Dear readers, another season on the ton is upon us as ambitious mamas, young debutantes, and fortune-hunting gentlemen once again descend upon the marriage mart to claim the most eligible, and wealthy, matches. Before we enjoy another scandalous London season, join me in reflecting on the events for each of our main characters over the course of last season.
We begin our recount with the eldest Bridgerton, Lord Anthony whom we all know to be a rake of the highest order. His own mama reminded him of his duty as viscount to find a bride but the Lord only had eyes for an opera singer by the name of Siena Rosso. Certainly not a worthy match of the Lord. He found himself escorting Miss Daphne Bridgeton through the marriage market and very nearly ruined her chances with every suitable bachelor on the ton with his surly disposition. The most handsomest of faces may be spoilt by such a constitution.
Just as he believes his troubles behind him, Lord Bridgerton found himself on the dueling field against the duke in defense of the young Miss Bridgerton’s honour. Though he is against the union, he ultimately agrees to the duke and Miss Bridgerton’s hasty union. With one sibling wed and Dowager Viscountess Bridgerton’s reminders of his need to take on his role in the family. Lord Bridgerton, now the brother of a duchess, sets his sights on integrating Miss Rosso into his world, but the lady declines his offer and he is forced to sever his relations with Miss Rosso. With a broken heart, he declares his intentions to find his vicountess in the coming season. The gossip on the ton is already abuzz with the reformed rake’s intentions, but will he truly turn a new leaf?
Second sons my be overlooked by society at large but rest assured, dear reader, my sharp eye is on all of the Bridgertons including Benedict who spent last season, shall we say, exploring his more artistic side. He was introduced to renowned artist Sir Henry Granville through Lady Danbury, a mutual acquaintance of the pair. It was a most amusing introduction, Mr. Bridgerton thoroughly disavowing Sir Granville’s painting of any redeeming qualities must to the latter’s amusement. Despite the rocky start, Mr. Granville took the young Bridgerton under his wing who attended several spirited educational sessions at the artists’ studio. It was at one such party that Mr. Bridgerton met Genevieve Delacroix, the modiste, wherein the two became intimately acquainted. With eyes wide open to new possibilities in life and love outside the traditional expectations of society, Mr. Bridgerton makes the admirable decision to pursues his heart, striking up an ongoing romance with Madame Delacroix.
Young Colin Bridgerton, third son in the renowned Bridgerton family, found himself swept away by the rival diamond of the season, Miss Marina Thompson. From the very first moment his glance found Miss Thompson, Mr. Bridgerton dedicated his full attentions to courting the young lady. It certainly seemed that the Bridgerton’s would be celebrating not one but two matches, however it was brought to light by yours truly that Miss Thompson was anything but marriage material as she was already with child. Mr. Bridgerton graciously informed Miss Thompson that had she only been honest he would have accepted her, so deep was his perceived love. Beauty asside, Mr. Bridgerton ended last season with plans to embark on a tour of Europe beginning in Greece. Perhaps the coming season will see Mr. Bridgerton’s heart mended and his eye once again on the marriage mart.
Duchess Daphne Basset
Miss Daphne Bridgerton, was indeed the season’s incomparable when she made her debut last season. Her prospects certainly wavered throughout the season as she caught every suitors eye, but found herself promised to the crotchety Nigel Berbrooke soon after her debut. Desperate to free herself of the loathsome creator, Miss Bridgerton formed a most clever arrangement with the duke of Hastings. Indeed, this author must applaud their efforts for the entirety of the ton was fooled. Their pretend courtship quickly marked Miss Bridgerton as the most desirable diamond on the market and the duke as unavailable. Miss Bridgerton and her mother put a quick stop to the bumbling Berbrooke arrangement when this author heard, through their efforts, the shocking knowledge that Lord Berbrooke sired a child out of wedlock and left both babe and mother destitute.
It seemed for a brief moment a duke simply wasn’t enough for Miss Bridgerton who briefly formed an attachment with none other than the queen’s nephew Prince Fredrich. Of course, as this author knew dear reader, both Miss Bridgerton and the duke were a striking love match however dense the parties involved remained to that fact. Miss Bridgerton refused the prince and a married the duke. By the end of the season, the couple welcomed their first child, a son and the duke’s heir to the family. Though the name has yet to be revealed, rumor has it the young boy’s name will follow the Bridgerton tradition and begin with an “A.”
Miss Eloise Bridgerton, though a Bridgerton by name, marked herself out as anything but a conformist. An avid reader of yours truly, Miss Bridgerton set her cap on discovering my identity midway through the season. The lady’s sharp wit and keen eye by the end of the season, she found one whom she believed to be Lady Whistledown: Madame Delacroix. The young lady realized the error after speaking with her brother, dear reader, so I shall remain cautious. If anyone could take up my stead it is Miss Eloise Bridgerton for her mind and mouth are as sharp as my own if not yet as polished. Nonetheless, Miss Bridgerton spent last season watching her eldest sister’s debut season and certainly made her wishes to avoid such a fate clear.
I must say I agree with the young lady, should women be afforded the same educational and societal opportunities as men perhaps the world would be more level-headed and less prone to hysterics over entitlements and the size of one’s fencing stick. Indeed, this author plans to keep an eye on the young Bridgerton for she will certainly amount to something more in this world than a simpering housewife.
The Featherington Household
The household of the Baron Featherington faired rather poorly as the family found itself embroiled in the most salacious scandal of the season. The baroness chaperoned not one, not two, but four young ladies onto the marriage market last season. All three of her daughters, now made quite the impression at their debut as the eldest Miss Featherington fainted at the queen’s feet!
It seems the baron promised his wife would also see his distant relative’s daughter, Miss Marina Thompson, through the season. She certain made a splash among the suitors and caught the eye of the young Colin Bridgerton. But as you may recall, dear reader, this author uncovered the scandalous secret Miss Thompson hid from us all. She was with child which quickly made the Featheringtons the pariahs of the season.
We also learned, dear readers, that Miss Penelope Featherington is head over heels for the dashing Colin as well, creating quite the predicament as she watched Miss Thompson charm her way into Colin’s heart to secure her future before her condition made itself apparent. Now wed, the Duchess of Hastings most graciously inquired about Marina’s lover, away at the front lines of war, only to break the young lady’s heart. He died on the battlefield, but the gentleman was prepared to marry Marina upon his return. Instead, Miss Thompson found herself engaged to the gentleman’s brother, performing a final duty to his departed sibling by wedding his young lover to care for their child.
Ultimately, none of the Miss Featheringtons secured a match in their first season though Miss Philippa did catch the eye of Mr. Albion Finch. The Baron wouldn’t hear of the match, leaving Philippa heartbroken. Miss Penelope Featherington and her young friend, Miss Eloise Bridgerton, spoke highly of yours truly and Miss Penelope partook in her friends attempt to unveil this author. As you may know, they were unsuccessful to the ton, but you dear readers know my identity as one Miss Penelope Featherington.
Of course, none can forget the shocking passing of Lord Featherington whose finances were suffering. The Baron, who believed himself clear of said debt with a single rigged boxing bet, found himself murdered and robbed for that very cash leaving his family’s situation in question. None of the Miss Featheringtons may inherit, for they are women, and the Baroness received word of who is to inherit.
By now the whole of London is certainly aware of this author’s keen eye, but if ever there were a rival to my sharp quill it would certainly be Lady Danbury. Clever, cunning, and opinionated as ever, Lady Danbury found herself an unexpected escort to His Grace. While he remained steadfastly against proposing to the young Miss Daphne Bridgerton, Lady Danbury reminded the duke of his duty to his position and damage to the young lady should he have no true reasons for courting her. Lady Danbury played an integral part in the duke’s upbringing, highlighting her kind heart and fierce dedication to her late friend, his mother. She also aided Lady Bridgerton in facilitating the love match between Miss Bridgerton and the duke, and will no doubt do the same for the remaining Bridgerton children as they come of age. With the duke happily wed, Lady Danbury may once again turn her eyes and ears to the gossip of the ton in the coming season.
It’s well known to all that Her Majesty the Queen takes a keen interest in the ongoing courtships of the ton and despises only two things: boredom and being wrong. The queen named Miss Daphne Bridgerton the diamond of the season, attempting to set the glittering jewel among her own prizes through a match with her nephew Prince Friedrich. Miss Bridgerton’s match with the duke was stronger than her Majesty’s royal pressures, much to her displeasure. As the season progressed, it came to this author’s attention that our queen is on the hunt to uncover my identity. Miss Eloise Bridgerton thwarted the her efforts to unmask me to the public, a debt I won’t soon forget.
Indeed, dear reader, I would wager that this season will be even more captivating and entertaining than last. Join me on the ton in a few days time, the 25th of March, for a most engaging new season as the Viscount sets his sights on finding a match at long last.