Thursday, 16 September 2010
Another installment in my regency letter story.
Enjoy! Anne Herries
Regency letters 7
My very dear mother and sister.
I must tell you that I found your brother and son very ill indeed. Dearest Robert hardly knew me when I reached him and in his fever he called for someone of whom I have no knowledge. I think it is a lady but I did not recognise the name. I was able to comfort him and after some hours of deep anxiety, he came back to me. The fever has broken though he seems in low spirits. He has asked me if I will take him home and stay with him until he feels able to return to his regiment. I have agreed to do this and shall write to Melton and tell him of my intention. If my sister is well enough to part with her mama, I think my brother would like to see her once we are at home. However, I shall not desert him while he is so low for I fear that he might sink into a decline if he were to spend too much time alone.
I must go now, because he will be wanting me to read to him. We hope to return home in three days and you should send your reply there.
Your loving daughter and sister Horatia.
My dear Melton
I have your letter of last week demanding that I return to you in London. Forgive me but I find I am unable to comply with your request, sir. My brother is still very unwell and I shall not leave him until he is able to return to his regiment.
I am sorry that you feel I have behaved badly. I assure you that I have done nothing I regret or of which I am ashamed. If you feel that the situation between us is irretrievable I would be agreeable to a separation and an amicable divorce in a year or so at your convenience.
I truly believe that our marriage was a mistake and regret any pain I may have caused you.
My dearest and true friend.
Your letters have been a wonderful support to me in this time of my brother’s illness. I could not tell Mama or my sister that I feared he would die for they would have come at once and he was too ill. Mama is a dear but she can be very trying and my sister is still recovering from her disappointment.
I have written to Melton and asked if he will agree to a separation. I am taking Robert to his estate soon and shall stay with him until he feels well again. After that…perhaps you will come to me at the estate, where we may be alone and talk of the future? I am quite determined that I shall not return to a life that contains nothing but unhappiness.
However, for the moment I know you will understand that Robert must come first with me. I know something is troubling him deeply and I think he must have suffered a disappointment for he is very low. My brother has always been so strong and confident and to see him like this is distressing. I have hopes that he will confide in me soon.
I shall count the hours until I see you, my very best of friends.
You have my love and always shall. Horatia
Posted by Anne Herries Author at 01:56
Saturday, 4 September 2010
A small taster from The Pirate's Willing Captive.
The man walked away from the hostelry on the waterfront deep in thought. He had booked passage on a ship bound for France and it might be many years before he returned home. His thoughts were regretful and angry for he had parted from his father with bitter words.
‘You take the word of others above mine, Father – you would believe a stranger above your own son.’
Justin Devere’s blue eyes had flashed with pride, making Sir John snort impatiently. ‘You were a damned fool, Justin. By God, sir! There is no excuse for what you have done. You are the great grandson of Robert Melford and a more devoted supporter of the Crown could not be found. Your grandfather was much favoured by King Henry V111 – and my own family has always been loyal. By becoming involved in this conspiracy to murder Queen Mary and replace her with the Princess Elizabeth you have let your whole family down. I am ashamed of you!’ ‘No, sir. You wrong me…’
Justin raised his head defiantly. He was a handsome devil, with pale blond hair and deep blue eyes; reckless, arrogant and dismissive of rules, he stood head and shoulders above most men, including his father. His grandfather said he was a throw back to Robert of Melford in temperament and build, though not in colouring. He was also fiercely proud and it pricked his pride to hear his father call him a fool.
‘You have spoken treason against the Queen and that cannot be tolerated.’
‘It was no such thing, sir!’ Justin declared passionately. ‘I will grant that some hotheads have talked of such a plot in my hearing but I am innocent of any conspiracy – as is the princess herself. She was gracious enough to grant me an audience for many of us wished her to know that we support her and if any attempt were made to disbar her from inheriting the throne when the Queen dies we should rise to her…’
‘Be quiet!’ John Devere thundered. ‘Do you not realise that that in itself is sufficient to have you arrested for treason?’
‘I shall not be silent, sir. I am as loyal an Englishman as any but I cannot love a Catholic queen who puts good Englishmen to the fire in the name of religion.’
‘It is not so many years since we were all Catholic and proud of it,’ Justin’s father reminded him. ‘King Hal saw fit to break with Rome and we were all forced to follow or lose our favour at court but that does not mean…’ He broke off for the anger was writ plain on Justin’s face. ‘While the Queen lives ‘tis treason to speak of her death and well you know it.’
‘We did not plot to murder her, merely to protect our own Elizabeth.’
‘Surely it is enough that talk of your conspiracy has reached Her Majesty? The Princess has herself faced questions from the Queen regarding treason and was lucky that Her Majesty was in good humour because her husband has promised to visit her soon. Had it not been for that fortunate circumstance she might have found herself in the Tower once more.’ John placed a hand on his son’s shoulder. ‘Go to France or Spain, Justin. I know that though you have done wrong your heart was good. You have my blessing. Send me word of your situation and as soon as I think the coast clear you may return.’
‘You would have me flee like a coward?’ Justin’s face reflected his disgust.
‘I would have you live, sirrah! Stay and I may have no son to inherit my estate – and you will break your mother’s heart.’
Lost in the memory of the bitter quarrel with his father, Justin did not notice the shadows behind him. Not until it was too late did he realise that he had been followed from the hostelry. Even as he turned, about to draw his sword, a crashing blow to the back of his head sent him to the ground and he lost consciousness as he was carried aboard a ship, not as the passenger he had paid to be but to serve before the mast.
Excerpts have not been copy-edited.
Hope you enjoyed this. Anne Herries
Posted by Anne Herries Author at 01:49
For those of you who enjoy excerpts and articles I must apologise for not having posted for a couple of months, because of various personal issues going on. However, I hope to have some more letters of a Regency Lady soon and I'm going to post an excerpt from one of my books today.
First some news.
Forbidden Lady was the first in the Melford Dynasty series and that came out earlier this year. The Lord's Forced Bride is the second and that is out this month and available at amazon and in books shops. On the Regency front there are several singles coming soon and I am working on a new trilogy.
My nest post will be a small excerpt from one of my books.
Beck soon, Anne
Posted by Anne Herries Author at 01:42