other accommodations Lady Carlisle wishes will be attended to swiftly.  And Lady Emily’s Ladies Maid Miss Pruitt also has an inkling of the upcoming blessed event.

So thus relieved of one burden from her mind—of household harmony with Lady Carlisle as Lady of the House—Lady Emily and Lord Edward Carlisle look forward to the wedding of their cousins upon the coming weekend.

***

But as the week progresses toward Lady Rachel’s and Lord Monty’s wedding day, Lady Emily’s constitution becomes steadily worse—with everything affecting her and making her sick in the mornings, especially flowers—which she usually adores, but not in her current with child state.  And what is a wedding without flowers, pray tell?  Exactly.

So Lady Emily feels that she must bow out of being her cousin Lady Rachel’s Matron of Honor and to even decline to attend the wedding—to avoid Lady Emily from capitulating the contents of her stomach during the wedding service.  And Lord Edward is so concerned for his young bride Lady Emily and he wants to be continually by her side, as lying chastely in her husband’s arms seems to be the only comfort that aids her—in addition to some ginger laced tea and thin crackers—that Lord Edward feels that he will also have to bow out as Best Man to his cousin Lord Monty.

It is an impossible situation for Lady Emily to be in, and the stress about letting down her cousin Lady Rachel is almost making her illnesses worse.  And Lady Emily now has fits of weeping and other emotional outbursts that are so unlike her.  So there is the added concern that the strain and worry that Lady Emily feels might be injurious to her with child condition.

Lady Rachel and Lord Monty sincerely assure Lady Emily and Lord Edward that they completely understand that the wedding flowers will make Lady Emily ill were she to even attend the wedding. But they are still sad that their good friends and cousins will not even be able to attend their wedding ceremony.

So an unlikely quarter yet to be heard from—Lord Kittredge Wells [(2) right], LordKittredgeWells--looking-forlorn-isBlakeRitson-asRevElton-in-Emma2009_Apr18-2021viaIMDBcom-May15-2021Grati-crp-flip cousin to Lady Emily, and to Lady Rachel, and best friend to Lady Emily’s husband Lord Edward—proposes a suggested solution to Lady Rachel and Lord Monty, that is quickly agreed to, if but Lady Emily thinks that it will suffice.  However, the solution will require some adroit maneuvering upon the bridal parents of Lady Rachel and Lord Monty to quickly and drastically change the wedding ceremony and wedding breakfast arrangements.

First, Lord Kittredge tests his theory to see if his suggestion will work, by visiting his cousin Lady Emily Carlisle at Carlisle House in London Tuesday morning to try to bring her some cheer.  And he is happy to find Lord Edward traversing the foyer at the moment of his arrival, when the butler opens the door to him.

Lord Kittredge: “Lord Carlisle. Your servant sir.”  He states formally and bows, since they are in front of the Butler.  Though the Butler is well aware of the two men’s lifelong friendship.  “I come to see how Dear Lady Carlisle fares.  And I wish to be of aid.”  Lord Kittredge having already been taken into Lord Edward’s confidence that Lady Emily is with child, and naturally feeling poorly.

Lord Edward:  “Let us walk into this parlor.”  The men sit down upon two large wing chairs on either side of the gray flecked with white marble fireplace. “Kitt, if you can do anything to help my darling Lady Emily feel better, and perhaps attend the wedding even if not as Lady Rachel’s Matron of Honor, we will be forever in your debt.”   Lord Edward looks pleadingly at his lifelong best friend.  The joys of impending fatherhood have been temporarily eclipsed by his worry for his beloved wife’s pregnancy illnesses.

Lord Kittredge: “Let us not be too hopeful, Edward.”  Then he looks around this particular parlor of Carlisle House and is aghast.  “What are you thinking having all of these floral arrangements in the house with Emmy’s enceinte illnesses?”

Lord Edward: “Oh!  My Dear Lady Emily loves flowers so, and they are only placed in the rooms on the main floor here—not our bed chamber on the second floor.  So she stays above stairs in the mornings.”

Lord Kittredge: “Edward, even so, the floral scents and spores—from the maids arranging flowers and dusting around them–can still waft their way upstairs when they also attend to their duties above stairs.”  Lord Kittredge flails his arms about agitatedly.  “You need to have these floral arrangements and flowering plants removed to your terrace, outside. Now!”  He frowns with great emphasis.

So Lord Edward pulls the bell cord which is answered almost immediately by a footman.  He motions to the footmen and explains what is wanted—with regard to the flowers being removed here and in the other rooms.  And then the windows are also opened to air out the previously flower affected rooms.

***

After Lord Kittredge is satisfied with the flora removals, he and Lord Edward walk upstairs to visit Lady Emily.  It is now 10 o’clock in the morning—still early enough for Emily to feel unwell, for Lord Kittredge to test the remainder of his theory.

Putting his index finger to his lips, Lord Edward lets Lord Kittredge know to be quiet.  Then he gently knocks upon the door of his shared bed chamber with Lady Emily.

Lord Edward:  “Emily Darling, I have brought our cousin Kitt to cheer you.”

Lord Edward pokes his head into their bed chamber, to gauge his wife’s illness levels as she lies still upon their bed quite still, with a cool wet cloth just placed upon her forehead by her Ladies Maid Pruitt.  Miss Pruitt curtsies to Lord Edward and leaves the bed chamber to give them their privacy, and she goes to fold clothes in her Ladyship’s dressing room.

Lady Emily: “Must I see anyone, Edward?  I feel so unwell.”  She weakly replies.  Her strength is sapped from having little food and water with her appetite gone, and her not being able to keep in her stomach what she does manage to eat.

Lord Edward: “Oh, my love!”  Lord Edward states caringly in a hushed whisper as he instantly walks to her bedside and kneels down by her bedside.  “Kitt does not come to make you more unwell, but to help comfort you.  And he thinks that he knows of a way to solve your feeling unwell and the wedding this weekend.”

Lady Emily:  “I cannot see how it can be resolved.”  She replies despairingly.  And a lone tear slowly falls down her left check.  Lord Edward gently wipes her tear away by taking a nearby soft linen handkerchief from her bedside table and blotting her cheek for her.

Walking quietly into their bed chamber, Lord Kittredge realizes that he is among a privileged few allowed entry—apart from themselves, the maids, and doctor and midwife.

Lord Kittredge:  “Oh you poor thing!”  Lord Kittredge sincerely grieves for her unwell state.  “I will be brief, Emmy Dear.  Our cousin Lady Rachel is amenable to changing the wedding from 10 o’clock in the morning to 3 o’clock in the afternoon—and to have only greenery, no flowers, at the church and the wedding breakfast after, if that will help you.”

Lady Emily: “Oh!  But flowers are so pretty for weddings.”  She bemoans, for she dearly loves flowers, herself.

zBridal-bouquet-of-all-green-leaves-no-flowers_July10-2021viaBrides-dot-com_Grati-mask2-szd2-crop
Lord Kittredge:  “Well, so are greenery bouquets, head wreaths, and such,
especially when paired with lovely colorful ribbons.  Look at this” [(3) right].

Then Lord Kittredge thrusts forward a sample greenery bouquet with ribbon adornment for Lady Emily’s inspection. This is both an aesthetic test–with Lady Rachel already approving his suggested changes–as well as, a test for the greenery being unscented and hopefully not causing Lady Emily to feel more unwell than she already does.

Lord Edward: “In my opinion, the bouquet looks quite elegant and restrained, rather than some of the wedding flower monstrosities that one often sees.”  He recalls another wedding—not either of his own, mind you—wherein the standing urn container the wedding altar flowers were in was so large, that the flowers placed in it were taller than the vicar.

Lord Kittredge:  “Emmy? What do you think?”  Now he hands the greenery bouquet to her, assessing her physical reaction to it.

Lady Emily hesitates and turns the bouquet around in her hands for several moments. Lord Kittredge and Lord Edward hold their breaths, literally, waiting for her response and her reaction.

Lady Emily:  “This bouquet is lushly full, I will grant you that.”  She finally admits without distaste and without her looking more unwell, and her seemingly not being made unwell by it.

***

So the wedding greenery substitutions and ceremony time moved to later afternoon are executed, and Lady Emily does feel well enough to attend the wedding of Lady Rachel Gosford and Lord Monty Withers—and be her cousin Lady Rachel’s Matron of Honor, with Lord Edward being his cousin Lord Monty’s Best Man–as long as Lady Emily may sit down in the first pew to rest after making her walk up the middle church aisle and taking Lady Rachel’s bouquet from her before the bride and groom clasp hands and the wedding prayers begin.

It would not do for Lady Emily to swoon from standing up at the front as part of the bridal party.  And Lord Edward does the same, sitting next to his wife Lady Emily to ascertain her need for rest, should he need to spirit her out of the church.  And just in case, Lady Emily and Lord Edward have signed the marriage certificate as Wedding Attendant Witnesses before the wedding ceremony began today.

Happily, Lord Edward and Lady Emily go on to each enjoy both the wedding and the wedding breakfast in the later afternoon this lovely and sunny with cool breezes Saturday.  Lady Emily might be a little pale due to her delicate condition, yet her skin also glows from being pregnant.  And she smiles prettily for sharing in her much loved cousin Lady Rachel’s wedding to Lord Monty.

And though several society matrons bear down upon Lady Emily Carlisle to remark about her newlywed status and her lovely complexion, Lady Emily remains steadfast in not announcing her with child condition just yet—no matter the provocation, nor prodding by the elderly ladies.  It is far too early in her pregnancy to announce it, should the pregnancy not succeed—and she does not want the nosey gossips to start wondering if hers will be an early baby. Yet with her husband Lord Edward’s tender solicitude of her, the nosey matrons are in no doubt that Lady Emily and Lord Edward’s marriage is well and truly a love match.  So there, thinks Lord Edward. He is successful, at last, in finding happiness in marriage.

And despite Lady Emily’s elder sisters also bearing down upon her at the Wedding Breakfast celebration as she and her husband Lord Edward sit chatting and noshing upon the wedding treats that she knows will not make her ill, Lady Emily does not tell them either, that she is with child.

Providentially, Lady Emily’s father Lord Creighton extended his and Lady Emily’s mother Lady Creighton’s stay in Paris, such that they missed the Gosford and Withers wedding ceremony and celebration entirely.  That astute gentleman knowing that his wife is prone to critique everything she sees—especially other people’s weddings.

And with Lord Creighton—and not Lady Creighton—having been apprised via a privately sent note that their dear daughter Lady Emily might be with child, Lord Creighton gives Lady Emily and Lord Edward some space and time to adjust to that happy state, before being descended upon by the future grandparents.

But what of Lord Kittredge Wells, the architect of the Gosford-Withers successful wedding ceremony and wedding celebration arrangement adjustments to accommodate Lady Emily Carlisle’s pregnancy?  Lord Edward notices throughout the wedding celebration some oddly surprised and discomfited facial expressions upon his long time best friend, and now cousin by marriage.  Oh Lord Kittredge graciously stands up to dance with some spinster at the wedding celebration that their hostess Lady Gosford brings to his attention. Yet Lord Edward feels that something else is a foot with Lord Kittredge.  And he plans to find out what that is at his earliest opportunity.

To be continued with Chapter 15

References for Ch. 14  of “Seeking the Niceties of Marriage”,   July11, 2021 by Gratiana Lovelace (Post #1397)

  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 Kittredge Wells image is that of  Blake Ritson as Rev. Elton  in Emma 2009 looking-pensively distraught  Apr18-2021 viaIMDBcom; Grati-mask-szd

    3. Examples of this and other all greenery bouquets were found at https://www.brides.com/gallery/all-greenery-bridal-bouquets

Gratiana Lovelace Wattpad site link for Ch.14  of “Seeking the Niceties of Marriage”:
https://www.wattpad.com/1098537811-seeking-the-niceties-of-marriage-by-gratiana

Previous SAL blog Post #1396 link for Ch. 13  “Seeking the Niceties of Marriage”:

“Seeking the Niceties of Marriage”, Ch. 13:  Making a Home Together in London,  July 05, 2021 by Gratiana Lovelace (Post#1396)

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 , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

“Seeking the Niceties of Marriage”, Ch. 13:  Making a Home Together in London,  July 05, 2021 by Gratiana Lovelace (Post#1396)

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

Story cover for Seeking the Niceties of Marriage [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 Carlisle, 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 written at the creative discretion of this author.  And this is a gentle and tender romance (G to PG-13), but with some frank discussions about love and marriage put to humorous effect.  This is my disclaimer.]

Ch. 13—Making a Home Together in London

Since the Wells Castle personal attendants staff were made available to the newlyweds Lord Edward and Lady Emily Carlisle, their personal valet and ladies maid–Mr. Sherman and Miss Pruitt, respectively–went ahead to Carlisle House in London to prepare it for the newlyweds’ homecoming.  Though Mr. Sherman was known to the Carlisle House staff, Miss Pruitt was not.  So naturally, there were some initial tussles with regard to duties, responsibilities, and territories within the Carlisle home for Lady Emily’s ladies maid Miss Pruitt—most of which were resolved by the written statement and personal words from his Lordship the Viscount Carlisle Lord Edward to his London butler and housekeeper prior to his wedding.

Lord Edward made clear that he wishes his staff to be amenable about the changes that will naturally occur within the household with his new Viscountess soon to be installed there. Lord Edward wishes his Bride Lady Emily to feel at home and welcome to Carlisle House and told his staff that he is giving her carte blanche—for all household matters, decorating, staffing, and the general running of the household. Yet Miss Pruitt senses that her Lady Emily will have a good deal of work to wrest control from the servants and become the true Lady of Carlisle House.

But upon their arrival back in London at Carlisle House, Lord Edward’s focus is not upon a tour of their house, nor meeting with servants about household details—that will come later.  No, he first carries his bride Lady Emily over the front door’s threshold to Lady Emily’s surprise as he lifts her up into his arms.

Lord Edward:  “Allow me!”  He smiles gleefully.

Lady Emily: “Eeee!”  She squeals with delight and slight embarrassment.  “Edward,” She whispers. “Please put me down.  What will the staff think?”

Lord Edward: “Well my Darling, my staff will hopefully think that I am finally blessedly happy.”

Then he twirls around with her in his arms, for good measure, and she squeals some more.  And for extra good measure, Lord Edward kisses his sweet bride Lady Emily upon her mouth right under the foyer’s soaring ceiling chandelier.

Though their Butler Mr. Stokes does not crack a smile at this tender scene, their Housekeeper Mrs. Griffin does.

Mrs. Griffin: “Well, My Lord and My Lady, we are glad to see you in good spirits after your long trip.  Your Viscount and Viscountess suite of rooms are prepared for you as requested.  So go on up and get the dust of traveling off you.”  She smiles in a kindly grandmotherly way.    “You’ll find that your sitting room has a small repast for you to nibble on.  And I’ll have the footmen bring you up more substantial refreshments later.” She emphasizes with a small smirk.  “Just pull the bell cord when you want your tea.  And should you wish to dine in your chambers this evening, rather than in the formal dining room, we will accommodate your wishes.”

Lord Edward: Not taking his eyes off his blushing bride Lady Emily, Lord Edward responds to his longtime retainer.  “Thank you, Mrs. G.  I believe that you have anticipated our wishes accurately.”

Then Lord Edward bounds up the grand central staircase two at a time with the slight Lady Emily still in his arms.  Initially, he begins to turn toward his old chambers.  Then he hears a cough.

Valet, Mr. Sherman: “Khhh!  My Lord, Mrs. Griffin has had the Viscount and Viscountess suite chambers made ready for you.” He states in his deferential clipped tone as he gestures to the east corridor.

Lord Edward: “Ah!  Thank you, Sherman. Force of habit going to my old room, I suppose.” Then Lord Edward sprints past his valet and down the correct corridor toward his and Lady Emily’s bed chambers suite.  “You will love the layout of our suite, My Love.  Though not as big nor as luxurious as what we enjoyed at Wells Castle, I believe that you will find it quite lovely.  And you may change any decoration or arrangement that you wish.”

Lady Emily: “As long as we share a bed, nothing else matters to me, Edward Dearest.” She smiles longingly at him.  Spending nearly three hours to get back to town seemed too long for these love birds to be restrained from their loving wishes.

And Lord Edward carries her into their bed chambers suite’s sitting room, and sets her down upon her feet. Lady Emily looks around at the pale blue walls with white accents that complements the furniture upholstery.

Lady Emily:  “Very nice.”  She smiles sincerely.  “Edward, might you please allow me to visit our shared bathing room first?  I shan’t be but a moment.”  She grins sheepishly.

Naturally, Lord Edward and Lady Emily are still in the early stages of them understanding the give and take of married life.

Lord Edward: “Of course, My Darling.”  Then he stifles a mischievous grin as he guides her to the bathing chamber, then leaves her to it.

Lady Emily: “Eeee!”  She squeals in delight again. “Edward, come in here.  You must see this.”

And Lord Edward lopes slowly into the bathing room with a studied air of being blasé.

Lord Edward: “Yes, my love?”  He smiles benignly, as if nothing is amiss.

Lady Emily: “What is that?”  She points to a very large eight foot long oval zCarlisle-House-Bathing-tub_July04-2021viaEtonsofBathInteriors
porcelain object centered in front of the bay window of the bathing room [(2) right].

Lord Edward: Prolonging her suspense, he replies and gestures to the item in question.  “Oh, that?”  She nods in stupefaction.  “That, My Love, is our tub, for two.”  He smiles most seductively at his young Bride.

Lady Emily: “Oh!”  She blushes.  “Well, we can try it, I suppose.”  Though she has only ever bathed alone, and quite likes her privacy.  Lord Edward smiles wolfishly at her.  “Though just now, I do not see what I had hoped was in here—as it was at Wells Castle.”  She pouts nervously.

Lord Edward: “Ah, my dear, our bathing chamber has a separate small room for the necessities.”  He states delicately, strides to the other side of the room, and opens a door leading to a small but spacious converted closet—or garderobe [(3)]  with a chamber pot–that also includes a wash stand with a pitcher of water, a ceramic basin, and a hand towel.

Lady Emily: “Ah! Well if you will excuse me then, Edward, I will return to you in but a moment.”  She shoos him out of the bathing room’s door.  Now she just has to figure out how this garderobe/closet necessary room works–given ladies voluminous skirts.

***

After Lady Emily lies down for her afternoon nap on a nearby day bed, LadyEmily--sleeping-image_Apr27-2021viaLine-17QQ
she looks so lovely [(4) right] amidst [a] large vase of peony flowers that Lord Edward joins her there—with them eventually moving to their spacious bed for greater comfort with his large frame and long legs, as they share their love again with each other this afternoon of their homecoming.

Then some time later that evening as Lord Edward and Lady Emily dine in the small sitting room of their bed chambers suite—them sitting a deux on the comfortingly cushioned banquette together, and in their night clothes–Lady Emily makes some observations about Carlisle House—her new home.

Lady Emily: Sweetly clasping his hand in hers, Lady Emily asks. “Edward, Dearest?  May I discuss something with you?”

Lord Edward: “Of course, My Darling Emily.”  His gaze smouldering Lord Edward-smouldering-image-isRichardArmitageCLS2013-DunnPixQDec2113AmandaMerrFB
passionately at his wife [(5) right] and with a deeply  yearning tremble in his voice.  For he believes that if they have not begun their family legacy at some point during the past two and a half weeks of their honeymoon—let alone, after their arrival at Carlisle House this afternoon–it is not for lack of trying.

Lady Emily: “Oh!  Well, it is not about … that.” She blushes sweetly.  But he pouts, cutely.  “Well, not directly, anyway. Edward Dear, what I mean to say is that tomorrow when I speak to our Housekeeper Mrs. Griffin, I wish to have as smooth a discussion as possible with her.”

Lord Edward: “Naturally.  Mrs. G is a great old girl—and very kind to children.  I even called her Griffy when I was a little boy, so motherly she was to me.  I feel confident that she will love you, and that you will love her–I am certain of it.”

Lady Emily: “Yes, well, be that as it may,”  She winces.  “…were I to suggest to you and to her that there are certain areas of Carlisle House and household management that I would like to change …”  Lady Emily and her ladies maid Pruitt had had a brief conversation earlier today, in which she was made aware of certain unhelpful practices of this home—such as not employing a full time laundress staff, which means that the bed linens and towels, etc, are not washed and cleaned as often as she feels they should be.

Lord Edward: “Yes?”  He invites her to continue, with a modicum of uncertainty.  Lord Edward’s first late wife never took an interest in the House—nor did they share chambers together, for obvious reasons.

Lady Emily: “My question is, will you support me?  I cannot succeed as the Lady of Carlisle House if the servants or you are countermanding my requests.”  She says gently, but Lady Emily’s voice has the firm edge of a lady who knows her own mind—and one whom expects her staff to comply with her wishes/orders.

Lord Edward: “Well, …”  He stalls for time, then hesitantly asks.  “What did you have in mind?”  Lord Edward has left household matters completely in what he feels is Mrs. Griffin’s capable charge.  Being a man, he mostly cared about his food being tasty and not too fussy, his bath being hot, and the receiving and other few rooms that he used most frequently clean and tidy.

Then Lady Emily proceeds to list five areas of the household that need improving, to use her gentle phrasing. She ends with a flourish by stating.

Lady Emily: “Having observed and participated in much of my own home’s management, I feel that I have gained some experience and wisdom regarding creating and maintaining a happy home.”

Lord Edward: “Hopefully with less stridency than your Mama.”  Lord Edward looks at her askance.  But he realizes that in blending their lives together, there will need to be compromises on both of their parts, as husband and wife.

Lady Emily: “Hhhh!  I will grant you that my Mama can be trying at times—and my dear Papa is a saint.  But ours was a well run home. So I hope to help Carlisle House achieve that same level of efficiency, freshened elegance, and comfort. I will begin by asking Mrs. Griffin to explain the house’s history and cleaning arrangements to me as we tour it–and asking her what changes she might make if she could.  Then I will state my additional wishes.  In that way, I hope that she and I can work together, harmoniously.”

Lord Edward:  “That sounds like a good plan.”  He comments skeptically.  “And if you and Mrs. Griffin do not agree on the basic needs of the house?”  He asks with trepidation.

Lady Emily: “I hope that it will not come to that.  Because Mrs. Griffin is experienced with this house, and I do not wish to have any upheavals in our home’s staffing just now.”

Lord Edward: Picking up on her phrasing, he asks. “I sense that you feel these are urgent matters.”  She nods,  “But why the urgency?  Would not it be prudent for you to observe things around the house for a month or so, and then gradually make changes?” It seems logical to him, but then, he never took much notice of the house and its efficiency before.

Lady Emily: “Well, Edward…”  She wets her lips in nervousness.  “You see, it is just that, I do not think I have several months to slowly make improvements.”  She gazes up into his eyes and he sees tears forming in her eyes and quickly embraces her and kisses her forehead.

Lord Edward: “And why is that, My Love?  There, there, everything will be alright.” He adds as her tears fall.  They have not even been in residence at Carlisle House a full day.  And he wonders what can be distressing her so.

Lady Emily: “I hope so.  It is… well, it is just that, from what I have heard, I might soon not feel well enough to busy myself in running our home as I wish to have it run.”  She frets.

Lord Edward: “Emily, My Love, are you unwell?”  He asks, fearful that an illness will take her from him.

Lady Emily: “No. At least, not yet.  But I will likely become unwell soon.”

Lord Edward: “Oh My Love! Why did you not tell me before?  Have you seen a doctor?  We will have you see the most eminent physician there is.”  He promises worriedly.

Lady Emily: “Oh, no!  Edward, my possibly … becoming unwell soon… is not a dire portent.”  She shakes her head no.  “It is just that …”  She stops, not wanting to get his hopes up, nor her own.

Lord Edward: “It is just that…?”  He nudges her to finish her thought.

Lady Emily: Then she blurts it out.  “My courses have not come this week as they normally do.  So if they do not come next month as well, then I think that I will be with child.”  She looks up at him pleadingly, hoping that he will understand.

Lord Edward: “A baby?”  Lord Edward says in a hushly reverent tone. She hesitantlyLordEdward-kissingLadyEmily-isRichardArmitage-inN&S2004Epi4_Nov1013GratianaLCapBrt2
nods yes. “A baby!”  He  says more cheerfully. Then he proceeds to achingly tenderly kiss her all over her face and lips [(6) right].  “How wonderful!  You must take every precaution and not over do, My Darling Emily.”  They embrace joyfully as he soothingly rocks her back and forth as they sit together.

And now Lord Edwards understands that his wife possibly being with child is why his she wants to get the business of reining in the household done and out of the way as soon as may be.  So that they may await their child’s birth with joyful anticipation—a son or a daughter, with him having a slight preference for a baby girl first.—a joy that Lord Edward did not think that he would be blessed with even six months ago.

Lady Emily:  “I will.  And you must know that even if I am careful, if we are careful, the pregnancy might not be … successful.”  She worries.  Her elder sisters each lost a first pregnancy.  So that has been worrying her.  But now they each have at least one healthy child.  So they are doing well, now.

Lord Edward: “Oh! You mentioned that we must be careful?”  She nods yes. “Does that mean, My Darling, that we, … well,  I mean, that we should not …”  He cannot even say the words.

Lady Emily: “I do not know.  All I know is that during the next few weeks, my condition will still be unclear for us.  But I will consult with a midwife on the morrow, just to make certain about whether we may, … or not.”

Lord Edward: “Good!  Now I say that we get some sleep.  You need your strength.”

Lady Emily:  “Only sleep?” Lady Emily asks half hopefully and half disappointedly.  For Lady Emily has found that the loving attentions of her husband give her great joy and contentment—as she gives to him.

Lord Edward: “Well My Love, we may still be lovingly tender with each other.  But, perhaps, just not quite so vigorously jostley.”  He blushes sheepishly, as does she.

Lady Emily: “Alright.  Hhhh!”  She yawns while gracefully covering her mouth with the back of her fingers.  “I guess that I am more tired than I thought—after a half day’s traveling, coming to a new home, then our … loving earlier, and finally, my worries over our discussions about the household and our possibly having a baby.”

Lord Edward: Smiling broadly, yet tenderly, he invites her. “Then let us take our rest, My Love.”  And he guides her to their bed—helping her to remove her robe and lifting her into bed, before he joins her there.

So the newly married couple of not quite three weeks of Lord Edward and Lady Emily Carlisle, lie down to bed together this night with much upon their minds—happy thoughts about possibly becoming parents this year with a honeymoon baby, and now the less important (to him) thoughts about her running the Carlisle House household.  Time and patience will tell them if their hopes, or worries, are answered.  And, they also have their friends’ wedding coming up in one week.

To be continued with Chapter 14

References for Ch. 13  of “Seeking the Niceties of Marriage”,  July 05, 2021 by Gratiana Lovelace (Post #1396)

  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.  The image used to reflect  the Viscount & Viscountess Carlisle’s bathing chamber tub is a modern take on a Regency bathroom was found at  https://www.etonsofbath.com/interior-design/award-for-best-luxury-interior-designer-in-south-west/
  3. A brief historical essay overview about the evolution of chamber pots, etc. is found at https://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/turrets-toilets-partial-history-throne-room-180951788/4. Lady Emily Carlisle sleeping image illustration was found at https://www.google.com/url?sa=i&url=https%3A%2F%2Fline.17qq.com%2Farticles%2Fqqhgmsy.html&psig=AOvVaw0qJwz1rjGN1_UbJbw3ESR9&ust=1620136212517000&source=images&cd=vfe&ved=2ahUKEwiw4N_s063wAhUMP80KHRD8DuoQjRx6BAgAEAc’ Grati color edit

    5. Lord Edward Carlisle gazing smoulderingly at his sweet bride and wife is a RichardArmitage portrait  CLS2013 by SarahDunnPhotography, Dec21-2013 iaAmandaMerrFB
    6. Lord Edward Carlisle kissing Lady Emily Carlisle is Richard Armitage and Daniela Denby-Ashe in North &South (2004) Epi4_Nov1013Gratiana Lovelace-CapBrt2

Gratiana Lovelace Wattpad site link for Ch.13  of “Seeking the Niceties of Marriage”:
https://www.wattpad.com/1095518372-seeking-the-niceties-of-marriage-by-gratiana

Previous SAL blog Post #1393 link for Ch. 12  “Seeking the Niceties of Marriage”:
https://gratianads90.wordpress.com/2021/06/27/seeking-the-niceties-of-marriage-ch-12-pg-13-newlywed-heaven-june-27-2021-by-gratiana-lovelace-post-1393/

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

Fun Day Sunday:  Which #RichardArmitage character would you like to date? July 04, 2021 Gratiana Lovelace (Post #1395)

If you could go on a date with your favorite of the talented British actor Richard Armitage’s many character portrayals:

1) who would it be?

2) where would he take you on your date?

3) and then …?

I’ll start. Harry Kennedy and I would go to the movies in the afternoon after a scrumptious lunch together–holding hands, sneaking kisses. Then he would propose and we would dash to a justice of the peace to get married (after the movie ended, of course)–because what is better after popcorn and salty kisses?  More kisses.

Dibley--Harry-outside-wGerry-isRichardArmitage_Feb0517viaRAFrance._July04-2021grati-brt-flip-clr
(Grati edit—brt-szd-flip-clr)

Thanks to RAFrance for the original image!

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

P.S.  Apologies about the delay on Ch. 13 of my original Regency romance “Seeking the Niceties of Marriage”.  I have been enjoying the long holiday weekend and haven’t had any writing time.  But I hope/plan to write today and post it on July 5th.

Posted in Fun Day Sunday, Gratiana Lovelace, Harry Kennedy, Kissing, Love and Relationships, Portraits, Positivity, Richard Armitage, Richarding, Romance, Social Justice, social media, Society, Something About Love, Vicar of Dibley | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

#RichardArmitage smirking heat as John Porter,  July 02, 2021 by Gratiana Lovelace (Post #1394)

I definitely feel the heat of the talented British actor Richard Armitage as a smirking John Porter in 2010’s StrikeBack!

0-2021wallpaper--Does-July-Heat-make-my-ladies-hot-and-bothered-or-is-it-me_July01-2021byGratianaLovelace-sidebar-size

Yes!  It is you!  Sighhh!

Wishing everyone a safe, healthy, & festive long holiday weekend!  Cheers!  Grati  ;->

Posted in Beauty, British, Creativity, Fangurling, Gratiana Lovelace, John Porter, RA Artwork, RAnet resources, Richard Armitage, Social Justice, social media, Society, Something About Love, Strike Back, Thriller | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

“Seeking the Niceties of Marriage”, Ch. 12 (PG-13):  Newlywed Heaven, June 27, 2021 by Gratiana Lovelace (Post #1393)

(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 Carlisle, 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 written at the creative discretion of this author.  And this is a gentle and tender romance (G to PG-13), but with some frank discussions about love and marriage put to humorous effect.  This is my disclaimer.]

Ch. 12 (PG-13):  Newlywed Heaven

Happily ensconced in Lord Kittredge Wells borrowed luxurious and comfortably large traveling carriage to take them to his estate at Wells Castle to begin their two week honeymoon wedding holiday, the newlyweds of Lord Edward and Lady Emily Carlisle cozily sit side by side upon the same soft dark purple velvet bench—with Lord Edward’s legs easily extended before them.

With his arm around Lady Emily’s shoulder[s], Lord Edward would dearly love to kiss her LadyEmilyCreightonCarlisle-is-of-aPortrait-of-aYoungGirl-byAlbertLynch_Apr25-2021Etsy forehead.  But there is an impediment to him [kissing] her forehead, or anywhere nearby—[it is] not [due to] propriety, for they are married now.  But it is her wide brimmed hat [(2) right].

Lord Edward:  “Emily Darling, our journey will take two hours to reach Wells Castle, would you not like to remove your hat and be more comfortable?”  He smiles hopefully.  Of course, asking for her to remove her hat, is all that he is asking her to do, for the moment.

Lady Emily:  “I am comfortable now.”  Lady Emily smiles and nods at him agreeably.  “Thank you for your kind consideration, Edward Dearest.”  Then she sees him pout—rather cutely, in that full grown man who still wants his treat look.  “But you are, perhaps, more acquainted with the discomfitures of long carriage journeys than I.  So I will remove my hat.”

And so, Lady Emily removes her hat—first removing its long, pointy, and dangerous looking hat pin that had secured her hat to her coiffure, then placing her hat upon the opposing bench.  “Is that better?”  She smiles up at him brightly.

Lord Edward: “Definitely!”  He leans in and he gently, reverently kisses her forehead.  Now she pouts.  “Is something wrong, Emily Darling?”  He worries.

Lady Emily: “Not wrong, per se.  But since we are alone together in this large and comfortably appointed traveling carriage, I thought that we might be able to, well, to kiss more—in addition to our lovely cuddling together as we are now.”  Her sweet face pinkens with her boldness.

Lord Edward: “Exactly, my thoughts as well, My Love.”  Then Lord Edward wastes no time and he  immediately kisses his new youngish wife upon her lips most tenderly, for several adoring moments [(3) below]. Then he gently moves on to kissing her cheek and her long creamy smooth neck as he leans over her as she lies back upon the bench seat cushion a bit.

LordEdward-kissing-LadyEmily--is-a scene-fromN&S2004_May17-2021viaSimonnejpg

Lady Emily: “Hhhhh!”  Lady Emily sighs in feeling so cherished.  “Ooh Edward, you make me feel so wonderful, I feel like I might swoon.”  She gushes.

Lord Edward:  Still with his lips upon her lovely throat, feeling her rapid heart beat pulsing through her vein there, he asks. “Do you want me to stop, My Darling?”  He very much hopes not.

Lady Emily: “Oh no!  I like it excessively!”  Lady Emily strokes her husband’s hair in an encouraging way—for him to keeping doing, what he is doing.  “But your shirt points are painfully poking me, in my … my upper chest.  Mightn’t you remove your cravat and collar for me?”  She asks him sweetly.

Lord Edward: “With pleasure?  And my utmost apologies!”  Lord Edward also remembers to say as he swiftly sits up, deftly unbinds himself from his cravat—carefully removing the lovely diamond stick pin that Lady Emily had given him for her wedding gift to him—then he removes his attached collar and unbuttons the top of his shirt a bit.  “There!  Is that better?”  He asks with a smile.  Then he notices that she is staring at him—or rather at his neck.

Lady Emily:   “Oh my!  I have never seen a gentleman’s neck before. Yours looks so commanding, strong, and … solid, like a tree.”  Then Lady Emily reaches up and touches his neck, then she strokes his neck, with her placing her hand flat at the base of his neck.  “And your upper chest skin is smooth, but it also feels very … hard.”  She observes with wonder—her alluding to his muscles.

Lady Emily’s [sweet] innocence and naivete is proving to be quite a delight to Lord Edward.

Lord Edward: “Thank you, My Love.  I admit to enjoying riding, fencing, and other sport.  So I keep myself in peak physical condition.  Perhaps later, you will have occasion to see them.”  He hints at his other muscles, then seeing his wife Lady Emily tilt her head in curiosity and surprise, he amends his explanation.  “I mean, my demonstrating some of those sports and activities for you.”  He dissembles.

Lady Emily:  Feeling bold, Lady Emily suggests innocently seductively.  “And, Edward Dearest, might there be some activities that we as husband and wife may do together?”  She smiles sweetly.  For her sisters’ pre-wedding chat has made her curious to know and to experience what all well loved wives know and experience.

Lord Edward:  “Yes.  Of course.”  He smiles hopefully to her.

Then Lord Edward more fully ponders her request for activities that they may do together.  And lovingly ravishing his new young wife in the carriage—though tempting for a future time–is not how he wants to tenderly cherish her as they begin their loving marriage together this day.

Lady Emily:  “Well?”  She queries boldly.

Lord Edward:  “Perhaps we should try to nap a bit.”  He states as he also removes his suit jacket and waistcoat for his own comfort.   “The coachman will need to rest the horses in an hour.  So we will also have our delayed midday meal at an inn, before continuing our journey to Wells Castle.”  The wedding breakfast foods were light fare, and Lord Edward is hungry for a substantial meal to fortify him.

Lady Emily smiles and nods in agreement. She likes how her husband Lord Edward is being kind and considerate of her—by him taking their new husband and wife togetherness slowly.  So she leans against her husband’s shirt covered chest and he encloses her in his arms, also clasping her hand lying upon his chest.  They sweetly kiss each other, and doze off cuddling together for the first time.

***

Since napping in a jostling carriage ride is not as restful as it might sound—even with their stop for a delayed midday lunch—Lord Edward and Lady Emily are eager to be at their friend and cousin Lord Kitt’s Wells Castle to start their honeymoon.  Or at least, to see more than just the inside of their loaned luxurious carriage.

Lady Emily looks out the carriage window as it begins to turn into the drive leading to the front of Wells Castle and she is in awe.

Lady Emily: “Kitt’s Castle is enormous!”  She exclaims in wonder trying to count all of the castle turrets, but realizes that the castle itself is so deep that she is unlikely to be able to do that from their current vantage point.

Lord Edward: Him having visited his longtime best friend Kitt’s favorite home at Wells Castle many times over the years, Lord Edward nods in agreement.  “Oh yes, it is. When I was a boy and first came to visit Kitt at a school break, I lost my way trying to get from my bed chamber to the breakfast room.  And with hidden passages for servants to move about in, for them not to be in the main castle hallways, I was quite alone.”

Lady Emily:  “What happened?”  She asks in concern for the then child Lord Edward.

Lord Edward: “Well, when I failed to appear for breakfast, Kitt guessed that I might need assistance finding the breakfast room—since I was not known then to ever forgo a meal—so he eventually found me, staring woefully at an empty ballroom. Then he lead me back to the breakfast room and we ate our meal. Ha ha ha ha ha!”  Lord Edward laughs heartily at the memory.

Lady Emily: “Well I hope, Edward Dearest, that you will guide me as we move about the castle.  I would not want to get lost and find myself alone.”  She shudders.  As child, she never liked hiding games for that very reason.

Lord Edward: Smiling tenderly to her, he assures her.  “Of course, Emily Darling.  We shall do every thing together while we are here.”

Lady Emily: “Everything?”  She asks wonderingly.

Lord Edward:  “Everything.”  He smolders and kisses her lightly upon her lips as she trembles.

And at that moment, the atmosphere between the two of them crackles with loving anticipation, as the carriage comes to a stop in front of Wells Castle.  They have arrived.

***

Naturally, Lord Kitt had written ahead to his Wells Castle Butler Mr. George and his Housekeeper Mrs. George to make the castle and its finest royal guest apartment ready for the ease and comfort of his guests—the newlywed love birds Lord Edward and Lady Emily Carlisle at the start of their honeymoon trip.

So upon the Viscount and Viscountess of Carlisle’s arrival, the Wells Castle senior staff are standing at attention in the castle’s foyer to greet the newly married couple who are also friends and cousins of their lord and master Lord Kittredge Wells.

But first the longtime Butler and the Housekeeper greet the newlyweds  in the front courtyard as they exit their carriage.

Butler Mr. George:  “Lord Carlisle, it is a pleasure to welcome you once more to Wells Castle.  And to also welcome your new bride Lady Carlisle.  On behalf of Wells Castle, we offer our sincere felicitations upon your marriage this day.  And we will endeavor to make your stay as comfortable as possible for you.”  He bows with a flourish.

Lord Edward: “Thank you, Mr. George.”  Then he turns to his new wife.  “My Dear Lady Carlisle, this is Mr. George the Wells Castle Butler and his wife Mrs. George  the Wells Castle Housekeeper.  I have known them since my childhood—upon my many visits during school breaks with Lord Kitt.”  He beams as the old retainers bow deferentially to him.  And he returns their bows, indicating his esteem of them.

Lady Emily:  “I am delighted to meet you both!  I am certain that Lord Carlisle and I will enjoy our stay at this lovely castle.”  She smiles sweetly to her husband Lord Edward and to Mr. & Mrs. George.

Lord Edward and Lady Emily nod at the senior staff assembled in the cavernously large castle foyer as they enter Wells Castle proper.  The sturdy gray stone castle exterior giving way to an elegant interior of polished white marble floors and gray stone walls impressively draped with colorful and large tapestries to keep out the damp and the chill in Winter.  The castle is lovely, and Lord Edward looks forward to guiding his new wife Lady Emily on a private tour.  But for now, the newlyweds wish to focus upon themselves.

So eschewing a tour of the castle just now in order to change out of their traveling clothes and to rest, they are quickly bustled up to their guest bed chamber suite of the elegant Royal apartments that Lord Kitt directed they were to have.  For their individual privacy, the his and hers bed chambers and bathing rooms are situated on opposite sides of a shared sitting room with a breakfast nook in the bay window.  They each feel that they will be very comfortable here.

After they are left alone in their guest bed chambers suite, Lord Edward and Lady Emily fall into each others’ arms and  kiss with aching tenderness for several moments, joyful to be sharing in their wonderous feelings of newlywed love.

And as she had so forthrightly mentioned earlier, Lady Emily gently reminds Lord Edward that his collar’s shirt points are poking her again—so he removes them again for her comfort, as he backs into his bed chamber and she follows him.  Then she realizes something as she looks about his bed chamber, with his clothing trunks open.

Lady Emily: “Oh pooh!”  She stamps her boot covered delicate foot.  Her letting her uncensored rude phrase stand unapologized for, since her Mama Lady Creighton is not here to chastise her about its use.  “They must have put my trunks and things in the other bed chamber.  So should I change my dress in there?  And I want to freshen up with a bath first.”

Lord Edward:  “Well, Emily My Love, my guess is that the staff has anticipated our needs and your bath awaits you in your bathing chamber, as does mine in here.  Shall I help you, kkhhh, unbutton your gown?”  He asks helpfully, and with a bit of a cough to disguise his vocal tone breaking with his own nervousness.  Lord Edward has not had this experience before, a wedding night–or afternoon, since it is only 3pm.

She nods.  So the two of them cross through the lovely and well appointed French style sitting room and into her bed chamber.  The flower patterned silk bedding is in lovely pastel colors to Lady Emily’s appreciative gaze.  Lord Edward leads her to her bathing chamber which is as he thought, fully ready for her to have her bath—with warm water sitting in buckets in front of the fireplace hearth, waiting to be poured into her bath for her.  So Lord Edward does that for her—even adding some bath crystals which add [soap bubbles] and a pleasing scent of roses to the bath water.  He leaves one bucket near the hearth to keep warm, for her to use to rinse herself with.

Then Lord Edward swiftly unbuttons the back of her gown—and loosens her lacings at her request.  Then he leaves her to her privacy and heads back to his bed chamber for a bracing bath himself, then he also shaves.  It would not do to scratch Lady Emily’s dear face with his afternoon beard stubble when they kiss. He then attires himself in his loose sleep shorts and a blousy shirt to await Lady Emily.

However, after waiting ten minutes more for her by the sitting room’s fireplace mantel clock, he wonders how long ladies take in their baths. So he walks over to her bed chamber door left ajar and knocks.

Lord Edward: “Emily Darling, are you done with your bath?”  He asks, trying not to sound too eager—but that he is.

Lady Emily:  “Oh yes, thank you, Edward.  I am sorry to have lost track of the time, but I was having so much fun with the bubbles.  I must rinse and dry off yet.”  She states logically. Then she realizes that she has a predicament.  “Oh Edward?”

Lord Edward had turned to sit in the sitting room, but now he turns back to the sound of her voice.

Lord Edward: “Yes, My Love?”  He replies, wondering what she might say.  Being a true husband is so new to him, he has no idea what to expect.

Lady Emily: “Usually, my maid rinses me. But …”  Her unspoken request hangs in the air.  Lord Edward is speechless with anticipation.  “If you promise to close your eyes and not to look at me, you may rinse me.”

Lord Edward: “Oh!  Of course, My Darling.”  His voice trembles and breaks vocal tone.  “But, if I close my eyes now, I fear that I will bash into the furniture in the bedroom on my way to you.”

Lady Emily: She thinks a moment, then decides.  “You may keep your eyes open until you rinse me.  The soapy bubbles are keeping me covered.”  She states plainly—with no idea what lovely vision of her is being conjured by her husband with the statement that she just made.

Lord Edward: “Right.  Very well, Emily.  Here I come.”  He walks through her bed chamber to the bathroom door again.  “Are you certain you want me to rinse you, Emily?”

Lady Emily: “I do, or I will be all soapy.”  She states logically.

Lord Edward: “Alright, I am coming in.”

And indeed, Lord Edward’s vision in his mind of his wife Lady Emily in her bath becomes reality as he enters her bathing chamber again.  She is facing him and lying in her soap bubbles bath water up to her chin in the white porcelain tub.  Her hair is piled high so it does not get wet, yet some tendrils that had fallen down cling wetly to her neck.

Lady Emily: Her trying not to convey her embarrassment in having her new husband rinse her, she asks him.  “Edward, will you first place my bath towel on the small table next to me in the bath tub?”  He does that.  “Thank you.  Now please make sure that the rinse water is warm, but not scalding—since it is sitting on the hearth next to the fire.” Lord Edward checks the water temperature by sticking his finger in it, and nods to her that it is fine.  “Good, here is what we will do.  You bring the rinse water bucket over to the bath and close your eyes.”  He does that.  “Now I will stand with my back to you and you hold the water bucket over the bath tub and pour it over me.”

Lord Edward: “One question.  With my eyes closed, how will I be able to make sure that I am pouring the rinse water on you?”  He asks pertinently.

Lady Emily:  “Well, you hold out the bucket and I’ll tell you when it is in the right place for you to pour.  Let us try it, shall we?”

Lord Edward:  “As you wish.”  He gulps.

So Lord Edward holds the rinse water bucket up and out over the tub and closes his eyes again.  Lady Emily stands up from her bath  with her back to him, and she positions herself with her shoulders under the bucket.

Lady Emily: “I am in position.  You may pour the water on me now.”  She blushes while holding her arms in front of herself.

Still with his eyes firmly closed, Lord Edward slowly pours the warm rinse water and Lady Emily moves her arms and body underneath it to take advantage of the falling water rinsing herself thoroughly.  When the bucket is empty, he stands back, and turns around so that now his back is facing her—with his eyes still closed and not peeking, while Lady Emily grabs her bath towel and wraps it around herself, then she gingerly steps over the bath tub rim and onto a towel on the floor, so she does not slip on the marble floor while her feet are wet.  Finally, she puts on a large and warm bathing robe made of toweling fabric over her other towel, for her to further finish drying off.

Her husband is yet standing still like a statue, waiting for her next request—listening for her every movement, hearing her drape a towel upon herself.  She sneaks up behind him, her still in her state of somewhat undried dishabille.

Lord Edward: “Should I wait for you in the sitting room, Emily Darling?”  He asks considerately, though his willpower to treat his wife with patience this day is shredding with her scent of roses and him knowing that she has just stepped out of her bath—after he rinsed her off. “Hhhh!”  He sighs deeply.

Lady Emily: She gently touches his back—which he arches when she touches him.  “You may wait for me in my bedroom, Edward Dearest.  I just need to put on my nightgown and robe.”

Lord Edward: “Certainly.”

He nods, sets the now empty water bucket on the bathing room floor, and steps out of her bathing chamber, and she shuts the door.  Then Edward nearly crumples to the floor from nervous tension, but for an advantageously placed wing chair that he plops into. He thinks that this being married business is at turns scintillating and exhausting, in trying to behave with decorum.

After a mere moment, the bathing chamber door opens, and Lady Emily stands gazing lovingly at her husband. Lord Edward gazes in awe at his lovely wife—her long hair lying about her shoulders in silken auburn waves. She steps into her bed chamber and then sits down across her husband’s lap—placing her arms about his shoulders.  Then she whispers into his ear.

Lady Emily:  “You may ravish me now, Edward My Love.”

Lord Edward: “With pleasure!”  He whispers back to her.  Then he lifts her into the air in his arms as he stands up, then he gently places her in the bed, before joining her there.

And thus the formerly shy and awkward spinster in waiting Lady Emily and the previouslyNewlyweds-feet-under-covers_Oct1012instforenergyresearchorg_May1614-crop-sized rejected as a husband five years ago Lord Edward cuddle and kiss and such in her bed—achieving together a blissful feeling of newlywed heaven [(4) right] in each other’s arms, several times that day, and in the days following while upon their honeymoon.

In fact, Lord Edward and Lady Emily Carlisle feel so wonderfully lovingly comfortable with each other here at Wells Castle—which they pronounce as very nice, indeed–that they decide to spend their whole two week honeymoon at Wells Castle and its environs, rather than wasting time traveling elsewhere.

Besides, they have another wedding coming up in London, for which they are attendants.  And that upcoming wedding event will be their first foray into society as a newly married husband and wife.

To be continued with Chapter 13

References for Ch. 12  of “Seeking the Niceties of Marriage”,  June 27, 2021
by Gratiana Lovelace (Post #1393)

  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. The image representing Lady Emily Creighton Carlisle, wearing a wide brimmed hat from her first season, is a “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;3. Lord Edward Carlisle kissing-Lady Emily Creighton image is of Richard Armitage and Daniela Denby-Ashe from North & South 2004_May17-20214. The image representing Lord Edward and Lady Emily Carlisle canoodling feet as newlyweds was found at https://ak7.picdn.net/shutterstock/videos/4728737/thumb/2.jpg?i10c=img.resize(height:160)

Gratiana Lovelace Wattpad site link for Ch.12  of “Seeking the Niceties of Marriage”:
https://www.wattpad.com/1091330379-seeking-the-niceties-of-marriage-by-gratiana

Previous SAL blog Post #1392  link for Ch. 11  “Seeking the Niceties of Marriage”:

“Seeking the Niceties of Marriage”, Ch. 11:  Bride & Groom, June 20, 2021 by Gratiana Lovelace (Post #1392)

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

“Seeking the Niceties of Marriage”, Ch. 11:  Bride & Groom, June 20, 2021 by Gratiana Lovelace (Post #1392)

 

(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 written at the creative discretion of this author.  And this is a gentle and tender romance (G to PG-13), but with some frank discussions about love and marriage put to humorous effect.  This is my disclaimer.]

 

Ch. 11:  Bride & Groom

With not even 48 hours since Lady Emily and her father Lord Creighton, Lord Edward Carlisle, and Lord Kittredge Wells vanquished the danger from the unhinged George Lawrence that had threatened Lady Emily’s and Lord Edward’s wedding, there are still some lingering butterflies—or some would say dozens of them—resident in wreaking havoc in the participant’s stomachs.

Yet this bright and shining Saturday morn at 10 o’clock, Lady Emily Creighton will be united in marriage with her love Lord Edward Carlisle.  And Lord Kitt as Best Man Attendant  for Lord Edward has made sure that Lord Edward is not kidnapped, nor escaping his wedded fate, and looking handsomely presentable in his new blue superfine jacket, ivory shirt, gold cravat, gold embossed waistcoat,  buff pantaloons, and black leather wedding shoes.  Lord Kitt is dressed similarly. 

In fact, the two best friends rather look like book ends. And with 1 hour until the wedding, the two gentlemen bide their time by playing cards in an antechamber at the Church—scandalous!–them having arrived in one of Lord Kitt’s carriages,  just in case Lord Edward’s and Lord Creighton’s grooms and blacksmiths had not found and repaired all of the tampered with carriages that needed it.

However for the ladies—namely the Bride Lady Emily Creighton, her married older sisters Lady Portia Fitzgibbons and Lady Ione Melville as her Matrons of Honor Attendants and their mother Lady Patience Creighton—everyone has been a flutter since 6 o’clock this morning.  First there was a light breakfast of fruit, egg, and toast with tea to be had together by the ladies en famille in Lady Patience’s large boudoir.  Lord Creighton has absented himself from the ladies, for now, and taken himself off to do whatever Fathers of the Bride do just before the wedding.

But after the light breakfast, Lady Patience dismisses her elder two daughters to their guest rooms to take their baths before getting dressed in their gowns, whilst she has a little marital chat with her youngest daughter Bride, Lady Emily.

Lady Patience:  “Now my Dear Emily, it is time for me to have a little chat with you about your marital responsibilities.”

Lady Emily: “There is no need, Mama.”  Lady Emily smiles brightly.

Lady Patience: “No need?  Never tell me that you and Lord Carlisle have anticipated your wedding vows?”  She asks aghast, wondering when her daughter could have slipped away chaperoned.  Ah, yes, their cousin Lord Kittredge Wells supposedly joined them for ices the other day.

Lady Emily: “Mama!  Of course not! It is just that my sisters Ione and Portia came to my bed chamber last night and, well, they explained it all to me.”  Lady Emily’s face is both blushing and paling at the same time—so innocent is she.

Lady Patience:  “I see by your blushing face that your sisters have thoroughly informed you of the particulars?”  Lady Emily nods shyly.  “Do you have any questions, Dearest?” 

Lady Emily shyly shakes her head no.  For you see, her sisters had warned her that their Mama had given each of them an old fashioned view of husbands and wives—involving mating rituals and breeding necessities for an heir, and such–when they were each married three and five years ago, respectively.  So they did not want their youngest sister to suffer from any worries or concerns.

Lady Emily: “I thank you, Mama, for thinking of me.”  She smiles.  “But we had each best part so we can attend to our getting ready for my wedding this morning.”  Lady Emily uncharacteristically takes charge of the situation, and she kisses her Mama’s nonplused cheek then leaves for her own bedroom and bath with a smile upon her face—her anticipating some particular niceties of marriage after when she and her Lord Edward are wed later this morning—such as kissing.

So Lady Patience is left but to wonder how her youngest daughter, Lady Emily, could have grown into such a strong minded woman.  And though Lady Emily had her own Mama’s example to go by in that regard, Lady Emily is somewhat softer and less strident than her Mama is. 

***

Having bathed, styled their hair, become adorned in their fine gowns and selected hair and jewelry ornaments, Lady Emily’s sisters the Lady Portia and the Lady Ione seem to be under the mistaken impressions that they are the bride today so brightly colored are they from head to toe—and they will surely stand out, but not in a good way.  And Lady Emily is not dismayed in the least at her sisters possibly outshining her today at her wedding.  For there is only one person, one man she hopes to please—the man she plans to marry this day, Lord Edward Carlisle.  And she is confident that he will have eyes only for her.

LadyEmilys-WeddingDressCompositeApr0612GratianaLovelaceEdit_Jun20-2021szd-smlr-flipWhereas, when Lady Ione and Lady Portia collect their sister Lady Emily—who is a true Bride today– from her bed chamber, they find her to be gowned in their mother Lady Creighton’s beautiful  shimmering pale gold heirloom wedding gown with a lovely ivory lace collar added to conceal Lady Emily’s womanly curvy bosoms, at her request.  The gown itself has been only minimally and temporarily altered to fit Lady Emily’s shorter frame by creating a draping effect in artfully gathering sections of the gown skirting.  And apart from tastefully small diamond ear rings Lady Emily wears that are part of Lady Emily’s engagement ring’s parure–that her soon to be husband gave her yesterday–her only other ornament is her engagement ring from Lord Edward.

So restrainedly elegant is Lady Emily [(2) above left], that her Papa smiles delightedly upon seeing her in their family’s foyer before they set out for St. Martin’s Church in one of Lord Kitt’s loaned carriages—again, just in case.

Lord Creighton: “You look lovely, My Dear!  And remind me of your Mama and my wedding day so many years ago.”  He is not a man prone to emotional outbursts, but there is definitely a teary eyed look to him.

Lady Emily:  “Oh thank you, Papa, for everything!  I will miss you when I go to my new home with Edward!”  She replies in a most heartfelt manner to her Papa once they two are secreted by themselves in the carriage. 

Lord Creighton: “You’re a good girl.”  He pats her cheek in a fatherly way.  “I believe that you and Lord Carlisle will be happy together.”

Lady Emily:  “I know that we shall be happy.  I love Edward so very much, Papa!”  She exclaims so fervently that her sweet Papa jests.

Lord Creighton: “Ah and here we are at the church.  You will be able to tell him so yourself.  But do wait for the Vicar to prompt you, My Dear!”  Then he winks at her, puncturing her nervousness, and his.

***

With their wedding guests already seated in St. Martin’s Church, Lady Emily’s and her Papa’s arrival herald the beginning of the wedding ceremony.  After Lady Creighton is seated up front on the Bride’s side on the left side of the center aisle with her sons-in-laws and a few other relatives and close family friends, there is a hush as the back door to the church sanctuary opens and Lady Emily’s sisters stately and gracefully walk up the church’s center aisle to lovely slow music, then move to stand to the left, the Bride’s side of the altar.

And Lord Kittredge Wells cannot help but notice the two Matrons of Honor ladies brightly colored gowns, and he wonders if one of the church’s many gargoyles above are sneering at them, for Lord Kittredge cannot sneer outwardly whilst he is on display at the front as his best friend Lord Edward’s Best Man Attendant.

As the music now changes to a more choral piece of cheerful notes and happy pacing, LordLOCD48~1 Creighton slowly guides his daughter up the center aisle of St. Martin’s Church.  Lady Emily, herself, sees not the flowers nor the guests before her, but she sees only her beloved and resplendently handsome Lord Edward Carlisle [(3) right] waiting for her.  His countenance is mesmerized by her beauty and sweetness. 

When they reach the altar, Lady Emily’s father Lord Creighton stands with her for but a moment longer, before relinquishing her to her Groom.

Vicar: “Who gives this woman to be married this day?”

Lord Creighton: “I do.”  He says commandingly, though only he can perceive the slight tremble in his voice at seeing his youngest and best beloved daughter safely and lovingly wed this day.  Then Lord Creighton kisses his daughter’s cheek and transfers her hand to Lord Carlisle’s hand.  “I give you this day the greatest treasure in life, my daughter Lady Emily.  Cherish her, My Lord.”  Lord Creighton nods at his soon to be son-in-law, then steps back, turns, and then sits in the front pew with his wife Lady Patience.

The bridal couple turns to gaze upon each other as the Vicar prepares to formally begin the service. 

Lord Edward: “Emily, you are breathtakingly beautiful!” He whispers adoringly to her.

Lady Emily: “And you are so handsome, Edward!”  She answers in a correspondingly hushed whisper.

Vicar: “Kkhh!”  He smiles and leans toward Lady Emily and Lord Edward and whispers.  “May we begin?”

Both Lord Edward and Lady Emily nod sheepishly and the Vicar begins their wedding ceremony.  Lady Emily and Lord Edward are so wrapped up in gazing lovingly into each other’s eyes during their wedding ceremony that they will be hard pressed to answer later which part of their wedding ceremony they liked best—since they barely listen to it. Happily, the Vicar subtly leans forward at the parts where they are required to answer—their I dos and their vows, which they finish with a tender flourish:

Lord Edward and Lady Emily:   “… to love, honor, and cherish each other, till death us do part”.  Of course, Lord Edward hopes that they are not tempting fate a second time by including the till death us do part bit.  But he feels that he and Lady Emily are so right for each other, that all will be well for them in starting their marriage this day.

Then the ring exchange concludes the wedding ceremony with a final sacred blessing.

Vicar:  “In as much as Lord Edward and Lady Emily have shared their wish to marry, and signified thusly with the giving and sharing of rings, I pronounce that they are man and wife.  Those whom God hath joined together, let no man put asunder.”  He intones solemnly.

And for Lord Edward, these words again remind him of his first disastrous marriage—but only briefly.  For he resolves to only focus upon Lady Emily, her happiness and well being. 

So then for good measure and rather impulsively, Lord Edward kisses his lovely bride Lady Emily quite sweetly tenderly on her lips for the briefest of moments–their passion will come later.  And their wedding attendees look upon the now newly married relatively young couple with tender smiles for them being a love match.

It was a lovely wedding ceremony, followed by an equally lovely wedding breakfast garden party at the Creighton’s London estate. Lady Emily’s and Lord Edward’s joy seems to be felt by everyone, and they continue to hold hands as they greet their guests and family members.

And just after the toasts from family and friends—with Lord Kittredge Wells setting everyone laughing with his speech about blessing Lord Edward’s and Lady Emily’s love and marriage,  and wanting them to grant him several honorary nieces and nephews forthwith—the party continues sans the happy bridal couple, who escape from the rest of the festivities.

So Lord Edward and Lady Emily Carlisle slip away from their wedding breakfast celebration in the early afternoon of Saturday  for the beginnings of their two week wedding honeymoon holiday—them taking another of Lord Kitt’s loaned traveling carriages to his country home Wells Castle but two hours outside of London for their wedding night, and a few days there after.

To be continued with Chapter 12

 

References for Ch. 11  of “Seeking the Niceties of Marriage”,  June 20, 2021 by Gratiana Lovelace (Post #1392)

  1. My “Seeking the Niceties of Marriage” story cover illustration Edit is comprised of: a)  ivory lace background, 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’s Wedding gown Composite Edit of a lace collar overlay and Daniela Denby-Ashe’s head as Margaret Hale in North & South (2004) on Apr0612  by Gratiana Lovelace—and additional edits Jun20-2021  szd-smlr-flip-image

    3. Lord Edward Carlisle gazing at Lady Emily Creighton walking up the church aisle to him at their wedding is Richard Armitage as John Thornton in North & South (2004) viaRAnet_May2014Grati-sized-eyeclr–bl-jkt-szd-crop

Gratiana Lovelace Wattpad site link for Ch.11  of “Seeking the Niceties of Marriage”:
https://www.wattpad.com/1087840679-seeking-the-niceties-of-marriage-by-gratiana

Previous SAL blog post #1390  link for Ch. 10  “Seeking the Niceties of Marriage”:
https://gratianads90.wordpress.com/2021/06/16/seeking-the-niceties-of-marriage-ch-10-wedding-day-danger-looms-june-16-2021-by-gratiana-lovelace-post-1390/

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#Juneteenth becomes a new U.S. Federal #Holiday Observance, June 18, 2021 Gratiana Lovelace (Post #1391)

Commemorating and honoring Juneteenth nationally has been a long time in coming:
https://www.pbs.org/newshour/show/the-significance-of-juneteenth-americas-first-new-federal-holiday-in-decades

Juneteenth-Holiday-news-screenshot_June17-2021pbs-Grati-cap

And more about Juneteenth from my post last year about it, may be found here.

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

 

Posted in Gratiana Lovelace, Holiday, Juneteenth, Respect, Social Justice, social media, Society, Something About Love, Video | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments