BRIDGET WHELAN writer

for writers and readers….

The Life of Mrs Finnegan – PART II The CULTURED Years…Being the TRUE ACCOUNT of the Brighton Housekeeper’s rise to prominence in the 1830s

I am embarrassed and ENCOURAGED and more than a little overcome by how well my very first attempt at telling the story of my life has been received. Thank you. Thank YOU. I hope that you may look kindly at this, the concluding chapter.
While there is no MORAL pressure put UPON YOU to write and tell how much you like it, such epistles are a treasure worth MORE THAN MONEY to me and GLISTEN brighter than GOLD.

DEAR READER, PART I The FLAMING RED Years was a chronicle devoted to my youth. We now follow my entry into the world. Picture the scene: a poor orphan girl with a head full of poetry and untarnished dreams…some suggested teaching, but I knew the classroom was not for me. I needed a WIDER STAGE on which to perform.

…so I embraced the role of housekeeper AND secured a place in England and have never left.

True, the first household was on the small side, but I was a quick learner and was soon able to command my little ship to the satisfaction of my employers, as well as maintain their garden of CABBAGES.

I went from there to a larger establishment where I fell in love with the noble countenance of the man who would become my husband. (Noble in the sense he still possessed several of his own teeth. I do not wish readers to think I am claiming a position in society to which I am not entitled.)

Monsignor Finnegan – as he was wont to call himself – was butler to a French émigré who fled to England when the Revolution began. My husband had scant knowledge of the language himself, but what he didn’t know about the making of onion soup is not worth knowing.

Ours was a perfect partnership, but alas! we were the most unlucky of star-crossed lovers because 10 months after the bells rang out announcing our NUPTIALS he was stuck down with:
DYSPEPIA,
chronic DEBILITY,
VARIOUS types of ague,
frequent BOUTS of gout,
constant coughs and COLDS.
UNABLE to work, his rapid demise was frequently predicted (mainly by Mr Finnegan) but the day came when he declared he was feeling a TRIFLE BETTER. The next day better still. O! THE JOY that news brought.
He celebrated his COMPLETE RETURN TO HEALTH by spending an evening with friends only to fall into a well on his way home.
Alack! Alas, I was a widow and once more in mourning, although with better clothes.

It was at this time I became a companion to a titled lady of ADVANCED YEARS, travelling as far afield as Chingford, Neasden and Nuneaton in PURSUIT of a SUITABLE SUITOR (our hunt was not successful). I was then in charge of various other fine establishments of a superior nature, some with an annual household expenditure that was UPWARD of a considerable amount.

The most placid of women, as all that know me will READILY testify, there are only TWO THINGS in this world I ABHOR: injustice and – since the passing of my dear husband – ONION SOUP. (Three things: I’m not that keen on cabbages either.)

I stand before you today HOUSEKEEPER of The Regency Town House and advisor to the flummoxed and forlorn, an acknowledged expert in Love, Life and Laundry.

EVERY TUESDAY I answer letters from all corners of the British Isles and yes! they have even arrived across the wide storm-tossed Atlantic. You may read them here but BE HONEST have you ever forgotten it’s Tuesday?
Have the days of the weeks sometimes flittered by? You may REMEMBER it’s the day to polish the copper pans (mix silver sand with white vinegar, salt and a little flour) or acquire some new goose wings (the best tool for spider web removal) but could you SWEAR ON YOUR LIFE it was a TUESDAY? I solve that problem – along with so many more – by arranging A SPECIAL MESSENGER SERVICE to drive a coach & four to your front door (or perhaps by some other means) to deliver you every WEEKLY episode of The Finnegan Chronicles at NO COST and NO TROUBLE to yourself.

Click HERE and the job is done. You can rest easy in your bed at night KNOWING YOU WILL NEVER MISS ANOTHER TUESDAY. Doesn’t that make you feel better?

2 comments on “The Life of Mrs Finnegan – PART II The CULTURED Years…Being the TRUE ACCOUNT of the Brighton Housekeeper’s rise to prominence in the 1830s

  1. SD Gates
    November 15, 2020

    I love it – and the pictures add so much to the beautiful prose – poor Mrs. Finnegan.

  2. bridget whelan
    November 16, 2020

    Thank you – I’m pass your comments on. I’m sure Mrs Finnegan will be gratified and grateful (and greedy for more)

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This entry was posted on November 15, 2020 by in Mrs Finnegen ADVICE from the 1830 and tagged , , , .
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