Friday, September 8, 2017

Fair Stands the Winds Blog Tour ~ Guest Post, Excerpt, & Giveaway!

Hello, friends! I have another blog tour to bring to you this week! I'm delighted to have Catherine Lodge here today with her new book, Fair Stands the Wind! A Pride and Prejudice retelling with a much different spin... Darcy's a second son! 

Join me in welcoming Catherine to So little time...! I hope you enjoy her guest post. I found it very interesting! 

That's the trouble with youth - it's wasted on the young.

They're all so young! I'd completely forgotten that bit at Rosings where Elizabeth confesses she is not yet one-and-twenty (by the way, no one is ever ten-and-anything in British English, though I have seen that written more than once). Jane is scarcely any older and even the dreaded Lydia is only 15/16.

Speaking in my capacity as a broken-down old crone of 60 (don't get me started on policeman, I passed one sniffing the other day and had to restrain myself from producing a tissue, holding it to his nose and demanding he blow), even Mr and Mrs Bennet are only young. If we reckon that Jane is 22 and they married when Mrs B was 18 (that sort of ditzy prettiness doesn't last) and he was in his mid-20s (any older and he'd have known better) that leaves us with a Ma and Pa of 40 and 47.

Which made me wonder why the Bennets had given up all hope of an heir, nowadays a 40-year-old mother would be nothing to remark upon. So I went looking for age of menopause - and guess what? Couldn't find any data - I suppose it was too private or something. Even when I changed the search to the "climacteric", a much nicer word in my opinion, I found nothing precise at all. Aristotle reckoned it happened at age 40 but he is not exactly known for his medical expertise nor were the medievals who reckoned on 50.

So I went looking for age of last child and there I hit a surprise. Of all the named women I could think of from around the time, from the wife of George III to Catherine Dickens, all had their last child in their mid to late thirties. Either the poor women had said enough was enough (9 or 10 children was common) or they just were not capable of bearing any more children.

That leaves two theories for why the Bennets have given up on an heir. Mr Bennet can't stand listening to her complain and is staying out of her bed or Mrs B has hit early menopause. You can just imagine the enthusiasm with which that lady would greet the symptoms - no wonder fandom has her vigorously fanning herself - poor woman is having hot flushes.

Anyway - youth. It might well explain why Elizabeth turns down first Collins and then Darcy. She is too young to have realised, what the older Charlotte Lucas has had to accept, that if she's not careful, Elizabeth may find herself as the Miss Bates of Meryton, eking out a straightened existence on a small fixed income. Marriage to Mr Collins might be boring and irritating - I don't think Ms Austen's Collins is worse than that no matter what we fan-writers might turn him into - but at least it's a full stomach, a roof over your head, a respectable position in society and no money worries. At 20 a young lady can afford to be idealistic in a way that at 30 a young lady cannot.

Youth also explains why Jane is too shy to show her regard for Bingley, why Mary is too silly to know what she is reading and why Kitty and Lydia chase after boys. The latter in particular are still just children, too young to know what they are doing, only knowing that there's a thrill to be had from admiration. After all, how old is Wickham, nearly thirty? Practically a paedophile where 15-year-old Lydia is concerned. It was obviously possible to marry than young but I couldn't find anyone in history who did, even Mary Shelley didn't run off with Percy Shelley until she was 17.

We've all seen so many adaptations were the actors are much older than their characters that we've forgotten that they're all nobbut bairns as we say round here. Elizabeth isn't old enough to have left University. Lydia isn't old enough to have left school!

As for me, I'm old enough to remember a BBC production with David Rintoul as Mr Darcy, now he's playing the voice of Granddad Dog in the Peppa Pig videos!


During Jane's illness at Netherfield

     Jane was awake and dressing when Elizabeth next called in to see her. It was almost time for luncheon, and Jane was feeling so much better that it was decided that they would go down together once Elizabeth had called on the other ladies.

Georgiana was still in bed and confessed, on close but kindly questioning, that she was in some discomfort. So Elizabeth ordered a small stone bottle filled with hot water and wrapped in flannel to ease her pain. Once again, the poor young lady seemed bemused by such kindness but still managed to say all that was grateful.

However, when Elizabeth knocked on the door next to Georgiana’s, a maid answered that Mrs. Darcy had eaten but was still very tired and preferred not to see anybody at the moment. “And,” said the maid, whom Elizabeth recognised as a cousin of their Hill, “if I let you in, I’d ’ave to let that Miss Bingley in too, and she’s already sent her maid round with ’er ears ’anging out. The poor lady don’t need botherin’ no more and that’s a fact.” Then, obviously realising that she had said more than it was her place to, she scurried back into the bedroom.

Elizabeth shared something of all this with Jane before they went downstairs, and Jane agreed that it would be kind to visit Miss Darcy after they had eaten. She also suggested that reading to her might help to take her mind off her aches and pains.

They had just reached the head of the main staircase down to the hall when they heard an all-too-familiar voice. “Oh, Mr. Bingley, I am sure you have been all that is generous, but a mother’s anxiety, sir, you can have no idea of. With my poor dear Bennet so very ill, I felt I just had to come and see how poor Jane is doing. I am sure you will remember my youngest daughter, Lydia.”

     Lydia giggled. “Oh, Ma,” she said, “how you do go on!”

     Elizabeth grasped her sister’s arm and dragged her out of sight. Jane would have protested, but Elizabeth succeeded in motioning her into silence and dragging her back into her bedroom.

     “Elizabeth, that was Mama. We must go down and see her.”

     “No, we must not,” said Elizabeth, searching for her sister’s nightgown. “You must get back into bed immediately. You know you are here entirely by Mama’s contrivance. What do you think she will say if she sees that you are recovered and ready to return home? Can you not imagine how indignant she will be to find all her plots and plans so thoroughly undermined?” She did not mention how that indignation would be expressed; she did not have to, for Jane began to undress hurriedly, urging Elizabeth to help her with buttons and ties.

     She was under the sheets just in time, for a knock came at the door shortly after, a maid sent to enquire whether Miss Bennet was ready to receive her mother. Jane squeezed her eyes shut as Elizabeth opened the door a crack and whispered that her sister had just that minute closed her eyes and that
she, Elizabeth, would come down.

     When she arrived downstairs, she found her mother and Lydia ensconced in the drawing room, drinking tea and talking with all their usual thoughtless inanity. Mrs. Bennet was extolling Jane’s virtues to a fascinated Mr. Bingley and a highly suspicious Miss Bingley and Mrs. Hurst. “I have no idea what could have happened to Jane, for she has not had a day’s illness since she was very small. Such a healthy young girl, and as for her temperament, all though I say it —who should not—she is a girl in whom beauty of face is just a sign of the greater beauty within.”

     Meanwhile, Lydia was attempting to persuade Mr. Bingley to hold a ball. “… for with the militia newly arrived in the village, there shall be partners for all, and I shall not have to stand up with Mr. Wright who does not know his ‘Sir Roger de Coverley’ from his ‘Gathering Peascods,’ and even if he did, he does not have a red coat and a sword.” 

    When Elizabeth entered, she was assailed with enquiries from Mrs. Bennet about Jane’s health, and she knew she was not the only person in the room to read her mother’s determination that Jane stay exactly where she was for the time being. Mrs. Bennet’s elephantine ideas of sophistication were transparent to anyone of ordinary intelligence. Luckily, Mr. Bingley seemed too interested in and concerned for Jane to have noticed.

Book Blurb: 

We all know that in Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, Mr Darcy is proud and prejudiced because he is a wealthy landowner who believes himself above his company; and that Elizabeth Bennet can afford to be proud and prejudiced because she believes she has the freedom to make choices for herself. 

But what if Mr Darcy is the second son, sent to sea at a young age? What if Elizabeth is trapped by circumstances, with an ill father on one side and an understandably desperate mother on the other? 

Meet Captain Darcy of the Royal Navy, a successful frigate captain, with ample prize-money and a sister he needs to provide for while he is at sea. Meet Elizabeth Bennet, who needs a husband and is trying to resign herself to Mr Collins, the worst “least worst alternative” in the history of literature.

Buy: Amazon USAmazon UK
Add to Goodreads.

FTC Disclaimer: Link to Amazon US. I am an Amazon Associate. Should you purchase a copy of the book through the link provided, I will receive a small commission. Thanks!

Meet Catherine Lodge

Catherine Lodge is a semi-retired lawyer and lecturer, living in Yorkshire–a part of the UK even more beautiful than Derbyshire. One of five daughters, although by birth order regrettably the Jane, she found 19th Century literature early in her teens and never looked back–even if that meant her school essays kept coming back with “archaic!” written in the margin next to some of her favourite words. She still thinks that “bruited” is a much nicer word than “rumoured.”

After years of drafting leases and pleadings, she finally started to write for fun in her forties and has never stopped since. Much of this will never see the light of day, having been fed to the digital equivalent of a roaring bonfire, but “Fair Stands the Wind” is the first book she thinks worthy of public attention.

She spends her day fixing computer problems for friends and family, singing in her local choir, and avoiding the ironing.

Connect with Catherine

Blog Tour Schedule

08/30   Babblings of a Bookworm;  Guest Post or Vignette, GA
08/31   My Vices and Weaknesses; Character Interview, GA
09/01   Austenesque Reviews; Vignette, Excerpt, GA
09/02   Interests of a Jane Austen Girl; Review, Excerpt, Giveaway
09/03   Darcyholic Diversions; Author Interview, GA
09/04   Half Agony, Half Hope; Review, Vignette
09/05   Of Pens and Pages; Review, Excerpt, GA
09/06   Diary of an Eccentric; Guest Post, Vignette, Giveaway
09/07   From Pemberley to Milton; Guest Post or Vignette, Excerpt, GA
09/08 So little time...; Guest Post, Excerpt, Giveaway
09/09   My Love for Jane Austen; Vignette, GA
09/10   Margie’s Must Reads; Review, Excerpt, GA
09/11   My Jane Austen Book Club; Guest Post, Excerpt, GA
09/12   Just Jane 1813; Review, GA

* * * GIVEAWAY * * *

It's giveaway time! Meryton Press is giving away 8 E-copies of Fair Stands the Wind to 8 lucky winners! To enter, fill out the Rafflecopter below!

  • Only one e-copy per winner.
  • Readers may enter the drawing by tweeting once a day and daily commenting on a blog post or review that has a giveaway attached for the tour.    
  •  Entrants must provide the name of the blog where they commented.
  • Winners will be randomly selected by Rafflecopter.
  • Giveaway is open internationally.
Good luck! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Remember: Tweet and comment once daily to earn extra entries.

This is a group giveaway. So little time... is not responsible for books lost or damaged in shipping or any prizes shipped by publishers or authors.

Thanks so much to Catherine Lodge for stopping by today! And Congratulations on the release of Fair Stands the Wind!

Also, many thanks to Meryton Press for the generous giveaway! 

I was thinking about the age of Mrs. Bennet and early menopause, do you think because of shorter life expectancies that women went into menopause earlier? 

What are your thoughts? We would love to hear from you! 


  1. You may be right, Candy, though as Catherine said she couldn't find any research data to back it up. The excerpt left me curious about Mrs Darcy. I guess she must be Captain Darcy's sister-in-law (his elder brother's wife) but why is there no sign of her husband?

    1. Lol, Luthien84, at first the "Mrs Darcy" gave me a scare! But I'm guessing the same as you, a sister-in-law. Let's hope we are right!!

      Too bad about the research data not being there. Also, Catherine might be right about the body just giving out after so many pregnancies. It's a very interesting topic!

    2. Ha ha! You're both wrong and wrong to be worried!

  2. Very interesting post! I've often wondered about the Bennets' age and I've always thought they were indeed young, well.. young for our time. ;) Thanks for sharing this!

    1. Hi, Maria! I agree - young for our time! I enjoyed this post too! Thanks for stopping by!

  3. Always thought Bennet was a lot older than Mrs Bennet, which was why he was taken in - there is nothing like an old fool - and why Mrs Bennet was so concerned about him dying on her.

    1. Hi, Vesper! Hmmm... That's an interesting thought. You might be on to something there.

    2. That is an interesting thought! I'd never thought of it like that, I've always seen Mrs B as a ditzy blonde and you're quite right, there's no fool like an old fool. No wonder he's sniping at her all the time, he married the wrong woman and it's all his own fault. Mr B is not a Nice Man

  4. Fascinating post, Catherine. Viewing the Bennets and fertility through a modern lens certainly does raise eyebrows and make one wonder at the attitude of desperation and futility that so fuels the story. Of course, it's those attitudes that add so much realism and humor. Thanks for sharing this.

    1. Yes, they do, Jan! I can understand some of Mrs. Bennet's actions now.

  5. Very interesting post. Looking forward to this variation

    1. Thanks, Becky! I hope you get a chance to read it! :)

    2. Don't give up hope folks, there's always the paperback and I'm still plugging away at Amazon to get the e-book out.

  6. Great post. Look forward to reading.

  7. That author guest post was something I've always been curious about but never researched. Thanks, Catherine. The teaser was nice, too. Thanks to Candy for hosting. This is a great blog tour!

  8. Loving the blog tour and the interesting history lesson. Looking forward to reading the novel.

  9. Great post Candy, I agree with all you said. We keep forgetting how young and idealistic Lizzy is. Thanks for hosting.

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