Review: Mistress of Charlecote

MARY ELIZABETH WILLIAMS, a 19th-century miniature by Richard Buckner from the Ebony Bedroom at Charlecote Park

We are often referring to the Mistress of Charlecote book in our posts, especially on our ‘On this day…’ series. But perhaps you think we might be a little biased. After all, they are the memoirs of Mary Elizabeth who played such an important role in creating the Charlecote that we know and love today.

Below you will find the first part of Susanna Ives review. Susanna herself is a writer and sets some of her stories in the Victorian era.

Intrigued? Just follow the links below to read more…

Review: Mistress of Charlecote – The Memoirs of Mary Elizabeth Lucy

Posted on April 22, 2013 by Susanna

Several years ago, I was browsing through a research book – the title now escapes me – when I followed a tiny bibliographic note to a memoir titled Mistress of Charlecote – The Memoirs of Mary Elizabeth Lucy. Intrigued, I ordered a copy; and it has since become the favorite of all my research books. I admit, I haven’t read it from start to finish but willy-nilly, a few pages here and there. Yet wherever I begin reading, Mrs. Lucy’s voice immediately grabs me. It is intimate and unadorned, appealing to the modern reader. If you are a fan of Jane Austen or the late Regency and Victorian Eras, I highly recommend that you purchase this book.

One of the passages in her memoirs that really struck me was the description of her marriage to George Lucy in 1823. When her father informed her that she was to marry Mr. Lucy, she knelt and pleaded with him to refuse. But her father wouldn’t relent. She writes, “I had been brought up to obey my parents in everything and, though I dearly loved Papa, I had always rather feared him.” Mary Elizabeth runs to her mother in the nursery and weeps. Her mother assures the distraught young woman that she will learn to love her husband — an assumption that later proves correct. On her twentieth birthday, Mr. Lucy visited Elizabeth Lucy at her home, Boddlewyddan, in Wales (I’ve been there!), bringing her a Brussels lace wedding veil and jewelry made of diamonds and rubies… <more>

There is also a review on the Jane Austin web pages.

We’d love to hear what you thought of the book if you have read it. Please do share any of your thoughts by leaving a comment below.


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