Monday’s child is fair of face
“Love, despair and renewed hope amid the gaiety and anxiety in Brussels before Napoleon’s defeat at the Battle of Waterloo.”
Heroines born on different days of the week. Book 2
In March 1815, Napoleon Bonaparte escaped from exile in Elba. In Brussels, eighteen-year-old Helen Whitley, is aware that war with France between Britain and her allies, is inevitable. A talented artist, Helen is aware of the anxiety and fear underlying the balls, breakfasts, parties, picnics and soirees - held by the British. In an attic, she paints scenes in which she captures the emotions of daily life during the hundred days before the Battle of Waterloo.
While Helen lives with her sister and wealthy brother-in-law, Major Tarrant, she waits for Major, Viscount Langley, to arrive in Brussels and ask her to be his wife. Langley, who serves in the same regiment as Tarrant, is her brother-in-law’s closest friend, therefore she assumes her sister and Tarrant will be delighted by the match.
She is grateful to her brother-in-law for including her in his household. Nevertheless, Helen regrets being dependent on his generosity, so she’s looking forward to being mistress of Langley’s heart and home.
Before Langley leaves England to join his regiment, he visits his ancestral home, to inform his parents that he intends to marry Helen. Yet, when he arrives in Brussels to join his regiment, he does not propose marriage to Helen, and her pride does not allow her to reveal the misery caused by Langley’s rejection.
“Tuesday's child is full of grace.”
“Prejudice and pride demand Reverend Dominic Markham marry a suitable lady, but he is spellbound by Harriet, an unsuitable widow.”
Heroines Born on Different Days of The Week Book 3
Harriet Stanton followed the drum until the deaths of her husband and father, army officers in the war against Napoleon Bonaparte. Destitute, on the verge of starvation, she returns to England, with her three-year-old son, Arthur. Although she has never met her father-in-law, the Earl of Pennington, with whom her late husband had cut all ties, for Arthur’s sake, Harriet decides to ask Pennington for help. Turned away from his London house by servants, she is rescued by Georgianne Tarrant, who founded an institution to help soldiers’ widows and orphans.
Desperate for an heir, the earl welcomes Harriet, and Arthur, whose every wish he grants.
At first, Harriet is grateful to her father-in-law, but, as time goes she is locked in a silent battle to control Arthur, who has tantrums if he is denied anything.
After Pennington refuses his permission for Arthur to swim in the lake, Arthur defies him. About to drown, he is rescued by charismatic Dominic, Reverend Markham, the Earl and Countess Faucon’s son.
At the lakeside, Dominic meets Harriet. She is so dainty that his immediate impression is of a fairy. Despite her appearance, he is mistaken. Harriet is not a pampered lady by birth. During brutal campaigns, she milked goats and cooked over camp fires.
Wednesday’s child is full of woe.
“Sensibility and sense are needed for Amelia Carstairs to accept her late grandmother’s choice of her guardian, the Earl of Saunton, to whom Amelia was previously betrothed.”
Heroines Born on Different Days of The Week Book 4
In 1816, Mrs Bettismore lies on her deathbed. Her twenty-year old granddaughter, Amelia is distraught by the imminent loss of her only relative, who has raised her in an atmosphere of seclusion and unyielding discipline.
Amelia inherits her grandmother’s fortune, but after such a sheltered upbringing she finds herself lost and alone. Her emotional growth, stunted by Mrs Bettismore she is afraid to do or say anything of which her grandmother would disapprove.
The heiress is unprepared for her introduction to Saunton, her guardian’s noisy household and his family of irrepressible sisters.
Will this cause Amelia to retreat into herself even more, or will a home filled with love and high spirits change her outlook and encourage her to find love?
Or do the long-hidden secrets of her birth threaten to spoil everything?
“I like the way Mrs Bettismore’s strong personality weaved throughout the novel, providing conflict. Like Daphne DuMaurier’s Rebecca, even dead, she’s a great character.”
Katherine Pym, Author of Erasmus T. Muddiman: A tale of Publick Disorder; Pillars of Avalon (with Jude Pitman) Canadian Brides Book 5, and other historical novels.