Heroine Interview from A Suitable Wife by Louise George

» Posted on Dec 19, 2012 in Blog | Comments Off on Heroine Interview from A Suitable Wife by Louise George

This week I’m hosting  Jill Elizabeth Nelson with Betrayal on the Border, Louise Gouge with  A Suitable Wife (US and Canada only),  Katy Lee with Real Virtue (ebook only) and Alan Schleimer with The Q Manifesto (ebook only).  If you want to enter the drawings for the books, please leave a comment on one of the post during the week with your email address. I will not enter you without an email address (my way to contact you if you win). If you don’t want to leave an email address, another way you can enter is to email me at margaretdaley@gmail.com. The drawings end Sunday (December 23rd) evening.

Interview with the heroine from A Suitable Wife by Louise Gouge:

1. Lady Beatrice Gregory, tell me the most interesting thing about you.

How lovely of you to invite me here, Mrs. Daley, and how thoughtful of you to ask me about my life. I suppose the fact that my parents were the Earl and Countess Melton could be considered interesting. Sadly, they have both passed away, and my brother has been Lord Melton these past three years. Because dear Melly never learned self-control, he has managed to gamble away his entire fortune in that short time, leaving me without a dowry. Due to the time in which I live, this circumstance will almost certainly destroy any chance of my making a good marriage, for Society regards wealth and social position above all else. Fortunately, Mrs. Parton, one of our mother’s girlhood school friends, has taken pity on me and has hired me to be her companion. Of course it is shocking and shameful for someone of my aristocratic birth to have to work for a living. But perhaps you will agree that this is a much better course to take than to wallow in self-pity back home at my brother’s estate in County Durham.

2.  What do you do for fun?

As do all young ladies brought up in Society, I enjoy balls, soirees, and parties. However, Mrs. Parton has introduced me to a new activity that gives me much more satisfaction and fun than all of those frivolous pastimes. We visit St. Ann’s Orphan Asylum and work with the poor girls there. Sometimes we take items we have knitted or sewn – mittens and aprons and such – and the sweet girls are so grateful. I have actually found a very special young girl whom I should like to train as my lady’s maid. Alas, with no money, I cannot hire her. But visiting her is great fun because she is a merry child who cheers me up and makes me realize how fortunate I am, despite the loss of my family’s wealth.

3.  What do you put off doing because you dread it?

Oh, many things. In London Society, one always puts off doing anything unpleasant. But I suppose the most dreaded thing I must do is to decline a very much unwanted marriage proposal from one of my brother’s so-called friends, a truly awful person who is not a gentleman in any sense of the word.

4.  What are you afraid of most in life?

For myself, I fear that I will end up being forced to marry some wealthy but disagreeable man (see my previous answer…shudder!) whose only purpose in choosing me for a wife is to gain status in Society. You see, although I am impoverished, I come from a very respectable aristocratic family, so marriage to me would naturally bring my husband into important circles. But I have also have a greater fear in my life. I am afraid my dear brother will never reform and perhaps will even die because of his dissolute behaviors. This is a constant source of worry and fear for me. For all his bad behavior, we were dear friends as children, and I do love him so much.

5.  What do you want out of life?

At one time, I would have said that my greatest goal in life is to make an excellent match to some wealthy, titled gentleman. Now I want only to be of service to God. I have seen Mrs. Parton’s example and the example of her neighbor, Viscount Lord Greystone, who has undertaken a very admirable charitable work. In fact, I should so much like to assist the viscount, but Society would frown upon a single lady spending time alone with a gentleman. Lord Greystone is indeed a charming and delightful gentleman, everything one could want in a husband. But alas, I must quash such dreams and hopes because of my brother’s terrible reputation. Lord Greystone’s charitable endeavors would be greatly harmed if he were connected by marriage to Melly.

6.  What is the most important thing to you?

If my poverty has shown me anything, it is that God has a plan for my life. Although that may seem like a contradiction, I have learned that Society’s ways can be dreadfully selfish. I no long wish merely to attend parties and balls, but to serve God in whatever way He directs me.

7.  If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?

Oh, if only I could stop caring so much for Lord Greystone. It is an impossible attraction. Even if he should deign to love me, his mother, the dowager viscountess, will never approve of me, and she is a lady of great influence in Society.

8.  If you could travel back in time, where would you go and why?

Travel back in time? What a charming and amusing question! But on a very serious note, I suppose I would go back to my childhood home in the days when my brother and I were devoted friends. Even though he is older than I by three years, I would try very hard to instill in him some backbone and character so that when he was elevated to our late father’s peerage, he would not fall so dreadfully into sin. Not only has he destroyed my chances for happiness, but he has damaged his own life almost beyond repair.