National Pet Day

Henry the Chatsworth dog. 16th february 2019.

Henry at Chatsworth

So, apparently today is National Pet Day – I’m going to guess it’s a US day, because I can’t find anything linking it to other countries. Where are all the other pet days?!

Anyway, in honour of the event, I’d like to recommend a Twitter account to follow: Henry, the official dog of Chatsworth House. (Images from my visit to the estate last year.)

As historical romance fans will know, the Chatsworth estate is at the heart of many a period drama, and it is mentioned in Pride and Prejudice, when Elizabeth Bennet visits with her aunt and uncle (but no, it’s not Pemberley, as commonly misreported).

It is also arguably England’s most famous stately home.

Anyway, here’s Henry in the snow this past January, and you can follow his adventures HERE.

henry the chatsworth dog in the snow

And a bonus picture, just because he’s cute:

Henry, the official dog of the Chatsworth estate.

The Week: 22nd – 28th October

White Spring Flowers Blue Sky Canberra Australia 25th October 2018 Sonya Heaney Sunshine Garden Nature

Spring sunshine – and a spring sunset – in Canberra.

Only days to go before I fly to China!

A Book for the Anniversary: Goodbye for Now by M.J. Hollows

Goodbye for Now by M.J. Hollows

Babies in Young Adult Fiction

Revisiting Madeline Hunter

A Devil of a Duke (2018) (The second book in the Decadent Dukes Society series) A novel by Madeline Hunter

Out Now: A Stage Full of Shakespeare Stories by Angela McAllister (author) and Alice Lindstrom (illustrator)

A Stage Full of Shakespeare Stories By (author) Angela McAllister Illustrated by Alice Lindstrom

On this day: British women prepare for invasion

The_British_Army_in_the_United_Kingdom_1939-45_Second World War Two 23rd October 1941 Women of Britains Auxiliary Territorial Service (ATS) operate a rangefinder during anti-aircraft

On this day 80 years ago

Royal Wedding

12 October 2018 Newlyweds Princess Eugenie of York and Mr. Jack Brooksbank leave following their wedding at St George_s Chapel in Windsor, England. © Getty Images +

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I’m no royal watcher, and have no interest whatsoever in the Harry-and-Meghan show, but I did watch the wedding of Princess Eugenie and Jack Brooksbank on Friday night (Australian time), and loved every minute of it.

Firstly: how beautiful did everybody look! All those gorgeous jewel colours, all that sapphire blue and emerald green (and those gigantic actual emeralds in the tiara!).

Secondly: this wedding was seriously romantic. Give me the goofy groom who can’t stop crying, looks like he’s going to faint half the time, and then puts the dorkiest glasses in the world on to watch his bride come down the aisle over the other royal grooms any day!

I doubt the dorky-English-groom trope is ever going to take off in romantic fiction, but it ought to.

My other favourite royal wedding was when (Australian) Mary Donaldson married the Crown Prince of Denmark, because he cried through that one, too!

1 Princess Eugenie and her new husband Jack Brooksbank curtesy to The Queen as they leave St George_s Chapel in Windsor Castle following their wedding. 12 October 20182 Princess Eugenie and her new husband Jack Brooksbank curtesy to The Queen as they leave St George_s Chapel in Windsor Castle following their wedding. 12 October 2018

Bowing to the Queen

And, thirdly, this was such a royal wedding, with all the beauty and class and traditions. Windsor looked absolutely gorgeous.

And boo to the downright rude Australian journalists who devoted their entire time covering the wedding to insulting Eugenie, her sister, her parents, and comparing it to the last one! Thank God the Royal Family has an official YouTube channel, and thank God they had a gorgeous livestream, sans terrible commentators!

Jane Austen Territory

I have one week left of this trip, and it is being spent in a cottage in England’s Peak District. In the village of Bradwell, with horses riding up our street, the area looks like something out of a Jane Austen adaptation.

We had lunch next to Chatsworth today, and then stopped in Bakewell, where Austen allegedly wrote Pride and Prejudice.

This is one part of England I haven’t visited before, and so far it is even prettier than I expected.

Our cottage:

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The view from my bedroom:

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Historical Romance Fans!

When we arrived in England two days ago we were too early to get into our accommodation in York, so – naturally! – time had to be spent visiting the nearest stately home to Leeds airport: Harewood House.

This is not the first stately home I have visited, and not the first I have visited on this trip.

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However, personally, when I read historical fiction I tend to forget just HOW grand the lives of these characters were. Harewood is not the biggest, but it’s the one with royal connections, and the Georgian influences are gorgeous.

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