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The Bad Miss Bennet Abroad
Author: Jean Burnett
Highspirited, great fun and full of rackety Georgian atmosphere – Daily Mail.
The sequel takes up where the first book ended. Lydia is en route to Brazil as a lady-in-waiting to an Austrian princess. After a very long sea voyage she joins the highly eccentric Portuguese court in Rio where she attracts the attention of the heir to the throne, Dom Pedro.
After many adventures and a banishment to the seaside paradise of Paraty (not quite as idyllic as it sounds) she leaves Brazil for England and during a stopover in Jamaica meets the plantation owner who becomes her second husband- a shipboard wedding.
Eventually they arrive back at Pemberley where Lydia’s new husband does not endear himself to Mr. Darcy (due to some very bad habits).
Things go from bad to worse and there is an unexpected twist in the tale…but you need to read the book!
We have been swaying around on this dreadful vessel, vomiting and bewailing our lot for twenty one days since our departure in August in this year of grace 1817. As I write this in my journal Adelaide is muttering in the background, ‘This is a coffin ship.’
It is not quite that: my maid has a tendency to exaggeration. Our plight is best described as being imprisoned in a cell with its bare stone walls hidden with a velvet cover, but a cell, nevertheless, smelling badly and constantly moving. The captain of this prison keeps a brightly coloured parrot in similar circumstances.
Not that the cramped cabin I share with Adelaide boasts much in the way of velvet covers. My maid attempts to make it more comfortable with the linens and coverlets taken from our trunks, but after a few weeks at sea with little or no washing facilities the place has become somewhat foetid. And during the frequent bouts of bad weather the entire ship leaks. It is scarcely to be borne.
I have become salt-encrusted in soul and body. The sanitary arrangements at sea are not to be thought of, as far as possible. I am not much troubled by sea sickness but the entire Portuguese contingent is prone to vomit with every roll of the waves – surprising behaviour from such a stout, seafaring people. My royal employer, Dona Leopoldina, is not affected. ‘We must maintain self-control at all times,’ she admonishes us.