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Tour: The Dartington Bride (Daughters of Devon #2) by Rosemary Griggs



Book details:

Book Title: The Dartington Bride

Series: Daughters of Devon

Author: Rosemary Griggs

Publication Date: 28th March 2024

Publisher: Troubador Publishing

Page Count: ~ 368 pages

@ladykatherinesfarthingale @cathie.dunn1 @thecoffeepotbookclub


@griggs6176 @thecoffeepotbookclub


@RAGriggsauthor @cathiedunn

1571, and the beautiful, headstrong daughter of a French Count marries the son of the Vice Admiral of the Fleet of the West in Queen Elizabeth’s chapel at Greenwich. It sounds like a marriage made in heaven...

 

Roberda’s father, the Count of Montgomery, is a prominent Huguenot leader in the French Wars of Religion. When her formidable mother follows him into battle, she takes all her children with her.

 

After a traumatic childhood in war-torn France, Roberda arrives in England full of hope for her wedding. But her ambitious bridegroom, Gawen, has little interest in taking a wife.

 

Received with suspicion by the servants at her new home, Dartington Hall in Devon, Roberda works hard to prove herself as mistress of the household and to be a good wife. But there are some who will never accept her as a true daughter of Devon.

 

After the St Bartholomew’s Day Massacre, Gawen’s father welcomes Roberda’s family to Dartington as refugees. Compassionate Roberda is determined to help other French women left destitute by the wars. But her husband does not approve. Their differences will set them on an extraordinary path...



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Chapter One

The Regicide

1559, Paris

 

‘Ton père a tué le roi!’ screamed the woman from the doorway. ‘Your father has killed the king!’ I stirred on the bed and my eyes flew open. Snatched from my dreams in a heartbeat, I strained my ears. Again, those words. ‘Your father has killed the king,’ but softer, quavering, less strident. The third time the voice was hardly more than a breath, cracking and breaking as the words dropped into the silent room like slivers of ice.

In the clammy heat of that night I had thrown the bed covers aside and my shift was clinging about me, the crumpled linen wound around me like a shroud. Caught between sleep and waking, I scrambled wildly to pull the velvet coverlet right up over my head. Knees curled up, I made myself as small as I could and tried to shut out the thumping noise thrashing in my ears. It was the sound of my heart banging like a drum.

Curiosity got the better of me and, trembling, I peeped out. A shaft of moonlight fell on the ghostly face of a woman framed in the doorway. A scream fought its way up to my voice box but no sound came. I swallowed hard and forced myself to look. She wore Clotilde’s clothes, the same green kirtle and crisp clean apron Clotilde had on when she put me to bed. But the woman was not Clotilde. My Clotilde had twinkling brown eyes set in a merry face as round and rosy as a Normandy apple. She had a soft, silvery voice as even and contented as a cat’s purr. The woman framed in the stone arch, the not-Clotilde, had put on a white mask; she had bulging, goggly eyes and a gaping mouth. She shook her head from side to side and twisted her hands in her apron as she croaked out the words again in brittle little gasps.

‘Your father has killed the king!’ So said the not-Clotilde.

‘Vite, Clotilde!Vite! Dépêche-toi.’ Other servants scurried in, pushing past her, frantically waking my sisters, shouting that they must dress quickly. I shrank back behind the hangings and tried to hide in the great bed.

All the shouting jolted her into action. The not-Clotilde stumbled forward, rushed to my coffer, picked up a cloak and heaped underwear and sleeves and caps and gowns onto it all higgledy-piggledy. She snatched the necklace from the little wooden casket by my bed, added that to the pile and knotted the cloak round it all. Somehow she got me into some clothes; not the pretty blue dress embroidered with pearls; not my best shift with the blackwork collar. Instead, with rough hands, the not-Clotilde bundled me into a plain shift and an old woollen kirtle. She was about to pick me up when I found I could scream.

‘Diane! I want Diane!’

The not-Clotilde groaned as she bent to retrieve the doll and tied the ribbon round my middle. Diane was always getting lost and this precaution saved a lot of searching.

The not-Clotilde grabbed me and clasped me to her chest, running through unlit passageways close on the heels of a scurrying maid. The maid’s hand trembled so much the candle she carried sputtered and all but died, only for the flame to revive and cast even more grotesque shadows on the old stone walls. That brought me out of my mute terror. I found my voice again and shrieked and kicked and hollered. But the not-Clotilde just gripped me more tightly as she ran on. Her breathing was ragged and wheezy by the time we were down the steps and out of the door. Strong arms hoisted me up onto a horse. I held tight to Diane the doll with one hand and rubbed the plump little fingers of my other hand up and down the familiar soft silky fabric of her gown.

The blanket they used to secure me in front of Alain du Bois, Papa’s sergeant-at-arms, was scratchy and rough. Alain had a prickly beard and his breath smelled of ale and onions. I heard muffled voices, then the hooves hammered on the cobbles, metallic echoes that lingered long in the still night air. I clutched my doll as she bumped along under the blanket. After a while I rested my head on Alain’s chest and eventually the steady beat of his heart must have lulled me to sleep.



Author and speaker Rosemary Griggs has been researching Devon’s sixteenth-century history for years. She has discovered a cast of fascinating characters and an intriguing network of families whose influence stretched far beyond the West Country and loves telling the stories of the forgotten women of history – the women beyond the royal court; wives, sisters, daughters and mothers who played their part during those tumultuous Tudor years: the Daughters of Devon.


Her novel A Woman of Noble Wit tells the story of Katherine Champernowne, Sir Walter Raleigh’s mother, and features many of the county’s well-loved places.


Rosemary creates and wears sixteenth-century clothing, a passion which complements her love for bringing the past to life through a unique blend of theatre, history and re-enactment. Her appearances and talks for museums and community groups all over the West Country draw on her extensive research into sixteenth-century Devon, Tudor life and Tudor dress, particularly Elizabethan.


Out of costume, Rosemary leads heritage tours of the gardens at Dartington Hall, a fourteenth-century manor house and now a visitor destination and charity supporting learning in arts, ecology and social justice.

 

Author Links:


Tour hosted by: The Coffee Pot Book Club


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02. apr.

Many thanks for hosting the tour today. Best wishes


Rosemary


rosemarygriggs.co.uk

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Gitt 5 av 5 stjerner.

Thanks so much for hosting Rosemary Griggs today, with an excerpt from The Dartington Bride.


Take care,

Cathie xx

The Coffee Pot Book Club

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