When Grandaunt insisted I return to the country to check on her roses, I thought she was perhaps a bit past her prime. Not that she is precisely ancient, only that she looks terribly old and always has as far as I can tell. Anthony insists the portrait of a young woman from the past century hanging in the gallery at Crenshaw House is she but I daresay I would never have recognized her despite the painfully pointed nose (a Wembley trait I feel enormously grateful for having skipped me) as I simply can’t imagine her ever looking anything but positively vintage.
But I digress. Though I thought perhaps she was a bit mad to send me packing off to the country for such a paltry reason, I also knew I was hardly likely to cut much of a dash amongst society, especially after that incident at Lady Salisbury’s dinner party involving a man and his ratty toupee, and, I must admit, my unruly tongue. The country was as good a place to hide my shame as any. A mere fortnight later, I was a woman in love and betrothed to as fine a specimen of manliness as ever was.
And to think it all started with the roses.
I understand our courtship and engagement has been put forth in a set of volumes (based on the scribbling I did in my journal, which, by the way, has disappeared under mysterious circumstances) and details of my life are being consumed like so many ices from Gunter’s on a hot, summer day. If you have read therein, you will surmise how roses seem to absorb much of my grandaunt’s thoughts. As a result, you will perceive how most every object in her home is adorned, in some fashion, by the noble bloom. If you permit, I will proffer an example.
Of course, the hamper itself has escaped a life of any but one of plainness. It is the very one Anthony and I took out for a picnic the day after our engagement. (The quarantine was at an end and we were finally home at Dunsmere to “check on the roses”. After weeks of confinement, we relished the warmth of the sun on our faces as we ate our meal of bread, cheese, hot-house strawberries in cream, Shepherd’s Pie and a variety of sweets). It is what we found inside that we deemed so typical of the Dowager Duchess of Marcross, otherwise known as Grandaunt Regina.
Well, I should be off. Now that I am wed and “enceinte” (tho, not the least fat or old, despite Lucinda, er, Lady Avery’s childish claims—will I never be rid of that woman?) there is much to do. I shall leave you in the hands of my capable scribe who will explain how you can be the owner of this splendid hamper full of rosy charm. Until next time, adieu.
There you have it, straight from Lady Anthony, nee Delacourt, herself. This week’s
giveaway, which runs through to the end of the month, is something only the rose-passionate might care for. We all know this is something the dowager duchess and I have in common, but the rest of you? We shall see. The basket itself, as well as all the items inside (except for the Ralph Lauren napkins) are vintage and a few items could be deemed “antique”. I would place them more from the late 1800’s to mid 1900’s. They have a combined value of about $150.00 so it’s no paltry gift (but no stunner like Jana’s painting which is bigger than she realized and worth even more than the original $300 quote). Shipping on this giveaway is going to be fairly large so I will have to limit this one to the United States only. The contents are: one vintage wicker picnic hamper, one hand painted chocolate pot marked “Bavaria”, a pair of demitasse cups and saucers marked “Carlsbad Austria”, a pair of hand painted berry bowls marked “Germany”, a pair of Homer Laughlin Virginia Rose (the flat rose pattern) bread and butter plates as well as a pair of dinner plates, two Ralph Lauren (brand new!) cloth napkins, an old butter knife, a pair of tiny teaspoons for stirring your chamomile tea marked “Rogers Bros”, and a set of very fine silver plate teaspoons marked “Wallace”. Finally, a lovely printed version of Ginny’s discourse above will be printed up and included as “provenance” (tho, in fact, all of these items but the napkins came from my own personal collection).
To qualify for this drawing you must comment on this post and say that you want to be entered. (My brain is NOT functioning so you should be obvious about it. Saying “what a lovely painting” is not obvious enough for me. Apparently.) You must give me a way to contact you. If your name is not hyperlinked to anything with an email address or even a blog, you can’t be included in the drawing. So sorry.
You can blog about this giveaway and/or FB it. If you have NOT already posted an Amazon or Goodreads review for either book (Miss Delacourt Speaks Her Mind or Miss Delacourt Has Her Day by Heidi Ashworth) or requested either at your library, then you could do any or all or any combination there-of for one entry each. (This is different from before when you were automatically given entries for these things if you had already done them for a previous giveaway). Come back here and tell me what you did so I can be sure to count everything.
Finally, Christina of Books Are Life, not surprisingly, reads a lot of books, reads a lot of regencies and reviews many books on her blog. Christina and I run in different blog circles but she massaged by inflamed author-ego a few years ago when she asked me to please send her MD1 to read and review on her blog. When MD2 came up, I immediately thought of Christina and so it was I, this time, who asked her to do the review. This one had me smiling from ear to ear. You can read her short but sweet review HERE.
Thanks for being here. You know. This far in the post. In the book tour. In my life.