A tantalising excerpt and a sneaky peek at the paperback cover!
Those of you who keep your eyes open and have caught my posts on Facebook will have seen that I now have to go-ahead for the 2nd edition of Charlotte – Pride & Prejudice Continues to be published in paperback!!
I am so happy about that as those of you with Kindles have had the 2nd edition since August, and those of you who prefer to have a paper book in your hands have had to wait.
So without further-a-do here is the mock up cover for the new paperback edition!! 🙂
Don’t you love it?! I do – well, I guess I am biased.
Unfortunately I haven’t yet had a real copy in my grubby hands yet, but as soon as I do I will take oodles of photos and post them for you all to see! 🙂
As promised I said I’d share an excerpt with you….
Here we see that Lady Catherine de Bourgh’s constant presence is beginning to grate on Charlotte’s nerves… poor woman! 😉
The day passed with the usual occupations of having returned from a journey, and soon the bell rang, and the maid gave Mr Collins the expected invitation from Rosings in his book room. With the arrival of the invitation, Charlotte’s spirits sank, and she found she could not abide the thought of taking tea at Rosings that day.
“My dear Charlotte,” Mr Collins declared happily as he entered the drawing room, “Lady Catherine always gives little attentions to those of her acquaintance that are deserving. We are exceedingly honoured. Indeed we are. As I expected, it has arrived not too soon and not a minute too late. You see,” he waved the letter at her; “an invitation has arrived from Rosings asking us to take tea with Her Ladyship. What say you to that?”
Charlotte had no desire to go to Rosings to deliver a minute account of the entire proceedings of the wedding of her dear friend. She stated as much to her husband.
“My dear, surely you are unwell. Indeed you must be, for I cannot believe you would be so unkind or unjust to our cherished patroness!”
The term cherished irritated her, and she gave her tongue free rein. “Indeed I am not unwell. Why did she not attend the wedding if she is so interested in it? I do not like gossip, I do not like gossips, and I will not ruin the memory of such a delightful event and week as we have just enjoyed by giving into such activities. Please, William, you must see it is not becoming.”
“My dear Charlotte, I cannot see that any fault or injury should arise from informing Lady Catherine of the happenings of a wedding! There is nothing of gossip there!”
Charlotte was not to be placated. She sat down heavily on the sofa, and he, seeing her distress, joined her. “Charlotte, I have not convinced you. Indeed, you are discomfited.” He was uncomfortable too now; Charlotte did not usually counter him, and it disconcerted him exceedingly.
“William, I believe that our behaviour could be seen as wanting.”
Mr Collins was taken aback. “Our behaviour? Whatever could you mean? Honestly, Charlotte!”
“A family of our close acquaintance suffered a tragedy: a daughter eloped; Mr Darcy found her; and fortunately, then she married.”
“Yes, it was a terrible situation. Lydia is a stupid, thoughtless girl!”
His statement piqued her even more. “I would have said the same thing about the conduct of the clergyman who related the entire situation to someone wholly unconnected with the family. Someone, I might add, who had no rights whatsoever to know such information. Had the information been withheld, then after the resolution there would have been little or no damage to the family in question. However, the said clergyman, having told the greatest gossip in all England the exact facts of the matter, did more damage than he could have imagined to that family’s reputation.”
He sat agog listening to his wife.
She did not want to say these things. She knew they would hurt his pride, but she did not have the willpower now to prevent herself. “Do you not realise that the blessed events, which we witnessed at Longbourn this past week, might not have taken place because of gossip and the damage arising from that gossip, Mr Collins?” A tear escaped down her cheek, much to her embarrassment, which she quickly wiped away.
“I see what you are endeavouring to do. You mean to put me on my guard.” He blushed, profoundly humiliated by his wife’s scolding but refusing to take her words seriously, and, making light of the situation, continued, “But my dear, it is done, and no harm has come of it. Truly, no harm, I am sure, can ever come from relating any events or circumstances whatsoever to Lady Catherine.”
Charlotte looked at the man she had married and watched in disbelief as he continued to ignore her remonstrance and persisted in praising Lady Catherine.
“Indeed there is no greater woman in all of England with such a kind, generous heart. She would never act out of selfishness or malice. Dearest Charlotte, you must not make yourself uneasy on behalf of the Bennets. Indeed, you must not. I insist upon it. Come, let us make ourselves ready to go to Rosings.” With that, he rose from the sofa and quitted the room, leaving his wife to weep desperately.
She knew that crying in such a way would give her a headache, but was glad of it. She was a little ashamed of the way she had spoken to her husband, even though she had told him only the truths she thought he needed to hear; she knew she could have done so in a more sensitive manner. The headache, when it came, she was glad of. It gave her an excuse not to be part of the conversation that evening at tea.