Dearest gentle reader, I must send felicitations to the new Duke and Duchess of Hastings. Congratulations and stamina as they embark on the most exhilarating time in a young couple’s life. I am, of course, talking of the honeymoon. Is there a more romantic notion? To retreat from society together…
…finally leaving watchful eyes behind.
Welcome to Clyvedon, Your Grace. It has been so long since we have been blessed with your presence, but I trust you will find everything to your liking.
I do not doubt it, Mrs. Colson. I hope you have been well.
May I introduce to you the Duchess of Hastings?
I am looking forward to making your acquaintance, Mrs. Colson.
Thank you, Your Grace.
I have planned everything to make you both comfortable.
First, a light meal, served on the terrace.
Then a tour to show you all the improvements I have made. Then…
I am sure it will be most diverting, but I am afraid it will have to wait.
I have plans of my own for my new bride.
I want to show you the bedroom.
Yours or mine?
You truly believe we are to have separate rooms?
I should think not.
Stop! They shall see!
Whatever will they think?
Does it matter?
While this author, along with the rest of the ton, will certainly miss its most-remarked-upon couple back in London, perhaps we might find solace in the promise of the duke and duchess returning to us bearing a surprise.
I wonder what Daphne is doing at this very moment.
I am sure she has many new duties to attend to as duchess, things you should be learning for your debut.
Making simpering conversation, pretending not to wince every time a man treads on my toes during a waltz?
I’m no good at those things.
I’ll only make a fool of myself.
If you devoted as much time to your deportment lessons as you did to writing in your journal, you might feel rather better.
And on that subject, in preparation for your season, it is time we lowered your skirts to wear at home.
I have no time for a visit to the modiste.
I am busy.
The queen herself has charged me with discovering Whistledown’s identity.
You would not have me cross Her Majesty, would you?
May I have everyone’s attention?
I would like to make a small but important announcement.
I have happy news to impart.
I have asked Miss Marina Thompson to be my wife, and she has accepted.
Did you know about this?
People are looking, dear.
Congratulate the happy couple.
You barely know the young lady. What were you thinking?
I was thinking you’d respond like this and how little I would care to hear.
Do you think this is a joke? Poor Mother was beside herself.
Mother seems perfectly happy to me. She congratulated us.
So, you compromised this young lady?
Certainly not. I am a gentleman.
Then why ever would you…
Why does anyone marry, brother?
For love, of course.
Look, I know you are still rather green, and that is my fault.
I should’ve taken you to brothels when you returned from Eton.
If this is a matter of wetting your wick…
You are an ass. Do you know that?
This is what comes of not sowing your wild oats.
Proposing to the first chit you set your cap at.
You insult me and my intended.
It is not my fault, nor Marina’s, that you cannot fathom true attachment.
You are still a child, Colin.
I’m older than Daphne.
You were happy to marry her off.
It is not the same.
I know nothing of the sort.
Then you betray your immaturity!
IfI caused Mother discomfort today, I am sorry for it.
I shall speak with her.
The truth is, I do not require your permission to marry Miss Thompson… but I would very much prefer to have your blessing.
Then I am afraid I must disappoint you.
You have… in more ways than one.
I believe I now know the reason why every mama of the ton keeps her daughter in total darkness about certain… diversions.
Should they have told us what it was truly like, however would we get anything else done at all?
I must go.
If I am to be duchess of all of this, I must start learning the lie of the land.
You are already duchess of all this.
And I look forward to exploring that particular land further…
You said the duchy was most intimidating.
Why not stay and lord it over this room? You may find it a bit more titillating.
I do not doubt it.
But I suspect Mrs. Colson shall always resent me if I do not take her tour.
Then let her resent.
I shall do nothing of the sort.
My mother told me a lady is nothing without her housekeeper.
I must make a good impression, or nothing in this house shall run smoothly.
Then I wish you well.
I have prepared the study for you to work, Your Grace.
Jeffries, I am on my honeymoon.
The steward has left the records in some disarray.
I cannot make head nor tail of the estate’s accounting, and there are several letters from farm tenants begging an audience with Your Grace.
If I must.
The castle was built in 1706 for Admiral Thomas, a gift from Her Majesty Queen Anne…
For his military triumphs against the French, I believe.
My younger sister Hyacinth is something of a student of history.
Very well, Your Grace. Here we are.
The morning room, where the former duchess preferred to take tea with visitors.
My mama suggested I extend an invitation to the vicar first.
I believe she is right.
Of course, Your Grace.
I look forward to hosting our first ball.
But I believe it would be prudent to wait
until after the close of the London season, yes?
Indeed, Your Grace.
And I shall look at redecorating this room first.
You wish to redecorate?
Certainly, Your Grace.
There is to be a fair in the village this week.
I offered it patronage on your behalf.
Most thoughtful of you, Mrs. Colson.
Perhaps we might give the servants some time off to attend as well.
There is much to be done now that the duke and yourself are in residence.
Ah. Well, even more reason to allow them some respite, then.
The former duchess, yes.
She was beautiful.
A perfect duchess.
And here is the nursery.
It is lovely.
Shall we move on?
I am certain there is much left to see.
Yes, of course. Let me show you your grounds.
My apologies. I…
Are we expecting royalty?
Begging your pardon, Your Grace. The late duke preferred a formal table.
But if you prefer…
No, never mind.
Mrs. Colson’s tour today was exceptional. The gardens are particularly lovely.
I found myself in continual awe of their beauty.
Is anything wrong?
You are so far away.
Well, that is easily remedied.
It is no trouble, truly.
There, now. Much better, yes?
I thought perhaps to redecorate a few rooms but wished to talk to you first.
I’d hate to change anything you’re particularly attached to.
Then you may change it all. In fact, please do.
Now, do not jest.
You must have fond memories… or sentimental attachments.
After all, this has been your home for many years.
Do what you will.
Paper the drawing room in flamingo-pink tulle.
I am sure I shall love it.
You do know, you need not dress so formally here.
Does this meet your approval?
Oh, without question.
Your Grace, should we… go upstairs?
I have a better idea.
Where are we going?
Do you like this?
Tell me what you want.
I want… you.
Does that hurt?
I feel as you feel, absolutely wonderful.
Wait! Come here.
Whatever will the staff think?
Does it matter?
Apologies, Your Grace.
Well, our activities are quite… spirited.
I admit, I did not even know it was possible.
I believed his physical inability to have children would preclude him from… causing such difficult entanglements?
I am quite glad to say I was wrong.
He took your ribbon? Did you take the ribbon?
Dunno what you’re talking ab…
I saw him do it.
I saw it in your pocket.
It’s not fair.
He does it every time.
Just give it back.
Colin, your engagement is in Whistledown!
What? It is!
Very well. Everyone out, I think.
I did say I was sorry.
I suppose I ought to be relieved I found out before Lady Whistledown.
Mother, I have been courting Miss Thompson all season.
Perhaps you were so taken up by Daphne you failed to see it.
I knew you were flirting with her, but you flirt with plenty of young ladies.
You always have, never in earnest.
It is all happening so quickly.
I am not sure I have ever seen you so solemn and serious.
No one ever takes me seriously, except Marina.
I was not prepared to let another of you fly the nest so soon.
Never fear, Mother.
You will still have your hands full.
Especially with Eloise.
Good luck with that one.
Do you think Colin will introduce us to his friends?
Some of them are quite strapping.
I am sure he will.
I am sure all of our fortunes are about to change.
Mm. Especially Colin’s.
You look very lovely today, Penelope.
Do not mock me.
It pains me you should think every compliment a mockery.
Do not pity me, either.
I do not pity you, Penelope.
I respect you.
You have been a true friend since I arrived here, and I rely on your continued friendship and sympathy.
My continued silence, you mean?
You think so little of me, I cannot bear it.
I never would have made my way through this awful tangle without your kindness.
Please do not tell me you regret it.
I would never bring scandal on you or our family, if that is what you ask,
but I cannot condone your actions.
I want you as my friend, Pen.
Can you not try to understand and be a little pleased for me?
Marina? Time for the modiste.
We must see to your trousseau.
She is so lucky.
A whole new wardrobe and a handsome husband.
Between the two of them, they will make the most beautiful baby.
He is not the father, you dunderhead!
Oh, my goodness! I clean forgot.
Do not laugh at him! She makes a fool of him already.
Ugh! You are no fun anymore.
Was I ever?
See? You will look so very lovely with it pinned up next season.
No. I will look like every other young lady, except less graceful and more bad-tempered.
Lady Bridgerton. Miss Eloise.
I understand we are here on the matter of dropping our hems?
Lady Bridgerton! There you are.
Lady Featherington. Miss Thompson.
It is lovely to see you, Lady Bridgerton.
You must call me Violet now, I insist.
Is this not just delightful, to know now that our families will be joined forever?
Yes, it certainly is something.
You must join us tomorrow night, you, and dear Colin, and the viscount.
We have so much to celebrate.
I will certainly ask the viscount.
Perfect. Now, I shall need to steal Madame Delacroix away for a moment.
I do apologize, Lady Featherington,
but first there is the matter of your account.
I was clear to your maid that your line of credit…
Allow me to stop you there.
Our bills will be settled in full as soon as you have made Miss Thompson, soon-to-be Bridgerton, her gown and the other items for her trousseau.
I am afraid that is not possible.
Perhaps you might find another tailoress more to your liking across town.
Madame Delacroix, that reminds me.
You have such a unique accent, and yet I have never asked where in France you’re from.
My mother was French, you see, and I am not fooled by your little act.
I would hate for the other ladies of the ton to learn they have been taken in as well.
I believe Madame Delacroix will be somewhat more amenable to our requests now, Lady Featherington. Très bon?
What is the prize for the winner?
Why, slaughter, of course.
As the duke has granted me the honor of opening our village fair with this contest, it is after careful consideration that I have decided… that all three pigs have tied!
I hereby decree every pig such a winner that none should be slaughtered.
They look lovely.
Look at those.
Why, these are delicious! We must order some for Clyvedon.
Does your patronage extend beyond pies, Your Grace?
The harvests on the farm have been poor, and with the rents being tripled, we are struggling to put food on the table.
The rents tripled?
My steward did not inform me.
He hasn’t shown his face since your father passed, God rest His Grace’s soul.
He always gave his tenants what they needed, unlike some.
Then it is a good thing indeed that we are back at Clyvedon.
I am sure we can find a solution to these difficulties, and I thank you for bringing them to our attention.
Oh, there, there, there, child. No need to cry.
All is well.
My! You have a strong set of lungs. They shall hear you all the way in London.
If not all the way to France.
Oh, my goodness.
I must apologize, Your Grace.
Little Ada has just discovered her own voice and likes to use it as often and loudly as she can.
Oh, please, stand.
You should not be stooping in your condition.
Well, it was lovely to make your acquaintance.
What can we do about the farmer’s rent? There must be something.
I should have returned sooner to see that things were in order.
I did not realize my absence would be felt this way.
I hope that…
I only meant to say,
I hope it did not pain you too much to see me with those children.
Daphne, I thought only of you.
You know, oddly enough, when I am actually in the presence of children,
I forget all about my own concerns.
They are the easiest company in the world.
You are natural with them.
My younger sisters and brother.
Each one a mischief.
You know, my abundant family will be good for at least one thing in future.
Eventually, they will all marry and have children of their own, and we will have more screaming infants in our lives than we know what to do with.
You will be a splendid aunt.
It thrills me that you are satisfied with our married life as it is, just the two of us.
I have all that I want just here.
How did I earn such luck?
That I do not know.
Good. You have done well thus far, Miss Thompson.
Tonight, I shall need to raise the matter of a swift wedding.
But this plan of yours, I find it wanting.
Deceiving Colin is one thing, but being at close quarters with his mother, that is quite another.
Lady Bridgerton is shrewd.
She has had eight children.
Trust she knows when she is being managed.
What were your favorite pastimes in the country?
I enjoyed riding above all else, my lady.
Please, you must call me Violet now.
Miss Thompson is such a proper young lady, is she not?
Have you traveled at all beyond England, Miss Thompson?
It has long been Colin’s greatest ambition to travel the world.
Though it is now a great ambition of mine as well.
I am sensing a honeymoon in foreign parts.
What think you, Lord Bridgerton?
I would not like to speculate.
Yes, indeed. I believe a honeymoon in foreign parts would be just the thing.
Mr. Bridgerton, you might even make the most of this fine weather we’ve been having if you choose to marry sooner rather than later.
Colin is still very young.
I believe a lengthier engagement would be prudent, excellent weather notwithstanding.
Mother, have I told you Miss Thompson is very accomplished at needlework?
She is quite brilliant. Puts my sisters to shame.
I can assure you, that is not true.
You have not seen my sister Daphne’s embroidery.
In all honesty, it is like a battlefield.
♪ Oh dear, what can the matter be? ♪
♪ Oh dear, what can the matter be? ♪
♪ Oh dear, what can the matter be? ♪
♪ Johnny’s so long at the fair ♪
♪ He promised he’d buy me A bunch of blue ribbons ♪
♪ He promised to buy me A bunch of blue ribbons ♪
♪ Promised to buy me A bunch of blue ribbons ♪
♪ To tie up my bonny brown hair ♪
♪ And it’s oh dear… ♪
Might I have a word?
Pen, of course.
♪ What can the matter be ♪
♪ Oh dear ♪
It… is a rather delicate matter.
I wish I did not have cause to raise it, but I believe you deserve to know.
Is there something on my face?
Has it been there all evening? It has, hasn’t it?
Sorry. Um, go on.
I have wanted to talk to you since the engagement was announced, but we’re always in company.
So, this is something about Marina?
Her heart belongs to another.
His name is Sir George Crane.
He is a first son, a soldier.
They grew up in neighboring properties in the country.
I am sorry, but I have seen their love letters.
I felt you should know before it was too late.
You really are very good. You know that?
Did you think that I would care that she had fond feelings for another before we met?
It would be rich of me, considering I have flirted with half the girls in London at one point.
You misunderstand. This was no mere flirtation.
Marina loves this man. She loves him still.
And yet she is marrying me.
Trust me, Pen, do not fret.
I know my mind and Marina’s.
We understand each other.
Oh. Have we moved the party to the corridor?
You know, it is peculiar, but the further I get from that pianoforte, the more like a party it feels.
Pen, your mother’s asking for you.
Is anything wrong?
Is it my brother? He…
He was odious at dinner. I apologize.
I cannot stand it, Colin.
My own father does not want me.
Even the Featheringtons cannot wait to be rid of me.
Fool that I am, I truly thought that with your family, I might finally find acceptance.
But it is no use.
Even your mother is just being polite.
That is not true, Marina.
I am your family now.
We shall make our own family, you and me.
It is all I want.
It is all I want in all the world.
I wish we could be married this very minute.
Then we could be alone together always.
I would never have to leave your arms.
What if I told you there was a way?
Colin, what are…
Scotland. Gretna Green.
I know it is mad, but we could be married within a matter of days.
We just have to make it to the border.
Anthony would be an ogre about it when we first return, of course, but by then, it would be too late.
We would be married. We would be together.
You hate the idea.
I love it.
I love you.
Allow me a day. I shall arrange everything.
Ah. Here you are.
Oh, good morning, dearest.
The steward’s books, I take it?
Mm. I could not sleep.
Not even after last night’s exertions?
Would you care to break your fast with me?
I am sorry, my love. The farmer in the village was right.
The estates have been neglected far too long.
Wheat yields are down, yet nobody uses the fields for livestock grazing, or rotate to a more plentiful crop.
Is that not the steward’s job?
They’re my tenants, my people.
The responsibility is mine.
Please, excuse me. I have been staring at these figures all morning.
I suppose I have a good deal to occupy myself with today too.
You know, I mean to visit some of your tenants.
I might deliver some gift baskets and…
Are you missing home, Your Grace?
Do you think we have enough for all the baskets?
Um, I should think so.
Whatever are you…
I will have someone gather those on your behalf.
One of the kitchen maids or the gardener.
Was no one available to assist you?
There is no need to trouble anyone, Mrs. Colson.
We have it all in hand.
Do you intend to collect honey from the hives in person as well?
That might be a little beyond me.
If you simply tell me of your wants and needs, I will ensure everything is in order.
I will ensure everything is done properly.
I shall keep that in mind.
Thank you, Mrs. Colson.
Faith, she despises me.
She despises everybody.
Do not give it another thought.
Would you like a basket?
A basket from Clyvedon?
Oh! A basket from Clyvedon?
Is something amiss?
Mama taught me it was tradition for the new duchess to visit with gifts.
Well, I believe it is proper.
Should I have worn a different dress?
Or perhaps it signifies I am high in the instep.
Would you like a basket from Clyvedon? There is bread and honey for the children.
Oh. You are too kind.
I would gladly take one if I had means to carry it home.
Then we are determined to walk with you.
Oh, no. I didn’t…
No. Oh, I…
Perhaps I might ask your opinion on something?
Though, how I might advise a duchess, I am not sure.
I feel that I have done something to offend the village.
I know I am new to the role, but I cannot imagine what I have done wrong so soon.
It was the pigs.
You said that all three pigs won.
At the fair?
I thought it the best outcome for everyone.
It is tradition that the winner is allowed to supply pork to Clyvedon for the next year.
It’s a great number of pigs, indeed.
When you could not choose a winner, no farmer won the contract, nor the income to go along with it.
Simply speaking, you, um…
You snubbed them.
I will correct my mistake at once. I… I had no idea.
How could you have, Your Grace?
What is all this?
Is everything well?
Ah, Daphne. Yes.
I’m setting up work in the east wing.
What’s wrong with the study?
You shall have to excuse me.
Do you have a moment?
I know I have made some missteps since I arrived.
My mother taught me a great deal about being mistress of a household, but I am not sure either of us ever imagined a house as grand as this one.
I am so very grateful for your guidance, Mrs. Colson.
The truth is…
I fear the duke might not be entirely at ease here at Clyvedon, which is of course no reflection of you or any of your staff.
No. I… I quite understand.
Eh… I beg your pardon. His Grace…
His childhood was not always easy.
After the death of my late mistress, the duke lived almost exclusively in London.
Do you mean to say that Simon grew up here on his own?
We did our best to take care of him, to mind him as his mother would have wanted.
Of course you did.
The late duke must have loved his wife very much to have struggled so after her death.
Was it not a happy marriage, then?
It was strained.
He wanted an heir.
She wanted a child.
She kept trying long after the doctors warned her not to.
Every month when her courses came, it broke my heart to see her.
She was lucky to have you.
Everyone talked as though it was her fault.
But how could they know that? It is not always the woman who is barren.
Sometimes it is the man’s fault, of course.
Oh dear. I am afraid I am speaking out of turn.
No. Not at all, Mrs. Colson.
You were saying?
Well, I said to the duchess what my mother said to me.
A womb cannot quicken without strong, healthy seed.
And then, just as she was finally blessed with Master Simon… we lost her.
Why are you not dressed?
I told you we were dining with Lady Gartside this evening.
Sorry, Mama. I’m not feeling well.
I ought to make you come along to cough and splutter all evening.
It would serve Lady Gartside right.
She has been withholding a dinner invitation from me, and now look…
Not a day after Miss Thompson’s announcement, and they all come crawling.
Enjoy your evening, Mama!
Penelope, what are you…?
How dare you!
Look at the signature on Sir George’s last letter, and this one from many months ago.
So, they are not the same.
The slant of the lettering, it is all wrong.
Penelope, I’m tired. I haven’t…
It was in a drawer on the back of Mama’s desk.
She or even Mrs. Varley practiced George’s signature, but even they could not get it perfect.
That last letter, the one where he broke your heart… it was a forgery, Marina.
George never wrote those things to you.
He never denied loving you. He never denied your child.
Even if you are correct…
I am correct. You cannot deny…
Even if it is true, George has still not replied to my letters.
He has abandoned me, while Colin has embraced me.
I thought you loved him.
I was a fool.
This changes nothing.
Why is your bag packed?
Tell me you are not going to Gretna Green!
Marina! What will you do when Colin realizes the child is not his?
That day will come. He is not simple.
What I will do is live safe in the knowledge that my husband is a good and kind man.
He would never turn me out on the street.
He will care for us both, come what may.
But what of him? What of Colin?
You love him.
No, it makes sense now. Your objections, your meddling.
You love Colin Bridgerton.
You know not of what you speak.
I believe I know so much more than you, Pen… of Colin, of the world.
If I am to be the executioner of this childish infatuation, then so be it.
Your love is an unrequited fantasy.
Colin sees you as you are and regards you no differently than he does Eloise, or even little Hyacinth.
He sees me as a wife, a woman.
And as a woman, I must make these difficult choices for myself and for my child… even if they hurt your feelings.
Working late, Your Grace?
Curse it. What time is it?
These books seem to have taken possession of you.
Those people rely on me to make a living, to feed their families.
I should not have stayed away so long.
Why did you?
No particular reason.
Business in London.
But then I met this impertinent young lady with a right hook like an East End prizefighter.
I am serious.
As am I.
We ought to clean up for dinner.
I’ll meet you in the dining room.
Your Grace! These are the servants’ quarters!
Where is Miss Nolan?
Your Grace, what is wrong? You should have rung for me.
I need you to tell me something, Rose.
How does a woman come to be with child?
My mother told me nothing.
Please. No embarrassment.
Explain it to me, precisely.
It was such a simple solution.
We can increase the harvest if the farmers plant turnip.
On my travels, I encountered farmers who tripled their income by no longer rotating crops, and instead, planting turnip, and then turning out sheep to graze and remove the weeds.
Thank you, Your Grace!
And please send my great thanks to the duke!
He has purchased us several cattle for the farm so that we may rear livestock until the soil is fertile again.
Our fortunes have been restored.
You may return to the house.
I wish to walk a while.
Are you ready for bed, my dear?
I believe I am.
♪ Keep your breath on me ♪
♪ And keep keep keep going ‘Til my body is free ♪
♪ And keep keep keep going ‘Til my body is free ♪
♪ Keep your eyes on me ♪
♪ And keep keep keep going ‘Til I’m the last thing you see ♪
♪ Keep your touch on my skin ♪
♪ Keep keep keep going Keep keep keep going ♪
♪ Oh you’re taking me down Haunting my dreams ♪
♪ I’d like to end the world with you ♪
♪ You’re taking me on Haunting my heart ♪
♪ I’m at the end of the world with you ♪
♪ You’re taking me down Haunting my dreams ♪
♪ I’m at the end of the world with you ♪
What did you do?
I had hoped it was not true.
I had hoped I was mistaken, but clearly, I was not.
How could you?
How could I?
How could I?
You lied to me.
I did not lie.
I trusted you.
I trusted you more than anyone in this world, and you took advantage.
You seized an opportunity. And so I did the very same.
I told you I cannot give you children.
“Cannot” and “will not” are two entirely different things.
You chose this for yourself.
You chose to lie to me.
I did not lie. I thought you were prepared.
I thought you understood how a child came to be.
You took my future from me, the one thing I wanted more than anything.
You knew. You knew that becoming a mother, to have a family of my own one day, you knew that was all I ever wanted.
I was prepared to die on that dueling field rather than marry you and take your dream away.
I would have died for you.
You were the one who insisted on this union.
You told me I was enough.
That was before I knew you.
Do you know, I even felt pity for you?
“Poor Simon,” I thought. “How it must pain him to never know what it is to be a father.”
I never asked for your pity.
And I never asked for your betrayal!
You love me? No, you most certainly do not.
You do not know the meaning of the word.
You do not lie to the one you love.
You do not trick the one you love.
You do not humiliate the one you love.
I may not know much, as you have made abundantly clear, but I do know one thing… I know that is not love.
All is fair in love and war, but some battles leave no victor, only a trail of broken hearts that makes us wonder if the price we pay is ever worth the fight.
The ones we love have the power to inflict the greatest scars.
For what thing is more fragile… than the human heart?
The bond between man and bride is private, sacred.
But I must tell you,
I have learned that a grave fraud is afoot.
What is it?
As if the Featheringtons did not have enough to be dealing with, Miss Marina Thompson is with child… and she has been from the very first day she arrived in our fair city.
Desperate times may call for desperate measures, but I would wager many will think her actions beyond the pale.
Perhaps she thought it her only option, or perhaps she knows no shame.
But I ask you, can the ends ever justify such wretched means?