Miss Bingley’s Pas de Deux
Ahhh, another year! Another opportunity to begin again; to rise phoenix-like, from the ashes! Those of you who know me well know that the past year has been a rather challenging one with my work in the “real world.” Because of drastic changes resulting from the departure of a colleague, who thought that he could force me to retire and leave him all the patients, I have been busier than the proverbial bee. The year 2012 I spent hiring and training new staff and attempting to provide excellent care for the numerous patients that I had to care for on my own.
But now, it is 2013. A new year brings new challenges and resolutions and my foremost resolution and challenge is to bring one of the several works that I have in progress into print. I am particularly eager to finish another Pride and Prejudice sequel in the year that brings the 200th Anniversary of the publication of Pride and Prejudice, an event near and dear to my heart.
The story I am editing for 2013 was originally written as a short story and never published, but I always felt that the short story format was too limiting to fill out the characters in this tale. The story tells of the first year of marriage of Miss Bingley, who, in my book Mr. Darcy’s Little Sister, married a French count whose family lost everything except one small English manor in the French Revolution. The Comte de Tournay is a cynical man who has been married twice before to very well-bred young women with but modest fortunes, his family pride inducing him to look for breeding and faultless bloodlines over strength and pecuniary advantages. He offers for Miss Bingley a few months after meeting her in a turn-around in his attitude. He has come to the realization that a robust dowry in addition to a woman of robust health will optimize his chances of improving his fortune and, hopefully, provide him with an heir.
The count’s friend, M. Desmarais, seeks him out when he hears of the engagement, and tries to change his friend’s mind (although it would be extremely difficult for the count to break the engagement without finding himself ostracized for ungentlemanly behavior). After determining that the count is not in love with his future bride, he gently tries to point out the potential pitfalls of marriage to a woman whose fortune came from trade only two generations earlier, and, much worse, that Miss Bingley is well-known for her overbearing personality.
In spite of his friend’s warnings, the count intends to continue his engagement and, in fact, has a well thought out plan to teach Miss Bingley the proper behavior of a wife…
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