Above painting: Louis Jean Francois - Mars and Venus an Allegory of Peace
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Monday, August 30, 2010

A Tudor Courtier's Journey Part Two

Henry VIII
As you may recall from our previous journey, your host, Sir Gerard has left you in a rather precarious position… (Part One)


He ambled off to attend to some business and you made your way to the great hall where is feast is taking place. Immersed in the grand splendor that is a Tudor celebration, you were suddenly pulled from your transfixion when the loud booming voice of Henry VIII echoed in your ears.

“You there!”

Your gaze fixes on the large man clothed in cloth of gold, jewels, and fur. He isn’t the way you picture him at all. Very tall, his legs are long and stretch out before him. His hair is fiery gold—the perfect mix of red and blond. A short trimmed beard covers his chin… but what surprises you most is how very muscular he is. All this time you’d thought him fat and a glutton, but this man is lithe and athletic looking.

He stands up and again you are impressed with his height. It is then you notice a docile woman sitting upon the throne. She has dark hair, olive skin. She looks very much like an older version of the girl you saw put to bed when with Gerard.

“Come forward.” The king demands.

Somehow you manage to find your feet, and when you look down, your clothes are suddenly in the same style as everyone else. At least now you won’t have to worry about the questions of your modern clothes.

The king offers you a ring to kiss, which you do, else you might be subjected to languish in an oubliette or worse be hung, drawn and quartered…

“Rise.” He states shortly, and you do, unable to look in his crystal blue eyes. “I have not seen you here before. Where have you come from?”

You look from side to side, hoping to catch a glimpse of Gerard, but he is no where in sight. Some tour guide he is! You think fast on your feet.

“The north.”

“Plenty of places north of here. Be more specific.”

“Umm…” Jeez! Why can’t you think of anything? Then you remember a nursery rhyme, something about the Duke of York. “York, majesty. I am from York.”

“Ah! How goes things in the north?”

Why does he keep asking all these questions? You just want him to go away now. Your fascination with history has leapt out the window.

“Things are well.”

“I don’t know why, (insert your name here) , but I like you. Come, with me, I want to show you something.”

You can not believe your luck, or is the angels looking down on you and blessing you? There shall be no killing today!

Intrigued, you follow the king down a corridor to a closed door, and when he opens it, there are instruments everywhere.

You can’t help it, and without thinking you ask, “Where are we?”

“This is my music room.”

The king is a musician?

You watch as Henry VIII sits down at an organ and begins to play. His fingers glide across the keys and he hums a song and then breaks out into song, his voice a haunting melody.
Copy of original manuscipt, of
Pastyme with Good Companye


Pastyme with good companye
I love and shall untyll I dye;
Grugge who lust, but noon denye;
So God be plecyd, thus leve woll I;
For my pastaunce
Hunte, syng and daunce;
My hert ys sett
All godely sport
For my cumofrt:

Who shall me lett?

Yout must have sum dalyaunce,

Of good or yll some pastaunce;
Company me thynckyht then best
All thogrest and fansys to digest

For idelnes
Ys cheff mastres
Of vices all;
Then who can say
But myrth and play
Ys best of all?


Company with honeste
Ys verru and vices to flee;
Company ys gode and yll,

But every man hath hys frewyll.
The best insew
The worst eschew
My mynde shall be;
Vertu to use,
Vyce to refuse
Thus schall use me.

(Music and Poetry in the Early Tudor Court, John E. Stevens)

“Majesty,” you breathe out when he is finished. “I had no idea you were so talented musically.”

He laughs lustily. “How good of you to say. I wrote Pastyme With Good Companye several years ago, just after being crowned. Fitting for my court wouldn’t you say?”



You nod your head in agreement. If only he would heed his own advice in the future and always refuse his vices and eschew the worst…



Stay tuned for next time... in the meanwhile, view the music video below...


Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Book Review: Georgette Heyer's Regency World


I was lucky and thrilled to review Jennifer Kloester's new book, Georgette Heyer's Regency World:  The definitive guide for all fans of Georgette Heyer, Jane Austen, and the glittering Regency periodThis book is a A MUST HAVE for writer's of Regency!!!  For reader's if you wanted to learn more about the Regency world and how Heyer's books, Austen's books, and any other of the classic writer's during that time period--up and including your favorite authors of today--and characters that fall into it, this is a fantastic resource!and characters that fall into it, this is a fantastic resource!




Book Blurb:

Immerse yourself in the resplendent glow of Regency England and the world of Georgette Heyer…


From the fascinating slang, the elegant fashions, the precise ways the bon ton ate, drank, danced, and flirted, to the shocking real life scandals of the day, Georgette Heyer’s Regency World takes you behind the scenes of Heyer’s captivating novels.

As much fun to read as Heyer’s own novels, beautifully illustrated, and meticulously researched, Jennifer Kloester’s essential guide brings the world of the Regency to life for Heyer fans and Jane Austen fans alike.


Product ISBN: 9781402241369

Price: $14.99
Publication Date: August 2010

My Review:
 
I was in near delirium with delight and excitement as I read this book--in one day!  (Or should I say night, since my husband kept rolling over and groaning for me to please turn out the light!)
 
I own several Regency world guide books, but this one went more in depth on particular topics like clothing, shopping, food, men, carriages, entertainments, finances, slang... Pretty much everything you could ever want to know! 
 
Ms. Kloester, huzzah, for a job well done!  The research was top-notch, not only into the Regency world itself, but for the breadth and depth she went into studying Heyer's work.  Heyer is the wonderful author of 26 Regency historicals,  who also happened to be fanatical about her research, but in her books, the information graced the pages with such ease and skill, you don't realize that you are reading more than just a story--you're unknowingly getting a history lesson on culture as well.  Ms. Kloester brings those characters into her guide book, giving you an inside look not only at Heyer's book but how they correlated to Regency living. The clever thing about that is, I have not yet had the chance to read all of Heyer's books, and now I know several more than I need to purchase! 
 
I'm including a table of contents here that I pulled from the publisher's site, because I do believe this will show you exactly what I mean when I say you HAVE to have this book:
 
Chapter 1: Up and Down the Social Ladder 1

Regency Society • The Social Ladder • Royalty • The Aristocracy • The Gentry • The New Middle Class, Nabobs and ‘Cits’ • Further Down the Ladder • The Bottom of the Ladder • Climbing the Social Ladder

Chapter 2: At Home in Town and Country 21
Mayfair • The London House • On the Fringe: Hans Town and Russell Square • More Modest Dwellings • Domestic Staff • Great Estates and Country Living

Chapter 3: A Man’s World 45
Upper-class Regency Men • A Bachelor’s Life • Marriage • Bucks, Beaus and Dandies

Chapter 4: The Gentle Sex 63
The Regency Woman • All the Accomplishments • Making a Come-out • Mothers, Wives, Widows and Daughters • On the Marriage Mart • To Gretna Green • A Brilliant Match or a Disastrous Alliance • Other Options

Chapter 5: On the Town 85
The Season and the Little Season • Almack’s • The Patronesses • The Best Circles • Rules and Etiquette • Scandal! • Dancing • The Theatre • In the Parks

Chapter 6: The Pleasure Haunts of London 117
Carlton House • Clubs, Pubs and Pleasure • The Bow-window Set • Vauxhall Gardens • Ladies of the Night, Brothels and Gambling Hells • Convivial Evenings • Around the Town

Chapter 7: The Fashionable Resorts 139
Brighton • The Best Address and Other Accommodations • On the Promenade and Other Entertainments • Bath • The Upper and Lower Assembly Rooms • The Pump Room • Taking the Cure • Other Diversions

Chapter 8: Getting About 161
All Kinds of Carriages • On Drivers and Driving • Public Transport • On the Road • Long-distance Travel • Turnpikes, Toll-gates and Tickets

Chapter 9: What to Wear 181
Men’s Fashion from Head to Toe • The Intricacies of the Neckcloth • Women’s Fashion from Hats to Hose • Hairstyles • Seals, Fobs, Snuff-boxes and Quizzing Glasses • Jewellery • Ageing Gracefully • General Fashion Glossary

Chapter 10: Shopping 223
Shopping in London • London Shops • Daily Needs • Lock’s for Hats • Milliners, Tailors, Modistes and Mantua Makers • Hoby’s for Boots • Fribourg & Treyer’s for Snuff • Linen Drapers • Jewellers • Cosmetics

Chapter 11: Eat, Drink and Be Merry 243
Food, Removes, Repasts and a Light Nuncheon • Meals and Menus • What’s for Dessert? Gunter’s • Drinking by Day and by Night

Chapter 12: The Sporting Life 253
Boxing at the Fives Court, Prizefights and Pets of the Fancy • Cocks and Dogs • Revel-routs and Boxing the Watch • On the Strut to Tattersall’s • Hunting, Horse Racing, Curricle Racing and Wagers • Gambling, Vowels and Debts of Honour • Duelling

Chapter 13: Business and the Military 273
The Postal Service • The City • The Stock Exchange • Banking • Money Talk • The Military • The Peninsular War • The Peace • The Hundred Days • Military Men

Chapter 14: Who’s Who in the Regency 289
The Royal Family • Influential Men • The Beau and the Dandies

Appendix 1: A Glossary of Cant and Common Regency Phrases 313
Appendix 2: Newspapers and Magazines 327
Appendix 3: Books in Heyer 333
Appendix 4: Timeline 341
Appendix 5: Reading about the Regency and Where Next? 353
Appendix 6: Georgette Heyer’s Regency Novels 357

*Note:  This book was orginially published in 2005 in the UK, and by Random House in 2008. 
 
About the author (from the publisher):
 
During the extensive study and research of Georgette Heyer's work for her Ph.D thesis, Jennifer Kloester had access to Heyer's private papers, and other information made available the generosity of Geogette Heyer's son and, as a result, has discovered a wealth of new material on a writer who is known to have been an immensely private person.  Kloester lives in Victoria, Australia.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Book Review: Cold Rock River

Normally my book reviews on History Undressed consist of books with settings in the early 19th century and on back from there.  However, when I was sent the information for Cold Rock River, I couldn't not read it--and I'm very glad I did!  This book takes place in 1953, with flashbacks to the Civil War through a journal the main character is reading.

Book Blurb:

Even the best-kept secrets must be revealed…


Seventeen-year-old Adie Jenkins is newly married and newly pregnant, though not necessarily in that order. Unready for fatherhood, her skirt-chasing husband isn’t much help. But in this stunning tale that redefines intimacy, love, and family, Adie discovers hope where she least expects it: from her sweet neighbor Murphy, from the world-wise midwife Willa Mae, and in the worn pages of the diary of a slave girl—a girl who is much closer to Adie than she thinks.


Product ISBN: 9781402240041

Price: $13.99
Publication Date: July 2010


My Review:

Cold Rock River is an emotionally gripping tale that will reach and grab you from line one:  "I was five that spring Annie choked on a jelly bean."

How can you not continue reading from there?  Does Annie make it??? 

Ms. Miles did an excellent job of painting the picture of the small towns this book is set in.  The characters are simple at heart--yet the depth to which she worked on their characterization made them real, poignant, and she does so in a way that you sympathize with them.  Poor Adie (and not to mention Tempe--dear God, poor woman!--and everyone else too!) goes through--you can't even say the wringer!  One unfortunate, and horrible thing is thrown at her after another.  Just when you think she might find some peace, something else happens.  I wanted to reach into the book, pluck her out and give her a hug.

This was one of those books that had me hating certain characters, shouting out, laughing, crying.  I couldn't put it down...

Sadly, my husband had to interupt my reading at one point to inform me that the baby had just looked at me and said "Mama," while clapping her hands...  Fortunately, she did it again once my attention was broken!  Thank goodness it only took me a couple days to read the book so I didn't miss out on anything else.

Cold Rock River is a book, not for the faint of heart, but one worth reading. 

About the Author:

Jackie Lee Miles is the author of two critically acclaimed novels, Roseflower Creek and Cold Rock River. Miles tours with the Dixie Darlin's, four nationally published authors with a passion for promotion. She lives in Atlanta, Georgia and Cape Canaveral, Florida along with her husband Robert.  Visit Ms. Miles at http://www.jlmiles.com/

Monday, August 23, 2010

A Tudor Courtier's Journey Part One

"Bonsoir,” Sir Gerard Ashby of Linconshire says to a crowd of courtiers as they pass, bowing and doffing his cap. He has only just arrived back at court after spending the last fortnight at his manor home, and overseeing that his lands are being properly maintained in his absence.

Gerard has taken it upon himself to greet people with French, as it is quite popular to emulate the French… Well, it is right now anyway, because the French and English have an alliance of sorts.

As a second son of a Viscount, and his mother being a lady in waiting to the Queen of England, Gerard and his siblings have grown up at court. But alas, there is no title to come to Gerard from his father’s name unless his brother passes… Gerard crosses himself for even thinking such a thing. If he shall become a lord, it will be for his good deeds for the king. Should his gracious majesty King Henry VIII deem him worthy, perhaps he might bestow a title and more lands upon him. He has already shown his loyalty and strength in battle, and was knighted some two years ago.

Gerard turns and sees you have come to observe him. He siddles up to you.

“Are you new to court? I don’t believe I have seen your face here before.”

Nod your head.

“Alas, I shall take you by the hand then.” Gerard reaches out his hand to you, offering to take you on a journey to the past.

Grip his hand if you want to take the journey!

“I am so pleased you’ve decided to join me. Come this way.” Gerard walks briskly down the corridor away from the great hall. You turn your head wistfully back to the court where musicians play, mountains of delicious food are being offered up, wine spills from casks into goblets, and the people are dancing and laughing. Could we not go back for just a moment? you ask… But Gerard says no, not yet…
Gerard takes you down the hall into a quiet and dark room. He opens a shutter on a window, and when you think you will get a view of the landscaped gardens below, something else comes into view. It is a young couple, they lay in bed, sheets pulled of to their necks. They look half scared to death. Couldn’t be more than sixteen years of age or so. Both are staring at the ceiling until one finally closes their eyes and then the other does as well. The candles are snuffed out, and then the sun appears to rise and shine on the two who slept soundly through the night without touching.
“This is where it all began,” whispers Gerard.

“Where what began?” you ask.

“Rumors… the untruths that will rock a nation, tear apart a marriage, cause deaths,” he answers.

You turn back confused and watch as the young man leaves the room. A maid enters to wake the young lady still in bed. She helps her up and looks at the clean white sheets, clucks her tongue.

“Your highness, the sheets are still white.”

The young woman looks with furrowed brows at the servant.

“Be you still a maid and not truly married? Still Infanta Catalina and not Princess Catherine?” the servant whispers.

The young lady sighs. “Si. Prince Arthur spoke not a word to me, accept to say I was beautiful, he was merry and goodnight. A kiss on the cheek.”

The window darkens for a moment and then opens again, but this time on Prince Arthur in his chamber as several men prance around, dressing him.

“How goes your night, your highness?” one of the men asks, as they all rub elbows and guffaw.

Prince Arthur pales a shade and looks like a rabbit about to be snared. You can almost see his embarrassment should he admit he couldn’t consummate his marriage. Then he smiles, and laughs, his head falling back. The sound is that of a man, unnatural coming from the thin prince. “Men, I shall require lots of ale this morning, for I have worked up a thirst from spending all night in Spain.”

The men laugh and again the lights dim.

“He lied?” you whisper.

“Aye,” Gerard says. “Each night to follow remained the same. He was a boy, a sickly and scared boy. Catherine was so beautiful, and intimidating. Several months later he fell ill and died.”

“What happened to the princess?”

“After living nearly destitute under the rule of King Henry VII, Arthur’s father, she was rescued.”

“Rescued by whom?”

Gerard turns to you with a wicked smile. “By the brother of course.”

Sounds like a truly romantic story… You want to hear more, but Gerard says you have to wait. He has business to attend to, he shall return to fetch you later.

“Go and enjoy yourself at court.”

You nod and meander down the hall towards the sounds of merriment. Someone thrusts a frothy mug of ale into your hands, and another yanks your hands toward the center of the room where others are dancing. Women are twirling about, clapping their hands in the air, their feet kicking out every so often in only a slight delicate raise of the leg. Men turn and twirl the ladies, lifting them in an arch. Looks like fun. For a moment you are pulled into the excitement and sheer enchantment of it all. Candelabras, chandeliers both dripping wax… Cloth of gold draped on walls and ceilings… Murals and tapestries of battle scenes, gardens, kings, queens, hunts…

But all that stops when a loud boom voice pulls you from your dance mid-twirl.

“You there!”

You stop and turn toward the voice. A great hulking man lounges in a throne chair. He is staring at you. It is the king himself…

To be continued…

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Book Review: So Faithful a Heart, by K. Lynette Erwin

When Ms. Erwin approached me about reviewing her book, So Faithful a Heart, the love story of Nancy Storace and Mozart, I was immediately intrigued.  I'm a huge fan of Mozart, whose music I have long adored.  Additionally, I am a sucker for love stories and history, especially if they are based on real people. 

Book Blurb:

For twenty-six years Nancy Storace kept Wolfgang Mozart's love letters locked away inside her desk. They were all she had left of him after his unexpected death, all that history would require as proof of the love they'd shared.

So Faithful A Heart is a story of intrigue and passion, of joy and despair, of courage and hope, and  it is a story of how great love often exacts a great price.

My Review:

The story opened with an emotional prologue, that had me quickly turning the pages, and it didn't stop from there.  Ms. Erwin gracefully pulls us into the story, and makes quite an impression on the reader with her vast knowledge of the time period, the real-to-life characters and knowledge of music. 

When doing research on hsitorical muscians' you often hear about how they compose, how they perform, little tid-bits of their personal life, but nothing such as this.  Ms Erwin delves into the life of Mozart and Nancy, taking the reader with her.

The book is an emotional heart-wrencher.  You feel for all of the characters:  Mozart, Nancy--his mistress, Constanze his wife, who has to deal with so many deaths of her babies that I just couldn't imagine living in that time!  Even Aloysia, who drives you batty with her jealousy and the how she provokes people garnered my empathy. 

And then finally the circumstances around his death...heartbreaking.  For one who is so beloved in the music industry even to this day, his life was full of adventure and tragedy, and we are introduced to a woman who was so important in his life, and a musical sensation in her own right.  A true love story they had, and unfortunately because of the times they lived in and choices that were made prior to them marrying, they weren't able to live that life together as they should have been allowed.

This book is not a light read.  I did cry while reading it.  That being said, I would recommend reading it, especiallgy if you are a fan of Mozart.  I also enjoyed the author's note at the beginning of the book and the one at the end, always fun to learn more about the character's history and their life times.
About the Author (from author's site):

As a Mozart historian, K. Lynette Erwin is recognized as an authority on the life and career of Anna Storace, for whom Mozart created the role of Susanna in Le Nozze di Figaro in 1786. She has performed numerous historic portrayals of the soprano in Oklahoma and Kansas public schools and recitals.  She also has an educational research website about Anna, Anna "Nancy" Storace: Mozart's First Susanna.
Lynette earned a Bachelor of Music degree in Vocal Performance and Church Music from Oklahoma Baptist University in 1982 and a Master of Music degree in Vocal Performance and Pedagogy at Oklahoma State University. She specializes in the performance practice of the late Baroque and Classical eras and is a member of the National Association of Teachers of Music (NATS) and teaches voice privately.

She has extensive experience in musical theater, opera, and operetta. Her various roles include Laurie in Oklahoma!, Josephine in Gilbert and Sullivan's HMS Pinafore, the Sorceress in Purcell's Dido and Aeneas, and Katisha in Gilbert and Sullivan's The Mikado. Her Mozart roles include Zerlina in Don Giovanni, Despina in Così fan tutte, and the Third Lady in The Magic Flute. She has also studied the roles of Susanna and Countess Almaviva in The Marriage of Figaro and has performed vignettes of these roles in various performances. In 1999, she was featured as the soprano soloist in Mozart's Requiem at the OK Mozart International Festival.

Lynette currently performs with the Stillwater Chamber Singers and lives in Stillwater, OK with her partner S. K. Waller. Between them they have five grown children and an exceptionally excentric, opera-adoring cat.
Visit Ms. Erwin at:  http://sofaithfulaheart.blogspot.com/

Friday, August 13, 2010

Coming soon... Another Journey!

This is a portrait of Sir Nicholas Carew by
Hans Holbein the Younger.  While Sir Nicholas
himself is not the inspiration for Gerard's story
this portrait was.
I must humbly apologize to my faithful History Undressed readers!  I have been severely lax in posting the entertaining blogs that got this site started in the first place.  Life, work and all that jazz took over for a little while.

So look out!  Another Journey is headed your way... Do you recall the first four part journey I wrote a little over two years ago?  Journey to a Tourney, the realistic view of a tournament through the eyes of four very different characters?  (Here are the links:  Part I, Part II, Part III, Part IV)   The tourney journey, (such a neat ring to it!) has turned into a novel, that once finished (by the end of this year) will be available for your reading pleasure.

Now on to the new journey!  Together we'll travel into the realm of Henry VIII of England.  Our tour guide: Sir Gerard Ashby of Lincolnshire.  Sir Gerard accompanied his mother and father to court as a young boy.  His father is a Viscount and not only a knight for the king, but a Gentleman of the King's Privy Chamber, his mother a Matron of Honor to the Queen. 

Young Gerard grew up surrounded by all the goings on at court steeped in intrigue, scandal, betrayal, and he is going to share what he's learned with us...

Part I of A Courtier's Journey will grace these pages on Monday, the 23rd day of August, year of our Lord 2010.

Additionally, I'd like to introduce you to another me, yes you read that, another me.  While Eliza writes historical romance, my new alter ego, Michelle Brandon, writes historical fiction (more news on forthcoming books soon!)  My new website is still under construction (http://www.authormichellebrandon.com/) but once finished, it promises to entertain you immensely! 

Cheers,
Michelle/Eliza

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Book Review: A Woman of Influence

I admit to being a bit weary when I agreed to read Woman of Influence. Why? Because it is the ninth in a series, and I haven’t read the previous either. The author, Rebecca Ann Collins, has taken Austen’s Pride and Prejudice and expanded it, but not just a continuation of Darcy and Elizabeth’s love, but generations. Her series begins with The Pemberley Chronicles.


Woman of Influence is about the daughter of Mr. Collins and Charlotte Lucas.

Blurb:

Contrary, opinionated, and headstrong, she’s no typical Victorian lady…

Becky Collins has always been determined not to submit to the pressures of Victorian society. But her marriage doesn’t bring her the opportunities she’d hoped for, and her outspokenness does not find favor with the gentrified ladies of Pemberley.

As the unintended consequences of her errors in judgment engulf her, Becky begins to understand what’s really important in life. But has she learned her lessons too late?

Product ISBN: 9781402224515

Price: $14.99

Publication Date: June 2010

My Review:

I was extremely pleased to read Woman of Influence. The book was fantastic, characters dynamic and realistic. They fairly jumped off the page. I could hear their voices as they talked, see them move. Ms. Collins has a voice most like Jane Austen, actually one of the few authors I’ve found who does. I really enjoyed reading about Rebecca “Becky” Collins (which I chuckled at since the author and main character share the same name).

There was one snag, that events in previous books were only mentioned and not explained, which if I’d read the first eight novels, wouldn’t have been an issue, and by no means do I think the author should have explained them. This was my fault, I shouldn’t have read the first eight. So I will be going back to read them now! Despite the snag of not being privy to previous events, the book carried through. It was an easy, fast-paced read, and I wasn’t too distracted. In fact, the only thing that went through my mind when those plots were hinted at was, “Oh, I need to read that book!”

Ms. Collins, the author, has created quite an intriguing and colorful world with her expansion of the most beloved Pride and Prejudice.

If you are a lover of Jane Austen’s work, then I would recommend reading Rebecca Ann Collins books. She is a modern gem in the Jane Austen fanfic world.

About the Author (from the author’s site):

A lifelong fan of Jane Austen, Rebecca Ann Collins first read "Pride and Prejudice" when she was twelve years old. She fell in love with the characters and devoted many hours of reading to discovering more about the author and the period in which she lived.

With the benefit of an excellent English teacher and a well stocked library, she gathered a wealth of information and studied all the works of her favourite author. Later, she went on to specialize in the history and Literaure of the 19th century- a most dynamic and interesting era, which saw amazing social and political changes in Europe. It was also a time in which many women writers were published- Jane Austen, the Brontes, George Eliot- writing fascinating tales which became classics of 19th century English literature.

The study and research Ms Collins undertook became the basis of her books about the Pemberley families in which she sought to explore the lives of the characters she " borrowed" from Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice" - as they continued on their various ways, joined by several new characters of the next generation. The project has been her chief obsession since 1996 and has given her what she calls "the happiest decade of my life". The popularity of the Pemberley Chronicles Series and the many messages she receives from readers who love the characters and their stories is her chief reward.

With her love of reading, music art and gardening Rebecca Ann claims that she is quite comfortable with the values and world view of Jane Austen and writes easily and credibly within the period. Although she enjoys the convenience of modern life, she feels great empathy with the characters she portrays and the ideas and causes that inspire them.

Visit Ms. Collins at www.rebeccaanncollins.com