Victorian Romance

She slipped down the stairway that emerged from the lowest level of the castle. Surely Papa would be busy by now and that lazy idiot guard of his, Hathaway, would likely be in a drunken stupor at his “post”in the cove-like area at the bottom of the stairwell.

Hopefully, Jesop would have had equal luck getting out of his home on the other side of the valley so they could meet up where the bridge crossed the ravine between their families fortresses.

To have to go through this ridiculous, and quite dangerous routine to meet up was beyond pathetic.

After all, she was 17, and would spend the summer in London during “the season” this year, (an obvious excuse to find suitable husbands for the daughters of the well to do in the area). My goodnesss, he was 26, the oldest son of a prominent banker, already working at the bank and being well trusted and trained by his over-protective father.

But, still, this lamplight adventure continued on into its 5th month, ever since the ball held in Sheldon Hall at Christmas, when Isabelle had literally run into Jesop, trying to get away from the party into the carriage house where rumor held it that a much more interesting gathering was being held by the younger set than the prim and proper event having been so meticulously scheduled by their parents.

She had laughed nervously, that cold night as she tripped over her maroon gown heavy made with many layers of cloth and held out stiffly by whalebone settings, sneaking down the last set of stairs to where the guard had already been taken care of. Jesop had heard her attempt to come quietly down the stairs and had waited, in the shadows to see who it was. .

Having liked what he saw, Jesop helped her up and they raced through the courtyard to the carriage house which was already filling with young couples who had gotten the message. “thought the grapevine” that the real party would be held.

Just as Isabelle reached the edge of the bridge, Jesop appeared and whirled her around in delight. “How are you, my love?” He whispered as she reached up and kissed his cheek. “Quite well,” she said breathlessly, looking back to make sure she hadn’t been followed, and watching to make sure that her lamp was not too near her hair or dress.

Jesop held her hand as they returned to the secret room they had discovered not long after meeting, where they could build a small fire in the grate and enjoy each others company for a little while as the moon shown down outside. Most likely it had once been the quarters of a groomsman or such.

Suddenly Jesop turned as the wooden planked door began to open. “Papa!” Isabelle whimpered, as she saw the tall stately Earl Montford walk in. Jesop and Isabelle looked at each other with a look of sheer terror.
“Well,” laughed the earl as he put h
is cane aside and walked towards the fire. I see there will be no need wasting our summer in London “during that horrible ‘season’ society insists upon having, seeing that you have already made a quite suitable choice of companions.”

Isabelle and Jesop looked at each other with sheer relief.
“Yes, Papa. We have.” smiled Isabelle, here heart still pounding.


I assume nothing inappropriate has been going on these past five months,” the Earl laughed.

“You knew?” stuttered Jesop, shivering, even in the light of the warm fire.

Surely you don’t think I became an Earl through my stupidity!” he laughed. “I expect you will be announcing your engagement as soon as possible,” He stated.

Oh, yes, papa, Isabelle said as she hugged her father with relief and delight.”

The warm spring moon was full and bright as Papa followed the young couple back up the moss-covered stairway and into the main house. Though the young couple didn’t see it, papa’s eyes were bright and his smile filled with delight. He remembered well the night his father had caught him with Isabelle’s mother and all the wonderful years that had passed since he was first witness to both his fathers wisdom and love.

She slipped down the stairway that emerged from the lowest level of the castle. Surely Papa would be busy by now and that lazy idiot guard of his, Hathaway, would likely be in a drunken stupor at his “post”in the cove-like area at the bottom of the stairwell.

Hopefully, Jesop would have had equal luck getting out of his home on the other side of the valley so they could meet up where the bridge crossed the ravine between their families fortresses.

To have to go through this ridiculous, and quite dangerous routine to meet up was beyond pathetic.

After all, she was 17, and would spend the summer in London during “the season” this year, (an obvious excuse to find suitable husbands for the daughters of the well to do in the area). My goodnesss, he was 26, the oldest son of a prominent banker, already working at the bank and being well trusted and trained by his over-protective father.

But, still, this lamplight adventure continued on into its 5th month, ever since the ball held in Sheldon Hall at Christmas, when Isabelle had literally run into Jesop, trying to get away from the party into the carriage house where rumor held it that a much more interesting gathering was being held by the younger set than the prim and proper event having been so meticulously scheduled by their parents.

She had laughed nervously, that cold night as she tripped over her maroon gown heavy made with many layers of cloth and held out stiffly by whalebone settings, sneaking down the last set of stairs to where the guard had already been taken care of. Jesop had heard her attempt to come quietly down the stairs and had waited, in the shadows to see who it was. .

Having liked what he saw, Jesop helped her up and they raced through the courtyard to the carriage house which was already filling with young couples who had gotten the message. “thought the grapevine” that the real party would be held.

Just as Isabelle reached the edge of the bridge, Jesop appeared and whirled her around in delight. “How are you, my love?” He whispered as she reached up and kissed his cheek. “Quite well,” she said breathlessly, looking back to make sure she hadn’t been followed, and watching to make sure that her lamp was not too near her hair or dress.

Jesop held her hand as they returned to the secret room they had discovered not long after meeting, where they could build a small fire in the grate and enjoy each others company for a little while as the moon shown down outside. Most likely it had once been the quarters of a groomsman or such.

Suddenly Jesop turned as the wooden planked door began to open. “Papa!” Isabelle whimpered, as she saw the tall stately Earl Montford walk in. Jesop and Isabelle looked at each other with a look of sheer terror.
“Well,” laughed the earl as he put h
is cane aside and walked towards the fire. I see there will be no need wasting our summer in London “during that horrible ‘season’ society insists upon having, seeing that you have already made a quite suitable choice of companions.”

Isabelle and Jesop looked at each other with sheer relief.
“Yes, Papa. We have.” smiled Isabelle, here heart still pounding.


I assume nothing inappropriate has been going on these past five months,” the Earl laughed.

“You knew?” stuttered Jesop, shivering, even in the light of the warm fire.

Surely you don’t think I became an Earl through my stupidity!” he laughed. “I expect you will be announcing your engagement as soon as possible,” He stated.

Oh, yes, papa, Isabelle said as she hugged her father with relief and delight.”

The warm spring moon was full and bright as Papa followed the young couple back up the moss-covered stairway and into the main house. Though the young couple didn’t see it, papa’s eyes were bright and his smile filled with delight. He remembered well the night his father had caught him with Isabelle’s mother and all the wonderful years that had passed since he was first witness to both his fathers wisdom and love.

13 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    Robyn Lee said,

    You are such a wonderful writer beebee ~ this is magical!

  2. 4

    this was a movie in my mind! Vivid characters and engaging conversations and charming conclusion ~you should publish!

    • 5

      beebeesworld said,

      Thank you for your reading and compliment. This is a story that I think I COULD actually turn into a novella, at leas. I love Victorian literature, especially mysteries. Anne Perry is my favorite. beebeesworld

  3. 6

    Lucid Gypsy said,

    A happy ending how lovely! but why have you repeated it? do you realise it’s there twice?🙂

    • 7

      beebeesworld said,

      My daughter saw it-i did notice, but my computer would not let me get down below the photo and correct-I saw another error too-frustrating! I think I will try to correct on Libre and repost on my own site in a few weeks…I had way to many words for the challenge-but, i just didnt see where I could leave so many off an it not diminish the story…. beebee

  4. 8

    The Victorian era is one of my favorites to read about — and the perspective from Isabella is lovely. Well done.

  5. 10

    This piece was delightful – and this era and society is one of my favourite settings. Nice to see a wise and loving father dealing well with things… and I’m intrigued as to how the guard was “taken care of”.

  6. 11

    Cameron said,

    I’m loving what the photographs inspired in everyone this week!


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