“Encouragement”, Ch. 12 (PG):  The Kimball Ball, Part 3:  Understanding,  October 25, 2016 Gratiana Lovelace (Post #989) 

aEncouragement-aRegencyLovestorycover_Aug3116byGratianaLovelace_180x282(An original Regency romance  copyrighted by Gratiana Lovelace; all rights reserved)  [(1) story cover, left]

[From time to time, I will illustrate my story characters with:  Richard Armitage as Lord Christian Blount Earl of Sussex, Kate Winslet or Emma Lady Hamilton as Lady Madeline Lucretia Sinclair, Dame Maggie Smith as Lady Lucretia Beckham Knott, Polly Mabrey as Lady Elizabeth Blount, Crispin Bonham-Carter as Lord Harold Blount, Dame Judi Dench as Lady Catherine Blount the Dowager Countess of Sussex, Rupert Penry Jones as Lord Duncan the Viscount Lindsay, and others as noted.]

Authors Content Note: “Encouragement” is a frothy love story with sometimes humorous and sometimes dramatic themes of love and relationships.  It will mostly be at the PG and PG-13 movie levels. Specific chapters or passages may have a further rating of:  D for dramatic emotions, and LS for love scenes that are tenderly sensuous and not explicit.  And I will rate the chapters accordingly. If you are unable or unwilling to attend a movie with the ratings that I provide for a chapter, then please do not read that chapter. This is my disclaimer.  And as is my habit, I will summarize the previous chapter’s events at the beginning of each chapter.

Author’s recap from the previous chapter: While Lord Christian and company attend the Kimball Ball on Friday February 9th, 1816—then him having his sister Lady Lizzie’s presumption of his proposal of marriage to Lady Madeline—Lord Christian feels thwarted at every turn.  And Lady Madeline feels that with Lord Christian seeming to distance himself from being engaged to her, that she has lost him forever.   But the truth is somewhere in the middle.   And the night is still young.


“Encouragement, A Regency Tale of Love and Romance”,
Ch. 12:  The Kimball Ball, Part 3, Understanding

The rest of the evening at the Kimball Ball continues with merely a ruffle of excited conversations about Lord Christian Blount the Earl of Sussex and Lady Madeline Sinclair–without a ruffle for the other attendees, perhaps.  The two individuals at the center of everyone’s gossiping conversations might have an alternative view of the matter.

It is toward the end of the evening–really, in the early hours of the next morning–as the ladylucretiaknott-ismaggiesmith-asladyviolet-indowntonabbey-250_634x649_oct2416-viasatellitesister_grati-sized-crop-flip-clrKimball Ball begins to wind  down, that Lady Madeline finds herself at the refreshment table procuring ices for herself and her very fatigued  Grandmama, Lady Lucretia  Beckham Knott—but for that elder lady’s  surreptitious glancing in her granddaughter and Lord Christian’s general direction  [(2) right], when she thinks they are not looking.  To Lady Knott, there is nothing so annoyingly recalcitrant as two well suited individuals who do not recognize that they are a perfect betrothal pair.

Musing while she waits patiently in the refreshment queue for the glass ices cups, Lady Madeline’s thoughts tend toward the events of tonight.   I danced with a dozen or more men throughout the evening tonight, but I could not tell  my Grandmama who any of them were—though undoubtedly, she is keeping an inventory.  For much like wine, suitors should be relegated to the cellars to age and ferment—waiting for their eventual selection in which to delight us—with the suitors not chosen relegated to becoming dusty and forgotten.  For me, it was enough that these suitors were not Lord Christian Blount, the Earl of Sussex.  Oh, why must I have feelings for him now, when he clearly does not want me for his wife?  Then I feel his presence near me and I turn.

Lord Christian:  “Lady Madeline, your Grandmama told me that you went to procure some ices.” She looks at me quizzically.  So I reply teasingly.  “I thought that I might be able to assist you.”  I smile broadly.

Lady Madeline: “Only if you promise not to knock them out of my hands.”  I say less than humorously and a bit sadly.  But my granite mountain is undeterred.

Lord Christian:  “Lady Madeline, I fear that I have injured you in some way.  Might we take a turn about the Solarium to chat in the cool night air? It is rather stuffy in here.”  Though the Solarium might be ideal for lovers’ trysts—with all of the plant fronds about—it is well inhabited by footman, supposedly to provide aid to the Kimball’s guests.  But stil

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l, some privacy will be afforded to us.

Lady Madeline: I suspiciously look at Lord Christian [(3) right].  “Given the commotion earlier, people might presume again that you are going to propose to me.”  I challengingly gaze at him.

Lord Christian:   I throw up my hands in mock defense and smile.  “I plead no contest, My Lady.  I promise not to propose to you, if you promise not to reject me before I do.”

Lady Madeline:  “Your logic is rather circular, Lord Christian.”  I tilt my head quizzically at him.

Lord Christian:  “Good!  I am glad that you noticed.”  I smile broadly and tuck her small hand around my arm and steer her away from the ices.  We walk out the French doors toward the Solarium–where other couples are strolling. So we are essentially–if not particularly–well chaperoned.

Lady Madeline:  I look forlornly at the other happy couples, wondering if I will ever know that joy–of being in love.  “It is rather crowded out here.” I remark disappointedly.

Lord Christian: “Then let us walk the few steps to the area with the large palm fronds  and sit upon that near stone bench.  It should afford us a measure of privacy while still keeping us in full sight of others to protect our reputations.”  She nods.

After we have settled ourselves upon the stone bench, there is a slightly awkward silence between Lord Christian and myself. And ever one to abhor a vacuum, I rush in again.

Lady Madeline: “Lord Christian, I wish to thank you again, for clarifying that I am not engaged to you.  Perhaps I should wear a sign upon my forehead?  The sign would read, I am so not Lord Christian’s fiancé.”  I flutter my lashes at him in my best coquettish flirt–I hope. Yet in truth,  I use humor as a mask when I am feeling sad.

Lord Christian: “Ha ha ha ha ha!  That would be a good jest!”  I roar with laughter.  “You have spirit, Lady Madeline.  Fear not, you will attract some eligible man whom you will deem worthy to call your husband.”  I smile at her warmly, then I tuck a loose tendril behind her ear. It is an intimate act, touching another person–however slight that touch might be.

Lady Madeline:  I gaze up at him.  “But what of you, Lord Christian?”  I ask hopefully.lordchristian-isrichardarmtiage-innorthsouth-epi2-116-jan0214ranet-sized-blur-clr-shrp-crop2-clr

Lord Christian:  I look at her questioningly, hopefully [(4) right].  “Me, my Lady?  Are you asking generally, or particularly?”

Lady  Madeline: I blush at my boldness.  “Oh generally, of course.  Are you finding any one lady worthy for you to offer for her to become your wife?”  I ask him boldly.  And I wish I had the courage to add, might I be worthy?

Lord Christian:  “Hhhh!  Such as you with your dowry, Lady Madeline, I feel constrained by not knowing if someone likes me for my title and lands–however mortgaged to the hilt they might be–or for myself.  You said it, yourself, people are on their best behavior–them wanting to appear to best advantage, and thus not speaking honestly. It is difficult to know who speaks the truth and who is sincere in their attachment.”

Lady Madeline: “Except for us.  We have always been honest with each other–to a fault, perhaps.”

Lord Christian: “Indeed we have, Lady Madeline.”  I smile cordially at her.
Lady Madeline:  Then I somehow find courage to speak resolutely from my heart as I gaze ladymadeline-blue-ballgown-iskatewinslet-asmarianne-insensesensibility_oct2016pntrst-crp2-clrhair-skn-eyesuncertainly [(5) right] at Lord Christian.  “And in a spirit of honesty and frankness, I wish to be clear about my feelings for you, Lord Christian.”  I soldier on.  “Tragic love stories and poems are rife with lovers having missed opportunities, of not knowing each other’s true feelings.  I do not want to waste my life wondering what my life would have been like if I had acted or spoken differently.”

Lord Christian:  “That is commendable, My Lady.” I am not sure where she is going with her line of reasoning. She has made it quite clear to me that she does not welcome my suit—with her dissembling somewhat with her surmising that I think of her only as my sister’s friend.  Then she astonishes me.

Lady Madeline:  “Though I had first scoffed at my Grandmama’s notion of you and I making a match—with the intention of our becoming engaged to be married–I no longer feel that way.  Lord Christian, as I have come to know you and your character, I find that you are a good man, family oriented, honorable, and kind–the best of men.   And you are the most handsome man whom I have ever met.  So I fear that every man my Grandmama throws toward my path is wanting in my eyes–and in my heart, because they are not you.”

Lord Christian:  “My Lady, are you saying that you …” I begin with a hopeful sigh.  But then she annoyingly interrupts me.  She does that quite often, I think bemusedly.

Lady Madeline: I hold up my gloved hand as I stand and begin to pace in front of him.  He stands out of ingrained politeness.  “Please sit down and let me finish while I still have the courage to say what I feel that I must.”  Lord Christian nods respectfully at me as he sits down again and leans back and folds his arms in a listening pose.  “And I am attracted to you as a woman to a man–not as you being an Earl.” He raises his eyebrow.  “Oh, your title is nice. But as I said before, I am interested in love with the man whom I marry.  And I believe that I am falling in love with you, Christian.”  I boldly use just his given name.  I sit down on the bench next to him again, and I look up at him beseechingly as I clasp his large hand in mine.  I may be a little plump compared to the taller and reed thin debutantes go, but his grand height and large hands make me feel diminuative.  I like that.

Lord Christian:   “Lady Madeline, Are you asking me to marry you?” I ask with incredulity. Now even she is thwarting my best efforts to propose.  Well, maybe my best is not as good as other people’s best might be—mine having no flowery poems, and I have never proposed before.  So I am not practiced in the art of proposing.

Lady Madeline: “Not in so many words.  I will leave that office to your execution, if you feel so inclined.”  I add hastily as I smile hopefully at him.

Lord Christian: “My Lady, you do me a great honor with your confession …” Now I address her informally, in kind.   With great gentleness and softening my deep and sometimes gruff voice, I respond to her.  “Madeline, though I am very fond of you–more than any lady of my previous acquaintance–I feel that I must be honest with you and state that I am not in love with you, not yet.”

Lady Madeline: “I knew that.”  I nod.  “But I still find that the confirmation of it is a disappointment.”  I cannot help but pout wincingly as I  slightly lean away from him.

Lord Christian: “Do not misunderstand me, Madeline. In the interest of not failing to act upon life altering opportunities, I also do not wish to let you slip through my fingers–with my wondering what might have been between us.  I am certain that if we marry that my fondness and my tender regard for you will–in time–develop into a deep love for you as we share our lives together and we have children together.”

Lady Madeline: I smile hopefully again.  “But?”  There is always a but.

Lord Christian: “But, … you must know that some crass people will try to put it about that I am marrying you for your dowry and for your legacy that you will inherit upon your grandmother’s death–to bolster my diminished estate finances and to create a suitable dowry for my sister Lizzie.   While that is not entirely true, the money does make my choosing you easier.”

Lady Madeline:  I think about that for a moment.  “Are you saying that it is easier for you to offer for me because I have money?  Or are you saying that my having money allows you to consider offering for me?”

Lord Christian: “I do not precisely see the distinction between those two conditions.”  My brow furrows in confusion.

Lady Madeline: “Well, in the former, you are marrying me for my money.  And in the latter, you want to marry me, and the money facilitates that.”  I look at him in hopeful yearning.  Please, oh please, say the right thing, Christian.

Lord Christian:  “Madeline, there are many ladies with significant dowries–and dowries larger than your own– that make them worthy of my consideration.  Our hosts’ daughter Lady Penelope is one.  But you and I have connected on a personal level with each other.  We are honest and open in our thoughts and feelings—when we choose to reveal them.  And though your forthrightness might be off putting to other suitors, I find your candor refreshing.  You are a spitfire, My Lady.”  I think that if she is this passionate in a Solarium—someone else’s Solarium for that matter–god help me when I get her to our marriage bed.  On second thought, I will leave god out of it.  I smile broadly at her and she smiles sweetly in return.  “And I choose you to be my countess, my wife, and my love.  I will have no other love but you when we become engaged and are wed.  I will be faithful to you–as long as we both shall live.”  I speak with a sincerity that I never knew that I had.  I want this. I want Lady Madeline to be my wife.

Lady Madeline:  Grinning madly because my heart is full with love for this man, I prod him a bit to get on with it. “Well then?”  Lord Christian stands up from the bench, moves to stand in front of me as I remain seated.

Lady Madeline blushes charmingly and lowers her eyes demurely.  I take her hands in mine and she looks up at me.  Then I kneel before her on one knee.

Lord Christian: “Lady Madeline Lucretia Sinclair, you have entered my life and shaken it up–delightfully so.”  I smile broadly. “And though my heart has been an inarticulate organ until now, I hope to explore rectifying that deficit–with you.    I wish to spend my life with you by my side as my wife.  And I will be your husband, always at your side—in calm waters and stormy seas.  Will you marry me?”  I wait nervously for her answer. Then I see tears streaming down her eyes and I instantly move to have us sit next to each other on the bench again and gently take her into my arms–rocking her gently while chastely kissing her temple.  “Shhh.  Shhh.  There, there.  It is alright if you want to think about my marriage offer.  I will not press you to give me an answer right away.   I can wait.”  I gaze down into her blued eyed innocence. God in heaven!  She is so young!  I hope that we are doing the right thing, for her.  I vow that I must ever keep her protected and feeling loved and cherished–no matter what.

I sniffle gazing up at Christian as my tears fall.  And he takes out a handkerchief from his jacket pocket and he blots the corners of my eyes that continue to leak, and then he dabs at my nose before offering his handkerchief to me.   I take the linen into my hands and I blow my nose with a very large and unladylike honking sound–quite unintentional, I assure you.  And he bids me to keep the linen. I would say that I would never wash his linen offering–to preserve this moment–but with my nose expulsions leaving a stain upon the linen, that is not practical.  Christian continues to gently rock me in his arms–his very large arms–and he kisses my temple.  I feel safe and cherished by Christian.  Even if he does not love me now, I think that he will grow to love me.  And I take a leap of faith.

Lady Madeline:  “Yes, I will marry you, Christian!”  I gush.

Lord Christian:  I gaze down into her eyes with something akin to love for her, I think. “Truly, Madeline?  You will be my wife?”  I smile warmly.

Lady Madeline: “Yes, Christian!  I will be your wife!” I sigh again.

Then I lean down and brush my lips against her soft pink lips–knowing that mine is the first kiss that she has ever had as her rosebud mouth purses itself together against my lips.  But I cannot revel in this moment as sounds behind us make others’ presences known to us.  So I hastily release Lady Madeline from our improper but chaste kissing pose. She appears quite flushed–and in truth, so am I.


Not unsurprisingly, my little sister Lady Lizzie bursts out of a nearby bush where she has seemingly been concealed
Lady Lizzie: “Yes!  Yes!  Yes!  You did it, Christian!  Oh Maddie!  We are to be sisters!”  I first hug my brother and then my soon to be sister-in-law, Lady Maddie.

Lord Christian: “Lizzie!  How long have you been standing there listening?”  I ask sternly–my worrying how much of Lady Madeline’s and my discussion that she overheard.  But she relieves me on that point.

Lady Lizzie:  “Just the bit where you were on bended knee and asked her to marry you. You were so romantic, Christian!   I almost swooned.”

Lord Duncan:  I clap my old friend Lord Christian’s shoulder.  “Well done, old man!  I never knew that you could speak so eloquently.”

Lord Christian:  “Nor did I.”  I grin sheepishly at my old school friend, Lord Duncan.  I notice several couples in the vicinity whispering and pointing in our direction.  Then I clasp Lady Madeline’s hand in mine and I smile at her adoringly.  “Perhaps we should tell our news to your grandmother before the gossips ruin our surprise.”  I start guiding her into the Kimball’s Ballroom again.  Lizzie and Lord Duncan follow behind us.

Lady Madeline:  “Oh yes!  I want Grandmama to hear it from our own lips.”  I smile, then I blush for remembering where my lips were recently situated–pressed against My Christian’s lips.   “Hhhhh!”  I sigh.

Lord Christian: “What’s that, My Dear?”  I smile knowingly at her.

Lady Madeline: “Just me sighing with happiness.”


Quickly reentering the Kimball Ballroom, everyone is abuzz and looking at Lord Christian and I as we walk quickly toward my smiling Grandmama Lady Lucretia Beckham Knott.  I wonder what she has heard already. We bow and curtsy before her with smiling faces–his smile nearly as bright as my own.

Lady Madeline:  “Grandmama, Lord Christian and I …”  But he interrupts me–when that is usually what I do to him, I think giddily.

Lord Christian:  “We have an announcement, Lady Knott.”  I know that I am smiling quite giddily—if I can ever be said to be giddy—because the sides of my face hurt, but in a good way.

Lady Knott “Indeed? And I am eager to hear it.” I smile hopefully.

Lord Christian: I turn to gaze down at Lady Madeline with adoring eyes and I lift one of her gloved hands to my lips for a kiss. “My Lady, your granddaughter, Lady Madeline Sinclair has done me the very great honor of agreeing to become my wife.”

Lady Lizzie: “He did it!”  I bounce into the air. Well I jumped, but it is not ladylike to do so.  So I will only admit to bouncing—which is something akin to various dance steps, and therefore acceptable.  Then I squeeze my brother’s other arm that Lady Maddie is not attached to and he smiles at me—with a kind and happy smile.

Lady Knott:  “Maddie, Dear.  Is this true? Christy has offered for you and you have accepted him?”  I ask with happy tears in my eyes.

I notice with amusement that Lady Knott has returned to referring to me as Christy again.  So I must be back in her good graces.

Lady Madeline: “It is true, Grandmama.”  I nod smiling excitedly as I sit next to my Grandmama on the sette and we hug.  Then I gaze adoringly up at Lord Christian.  “I love him, Grandmama. He is the best man I know.”  I hold out my hand and he takes it again–giving my hand a gentle squeeze.

Lady Lucretia: “This is wonderful!  There will be much to plan.  But before a formal announcement can be made, Lord Christian should seek your father’s permission, Maddie Dear.”   I counsel them about the proprieties.

Lady  Madeline: “But Grandmam, Papa is at our country estate–as his gout prevents him from traveling to town.”   I pout in concern for my Papa.  For Grandmama has exclaimed so much upon Papa’s ill health—despite his seeming to put a brave face on it for me, for he always seems hale and hearty—that I have become quite worried about him.

Lord Christian: “Not to worry, Lady Madeline.  I will travel to your family home upon the morrow and present myself directly as a candidate  to your father, with my requesting your hand in marriage.” Then I blanche.  “I wonder, will your father be offended that I asked you before first obtaining his permission?”

Lady Knott: “He better not, if he knows what is good for him. Maddie’s father absented himself from her first season.   He therefore, surrendered his right to refuse your suit.”  I nod my head curtly.

That son-in-law of mine, Squire Sutton Sinclair had better not cause any difficulties for this marriage.  Though my granddaughter Lady Maddie and Lord Christy have only recently met in the last two weeks, I feel certain that I can bring her father around to the suitability of a match between them, with a little encouragement.  That is my  fervent hope.  And I believe that once Maddie and Christy are wedded as husband and wife, their marriage  will be the making of each other.

On the carriage ride home, Lady Madeline sits next to me–with my sister Lizzie, and Lady Knott sitting across from us.  This privilege of closeness is one that I can only now claim as her betrothed.  Lizzie’s and my brother Harold never turned up at the Kimball Ball, so I will have to apprise him of my change in status when next I see him.  Of course, Lady Madeline and I can do nothing more than to hold hands.

But Lady Knott does allow us a brief newly betrothed fiances farewell in her foyer after she ascends the stairs to hasten to her bed this night.

Lady Madeline: “So, Christian, you will travel tomorrow morning to talk to my Papa?”

Lord Christian: “I will, Madeline.” I revel in the now intimate connection we two possess that allows me to address her so informally—without it drawing societal censure.

Lady Madeline:  I frown. “Now do not let Papa goad you into retracting your proposal.”

Lord Christian: My eyes widen. “Do you think that he will?”

Lady Madeline: “Not really, but where do you think my forthrightness and candor come from?”

Lord Christian: “Ha ha ha ha ha!  I gather, not from the Knott side of your family.” I tease with a sly grin.  Because My Madeline’s Grandmama Lady Lucretia Beckham Knott is quite formidable

Then my grandmother calls out from the second floor landing.

Lady Knott: “Please hurry it up, children!  I am an old lady kept from my bed long enough.”

We both burst into giggles at being allowed some liberties as a newly betrothed couple—such as private conversing and goodnight kisses, with my Grandmama watching a discreet distance away.

Lord Christian and Lady Madeline: “Ha ha ha ha ha!”

Lady Madeline: “My apologies, Grandmama.”

Lord Christian: I gently squeeze Lady Madeline’s  hand in mind.  Then I wickedly ask.  “Will you give me a parting kiss to strengthen my resolve in the face of your father’s potential wrath?”

Lady Madeline:  I unconsciously wet my lips and smile.  “Maybe a little one.”  This will be only my second kiss.

Lord Christian: “I am not accustomed to sizing my kisses.”  My eye brow rises in a challenge.

Lady Lucretia: “Children!?!”

Lord Christian: “Right!

Then I take my fiancé Madeline into my arms and I kiss her fully upon her lips [(6) right].  Guy-and-Roseanna-kissing-areRichardArmitage-andDanielaDenby-Ashe-inNorth&South-epi4-340-Jan0114ranet-sized-brt-crop2brtShe seems startled at first, but then I move  my mouth in circular sucking motions–and she tries to imitate me in reply.  She is so charming in her innocence.  Her kissing will take some tutelage–which I will be very happy to provide.  She whimpers cutely.
Lady Madeline: “Hmm.”

Lord Christian:  Lord how that sound rouses my passions!  Then I moan deeply in answering response. “Hmmmm!”

Lady Lucretia:  I stamp my cane upon the top step of the second floor landing. “Alright! That is enough until the wedding.   I said it is time to go to bed.”

Lord Christian and I reluctantly stop kissing.

Lady Madeline: “Yes, Grandmama.” I sigh dejectedly.  Then I smile at Christian. “Good luck with Papa. Be sure to come straight back here and tell me how you get on with him.  I will be nervous the whole time you are gone.”

Lord Christian: “As will I.  I have never asked for anyone’s hand in marriage before.  But I will see you on Monday at the latest when I return to town.  And were your father to refuse, I will simply get a special license and spirit you away to Gretna Green to elope.”

Lady Madeline:  “As romantic as that sounds, I want my Grandmama to have the wedding for me that she is always talking about. She is so looking forward to it.”

Lord Christian: “As am I.” I kiss both of Lady Madeline’s hands and then her sweet lips before I depart.  She waves to me from her Grandmama’s front door and I wave back at her with a smile.

And even as I slowly climb the stairs toward my Grandmama Lady Knott to go to bed to sleep, I feel that my excitement at being newly betrothed might keep me awake. Our understanding is more than I could have hoped for.  And if I do sleep, my intended Christian will inhabit my dreams.


Back inside our carriage to head home, my siblings—plural now– look at me expectantly.  It seems that our brother Harold has materialized after all.  And after arriving very late at the Kimball ball—only to find that we had departed—he tracked us back to Lady Knott’s home and forsook his hired carriage for our family carriage with the Sussex crest on each side.

Lord Harold: “Well, well, well, so you proposed to Lady Madeline afterall, big brother.” I look cagily at Christian, not at all swept away by romantic notions as our younger sister Lizzie is.  Marriage is a business transaction, plain and simple.  My brother scowls at me.

Lady Lizzie: Seeing her brothers staring at each other, Lady Lizzie intervenes.  “Oh Christy!  Never mind Harold.  He is just jealous because you will get to marry Lady Maddie!”  Harold frowns at our little sister dismissing him so eagerly—and I rather like that she did that.    “And you have made me so happy!  I do not think that I will be at all nervous now at my ball next week, since everyone will be talking about your and Lady Maddie’s engagement.”

Lord Christian: “Now, now Lizzie.  Lady Madeline and I do not wish to usurp your rightful spotlight.  It will be your presentation ball for the season.  The focus will be on you.”

Lady Lizzie: “Silly!” I swat at my eldest brother Christian. “Your and Maddie’s engagement will be the talk of London!”

Lord Harold: Not leaving well enough alone, I ponder aloud. “Hmmm.  I wonder what Lady Brenda  will think about your engagement?”

Lord Christian: “Harold! Mind your tongue!”  I scold him.  “You are not to repeat that name, in my or anyone else’s presence ever again–least of all in front of my intended, Lady Madeline.”

Lady Lizzie: I look questioningly between my two brothers.  Then I brave my elder brother’s wrath. “Who is this Lady Brenda to you, Christian?”

Lord Harold:  “She was his…”

Lord Christian: “I said stuff it, Harold!  If you want a shilling of your allowance this next quarter, you will do as I say.” I fume.

Lord Harold: “You are an insufferable ogre.” I frown.

Confident that her brother’s ire will not be visited upon her, Lady Lizzie softly inquires.

Lady Lizzie: “Was Lady Brenda one of your amours, Christian?”

Lord Christian: Not wanting to confirm nor deny, Lord Christian obfuscates.  “Lizzie, whatever Lady Brenda was to me in the past is immaterial.  My present and future are with Lady Madeline.   Please do not bring up the matter further with me or with Lady Madeline. I do not wish Lady Madeline to be distressed.  Unlike some…”  I glower at my brother, Harold. “…I plan to be faithful in my marriage to Lady Madeline.”

Lord Harold: “Well, I guess a leopard does change his spots.”  I retort cheekily. Unfortunately, my brother then punches my said cheek and knocks me senseless as my head hits the side of the carriage.

Lizzie immediately fusses over our now unconscious brother while chastising me for my violence.

Lady Lizzie:  “Christian!  How could you!  What if Harold bruises and they have not gone away by the time of my ball next week?”

Lord Christian: “Then he will have to tender his regrets for being unwell and not in attendance.”  I will not have my philandering brother ruin my chances with Lady Madeline.

Leave it to Harold to change my happy mood to the opposite.  I only hope that my discussion in requesting Lady Madeline’s hand in marriage from her father goes better tomorrow–well, today, actually.

To be continued with Chapter 13


“Encouragement”, Ch. 12  References by Gratiana Lovelace, October 25, 2016 (Post #989)
1) The “Encouragement” story cover is an image representing our young heroine Lady Madeline Sinclair, is the young Emma Hart in a straw hat at 17 years old in painted by George Romney  in 1782; she was later to marry Sir William Hamilton in 1791 and become Emma Lady Hamilton, was found at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emma,_Lady_Hamilton#/media/File:George_Romney_-_Emma_Hart_in_a_Straw_Hat.jpg ;  For more about Emma Lady Hamilton, nee Emma Hart/Amy Lyon please visit https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emma,_Lady_Hamilton

2) The image of Lady Lucretia Beckham Knott in an elegant evening gown and jewels is of Maggie Smith portraying Lady Violet Crawley, Dowager Countess of Grantham on the ITV/PBS program Downton Abbey (2010 – 2015) and was found at http://www.satellitesisters.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/article-0-1586CE46000005DC-250_634x649.jpg

3) Lady Madeline’s pale blue silk evening gown for the Kimball Ball (flip) is Kate Winslet as Marianne Dashwood in 1995’s Sense & Sensibility found at   http://dzbawards.com/images/actresses/sense.jpg
4) Lord Christian  is Richard Armitage portraying John Thornton in BBC’s 2004  drama North & South, epi2  found at richardarmitagenet.com/images/gallery/nands/album/episode2/ns2-116.jpg

5 Lady Madeline’s pale blue silk evening gown for the Kimball Ball is Kate Winslet as Marianne Dashwood in 1995’s Sense & Sensibility found at  https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/originals/e4/a8/be/e4a8becc0d292a3c0f1412358cef9653.jpg    (slight color revision)

6) Lord Christian  Blount  kissing Lady Madeline Sinclair is portrayed by Richard Armitage and Daniela Denby-Ashe as John Thornton and Margaret Hale  in the BBC’s 2004 drama North & South  found at richardarmitagenet.com/images/gallery/nands/album/episode4/ns4-340.jpg


 Previous  Blog Ch. 11 Story link with embedded illustrations:


Posted in "Encouragement" a Regency Lovestory, Creative Writing, Gratiana Lovelace, Humor, Love and Relationships, Period Drama, Richard Armitage, Society, Something About Love | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Something about Grati’s jewelry making hobby, October 23, 2016 Gratiana Lovelace (Post #988)

All of us have many facets to our personalities and our lives.   It keeps life interesting.  So though my two attempts at  ice skating are long behind me–and I am not just referring to my fanny that I landed on several times–I have always found working with my hands very satisfying and soothing hobby.

Mostly, my hand work involved adequate sewing and passable needlework (embroidery, counted cross stitch, and some years ago quilting).  Playing the piano for most of my life involved my hands, and certainly in the past six years, my story writing blogging has dominated my handiwork.

But I love hand crafting objects that I can use!  And combined with my inability recently to find costume jewelry that I liked, a new hobby was born:  jewelry making.

It all started with me bemoaning that most costume jewelry that the stores had to offer involved tassels, multiple strands of mismatched chains, and/or large clunky doodads on the chains.  None of these styles appealed to me.  And I have a short neck. so long rip cord like earrings and doodad necklaces are out.  Ha!

I don’t wear a lot of jewelry–usually the same things of my great great aunt’s tri color gold locket and slim oval hoop earrings.  In other words, boring–but sentimental favorites.  So I just wanted to jazz myself up a bit with some new costume jewelry pieces.

Then my wonderful hubby happened upon a set of jewelry making tools and a project case–that together would have cost me $30 in the craft store, new–for $4 at a garage sale (below). So my jewelry making crafting was born.  Snap!

Grati's jewelry making tools

And through trial and error–along with an instructions sheet tucked away in the project case–I have learned how to use each of the tools.  The top row of tools–far left and far right items–are my main stay tools for picking up the various parts of jewelry projects and twisting jump rings together to link jewelry parts together. The top row middle tool allows me to twist straight wire into  a defined loop size–so that sections of beading on a wire may be connected together.  On the bottom row of tools, the left item is a clamper for clamping a metal fastener (with a hole end to connect a jump ring to it) around the end of a cord of leather or hemp, that I then connect via a jump ring to a magnetic closure via a jump ring.  And the bottom row right tool cuts wire and rope or cording.

Some examples of  what I have made appear below, with some annotation:

1a)  I started out making a flat gold bead necklace strung on gold colored wire with matching earrings (below).  But the wire is stiff and the necklace won’t lay flat against my neck and upper chest.


1b)  So then I made a short length of the flat gold like beads on wire, then connected that on each side to slim leather cording for a more modern looking necklace (image inside the larger necklace (below).  And I wear this cord leather necklace all the time with the matching earrings I made.  I also put a blue stone pendant onto a gold colored chain that I bought at my local craft store.



2)  I have also been branching out wearing and making silver pieces–despite that my wedding ring set is gold.  And I find that I prefer lever back earring blanks to the open wire earrings.  And I have made a few rings to match!

2a) On the right necklace image set, the outside necklace of silvery tubular beading was again made on a wire–and I will probably restring it on cording due to the stiffness. And the inner necklace on a cord uses the same slim tube and balls motif for the diamond pendant design, but its necklace is connected to black leather cording.  I wear this necklace, its matching earrings, and ring all the time.

20161022_2032152b)  The left necklace image (above  is purple crystal beads alternating with sparkly separator beads on a wire. This I then connected to two lengths of silvery chain on either side.  I made matching earrings with one purple crystal bead each using silver (real stuff) lever back blanks.   The large ring at bottom was my very first attempt at making a wire ring–and it looks it. Ha!  The second purple crystal ring that I made was nice but too small for me, so I gave it to one of my nieces.  The third purple crystal ring (the top one) fit me just right.  The key to making wrapped rings–that I have found–is to use slimmer, and hence softer, wire because it bends and shapes more easily.  Since I’m making at least four loops around my ring mandrel for sizing and shaping  rings–then weaving the remaining wire around the loops and affixing the stones–the rings are strong and won’t easily bend or break.


3) I am also having fun with using found objects in my jewelry designs–some that are pieces borrowed from other jewelry, and some that are not jewelry at all to begin with.

3a)  The large pink glass pendent is simply strung on white leather cording–with my ever present magnetic closure.  I still need to make earrings and a ring to go with it when I find stones to match it.

20161022_2034253b)  On the left and middle (above) you’ll see a sapphire and silver necklace and earring set (left) and an aqua pendant necklace with a leftover safety chain (right).   Can anyone guess where I found the imitation blue sapphire pieces that I used in the  jewelry set at left?

4)  My jewelry designs mostly spring from my imagination.  But I’m sure there are influences out there that are subconscious.  The artistry and creativity of jewelry artifacts is very cultural–and spans all eras.  We surround ourselves with what is pleasing to us–whether it be functional or as adornment.  And thus jewelry and household items give us clues into ancient cultures and our own.  Whenever I visit the Art Institute in Chicago, or the Field Museum, they have great exhibits of cultural artifacts–including jewlery.  I especially liked the Field’s Cartier exhibit in 1999.

But I’m a fan of simple and streamlined jewelry.  So with my latest necklace project, I am back to gold, with 3 flat pink beads strung on wires, and then those sections strung together with jump rings (below).  I am also putting initial pendants on gold chains for myself and my nieces. (below left).

Grati's jewelry--gold initial necklace, and flat pink beads gold necklace and earrings

5) Finally, a note about my fastener/closure choice of magnetic fasteners.  I like the magnetic closures because they are easy to use for me–versus a lobster claw or the tinier usual spring rings fasteners.  I have slightly arthritic hands–and mid length to longish nails that get in the way of working tiny fasteners–that make those smaller  closures more difficult for me.  So magnetic fasteners are the way to go for me. Snap!

I work on my jewelry making about once a week–writing is still my first avocation. So I’m not going to suddenly set up a jewelry stall at our next outdoor farmer’s market. Ha!  But I’m enjoying my jewelry making and wearing–and my skill is improving.  And I can make myself custom costume jewelry for cheaper than I could buy it.   So it’s all good.  Snap!

P.S.  Do you have a hobby or creative skill that you enjoy?  Please share.

Posted in Creativity, Gratiana Lovelace, Jewelry making, My Life, Something About Love | Tagged , , , , | 5 Comments

“Encouragement, A Regency Tale of Love and Romance”, Ch. 11 (PG): The Kimball Ball, Part 2: Presumption, October 21, 2016 Gratiana Lovelace (Post #987)

aEncouragement-aRegencyLovestorycover_Aug3116byGratianaLovelace_180x282(An original Regency romance  copyrighted by Gratiana Lovelace; all rights reserved)  [(1) story cover, left]

[From time to time, I will illustrate my story characters with: Richard Armitage as Lord Christian Blount Earl of Sussex, Kate Winslet or Emma Lady Hamilton as Lady Madeline Lucretia Sinclair, Dame Maggie Smith as Lady Lucretia Beckham Knott, Polly Mabrey as Lady Elizabeth Blount, Crispin Bonham-Carter as Lord Harold Blount, Dame Judi Dench as Lady Catherine Blount the Dowager Countess of Sussex, Rupert Penry Jones as Lord Duncan the Viscount Lindsay, and others as noted.]

Authors Content Note: “Encouragement” is a frothy love story with sometimes humorous and sometimes dramatic themes of love and relationships.  It will mostly be at the PG and PG-13 movie levels. Specific chapters or passages may have a further rating of:  D for dramatic emotions, and LS for love scenes that are tenderly sensuous and not explicit.  And I will rate the chapters accordingly. If you are unable or unwilling to attend a movie with the ratings that I provide for a chapter, then please do not read that chapter. This is my disclaimer.  And as is my habit, I will summarize the previous chapter’s events at the beginning of each chapter.

Author’s recap from the previous chapter: Having achieved bringing the very shy Lady Elizabeth Blount to attend the Kimball’s Ball this Friday, February 9th, 1816 is an accomplishment in itself.   Lady Lizzie’s presentation ball is next week and her brother Lord Christian—with the aid of Lady Madeline Sinclair—reasoned that Lady Lizzie would want to have some experience of a ball before her own.  And then there is the introduction of the much anticipated Lord Duncan the Viscount Lindsay—by Lady Madeline’s Grandmama Lady Knott and by Lady Lizzie—who has a long ago formed crush on Lord Duncan. And then there are Lady Madeline and Lord Christian—and what to do about them.    Lord Christian knows the challenge before him—of capturing Lady Madeline’s affections.  Yet it remains illusory at the moment with Lord Duncan being thrust into the courting fray.


“Encouragement, A Regency Tale of Love and Romance”,
Ch. 11:  The Kimball Ball, Part 2, Presumption

While at the Kimball’s Ball this Friday, February 9th—really all this past week–the minxish Lady Madeline Sinclair is really making the proud Lord Christian Blount work to win her romantic heart, because he mistakenly feels that she is immune to him.  Lady Madeline  is merely trying to prevent herself from heartache by not presuming that the grand and wonderful Earl of Sussex thinks of her as anything more than his younger sister’s friend. She has even pointedly told him so—wanting to gauge his reaction, but he did not refute it, to her disappointment.  Lady Madeline still seeks a love match for marriage—and Lord Christian still struggles to determine if his heart is open to such a concept.

Lord Christian has never been in love before, so he hesitates from characterizing his growing feelings for Lady Madeline in more than politely affectionate terms.  Though he will admit that her sweetness, effortless natural beauty, and her tartness of tongue if truth be told—along with her forthright nature– has made a lasting impression upon him.  And what neither Lady Madeline nor Lord Christian yet realizes is that they need to take great care with recognizing and respecting each others’ developing feelings, or they might miss their chance at making a life together as husband and wife—if that is their destiny.  It is too early to tell.

Lady Madeline Sinclair and Lord Christian Blount, Earl of Sussex are much admired for their waltzing on the dance floor in the second dance of the evening by the many guests at the Kimball’s Ball presenting their daughter Lady Penelope to society—not the least of which is Lord Duncan the Viscount Lindsay, Lord Christian’s old Eton school friend.  And Lady Madeline very much enjoys her waltz with Lord Christian.

Then our waltz ends and Lord Christian and I walk toward my Grandmama Lady Knott and his sister Lady Lizzie sitting on the sidelines.  Then we notice Viscount Lord Duncan Lindsay walking toward us, him striding audaciously across the ballroom on an intercepting course.   The dancers and guests part like the Red Sea.   Well, he is heir to a Dukedom, so one presumes that Lord Duncan is the male marital prize present this evening.  The two men greet each other like the old school friends they are–with firm handshakes, hands clapped on shoulders, and warm smiles.

Lord Christian:  “Duncan!”

Lord  Duncan: “Christian!”

Lord Christian:  “It has been too long.”

Lord Duncan:  “It has, indeed.” Then I turn to the lovely young lady at my friend’s side.  “And I was unaware that you had married. My felicitations. Your bride is enchanting.”  I state sincerely.  Why does everyone seem to have all the luck?  I need to find myself a lady who is a rough diamond, overlooked by others, but a lady who will become a glittering jewel with time and attention.

Lord Christian: I race to clarify the nature of my and Lady Madeline’s relationship, for the blushing Lady Madeline’s benefit. “Oh no, Duncan!  Lady Madeline Sinclair and I are just lordchristian-isrichardarmtiage-innorthsouth-epi2-116-jan0214ranet-sized-blur-clr-shrp-crop2-clrfriendly acquaintances.”  Yet, Lady Madeline means so much more to me than merely an acquaintance, I have to bite my tongue from claiming her as mine.  And I cannot help but admire her loveliness this evening [(2) right].  But I cannot declare my intentions without first approaching Lady Madeline.  “Our grandmothers are acquainted as longtime friends, and Lady Madeline is friends with my sister.  You remember my sister Lady Elizabeth, do you not?  Her presentation ball is next Friday.  We hope that you will join us.”  I gesture toward Lizzie, while missing seeing Lady Madeline’s stunned and slightly hurt look.    However, Lizzie’s cheeks pinken and she yearningly looks at Lord Duncan. Then I remember my manners—somewhat—and introduce Lord Duncan to Lady Madeline.   “And Lady Madeline, this is Lord Duncan the Viscount Lindsay.

Lady Knott smiles warmly at Lord Duncan, viewing him having distinct possibilities for her granddaughter Lady Madeline.  Yet Lady Madeline curtly nods at him—the man her Grandmama wants to promote to her for a husband.  So Lady Madeline is  silently livid  as she looks between Lord Christian and Lord Duncan.  I understand that Lord Christian wants to clarify his friend Viscount Lindsay’s misinterpretation, that Lord Christian and I are not married.  Yet, the alacrity with which Lord Christian leapt to clear up the misunderstanding, leaves me with the impression that Lord Christian has no feelings for me at all–and that he was embarrassed to have my name linked with his.  It is all I can do, not to run and find a corner to cry in.

Lord Duncan: “Better and better!  Two lovely ladies!”  I smile cordially from one lady to the other.  And while Lady Elizabeth smiles at me warmly, Lady Madeline’s smile is forced–as if she is distressed.  And I wonder about the source of her distress.

Lady Lizzie:  “Hello, Lord Duncan.”  I offer him my hand and he lifts it to his lips for kiss.

Lord Duncan: “Enchante, My Lady.  Lizzie, is it not, enfamille?”  She nods charmingly shyly.  “My how you’ve grown!  You were only this high when I saw you last, it must be eight years on.”  My hand raises to just above at my chest in describing her childhood height.  In truth, the young lady is still petite now, such that the top of her head does not reach past my shoulders.

Lord Christian: “Just so.”  Feeling awkward and wanting to complete the introductions, I bow to Lady Madeline’s Grandmama.  “And Lady Knott, may I present my old school friend, Lord Duncan the Viscount Lindsay?  Lord Duncan, this is Lady Lucretia Beckham Knott, Lady Madeline’s Grandmama.”

Lord Duncan: “My Lady Knott, it is a real pleasure.  Your family is an old and distinguished one.”

Lady Knott: “As is yours, My Lord.  My granddaughter, Lady Madeline Sinclair had her presentation ball last week.”  I gesture to my granddaughter, who dutifully curtsies, finally.  Though I wish her frowning face would turn into a smile to show herself off to better advantage.   “We were sorry to have missed you.”

Lord Duncan: “Lady Knott, Lady Madeline.”  I bow to each of them.   “My apologies for my absence.  But I had only reached London and opened up our townhouse yesterday. So I sadly missed what was certain to have been a glorious evening.”  Then I take Lady Madeline’s hand and lift it to my lips and gaze into her astonished eyes.  “You must have dazzled all of the men in attendance at your ball.”

Lady Madeline: “Lord Duncan, you will make me blush.”  I lean slightly away from him.  He seems too polished in his compliments–and therefore, he seems insincere to me.

However Lord Christian inwardly fumes–him thinking that Lady Madeline is playing the coquette for Lord Duncan.

Lord Duncan: “Nay, surely you have already received proposals of marriage.”

Lady Madeline: “None that I entertained with any enthusiasm.”  I catch Lord Christian wince out of the corner of my eye and I amend my statement.  “Well, perhaps there was one match that I looked upon with favor.”  I do not say proposal because Lord Christian has not technically proposed to me.

Lord Duncan: “But?”  I smile at her mirthfully, darting a glance to her grandmotheladymadeline-inblue-ballgown-iskatewinslet-asmarianne-insensesensibility_oct2016viapinterest-cropsized-bodice-mask1-clrr.

Lady Madeline:  “But the gentleman in question has not pressed his suit further.  So I must surmise that he is no longer interested in me.”  I lay down the challenge at Lord Christian’s feet as I gaze at him with feigned disinterest [(3) right].

Lord Duncan: “Then he is a fool!”  I give her my best cordial smile.  Then I turn to my friend. “Christian, let us procure the ladies some refreshments.  And when we return, I hope that each young lady will be so kind as to stand up with me for a dance.  With, perhaps Lady Lizzie gracing me first?  See?  I do remember.”  I smile at the once more charming blush of Lord Christian’s lovely sister.

Lord Christian: “Of course.  Ladies, you will excuse us. We will return shortly.”  Both Lord Duncan and I bow to the ladies and take our leave of them.

As Lord Duncan the Viscount Lindsay and I walk around the crowded Kimball ballroom to the refreshments room, we segue into the hallway for a frank talk away from listening ears.

Lord Christian:  “Alright, Duncan.  What was that nonsense about presuming that I was married to Lady Madeline already?”

Lord Duncan: “Well, old chap. The two of you did look rather cozy in your waltz as you chatted amiably with one another.”  I raise my eyebrow discerningly.  “Could it be your proposal that she is still considering?”

Lord Christian: “Highly doubtful.”

Lord Duncan: “A ha!  Then you have proposed to her?”

Lord Christian: “Not exactly.  Our grandmothers concocted a scheme to match us up.”

Lord Duncan: “And you did not want to?  Or was it the lady who refused?”

Lord Christian: “A bit of both, I suppose. With my grandfather dying and my inheriting the Earldom, I have much responsibility on my shoulders now.”

Lord Duncan: “I was sorry to hear that he had died, old chap.  Your grandfather was a good man.”

Lord Christian: “He was the best of men.” I state proudly.  “Unfortunately, he was not the most astute businessman. Nor was his ancient steward attentive about such matters.  I have had to review the estates accounts and productivity in detail.  And both areas can be improved upon.”  I phrase vaguely–my falling far short of revealing the deplorable state of my finances.

Lord Duncan:  “As bad as that?”  My friend Lord Christian nods wearily, understanding my phrasing.  “That is unfortunate, Old Chap.   But I am certain that you will rise above any adversity and turn the estate around.”

Lord Christian: “I hope so.  When I marry, I want to be able to provide handsomely for my wife and our offspring.”

Of course my unspoken thought is that the most certain route to financial stability is to marry an heiress.  But the heiress whom I have in mind cares naught for my title.  Lady Madeline wants to be in love.  But for a lady to be in love, she must think that she is loved in return.  Others might fawn over her and tell her what she wants to hear.  But I will not lie and say that I feel more for Lady Madeline than I do—which is considerably more than I have ever felt for anyone else.    I can not tell her that I love her when I am not certain what I feel for her—except that I want her in my life. I am becoming quite  fond of her—and I am charmed by her.  She is lovely and has a lilting way about her.  And Lady Madeline has no guile, no wish for intrigues and dissembling. Her honesty and frankness–although enervating at times–are quite refreshing.

Lord Duncan: “Christian? Christian??  Christian???”  I raise my voice louder each time I say my friend’s name in trying to get his attention.

Lord Christian: My reverie broken, I turn and ask of my friend.  “What?”  He looks at me knowingly.  I need a stiff drink, but tonight’s affair has nothing more than spirited punch. A pity. But given my disgraceful drunken behavior at Lady Madeline’s ball last week, I cannot fault our hosts for their choice of beverage.

Lord Duncan:  “The Ladies’ punch.”  I raise a querying eyebrow and gesture to the heavily ladened refreshments table in a nearby room.

As I promised my Grandmama Lady Knott, I stand up with Viscount Lord Duncan Lindsay for the second dance after he and Lord Christian return with our punches.  Lord Christian seems distracted when he looks at m–while Lord Duncan and Lady Lizzie dance first–as if I have a curl out of place, or that my gown hem had indeed ripped and is in need of repair.  I cannot help but subconsciously wince when I look at him.  So I am grateful for Lord Duncan to alleviate my discomfort by leading me onto the dance floor next, whilst Lord Duncan and Lady Lizzie dance first..

Lord Duncan:  “So?  You are out now?  And husband hunting?”  I tease, expecting her to blush and demure.  But she does neither.

Lady Madeline:  “Yes, and maybe.” He looks at me perplexed.  “I am only to turn eighteen soon, but my Grandmama is determined that I find a suitable husband this season.”  My eyes widen in worry.  And I purse my lips into a pout.  Little do I know that it looks like I am blowing Lord Duncan a kiss–which has Lord Christian fuming on the sidelines of the dance floor.  And when later I turn my head toward Lord Christian, I see that he is dancing with the guest of honor, Lady Penelope Kimball.   I hear that she has a thirty thousand pound dowry.  If Lord Christian needs funds, then her dowry will surely supply it.

Lord Duncan: “Indeed!  And am I a suitable prospect?”  I know that, of course, I am.  Everyone is falling at my feet.  So tedious.  But she stuns me again.

Lady Madeline:  “You are very suitable, Lord Duncan. You are wealthy, handsome,  and you are going to be a Duke, afterall.  But I do not personally know you well enough yet, to tempt me to consider you.” I smile at him pleasantly–trying to let him down easily.  The man I want has a lesser title, but does not seem to find me suitable.  At least, Lord Christian has not declared anything otherwise to me.

Lord Duncan: “I say, your dowry must be enormous for you to dismiss me out of turn.” The lady merely smiles–enervatingly so.  “So tell me, do you have more than 5,000 pounds?”

Lady Madeline: “Do not your spies give you information about all of the ladies’ circumstances?”  I sneak a glance over Lord Christian’s way and see that he and Lady Penelope are laughing as he twirls her around the ballroom.  Why must he make other ladies laugh?  Of course, it is not forbidden, but I still do not like it.

Lord Duncan: Lady Madeline seems distracted.  So I try to bring her back to the topic of our conversation as I give her another twirl on the dance floor.  “10, 000 pounds?”  I ask interestedly.  Lady Madeline is well turned out with her gown being the height of fashion and good taste, but her disposition is rather forward–not meek at all, as one would expect and usually sees among ladies in their first season.

Lady Madeline: “Hhhh!”  I sigh in frustration.  “Lord Duncan, it is crass to discuss financial matters.  Pray, let us select another topic of conversation.”  I look at him disdainfully.

Lord Duncan: “So you have a dowry more than 10,000 pounds?”   I ask incredulously.  No wonder she is being selective.  But afterall, I will be a Duke.  And the lady I marry will become a Duchess.

Lady Madeline: “Oh really!  If you are so ill informed, then speak to Lord Christian.  He knows all of the details. Hhhh!” I reply sighing wearily again.  It is just as I feared, Lord Duncan is more interested in my financial settlement–despite his own great wealth–than in me as a person with feelings and interests and a purpose.  The fact that he is handsome as sin does not tempt me.

Happily, the waltz ends and Lord Duncan ushers me back to my Grandmama, Lady Lizzie, and Lord Christian who has returned from his dance with Lady Penelope looking rather grim.  Everyone bows or curtsies–except my sitting Grandmama who merely tilts her head.  Then Lord Duncan takes Lady Lizzie onto the dance floor again and I sit next to my Grandmama Lady Knott for a rest, whilst Lord Christian remains standing–hanging about.

Lady Lucretia: “Christy, do stop pacing in that feral manner. You are giving my neck an ache watching you. Please sit down if you are not dancing.”  I motion for him to sit next to my granddaughter on the large sette.  Then I turn to Lady Wickwood sitting in a chair next to me on my other side and we strike up a conversation about the suitability of silk versus satin in ladies’ gowns.

Seeing my Grandmama engaged in conversation, I turn to Lord Christian.

Lady Madeline: “Do please sit, Lord Christian.  I will not bite.” I state wanly.  I am well aware that he is not interested in me as prospect for his future wife–at least, not as a love match.  But I try to tease him cajolingly. “You look to be positively in a stew about something.  What is wrong?”  But it backfires.

Lord Christian: “Is there no end to your frankness, Lady Madeline?” I ask rather more curtly than I intend as I do sit down next to her on the sette.  Though a respectable 12 inches separates our persons—as propriety dictates.

Lady Madeline: Hurt by his tone, I lower my eyes to keep him from seeing tears forming there. Then I answer in a hushed tone with my voice cracking slightly. “I am very sorry, Lord Christian.  Grandmama says that I am too forward.  And potential husbands do not want a willful wife.”

Lord Christian: I instantly regret being short with her as I ladymadeline-andlordchristian-hands-parting-after-greeting-isfrom-ns2004-vlcsnap-00500_sep2716rac_grati-sized-brt-clr take her small hand in mine [(4) right].  Neither of us is wearing gloves at the moment, due to the sweltering heat of the ballroom.  “No no, Lady Madeline.  I am sorry for my tone just now.”  I say more softly.  “You do not vex me at all.  Actually, I find your candor refreshing.”  I smile slightly trying to cajole her to do likewise.  Then I gently squeeze her hand in mine. This skin of her delicate hands is so silky soft, they feel like satin.


Lady Madeline: “I fear that there are few men who would agree with you.”  I say softly.  My head is still bowed, my eyes pondering my one hand lying in my lap whilst my other hand is still being sheltered in Lord Christian’s care–especially pondering his hand holding my hand.  Who could have thought that my granite mountain as Lord Christian could so gently hold my hand in his large and strong hand?  He is such a contradiction—strong, yet gentle; a man in his prime in every way, yet having to assume the mantle of family head long before his time; and confidant , yet not overbearing (most of the time, anyway).  He is my ideal man—he is not perfect, but his flaws are not character faults, they are character building.

Lord Christian:  I reach over with my other hand and crook my finger under Lady Madeline’s chin to raise her face to look at me.  And dash it all if I do not see tears there.  “Oh!  I am so sorry, Lady Madeline. I did not mean to offend you with my outburst just now.”  I smile encouragingly at her.  She smiles wanly back at me.

Unfortunately, everyone else in the ballroom sees my bold intimacy–of touching Lady Madeline’s ungloved hand and then her chin–and they rather stop and stare, wondering if a proposal is at hand.  People on the edges of the ballroom start speculating about that, but I am unaware of their chatter.  That is, until my sister Lizzie and Lord Duncan hastily exit the dance floor before the music stops and they quickly come back to us.

Lady Lizzie: “Oh Christian!  Have you finally asked Lady Maddie to be your wife?  I will so adore having her as my sister!”  She squeals.

Both Lady Madeline and my eyes grow large with surprise as we turn to my sister standing expectantly with Lord Duncan.  What is it about Lady Madeline and I conversing–in a perfectly normal manner, mind you–that makes others presume that I will offer for her?

Lady Madeline: I blanch.  “Lady Lizzie, I would also be most honored to be your sister.”  And before I can say but, she hugs me and squeals again.

Lady Lizzie: “I am ever so glad.”

Lord Duncan:  I slap my friend upon his shoulders.  “Well done, Christian.  Lady Madeline is a fine lady, and a very good catch.”

Lord Christian:  I am caught, and so is Lady Madeline.  But maybe I can extricate myself.  “You are a bit presumptuous–both of you.” I look sternly at Lord Duncan, and then more charitably at my sister Lizzie.

Lady Lizzie: I pout, with my lower lip protruding.  Then I whine.  “But Harold said that you were going to propose to Lady Maddie.”  I pout. I look at Lady Maddie’s Grandmama and she is beaming.   However, I glance down at the forlorn look upon my friend Lady Maddie’s face.  Then she quickly lowers her head, looking at her hands in her lap again.

I feel mortified.  Yet again, there is a presumption by others that Lord Christian will offer for me.  At this rate, he will decide against me forever.  Lady Madeline continues to focus upon her hands and can’t bear to look at Lord Christian to see further disdain in his eyes.

Lord Christian:  “Hhhhhhh!  Lizzie, you should know better than to give credence to what Harold says.”  I scowl.  I might have offered for Lady Madeline tonight on my own, but everyone keeps beating me to it.

Lady Madeline: Wanting to set the record straight, I stand up.  And with as much poise as I can muster, I clarify the situation.  “Lizzie Dear, you did not let me finish.  Naturally I would be honored were your brother Lord Christian to find favor with me. However, we do not have an understanding.”  Then I add frankly and with great poise, I hope–thus demonstrating my maturity. “He thinks of me as your little friend, not as a serious prospect as a wife for himself.” Then I gaze up at Lord Christian, almost daring him to refute my view of the matter.  But he does not.

Lord Christian: “Thank you for your frankness in clarifying the matter, Lady Madeline.”  I sigh in relief.  I truly wish that people would stop presuming something before it has happened.  It makes it more difficult for me to find the resolve to seek Lady Madeline’s hand in marriage.  Then I lift her bare hand to my lips and kiss it.  Now why did I do that?

Lady Madeline:  “You are welcome, Lord Christian.”   I nod with poise, despite my wishing that he really would propose to me.  This evening is going to be difficult–and we have only just begun. There are hours yet to get through.  And yet why is Lord Christian still holding onto my hand?

Lady Knott is still beaming as she looks between her granddaughter Lady Madeline and her hoped for grandson-in-law Lord Christian.  For others have seen and judged plainly that Lord Christian and her granddaughter Lady Madeline are connected on some deeper level—despite their not being married, nor betrothed, yet.  Now Lady Knott ponders how to help them see sense—or at least, what is in their hearts?

To be continued with Chapter 12


“Encouragement”, Ch. 11  References by Gratiana Lovelace, October 21, 2016 (Post #987)

  1.  The “Encouragement” story cover is an image representing our young heroine Lady Madeline Sinclair, is the young Emma Hart in a straw hat at 17 years old in painted by George Romney  in 1782; she was later to marry Sir William Hamilton in 1791 and become Emma Lady Hamilton, was found at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emma,_Lady_Hamilton#/media/File:George_Romney_-_Emma_Hart_in_a_Straw_Hat.jpg ;  For more about Emma Lady Hamilton, nee Emma Hart/Amy Lyon please visit https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emma,_Lady_Hamilton

2) Lord Christian  is Richard Armitage portraying John Thornton in BBC’s 2004  drama North & South, epi2  found at richardarmitagenet.com/images/gallery/nands/album/episode2/ns2-116.jpg

3) Lady Madeline’s pale blue silk evening gown for the Kimball Ball is Kate Winslet as Marianne Dashwood in 1995’s Sense & Sensibility found at  https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/originals/e4/a8/be/e4a8becc0d292a3c0f1412358cef9653.jpg

4) Image representing Lady Madeline’s and Lord Christian’s hands parting after greeting is that of John Thornton and Margaret Hale—portrayed by Richard Armitage and Daniela Denby-Ashe in the BBC’s 2004 North & South mini series, episode 2 the Masters Dinner found at http://richardarmitagecentral.co.uk/main.php?g2_itemId=76679&



Previous  Blog Ch. 10 Story link with embedded illustrations:


Posted in "Encouragement" a Regency Lovestory, Creative Writing, Gratiana Lovelace, Humor, Richard Armitage, Romance, Society, Something About Love | Tagged , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Thespian Thursday: The reviews are in! “Richard Armitage Captivates …” in Love, Love, Love! October 20, 2016 Gratiana Lovelace (Post #986)

The Guardian:  “Richard Armitage Captivates…” in Love, Love, Love!
“The play begins in 1967 when the Oxford students Sandra (a ferociously good Amy Ryan) and Kenneth (Richard Armitage, making a captivating New York debut) meet in London. … ”


l to r:  Richard Armitage and Amy Ryan



Variety:  “(The Hobbit Actor Armitage, born to play comedy)”

“The adventures of Kenneth (“The Hobbit” actor Armitage, born to play comedy) and Sandra (Ryan, sublimely witty) begin in 1967, when young people could taste the changes in the air.  “The laws are constantly being overthrown,” Kenneth announces, “the music’s exploding, the walls collapsing.”  Sandra couldn’t agree more. “The world’s going to be a different place in ten years,” she predicts. And off they go into that brave new world.”

Off Broadway Review: ‘Love, Love, Love’ With Amy Ryan, Zoe Kazan

Love Love Love OFF BROADWAYDRAMA LAURA PELS THEATRE 111 W. 46TH S., NEW YORK, NY 10036 Sparked in the haze of the 60s, Love Love Love explores a relationship charred by today's brutal reality, paranoia and passion. Starring: Richard Armitage, Alex Hurt, Zoe Kazan, Ben Rosenfield, Amy Ryan Director: Michael Mayer PLAYWRIGHT: MIKE BARTLETT

l to r: Zoe Kazan and Amy Ryan


NY Times:  “I had a swell time at “Love, Love, Love”!”

“Now here’s a couple who know how to grow old in style. Portraying a pair of soul mates in selfishness in Mike Bartlett’s “Love, Love, Love,” which opened on Wednesday night at the Laura Pels Theater, Amy Ryan and Richard Armitage advance from the ages of 19 to 64 with a galloping satirical wit that pulls you along, happy and appalled, through the decades.”

l to r:  Richard Armitage, Amy Ryan, Ben Rosenfield, and Zoe Kazan


The Telegraph:  “Richard Armitage shows impressive range in his U.S. theatrical debut Love, Love, Love!”:

“Armitage shows impressive range as he ages Kenneth upwards, channelling his hawkish charisma into more darkly funny places than his screen roles allow. He’s a louche, petulant but winningly playful 19-year-old, an exasperated working father of two and, finally, a smugly retired businessman, cracking open expensive wine while his resentful daughter struggles to pay her rent.”

Thanks to Guillermina Rivas for tweeting the link!:


l to r:  Richard Armitage, Amy Ryan, & Alex Hurt


Wall Street Journal:  “Not since Stoppard. Mike Bartlett skewers the Baby Boomers in the best comedy since The Real Thing”

“The Roundabout has missed a trick: “Love, Love, Love” really should have opened on Broadway, and I trust it will transfer there once a theater is free. Yes, it’s gloriously funny, but it’s also an important play, one whose harsh message deserves to be heard far more widely. Regional theaters, take note!”

This is the second review that I have read that waxes poetic about Zoe Kazan’s performance.  Since as one of the “kids”, she appears in Acts 2 & 3, but not Act 1, she seems to have made an impression on the reviewers.

Thanks to RANet for sharing the WSJ link below:

Image:  Ben Rosenfield and Zoe Kazan







Posted in "Love Love Love" play in NYC, Gratiana Lovelace, Humor, Love and Relationships, play, Review, Richard Armitage, Roundabout Theatre Company, Society, Something About Love, Theatre, Thespian Thursday | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Love, Love, Love play opens tonight in NYC!  “Break a leg” to Richard Armitage and cast! October 19, 2016 Gratiana Lovelace (Post #985 blog and #020 Tumblr)

The Roundabout Theatre Company produced Mike Bartlett play Love, Love, Love (play guide)  directed by Michael Mayer opens tonight at the Laura Pels Theatre at the Harold and Miriam Steinberg Center for Theatre!  Below is a brief synopsis of the play from RTC:

“London, 1967. Beatlemania is in full effect, the “Me” generation is in its
prime and Kenneth and Sandra have the world at their fingertips. It’s the
summer of love, and that’s all they need. But what will happen when the sex,
drugs and rock ‘n’ roll fade away and these boomers have babies of their own?”

Wishing everyone an amazing night!   Break a leg to exquisitely talented British actor Richard Armitage and his fabulous cast mates Amy Ryan, Alex Hurt, Zoe Kazan, and Ben Rosenfield!


This play—and with this particular group of actors–looks like loads of fun!  I so wish I had the funds to go see Love, Love, Love!  But I’m keeping my fingers crossed that RTC and playwright Mike Bartlett might let it be filmed so that the rest of us can stream it from home.

Below is a little multi scene montage video that the Roundabout Theatre Company kindly put together for fans to enjoy!   And be on the lookout for those sexy sendup moments!  Ha!


Posted in Comedy, Drama, Family, Fathers, Humor, Husbands, Kissing, Love and Relationships, Love Love Love, Mothers, NYC play with Richard Armitage as Kenneth, Period Drama, play, Richard Armitage, Roundabout Theatre Company, Sexy, Society, Something About Love, Storytelling, Theatre, Tumblr, Video, Women | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

“Encouragement”, Ch. 10 (PG):  The Kimball Ball, Part 1:  Sincerity, October 17, 2016 Gratiana Lovelace (Post #984) 

aEncouragement-aRegencyLovestorycover_Aug3116byGratianaLovelace_180x282(An original Regency romance  copyrighted by Gratiana Lovelace; all rights reserved)  [(1) story cover, left]

[From time to time, I will illustrate my story characters with:  Armitage as Lord Christian Blount Earl of Sussex, Kate Winslet or Emma Lady Hamilton as Lady Madeline Lucretia Sinclair, Dame Maggie Smith as Lady Lucretia Beckham Knott, Polly Mabrey as Lady Elizabeth Blount, Crispin Bonham-Carter as Lord Harold Blount, Dame Judi Dench as Lady Catherine Blount the Dowager Countess of Sussex, Rupert Penry Jones as Lord Duncan the Viscount Lindsay, and others as noted.]

Authors Content Note: “Encouragement” is a frothy love story with sometimes humorous and sometimes dramatic themes of love and relationships.  It will mostly be at the PG and PG-13 movie levels. Specific chapters or passages may have a further rating of:  D for dramatic emotions, and LS for love scenes that are tenderly sensuous and not explicit.  And I will rate the chapters accordingly. If you are unable or unwilling to attend a movie with the ratings that I provide for a chapter, then please do not read that chapter. This is my disclaimer.  And as is my habit, I will summarize the previous chapter’s events at the beginning of each chapter.

Author’s recap from the previous chapter: While shopping with her Grandmama and his younger sister, Lady Madeline and Lord Christian had a heart to heart chat about their respective marriage prospect wishes—and not wanting to be overwhelmed with suitors, in Lady Madeline’s case as she was the past week.  For his part, Lord Christian finds himself disappointed because he perceives that Lady Madeline does not consider him a suitor—merely a visitor.  Yet that is very far from true as this pair continues to misunderstand one another.  For Lady Madeline is Lord Christian’s chosen—if not announced—hoped for betrothed.  That is, if his old school chum Lord Duncan Viscount Lindsay does not get there first.


               “Encouragement, A Regency Tale of Love and Romance”,
Ch. 10:  The Kimball Ball, Part I–Sincerity

As the day of the Kimball Ball dawns, Lady Maddie continues ruminating about her week thus far.  Firstly, it was only through daily visits with my new friend Lady Elizabeth Lizzie Blount that her brother Lord Christian Blount and I convinced her that she really must attend this Friday night’s Kimball Ball.  For Lady Lizzie’s presentation ball is next week, and it will be helpful to her to have the experience of the society and of the requirements of a ball before her own ball.

I know that I am only one week out from my own ball, but I appreciated attending another ball before my own–so I surmise that Lizzie will also appreciate it.  And I realize that I have but two weeks of experience in London society.  However with my daily lessons as I engage with my suitors, visitors, and friends—especially with our friends the Blounts–I feel that I am trying to find my equilibrium.  I believe that I am almost there.

Or so says my Grandmama, Lady Lucretia Beckham Knott.  Grandmama is so kind and encouraging to me.  Though I still wish—as I revealed to Lord Christian yesterday upon our shopping outing with Lady Lizzie and my Grandmama—that I do not wish to be pursued by so many gentleman. It is daunting.   I am not skilled enough in my discernment to weed some of them out of being husband prospects for me.  And if I even found some nice gentleman that were suitable and pleasing, he would still not be my paragon, Lord Christian Blount, Earl of Sussex.  Lord Christian would be my ideal husband—caring, kind, a man of the world, yet not condescending, and loving.

But it seems not to be.  And however much Lord Christian and I allayed Lady Lizzie’s nervousness about the Kimball Ball this week, my nervousness has only increased.  For my Grandmama Lady Knott is determined that I be advantageously introduced to Viscount Lord Duncan Lindsay–the heir to the Duke of York.  I have only quite recently turned my thoughts to my very much liking Lord Christian Blount, the Earl of Sussex as a prospective husband the more I converse with him–and now my Grandmama proposes a different gentleman to match with me, the Viscount Lord Duncan Lindsay.   I have never met the man, but whatever Lord Duncan’s virtues, he will still not be Lord Christian.

Obviously, my own thoughts have not turned away from Lord Christian as a suitor at all.  As I have become acquainted with Lord Christian better the past two weeks, I can see his many good qualities. Despite his propensity for knocking ices out of my hands at parties, he dances divinely and is a most amiable gentleman.  And he is a doting elder brother to my new friend in his younger sister Lady Elizabeth Blount.    And he and Lady Lizzie kindly offered my Grandmama and I a ride to this week’s Kimball Ball–which we gladly accepted.

Sadly, the Dowager Countess of Sussex Lady Catherine Blount–Lady Lizzie’s and Lord Christian’s Grandmother–is once again feeling unwell, so she is unable to join us.  Though Lord Christian’s gift to her of the black shawl embroidered with small pale blue roses somewhat cheered her—as my own gift of a cream shawl embroidered with small pink roses delighted my Grandmama.  But Lady Blount insisted that her grandchildren Lady Lizzie and Lord Christian attend the Kimball Ball tonight, a chilly but no longer snowing Friday February 9, 1816.  And it is anyone’s guess where their brother Lord Harold is.  Because I do not believe anywhere near a sick bed is Lord Harold’s forte.  Yet he is not with us.

As we take the cozy carriage ride to the Kimball Ball in the Earl of Sussex’ large and comfortably cushioned enclosed carriage–made more agreeable by the warmed bricks at our feet—Lady Lizzie and I discuss our plans for the evening with regard to dancing and refreshments in whispers into each other’s ears.

My Grandmama and Lord Christian sitting across from us in the large carriage also converse in hushed tones.

Lady Knott: “Thank you again for kindly inviting us to ride with you to the Kimball Ball, Lord Christian.”

Lord Christian: “You are are most welcome, My Lady.  We are glad that you could join us.”  I notice that she does not use her pet name for me, of Christy.   “Am I still out of charity with you, Lady Knott?  Or am I forgiven for my boorish behavior at Lady  Madeline’s presentation ball?”

Lady Knott:  I look at this earnest young man for a long moment.  He seems sincere. “Since my granddaughter has forgiven you, then I must also”  I state pleasantly from years of practice.

Lord Christian:  Not willing to let her merely civil response drop, I query.  “But?”

Lady Knott:   “But, I was disappointed that you chose to take out your frustration upon dear Maddie with regard to your grandmother’s and my own misbegotten matchmaking attempts.  Maddie was completely unaware of our hopes.  It was not her fault.”  I admonish him chastisingly.

Lord Christian:   “I am aware of that now.”  I say more curtly than I intend.  “I have apologized to Lady Madeline and she forgave me.  Will you not do the same?”  I try not to whine.  But Lady Knott tends to make me feel as if she is the school mistress, and I the errant student.  And I am well aware of the power that ladies like Lady Knott wield, and I do not want her ire at me to become misdirected at my sister Lady Lizzie.

And I admit that I am put out that Lady Knott no longer considers me a viable suitor for Lady Madeline.  Even though I had not originally sought that office, I have warmed to the idea of a matrimonial arrangement with Lady Madeline Sinclair and its benefits to my family–more particularly to my sister Lady Lizzie’s marriage prospects by my receiving the Knott dowry money saved for Lady Madeline.  Yet, Lady Madeline’s dowry is no longer my sole goal now.  Lady Madeline has my heart, as I wish to have hers.

Lady Knott: “Very well.”  Then I change the subject.    “I hear from my granddaughter Maddie that you know the Viscount Lindsay, Lord Duncan.”  I am eager to hear more about the Duke of York’s heir.  And if I can promote some jealousy on Lord Christian’s part with regard to my granddaughter Lady Maddie’s marriage prospects, all the better.  I do not give up easily, and mine and Lady Cathy’s hopes are still afloat with our grandchildren’s continued society with each other.

Lord Christian: I take a calming breath and reply to her through somewhat clenched teeth.  “I do.  We were schoolmates at Eton.”

I am not certain why, but I bristle at thinking that my friend–the Viscount, Lord Duncan Lindsay–is now in Lady Knott’s thoughts for Lady Madeline’s matrimonial prospects. Whilst I am pushed aside, discarded as a potential suitor for Lady Madeline—when just last week our grandmothers were encouraging the match.  My past tense fate is both humbling and humiliating.

Lady Knott: “We thank you for agreeing to introduce my granddaughter Lady Madeline to Viscount Lindsay.  Were they to take a liking with each other, it would be a brilliant match!”  My eyes sparkle with hope.  Though my true hope for my granddaughter Maddie is not what I have lead Lord Christian to believe.

Lord Christian: “There is no better man than Lord Duncan.  I commend you for your choice.”  What else can I say?  Lord Duncan is a good man.  And it is not in my nature to try to further my own goals at the expense of others.  In that, Lady Madeline and I agree wholeheartedly.

Lady Knott: “Ah!  Yes, thank you.  Now it remains to be seen whether the Viscount is my granddaughter Lady Madeline’s choice.”

Lord Christian:   “Indeed.”  I pause at Lady Knott’s use of the word choice to describe Lady Madeline’s matrimonial prospects.  And I wonder who else Lady Knott might hope for her granddaughter to become acquainted with as a potential suitor?  The list is becoming rather long—with Lord Duncan, myself, to other Lords and  Duke, and my brother Harold.  Though Harold is out of the running, in my view.


And then our carriage ride with the Blounts comes to a stop  at the Kimball’s London Mansion with extensive grounds and my friend Lady Lizzie grips my hand like a vise before we exit the carriage. I turn to her next to me on the bench and say soothingly.

Lady Madeline: “Lizzie, Dear, it will be alright.  We will have fun tonight, I promise.  And your brother and his friend Lord Duncan the Viscount Lindsay will insure that we do not want for dance partners.”

Lady Lizzie:  “But that is the problem.  I am certain that I will faint when I see Lord Duncan.  I was only a child when last I saw him, but he made a lasting impression  upon me.”

Lady  Madeline: “It seems that my Grandmama also favors him.”  I roll my eyes.  “Come, Lizzie. Let us meet this paragon of manly perfection.”  Then I turn to Lord Christian with an impish smile as he assists me out of the carriage.  “And to think that once you made me tremble with your handsomeness, Lord Christian.”  In truth, Lord Christian makes me tremble all the time.  If only he would welcome my forming an attachment to him.

Lord Christian:  My eyes widen as I assist Lady Madeline out of the carriage.  “Did I, Lady Madeline?  Was I not the granite mountain who knocked ices out of your hands?”  I counter cheekily.  She responds with the lightest of lilting laughter—quite charming.

Lady Madeline: “Ha ha ha ha ha!  That you were–but you were my granite mountain, Lord Christian.”  I smile up at him shyly as I turn to gaze at him after reaching solid ground.  Lord Christian is a good and a nice man.  It is a pity that he sees me only as his sister Lady Lizzie’s little friend.  Because I do not view him with sisterly affection.

Lord Christian ponders Lady Madeline’s statements wondering what she can be about–telling him that she had fancied him. Had being the operative past tense verb.

As my cloak is taken by the servant after we enter the Kimball’s grand marble foyer, my pale blue satin gown trimmed with delicate lace at the bodice and capped sleeves is revealed.  I feel that my gown’s shade complements my hair to perfection.  Or at least, I hope it does.  Then I turn to look at Lord Christian, who seems to be staring at me.

Lord Christian freezes [(2) right] upon seeing Lady Madeline’s evening cloak removed.  For before him stands Lady Madeline Sinclair– an ethereally beautiful goddess with her auburn curls framing her delicately featured face, and a plunging neckline on her gown bodice that is giving him a pounding heart, thundering in his ears.

This is no girl before him, but a womanly temptress divine.  Yesterday, she was merely pleasant and charming.  And now? He wonders how in one day, that she could effect such a change upon her person?  Lady Madeline might be only a few months older than his own seventeen year old sister Lady Lizzie.  But Lord Christian thinks that Lady Madeline is a woman fully grown and he aches in his heart—and elsewhere—for her to become his bride and wife.  Soon.  To love and to cherish her for all of their days together.

www.kobal-collection.com Title: SENSE AND SENSIBILITY • Pers: WINSLET, KATE • Year: 1995 • Dir: ANG LEE • Ref: SEN023CO • Credit: [ COLUMBIA / THE KOBAL COLLECTION / COOTE, CLIVE ] SENSE AND SENSIBILITY (1995) , January 1, 1995 Photo by CLIVE COOTE/COLUMBIA/The Kobal Collection/WireImage.com To license this image (10495531), contact WireImage: U.S. +1-212-686-8900 / U.K. +44-207-868-8940 / Australia +61-2-8262-9222 / Germany +49-40-320-05521 / Japan: +81-3-5464-7020 +1 212-686-8901 (fax) info@wireimage.com (e-mail) www.wireimage.com (web site)

Lady Madeline:  “You are staring at me, Lord Christian.  Is my gown hem ripped or do I have a blotch upon my face?”  I gaze up at him worriedly [(3) right] through my lashes.  Though Lord Christian’s eyes to not seem to be focused upon my gown hem.

Jolted out of my reverie, I remember my manners and bow to Lady Madeline.

Lord Christian:  “No indeed!  I was merely struck by how the burnished hue of your lovely tresses are complemented by your pale blue gown.  And your lovely creamy complexion could never be thought of as blotchy.”  I hope that I do not seem to be gushing. But by jove!  Lady Madeline looks quite enchanting this evening!

Lady Madeline:  “Oh!  Well!  That is alright, then!”  I smile prettily at Lord Christian as I blush.  He also looks a bit flushed. Then I turn and glide gracefully after my Grandmama Lady Lucretia Beckham Knott who is slowly making her way up the stairs to the second floor where the ballroom is.


However, as we are announced and enter into the large and elegantly decorated Kimball ballroom, I feel quite alone due to the enforced protocol of introductions. As the Earl of Sussex, Lord Christian Blount enters first with his sister Lady Lizzie upon his arm, then my Grandmama Lady Lucretia Beckham Knott enters, and finally I enter by myself, Lady Madeline Sinclair.

I see all eyes looking at me as I hold my head up and greet their inquiring eyes with a small smile as I glide into the ballroom.  And I wonder if they are calculating my dowry size–and how it might replace their manor roofs or afford them a London townhome.  I feel like a piece of meat at the market–though I am certain that my Grandmama would decry that metaphor.  And yet, I vow to maintain a serene countenance, despite their impolite ogling.

We greet our hosts, the Kimball’s whose daughter Penelope is being honored with this evening’s ball.  She is a tall, reed thin girl of golden hair so favored my men—or at least, favored by my Sinclair brothers.  Lady Penelope seems pleasant with a musical tone to her voice, but I do not know her.  And I notice that her gown is rather an almost white pale ivory, and I wonder if my pale blue gown is too showy.  I know that married ladies may often be found in vibrantly hued gowns, whereas unmarried ladies tend to wear white or ivory.  But I am tired of white gowns.  And my Grandama did not say anything contrary about my gown’s pastel light blue color choice for tonight.  So, perhaps, Lady Penelope merely prefers white clothes to match her blond hair.  Hmmm.

Then the Blounts and Grandmama and I stroll about the room until we find an unoccupied sette.  And there upon it, we deposit my Grandmama Lady Knott and I.   Lord Christian bows, then he takes his sister Lady Lizzie onto the dance floor for a waltz.  Lady Lizzie looks a bit uncertain—until after the second or third twirl that her brother enacts for her enjoyment.  He is such an expert dancer, that my friend Lady Lizzie must feel like she is dancing upon clouds.  Then Lord Christian has Lady Lizzie laughing and enjoying herself—I presume with his commentary about the others in attendance, to help puncture her nervousness.

So Grandmama and I chat and remark about the people whom she knows who are in attendance.  I can honestly say that I am stunned at the number of individuals who do not pay their bills, ride poorly, sing abominably, or are disliked by dogs, etc.  Shocking!

Then Lady Knott spies the Viscount Lord Duncan Lindsay across the ballroom as he is announced.  Lady Knott has been particularly listening for his introduction.

Lady Knott: “Ah!  Maddie!  The Viscount is here!”

Lady Madeline: “He is?  Where?”  I notice my Grandmama’s head tilt and my eyes follow lordduncan-in-evening-dress-isrupertpenryjones-inpersuasion_sep0216viapinterest-grati-sizedits direction to a tallish, well built, and superbly dressed youngish man, who is probably in his late twenties or early thirties [(4) right] –as is Lord Christian.  His black jacket, ivory waistcoat and cravat, and dove grey breeches look as if they were tailored to perfection, since they fit his muscular and broad shouldered frame so well.  “Lady Lizzie was right!”  I gush as I stare at him across the ball room.

Lady Knott:  “What did you say, Maddie Dear?”  I heard her, but I wonder if my granddaughter will become besotted with the Ducal heir?  And if so, what will happen to poor Christy?

Lady Madeline: “Lady Lizzie told me that Lord Duncan had made a lasting impression upon her eight years ago.  I can see why.  He is magnificent!”  Where Lord Christian is dark and brooding, this Lord Duncan is blond and smiling agreeably.  Well, perhaps, Lord Duncan’s collar is not starched quite so sharply as Lord Christian’s.  Though I could never understand why gentlemen want collars so highly starched that they cannot move their head.  What sense—or comfort—is there in that?  The young man is quickly gobbled up within a sea of diaphanous ballgowns from the surrounding maidens and their mamas.

Lady Knott: “He is, indeed.  And when you meet Lord Duncan tonight, dear Maddie, please curb your … forthright conversational tendencies.”  I plead.  “Let him direct the course of the conversation.  If he calls upon you in the future, then you might share some of your interests with him—but only if he asks.”

Lady Madeline: “Very well, Grandmama.”  I wince.  And I wonder how is one to discern if a particular man is someone whom I might wish to marry if we do not converse without constraint—in order to find out our commonalities and dissimilarities?  I ponder this perplexing notion through the remainder of Lady Lizzie’s and Lord Christian’s dance.

After Lord Christian finishes dancing with his sister Lady Lizzie, he then brings her back to us and proposes switching dance partners–to me.

Lord Christian: “Lady Madeline, may I have the next dance?”  I extend my hand to her, and she takes it.

Lady Madeline:  “Thank you, Lord Christian.” I smile gratefully as I stand.  Then as we walk to the dance floor, I lean in and whisper to him.  “At least I will have one dance tonight. I think the striking Lord the Viscount Duncan Lindsay standing over there amongst all of the ladies is too handsome to be interested in me.” Much like yourself, I feel like adding.

Lord Christian:  As the waltz begins I ask myself, did Lady Madeline just state that she found Lord Duncan handsome?  Does that mean that she does not find me handsome anymore?  “Oh no, Lady Madeline. You look very lovely this evening. Lord Duncan will find you charming.”  My eyes gaze over her copper hued curls framing her delicate face, and her shimmering pale blue satin and ivory lace ball gown encasing her womanly curves.  “Now that you are out, you will have to beat off suitors with a stick.”  Like most women, she will probably view it as a triumph to be so admired.

Lady Madeline: “But I do not want that–to be fought over.”  I pout.

Lord Christian:  I look at her in astonishment.  First yesterday,  in particular, she bemoans having had too many callers.  And now she decries having potentially ardent suitors in general.  “You do not?” Lady Madeline slightly shakes her head no.  “Why not?”

Lady Madeline:  “Apart from it being ludicrous that suitors will fall prostrate at my feet, how am I to get to know anyone sufficiently for me to want to marry them if they are fighting amongst themselves and not conversing with me?”  That would be even worse than them merely plying me with poems and posies.

Lord Christian: She has a point, I will give her that.  “There are always balls and concerts, or trips to the museums, or visiting art galleries.” I suggest.

Lady Madeline: “Those are potential locations for real conversations. But no one lets their guard down and speaks from their heart at such stilted occasions.  Everyone is on their best behavior–including me.  Grandmama’s orders tonight.”  I roll my eyes.  Then I think of Lord Christian taking me into his confidence and telling me of his family’s precarious financial situation–not unlike my own, but for my Grandmama’s sponsorship. He and I have always spoken honestly with each other—though moderately at cross purposes.

Lord Christian: “I will grant you, balls can be a superficial way to meet and get to know someone.  Yet, it is the system we have in place for meeting, selecting, and then courting our future spouses.”

Lady Madeline:  “And I find it tedious.  There is so much more we could be doing with our time and money, rather than going to endless dress fittings and social engagements.”

Lord Christian: “Most ladies would disagree with you, Lady Madeline. What would you prefer to do?”

Lady Madeline:  “I feel a yearning to help people in need–children, especially.  I do not know if I can make a difference, But I mean to at least try.”

Lord Christian: “That is very commendable, Lady Madeline.” I nod at her respectfully.

Lady  Madeline: “And I fear that my social betterment interests will clash with any Lord’s wishes for a wife. And I will disappoint my Grandmama.  She has been so good to me, and to my whole family.  And Grandmama so wants me to make an advantageous match with a nobleman in this my first season.  Hhhh!”   Lady Madeline sighs, her feeling caught between her duty to her Grandmama and her personal hopes and dreams.

Lord Christian: “And your Grandmama’s present focus is upon Lord Duncan the Viscount Lindsay?”   I try to sound neutral about having a competitor for Lady Madeline’s attentions, but I am certain that I fail since my tone seems churlish even to me.

Lady Madeline:  “Yes.”  I nod hesitantly. I cannot explain it, but I feel almost betraying Lord Christian by entertaining Grandmama’s wishes for Lord Duncan.  Yet, Lord Christian has not given me any indication that he prefers me over any other lady.  Though his compliments to me tonight were quit nice.  So unusual for him.  And then, there is my new friend Lady Lizzie’s interest in Lord Duncan.  “But your sister Lady Lizzie has expressed a preference for Lord Duncan. And I would not risk her friendship by trodding upon her tender heart–just for a husband.”

Lord Christian: “You would refuse Viscount Lindsay for my sister Lizzie’s sake?”  I ask her incredulously.  “What if he were your soulmate, but you simply have not realized that yet?” I could bite off my tongue for making such a suggestion that might undermine my chances with Lady Madeline.  But, I do not seem to be able to speak anything but the truth with and to her–and what is in her best interests.  Frankly, I am rather astonished at my less than self seeking actions with regard to Lady Madeline.  Could it be that her happiness is more important than my own to me?

Lady Madeline: “I hope that I will be discerning about who might be the best husband for me, and who will not cause others pain.”  I soulfully look into Lord Christian’s eyes, hoping that he understands what I am trying to say–that I admire him.

Lord Christian:  “Lady Madeline, just because you are introduced to someone, it does not mean that you are required to allow him to court you.  Afterall, you refused me.”  I remark a tad curtly.  Her refusal still stings.  Though I see now how my half hearted suit must have looked from her perspective–as if I were only interested in her money.  Though I would wish otherwise, my initial interest in Lady Madeline’s money is no better than my brother Harold’s.

Lady Madeline:  “Yes, Lord Christian. But that was because you did not wish for me to be your wife. And you had not technically made me an offer.”   I pointedly remind him.  “So I thought it best to end the farce, as you phrased it at my presentation ball.” Though my heart wrenches at my stupidity for rejecting Lord Christian.  He very easily could have my heart–if he would but claim it.

Lord Christian: “Hhhh! My apologies, again.  It was unforgivable of me to say such a thing.”  I shake my head at my ill mannered behavior then.

Lady Madeline: “No it was not. You were being honest. And I appreciate that.  And I am being honest when I say that I want a husband who loves me, and not only my money.”  Is it so inconceivable that I might find such a man?  Might Lord Christian be that man, I wonder?

Lord  Christian: “And what if there is a good man who loves you, but who also needs your money?”  I query her portentously and listen eagerly for her response.

Lady Madeline:  I think about his question before replying.  “Then I suppose that this good ladymadeline-inbluegown-lookingupset-iskatewinslet-in-sense-and-sensibility_oct1616pinteres_grati-clr-sized2-slvblr3man would need to convince me of the sincerity of his feelings for me.” I smile shyly while looking hopefully [(5) right] at Lord Christian.  Surely, he can be in no doubt about my wishes.  I have been plain spoken, have I not?  I could not be more clear were I to reach up on my tip toes and kiss him.  I blush at my brazen thoughts.  A lady does not make overtures—she receives them.  Well, not that—kissing—not until marriage.  Now I will see how he responds.

Lord Christian: “Then let us hope that you find someone who is sincere.”  And sincerity has never been one of my strong suits.

Lord Christian continues to brood.  I may be sincere in my affections toward her now.  But without my expressly telling her that I am sincere, I doubt that she will realize it.  It is not in my nature to flatter and fawn over a person whom I admire, as others might.  Yet it seems that the more affable chaps do that with simpering effectiveness.  Some might call me brusque and overly serious, but I simply believe that respecting others enough to be honest with them is right and just.   However, I realize that in doing so, that I might not be perceived as being of a romantic sort.

So, I worry that this defect or deficit  in my personality places me at a disadvantage with regard to my hoping to court Lady Madeline and have her become my bride, my countess.  And then there is Lord Duncan, the Viscount Lindsay yet to contend with this night—for my sister Lady Lizzie, and for Lady Madeline.  But I have never shied away from a challenge, and I will not do so now.

To be continued with Chapter 11


“Encouragement”, Ch. 10  References by Gratiana Lovelace, October 17, 2016 (Post #984)

1) The “Encouragement” story cover is an image representing our young heroine Lady Madeline Sinclair, is the young Emma Hart in a straw hat at 17 years old in painted by George Romney  in 1782; she was later to marry Sir William Hamilton in 1791 and become Emma Lady Hamilton, was found at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emma,_Lady_Hamilton#/media/File:George_Romney_-_Emma_Hart_in_a_Straw_Hat.jpg ;  For more about Emma Lady Hamilton, nee Emma Hart/Amy Lyon please visit https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emma,_Lady_Hamilton

2) Lord Christian Blount  is Richard Armitage in North &South 2004, Promos pix 28 found at http://www.richardarmitagenet.com/images/gallery/nands/album/NandSPromo/album/slides/NandSPromo-28.html

3) Lady Madeline’s pale blue silk evening gown for the Kimball Ball is Kate Winslet as Marianne Dashwood in 1995’s Sense & Sensibility found at   http://dzbawards.com/images/actresses/sense.jpg

4) Lord Duncan the Viscount Lindsay wearing a Waterfall cravat image is of Rupert Penry Jones as Captain Frederick Wentworth in “Persuasion” found at Pinterest at https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/236x/44/3d/db/443ddbb85a3217c76611f6db0f891839.jpg

5) Lady Madeline’s pale blue silk evening gown for the Kimball Ball is Kate Winslet as Marianne Dashwood in 1995’s Sense & Sensibility found at Pinterest and http://geek-adjacent.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/SenseSensibility-ElenorMarianne-600×290.jpg

Previous  Blog Ch. 9 Story link with embedded illustrations:



Posted in "Encouragement" a Regency Lovestory, Creative Writing, Drama, Fiction, Flirting, Humor, Love and Relationships, Richard Armitage, Romance, Society, Something About Love, Storytelling | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Spy Day Friday:  New Berlin Station publicity ramps up as Oct. 16 Premiere approaches,  October 14, 2016  Gratiana Lovelace (Post #983)

As the new EPIX series Berlin Station premiere date of Sunday, October 16, 2016 berlinstation-2016-newyorker-ad-inside-cover-of-ra-inposter_oct1216viamooseturdsapproaches, the publicity is ramping up considerably.  And its star the exquisitely talented British actor Richard Armitage (right) is front and center in them.  So my collect it in a group penchant is at work once again in the links and images below in my post.  Enjoy!

1) Primarily, Berlin Station costars Richard Armitage and Michelle Forbes did several interviews on October 10, 2106—with a few links and pix below (shared by many RA fans as noted below, Thanks!):

Aberlinstation-2016-richardarmitage-andmichelleforbes-inqa_oct1016viateresaa_grati-sized-drkn2-clr-crop   Bberlinstation-2016-richardarmitage-laughing-andmichelleforbes-inqa_oct1016viateresaa


Dberlinstation-2016-oct10-interview-richardarmitage-buff-bts-wmichelleforbes-andinterviewer_oct1316viateresaa   Eraportrait-2016-richardarmitage-oct10berlinstation-interview-pose_oct1216viakatiec     Fraportrait-2016-richardarmitage-signing-autograph-wall-looking-sexy_oct1116viadinnyschild

Graportrait-2016-richardarmitage-pretending-to-steal-bar-cart_oct1016viateresaa   Hraportrait-2016-richardarmitage-andmichelleforbes-mugging-in-a-car_oct1016viateresaa

Iraportrait-2016-richardarmitage-smiling-atmichelleforbes_oct1016mishkaforbes-viaanraworldblogspot     Jraportrait-2016-michelleforbes-embracing-richardarmitage-after-interviewing_oct1016mishkaforbes    Kberlinstation-2016-oct1016-interviewday-richardarmitage-andmichelleforbes-too-tired-to-eat-after-interviews_oct1316viateresaa

Thanks for interview image caps of Richard Armitage and Michelle Forbes go to:
A, B, C, D, G, H, & K:  TeresaA;        E: KatieC;             F:  Dinnyschild;             and I & J:  Michelle Forbes tweet

The effects of a long day of interviewing are:  takeaway gifts (pix G), laughing in a car selfies (pix H),  hearing burnout (pix I), embracing a tall solid costar in relief (pix J);  and being too tired to eat (pix K). With pix F being my new cell wall display. THUD!


Build Interview (which caps appear above in images A, B, C, & D):


Transcript of LRMonline Interview (Thanks to Michelle Forbes tweet):


Morning Blend Interview (Thanks to Michelle Forbes tweet):  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zUEiZ0_CByI



2) There is also a behind the scenes video “Eyes of the City” (warning: vulgar language in the first few seconds):

3)  EPIX is also now on Vimeo with several clips from Berlin Station Episode 3 (labeled 103) that we have yet to see  ( haven’t watched them yet, wanting to wait to see the episode first):

4) And then yesterday, the Berlin Station series creator Olen Steinhauer shared this new series extended trailer news in a tweet:


And here is that new extended Berlin Station trailer from EPIX

So I’ll be sure to tune in to EPIX on Sunday October 16, 2016 to watch the premiere of Berlin Station!  How about you?


Posted in Berlin Station mini series, Drama, EPIX Berlin Station, Fiction, Gratiana Lovelace, intrigue, Richard Armitage, Sexy, Society, Something About Love, Spy thriller, Storytelling, Television, Video | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 22 Comments