Good morning or good afternoon or even good night for some of you! Yes, I am back after only a week 🙂 I am trying to behave and do not keep you out of the loop. That is why today I am very happy to present Sharon Lathan with her latest book Darcy and Elizabeth: Hope of the Future. It is her second book on her Prequel Saga, our loved protagonists, Elizabeth and Darcy are getting married, aren’t they? …
Blurb of Darcy and Elizabeth: Hope of the Future (Darcy Saga Prequel Book #2)
Fitzwilliam Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet will soon be joined in Holy Matrimony!
The initial month of their Season of Courtship has passed. Together, the lovers strengthened their bond through honest communication, as they dealt with adversity, jealousy, and distrust. Ever growing in mutual love and understanding, a dramatic confrontation broke through the final barriers.
Now their Hope of the Future “happily ever after” is assured!
As long as Lady Catherine can be stopped in her scheme to interfere, that is. Or, will Mrs. Bennet’s bad advice ruin future marital felicity? Might increasing liberation lead to overwhelming passions that cannot be controlled, with catastrophe a result?
Continue the journey began in Darcy and Elizabeth: A Season of Courtship. Delight in their flourishing romance, ride along on their escapades in London, and be a witness at the wedding of the century.
The miraculous design of how Two Shall Become One begins before the sacred vows.
After this blurb, can you not wait to buy the book? Print or ebook? You could buy both formats here, and also the first book of the saga Darcy and Elizabeth: A Season of Courtship.
Apart from introducing the book and give you a “male” excerpt for you to enjoy, Sharon has done a guest post where you will find a lot of information about weddings during the Regency. I have learnt a lot, I must admit that I knew maybe half of the facts presented. I would recommend you to read this post but also visit the different posts where her book is being promoted because she has great information to share with all of us.
Let me introduce you to Sharon Lathan in case she may be a new author to you, although she has been written great novels for a long time now:
Sharon Lathan is the best-selling author of The Darcy Saga sequel series to Jane Austen’s Pride & Prejudice. Her first novel, Mr. and Mrs. Fitzwilliam Darcy: Two Shall Become One, was published in 2009. Sharon’s series of “happily ever after” for the Darcys now totals nine full-length novels and one Christmas themed novella.
Darcy & Elizabeth: A Season of Courtship and Darcy & Elizabeth: Hope of the Future complete the “prequel to the sequel” duo recounting the betrothal months before the Darcy Saga began.
Sharon is a native Californian relocated in 2013 to the green hills of Kentucky, where she resides with her husband of over thirty years. Retired from a thirty-year profession as a registered nurse in Neonatal Intensive Care, Sharon is pursuing her dream as a full-time writer.
Sharon is a member of the Jane Austen Society of North America, JASNA Louisville, the Romance Writers of America (RWA), the Beau Monde chapter of the RWA, and serves as the website manager and on the board of the Louisville Romance Writers chapter of the RWA.
Sharon is the co-creator of Austen Authors, a group blog for authors of Austenesque literary fiction. Visit at: www.AustenAuthors.com
After introducing her, let’s read what Sharon is sharing with us, not only a very “funny” excerpt but also, as mentioned above, interesting information about weddings.
First and foremost, I must thank Ana for hosting me on her blog today. It is a pleasure to be here sharing a bit of wedding history and my latest novel with the My Vices and Weaknesses readers. Darcy and Elizabeth: Hope of the Future is the second book in the two-volume Darcy Saga Prequel Duo, which began with Darcy and Elizabeth: A Season of Courtship. These two novels perfectly fit with my Darcy Saga Sequel to Pride and Prejudice, the series now including nine lengthy novels and one novella.
Regency Wedding Preparations
To understand wedding preparation during the Regency, you must start by erasing everything you envision as part of a modern-day wedding. English weddings prior to the Victorian Era were small, understated events. The primary purpose of the ceremony was the religious solidification of the marriage contract. For the most part, everything was approached with this serious aspect foremost.
The simplicity factor was one reason why the time between proposal to marriage could be very short. For most couples, the two weeks waiting for the three readings of the Banns was plenty of time. A longer courtship period would likely be the result of concerns such as ensuring a house to live in, financial security, and similar practicalities rather than needing time to plan the ceremony itself.
Unless a special license was procured—this was quite rare—or one was of a faith other than the Anglican Church, the wedding procedure was standardised. Couples with extreme wealth and social importance might have a glitzier arrangement and grander celebration, but never the ostentatious affairs we have today.
Location and Timing of the Wedding: An Anglican wedding could take place on any day of the week, but ALL weddings took place in the parish chapel where at least one of the two persons lived. Per Hardwicke’s Marriage Act of 1753, weddings were required to take place during the canonical hours of 8 AM to noon.
Since most members of the ton could claim the fashionable London districts of Mayfair, Grosvenor, and St. James as their residence, the vast majority of Regency weddings took place at Saint George’s Church in Hanover Square. Established in 1725, thousands of weddings were conducted at St. George’s—1063 in 1816 alone!
Wedding Guests: Invitations were handwritten by the bride—if they were sent at all—and depending on her creativity, the invitation may be fancy, but more often it was a basic letter giving the facts.
It was unusual for anyone outside the immediate family and closest friends to attend the ceremony. If family members lived further away they would be notified and an invitation extended, and in special circumstances time may be allowed for travel, but this was not the expectation and no one thought it wrong if they chose not to come. The only essential attendees were the clergyman, parish clerk to ensure formal logging in the register, and two official witnesses.
Local citizens often waited outside the church, ready to cheer and congratulate the newlyweds. It was common for these folks to form a processional behind the couple, shouting well-wishes all the way back to their house.
Bride’s Attendants: A bride was typically assisted by one or two female attendants, perhaps a few more if she was of higher society. These attendants could be married or unmarried and helped the bride in various ways—penning invitations, getting dressed, making the bouquet—and one was designated the official witness for the parish registry.
The term “bridesmaid”—or more commonly “bridemaid” without the S—was in use since the 1500s. “Maid of Honor” was akin to “lady in waiting” so more specifically referred to royal attendants. The use of “maid of honor” in relation to a bridal attendant was a late 19th century, American addition. The term “matron of honor” to specify a married attendant is an Americanism not seen until after 1900.
Groom’s Attendants: Historically, the groomsmen were “blade knights” who served as protectors of the bride and guards for the couple during their vulnerable hours preceding and following the ceremony. We see this same tradition today in military weddings where a sword wielding “honor guard” form the saber arch for the couple to walk through.
Such fears were gone by the civilised Regency. Instead, the enlisted groomsmen were close friends who lent a hand as necessary. With the ceremony being a quiet event, the groom having little to do beyond show up on time, and a bachelor party or extensive reception speech unheard of, groom attendants had minimal stated duties. The number varied, and probably was very small, but as with the bride, one man was designated as the “best man” to stand with the groom and serve as the official witness.
After reading this, I know that I would have been one of these local citizens waiting for Mr and Mrs Fitzwilliam Darcy to leave the church together with Mr and Mrs Charles Bingley J Enjoy the excerpt of a really appealing book.
Excerpt from Darcy and Elizabeth: Hope of the Future
By the time Darcy, Richard, and Georgiana returned to Netherfield, the Hursts and Caroline Bingley had arrived.
“Terrific,” Darcy muttered grumpily upon espying the familiar coach in the drive. It was a sentiment of which neither Colonel Fitzwilliam nor Miss Darcy could disagree.
As per the agenda for the final days and evenings, the brides and grooms would honor tradition by not seeing each other after sundown on the eve of the wedding, meaning they would dine apart. For tonight, however, Mr. Bingley had offered to host at Netherfield. It was the sensible choice, presuming the likelihood of some of their families arriving that day. As it turned out, everyone arrived that day. It was, for all intents, a prewedding reception.
When the dust finally cleared, and the last visitor had departed with the rest retired to their guest quarters, the grooms and Richard Fitzwilliam met in Bingley’s private sitting room.
“Well, that went swimmingly, I’d say.” Richard handed a brandy to Darcy, who grunted, then took a large swallow.
“As swimmingly as in a river of piranhas.”
“Oh, it wasn’t that bad—maybe sharks, or stinging eels, but not piranha level.”
Bingley smiled at Richard’s humor but looked a bit dyspeptic and also gulped at his brandy. “We may as well accept it, Darcy. After all, we will be family in two days so these gatherings, while hopefully rare, will happen from time to time.”
Now it was Darcy’s turn to look ill.
“Does Mr. Hurst ever smile?” Richard blurted in a tone of sincere curiosity.
“Sometimes, I think.” Bingley frowned, then shrugged. “Can’t recall to be honest.”
“Huh. Well, here is to family.” Richard lifted his glass. “Got to love them, for better or worse, sickness and in health, richer or poorer… Wait, that is for spouses. What are the rules for family again?”
“That is the real tragedy. One has no choice in the matter and is stuck with them,” Darcy grumbled.
“Yes, well, cheer up, Cousin. You have me! That is a stupendous blessing from the Almighty. And soon you shall have Bingley here. We make up for a dozen Mr. Hursts or Mrs. Bennets.”
“I suppose I will have to give you that,” Darcy admitted grudgingly, and then he laughed.
Richard joined in, but Bingley was quiet, eyes faintly troubled and a frown creasing his brows.
“What is it, Charles?”
“Was Caroline…” Bingley paused. “That is, did she do or say anything I am unaware of?”
Richard shook his head, but it was Darcy who spoke. “Surprisingly, no. In fact, I don’t think she said much at all. She sat with Mrs. Hurst the whole night. I know she never approached Elizabeth, at least when we were all together. I was watching. I think the time away did her good, truly I do. But really, what does it matter for the present? We should put all this aside and focus on what is important. The reason we are gathered here in the first place.”
“Here! Here!” Richard raised his glass, but only halfway. Staring at Darcy with a comically confused expression, he asked, “And why was that again?”
Time to Give Away
You cannot miss the great giveaway that Sharon is doing with us today. She is giving:
- One print, signed copy of Darcy & Elizabeth: Hope of the Future and a magnet duo of Darcy and Elizabeth from The Darcy Saga (1 winner, only US)
- One ebook copy of Darcy & Elizabeth: Hope of the Future for 1 international winner.
What do you need to do to participate? As usual, share your opinion with us about what you have read. What do you think about the excerpt? Did you know the info about the weddings? Were you surprised about any of it? Please comment on this post and please, write your email and specify if you are participating on the US part of the giveaway or if you are participating on the international.
This time for an extra entry, you could share this post with some friends and if a friend of yours leaves a comment and indicates that he/she has found the post through you, you get an extra entry (maximum of three friends to be counted).
The giveaway will be open the 14th of September and I would like to post the winners during the following weekend. All the entries before 12pm (CET) will be counted. Good luck!