Lady B has asked me to attend her in the sitting room. I suspect this is because all the other authoresses have made themselves scarce, knowing as they do that Lady is “at home” today. I’m fairly certain Miranda’s love of fashion (and ability to scathingly judge it) would be more of use. As we know, it’s been a zoo here during the Season, and all because of Monty.
But nonetheless, I happily leave my work-in-progress aside and call upon my anthropological training to be a participant observer in the ritual of Regency courtship. One in which the male in demand is unlikely to be present and all early negotiations are made through oblique comments by the females.
Just as I enter the sitting room, I hear the first knock at the front door.
“It begins,” Lady B intones with a wink and I take a seat to her left.
“Again,” squawks Albert.
I am half tempted to retrieve my laptop—ahem, notepad—to take notes. After all, what better way to get tips on London ingénues than here?
“Mrs. Perkins-Wilkenson and her daughter, Miss Perkins-Wilkenson,” announces the footman.
These two are not your usual romance book mother-daughter set. In fact, they are fairly reminiscent of the Gilmore Girls. While I assume young Sarah Perkins-Wilkenson is the customary 17 or 18 of a girl in her first season, her mother, Eloise Perkins-Wilkenson, looks as if she could be her sister. Both of them are lovely in that peaches and cream, strawberry blond sort of a way, and they are dressed impeccably. Wait, no. Is that a turned hem I spy at the bottom of Eloise’s dress? Hmm, surely if it is Lady B will notice and I can ask her later. I start wondering if perhaps Eloise is a widow and absolutely ripe to be a romance book heroine. Perhaps she sees her young daughter as her last chance for financial safety but ends up having a romance of her own.
Not with Monty. Lady B would never forgive me, even if it’s merely in the world of my fictional conjecture, my little writerly game.
But certainly any number of wealthy rakes (yes, it would have to be a rake who endangers her reputation and therefore her daughter’s chances of a respectable marriage!) would be appropriate for her. But unfortunately all the rakes I’ve met in Lady B’s ballroom lately have been taken. Maybe one of our heroes has a best friend or a “rake club” acquaintance to recommend.
But then again, perhaps Eloise is still very much married. Then I must focus my attentions on Sarah.
I am determined to fit Eloise and Sarah into the romance book mold over the next fifteen polite minutes. What do you think is the true nature of their circumstance and what gentleman/gentlemen would be appropriate as a match?