Duchess of the Shire

This blog is a fictional account of a semi-Georgian Duchess. It was inspired by the love of all things 18th century and is purely the work of my imagination. All stories, themes, names and addresses http://duchessoftheshire.blogspot.com/ are fictional but also under the UK copyright laws. © .

I hope you enjoy everything that you read and it gives you some insight to a troubled, scandalous and rebellious Duchess.

D. S.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Already the Duke of Albany has been and gone and once again I am left in this foreign land alone. Where to begin with the last fortnight of comings and goings? For a change I do not know where to find the words...

I suppose I should start with the Duke's arrival. I waited at his home in Bohemia with his family, the expected pomp and show on display as we whiled away the hours for his retinue to appear over the hills. 

But of course the Duke took the situation into his own hands and did away with convention. A lone horse silhouetted against the blue of the Bohemian sky signalled the Duke's return, and it galloped forward, but without the usual procession. The Duke's family were in no doubt that the rider would be their son and heir, but I was a little more dubious. 

It gladdens my heart to note that my assumption was correct. The rider that cantered towards us only wanted to let the Duke's family know that the Duke had ridden on to my home, rather than to his family first. I blushed and wished I had told the Duke about how relations with his parents were far warmer than a few months back. 

Nevertheless, his mother surprised me and told me to meet him at mine, giving me their fastest horse, only making me promise to bring the Duke home in time for the feast, which of course I was welcome to. Her generosity and knowing wink came as quite a shock, but she too was once a young woman in love, and I graciously accepted her proposal and urged my horse to hasten towards my lover. 

When I arrived at my humble abode I saw an unknown horse in my stables; the thought of being so close to the Duke made my heart quicken. Jeeves smiled at me to let me know that my guest was waiting in the library. I checked my appearance in my small pocket mirror; I was slightly flushed from my ride and I could not contain the curvature of my lips at the prospect of holding the Duke once more in my arms. 

I opened the door to the library and closed it quietly behind me. It was not my intention to sneak up on the Duke, but my heart was in my mouth and all of a sudden I was taken over by an unnatural shyness. Thankfully the Duke knows me all too well and the moment the door closed he put his hands over my eyes and kissed my neck, whispering 'guess who'.

I have never been happier than I was at that moment, to feel his strong hands against my face, holding me as we kissed for the first time in two months. How I hate the distance, but it makes the moments we do have together that much sweeter. I shan't give too many details about how we ransacked the library on our first afternoon together, I shall only remark that there is still a carpenter fixing a few shelves because of our furore...

How I have longed for him to touch me the way he touched me that afternoon. How I have craved the look in his sea blue eyes when he tells me he loves me. How I have yearned to have his arms hold me and soften my cries of pleasure. It was everything I had desired for two months, and I am sure I have yet to recover.

The feast was uneventful, though the Duke was pleased with the progress I had made with his family. He would not give me any details about the property he has yet to purchase in the Northern counties across the continent, nor would he sate my curiosity and allow me to know what was the promised surprise... Though it was worth the wait.

D. S. 

Monday, April 07, 2014

The Duke of Albany arrives in two days and I cannot think of anything but holding him in my arms. He has also piqued my interest as he has promised to bring a surprise with him... I have no clue as to what it may be, but he knows me well enough that I trust his judgement and only long for the day to come that much sooner!

However, I shall not allow his impending visit to shadow over the week I have had.

Jeeves and I travelled to the West of Bohemia with the Irish Lady of Corcaigh to visit some renowned musicians and delight in the cultural differences of various nations. The music was sublime, and I adored the entire weekend. 

We drank and ate far more than is entirely respectable, and I have to admit our hostess could not be faulted for the event she so proudly had prepared for us. The scenery of the countryside was awe-inspiring; I haven't seen the like since I travelled to the Antipodes two years ago, and I stared, my mouth agape at the wonder of this country. Truly, I will miss it on my return to the Shire. 

Of course there was dancing, the Irish lady and I are never likely to be the first to go home, though for a change we were not the last! It was delightful to have so much fun and freedom, though the language is still somewhat of a barrier.

The only slight mar on the entire weekend was the journey home; Jeeves and I were told to wait for a carriage in this tiny village a little more than an hour away from my chateau, but it seems the carriage did not wait for us. Instead of the three hours it should have taken us to make it back, we doubled that time and took six hours!

Never have I been so grateful to see the castle of Mladá Boleslav. 

Now I shall just wait for the Duke's arrival. I have not forgotten that I have several questions to ask, but the longing for his touch is outweighing my curiosity at this point...

D. S. 

Monday, March 31, 2014

I can't believe how the time has flown! Already tomorrow shall we be one month closer to the rough winds of May, and I barely have a weekend to myself throughout the whole of April. But that only means joyous things to me as the Duke of Albany travels across the Continent and joins me once again. 

Where to begin?

I suppose the artist's eventual repercussions need to be discussed after her ghastly treatment of me, though I do promise that I was swift and only slightly less just than I should have been...

Indeed, I also have the pleasure of sashaying through delightful memories from the weekend. The brunette (of all people) and Armiger surprised me with a visit to the City of a Hundred Spires, and we gossiped, and laughed, and drank to our hearts' content. 

Though I suppose, first, I shall quickly skim over my latest rendez vous with the artist.

After I showed my face and was so warmly received by the Duke's family at his home here in Bohemia and managed to waylay the artist ever so briefly, I was surprised to receive an invitation from the painter. She had made it quite clear that she had no interest in painting me ever again, and truly I cannot imagine what else we would say to each other. 

So to tea I went. It's normally a fruit tea of sorts in Bohemia, so I had Jeeves bring with us some English tea as I can't stand the boiled citrus fruits that are claimed to be tea! I was right, of course, lemon and apple I think were the combinations on offer, but before I so rudely poured my own tea, the artist asked me if I knew how many paintings she'd done for the Duke.

A silly question, or so I thought, but I did assume I was not the first. I hazarded a guess at two or three, mainly because the Duke had mentioned one or two names to me previously, and as much as an honour it was to be asked, I am not completely naive. 

I do wish I'd aimed higher however, as the artist showed me sketches of seventeen other women, all of whom have had their likenesses painted by this artist in some glorified silhouette.  I didn't want to rise to the bait, and I casually shrugged it off with a nonchalant, 'everyone has the right to a past,' but I do fear the Duke may have some explaining to do when he returns next week! 

According to the artist she doesn't want to have to paint one of the Duke's women more than once, because no woman should have to suffer through that repetition of being marked and tagged more than once. I snidely asked if she'd ever had to do a self portrait for his collection, and she scowled at the insinuation. 

Of course the Duke has a past! I have a past and I'm sure he'd be horrified to hear about some of the things I've done in my life. But c'est la vie. We eventually parted ways and I shall make no more contact with her, the artist. She lives a provincial life and she certainly wouldn't have understood the drunken debauchery the brunette, Armiger and I sank into this weekend!

It was an absolute delight to see them, despite being for such a short time. I couldn't remember the last time we three had been all together, especially on the Continent! But we certainly made up for lost time as we partied and danced and laughed our way into the early morn. It was a weekend I shall never forget. I truly adore my friends and was grateful that many conversations were left unsaid as we rekindled our platonic relationships. 

I am to travel again this weekend, to the West of Bohemia and visit some more local friends. I'm intrigued as I do love going to places I've never seen before, but am not sure what to expect. No doubt that means an extra suitcase or three, but it would be terribly bad manners to turn up under-dressed! 

Keeping busy is keeping me distracted from the words the artist told me, and allows me no time to think of the Duke's absence. I will have him in my arms, to hold (and ask a question or two) in ten days. I am tingling at the very thought!

D. S.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Spring has certainly sprung, however that means when the sun is not shining, the heavens are opening. We have suffered a deluge of rain the last two days, though it did work in my favour...

I finally heard back from Duke of Albany's household after I invited myself over to his Château and I travelled there with Jeeves on the last day of the working week. We were warmly received and I was reminded of how well they all treated me after I last returned from the Shire. I mustn't assume they think badly of me for taking the Duke away from his responsibilities; for all I know they want him to broaden his horizons and learn from his experiences. 

Jeeves and I were due to only stay for the one night and a day, enjoying the sights and sounds of the Bohemian countryside (as well as trying to 'accidentally' bump into the artist) but because of the rain we did not return until this morning!

I did eventually have the pleasure of artist's company, but not until yesterday, and we made small talk about the changeable weather, but she allowed me no further enquiries about another painting. And, though I still find it difficult to believe, she even went so far as to deny me the right of seeing the previous and original painting of myself as Aphrodite.

Further arrangements have been made for me to get what I want. It's not often that I am not only rejected, but forced to take another's decision! I do not know what game this artist is playing but I shall certainly find out, and I hope to have it all sorted before my Duke returns to Bohemia. 

I don't want him thinking I am irresponsible and take pleasure in petty arguments...

D. S.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

The sun is shining and the birds are singing; Spring is most definitely in the air and it feels delightful. I long for the lazy summer days in the Shire, but there is talk of returning to the Convent in Brighthelmstone for a few weeks... Belle and I want to relive the the magical weeks from last year and I know that the Duke will stay by my side throughout July and August. Especially as this will give us some extra time together before our more permanent positioning in the North as of September

The Duke of Albany is very vague about what sort of property he is looking for in the Northern counties whenever he writes to me. I do wish I could be in my home country and share this experience with him. I know I shall not be living with him, only rendez vous when my Royal charge allows, and there are times when I can imagine the two will clash and cause frustrations. 

Love and duty are not always the same thing...

I have asked the Duke's household here in Bohemia to allow me to pay a visit and my respects to his family. I can only imagine how his parents feel knowing that I have taken their only son away from his duty to his country and I wish to make amends, and at least salvage our relationship with happy memories. 

There is, however, an ulterior motive to this visit. I know that the artist is a part of the Duke's retinue and if I can't get her to agree to come and visit me, then I shall have to go to her. Also I wish to gaze upon the original painting of myself draped and undressed as Aphrodite. I don't think I have actually yet had the pleasure of staring at the painting in all its glory and it's a waste of the artist's talent to keep it hidden from view. 

I am still waiting to hear back from the Duke's household, but I'm sure it shall not be long now, until then I plan to enjoy the sunshine. I may even pen my dear Duke a letter. 

D. S.