BRIDGET WHELAN writer

for writers and readers….

The Brighton Regency Housekeeper gets compliments from a stranger…and letters from the Americas

Mrs Finnegan is the Celebrated Authority on affairs of the HEART and HOUSEHOLD MANAGEMENT in addition to being housekeeper of The Regency Town HouseThis week she writes about secrets and a woman who has been WRONGED.

When I saw your noble profile I knew instantly that my dreams were fulfilled. There is a beautiful world. There is a place where I can hide and where I could belong. Never before have I felt this way. I want to be with you every day and every night.
Star Struck from Storrington

I WOULD be slightly more flattered Sir, if your GRAMMAR were better. Don’t you think a few IMPORTANT PRONOUNS are missing?
There are too many I wants and I needs and not NEARLY ENOUGH you or your – the occasional we would also not go amiss.
Would you like to know what WOULD fulfil my dreams?
It would involve a DILIGENT STAFF beneath me, a benevolent and short-sighted mistress ABOVE, a warm west wind on WASH DAYS, rain that had the good manners to fall ONLY after sundown and a man who… Ah, but I think your ATTENTION has wandered already.
FAREWELL fickle FOLLOWER….

My garden is in the grip of this dark miserable winter. As I look from my window I despair as to the best way of brightening up the stark view. In summer it is a kaleidoscope of gaudy splendour, but it is so very drear in February.

I was thinking of snow drops with petals of purist white. Do you know the kind I mean? I like the ones with stitches of emerald green at their hem. Perhaps golden Aconites  will lighten these dark days of winter.  I may be able to find a pot or two at the market.
Is there anything else you can suggest?
Rosie Blossom of Primrose Hill

I AM AFRAID you have asked the wrong person as we only grow washing in the courtyard of The Regency Town House (and other things essential for the maintenance of life such as a well and a bucket.) I have always known that flowers do not grow in vases, but I am as little interested in their origin as a cat in the price of garters

May I seek your sage advice Mrs Finnegan? What would be required in a reference for employment as a Ladies Maid? Is praise of her Fine Needlework a requisite?”

Miss Hopeful from Hassocks

IT IS NOT easy to secure a position as a ladies maid without PRIOR experience, but a reference containing the following may FIND FAVOUR with a prospective employer:

  • that you have on OCCASION dressed the hair of the lady (or ladies) of the household
  • that you have on occasion DRESSED the lady of the household
  • that you have on occasion undressed THE LADY of the household
  • that you make an excellent BUTTERED toddy
  • that you are of NEAT and sensible appearance and do not draw male attention to yourself

While praise for fine needlework may look well on paper, the phrase that will LEAP OFF the page and secure you a position, even if you have none of the above, is SKILLED AT INVISIBLE MENDING.

Yours faithfully
Mrs Finnegan

PS

In the same post I RECIEVED two heart-warming letters from the Americas. First, one from Linda in Phoenix far to the south (she doesn’t say whether Phoenix is a farm, a MANSION or a plantation but it sounds delightful). I believe I am right in thinking that she lives in a Mexican DESERT. That notion cheered me up as it feels as though I live in a ditch. (I do hate it when ice forms on the inside of the window, don’t you? Linda, I’ll explain ice another time)

But I cannot complain when my other correspondent is Tiffany from LOWER Canada WHO KNOWS everything about ice and snow. She and Linda are agog with curiosity about recent happenings at Number 13 Brunswick Square. And who can BLAME THEM when so many secrets float in the air?

Tiffany has an interesting theory:
…there may be something suspect about the young lady who has moved into the D’Arthur’s house. I do not feel that the mother and son are honest and now they have a secret young lady living with them…might they start demanding funds if she were the woman carrying the child of your mistress’ son?

Regular readers will know that I do not hold the D’Arthurs in ESTEEM, but that thought had not occurred to me.

AH, but to think that I now have a GLOBAL READERSHIP.
OH, to think that the Hankey family secrets are known across the ATLANTIC. And talking of the family, the Mistress has written again.

I presume from your silence that until now no one has knocked asking for work. This makes me worry more not less. Unless we can tie this wench to us in some fashion, make her grateful so to speak, she will be in a position to cause the family, and particularly myself, a deal of trouble. I realised, as soon as I had sent my last letter, that I had not given you any description of her…

Indeed, she had not…

I have asked Thomson Junior for a description and he was most reticent. Perhaps he did not notice in his haste! If so, these are habits he woefully inherits from his father, but I will say no more.

NO MORE, I beg of you. America, stop reading now!

Eventually he embarked on a eulogy of praise. She is barely five foot tall, not exactly black but certainly not white. The daughter of a slave master, perhaps? I am deeply distressed and wait every hour for news of her.

I fear my position as housekeeper may be in JEOPARDY, but what can I DO ? I look across the Square and see a face staring back at me from the first floor window of the D’Arthur household. It’s not the handsome young dancing master, nor his SNAKE-FACED mother. It is an extraordinary face – beautiful in a terrifying way

Could it be the woman WRONGED by young MASTER Thompson?
If so, what is she GOING TO DO about it?

Mrs Finnegan is the creation of Bridget Whelan  and Paul Couchman, The Regency Cook 
SCARED you may miss a thrilling episode?
APPREHENSIVE that a Tuesday may PASS you by?
FEAR NO MORE. A special messenger service will drive a coach & four to your front door (or use some other means) to deliver you every WEEKLY episode of The Finnegan Chronicles at NO TROUBLE to yourself.
All you need do is KNOCK ON THIS DOOR 

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This entry was posted on February 9, 2021 by in Mrs Ainsley and tagged , , , , , .
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