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CarolinelambThis is the last story I will share of Caroline’s childhood, but this is another very clear view into the family life of the aristocracy in the late 1700s, but before I tell you the details, here  is a quick introduction to this series of posts, if you have already read it then just skip to where I have highlighted the text in bold…

I was drawn to Lady Caroline Lamb, who lived in the Regency era, because Harriette Wilson the courtesan who wrote her memoirs in 1825, mentions the Ponsonby and the Lamb family frequently. Also the story of Caroline’s affair with Lord Byron captured my imagination. Caroline was also a writer, she wrote poems, and novels in her later life. I have read Glenarvon.

Her life story and her letters sucked me further into the reality of the Regency world which is rarely found in modern-day books. Jane Austen wrote fictional, ‘country’ life as she called it, and I want to write fictional ‘Regency’ life rather than simply romance. But what I love when I discover gems in my research like Caroline’s story is sharing the real story behind my fiction here too.

Lady Caroline Lamb was born Caroline Ponsonby, on the 13th November 1785. She was the daughter of Frederick Ponsonby, Viscount Duncannon, and Henrietta (known as Harriet), the sister of the infamous Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire.

Caroline became an official lady when her grandfather died, and her father became Earl of Bessborough earning her the honorific title ‘Lady’ and she grew up in a world of luxury, even Marie Antoinette was a family friend. Caroline was always renowned as being lively, and now it is suspected she had a condition called bipolar. As a child she earned herself a title as a ‘brat’, by such things as telling her aunt Georgiana that Edward Gibbon’s (the author of The Decline and fall of the Roman Empire) face was ‘so ugly it had frightened her puppy’.

And when she grew up Byron once described Caroline as “the cleverest most agreeable, absurd, amiable, perplexing, dangerous fascinating little being that lives now or ought to have lived 2000 years ago.”

Caroline continued to write to her cousins, Georgiana’s children, as she grew up, and she was particularly fond of Hartington, (known as Hart) who adored Caroline, but was much younger. She was close to the girls too though and used them as confidants. There were still many things affecting their lives though…

Georgiana had lost her looks, she had lost one eye, was going blind in the other, and was terribly swollen due to illness.

While Harriet’s, Caroline’s mother’s, young lover, Granville, had to go to Europe and her mother’s former lover, Sheridan ,who may in reality have been Caroline’s father, began visiting Harriet again, fighting to win Harriet’s attention back.

All these things would have isolated Caro a little more, and she describes her feelings over her personal struggle with her hated behaviour, not to one of her cousins, but to the illegitimate daughter of her uncle, Caroline de St Jules, the Duke of Devonshire’s daughter born of Bess…

Car Ponsonby in a Passion to Caroline de St Jules

There is a string when touched that wakes my ire

Boils up my blood and sets my soul on fire

Pride is the ruling of passion of that soul

No chain can bind it and no power control

It snaps each tie to feeling hearts allied

And even affection must give way to pride.

But to give you a little more insight in the true person Caro was as a young woman, and how her faimly lived, here is one last odd tale I will share of Caroline’s childhood before we leave her life today… Another odd unusual true insight in Georgian life.

The Bessborough family had driven out one night in a curricle, a small two wheeled carriage, not driven by servants but driven by the Earl himself, Lord Bessborough. The curricle contained Caroline and Lady Bessborough too. Many people believe that people did not travel at night, but I discovered from letters and memoirs sometime ago that people did, they used lanterns on carriages to see their way. But if you have ever been out on a night when the sky is covered with clouds, and there are no streetlights for miles, so none can reflect back from the clouds, then you will know just how pitch black night can be. If they were travelling on tracks, then they could have found their way with lamps on carriages. But I think on this occassion, the Bessboroughs could not have been travelling on clear paths, and they became lost. Or course lamps attached on a carriage would not give you much of a view into the distance.

Lord Bessborough became lost, and Lady Bessborough concerned, then her husband angry that she accused him of becoming lost. But when the carriage horses refused to go forward any further and reared, he realized Caroline and Lady Bessborough were very scared. He climbed from the carriage and moved to hold the horses’ heads to calm them, while Lady Bessborough held the reins and then helped Caro also climb from the carriage. They then discovered that they had very nearly come to a fatal end.

The carriage was on the edge of a quarry, and going either forward or back might topple it over the edge. Caroline ran home alone through the dark to fetch the servants to help them…

Next week will be about the point Caro was launched into society as a young adult.

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~

 Go to the index

For

  • the story of the real courtesan who inspired                                                 The Illicit Love of a Courtesan,
  • another free short story, about characters from book #2,                              A Lord’s Scandalous Love,
  • the prequel excerpts for book #3                                                                   The Scandalous Love of a Duke

Jane Lark is a writer of authentic, passionate and emotional Historical and New Adult Romance stories, and the author of a No.1 bestselling Historical Romance novel in America, ‘The Illicit Love of a Courtesan’.

Click here to find out more about Jane’s books, and see Jane’s website www.janelark.co.uk to learn more about Jane. Or click  ‘like’ on Jane’s Facebook  page to see photo’s and learn historical facts from the Georgian, Regency and Victorian eras, which Jane publishes there. You can also follow Jane on twitter at @janelark

Jane’s books can be ordered from most booksellers in paperback

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A #free short story…  I’ll be telling it here, and it can also now be downloaded from Amazon.

© Copyright Jane Lark; Publishing rights owned by Harper Impulse; Harper Collins UK

Capturing the Earl’s Love

Capturing the Earl's Love High Res

A Historical Romance story

Part One

Part Two

Part Three

Part Four

Part Five

Part Six

Part Seven

Part Eight

Part Nine

Part Ten

Part Eleven

Part Twelve

Part Thirteen

Part Fourteen

~

Part Fifteen

~

Lord Morton, Rupert – she could not get used to calling him by his given name – was in the breakfast room when Meredith entered, as was Rowena.

He stood.

She moved to take her seat at the end of the table, opposite where Rupert sat, but he beckoned her forwards, as he’d done yesterday morning.

“Sit here, Meredith.”

He’d only left her an hour ago, after making love to her a third time.

Oh, it might not have been love, but it felt like love. He looked at her and touched her with such adoration when they were in bed.

He’d woken her in the middle of the night, and moved over her. That time had been a precious, very slow, languorous coupling. Then this morning he’d drawn her on top of him.

She was soft and warm inside, and her senses still tingled with the intimate pleasure he’d given her just recently.

But did the bridge stand between them again now, here? It had not an hour ago.

His hand beckoned her again and he smiled.

Her heart flooding with emotion, she walked forward. She loved him so much, all she wished for was that he would love her in return; or at least like her.

When she reached him, he caught hold of her hand and then kissed her fingers before encouraging her to sit.

Her heart thumped and her breath caught in her chest as she did. His kiss, on her fingers, had been gentle. It had felt like adoration, as his love-making had. She knew she was blushing. She would make him happy. She would do her best to be all he wished.

When she looked up, Rowena was staring.

Meredith smiled.

Rowena did not.

“I thought I would take you out today, Meredith. What would you say to a drive out of London to an inn I know near Windsor? We might walk a little way along the river afterward.”

Rowena’s head spun to face her brother.

Meredith’s cheeks heated as she looked at him, too, and met his hazel gaze. It shone gold in the morning light.

“We must get to know one another better.”

Her heart swelling with joy, she nodded.

“Good.” He looked at Rowena then. “Will you join us?”

“No. I’ll stay here and go out with Ellen instead.”

“Very well. I will leave you to eat then, Meredith, and order my phaeton made ready.”

Once he’d gone, Meredith faced Rowena. “Please come?”

“So you have me to shelter behind? No. You must face the situation you created.” Rowena’s voice was bitter.

“I want you to come, because you are my friend, and I do not like—”

“Friends do not trap one another’s brothers.” Rowena stood.

A knock struck the open door. Owens, the butler, stood there. “Lady Rowena?”

“Yes, Owens.”

“I have a message for you. Lord Kendrick sent a boy to say he will call for you in an hour, my Lady.”

Meredith’s gaze spun from the butler, to her friend. Rowena was blushing now. “Rowena?”

“Thank you, Owens.” After dismissing the butler, Rowena then glanced about the footmen in the room. “You may all go.”

Meredith stood as the footmen filed out. “Rowena?” she said again, once the men had gone.

“You are not to judge, and you are not to say a thing to Rupert. You’re going out. He won’t know.”

“Is this wise, though? Where are you going?”

Rowena’s chin tipped up. “Lord Kendrick asked if I would meet his children. I said I would. He is bringing the two eldest and a groom. We are going to Green Park and we will have a picnic there. It is nothing inappropriate.”

“You should tell Rupert and ask your cousin’s wife to accompany you.”

“No, Rupert would make a fuss and I cannot speak openly if Ellen is there. I am not going to be alone with Lord Kendrick.”

“Rowena, it is not sensible. Shall I stay, and come with you? I wou—”

“I like him, Meredith. I wish to spend some time with him. You of all people should understand…”

“I did not trick Rupert with deliberation, Rowena. I sought your friendship because you were kind to me, and I like you. I care for you, and I fell in love with Rupert. Do nothing foolish, Rowena… I shall stay here…”

“Do you regret what you did to Rupert?” Rowena asked suddenly as they stood with the table between them, her gaze holding Meredith’s.

“No.” Meredith did not, not now she thought he might learn to love her. “I am going to make him happy, Rowena. I promise.”

Rowena sighed. “Very well, I will give you a chance to prove your affection for him, but you must give me a chance to explore my own for Lord Kendrick—”

“It is not the same, Rowena. He is—”

“Caring and kind, and I like him.”

“Rowena?”

“Say nothing to Rupert,” Rowena said, before turning away, and then she left the room, hurrying off, giving Meredith no chance for further argument.

~

Capturing The Earl’s Love is the  story of two of the secondary characters from the 1st book in

the Marlow Intrigues Series

‘The Illicit Love of a Courtesan’

~

To read the full Marlow Intrigues series, you can start anywhere, but this is the actual order

The Lost Love of Soldier ~ The Prequel

#1 The Illicit Love of a Courtesan

#1.5 Capturing The Love of an Earl ~ This Free Novella

#2 The Passionate Love of a Rake

#2.5 The Desperate Love of a Lord ~ Free here, see  index

#3 The Scandalous Love of a Lord

and, yes, there are more to come  :-)

CompleteCollecvtion_Facebook_Advertv3 (1)

Go to the index

For

  • the story of the real courtesan who inspired                                                 The Illicit Love of a Courtesan,
  • another free short story, about characters from book #2,                              A Lord’s Scandalous Love,
  • the prequel excerpts for book #3                                                                   The Scandalous Love of a Duke

Jane Lark is a writer of authentic, passionate and emotional Historical and New Adult Romance stories, and the author of a No.1 bestselling Historical Romance novel in America, ‘The Illicit Love of a Courtesan’.

Click here to find out more about Jane’s books, and see Jane’s website www.janelark.co.uk to learn more about Jane. Or click  ‘like’ on Jane’s Facebook  page to see photo’s and learn historical facts from the Georgian, Regency and Victorian eras, which Jane publishes there. You can also follow Jane on twitter at @janelark

Jane’s books can be ordered from most booksellers in paperback

10367596_633268423430916_6741081225667559588_n

 

 

 

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