Get Me To The Church On Time

Wishing And Hoping

Now, that Charlotte had chosen the prince for her, she wished to receive her father’s approval and quickly. Her uncle advised her to wait until November when Parliament would sit so another push would be made. Meanwhile, Charlotte was now at Warwick House with even less freedom while Leopold was on the continent with the Russian army to destroy Napoleon’s army. 

Soon, Charlotte had a reason to be overjoyed. Napoleon had been defeated and Leopold was safe since the Russians were too far away to participate in the battles of 1815. So, the Princess wrote to the Prime Minister requesting he represent her with her father and to request him to offer her hand in marriage to the Prince. And if her request was denied, she’d remain a spinster and deny all other offers for her hand. 

Luckily, a mutual friend Charlotte and Leopold helped the couple exchange letters since it was improper for an unengaged female to write to an unmarried man. Another lucky break for Charlotte, Slender Billy announced engagement to Tsar’s younger sister, Grand Duchess Anne. 

On 6 January 1816, Charlotte along with her grandmother, the Queen and two aunts traveled to Brighton. The next day, her twentieth birthday, her father hosted a party for her at the Brighton Pavilion. With her father cornered, Charlotte pressured her father to agree to the marriage. It seems to have worked because Prinny asked about Leopold and liked what he heard so he summoned Leopold to England with a letter from Lord Castlereagh informing him that the Prince Regent intended to offer the princess’s hand. 

Only Have Eyes For You

Near the end of February 1816, Leopold landed at Dover. This time the Prince stayed at Clarendon Hotel on Bond Street, where a suite of rooms had been reserved for him. But the poor prince was ill but he still traveled to Brighton to dine with Charlotte, the Queen, and her aunts. Leopold bewitched everyone with his charm, good looks and grace. Queen Charlotte even forged her after dinner game of cards to talk to the Prince. 

Yet, it seemed the young royal couple only had eyes for each other.  In Charlotte and Leopold: The True Story of The Original People’s Princess, “Charlotte and he were totally absorbed in each other, anxiously reassuring, eagerly planning,…” Later that night, she wrote to her friend, “I find him quite charming, & I go to bed happier than I have ever done yet in my life…I am certainly a most fortunate creature & have to bless God. A Pss. (Princess) never, I believe, set out in life (or married) with such prospects of happiness, real domestic ones like other people. I’m so very grateful at my lot I cannot express it sufficiently to you. All he said was so very charming & so right & so everything in short I could wish.” 

Yet, the royal lovebirds were kept apart so the wooing happened through letters since they met occasionally. “As their wedding day approached, they were still as eager and optimistic as they had been when they first dined together in Brighton, but, as Leopold readily admitted, they hardly knew each other any better.” 

Clint, George; The Betrothal of Princess Charlotte and Prince Leopold;

A Wedding Plan

While the wedding preparation carried on, Leopold learned English though his health hadn’t improved. Leopold also was made “naturalized as a British subject”. The Prince Regent even offered him a dukedom, which Leopold refused. “He acquiesced in everything when the marriage contract was drawn up, and he took no part in the financial discussions.” Parliament provided the royal couple two houses. The London residence, Camelford House, a very unroyal building located on the corner of Park Lane and Oxford Street. Their country residence was in Surrey, which Charlotte though the most beautiful house.” The previous owner, Charles Rose Ellis, had put it up for sale because his wife died in childbirth within its walls. The couple also received a single payment of 60,000 and for living expenses, Leopold was granted 50,000 and Charlotte 10,000. 

For the new household, Charlotte settled on “six footmen, not eight as her father suggested, and their state livery was to be a simple green, not gaudy crimson and green like the Prince Regent’s house. She was also loyal and kept on many of the people who had been closest to her at Windsor and Warwick House.” 

The Queen ordered Charlotte’s dress from Mrs Triand of Bolton Street even though, a few alterations were required, it didn’t delay the wedding. The Prince Regent’s gout did that. 

But the wedding date had been set 2 May 1816.

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Better Than Prince Charming

Prince Leopold

A Boy General…

On 16 December 1790, the youngest of six children of the Duke Francis of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld entered the world. Prince Leopold George Christian Fredrick hailed from a family with seven hundred years of family history. 

As the youngest child, Leopold would not inherit the dukedom so he would have to make his own way in the world either as a solider or a diplomat. Naturally, he was educated as a gentleman, learning Christian ethics, Latin, Russian, French, and English. He was taught to draw, play the piano, ride and to fence. 

Though, his family had a long history, they were all ambitious, desiring power, position and wealth. His sister, Julia, married the brother of Tsar of Russia, the Grand Duke Constantine and Leopold found favor and patronage in the Russian Court. 

At twelve years of age, Leopold was made a general. In 1806, Coburg, a capital of the Duchy of Sax-Coburg Gotha and Saalfeld fell to Napoleon. Two years later, Leopold would return to his home but four years after his return (1812), Napoleon summoned the princes of the German Confederation to Dresden. The Corsican planned to invade Russian. Leopold didn’t heed the summon especially since he was an officer in the Tsar’s army so he traveled to Italy while the invasion happened and the French were decimated. 

In February 1813, Russian and Prussian leaders gathered to form alliance against Napoleon. Leopold was counted among the leaders and received the rank of colonel and was attached to the staff of the Imperial Guard in the Imperial Russian Army. 

Leopold’s first battle was at Lutzen where he commanded a brigade of cavalry. Three weeks later, he fought at Bautzen, taking charge of a brigade himself. He led it out in front of advancing French and covered the allied retreat into Silesia. His bravery was displayed once again in the victory of Kulm and was decorated in the field with the Cross of St. George. Then was award the Cross of Maria Theresa at Leipzig. As the campaign drew to a close, Leopold led the Russian heavy Calvary from Switzerland toward Paris, where during the journey, he engaged the French army at Brienne, Fere-Champenoise and Bellville. 

A Marriage Would Do Nicely

On 31 March 1814, Leopold, now a Lieutenant-General and the head of his own cuirassiers, escorted the Tsar of Russia and the King of Prussia into Paris. 

This handsome prince didn’t know he fit into the Tsar’s plans. For the Tsar, the marriage of Charlotte and Prince William of Orange wasn’t to his benefit so what better way to end that disaster than a dashing prince in military uniform (swoon) so Leopold was now part of the Tsar’s entourage and London town awaited.

Leopold prepared for his visit by borrowing a carriage from his brother-in-law (his sister Sophia’s husband) and he lent him a castle in Austria (ah the castle life). He visited the best Parisian tailors. But money was still tight so once in England, he rented two rooms on Marylebone High Street. 

So, it was not a stroke of luck that Leopold was at the bottom of the stairs as Charlotte left the Tsar’s rooms. The Tsar departed England but gave Leopold “permission to stay here as long as it suits me.” 

Leopold knew what was required of him. He wrote to his sister telling her, “My chances are, alas, very poor, because of the father’s opposition, and he will never give his consent. But I have resolved to go on to the end, and only to leave when all my hopes have been destroyed.” 

For his first visit to Charlotte at Warwick House, Leopold donned full dress uniform. Mrs. Mercer (a trusted friend of Charlotte) knew Leopold and approved of him. So, she schemed to have Leopold appear whenever Charlotte was in Hyde Park. “Each time the princess acknowledged him with a nod, and each time, in response, the Prince trotted up to her carriage and rode beside her for a while.”

The Prince Regent still pressured his daughter to wed Prince William so Leopold wrote to Prinny to tell him his intentions were honorable. This displeased Charlotte since her father confronted her. To make matters worse, he had her household replaced so she ran away. After some negotiations, Charlotte went to her father where he stowed her away at Cranbourne Lodge. She was watched twenty-fours and was even watched in her sleep. 

Leopold worried for her and yearned to see her but he had to sail away to Vienna. At the same time, her mother traveled to France. Charlotte never saw her mother again. Charlotte was alone again.

Only One Would Do

In September, Charlotte vacationed at Weymouth to recover from her misery. She enjoyed her time there, sailing, attending the theatre, balls at the Assembly Rooms and gave dinner parties.

This joyful, free life would only continue with marriage. Her choice was Leopold. In 1815, she enjoyed her nineteenth birthday while she sought out information on the man she decided upon or as she called him “the Leo” 

In March of 1815, Napoleon escaped Elba so Leopold couldn’t return to England since he had to rejoin the Russian army to take up his old command. 

During this time, Charlotte wrote to the Prime Minister to represent her with her father and request him to offer her hand in marriage to Prince Leopold of Saxe-Coburg. If her father didn’t agree, Charlotte would remain a spinster. 

All Leopold had to do was survive the coming war. 

A Princess In Need Of A Prince

Royal marriages rarely include love instead duty is the other four-letter word used. Most royal couples hope for some form of compatibility between the prospective bride and bridegroom. And for Princess Charlotte and the Prince of Orange, such an outcome was hoped for as well. The first meeting between the royal pair was to happen over a dinner party her father was throwing.

For the party, Charlotte donned a “violet satin, trimmed with black lace.” The gown didn’t help hide how pale she was  or her agitation. At dinner, Lord Liverpool sat on her left and to her right was the Prince of Orange. 

Charlotte described the future King William III of Netherlands as “very plain but he was so lively and animated that it quite went off…” 

After dinner and allowing the two strolling in the gallery,  an impatient Prinny drew his daughter to a corner to learn her opinion of Slender Billy. Charlotte said, “I like his manner very well, as much as I have seen it.” All her father heard was her agreement to wed the prince so he summoned the Prime Minister (actually entitled First Lord of the Treasury) Lord Liverpool and his wife who offered their felicitations, which was followed by the surprised Prince of Orange. 

It seems Slender Billy was smart than Prinny since in truth he didn’t think he impressed her much. And he hadn’t. She “thought him particularly plain and sickly in his look, his figure very slender, his manner rather hearty and boyish, but not unpleasant in a young soldier.” Not words of affection not even a stir of such feeling. In fact, Charlotte wrote, “I am persuaded I shall have a very great regard and opinion of him which perhaps is better to begin with and more likely to last than love.”

The next day, Prince William called upon her. It wasn’t a success. He informed Charlotte that she would have to spend two or three months a year in Holland when he visited his home country. 

She was devastated. The prince promised that she wouldn’t have to accompany him on his every visit and when she did, she could bring her ladies with her. 

Such a concession had to be enough for her though. That didn’t stop her anger with her father. Slender Billy was chance at freedom from her father nevertheless, the government held the position that the Princess never leave England’s shores.

On January 7 1814, Charlotte spent her eighteenth birthday by visiting her mother during the day and the evening, at a concert with her uncles, the royal dukes. 

The next two months the marriage negotiations raged. Charlotte kept informed of every detail of the negotiations by having them put in writing. Her father was a feckless man who would change anything to suit his whims and that included sending his daughter to Holland. 

A Peace Party

While the talks continued, Napoleon was defeated and all of Europe (except France of course since they lost) and their sovereigns journeyed to England, including the Tsar’s favorite sister, the Grand Duchess Catherine, to celebrate. Much like everyone else, the Grand Duchess was impressed by the Princess. She described her as “the most interesting member of the family…She is blonde, has a handsome nose, a delicious mouth and fine teeth…She is full of spirit and positive in character. She seems to have an iron will in the smallest things…Her manners are so extraordinary that they take one’s breath away… She walks up to any man, young or old, especially takes them by the hand, and shakes it with all her strength… She looks like a boy, or rather a ragamuffin.” 

That strong will the duchess noticed in Charlotte stood firm against her father and his demands of her to visit Holland after her marriage. The princess refused to give in. To irritate her father even more the Prince of Orange didn’t want her to do anything against her will. In the end, the marriage contract specified that Charlotte would not have to leave England against her will. 

While Charlotte signed the marriage contract, Prince of Orange was at Ascot, getting rip roaring drunk. He had to be sent back to London in a coach. Two days later, Charlotte attended a great banquet at Carlton House (the only state occasion she was permitted to attend). Prince William also attended and as was his habit, he got drunk. 

Charlotte was becoming disheartened by the arrangement. She learned Slender Billy’s true nature. Her impression of him changed. To her, he was a “callow, scruffy boy who could not even hold his liquor.” 

Charlotte’s yearning for freedom wasn’t enough to marry Prince William and for three solid reasons. The first was that she wished to marry another prince since Slender Billy was a “dismal prospect”. The second reason was another prince had caught her eye, a certain handsome Prince August. The third was her duty to stand by her mother who would protect her own position as heir presumptive. 

Back Away Not So Slowly

On June 16 1814, Charlotte and Prince of Orange met at Warwick House where she informed him that she’d marry him only if her mother would always be welcome in their home. William wouldn’t agree to that (the two parties hated each other thanks to European politics). She couldn’t marry him without it. 

A shocked William plead for her to think over her decision. Of course, the Whigs and her mother were happy. Prinny not so much. 

 The Princess didn’t know what awaited her.  Soon after her meeting with Billy, she and a companion called upon the Tsar and his sister, who happened to be staying at the same hotel as the Prince of Orange. During the visit, the Tsar attempted to persuade Charlotte to change her mind. She wouldn’t budge. When Charlotte was departing, the Grand Duchess Catherine sent her to the back stairs to avoid William. 

She took the stairs where a small group lingered at the foot of them. Charlotte spotted “A tall, dark, handsome officer wearing the all-white uniform of the Russian heavy cavalry. The officer turned. He was not more than twenty-four years old, but his badges signified that he was already a Lieutenant-General.” 

The handsome Lieutenant-General asked if he could assist the ladies and the princess’s companion informed him of Charlotte’s identity and asked him to see them to her carriage. He did.

The drop-dead gorgeous officer was the General Officer Commanding Cavalry of the Tsar, Prince Leopold Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld. 

Love had come for the Princess. 

A Royal Marriage…Perhaps?

A Princess With Benefits

The Prince Regent had marriage on his mind. Not for himself but for his daughter and the man he had his eye on William VI—Slender Billy—the Prince of Orange. Slender Billy hated the British but there was a threat a bigger threat—Napoleon and Britain was his only hope to defeating the Corsican.

Napoleon had taken the throne of Holland and with it William’s seat so a marriage between the Hereditary Prince of Orange (who reigned over Holland) and Princess Charlotte sounded like a win.

In 1813, this possible marriage fit into England’s desire. Napoleon’s army was rushing back to France and the plan for peace was to create a “buffer state” between France and Prussia. That state was Holland. And to sweeten the deal, the plan was to increase the size of Holland but subsume part of Austrian Netherlands (Belgium to us) and give the Dutch a constitutional monarchy like merry ole England and make Slender Billy king. Naturally, he loved the idea. 

The whispered rumors of the marriage negotiations reached Charlotte. Her mother, Caroline of Brunswick, hated Billy and his family but this was Charlotte’s chance to escape from her father’s thumb. 

A Prince Will Do

Two days after the Prince Regent’s birthday party, the Prince of Orange arrived from Spain to deliver the news of the Duke of Wellington advancing into France. Charlotte knew his appearance was a ploy to have Billy and Charlotte meet. It didn’t happen. 

The cautious Princess wished to learn more about Slender Billy. The Hereditary Prince was described in a way that would not make a woman’s heart race.  He was “very gentlemanlike, well informed and pleasant” as well as the best waltzer. All this was encased in a body that was “excessively plain” and “thin as a needle”.  A month later the Billy return to the theatre of war. 

In October, the first mention of the political marriage was raised to Charlotte. Not by her father but a Sir Henry Halford. Charlotte wasn’t ready to accept the Prince so used a ploy of her own, stating that she preferred the Duke of Gloucester, an Englishman. She was believed. 

Prinny was not pleased. And he knew what was wrong with his daughter. She was drunk because she couldn’t possibly fallen for Gloucester otherwise. This didn’t win over the Princess so the Prince Regent changed tactics by telling his daughter, “There were plenty of eligible princes to choose from and then assured her that he was not the sort of man who would force his daughter to marry anyone against her will.” 

She knew the bull her father was serving her. 

Dinner Then Decide

With Napoleon dealt with, Prince Orange was returning from France to Holland by way of England (the long way home) so the Prince Regent planned a dinner for him. Now, Charlotte had to meet him and consider marriage. Prinny’s new ploy to earn his daughter’s agreement was to be more respectful and loving with her than he had ever been in her life. 

The stubborn young lady understood she had a duty to her nation and her people. The marriage played into the interests of both Holland and Great Britain. Charlotte had a demand. She refuses to accompany Slender Billy to Holland during his visits, saying, “As heiress presumptive to the Crown it is certain that I could not quit this country, as Queen of England still less. Therefore P of O must visit his frogs solo.” 

Slender Billy’s boots hit British soil on December 10. The next day the Prince Regent visited his daughter to pressure her again. Charlotte put off giving an answer by promising to decide after the small and informal dinner. 

Now, a Princess had to decide if Slender Billy will do for her. 

Or another…

A Regency Princess

It’s 1811 and George III is mad and his son, George has gone from the Prince of Wales to the Prince Regent. And George did as George loved to do—he decided to throw a grand fête at Carlton House. As the invites went out, Charlotte waited for her own to appear on her table. She waited in vain. Public favor and attention couldn’t be ripped off the Prince Regent and set upon his daughter or worse, her mother. Charlotte wasn’t his daughter and heir but his rival. Yet, the people expected her attendance at the June 5 occasion. The public favored the young princess and the Prince Regent believed a glimpse of Charlotte would increase the unpopularity even more than it was. According to one lady, the Prince Regent was “avoiding everything which could look like a recognition of her as the heir presumptive to the crown.”

If she had attended, society would have seen the young Princess changed. Now, fifteen-years-old, Charlotte was described as “…grown and improved in looks.” Charlotte was described as “very graceful” as well as “forward, dogmatic on all subjects, puckish about horses, and full of exclamations very like swearing.” Even in a letter, Charlotte wrote, she described her temperament as Marianne Dashwood from Sense and Sensibility. This young lady also was very aware of her political position. She was a Whig who was “sincere, committed, and above all radical.” 

Life As Before

Sadly, for the lively Charlotte, life continued much as it had before, being watched by her father’s household spies and hidden away from the outside but for few moments of freedom. In November when she visited Oatlands and experienced her first whirlwind of society. Two balls were given and even her father was in attendance. He welcomed her with great joy and warmth then, proceeded to ignore her until she was learning the dance entitled Highland Flurry, the Prince Regent forced himself into the instruction. 

The Princess’s social world was expanding beyond her rooms. At the end of the year, the Prince Regent opened Parliament and invited his daughter. The only reason he issued the offer was because otherwise her absence would reflect badly on him. On his return to Carlton House, the crowds chanted, “Down with the Regent” while Charlotte received cheers and shouts of her name. That must have riled the narcissistic Prinny.

In February 1812, she attended the opera and with youthful enthusiasm, she waved at everyone she knew. So, people that was improper but most loved her freshness. And her open demeanor endeared her even more to the people. 

Freedom Delayed

January 1813, the Princess turned seventeen and her gift was a new governess. At this age, the proper protocol was for her to have ladies-in-waiting. When she raised her objections, her father responded with “Depend upon it, as long as I live you shall never have an establishment, unless you marry.” Her only route to freedom started at a church’s aisle. 

At least, Charlotte began to have more of a social life even attending the February 5, 1813 ball at Carlton House. She had hoped to dance with the Duke of Devonshire. She had enjoyed his company when she met him before and even got the shy duke (who was deaf so isolated himself) to “talk a great deal.” Instead, she danced with her uncles and older men but she was free of her apartments. 

While all this was happening, the nation was at war—The Peninsula War—and she was still dealing with the war between her parents. Her mother’s letter to her father was published by the Morning Chronicle, which stated the curtailment of the visits with her daughter. This letter started The Delicate Investigation. This hoopla had Charlotte all but locked away since it wouldn’t be proper for her to be seen and her social life only included events that occurred in her father or uncle’s homes or strolls or drives in her carriage. The Prince Regent even prohibited Charlotte from  sitting for a painting. 

Meanwhile, the Prince Regent was seeking to arrange a marriage between Charlotte and the Hereditary Prince of Orange. 

But love would come for the Princess. 

Charlotte Augusta: The People’s Princess

The lone child of the Prince of Wales and his utterly unwanted wife resided above her parent’s apartments in the nursery of Carlton House. When Charlotte was a year old, her mother moved out of Carlton House and to a place five miles away in Blackheath.

Charlotte, Princess Of Wales

Not that either parent could be describe as tentative yet, she saw more of her father than her mother since she lived at Carlton House, the Prince’s residence though his attendance there was spotty at best. Charlotte’s staff raised her. When she was an eight-year-girl, Charlotte left behind that place and moved into Warwick House. With this move as well, the staff that had been with her since her first days were replaced. Warwick House was east of Carlton House and nothing more than a crumbling old brick building.

Her new governess was dowager Lady de Clifford. This fifty plus woman was in charge of the “…temperamental tomboy…” The good-natured woman couldn’t discipline her effectively since the princess who may not behave as a princess yet she knew her position and used it to her benefit. Like children everywhere still do.

Nevertheless, the two ladies grew fond of each other and Lady de Clifford did all to make Charlotte’s life less lonely. She had one of her grandsons, the Honorable George Keppe befriend her, a friendship that would last through her lifetime. These two kids got up to much trouble. Later in Keppe’s life when he became the Earl of Albemarle, he wrote a memoir of their childhood. In his memoir, he shared stories which include stories of “..fisticuffs, bolting horses and tears.” He even shared the time that when Charlotte and George visited his parents at their home named Earl’s Court. She slipped through a side gate and joined in the back of the crowd that had gathered outside the house to see the princess.

Yet, it was all fun. Children especially Princess’s must be educated. That task fell to Retired Reverend Dr. John Fisher, Bishop of Exeter. The man had tutored the Duke of Kent and had a long list of court positions. “He was sincerely pious and a connoisseur of painting and drawing. But he was pompous, homourless, dogmatic, willful and absurdly old-fashioned.” The man “…still wore a wig and spoke affectedly.” That man pronounced bishop as “bishup”. At nine, Charlotte graced him with the nickname “the Great UP.”

Charlotte, described as blue-eyed and with peculiarly blonde hair with beautifully shaped hands and feet, had a great talent for acting and mimicry. So, when Lady de Clifford and the “Great Up” argued about Charlotte’s lessons, the Princess would stand behind the bishop and mock him. Lady de Clifford struggled to hold back her laughter while trying to best the man. She would stand behind him, “…jutting out her lower lip, waving her arms and generally ridiculing his expressions and mannerisms in an exaggerated mime.”

This young Princess was educated in religious studies, English, Latin, ancient history, and religious instruction as well as reading, writing, French, German, modern history, and music, dancing, drawing, and writing. For her excellent education, the young princess was much like other children. If in trouble, she wasn’t about a little lie to get out of trouble or her studies.

In 1806, Charlotte saw one of her household writing and asked her what she was doing and was told that she was making her will. The Princess declared that she would too. She left many of her belonging to various staff and her birds to a Mrs. Gagrin and her dog or dogs to Mrs. Anna Hatton, her chambermaid.

In 1809, Charlotte’s tutor was replaced because Dr. Nott, tutor to the Princess had written to Princess Caroline. And no pleading save him, the man who was an “adoptive parent” and Charlotte wrote, “If we never meet again, keep for me your regard and affection.”

Yet, she met another who would love her–the Duke of Brunswick, her uncle William. He is describe as “bluff but dignified and patient.” The loving uncle listened to Charlotte’s “lisping chatter” and never tired of hearing it. The princess loved him so that she returned home and “painted a black moustache on her face and marched up and down in military manner barking guttural expletives, which she hoped very much sounded like German swear words.” Just like her uncle.

Also came the Honorable Margaret Mercer Elphinstone, a companion and confidante for the Princess.

As she grew older, Charlotte learned that she would have to be careful in deed and word, whether written or spoken. Now fifteen, her life would change. In January 1811, the government presented the Regency Bill. On February 6, the Prince of Wales was sworn in as Prince Regent.

The Regency began.

Romancing History: A Romance Author’s Love of the Past

The first romance novel I had ever read was a historical.  I can tell you I was hooked. Nothing matter more to me than getting my next book. Instead of doing school work, I was reading. Luckily, I still managed to pass my classes.

So when it came to writing a novel, I—of course—had to write a historical romance. I have written a couple before I actually had my first novel, The Marriage Alliance,  published then came Claiming the Highlander. 

I have always loved history. To me, history is the way we can time-travel—experience the different lives and times. While I’m writing my novels like my medieval Highlander novels I am a clan chieftain raiding my enemies lands or I am a Scottish heroine struggling to stay alive against an evil English baron trying to kill me (my next novel The Laird’s Right, which is coming soon).

I have loved history since childhood when I would stare at my mother’s porcelain doll dressed as Marie Antoinette. My child’s imagination would transport me to 18th century France.

As I started school, I wanted to learn all about the past. The details from fashion, food to even the mundane like how they stood. I swore that I could somehow become them and once knowing the information, I naturally turned to writing.

Because I just didn’t want to know it. I wanted to lay down these characters’ I concocted so that they could exist. And history is written down to be shared. You heard of method acting well I’m a method writer.

I love traveling to the Highlands of Medieval Scotland.
And to Regency England.
And Montana Territory in 1870s.
And 16th century Scotland.

I hope you will join me on one of my travels. Sign up for my newsletter at Mageela Troche

Tell me what is one of your favorite time periods. Where would you escape?

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The Tale of A Romance Author and her Lovebird

As a historical romance author, it is only natural that my pet is a lovebird. Boobula is a black-masked lovebird and did not bond with a partner. I am the one he bonded with. Even as I sit at my desk, writing this post, he is in his cage tweeting away because my back is toward him and he hates that.

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Boobula is the first bird I ever had in my life. We usually had dogs—Toy poodles (Brandy and Chocalite) and a Rottweiler (Trouble). About seven years ago, my sister-in-law and brother got me Boobula for my birthday. I think like most people I had my misgivings of the birds. I thought they were a lovey-dovey kind of bird. Well, mine is more a fighter than a lover. He has a big personality and fights with me one minute then is the loving the next. He escapes from his cage and likes to attack my cell phone. But he is the cutest feathered beast in the world. IMG_1233

And that was why I had to write him into my first Regency novel His Lady Charlie.  My heroine Lady Charlotte “Charlie” Hammersley is the proud owner of a black-masked lovebird that perches on her shoulder, just as mine does. On my cover, a lovebird is included on the female model’s shoulder (though it is a lovebird but a different type). When I told Boobula about his inclusion in the novel, he ignored me. And he still doesn’t care.

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The Jane Austen Novel that Matters

July 18, 2017 is the bicentennial anniversary of Jane Austen’s death. I have read her books, seen the movies and read her letters. She has inspired me to write Regency and learn about the royal navy and even imagine strolling the streets of Bath. I have numerous copies of her novels.

But there is one book that twists my heart with a mere mention of its title and that is Persuasion. Jane’s last novel, which was published after her death in December 1817.

Persuasion is my favorite Jane Austen for two reasons. The first reason I love this book is its theme–a second chance at love and the second reason is the dishy, perfect hero Captain Fredrick Wentworth.

No doubt, you must have read the novel (if you are reading this, it is likely that you are a Jane Austen fan) so I will not go into the plot. With Fredrick’s return and Anne’s family’s fortunes dwindling, both Anne and Fredrick now have a chance for second love. Their love has never died after a denial and eight long years. As I read Jane’s words, I cannot stop from imagining Fredrick out at sea, heartbroken and carrying that pain. And when he returns he is now a man of fortune and gets the chance to show Anne what she denied.

We all have wanted to do that and some have had the chance to do it. And Fredrick does what many have done and acted as if he is not pained by the sight of her. Though, he is unaware that she too had been tormented by what could have been.

Captain Wentworth leaving Anne the love letter.

When Fredrick learns Anne still loves him, he takes his chance. And oh, the way he declares it, tears fill my eyes and my throat closes up and my bottom lip shakes.

I can listen no longer in silence. I must speak to you by such means as are within my reach. You pierce my soul. I am half agony, half hope. Tell me not that I am too late, that such precious feelings are gone for ever. I offer myself to you again with a heart even more your own than when you almost broke it eight years and a half ago. Dare not say that man forgets sooner than woman, that his love has an earlier death. I have loved none but you. Unjust I may have been, weak and resentful I have been, but never inconstant. You alone have brought me to Bath. For you alone I think and plan–Have you not seen this? Can you fail to have understood my wishes?–I had not waited even these ten days, could I have read your feelings, as I think you must have penetrated mine. I can hardly write. I am every instant hearing something which overpowers me. You sink your voice, but I can distinguish the tones of that voice, when they would be lost on others.–Too good, too excellent creature! You do us justice indeed. You do believe that there is true attachment and constancy among men. Believe it to be most fervent, most undeviating in 

F.W.

I must go, uncertain of my fate; but I shall return hither, or follow your party, as soon as possible. A word, a look will be enough to decide whether I enter your father’s house this evening, or never. 

Reading this novel, I feel the love between Fredrick and Anne as well as the longing. These emotions seep from the ink and soak into my skin and fill me. I can’t stop myself and must always hug it to my heart.

Then I can’t help but wonder–As Jane neared death, did she yearn for a second chance at love? She must have. We all do.