An Eighteenth Century Love Letter

February 14, 2017

Originally posted at indieBRAG

The eighteenth century saw an explosion of letter writing on a scale never seen in previous centuries, and similar to what we are experiencing today with the flood of digital communication. Everyone wished to express an opinion on all manner of topics, from the current political climate, to the war in the American Colonies, crime rates, and what the fashionable were wearing in town. Letters were the main form of communication and none mattered more than those professing love. Receiving a physical love letter was something to cherish, as it is today, to be carefully read and re-read and kept as a treasured object.

In my Roxton Family Saga, the Duke of Roxton leaves his bride a love letter on her dressing table, the morning after their wedding night. Roxton is a nobleman who chooses his words carefully, and thus is economical in his conversations, both spoken and written. His title, pre-eminent position in society, and arrogance mean one word or a look from him is sufficient to convey his wants and needs, most of which are often anticipated.

Thus his love letter is all the more significant, and serves a dual purpose—of reassuring his bride of his deep love and devotion, and as a physical token of his enduring love for her. He is confident that Antonia believes in the sincerity of his feelings, and thus writing a letter is somewhat superfluous. But Roxton also knows that for Antonia words hold far more significance and are more precious to her than any jewel or trinket.

Here I share his love letter, taken from ETERNALLY YOURS: Roxton Letters Volume One.

Renard, Duke of Roxton, to Antonia, Duchess of Roxton: Left on Antonia’s dressing table the morning after the wedding night.

Antonia, I love you. Three simple little words, and yet never uttered or inscribed in ink by me to another living soul, only to you. I will never love another as I love you. I will never cherish another as I cherish you. I will always love only you.

This is the happiest day of my life. For it is the first day of the rest of my life, with you. Not yesterday when we were married, with witnesses in attendance, up before parson and reciting what others have done before us and will do after us. Me nervous, and you serene and steadfast. I could not wait for the ceremony to be over with, and our guests to leave. Yesterday was still the getting there, but today, now, here, just the two of us, today I am your husband and you are my wife. It still leaves me dazed to write such words, for I truly believed I would never marry. And then into my life you stepped, or should I say twirled, in your whirlwind of silks and smiles…

You sleep peacefully in our bed, while I cannot sleep at all. I fear falling asleep and waking to find you gone, of finding myself alone. I am sure this apprehension will ease with every night we spend together as a married couple, until one night I will fall asleep with you in my arms, and wake to you still snuggled in my embrace, and think it the most natural state in all the world. But do not ever think for a moment I will take you or our marriage for granted. It is precious; henceforth I pledge to nurture our union for the rest of my days.

You told me that once we shared a bed you found you could no longer sleep without me. I can no longer live without you. For with you I am truly who I am meant to be. I wonder now if I have been walking about as one dead, or as a specter, with sight, hearing and touch, but without the ability to feel. It is as if I have floated through life without experiencing any of it. When did I become like this? How have I walked the halls of kings in such a paralyzed state: Eating without tasting, looking without seeing, touching without feeling. And all the time with a heart that was disdainful, and a soul that was wasted. Until you.

I have always considered my birthright a burden to be endured, and in the most arrogant of ways. I am well aware of my preeminent place in this world, and I own to being conceited and vain. I have often taken without a thought to the consequences to others, and without giving freely in return. I am by nature wary and reserved. All this you know and accept, and have never been in awe. Nor have you ever doubted my right to be as I am. You love me unconditionally, and for that alone I am blessed. You have given me a wondrous gift.

You have always been prepared to see the good in others, first and foremost, and only want the best for them. I marvel at how you find joy in living each day to the full. To look on you, to be with you, to experience life in your company, is to be complete.

For you alone I strive to be a better man; to live a better life; to know its joys and its pleasures; to never disappoint you; and never will I squander a single moment of the life that is left to me—with you.

With this letter I enclose some lines of verse, with apologies to the seventeenth century poetess for taking liberties with her prose.

You have my whole heart, my body, and my soul.

I am eternally yours,

Renard

Oft I’ve conjured thee to appear

By youth, by love, by all their powers,

Have searched and sought thee everywhere,

In silent groves, in lonely bowers:

On flowery beds where lovers wishing lie,

In sheltering woods where sighing maids

To their assigning shepherds hie,

And hide their blushes in the gloom of shades.

Yet there, even there, though youth assailed,

Where beauty prostrate lay and fortune wooed,

My heart, insensible, to neither bowed.

 

In courts I sought thee then, thy proper sphere,

But thou in crowds were stifled there,

Interest did all the loving business do,

Invite the lovers and maids too.

Thy mighty force through every part,

What god, or human power did thee create

In me, till now, unfacile heart?

 

Yes, yes, my love, I have found thee now;

And found to whom thou dost thy being owe,

’Tis thou the blushes dost impart,

’Tis thou that tremblest in my heart.

I faint, I die with pleasing pain,

My words intruding, sighing break

When e’er I touch thy beauteous form,

When e’er I gaze, when e’er I speak.

Thy conscious fire is mingled with my love,

As in the sanctified abodes

Forevermore…

***********

      

Listen to the Duke’s love letter read by British actor Alex Wyndham: https://soundcloud.com/lucinda-brant/eternally-yours-audiobook-sample

Read the Duke of Roxton and Antonia’s love story in the B.R.A.G. Medallion awarded novel NOBLE SATYR: http://lucindabrant.com/noble-satyr.php

Read this and the other letters in the Roxton Letters in ETERNALLY YOURS: http://lucindabrant.com/eternally-yours.php

Pre-Order the latest Roxton Family Saga novel PROUD MARY: http://lucindabrant.com/proud-mary.php

 

A Real Life Georgian Love Story

October 20, 2012
Originally posted at ~Romantic Historical Lovers~

 

The inspiration for MIDNIGHT MARRIAGE: A Georgian Historical Romance

I am often asked where I get my inspiration for my novels, and my standard reply is that inspiration can come from any number of sources. I love gazing at 18th Century inspired Genre paintings, walking around a Robert Adams room in a big house or it could be the embroidery detail in a gentleman’s gorgeous frockcoat. Usually, my inspiration is sparked delving into my...


Continue reading...
 

Gorgeous Georgian Metrosexuals

May 26, 2012
Originally posted at English Historical Fiction Authors

—or How To Strut Your Metrosexual Stuff in Georgian England

 


The term “metrosexual” was coined by Mark Simpson to describe a man (especially one living in an urban, post-industrial, capitalist culture) who spends a lot of time and money on his appearance.

Urban Dictionary definition number 5 states: “A straight guy who’s so cool, smart, attractive, stylish, and cultured, that everyone thinks he’s gay. But he’s so secure i...
Continue reading...
 

“Jumps”—A Comfy & Sexy Alternative to Georgian Stays

May 25, 2012
Originally published at History Undressed




Tight Lacing, or Fashion before Ease by Bowles & Carver ca.1770–1775.
The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation
Think Eighteenth Century female undergarments and usually the first article to come to mind is the corset, or stays. Worn over the chemise to cover the breasts and upper torso, stays were made from a variety of materials, cotton to silk, depending on the occasion and most often had a square neckline.

The enduring image of a pair of stays is the...
Continue reading...
 

Georgette Heyer’s Historical Romances… Like Olives

May 24, 2012
Originally published at Stiletto Storytime


In my third year of University I complained to Cathy that I had nothing to read. Actually I’d shouted “I’m bored” from my dorm room loud enough for Cathy to hear (she lived two rooms away).

I was lying on the floor with my feet on my bed staring at my bookshelf crammed with Political Science and History texts, and a collection of tattered recreational reading material by Austen, Caldwell, Plaidy and Seton wanting something new t...

Continue reading...
 

In Jane’s Visiting Footsteps; Great Bookham, Surrey

May 24, 2012
Originally published at My Jane Austin Bookclub


Persuasion is my favorite Jane Austen novel, and Anne Elliott my favorite Austen heroine. I don’t care much for Emma, but Mr. Knightley is my second favorite Austen hero. I first read Emma as a set text in high school and then Persuasion for my final year and fell in love with Captain Wentworth and Anne Elliott. Just one month after completing High School and gaining a place to study law and politics at university, I deferred my studies ...

Continue reading...
 

Anyone for REAL Tennis?

May 23, 2012
Originally published at History Undressed




18th Century man of letters, Horace Walpole
The characters in my novels may be fictional, but as an historian I want the setting to be as accurate as possible—places, clothes, food, people, politics and even the weather! All my novels are set between 1740 and 1780s in England and France—stopping short of the French Revolution. SALT BRIDE: a Georgian Historical Romance, takes place in 1763.

So what was the weather like in January 1763? And what...
Continue reading...
 

The Apothecary’s Apprentice in 18th Century England

May 23, 2012
Originally published at History Undressed



A nanosecond of background
In England, as early as the 12th century apothecaries (pharmacist physicians) belonged to the Worshipful Company of Grocers. This guild included the Pepperers and the Spicers and apothecary shops sold everything from confectionery, perfumes, spices, spiced wines, to herbs and drugs that were compounded and dispensed on the premises to the public. By the mid-16th century apothecaries were equivalent to today's compounding...
Continue reading...
 
 

© 2014 Lucinda Brant. All rights reserved   |   Contact Me