I didn’t post much here while the VBT for Rast was going, because I used my blog at http://trailowner.blogspot.com/ as designated Muse/Rast site. Then, I took a hiatus to unwind which grew into some computer work which put me mostly off-line.
Anyway, no excuses. I have some editing to do with my recent Iskander series novel, Masquerade, that I’ll be mentioning as time goes by. The preparations for the VBT and the stimulus of writing character interviews, guest interviews, and me interviews prompted me to try my hand at a new twist in the format. What if I wrote a visit by me and Gisel, my Iskander series protagonist, to some other literary venue and author? So I decided to take us both to visit Mr and Mrs Darcy one year after their wedding along with their author, Jane Austen.
I’ll give a bit of it here. Remember that Gisel, from the Iskander series, is a 23rd century young woman and is about as far as one could get from the formal ladies of Regency England. Should be fun, eh?
A Regency Bagatelle:
A tale made possible by the organisation Time Travel for Authors and Characters of Fiction — TTFAACOF provides a grant of temporal distortion in order to enlarge the interaction of fictional modes.
Three personages rode in a rented barouche drawn by two matched chestnut horses; an older gentleman in a blue frock coat, tight white breeches reaching to the mid-calf, a top hat resting on the seat beside him, and a cravat of grey silk at his throat, sat beside the door facing forwards; a young lady of almost twenty, wearing a travelling outfit of deep burgundy showing under a pelisse of heavy wool, and with a poke bonnet covering her long dark hair sat opposite him beside a somewhat older lady muffled in a dark grey cloak of wool topped by a cornette of pale yellow fastened below the chin. They look tired, although they have not made a long journey, but are perhaps feeling the cold this late-December day.
As the carriage turned into the gates of Pemberly House the bumps and potholes of the thoroughfare gave way to a steady rumble and spraying of crushed gravel. Miss Austen smiled at the guest of honour for the visit, Lieutenant Gisel Matah of Iskander Security.
“Mr Author advised me of your rolé in his fiction, Miss Matah,” she said with a twinkle in her eyes. “I must confess to being somewhat amused and intrigued, but trust you will speak as little of that as courtesy and decorum will allow. I fear the Darcys, my characters, would be somewhat dismayed … yes, even shocked … should they be apprised of your career and reputation. It is not only that a young woman of breeding and sensibility does not enter into any form of employment – the character and scandalous nature of yours would cause them great disquiet. I believe Mrs Darcy’s parents are visiting at the moment — I’m sure you would cause Mrs Bennet a great deal of agitation should she hear of it.”
Gisel nodded. “I understand, Miss Austen. I will be as circumspect as possible.”
Author looked at her with a degree of concern. Regency society had one priority – to maintain decorum – and that wasn’t Gisel’s strong suit. “I’d hope you’ll remember the a lady’s stratagem in this society if you feel the strict formality and social etiquette getting to you. A headache and a degree of discomfort that causes you to offer your apologies and to retire to your room.”
She cast a baleful look at him. “Sound’s charming. Looks like I’ll be spending a lot of time in that room.”
“That need not be so,” Miss Austen suggested. “I did warn the Darcys that you were from a foreign family. I expect they will be most condescending to your foibles —“
Author cut in hastily as he saw Gisel’s eyes darken. “That’s meant in the nicest way; condescension is regarded as a generous social asset in this society.”
Gisel shrugged. “If you say so. I will remind you that I have not been entirely living among savages. I was presented to the King of Lingdon; and his Crown Prince is always very friendly toward me. Countess Felicie DeBormond of Burgendene is a close friend.”
I have quite a bit more—I was beginning to enjoy writing in Regency idiom, and when I next post it, you’ll see the fun I had with Mr and Mrs Bennet from “Pride and Prejudice”. Especially the Mrs.