Mr. Wickham Tells His Side of the Story, a Guest Post from Catherine Curzon

Mr. Wickham Tells His Side of the Story, a Guest Post from Catherine Curzon

Today, we welcome not only one of our Austen’s most famous “villains,” Mr. George Wickham, but the lovely Catherine Curzon, a dear friend. But as the gentleman “demands” his due, let us first hear what Mr. Wickham has to say. 

Dear readers, what an honour it is to be invited to join you today to share a little of my world. Some of you will know me already, but for those of you who do not, allow me a moment to make your acquaintance. I am Mr George Wickham, solider, husband, adventurer and, I assure, a thoroughly misunderstood gentleman. A rum sort of fellow from time to time, but never a wicked one, I assure you.

Whilst perusing the archives of this unusual library, I was at first amused, then latterly intrigued and finally dismayed by the infamy that has attached itself to my name thanks to the estimable Miss Austen. I am guilty of naught but a romantic heart, a fanciful thought now and again, of a weakness for a certain vintage of young lady and of being, perhaps, a fellow who trusts too much. What have I ever wanted but a little adventure, a little romance? And what misunderstandings might occur from a heartfelt compliment, an accidental twinkle in a gentlemans eye that a lady who reads novels might misinterpret in her giddy romantic way?

And a lady who writes novels all the more so.

Now, I know that I have received the black spot from a good many of you and any efforts I might make to wipe it from my countenance are doomed to fail, yet I will tell you this, I am indeed a fortunate man to have found my Mrs Wickham. The young lady who took my name has proven herself to be a most able and understanding military wife. Never happier than when in the company of her many friends or perusing the newest bonnets, my dear Lydia and I have quite unexpectedly found ourselves perfectly matched. She understands that a man such as I cannot be shackled, and I understand that a lady such as she must be kept in the most current fashion and finest style. Happily, her delightful family have proven themselves most willing to see that happen. After all, one cannot expect a mere soldier, a man whose whole life has been dedicated to the selfless service of others, to give what meagre coin he receives to the milliner.

Happily, the Bennet family have proven themselves as generous as ever, for they truly are the best of people. They have been there at our side, offering what support that could to their daughter and her humble son-in-law, as he served his country. I, naturally, am not rich in coin and what I do not give to charity or invest in my household I use to eke out my own, meagre pleasures. Perhaps the occasional trip to the track, though not to gamble, you understand, only to observe, or a wander through town with my fellows, with just enough to buy a warming draft in my purse.

So I ask, what on earth would anyone believe I am deserving of my comeuppance for? Mrs Wickham adores me and I, of course, am very fond of her. How could one possibly deserve comeuppance for making ones wife so happy, and for making such dreams as she once had come true? And it is not only my dear Lydia to whom I brought happiness, there is the delightful Mrs Darcy too.

Why, if not for my efforts to bring out Mrs Darcys intelligent character and good humour, I might even go so far as to suggest that Mr Darcy, the man who is good as my brother, might not have noted the charms of his own wife. After all, I do seem to recall that the couple were not at all fond of one another until I employed my conversation to engage Mrs Darcy, though my affections were reserved for her sister, of course. I would not be so arrogant as to seek thanks or recognition for this, but let us say that I played my part at least.

So you see, for those calling for my comeuppance, perhaps I am not so bad as I have been painted. And if I am, Im dashed entertaining with it!

-oOo

The serialised memoirs of Mr Wickham, edited and compiled from the Wickham family archives by Catherine Curzon, can be found at http://austenvariations.com/author/catherine-curzon/.

-oOo

The Star of Versailles by Catherine Curzon and Willow Winsham

As the Reign of Terror tears Paris apart, a dandy and a spy are thrown together on a desperate race through France.

In the darkest days of the Reign of Terror, rumors grow of the Star of Versailles, the most exquisite treasure ever owned by the doomed Marie Antoinette. For Vincent Tessier, the notorious Butcher of Orléans, this potent symbol of the ancien régime has become an obsession and hell stop at nothing to possess it.

When Alexandre Gaudet arrives in France to find his missing sister and nephew, the last thing he expects is to fall into Tessiers hands. With Gaudet tortured and left for dead, salvation stumbles accidentally, if rather decorously, into his path.

For Viscount William Knowles, life as a spy isnt the escape he had hoped for. Yet a long-held secret wont let him rest, and the fires of Revolution seem like the easiest way to hide from a past that torments him at every turn.

Adrift in a world where love, family and honor are currencies to be traded, the world-weary Viscount Knowles and the scandalous Monsieur Gaudet have no choice but to try to get along if they want to survive. With Tessier in pursuit, they search for the clues that will lead them to the greatest treasure in revolutionary Francethe Star of Versailles.

Buy links:

Paperback: http://tinyurl.com/h2q3r57

Amazon US: http://tinyurl.com/h8tneo4

Amazon UK: http://tinyurl.com/hxjk7xo

-oOo

About the Author

Catherine Curzon is a royal historian who has been published on matters as diverse as Napoleons politics, Marie Antoinettes teeth and George IVs diet. Her work has been featured on HistoryExtra.com, the official website of BBC History Magazine and in publications such as Explore History, All About History, History of Royals and Jane Austens Regency World. She has provided additional research for An Evening with Jane Austen, starring Adrian Lukis, at the V&A and spoken at venues including the Royal Pavilion in Brighton, Lichfield Guildhall and Dr Johnsons House.

She is the author of two nonfiction books, Life in the Georgian Court (available now) and Kings of 18th Century Great Britain (30th March 2017). Her novels, The Crown Spire, and The Star of Versailles, are available now.

Catherine holds a Masters degree in Film and when not dodging the furies of the guillotine, writes fiction set deep in the underbelly of Georgian London and Revolutionary France, whilst her nonfiction books lift the lid on the most shocking tales of 18th century royalty!

Visit Catherines website A Covent Garden Gilflurt’s Guide to Life. Follow her on Facebook, Goodreads and on Twitter.

www.madamegilflurt.com/

https://www.facebook.com/madamegilflurt

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/15023663.Catherine_Curzon

www.twitter.com/madamegilflurt

21 Responses to Mr. Wickham Tells His Side of the Story, a Guest Post from Catherine Curzon

  1. I have read this post several times. So many entertaining snippets:

    And what misunderstandings might occur from a heartfelt compliment, an accidental twinkle in a gentleman’s eye that a lady who reads novels might misinterpret in her giddy romantic way?

    And a lady who writes novels all the more so.

    Bless you, Mr. Wickham!

  2. Dear Sir,

    Not to puff up your consequence any further, but I have been missing your insightful correspondence. However, not to put too fine a point on it, I do take exception to your liking ‘a certain vintage of lady’. I would also like to state that Miss Austen was a most insightful author and was able to draw one’s character very well. I hope you are not disparaging her, for that would be shocking indeed and could cause you legal issues. Oh, but you might not know that as you never did take a liking to the law.

    Since I am bringing to your attention some comments you have written, I might also point out the one where you state Mrs. Wickham ‘adores you’ but you are only ‘fond of her’? Tsk, tsk Mr. Wickham, you could at least embellish that, of which you have a certain flair for, for her dear sensibilities if she should ever take the time to read your memoirs. But let’s hope Mrs. Darcy, let alone Mr. Darcy, should ever read that you had a hand in bringing them together, I daresay they wouldn’t thank you for it and you wouldn’t want the Bennet family to suddenly start putting less ‘help’ in their correspondence to your dear Mrs. Wickham!

    Until next time, sir.

    P.S. I do hope you can make Mr. Gardiner’s appointment!

    • My dear madam,

      I am afraid that matters military rather took me from my correspondence but I am happily at my writing desk once more, keen to share my thoughts with those who would listen.

      Perhaps, as a soldier, I am not as well with words of romance as I might be and “fond” does, I grant you, not go nearly far enough with regard to my feelings towards my dear wife. I shall say no more other than assure that my dearest Mrs Wickham has no cause to feel neglected or aggrieved, and is the brightest light in my life. As for Miss Austen, let me say only that her representations were but a scant part of a long life; people will think what they will, and I will not attempt to speak in my own defence for my deeds will, I hope, do that for me for good or ill.

      Thank you too for your concerns regarding Mr and Mrs Darcy but you may rest assured that I, as a humble sort of fellow, would seek nor accept their gratitude for my vital role in their happy courtship, for what else would a brother do but play his part?

      With warm regards

      GW

  3. Dear Mr Wickham,

    I would be most obliged if you would call at my office at your earliest convenience. I fear my correspondence previously sent to your residence in Newcastle has lately been returned unopened, and I must infer by the publication of this interview that you are now stationed here in London.

    There is a matter regarding a Miss H- I must discuss with you. I am certain you know the young lady to whom I refer, for her father is an associate of mine and is most righteously affronted by certain matters.

    I am confident it has all been a misunderstanding which you will be only too glad to sort with gentlemanly honour. I anticipate the pleasure of your call on the morrow. I must emphasise that I desire you to call at my office, not my residence.

    Sincerely,

    Edward Gardiner

    • Dear sir,

      My sincere apologies for the difficulties you have had in reaching me with your concerns.

      I shall call upon you within the fortnight and share the full facts in this most unfortunate case. There is much to tell, I can assure you, but it is better done in person as I have no wish to importune a character on paper, as no gentleman would.

      Sincerely,

      GW

  4. Thank you for the post, Catherine, and the opportunity to meet Mr. Wickham. I agree, he is entertaining.

    What an impressive body of works you have! Each one looks more interesting than the last. The Star of Versailles looks wonderful, and I just started delving into the realm of non-fiction Georgian reading, so your blog post is well timed for me indeed.

    • That’s very kind, thank you! The Star of Versailles is a little different to my usual work, but I just had to tell the story; be sure not to miss the marvellous contemporary Georgian letters and memories available, they bring the era vividly back to life!

  5. Oh Wickham, he’s so full of himself, isn’t he? Yet so apparently charming with it, too. At least he seems to have really found felicity in his marriage, unlike how most of us probably expected. Though I do wonder if Mrs. Wickham sees it in quite the same light. Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us, Mr. W.

    I’m feeling rather excited in that in exactly two weeks time, I’m going to be attending an event called “A Celebration of Pride and Prejudice” featuring Mr. Lukis and am hoping to meet and share a cuppa with Ms. Curzon at some point during the afternoon.

Your thoughts are precious!