This is the new cover for Lydia Bennet's Story which is being published in October by Sourcebooks - I hope you like it. I am absolutely thrilled with it; I think the designers have done a wonderful job. The illustration is by Brock and shows Lydia and Kitty being introduced to Mr Wickham.
The following extract is from Lydia's journal when Lydia learns that her favourites are about to leave for Brighton.
Saturday, May 8th
My world as I know it has ended! I have received such dreadful news today that I do not think I shall ever recover! I met with Mr Wickham (who looked as handsome as ever in his scarlet coat) in the High Street in Meryton this morning, and he informed me that the regiment is leaving to be encamped at Brighton for the summer! I could not believe it, nor disguise my disappointment, and asked him what on earth we shall all do without the society of all the officers we have come to know so well. His replies were gentlemanly and thoughtful, yet he seems keen to be gone and spoke of little regret. I daresay he is anxious to take his disappointed hopes away with him, though it has to be said, his excitement for the Brighton venture was plainly evident, especially when he spoke of an appointment he must keep at his tailor. New clothes for the seaside would be absolutely vital, he explained. It could not be said that the militia did not know how to dress, and the entertainments would be such that he would be letting the Colonel down if he was not turned out just right. Oh, if only I could go to Brighton and sample its delights! Lord! Life is so unfair!!!
I do wonder what Mr Wickham will feel when he sees my sister Lizzy again—what will she have to say on the matter? Her hopes of marriage may yet be doomed with the man she so clearly admires. I could not help but watch his progress down the street as he left me—oh, how many times will I have that pleasure left?
I hastened on to Harriet’s, hoping that by some small chance, the report might have been a false one, only to have it confirmed and find my dear friend in a state betwixt excitement at the prospect of spending several weeks in Brighton and distress at leaving all her friends behind. She had the most wonderful idea to persuade papa to take a house for the summer and, although my mother and I have petitioned him with the details, he is adamant in his renouncement of any such plan. If only Jane and Lizzy were here, I am sure they could persuade him of the benefits to the entire household.
I cannot live with the idea of Meryton devoid of all its dear redcoats. How I shall miss darling Denny, Pratt, and Chamberlayne. I will never dance with Mr Wickham again. I think I shall die!
I am going to Bath today to attend the Jane Austen Centre's Regency World Awards. I love going to Bath and I'm really looking forward to spending an evening with other Janeite friends - hope to see you there!