The Earl of Clifton planned on marrying a lady. Until he met Lucy . . .
Rather than try to explain this all, I'll let one of my favorite characters, Felicity Langley from Love Letters from a Duke, fill in the details:
A letter to the Right Hon. Lady Larken from her sister, Her Grace The Duchess of Hollindrake
December 31, 1814
sent via courier to The British Envoy, Constantinople
I hope this letter finds you and Geoffrey well settled in the city of our birth. When you see Nanny Raina, tell her how much her advice has guided us over the years.
As I wrote in my last letter, the Standon widows are giving Thatcher more trouble than they are worth. If only his grandfather hadn't had so many heirs - for each of those worthless Marquess of Standons who came before my own Thatcher, from his uncles, Philip and Edward Sterling, to his brother, Archibald Sterling, (No, Tally, I am allowed to judge them thusly, for I am Sterling now as well, and even Aunt Geneva agrees with me - the three of them were hardly worthy of the title) have passed along a terrible burden to my husband: the responsibility for their widows. And what a wretched, scandalous complaining, expensive lot they are.
I daresay you remember Minerva, for as Phillip's wife, and being the most senior of the dowagers, she is forever expecting to come first in all things. And if you hadn't eloped (I still am not quite over your runaway marriage, dearest, but I am trying) you would have eventually met Elinor (Lord Edward's wife) and Lucy (Archibald's impulsive choice of an appropriate bride - which is to say she is hardly presentable.)
They do naught but quarrel amongst themselves, forever pester Thatcher for additional monies, and will beggar the Hollindrake dukedom if something isn't done quickly.
And you needn't even say what I know you are thinking, for just the other day I too recalled dear and wise Nanny Tasha's advice on the subject: When a lady becomes a difficult burden to her family, there is nothing left to do but to find her a husband. And with all due haste . . .
So that, my beloved sister, is exactly what I intend to do. I've updated my Bachelor Chronicles, and while I do feel the tiniest twinge at the notion of foisting these three harridans off on the unmarried men of England, it is as father used to say, 'desperate times and all . . .'
Your loving sister,
Genre: Historical Romance, Regency England