11 Royal Family Scandals That Rocked Great Britain Back In The Day

It’s no surprise to find members of the British royal family in the gossip magazines stacked along grocery store checkout aisles. However, the modern royals are hardly the first to shock the world with their “scandalous” actions.

In fact, some of theBritish royal scandals from way back in the day would likely make the princes and princesses of today blush harder than any of their own stories. Sure, we think of Prince Charles and Princess Diana off the bat, but the examples below are so much more surprising, especially considering the time periods involved.

Despite their lofty titles andshiny crowns, they are still humans after all. It can be difficult to imagine those carefully posed portraits from history being anything but personifications of perfection, but hey we all have our flaws.

Unfortunately for the names listed below, their flaws happen to have been broadcast out to thewhole wide world and then stuck in the history books for good.

Take a look to see what shocking scandals the royals cooked up for themselves decades (and even centuries) in the past.

Let us know in the comments if we missed any particularly juicy tales from way back in the day, and be sure to SHARE with your friends!

[H/T: BBC America, Mental Floss]

1. King Edward VIII’s Brief Time On The Throne

Edward

Following the death of his father, George V, Edward reigned as king for less than a year (just 326 days) beforegivingupthe throne to marry Wallis Simpson, a twice-divorced American woman.

He was named Duke of Windsor while his younger brother Albert took over as King George VI. Edwardand Wallis remained together until his death, retiring to France after World War II.

2. Princess Margaret’s Eyes For A Married Man

2.

Captain Peter Townsend was a member of the British Royal Navy who acted as an attendant for the royal family, known as an equerry. That’s how he met and fell in love with Margaret, daughter of George VI and sister of the future Queen Elizabeth II.

Peter divorced his wife and the two went as far as getting engaged, thoughfamily pressure ultimately convinced Margaret to call the whole thing off.

3. Queen Victoria’s Boudoir Painting

3.

The “shocking” painting was unheard of for someone of her stature and deemed so indecent that it waskept hidden in Prince Albert’s office.

Of course by modern standards, the Prince’s favorite photo of his wife is actually quite modest.

4. Princess Margaret’s Historical Divorce

Princess

After suffering the heartbreak with Peter, Margaret married a photographer named Antony Armstrong-Jones, shownabove with President Lyndon B. Johnson and wife. However, the couple had a notoriously rocky marriage.

In 1978, Margaretbecame the first royal to geta divorce since Henry VIII in the 1500s.

5. Prince George’s Wild Lifestyle

5.

The Duke of Kent hadmany affairs behind his wife’s back,Princess Marina of Greece and Denmark. The “forgotten son” of British monarchy also reportedly had a problem with drug abuse, particularlymorphine and cocaine.

His death also sparked controversy, with many speculating whether the plane crash that killed him was orchestrated by his embarrassed family.

6. Queen Victoria’s Scottish Affection

6.

After she was widowed, the Queensecluded herself in a Scottish country estate where she grew close to one of the servants, John Brown.

A priest admitted on his death bed that he performed a secret marriage ceremony for the two. Supposedly, Victoria was so devastated when John passed away that she erected a statue in his image. Upon her own death, she allegedly requested to be buried with a lock of his hair, his photograph, and a ring he had given her.

7. Princess Anne Following In Her Aunt’s Footsteps

7.

She was married to an Olympic athlete, Mark Phillips, but they were apparently never really that fond of each other. Like her aunt Margaret, she also fell for a member of the royalequerry,Timothy Laurence.

However, Anne had much better luck and was able to divorce her husband and marry Timothy. The pair remain happily together today.

8. King Henry VIII’s Many, Many Wives

King

Henry infamously went through six different wives throughout his reign. First, there was Catherine of Aragon, whom he cheated on with his soon-to-be second wifes sister, Mary Boleyn, and likely had two sons from the affair. After breaking from the Catholic church in order to obtain an annulment and marry Anne Boleyn, he had Anne executed after she miscarried three potential male heirs and was accused of several affairs.

Jane Seymour, one of Anne’s ladies in waiting, was next and died after a difficult childbirth that finally supplied him a male heir. His fifth wife, Catherine Howard, was executed after he accused her of affairs with two men.

His last wife, Catherine Parr, luckily outlived him.

9. King George IV’s Indecent Proposals

King

Though many think of his father, George III, as the tyrant of the family, it was his son who not only had a notorious gambling habit but also attempted to woo women by offering them copious amounts of money, only to deny them the cash after they relented.

George IV was apparentlyvery lacking in the looks department. He also threatened to kill himself in a 42-page suicide note whenhis main mistress,Maria Fitzherbert, refused him. She eventually agreed to be with him, but only if they were married.

Because she was Catholic and a commoner, the pair were married in secret until he was forced to abandon her (and their children)for a political marriage. However, his reputation remained forever tarnished.

10. King Edward VII’s Sneaky Military Escapades

King

As the son of the famously prudish Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, Edward VII made up for their modesty by reportedly bedding thousands of women in his time.

It was his first foray into the frisky lifestyle, however, that causedhis parents to be taken aback. At 19, they had sent him to a military camp where he was happy to be introduced to the “camp prostitute.”

Though he had many chaperones watching his every move, Edward managed to make his way to the woman three times before being caught. Victoria and Albert were so shocked and ashamed that when Albert became sick and died shortly after, Victoria blamed her son for her loss.

11. King Charles II’s Feuding Mistresses

King

Apparently, restoring the monarchy after ousting Oliver Cromwell didn’t keep the king too busy, as he was known to have dozens ofmistresses and to have fathered several illegitimate children.

It was the women themselves, though, who caused a ruckus when they warred for Charles’ affection. Actress Nell Gwynn and the Duchess of Portsmouth, Louise de Krouaille, were known to get especially snippy with each other.

Did we miss any not-so-modern royal scandals from back in the day that you’ve heard about? Let us know below, and be sure to SHARE with your friends!

Read more: https://www.littlethings.com/royal-family-scandals/

City Book Review Shows You Why You Should Get Your Book Reviewed (cool video)

The folks at City Book Review have been doing book reviews since 2008, more than 20,000 reviews over the years. If you’re an author and need a review, give them a try.

Now that your wrote and published your book, next up is how to get your book reviewed by a professional organization. Many bookstores won’t carry a book that hasn’t been reviewed by someone, and there are fewer and fewer local newspapers that review books any more. So your chances to get reviewed are harder each year. Luckily places like San Francisco Book Review and their sister publications have stepped up to help authors with book reviews, marketing, cover design and SEO.

Anchor Pays Favorite Childhood Teacher Surprise Visit, Then Finds Books With Her Handwriting

For most of us, our childhoods were abit of a blur. But there are a few moments and people who stand out. For many of us, there’s at least one teacher who made a difference in our lives, and whom we remember well. I certainly remember mine!

Anchor Lisa Wilkinson of TODAY also remembers hers: her teacher,Ms. West. Although it’d been years, perhaps decades since they’d last seenone another, Lisa decided to pay the teacher a visit.

The two women were happily reunited, and Lisa was glad to see that some things had not changed: Ms.West, unmarried and childless, has always considered her students to be her children, and kept their exercise books, including a few of Lisa’s.

That was a few months ago. Unfortunately, since then, Ms.West passed away after a brave battle with cancer. Lisa posted on Facebook about how glad she was to be able to reconnect with Ms.West and thank her for changing her life, despite her sudden departure.

Lisa

Lisa Wilkinson wrote:

We all have a school teacher we’ll never forget – one whose dedication to their students and the wider school community goes well beyond anything ever written in the job description.

Lisa

For me, that was Miss West, my teacher in 4th & 5th class at Campbelltown Primary School. She was all about the three R’s…and so much more beyond, from getting us to learn all the classic Australian poems (I can still recite them all now), good handwriting, choir, impeccable manners.

Miss

Miss West never married because as she told me years later, “How would I find the time? My students keep me so busy.” Late last year I went to visit her at home, at 81, still living a few blocks from the school she taught at for more than four decades (even teaching three generations in some families), and still in possession of some of my old exercise books, which, she reminded me she had kept.

Miss

But that day she gave those exercise books back to me, and for some reason we both got quite emotional.

Lisa

Well I’m so glad I made that trip, because Miss West died on Friday after a short but courageous battle with cancer.

Lisa

I will treasure these pics you see above. That’s me as one of her happy, smiling charges in 4th class (bottom left), the proud woman I remember (top left), and our recent reunion on the right.

Vale Miss West. And thank you. You shaped countless lives – well beyond our school years – and you will be missed.

Read more: https://www.littlethings.com/anchor-teacher-tribute/

Ever wonder how to get a book reviewed

Ever wonder “How to get my book reviewed”?

So you’ve published your book. Its been edited and published, and now you’re trying to figure out how to get to your potential readers. While starting your marketing campaign usually happens well before your book is finished, getting your first reviews can’t happen until your book is done or in a final draft status.

Many stores won’t carry a small press or self-published book that doesn’t have reviews from a recognizable publication. So how do you get someone to pay attention to your book among all of the hundreds, if not thousands, of submissions they see every month?

City Book Review, publishers of the San Francisco Book Review, Manhattan Book Review, Seattle Book Review and Kids’ BookBuzz all have programs to help you. Kids BookBuzz is only for children, tweens and young adult books, but the other three will take almost any book you have (including children’s books).

So how do you get your book reviewed by one of the City Book Review publications?

If your book is within 90 days of the release date, you can submit it for general review (at no cost). The closer you are to the 90 days, the less of a chance it will have to be reviewed, but you can still start there. City Book Review gets more than 1000 book submissions each month, and only reviews 300 or less, so your likelihood of getting your book reviewed in this way is less than 33%. But you can give it a try and see if it gets reviewed.

City Book Review Book Review Submission Guidelines

If your book is more than 90 days past its publication date, or you really want to have it reviewed and don’t want to just hope it’ll get picked up through the general review, you can go through the Sponsored Review program. While there is some dispute about paying for a review, San Francisco, Manhattan and Seattle Book Reviews are respected outlets like Kirkus or Foreward Reviews and do not offer vanity reviews for payment. You can expect the same level of professionalism from their standard reviews. And they don’t mark sponsored reviews any different than the other reviews.

Get My Book Reviewed from the San Francisco, Manhattan or Seattle Book Reviews

There are a lot of different options for getting your book reviewed, mostly around how long it takes to get your review back, and if you want more than one or an interview as well.

Standard Reviews Take 8-10 weeks for turnaround from the time they receive your book Start at

Expedited Reviews Take 3-5 weeks for turnaround from the time they receive your book Start at

Get more than one review for the same book you’ll get a discount on the normal cost of 2 or 3 reviews. Reviews range in price from $150 to $299.

Getting a podcast interview for Audible Authors to promote yourself and your book, and you can add an interview to a review package at a discount.

And if you really like your review, you can have it posted on the other publication’s website for $99, or get a new review from a different reviewer. Both can help with your marketing and search engine optimization.

So how do you get your book reviewed by children in Kids’ BookBuzz or find great children’s book reviews?

First thing, all of the reviews for Kids’ BookBuzz are done by children. They are select age appropriate books, but the children read them and write the reviews themselves. The younger children have some help from their parents, but the words are all theirs. Don’t expect any easy reviews either. These kids see a lot of novels, so they know good books when they read them.

General Submission Guidelines for Kids’ BookBuzz -http://kidsbookbuzz.com/get-my-book-reviewed-by-a-kid/general-submission/

Sponsored Review Submission Guidelines for Kids’ BookBuzz -http://kidsbookbuzz.com/get-my-book-reviewed-by-a-kid/sponsored-reviews/

Darcy and Fitzwilliam – Synopsis, Excerpt

Darcy and Fitzwilliam: Synopsis

Darcy and Fitzwilliam: A tale of a gentleman and an officer. A sequel to Jane Austen’s magnificent ‘Pride and Prejudice’ this humorous story is of two romances, one involving the handsome Fitzwilliam Darcy, the other his cousin, Colonel Richard Fitzwilliam. Darcy is handsome, elegant, proud and a besotted newlywed to his beloved Elizabeth Bennet. Colonel Richard Fitzwilliam is his older cousin, a veteran of Waterloo, fun loving, charismatic, and about to fall head over heels with a beautiful American widow. A charming tale of love, of great friendship, of children and of an irritable old aunt, Lady Catherine deBourgh.

Darcy and Fitzwilliam: Excerpt

VOLUME TWO, CHAPTER FOUR

It was when they approached the footman who would announce them that he saw her, her simple presence outstand¬ing amidst a multitude of inbred and odd-looking individuals gushing and fawning over each other. Wearing an outmoded, drab gown meant for someone much larger and much, much older, she was tenderly patting stray locks of a young girl’s hair, adjusting the bow on the back of the girl’s dress, in short, fussing about the girl like a mother hen with her lone chick. He was thunderstruck. Even without the feathers, paint, lace, and jewelry, she far outshone the posturing aristocratic ladies surrounding her, who competed in vain for attention.

At this distance, the youth she tended to appeared to Fitzwilliam as little more than an infant—small, frightened, and frail. However, it was not the anxious-looking girl who was causing him concern, drawing his offense. It was the activity surrounding the two that began to fuel his indignation, the admiration of the many men milling about ogling his Beauty, commenting upon her shimmering blonde hair. Fellow soldiers gaping and drooling over his Beauty’s eyes as they sparkled with amusement within a perfect, heart-shaped face, long, dark lashes lowered now to her task and shadowing his Beauty’s cheeks.

It was a testament to her good looks that those who circled overlooked the other grander, more-opulently gowned women, to be drawn instead by a loveliness that appeared both alien and delicate at once.

The young girl nervously whispered something, and the Brown-Eyed Beauty laughed gently, her face softening as it tilted to the side, lighting up with open joy, her eyes twinkling in devilish delight. Deadly dimples suddenly appeared.

Instead of being charmed, Fitzwilliam was furious.

“Why do you look as if you’ve just gotten your foot caught in your stirrups?” As he followed Richard’s rapt gaze, looking across the ballroom in the same general direction, Darcy discovered the object of his interest. “Ah. Well, well, well…” he muttered.

“What?” Fitzwilliam turned momentarily toward his cousin.

“I take it that is the woman about whom all your fuss has been?”

After one or two tense moments, Richard responded. “Yes, Darcy,” he bit back icily. “That is the woman about whom, as you so haughtily say, all my fuss has been. What of it?!”

“Nothing. Nothing at all.” Still he hesitated, staring.

Seeing Darcy’s reaction, Fitzwilliam bristled. “You wish to make some sort of observation, brat? Yes, that is the woman, and please do not stare at her like some sort of bedlamite.”

“Well, pardon me, Your Worship. She’s just not what I had expected.”

“What do you mean by that?” Fitzwilliam glared. “She is the most beautiful woman in this room, if not the whole city.”

“Jesu, calm yourself, Richard. I didn’t say she wasn’t. It’s just that she’s so… so…”

“So… what?”

“Well…” Darcy’s eyes made a quick appraisal of the woman in the distance. “Well, for one thing, she is rather plainly dressed for such a grand assembly, and she does appear rather foreign-looking with those cheekbones. Here’s an aside. Whatever happened to your dream of a deathly pale, full-bodied, and terminally ill English Rose due to inherit an estate the size of Kent? Hmm? In case you had not noticed, this young woman is very healthy and quite slender and apparently poor. At the very least, you must admit that she doesn’t have the usual voluptuousness of which you are known to be so fond.” Without even looking at his cousin, he could feel his eyes boring into him. He sighed.

“She is not that slender,” Fitzwilliam said coolly. “And you are still staring at her. I don’t like it, I tell you.”

Darcy rolled his eyes in exasperation. “Please try and behave as an adult. I’m sure you’ve seen them about—emulate.” The air crackled between them. “All I am saying is that she has a leaner frame than the average woman you prefer. She is tall and slim and, well, frankly, she appears small-busted.” Darcy eyed her critically and then turned to look at a furious Fitzwilliam. “Maybe it is just that the dress is so huge. Stop scowling at me!”

He sipped calmly from a glass of wine he had just been handed by a footman. “Merciful heaven, aren’t you suddenly the sensitive one! I have nothing against the woman at all. She is quite as lovely as you say, perhaps more so.” Fitzwilliam’s green-eyed rage was turning boiling red from his struggle for control. “And she is definitely not your type.”

Fitzwilliam stiffened. “Aside from your previous gibberish, what is it about her, exactly, that you do not consider my type?”

Darcy hesitated for a few tension-filled moments before proceeding at his peril. “Truthfully? All right. Well, she’s not at all fussy or overly made-up. She’s naïve-looking, soft, elegant, and pleasant. None of those are your usual requirements—in fact, quite the opposite.” Darcy and Fitzwilliam stood glaring at each other before Darcy finally broke rank and turned back. He then gestured toward the woman under discussion. “I mean, she really is quite beautiful, to be sure. Oh, and my goodness, what an exquisite smile she has, such luscious, full lips. And dimples, too? Good God!” He chuckled and shook his head. “No, she’s definitely not your type at all.”

“All right, that does it. I should call you out.”

“Well, think about it. You could actually grow to love this woman, then where would you be?”

“Never mind about all that. I don’t care for the way you are looking at her, brat, with your insolent eyes. And how dare you comment upon her lips, goddamn it. You’re almost drooling.”

Darcy turned to coolly assess his cousin. “You should be medicated.”

“You were leering at her.”

“I was not leering, you apelike menace! I was asked my opinion.”

“Aha! Well…you are the demented one—you were never asked for your opinion, and I, above all people, know a leer when I see one, and I certainly don’t need your approval. I was merely pointing her out to you.”

“What’s going on, gentlemen?” Georgiana returned to their side after freshening herself. The carriage ride had been long and blustery, a frigid winter storm approaching with snow and sleet threatening to descend upon London at any moment.

“Oh, Fitzwilliam has finally lost what little was left of his mind. He is annoyed with me for glancing at his newest obses¬sion,” Darcy whispered loudly. “He is also exceedingly upset because I have been pointing out to him the many ways in which she would not suit him at all.”

“Really? What fun! May I take a stab? Where is she?” Darcy indicated the far corner where the beauty was standing.

Fitzwilliam threw up his hands and turned his back on them. “I am leaving you both. I know neither of you. Good-bye.”

“Oh, how charming she is and how different are her features! Truly a paragon!” Georgiana gushed. A slightly mol¬lified Fitzwilliam waited. “And not your type at all, Richard. Definitely not!” Georgiana’s clear assessing gaze darted from the beauty to Fitzwilliam and then back to the beauty. He turned slowly around and faced her.

“Et tu, Judas?” He crossed his arms over his chest.

“Heavens, Richard, just look at the color in your face! Are you feeling all right?” She regarded him with great concern.

 

ORDER DARCY AND FITZWILLIAM ON:

AMAZON

BARNES & NOBLE

darcy-and-fitzwilliam

Darcy and Fitzwilliam Book Reviews

“Laugh until your sides ache and then laugh some more…Delicious…” – Linda Banche Reviews

“It is absorbing. It is intoxicating. It is excellent.” – Jane Austen’s World

 

Orange County Register

This sequel to “Pride and Prejudice” focuses on the friendship between Darcy and his cousin Colonel Fitzwilliam. Wasylowski delves deeper into why Caroline Bingley continues to pursue Darcy and how Lady Catherine de Bourgh grows to accept Darcy and Elizabeth’s marriage …

 

Booklist

Married life is bliss. At least that is what Colonel Richard Fitzwilliam’s cousin Fitzwilliam Darcy would have him believe. But Richard has no intention of stepping into the parson’s mousetrap until he encounters America widow Amanda Penrod at one of London’s innumerous balls …

 

Historical Novel Reviews – Feb. 2011

Karen V. Wasylowski has turned out one of the former, a charming and believable rendering that offers the reader a look at the men in Pride and Prejudice. Austen would no doubt welcome Darcy and Fitzwilliam, an amusing and witty interpretation …

 

Jane Austen’s World and Jane Austen Today

A soldier stands in the background, far away from the shaded beauty of the stairs directly below you. You can barely see the red-backed, leather-booted militia man but you can tell he walks with purpose, conviction. He’s looking to the right as if he’s about to turn into the lane and boldly move off into the next phase of life with his head held high, confident in his poise and precise in his footfalls…

Kelly Yalke Deltener – Jane Austen Sequel Examiner

Karen Wasylowski’s first novel, Darcy and Fitzwilliam, is a foray into the Austen adaptation world that focuses on what could be considered the world’s first modern bromance….

Jessica Hastings – suite101.com

Completely unique and never seen before, Karen V. Wasylowski has continued the Pride and Prejudice tale Jane Austen began, but with a focused look at Mr. Darcy and his cousin, best friend and confidant; Colonel Fitzwilliam. This intriguing novel had me guessing right from the cover, as to the contents of its literary prose, and I was quickly assured…

 

Austen Sequels

Darcy and Fitzwilliam, Karen Wasylowski’s debut novel, chronicles the lives of Fitzwilliam Darcy and Colonel Fitzwilliam, cousins and best friends. At 481 pages, Wasylowski isn’t playing around. She divides the novel into three parts: one focuses on Darcy, the second on Fitzwilliam, and the third on “family.” Darcy and Lizzy are happily married, and expecting their first child. Darcy is the proud, tall…

 

Calico Critic

From Goodreads: A gentleman cannot survive without his best friend…Fitzwilliam Darcy and colonel Fitzwilliam couldn’t be more different. Darcy is quiet and reserved, and carries the weight of his responsibilities on his shoulders. His affable and vivacious cousin, Colonel Fitzwilliam is a confirmed bachelor whose military feats have made him a hero…

Darcy and Fitzwilliam: Shelley DeWees Review

Imagine, if you dare…

A soldier stands in the background, far away from the shaded beauty of the stairs directly below you. You can barely see the red-backed, leather-booted militia man but you can tell he walks with purpose, conviction. He’s looking to the right as if he’s about to turn into the lane and boldly move off into the next phase of life with his head held high, confident in his poise and precise in his footfalls. The beautiful spring day is made better by the vision of sun dappled ferns and leaves scattered haphazardly on the stones, billowing around as if they’ve just been disturbed by something….a man….a cloaked man, running after the soldier with a clear demeanor of distress. He runs as if he’s got something to say, something important.

Mysterious. Intriguing, you might say. Gracing the cover of Darcy and Fitzwilliam, Karen Wasylowski’s debut novel, the scene seems to speak, “Yes. Open me. Read me. It will prove interesting.” My senses were tingling, but guardedly. It was going to be a compelling tale of male bonding and growth, perhaps interspersed with a few allegories of debauchery and decadence. Was I about to stumble into a literary man cave? A wordy representation of a place where no female ought to poke her nose? Though the contemptible word “bromance” was used in the author’s own description of her work, her “baby” as she called it, I was moved to give the whole liking it thing a real shot, a good ‘ol college try. With such a lovely cover, it had to be better than a bromance, right? Would a sneaky look into a man cave be that bad?

Well, no. This story is amazing. It’s not just a glimpse into the idle lives of the extremely rich and entitled, and certainly not a flippant narrative of a life unbridled by the constraints of the middle class. It’s not just drinking and billiards, gambling and shooting, and it’s certainly not what I thought it would be (the man cave analogy is officially rebuked). This is a visceral tale that positively drips with social commentary, tackling problems that few Austenesque writers would attempt to undertake.

Ms. Wasylowski weaves a brilliant account of two separate lives, those of a married, measured, quiet man whose strength is in the details, and another loud, energetic, sometimes irksome chronic bachelor who uses his charisma to get what he needs out of life. I’m sure you know which is which, but I bet you’ll be surprised at just how engaging these two characters are. The book itself is divided into two volumes, the first of which deals with Mr. Darcy and his new bride. They’re happy but not irritatingly so (how refreshing), and in fact they engage in a knock-down-drag-out brawl within the first seven chapters! Elizabeth and Darcy slowly figure out their new life together, discovering flaws, faults, one giant secret, and stirring up all kinds of interesting social issues in the meantime. Sexual disparities show up, and Elizabeth marvels at her ignorance and jealously while Darcy is forced to deal with the formidable Lady Catherine DeBourgh (who, in this representation, is a feisty and delicious character). Later on in volume two, the life of Fitzwilliam “Richard” Darcy is explored more thoroughly, and the reader watches helplessly as his greed and foolishness finally catch up with him. What is he to do? Searching for answers at the bottom of a hip flask hasn’t been working out. He’s looking to find someone to spend his life with, but is forced to sift through piles of societal restrictions once he’s found her. England’s position on women, marriage, homosexuality, alcohol, even America’s treachery come into the picture, not tiptoeing over but literally smashing his dreams. What’s a guy to do?

There is little else anyone can say to you, clever reader, except this: Read this book. A cutesy romance of love and lace it is not. Darcy and Fitzwilliam is a gripping interpretation of life in Regency England, bravely attempting to bring issues of tension to the table. Domestic violence, alcoholism, harsh words, sex, royalism, and loathsome small-mindedness abound, and all through the vision of Jane Austen’s characters.

It’s intoxicating. It’s absorbing. It’s excellent.

Shelley DeWees

Sons and Daughters – Synopsis, Excerpt

Sons and Daughters: Synopsis

JANE AUSTEN’S ‘PRIDE AND PREJUDICE’ CONTINUES…

SONS AND DAUGHTERS, a sequel to Karen V. Wasylowski’s ‘DARCY AND FITZWILLIAM’ (which was itself a continuation of Jane Austen’s PRIDE AND PREJUDICE), again follows the iconic Fitzwilliam Darcy and his cousin Colonel Fitzwilliam. Now we see the two battling best friends as loving husbands and doting fathers, older and a bit wiser, making the sacrifices, the difficult (and frequently unpopular) decisions that men must make for the good of their families and we see their large brood of offspring – the ‘Fitzwilliam Mob’ – grow from childhood to adolescence then on into adulthood. Along the way, Darcy and Fitzwilliam are viewed by their children first as heroes, then as the enemy, but eventually as mortal human beings and the children’s adored champions once again.

 

Sons and Daughters: Excerpt

Have you come up with any reasonable story yet?” Hands in his pockets Fitzwilliam glared down at his sons.

Amanda shook her head in doubt. “Tell me again what sort of punishment this is meant to be.” The two little fellows sat side by side on the bottom step of the front staircase, scratching elbows and knees, looking anywhere but at their father.

“Well, since neither will tell me which one dropped the flour bag I am making them sit here until they come up with any plausible explanation.”

“I’m still a bit vague on this. How will that help you determine which one to punish?”

“They’ll have to decide together. If they‘re able to come up with one convincing tale I’ll accept it. But they cannot leave that step until they do agree on one.”

“And you are certain this is the position you wish to take?”

“It is.”

“I will never understand you.”

“It was me, Papa.” Mark winced when his brother’s sharp elbow dug into his side. “Well, it was.”

“No, Papa, it was me,” countered Matthew.

“See, not good enough. You still don’t agree. Now, give it another go.” The little faces leaned toward each other.

“I’ll share a secret with you both – if you tell me the truth the punishment will be less severe.”

“It was me,” whispered Matthew.

Mark nodded. “Yeah, it was him. But he’s very young.”

Fitzwilliam tried not to chuckle as he took a glum faced Matthew by the hand. The two walked silently into the library and when they reappeared a few moments later Matthew was rubbing his bottom, but evidently was not overly upset since he hopped up onto his chair and immediately began reaching for food.

“Before either of you eat, I want you to apologize to your cousins for that unprovoked attack at our front door.” With the wives fussing over baby Luke elsewhere, and the Fitzwilliam day maid hiding in a cupboard, the two fathers were the only functioning adults in the room.

“But it was though, Papa – provoked, I mean. First, to be clear on this, what exactly does provoke mean?” Precise to his core and always good natured Mark was duty bound to explain the twins’ abysmal behavior. However, he was also a detail man and, as usual, becoming bogged down with them.

“It means you are nasty boys and it means that you are wicked.” Kathy crowed, taunting with her little sing song voice, smiling cheerily at her older brothers because anytime they were in trouble was a cause for celebration. “It means you cannot have cake ever again and crows will peck out your eyes.”

Anne Marie cheered at that, she even clapped.

“Anne Marie Darcy, do not encourage your cousins.” Darcy reprimanded. “They seldom require it,” he muttered as he brought his daughter’s plate closer to her.

“Kathy, where do you learn such nonsense?” Fitzwilliam grasped her little cup of milk before it toppled from the table but failed to save her silverware.

“They’ll peck your eyes out, Beef!” shouted Matthew and Georgie, retaliating as always in unison. “And eat your brains – if they can find any! Yeah they will!” Matthew expanded on their previous comment and stuck out his tongue.

“Enough. All of you. Anyone who is shorter than I will henceforth cease to speak.” Darcy’s commanding voice sounded severe as he cut into edible pieces the small ham slice that had been sitting, untouched, before his daughter for nearly twenty minutes. “Eat something, Anne Marie – anything. I beg of you. At least one bite. How does your mother succeed with this and I do not?”

“Mama sings to me.”

“Yes, she sings to me also. How lucky we both are. Now eat at least the little bit that is on this fork. Please.” He turned to Mark. “And, ‘unprovoked’, my charming young hooligan, means that there was no just cause for the attack, neither upon your Aunt Lillibet nor upon your uncle – old what’s his name.”

Mark Fitzwilliam laughed heartily at what Darcy had just said, as if Darcy were the wittiest man alive.
Actually, hunger had overtaken his senses and he wanted done with all questions. He reached for his fork. Darcy’s arched eyebrow stopped him cold.

“No, Mark, you must answer the question first. Explain why you are tossing flour from the windows.”

“The salt is locked away.”

There was momentary silence.

“Darcy, you’re getting nowhere with this vague line of questioning. When it comes to my children you must attack with precision, leave nothing ambiguous. Watch carefully and learn. Matthew, what provocation – close your mouth, Mark – what purpose was there for your attack upon Uncle Wills and Auntie Lillibet?”

“It wasn’t meant for Uncle Wills. We love him and Auntie Lillibet.” Matthew reached for a jar of preserves but could not get them without unsettling the pitcher of milk; his father immediately righted the pitcher and brought the jar nearer. “Thank you, Papa. Put the strawberries on my scone?”

“Please…?” Prompted his father.

“I already said you could, Papa.”

“No, no, no, that is not what I meant, son. You should say…never mind. Now, these are not strawberries, Matthew. These are raspberries. Do you understand me, boy?” Fitzwilliam placed a large dollop of the raspberry preserves onto his son’s scone and then sliced the scone into several smaller pieces. He pushed the plate over to Mathew.

“Well, never mind then.”

“Whatever is keeping your mother so long?” Fitzwilliam mumbled as he stretched to look over his shoulder.

 

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Sons and Daughters: Amazon Reviews

By S.C.Mema (5 Stars)

I love this book. The story follows Fitzwilliam and Darcy, cousins and best friends, through their early lives as young married men and fathers. Fitzwilliam marries the American woman he adores, much to the chagrin of his family, as Elizabeth and Darcy establish their lives at Pemberley.

It’s all of the typical up’s and down’s of married life, but told with sparkling wit and banter. Of course, the Bingleys are there, too, and we see the interactions between the three families, and the friendships that develop and thrive between the children.

All of the plot threads were wonderfully developed and woven within the context of the story. My favorite involved Alice, the youngest Darcy daughter. She was always in trouble with her mama, and usually as a result of something the older siblings and cousins had done. Of course, that endeared her all the more to her papa and uncles and aunts. And to see her at the end of the story with — (you didn’t think I would actually tell you that, did you?)

I have not read the first book in this series, but this book stood alone as a story, and I had no problem following it. I now have the first book and look forward to spending many hours enjoying the part of the story I missed.

I loved, loved this Fitzwilliam and Darcy.

 

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Sons and Daughters: Linda Banche Reviews

Karen V. Wasylowski has done it again with Sons and Daughters, an often hilarious, sometimes soul-wrenching, but always engaging tale as she continues the saga begun in the delicious Darcy and Fitzwilliam: A Tale of a Gentleman and an Officer.

True to the title, Darcy’s and Fitzwilliam’s children dominate the story. Darcy has three and Fitzwilliam nine. (Nine, you say? The man has worked overtime.) The book spans twenty years and we laugh and cry along with both clans as the parents age and their children grow and navigate the always difficult transition to adulthood.

Ms. Wasylowski’s flowing prose keeps you turning the pages to see what will happen next. With so many characters, something new, perhaps funny and perhaps heartbreaking, always happens. Like the time when the children, mostly preadolescent, find some erotic prints Fitzwilliam saved and aren’t sure what to make of them, although they’re certain they must be scandalous, to when Fitz’s wife, Amanda, has her ninth child in a very difficult birth.

Ms. Wasylowski’s is a master at writing the emotion of both adults and children, especially as she shows how the children’s feelings change as they mature. She also has a good ear for realistic dialog, whether the character is child or adult, male or female. At times, the boys are disgustingly boys, and the girls, while perhaps a little nicer, are the boys’ matches in every way. And the parents, as parents do, yell and threaten as well as love their children to distraction.

I only wish the book was longer. With so many characters, Ms. Wasylowski by necessity had to skim over some stories. I’d like to know more about George and Kathy, and Anne Marie and Mr. Wentworth. Maybe a few novellas?

But if you want more fun with Darcy and Fitzwilliam, read Sons and Daughters.

Thank you all,
Linda Banche