The Elegant Inteligencer 12 March 1809
An exclusive report has just been received from our Calcutta correspondent, dated December 8th 1808, describing the departure of some of the leading lights of Calcutta Society for England.
Dear Readers, I was fortunate enough to secure an invitation for a glittering reception last night at the Residence of the Governor of Calcutta and write this report in haste, before the sun has risen, in order to send this report to the next ship leaving for England. I know, Gentle Readers, that the arrival in London Society of several of the most interesting of our eligible residents after their sojourns in India cannot fail to interest you.
The great Marble Hall of the Residence was a blaze of colour last night as the Governor hosted his reception for those leaving on the East Indiaman, the Bengal Queen at the end of this week. So many dashing gentlemen in the scarlet uniforms of the East India Company’s army, so many gallant naval officers and, of course, the refined style of the cultivated members of the Company’s staff. The ladies, in the silks that are so abundant here (and which would fill the hearts of every discerning London shopper with the deepest envy!), filled the Hall with grace, colour and some quite marvellous arrays of gemstones. My dears – the Burmese sapphires!!
The most prominent of the ladies who will be sailing on the Bengal Queen is Lady Perdita Brooke, the lovely and vivacious daughter of the Earl of Wycombe of Devon. You, Dear Reader, will recall that Lady Perdita (or Dita to her intimates) left London society somewhat mysteriously to travel to India. At the time it was said she was visiting her aunt and, naturally, I pay no heed to the whispers that this was following an elopement, foiled by her papa. It is most natural that such a spirited young lady would wish to travel.
There was quite a stir at the reception at the unexpected appearance of Alistair, Lord Lyndon, heir to the Marquess of Iwerne who, we learn is also returning to England. (Editor’s Note: our correspondent was unaware, as is the viscount himself, that in his absence his esteemed father has passed away and he is now the marquess himself).
Lord Lyndon is a neighbour of Lady Perdita, their fathers’ estates marching together, but I was most intrigued to note that they greeted each other with surprise and no great cordiality. In fact, I would go so far as to say that Lady Perdita was positively frosty! When one considers that the handsome viscount is only just recovered from wounds inflicted by a Savage Tiger while performing a Daring Rescue, one can only wonder at what lies behind this froideur! How will these two leading lights of Society survive four months or more together in the close confines on board ship, one wonders?
Accompanying Lady Perdita is Miss Averil Heydon. While lacking the beauty and connections of her friend, one cannot but note that this attractive and shy young lady is a notable heiress, daughter of East India nabob Sir Jeremiah Heydon. Miss Heydon travels back to England to marry Lord Brandon: a most piquant journey, for she has never met the noble lord and one wonders about her emotions under these circumstances!
Much vivacity was provided at the reception by Mr Daniel Chatterton, one of the handsome twin brothers of the Earl of Flamborough. Mr Daniel C is renowned as, if I may be excused the use of slang, a Choice Spirit and the life and soul of the party. It is said that Mr Daniel is returning to wed his childhood sweetheart, Miss Sophia Langley, a true romance that will warm the hearts of every one of my Fair Readers, I am certain.
Mr Callum Chatterton, also returning with his twin, is rumoured to be taking up a post of great responsibility with the East India Company in London, a reward for his diligence in his duties while in India. One might have expected the Sensible Twin, if one may so designate him, to have been the first to become betrothed, and there are even suggestions that he does not approve his brother’s connection, made when both parties were so young. That aside, one hears great things of his future prospects and no doubt the prudent mothers of young ladies in the Marriage Mart will have their eyes upon this gentleman.
Our company here will be diminished by the departure of these notables from our midst, but you, Fair Readers, will have all the pleasure of their company by the summer of next year. Now I must prepare myself for a picnic to be given in honour of the arrival in the city of the Raja of Kalatwah, a notable ally of the East India Company. My report will follow, you may be assured.
The Elegant Intelligencer 25th March 1809
We are desolated to report, so soon after our bulletin from our Calcutta correspondent, that the East Indiaman the Bengal Queen struck a treacherous reef off the Isles of Scilly during the night of the 15th inst.
Some, miraculously, have been plucked from this hideous wreck. Lady Perdita Brook is safe, thanks it is said, to the courage and endurance of the Marquess of Iwerne who has not only had to face the disaster of the wreck but the news that, in his absence abroad, his respected father passed away. Lady Perdita returns to her family, confident, we are certain, that the scandal that led to her leaving England has been forgotten and forgiven. It seems that, despite his gallant rescue of the lady, she and Lord Iwerne are still at odds, a most intriguing situation!
It is with deep sadness that we report the death of Mr Daniel Chatterton, leaving his twin brother Callum and his fiancée, Miss Langley, to mourn him. We are certain that they will find mutual comfort and support in their shared grief, despite persistent rumours that Mr Chatterton did not approve his brother’s engagement.
Of great concern to all that knew her is the disappearance of Miss Averil Heydon who must, it seems, be presumed lost. Her fiancé, it has to be said, is bearing up under this loss with great stoicism, but, of course he never knew the lady, only her dowry. Disturbingly there are vague tales on the Islands of the presence of a gang of mysterious, possibly piratical, men. One can only hope that Miss Heydon has not fallen into their clutches. They might even be Frenchmen!
The Elegant Intelligencer March 2012
Our Literary Correspondent reports that Miss Louise Allen, author of many works of a romantic nature, has undertaken to report the dramatic events surrounding and following the wreck of the Bengal Queen in a series of three novels under the general title of Danger & Desire. Such is the interest in these events that we report this here, despite the publication of these works by our rival company, Harlequin Mills & Boon.
Ravished by the Rake recounts what transpires in the tumultuous story of Lady Dita Brooke and Alistair Lyndon. Seduced by the Scoundrel reveals the mystery of what happened to Miss Averil Heydon and the destiny of Mr Callum Chatterton and Miss Sophia Langley is unveiled in Married to a Stranger.
Further information, excerpts and information on the purchase of these titles may be found at www.louiseallenregency.co.uk Miss Allen also converses by the medium of Twitter as @LouiseRegency
Miss Allen will be giving away the book of choice
from the Danger & Desire trilogy
shipped anywhere in the world!