Welcome to my birthday party! Please help yourself to a slice of cake while you enjoy an excerpt from my new book, A Mother’s Touch.
My book, which first posted right here on the DarcyandLizzy forum is a collection of seven stories inspired by Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. See Lady Anne through the eyes of her daughter, Georgiana, in Lady Anne’s Quilt. Experience the relationship young Fitzwilliam has with his mother in Our Special Day. Then join Fitzwilliam and Elizabeth and discover how wonderful it is to have Lady Anne’s influence in their lives as they become parents in Our Future.
In this post I thought it would be fun to meet Bennet James Fitzwilliam Darcy. As you can imagine, being the first born, Elizabeth and Darcy absolutely dote on the boy. Let us begin with a conversation between Bennet and his mother in The Teacher.
Pemberley, The Master Bedchamber, 1817
Lazily setting her book aside, Elizabeth Darcy leaned her head back against the pillows of the bed. The curtains fluttered as a warm breeze blew in through the window, prompting her to close her eyes in repose. Rubbing the swell of her stomach, she could feel a gentle kicking since she was once again increasing with child. Happily, she began to hum a little tune hoping that the sound of her voice would soothe the babe growing within her body.
Now that she was in her sixth month, her morning sickness had long subsided, and all she wanted was a little extra rest each day. In addition, her husband was much calmer and more self-assured since she had borne her first confinement without any complications. Though he still remained a bit protective, he did not worry over her to the extent he had with their firstborn. In Elizabeth’s mind, little Bennet was the perfect child for William. Although he was not yet five-years-old, her son’s inquisitive mind and eagerness to learn compelled her husband to let go of his more reserved nature when they were together. The boy was very intelligent and thrived in his father’s company.
While it was customary for families of Darcy’s station to hire a governess or tutor for their children, for the time being, William preferred to see to the boy’s education himself. No matter what pressing estate business befell the master of Pemberley, he always allowed time for Bennet’s lessons. Once they began working on a project, hours would pass before either of them left the confines of the study or the Nature Room. On other days, her husband might allow the boy to accompany him as he made his rounds about the estate. Even though the boy was young, Bennet’s uncommon maturity allowed him to comprehend much about the responsibilities he would someday inherit.
Elizabeth could not help but smile when thinking of her son’s latest request. Earlier in the week, the young master had deemed he was too old for his afternoon naps and had proposed he no longer needed them. To his disappointment, Elizabeth had told him she would consider his request in another month when it was closer to his birthday. Young Bennet was an obedient son, but in this instance, it was difficult for him to abide by her decision. For three consecutive days, her son had taken to sneaking out of the nursery after pretending to fall asleep. His goal had been to join his father and today proved to be no exception when Elizabeth heard the patter of little feet running past her room.
Rising from her bed and opening the door, she looked down the hall and saw her precious son standing on his tiptoes, peering over the top of the banister. With his shoes in hand, he was no doubt checking for servants who might report his misdeeds. Watching Bennet as he carefully took one last look around before attempting his descent, Elizabeth quickly walked in his direction with her arms crossed and a stern expression fixed on her face. Seeing his mother, the boy dropped his shoes and hung his head in defeat.
“Bennet James Fitzwilliam Darcy,” Elizabeth calmly spoke. “Would you please pick up your shoes and come with me so that we may talk?”
“Yes, Mama,” he answered, his little mouth downturned as he followed her into her chambers.
Trying not to smile at his seriousness, Elizabeth sat on the sofa and patted a place next to her where she wished Bennet to sit. “Now, my son, can you tell me why you have left the nursery when you were supposed to be taking your afternoon nap?”
“Yes, Mama, I can.” He sat up tall and began to speak with resolution. “I have very important work to do with Papa, and I wanted to join him for my lessons.”
“I see.” Running her fingers through his curly hair she said, “Do you not think that your lessons can wait until you have rested? Even Papa says that he can concentrate much better when he has had a proper rest, and I know he does not mind waiting for you.”
“But, Mama, it is very hard for me to rest on the days when we have our lessons. Papa is my teacher, and I want to learn everything that he knows. Yesterday he finished drawing a new picture in our learning book, and today we are going to have a story. Mama….” His face drew close to hers as his eyes widened in excitement. “It is a picture of a great, big, green dragon with many scales and sharp horns, and Papa said I could help him tell the story.” The boy was bursting with pride as he continued. “I could not rest for thinking of what our story might be.”
“A dragon?” she questioned.
“Yes, the colonel told me the legend of the dragon and of brave knights and of castles and of kings and queens when he was last here. Papa and I have been making a study.” He beamed.
Unable to resist his enthusiasm, Elizabeth held out her arms and crushed her son into a hug. “Oh, my son, it sounds truly wondrous. I now understand why you were so anxious to join Papa. Perhaps we should suspend your nap for today. Would you like that?”
“Oh yes, Mama, I would.”
Kissing his forehead, she said, “Then let us put on your shoes. No matter how anxious you are to meet him, Papa expects you to act like the young master of Pemberley when you are about the house. That means you must wear your shoes and not run through the halls like a wild dog.” She gave him a meaningful look.
“Yes, Mama,” he politely answered while pulling on his shoes.
“Very good. I think I should also like to hear this story. May I join you?”
“Please, Mama, do come!” Young Bennet excitedly bounced to the floor taking her hand. “Let us go now! Papa will be waiting.”
So what do you think of our little Bennet? And how about the dragon which Darcy drew at his son’s request?
Now it’s your turn to have your say by leaving your thoughts in the comment thread. If you are a winner of one of the eBooks and do not live in the United States, I’ll purchase a gift card for your Amazon marketplace so you can pick up the book that way. Good luck!
Jennifer Redlarczyk ♫
PRIZES: Be sure to let me know which Prizes you’re interested in winning in your comments. The Giveaway goes through May 26th. ♫
- A Mother’s Touch: 3 eBooks – You may choose a print book if you live in the United States or Canada.
- Darcy’s Melody: 1 eBook – You may choose a print book if you live in the United States or Canada.
- A Very Merry Mix-up: 1 eBook – You may choose a print book if you live in the United States or Canada.
- A Taste of Peanut Butter: 2 eBooks -You may choose a print book if you live in the United States or Canada.
- A Holiday to Remember: 2 eBooks -You may choose a print book if you live in the United States or Canada.
- Taking Another Chance by Brenda Webb: 1 eBook
- TWO $5 Amazon gift cards for your market place to purchase ANY book of your choice.
- Jane Austen Patchwork Mystery by Linda Franz: 1 Print book to a winner who lives in either the United States or Canada.
Note: The print book by Linda Franz is an amazing display of the Jane Austen Quilt which resides at Chawton House. This book is filled with beautiful pictures, history about the quilt and directions on how to make your own replica.