03 JanDiary Of A Week In The Life of a Regency Romance Era Chaperon Day Six Saturday

One Week During The Season: Taken From The Diary of a Matchmaking Mama From Early 19th Century England, and presented as written over a period of seven days.  Day Six, Saturday, In Which I sustain quite the shock.

Saturday.  Sadly afraid my health is breaking—so very ill this morning that I was obliged to lie in bed till dinner time.  I do not know who called today—Emily had, I believe, a great many visitors.  So worried was I by her unrelenting insistence that we attend the opera, that I was forced to consent, nevertheless thinking all the while that it would be the death of me.  It is beyond me, what amusement can Emily find in seeing the same opera and the same ballet twice in a single week’s time—had she been a son rather than a daughter, I would have wagered that she held some sort of vulgar tendre for one of the dancers?  On entering the box—to my very great surprise—I saw none other than Captain Lee established there!  I am suddenly quite certain that this morning, when I lay out of pocket and in my sickbed, he must have been kicking his heels in my drawing room.  It would have been then that Emily must have given him a ticket.

He sat almost in Emily’s lap all the evening long.  I am quite certain she never heard a word of the opera, she was so taken up with his conversation.  So ill was I, that I really could nothing to stop this horrid exposure to prying eyes all over the house.  I finally begged Emily to come away before the ballet was ended, which—to my very great astonishment—she immediately assented to.

Entering my bedroom, I threw myself quite exhausted on the sofa, and turning round, beheld Emily on a chair by my side.  Before I could ask her the cause of her unusual presence, she spoke thus, “You must be very nearly aware of what I am about to tell you, mamma.   Captain Lee has proposed to me this very evening, and I have accepted him.”

I fear that I was not very nearly aware of such fell turn of events, and shrieked aloud with surprise.

“My dear mamma,” she continued, “pray do not vex yourself about this—remember what is done, cannot be undone; besides, why should you dislike my marrying Henry. Poverty is no disgrace, and if that is the only fault you can find with him, that is soon cleared away.  He has, in fact, two thousand pounds a year, and I am sure that is enough for any one family to live very happily upon.

” I replied to her as would any good mamma, “If that is your opinion, my dear Emily, I shall say no more about the matter; all I hope is, you will not verify the proverb. Marry in haste, and repent at leisure.”

After she had gone, I allowed myself a sigh of relief.  How thankful I was to hear Captain Lee had two thousand pounds a year, and what a weight was taken off my mind, the reader may readily conceive.  The money, I have since learned, was left him by an elderly aunt, whose godson he was.  It is very strange this important bit of news had not been communicated to me earlier.  What have I not done to prevent this match, which really, now that I have learned all the particulars, will not turn out so badly at all.

Well done, me.

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Officially, most historians will agree that the dates of Regency Romance Era England extend only from 1811 to 1820 when King George III was deemed unfit to rule by reason of insanity and his son Prince George IV-more familiarly known to all lovers of <strong>Regency Romance</strong> era novels as Prinny-ruled by proxy as the Prince Regent.  However, as I, and  most lovers of the <strong>Regency Romance</strong> era in general will quickly tell you, they don’t really care so much for the formal politics of the era as they do the culture, architecture, literature, fashions, and romanticized societal norms.  It is, in fact, the unique culture of the era and the romantic doings of the wealthy classes as most often presented by Jane Austen and Georgette Heyer that draw the Regency lover’s attention and hold our hearts.  Therefore, for these purposes, this most romantic of eras can easily be extended from 1795 when The Prince Regent wed Caroline of Brunswick, until his death as King George IV in 1830, and even beyond, until the death of his brother and heir William IV in 1837, when Queen Victoria ascended the British throne ushering in an era of change.

Enjoy,
Teresa Thomas Bohannon
Author of the Regency Romance novel
A Very Merry Chase.

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