Tag Archives: Duke of Danesleigh

The Duchess Returns

​Once again, my dear ones, it is clear that I must take a hand and lend my assistance to dear Miss Stokes. Dear girl that she is, her time management skills – well, I shall not find fault. As my husband the Duke says, I cannot judge a lady of the 21st Century by the standards of our day.

​Although, as I observe the world in which Miss Stokes lives, I believe that there is something to be said for those standards. During the reign of George III, we lived a more genteel, polite life in many ways. I cannot believe that Miss Stokes emptied the dust bins yesterday! And that after a full day of attending meetings, writing legal documents and so forth. Why, I took to my chambers with a dreadful headache after watching her! (Which was most disappointing to His Grace, I must tell you!)

​But enough of my observations. I believe that Miss Stokes’ practice is to share a photograph with you each Friday. (I refuse to use the phrase “Friday Foto.” A disgrace to the King’s English!) I do not care too much for photography; I prefer the more graceful depictions of reality produced by painters. Therefore, today I share with you one of my favorite works, Mr. Reynolds’ portrait of my friend, Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire. I feel that the artist captured dear Georgiana’s personality quite well, although my husband says she looks like she has a poker up her … posterior. Upon reflection, I believe we are both correct!

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And now, mon tres cher amies, I must take my leave. Dear Miss Stokes has a great deal of work to do, poor child, and I must surrender the computer to her. (Such a clever device, do you not agree? The Duke is absolutely fascinated by the operation of the thing. Sometimes to the point that his “surfing” quite annoys me. Ah, well. At least he is amused.)

A bientot, my loves!

Susan Takes Charge

     I can see that I am going to have to take a hand here. Miss Stokes, while a lovely girl (for a Colonist), has a troubling lack of attention to detail. She gets lost in her writing, and simply forgets the day-to-day matters that must be dealt with – well, daily.

            On the other hand, while I might not spend my days working as a barrister – goodness, these modern women! –  I have finely honed talents for organization and management. You twenty-first century women may scoff, but the life of an eighteenth century noblewoman was itself a career. I must manage seven large houses, dealing with the needs of our staff and my husband’s tenants, oversee the rearing and education of the next Duke of Danesleigh and his siblings, and maintain the lifestyle expected of a member of one of the oldest, noblest families in England. Not to mention making sure the Duke is well-pleased at all times. (I blush as I write this, but I know Miss Stokes and her readers have a great deal of interest in this aspect of my life.)

            Hmm. I am not accustomed to this modern lack of attention to etiquette, you know. As Miss Stokes has failed to observe the proprieties, I will introduce myself.  I am Susan Gerard, nee΄Lanier, Duchess of Danesleigh. You have, no doubt, heard of my husband, Edward, Eighth Duke of Danesleigh. He is quite renowned as an expert on Natural History, or what you moderns call a “scientist.” 

            Miss Stokes was kind enough to write a history of our courtship and the early days of our marriage. While it was somewhat distasteful to see the  intimate details of one’s life in print, Edward says that the public has a never-ending curiousity about the lives of the nobility, and that we must submit gracefully to the intrusion.

            Thus, I take pen in hand – No. Let us be precise, as dearest Edward would say. I take this device, a netbook as Miss Stokes calls it, in lap, to write a brief essay for inclusion on Miss Stokes’ “blog.” What a hideous word! It sounds rather abrupt and misshapen, do you not agree? Surely, even with the coarseness of modern communication, you people could have called it something more attractive.

            I refuse to use such an unpleasant word. I shall henceforth refer to Miss Stokes’ posting of essays, artwork and other ephemera as her “Electronic Journal.” And each entry I compose will be referred to as a billet-doux.

            Yes, I know that a billet-doux is, strictly speaking, a love letter. But after all, Miss Stokes feels a great deal of affection for her readers. And with the other liberties you Colonists have taken with our lovely English language, a slight deviation from definition should trouble you not at all.

            Thus, on behalf of The Duke, our children, and our amanuensis, Miss Stokes, I welcome you to this Electronic Journal.  If dear Miss Stokes gets caught up in the demands of her day-job and rearing her family of lively young misses, I shall step in to send her readers a billet-doux from time to time.

            I thank you for stopping by, and I look forward to corresponding with you in the future, 

                                                                                    I am, most cordially yours, etc.

                                                                                   Susan Danesleigh