An Intro to Not an Heiress in Three Excerpts

An Intro to Not an Heiress in Three Excerpts

“And you wish to serve your country in a different way.”  Darcy was not unaware of Richard’s desire to enter politics.

“I do, but I cannot. Not yet.”

“You need land.”

“Land and money.  Obtaining a seat is not without costs.”  Indeed, plenty of votes and, therefore, seats were purchased. It was not a thing of which he approved, but it was the way things were.

“With your father’s backing, I should think you will find a place in the House without too much trouble.”

Richard shrugged.  “Perhaps, but I still need land.”

“So we are back to marrying an heiress.”

Richard drained the liquid from his tumbler.  How he was beginning to hate that word and the fact that he was reliant on it.  “Yes.”

“There is no other way to get land?”

“None that I know of.” Richard rose to refill his glass.

“Unless someone gives it to you.”

Richard turned toward Darcy and shook his head.  “No.  I do not care how many acres you own, I will not be accepting any of it.”

Darcy’s brows furrowed. “Is there anyone from whom you would accept such a gift?”  Darcy knew that there was one person who seemed determined to help Richard in such a fashion, and he worried that it would be a struggle to get Richard to take the assistance.  Not that Lady Catherine would settle for a negative reply.

Richard shrugged and shook his head. “No, I cannot think of anyone, save, perhaps my father.  But he is not likely to divide up the estate, nor would I expect him to do so.”

“Have you met any ladies that have interested you?”

The right corner of Richard’s mouth tipped up.  “None that will provide what I need.”  And therein lay the frustration.  He knew exactly the lady he wished to take for a wife. A lady who was likely chatting with Darcy’s wife at this moment.  Unfortunately, that lady was not an heiress.

Darcy blew out a breath and scowled.  “Politics are not worth such a cost!”

Richard watched the contents of his glass swirl up around the edge and fall back down.  “I did not say I was denying my heart.” He had not said it, but it was true.

By Thomas Rowlandson (1756–1827) and Augustus Charles Pugin (1762–1832) (after) John Bluck (fl. 1791–1819), Joseph Constantine Stadler (fl. 1780–1812), Thomas Sutherland (1785–1838), J. Hill, and Harraden (aquatint engravers) (Plate 21 of Microcosm of London (1809)) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

As you can see from this little excerpt, the hero in my upcoming release wishes to take a seat in parliament.  However, he has a couple of issues standing in his way — he needs money and, most importantly, land in order to stand for such a position. To be precise, he needs property valued between £300 – £600 and enough money and influence to guarantee him enough votes.

You can find some interesting articles on Parliament, which I read as I was preparing to write this novella, at these links:

http://www.regencyresearcher.com/pages/hoc.html

https://cherylsregencyramblings.wordpress.com/2012/10/03/parliament-in-regency-england/

Both of these issues could be remedied by donations to him through family, but he would rather not live on the charity of others.  Instead, he has decided that he should marry a lady with those particular qualifications.  It was a brilliant plan until he met her — and lost his heart.

Now, he must decide between ambition and love.

“You know why I wish to enter politics, so it is only fair that I know why you wish to marry a parson.”

She tilted her head and looked at him. He was handsome in broad daylight, but in the soft glow of the two candles in the room, he was downright enticing.  “For many of the same reasons you wish to serve in parliament.  I wish to help those who are less fortunate.”

His left brow rose high in interest.

“Consider to whom people go when they are in need.”  She shifted to face him more fully.  “The church. And who will be able to best help the women of a parish?  The parson’s wife.”

“Could you not do more good if you were to marry a man of wealth?” he asked.

She shrugged.  “Men of wealth are often tightly bound to their wealth, but I will grant you that being the wife of a generous landowner might give me more opportunity.  However, there are inherent divides that arise between the needy and the wealthy.  A woman in need might not be as willing to seek out the mistress of the estate as she would the parson’s wife.”

What she said made sense. There were class divides and sometimes those divides not only kept people apart but also created tension and strife. He had witnessed the plight and anger of the labourer who saw a landowner or manufacturer as the source of his destitution.  He had even seen some of them hanged for having acted on that anger.  It was these memories that moved him to attempt to bring change to the way things were through acts of government.  She, on the other hand, wished to bring comfort and assistance through small acts of one woman to another.

“We are much alike, are we not?” he asked with a smile.  They would suit well and do much good if they were to work together, whether in the realms of government or some lesser, more direct way.  Perhaps he did not require a seat in parliament.  And if he did not require a seat, then he did not require an heiress.

“It seems we are.” She rubbed her arms. She was beginning to feel a chill from the dampness of the weather.  Spring rains were not always warm.

“Come here.” He motioned with his head for her to moved closer to his side. “I can spare some heat to keep you warm…”

Why did Richard wish to enter politics? I hope you can tell from the excerpt.  He has seen the plight of the labourer, some of whom have been provoked to action.  For this little bit of comment in the story, I read about several uprising that happened in various years.  Of course, that included this information on the Luddites:

By Chris Sunde; original uploader was Christopher Sunde at en.wikipedia. [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

The British Army clashed with the Luddites on several occasions. At one time there were more British soldiers fighting the Luddites than there were fighting Napoleon on the Iberian Peninsula. Three Luddites, led by George Mellor, ambushed and assassinated mill owner William Horsfall of Ottiwells Mill in Marsden, West Yorkshire at Crosland Moor in Huddersfield. Horsfall had remarked that he would “Ride up to his saddle in Luddite blood.” Mellor fired the fatal shot to Horsfall’s groin, and all three men were arrested.

Lord Byron denounced the plight of the working class, the government’s inane policies and ruthless repression in the House of Lords on 27 February 1812, “I have been in some of the most oppressed provinces of Turkey; but never, under the most despotic of infidel governments, did I behold such squalid wretchedness as I have seen since my return, in the very heart of a Christian country.”

The British government sought to suppress the Luddite movement with a mass trial at York in January 1813, following the attack on Cartwright’s mill at Rawfolds near Cleckheaton. The government charged over 60 men, including Mellor and his companions, with various crimes in connection with Luddite activities. While some of those charged were actual Luddites, many had no connection to the movement. Although the proceedings were legitimate jury trials, many were abandoned due to lack of evidence and 30 men were acquitted. These trials were certainly intended to act as show trials to deter other Luddites from continuing their activities. The harsh sentences of those found guilty, which included execution and penal transportation, quickly ended the movement.

Parliament subsequently made “machine breaking” (i.e. industrial sabotage) a capital crime with the Frame Breaking Act and the Malicious Damage Act 1861. Lord Byron opposed this legislation, becoming one of the few prominent defenders of the Luddites after the treatment of the defendants at the York trials.

This and other information, as well as a list of resources at the bottom of the article, can be found here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Luddite#Government_response

For my story, I imagined that Colonel Fitzwilliam had taken part in at least some conflict with the Luddites, and I allowed him to have feelings similar to Lord Byron in that he felt compassion for the less fortunate and wished to see things changed.

Our heroine — Miss Mary Bennet — is also in possession of a compassionate heart, but her desired course of action cannot be through government reform.  She must seek other ways to help the poor and has landed on the idea of being a parson’s wife — which was a brilliant plan until she met him…and lost her heart.

And now, because of the devious actions of a particular schemer as well as both Richard and Mary’s inability to resist desire when placed in a compromising position, goals and ambitions will seemingly need to change.

Lady Catherine lowered her voice to a hushed but not altogether soft whisper.  “The library has windows, and I have eyes.”

“You saw…?”  Richard could not bring himself to ask the full question.

“You were sleeping contentedly.”

Richard breathed a sigh of relief that she was not going to say more. However, her next comment proved it might have been too early to relax.

“A quick wedding might be best, might it not?”  she asked with a flutter of lashes.

“Indeed, it might,” Richard agreed.

~*~*~

Not an Heiress is currently available on preorder with a release day of June 20, 2017.

Keep an eye on Facebook for a Launch Day Giveaway.

~*~*~

Leenie B Books

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33 Responses to An Intro to Not an Heiress in Three Excerpts

  1. Congratulations on your new book and thank you for sharing these excerpts from your new book. I look forward to reading more about it. I love Colonel Fitzwilliam and Mary so a new book that pairs them sounds great and I am adding it to my TBR List.

  2. I love the covers of your books. The 20th will not get her quick enough. I can’t wait to read this. Thank you for all the hours of pleasure that you have given me over the years. I love your books. Have a most excellent launch and blessings on future writings. JWG

  3. Looking forward to this one Leenie! Congratulations! Mary and the Colonel are always a good match together!

  4. I’m just grinning over here. This Lady C is just hilarious, though still devious in her ways. LOL As always, pre-ordered and ready for it!

    • Oh, my she is in fine form in this one. (She seems to have become more devious — probably because it is Richard she is setting up. 😉 ) I’m certain she will cause at least a few chuckles when you read it.

  5. What an interesting topic Leenie, congratulations on all the hard work you did in researching it. 🙂 Looking forward to reading this book.

    • I enjoy researching the various things I do for my stories — even if all that research is only for one line of dialogue or a few lines of character introspection. 🙂

  6. Hopefully the lady he is going to marry is Mary. And, Lady Catherine pushing for the marriage? What is she up to? My TBR pile just got larger! Thank you for sharing the excerpt(s). And congratulations on the new book!

    • Yes, Lady C is doing a lot of pushing for the marriage. She’s such a fun character here! She got her first taste of arranging a marriage in Discovering Mr. Darcy, and now, well, it seems she delights in meddling in the lives of her relations in order to see them happily matched. Once Lady C’s plan is set in motion, it will soon become necessary for the him to marry Mary. 😉

  7. Really enjoyed the excerpts. I am so glad that it’s a Col Fitzwilliam story where he doesn’t fall in love with Elizabeth. I never have read this pairing but I think I would really enjoy it.

    • I’m glad you enjoyed the excerpts. The story, in my biased opinion, is a fun read and these two characters as I wrote them are very well paired. I hope you get a chance to read it.

  8. I really like the sounds of this. First, Col. Fitzwilliam is one of my favorite characters in any P&P variation he appears, and second, I am intrigued by the idea that Lady Catherine might truly be “useful” for once!

    • I love Col. Fitzwilliam. He is always a fun character to play with! Lady C in this one is just as delightfully scheming as she was in Discovering Mr. Darcy. It was fun to give her a bit of the same teasing, rapscallion-esque personality that I often give to Colonel Fitzwilliam. And then to have Mary being the lady who can’t resist temptation — well, it was a fun story to write. 🙂

  9. That sounds very interesting, Leenie. I’ve considered writing about the Luddites. I find the issue very engaging. I still haven’t done enough research, though. I’m not the best with history. I need to learn through reading other people’s novels to get historical details into my head. Just reading history doesn’t work as well for me. Although, I like to listen to history books ‘on tape’ and do most mornings while I wash the dishes, so hopefully I’m learning something. I look forward to your book, and history lesson 🙂

    • Thank you, Summer, but I will disappoint you if you are looking for a history lesson as there will be no history lessons in this book — well, not overt ones anyway. I research things such as the Luddites so that character thoughts, motivations, situations, and dialogue can be based on them. After all, Luddites would have been something spoken about as a current event. Ships being given away to cross an embargo line would have been current events. The rumblings of wars and various battles would have been current events. So I want to know some about what my character may have read in papers or heard shared as news. As a result, the history bits that I glean in research appear as little details or thoughts just as current news events do in our lives. I don’t give a lot of information on any of the things I research because the characters are not holding class on some happening in their world. If the historical event is part of dialogue, I might give more information — but even then, it is not much. I read a book the other night (not a JAFF book) that took the time to explain a social construct in some detail. It was done as if the character was sharing that she knew this bit of information, but even so, the pause to explain a historical item broke the flow of the story, and that is something I wish to avoid. I want the story to be front and center and the historical details to blend into the background just as a green wing-back chair would. It’s just part of the life of the character. Anyway, that is my reasoning for not adding too much exposition on history in my books 🙂 Like you, I find myself feeling as if I have not done enough research — there is still so much to learn and try to remember. 🙂 I also find learning history in a story format to be easiest to remember. I enjoy documentaries and museums because they add a visual element, and I also have history books on audible that I listen to as I am doing things like mowing the lawn or doing dishes. 🙂 I find it starts to settle in a bit more with each time I read, see, or hear about something.

Your thoughts are precious!