“Expectations” (Book 2)–Ch. 37 Epilogue: Our Loving Expectations,
December 31, 2019 by Gratiana Lovelace (Post #1273)
(an original Regency romance copyrighted by Gratiana Lovelace, 2018 – 2019; all rights reserved); [(1) story cover art, left]
[As is my custom, from time to time I will illustrate my story with my ideal cast consisting of (in order of appearance/mention): Richard Armitage as Lord Christian Blount Earl of Sussex, Kate Winslet as Lady Madeline Sinclair Blount Countess of Sussex, Dame Maggie Smith as Lady Lucretia Beckham Knott, Jessica Brown Findlay as Lady Elizabeth Blount, Crispin Bonham-Carter as Lord Harold Blount, Dame Judi Dench as Lady Catherine Blount the Dowager Countess of Sussex, Corin Redgrave as Lady Madeline’s father the Squire Sutton Sinclair, Amanda Root as Mrs. Russell her aunt, Rupert Penry Jones as Lord Duncan the Viscount Lindsay and the second son of the Duke of York, David Oakes as Lord Alfred the Marquess of Malten and the first born son and heir to the Duke of York, Emma Thompson as Lady Gwendolyn “Gwennie” Lindsay of York their sister; and Margaret Clunie as Lady Constance Knightsbridge daughter to the Duke and Duchess of Lancashire and betrothed of the late Lord Alfred; Hugh Grant as her brother Lord Robert Knightsbridge the Marquess of Wyre and the heir to the Duke of Lancashire, and others as noted.]
Author’s story content and serializing scheduling notes: For the most part, my ratings for the chapters will be PG-13—for romantic interludes and dramatic moments. If you are unable or unwilling to attend a movie with these ratings, then please do not read that chapter. This is my disclaimer. I hope that you enjoy this final chapter.
Ch. 37 Epilogue: Our Loving Expectations
Lady Madeline Blount the Countess of Sussex’s Diary: “This is my Diary Entry #55, or #54. But to be safe, I’m labeling it #55. As you can tell, I have been infrequent in my journaling. But living one’s life tends to take up most of our time.
It is the evening of December 31, 1816 and I feel like I should review the wonderful year that our extended family has experienced. So first my and my Dear husband Lord Christian’s marriage in February 1816 and then in April discovering that we were to welcome our first child had quite engrossed us. And our Summer 1816 spent at the Sussex Hall country estate was glorious and filled with happy extended family wedding news that quite eclipsed my best intentions of diarying our lives.
My best friend and Blount/Sussex sister-in-law Lady Elizabeth was finally able to marry her longtime beloved Lord Duncan Viscount Lindsay of York—because his presumed to be dead brother Lord Alfred was found to be alive and returned to his wife of ten years Lady Constance (nee Knightsbridge of Lancashire) and their daughter Tamsin—which meant that Lord Duncan did not need to marry his sister-in-law as his parents wishes, afterall. Don’t ask. The difficulties were quite convoluted.
Then most surprisingly, My dear husband Lord Christian Blount Earl of Sussex’s formerly immature and irresponsible brother Lord Harold Blount happened again upon his long ago dream of love Lady Penelope who was in a loveless and abusive marriage in Paris—helping her to divorce the fiend, and they fell in love and he married her, also bringing her to Sussex Hall over the Summer, with her being newly enceinte. And finally, Lord Duncan’s middle sister Lady Gwendolyn Lindsay of York was lately married at the end of Summer to Lord Robert Knightsbridge the Marquess of Wyre of Lancashire—which keeps all of the family relations and connections quite tidy.
And if the extended family marriages were not exhausting enough, what happens usually after marriage, occurred with all of us—with we ladies becoming pregnant and our children having been or will be born within six months of each other. And we hope that these cousins will remain as close to each other as we their parents are.
First, Lord Christian and my baby daughter Lady Eleanor Madeline Blount was born almost in the middle of the combined family weddings Reception in London in November 1816. The Ducal families kept putting back the date for the London Reception from September 1816 to accommodate each new pregnancy, thus putting me within a few weeks of my due date. Indeed, my water broke at the reception and My Dear husband Lord Christian spirited me back to our London home of Sussex House for the birth. Though I am told that my baby’s birthing was not unusual—it was to me. Ten hours I suffered with birthing pains! But when they placed our little Lady Eleanor into my arms [(2) below]—after they had cleaned up both she and I, of course—I felt like it was all worth it. She is a darling—a most precious gift to we her parents. And we will cherish and nurture her throughout her life.
Then, Lady Penelope graced her husband and my brother-in-law Lord Harold Blount with twins just before Christmas! They welcomed a baby boy whom they named Edward Christian and a baby girl whom they named Caroline Penelope. They are both charming babies. And of course, Lord Harold had to tease my husband Lord Christian about Lady Penelope having a boy before I gave my husband his Earldom’s heir. But Lord Harold can rest assured that I am determined to bestow upon my husband Lord Christian a baby boy with our next child, or so—to secure an heir for my Earl of Sussex husband, Lord Christian. In fact, we would like two boys and two girls. We’ll see.
And my sister-in-law Lady Elizabeth Viscountess Lindsay of York is due to give birth in the new year—as is Lord Duncan’s brother Lord Alfred’s wife Lady Constance. Of course, Lord Alfred’s and Lady Constance’s now ten year old daughter Lady Tamsin is quite please to look forward to having a sibling. And finally, Lady Gwendolyn Knightsbridge the Marchioness of Wyre and her heir to the Duke of Lancashire husband Lord Robert Knightsbridge the Marquess of Wyre are now expecting their own baby sometime next Summer of 1817.
Happily our grandmothers, great grandmothers and aunts and great aunts are merrily all still with us. At least we ladies believe their presence in our lives to be merry. Our husbands? Well, sometimes, they have a differing opinion—depending upon how officious and high handed these elderly ladies might be toward our husbands. I must state how amusing it is to see grown men and peers of the realm chastened by the elderly ladies. And I wonder if I will ever have that capability for my future grandchildren and their spouses. La!
But we wives and husbands and our new and impending babies in our extended families have been blessed in 1816 well beyond our loving expectations. And we are grateful beyond measure.”
Lady Madeline closes her diary and places it upon her bedside table as her husband Lord Christian enters carrying their six weeks old baby daughter Lady Eleanor, who is fussing and wanting to be fed.
Lord Christian: “Our baby Ellie wants her Mama.” He smiles at his wife with heartfelt adoration and gently lays their baby in her mother’s arms.
Lady Elizabeth peeks her head into their bed chamber.
Lady Elizabeth: “May I watch you nurse Ellie, Maddie? I want to do so with my own coming baby. And I need to learn how it is done.”
Lady Madeline: “Of course, Dear Lizzie. Come sit with me on the bed and we can chat while I feed her.” I pat the place next to me on our bed—normally where my dear husband Lord Christian sits rapt with attention in watching me nurse our baby. But, needs must, as they say.
So Lord Christian kisses his wife Lady Madeline’s forehead in loving farewell and closes the bed chamber hallway door behind him.
Lord Duncan: “So Madeline is letting Elizabeth watch her feed baby Eleanor?” Lord Christian nods in assent. “Elizabeth is so worried that she won’t be able to do it.” In truth, Lord Duncan is uncertain about his lady wanting to nurse their coming baby. Usually a wet nurse is found from their home village. But with Lady Madeline proclaiming that she will nurse her baby, as her mother did for her, Lord Duncan lost the argument with his wife Lady Elizabeth.
Lord Christian: “Madeline will ease Lizzie’s baby fears.” He claps his brother-in-law on his back. “Let us repair to the Billiards Room downstairs while our ladies are convened with my beautiful baby daughter.” Lord Duncan nods and the two men depart. And Lord Christian is delighted to have a daughter, his son and heir will come eventually.
Later after nursing baby Lady Eleanor, Lady Madeline writes a post script to her final diary entry of 1816: “P.S. And so, as we also continue to support our charities to help those less fortunate and those in need, we hope that they will also come to live more happy lives. Afterall, for all of us to live a good, kind, and just life, we are expected to treat others as we ourselves wish to be treated. And I take that to heart. So for me, I especially wish for others, every happiness that they wish for themselves.”
Lady Madeline closes her diary and replaces it upon her bedside table. Then she goes to seek out her baby, her husband, and her extended family to celebrate the coming of the new year of 1817.
Thank you for your faithful support of my original historical fiction Regency romance “Expectations” (Book 2). I hope that you enjoyed it! And I appreciate your voting/starring chapters and your many kind comments. Wishing you and yours a wonderful new year of 2020!
Holiday Cheers! Grati ;->
Expectations” (Book 2, sequel to “Encouragement): Chapter 37 Epilogue images for December 31, 2019 by Gratiana Lovelace (Post #1273)
1) “Expectations” (Book 2, sequel to “Encouragement”) story cover art image represents Lady Elizabeth Blount, sister to the Earl of Sussex in black evening gown–is that of actress Jessica Brown Findlay as Lady Sybil in Downton Abby found at http://www.internet-d.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/38/2012/02/JESSICA-BROWN-FINDLAY-as-Lady-Sybil-Crawley.jpg ; the text font is Vivaldi.
2) Image representing Lady Madeline’s and Lord Christian’s baby girl Lady Eleanor swaddled in a blanket was found Jun1214via-MSOfcClipArt-Grati-sized
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