Desire & Decorum: Chapter 7, Opera St. James

In the last episode I had a dinner party with Mr. Sinclaire, and learned all about his real wife and the ugly side of the Duke. The two of us have grown closer together, and I don’t mind admitting I’m falling for the Mr. Darcylike man.

In this episode I’m invited to the opera, so first stop the clothing store!

You have the option of buying a beautiful dress, but as I’ve been invited to go with Duke Richards, yuck-I’m not buying anything nice. I’m just going to wear an old dress. He doesn’t need anything special.

The one I bought for the dinner will do nicely.

Poor Miss Parsons, we talk and she discusses a horrid date she had. It is with a gross old man, ugh, the girl can’t catch a break. Too bad my brother died or we could have been sisters.

As I head out of the shop, I run into Prince Hamid. You all remember him, the man who rescued Miss Parsons and I when Mr. Marcastle left us stranded in London.

He’s with the Duke, ugh! Can this guy just get lost!

The Duke

The Duke is planning on taking you and Miss Parson’s to see Handel’s Almira and is surprised to hear that I know of it. Seriously dude, my mama was an opera star.

Princess Almira has inherited the throne from her father, but he wishes that she marries someone from the House of Consalvo. The House of Consalvo has one son, but Princess Almira is not interested in him, and he only wants her for wealth and power. Instead, Princess Almira is in love with a man who has unknown parentage, Fernando. There are a lot of twists and turns in the opera, will it end happily or in tragedy?

So this makes me think of two things: first of all-wow what a crazy coincidence! That’s what’s kind of happening in my life.

And secondly:

Back to the game, Prince Hamid offers to pick you up when we go to the opera, but ugh the Duke is taking you. Bah.

Ugh, this guy!

However, the Duke has other business to attend to-so Prince Hamid offers to take you over early to the opera. Here is your chance to get a closer look at who your mother was!

I’ll get the secrets!

I go into the opera house and feel melancholy as I wished I had asked my mother more questions. I meet an actress who tells me my mother was an amazing singer, she was a big star until she became pregnant. They invite you to stay to watch, and as much as I love to I turned it down.

The stage is no place for a respectable girl, and I need to protect my reputation-I have Mr. Marcastle to deal with. And he is just waiting for an opportunity like this.

When you go home, you have a big surprise. Luke Harper is there with a letter from your father!

The hunt is on,

But which man do I want? It’s up to you to decide! Plus you have to fight the rumors that the Countess is spreading.

For more on Desire & Decorum, go to Desire & Decorum: Chapter 6, An Intimate Affair

For more on Choices, go to Kissing the Blarney Stone: 7 More Irish Heroes

For more on the opera, go to Le Fantôme de l’Opéra

For more ABBA, go to Dancing Queen

For more Jane Austen Quotes, go to Book Club Pick: Far Side of the Sea

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Desire & Decorum: Chapter 6, An Intimate Affair

 

So in the last episode your father made you his heir and gave you a London season! You and Miss Parsons traveled to London, you on your own horse,

Only to have Mr. Marcastle plot against you and try and keep you from arriving. You make it out okay and meet a Prince. 

You confront Mr. Marcastle angry that he treated you that way, Miss Parsons agreeing with you in her anger. The two of you manage to scare the daylights out of him.

Miss Parsons leaves to go to her sister’s house, as they are expecting her, while you return to your father’s townhouse and spot your friend and ladies’ maid Briar canoodling with Mr. Marcastle.

Forget you!

Now Mr. Marcastle is your evil engaged (as in very not single) stepbrother trying to sully your reputation and Briar was your best friend from back home. But is she really your friend as she is trying to have a relationship with Mr. Marcastle, your enemy!

This is soooooooooooooooooooooo bad for you. Can you imagine the kind of reputation you will get when this comes out.

And Briar what are you thinking? He’s evil! He’s plotting against me!!!! You are suppose to distrust him not jump him!!!! You are a bad friend.

See Hook agrees with me.

Plus he is engaged!

C’mon Briar, you are smarter than that!

So I am going to Mr. Sinclaire’s tonight for a dinner party, so Miss Sutton and I go shopping. I decided to buy the dress as I want to impress Mr. Sinclaire.

And I have to say out of any clothing purchase I have made this one does affect the game. Mr. Sinclaire sees me in my red dress and can’t look away.

He compliments me in front of Miss Holloway.

What?

Ugh, Miss Holloway is just as bad as Caroline Bingley. She keeps trying to make fun of me and drag me down, but is struck down by Mr. Sinclaire’s compliments. Very reminiscent of a certain scene:

Boom, shut up Miss Holloway/Miss Bingley.

Miss Holloway tries to make you seem an illiterate buffoon, but Mr. Sinclaire comes to your aid. He also takes you to his extensive library…

Hold up- Stop right there.

He’s perfect I’ve decided-he’s the man for me. You know me:

He then pulls a book off the shelf and reads a page to me, it is William Shakespeare’s book of sonnets, Sonnet 18:

Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?

Thou art more lovely and more temperate.

Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May,

And summer’s lease hath all too short a date.

Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines,

And often is his gold complexion dimmed;

And every fair from fair sometime declines,

By chance, or nature’s changing course, untrimmed;

But thy eternal summer shall not fade,

Nor lose possession of that fair thou ow’st,

Nor shall death brag thou wand’rest in his shade,

When in eternal lines to Time thou grow’st.

So long as men can breathe, or eyes can see,

So long lives this, and this gives life to thee.

After he reads to you, he offers you the book. It costs 15 diamonds, but I don’t care, you know me:

It looks like I just have one thing left to get-Painting, maybe?

Miss Holloway makes a snide comment about your birth and then the Duke storms in-uninvited.

Ugh, I hate this dude. I hate people who do that-just show up uninvited and expect others to accommodate them. Such jerks.

Then not only does he do that but muscles his way next to me-no I don’t want him to like me-ugh!

This upsets the table with Mr. Chambers having to sit next to a man instead of a woman. Table settings are super important- remember A Change if Fortune

“Custom, however, has lately introduced a new mode of seating. A gentleman and a lady fitting alternately round the table, and this, for the better convenience of a lady’s being attended to, and served by the gentleman next to her. But notwithstanding this promiscuous seating, the ladies, whether above or below, are to be served in order, according to their rank or age, and after them the gentlemen, in the same manner. – John Trusler, p 6 from Regency Manners: Seating at Table at janeaustensworld.wordpress.com

Mr. Chambers doesn’t really care as he’s gay and is next to a very interested member of the party.

After dinner, you all go off to the drawing room. Mr. Sinclaire and you meet up aside from the others and he warns you off Duke Richards. Why does he dislike him so? And why is he so interested in who you might marry?

Mr. Sinclaire becomes so furious with the Duke he takes off on an errand…you have the option to follow. What do you do?

I followed him outside even though that wasn’t really acceptable in Regency time. It turns out that Mr. Sinclaire had an unfaithful wife, one that became involved with Duke Richards. It is very Rebecca:

Oh my gosh! Duke Richards totally makes me think of Jack Favell

The two of you have a heart to heart, Mr. Sinclaire baring his soul to you. He worries that maybe I would have been better off in the village then the shark infested society. But we still enjoy our time together.

Afterwards we go inside and join the party. They ask me to play and I blow them all away, thanks to the lessons by Miss Parsons.

 

The party ends later, you saying a fond farewell to Mr. Sinclaire.

The next morning you are awoken by Miss Parsons and Briar. You’ve been invited to the Opera St. James. The Opera St James!!! That’s where your mother used to perform!!! Will the night be fun…or a flop?

For more Desire & Decorum, go to Desire & Decorum: Chapter 5, The Road to London

For more on Choices, go to Kissing the Blarney Stone: 7 More Irish Heroes

For more on William Shakespeare, go to Dangerous to Know: Jane Austen’s Rakes & Gentlemen Rogues

Desire & Decorum: Chapter 5, The Road to London

So in the last episode your father and grandmother planned a garden party for you. You learned to dance properly, and was having a great time with Mr. Sinclaire. You to play nine pins with him, and you dance with him. You also meet the jerky Duke, ugh, and your father promises you a London season.

The London season started as both Houses of Parliament were in session, and as not everyone finds politics interesting, they needed more entertainment.

Women would meet the Queen; along with attending dinner parties, balls, musicals, the opera/theater, etc. Some were going for entertainment, to renew friendships, and most importantly-catch a man.

So back to the game-your grandma gets you ready for the season. You won’t be the only one trying to catch a man, as there are many other ladies-but the one for you to watch out for is Felicity Holloway. Her father is a viscount and she will be your biggest rival in catching an eligible man.

Afterwards, you and Miss Parsons go for a walk. Both of you feel uncertain about being “out” in society. It is unsettling to be a piece of meat up for auction.

Miss Parsons is having an extremely hard time as she was engaged to your brother. She didn’t love him, but respected, admired, and was his friend. What if the next man she is engaged to is cruel? Mean? Have nothing in common with each other?

I don’t want to do this

Your grandmother offers you a new riding suit for 25 diamonds, but I turned it down. I’ll wear what I have as that was what you would typically do. With all the dust, dirt, etc-why wear something new?

It still is a beautiful dress.

You and Miss Parsons are heading off to London together. When you reach the city you will split, as Miss Parsons will stay with her sister and you at your father’s townhouse with Miss Sutton and your stepbrother Mr. Marcastle.

So not fun…

Stuck with the schemers ugh. Well, you know what they say-

Before you leave, you have the choice of purchasing your own horse. In all the other games I never bought an animal companion, but thought it would be interesting to see how it plays out.

So I ride my horse the whole way to London, which makes no sense as I’m not an experienced rider nor does side saddle seem like it will be comfortable over such a distance.

What is this?

We stop for a picnic where we lament a bit more about the marriage market, and a market it is. Everyone competing, each man sizing up a woman’s fortune and physical attributes.

You arrive in London, but there is no one there to meet you.

That is not good,

It is a very dangerous situation for two unescorted ladies, but then to your luck you meet Prince Hamid. He is a friend of your father and escorts you two to your townhouse. When you arrive, he offers to take you around town but I declined. First of all, that would not be appropriate as we have no chaperone, and secondly I didn’t have enough diamonds.

The two of you then go into the townhouse and confront Mr. Marcastles and his mother’s plot to derail you from your London season.

For more Desire & Decorum, go to Desire & Decorum: Chapter 4, Best Foot Forward Part II

For more on Choices, go to Desire & Decorum: Chapter 4, Best Foot Forward Part I

Desire & Decorum: Chapter 4, Best Foot Forward Part II

Sorry all, it’s been a while since I’ve had a chance to post. There are just so many things…I’m swamped.

So quick review: In this game you are the illegitimate daughter if the Earl of Edgewater, something you discover on your mother’s deathbed. You meet your father and he accepts you and wants to make you his legal heir, as your half-brother passed away.

You have an evil stepmother and conniving stepbrother, with a dim fiancé. They are plotting against you.

In the last episode your father and grandmother planned a garden party for you. You learned to dance properly, and was having a great time with Mr. Sinclaire. He asks you to play nine pins with him, but I had run out of enough diamonds to purchase the event. I had to wait until I had earned 30 diamonds.

So was it worth the wait? Let’s see?

So Mr. Sinclaire explains the game to you and we are ready to go:

How well you do depends on how close you paid attention to the rules of playing. I did really well and ended up winning the game!

Yay!!!

Your grandmother interrupts you with the Duke’s entrance. After your grandmother’s big to-do about him I was expecting someone more…favorable. Most of these games give you multiple choices of who you want to be with-but the Duke is a total jerk!!!

He seems to like me a lot-which pleases my grandmother and father-but eeyuck! I don’t want him.

This dude

Miss Parsons and I talk about it after and she asks me to join her for a walk but I decline. One, I have no more diamonds to purchase that option, and two-I do need to do my duty and be a good hostess. I mean how would it look if I walked out on a party given in my honor?

Later Mr. Sinclaire asks me to dance and I blow him away with my prowess, thanks to Miss Parsons and her amazing teaching skills! (And my shoes).

I am definitely liking Mr. Sinclaire the most. I think he is rather fun. 🙂

Afterwards my father surprises me with the fact that he has made me his official legal heir I will be going off to London to have a season, (and hook a man).

Will it be a success? Or a flop? Tune in next time to find out!

For more on Desire & Decorum, go to Desire & Decorum: Chapter 4, Best Foot Forward Part I

For more from Choices, go to Desire & Decorum: Chapter 3, Threading the Needle

Desire & Decorum: Chapter 4, Best Foot Forward Part I

 

So in the last episode, we had the sewing circle which I rocked. I love embroidery.

Miss Eliza Parsons also taught me the pianoforte, making it my newest accomplishment.

In this episode we are going to have a garden party in my honor, how will it turn out?!!

I’m nervous

So it is exciting, a party for me and the Duke is coming, that is just one step below Prince Regent!

Grandmother offers me a very fancy dress to wear, but it costs 25 diamonds.

That’s a lot of money…

In the other games I have played on Choices I have never purchased clothes as I don’t see the point, but I decided to in this-I want the full experience for the blog.

There will be dancing at the Garden Party and I am very worried as I don’t know how to dance! I was never taught that in the village I grew up in.

I decided to take up Miss Parson’s offer to teach me a Boulanger.

But to get the lessons I had to buy some more diamonds as I had used mine up. In doing so I acquired the dancing shoes!

At the garden party things are going well. I befriend Mr. Woods the butler, (who my maid Briar is interested in) as I know he will be a good ally.

Oh yes. my stepmother is awful.

Luckily my father loves me and defends me from her. He introduces me to Mr. Sinclaire-you remember him.

You have a conversation with him, and it is up to you if you want to go the Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy route, be mean and reject him, or flirt. I choose the Elizabeth and Darcy route as I like Mr. Sinclaire. He’s not as noble as the others and I can relate with my birth.

And in case you were wondering, Mr. Sinclaire is Mr. Darcy.

I also discover that Mr. Sinclaire really appreciates my father, as he helped them when Mr. Sinclaire took over Ledford Park, his estate. After we talk for a while, he invites me to a game of nine pins. As I was out of money and did not want to purchase more diamonds, I decided to wait until I had earned enough diamonds to play with Mr. Sinclaire.

For more Desire and Decorum, go to Desire & Decorum: Chapter 3, Threading the Needle

For more Pride and Prejudice, go to Dangerous to Know, Jane Austen’s Rakes & Gentlemen Rogues: MILD

For more on Choices, go to Desire & Decorum: Chapter 2, The Ties That Bind

For more Jane Austen video games, go to Jane Austen Manors

Desire & Decorum: Chapter 3, Threading the Needle

So it has been a while since we last went over Desire & Decorum, so I will do a quick brief.

I’m all ears

Choices is a video game that combines film and book storytelling with you making choices as to what will happen next. One of their newest releases was an Austenlike game Desire & Decorum.

In the last chapter your father accepted you as his child and heir, Lady Catherine of Edgewater! You are legally now part of the family. You also meet your evil stepmother, stepbrother, and stepbrother’s dotty fiancé. We have two men on the rise Mr. Sinclaire and Mr. Harper, horsekeeper.

But which man?

In this episode they have put together a sewing circle to out you in lady’s society. Will you hold your own? Or fall to ribbons.

I got my tea cup, I’m ready.

So at the sewing circle is your evil stepmother-who clearly makes her disdain for you. Also is your stepbrother’s fiance, the simple Miss Sutton who “unwittingly” (is she really as simple as she seems?) always insults you.

Hmmm…

There is also a Miss Parsons

She was your older brother’s fiancé, the one that passed away.

We all stitch together, my character is as pro as me.

There is also Donna Bowman, Miss Sutton’s friend who is reading a rather amazing book.

Some games have a secondary mission, things you need to acquire to unlock special scenes or something special at the end of the complete story, mine is to be a truly accomplished lady. In this Miss Parsons offered to teach me piano, my first in the challenge. I had enough diamonds to purchase it and gained the pianoforte.

Woojoo, now I rock!

Just kidding. I’m probably more on par with Emma.

So let’s take a look at that challenge list again:

There looks to be dancing shoes, a painter’s palette, and something round? Not sure what the last object is. Either way, I plan on getting each one.

After the sewing circle you take a walk reading and have the option to go on a horse ride with Mr. Harper. I refused as I did not have the diamonds for it.

My wallet to me…

At the end of the chapter you are approached by your father who has planned a garden party in your honor! And your grandmother, the Dowager Countess, informs you that Duke Tristan Richards of Karlington will be attending the party. What an honor. Really.

Will you be a beautiful flower? Or a weed?

For more Desire and Decorum, go to Desire & Decorum: Chapter 2, The Ties That Bind

For more Austenland, go to Midnight in Austenland

For more on Choices, go to Desire & Decorum: Chapter 1, The Journey Ahead

For more Jane Austen video games, go to Jane Austen Manors

In Celebration of Northanger Abbey

Northanger Abbey? I’m sure there are many of you out there who have no clue what I am talking about.

Huh?

Its one of Jane Austen’s last novels, published by her brother after her death. It is also an amazing book that hardly anyone knows.

It really is sad

So we are here to spread some Northanger Abbey around as this year marks its 200th anniversary!

Like what I did with Pride and PrejudiceSense and Sensibilityand EmmaI will be going through Northanger Abbey and sharing with you everything about it.

The book is a parody of romantic fiction and gothic novels.

It has a great main character, Catherine Morland (which my pseudonym comes from) who we can easily connect to. We all feel like Catherine at times in our lives, hoping that we will have an adventure and meet a dashing hero.

And it has a great leading man in Mr. Tilney. I mean it! Once you read about him, he is a real contender for the number one Austen hero.

Yep a great book that I can’t wait to start celebrating and spreading!

Besides going through the book I will be also reviewing things that are referenced in it, inspirational to the book, and those inspired by it.

Books:

A Long Fatal Love Chase by Louisa May Alcott

Dangerous to Know: Jane Austen’s Rakes & Gentlemen Rogues edited by Christina Boyd

Don Quixote by Miguel Cervantes

Definitely Not Mr. Darcy by Karen Doornebos

The Necromancer or The Tale of the Black Forest by Karl Friedrich Kahler

Jet Set by Carrie Doyle Karasyov and Jill Kargman

Henry Tilney’s Diary (Jane Austen Heroes #6) by Amanda Grange

Midnight in Austenland by Shannon Hale

Crazy Rich Asians (Crazy Rich Asians #1) by Kevin Kwan

Northanger Alibi (The Jane Austen Diaries #2) by Jenni James

Midnight Bell by Francis Lathom

The Female Quixote; or, The Adventures of Arabella by Charlotte Lennox

The Monk by Matthew Lewis

Northanger Abbey and Angels and Dragons (Supernatural Jane Austen Series #2) by Vera Nazarian & Jane Austen

The Castle of Wolfenbach by Eliza Parsons

 The Mysterious Warnings by Eliza Parsons

The Mysteries of Udolpho by Ann Radcliffe

Clermont by Regina Maria Roche

Orphan of the Rhine by Eleanor Sleath

Northpointe Chalet (Austen Series #4) by Debra White Smith

Film:

American Dreamer (1984)

Romancing the Stone (1984)

Northanger Abbey (1986)

Northanger Abbey (2007)

Other:

Pup Fiction, Wishbone (1995)

For more Northanger Abbey, go to Read Jane Austen, Wear Jane Austen

For more Catherine Morland, go to You Put the Jedi in Pride & PreJEDIce

For more Mr. Tilney, go to Midnight in Austenland