April 7, 1816


You are hereby Cordially invited to His Grace, The Duke of Wellington’s birthday party on the 1st of May.

Reception and Dinner to be held at Number One Apsley House.

Dinner will begin at Five PM sharp.

Followed by celebrations at Almacks.

We look forward to your attendance and wish you a fine evening,

Her Grace,

The Duchess of Wellington.

It was to be the Duke’s 47th birthday and the anniversary of his victory over his adversary (as all great men must have a great adversary.) The party was to be enormous and the best of society would be there. To be invited was any young debutantes dream, the making of anyone. Not to be uninvited was an unconscionable embarrassment. 


okay getting to replies now! I’m sorry. ViscountessCastlereagh, I’m nearly done with yours…you make me feel really…really…really insufficient. I’m so inept…excuse me. I’m gonna be over here, feeling like a halfwit. Just be my teacher, let me be your student. Let me be the lesser talented pellew to your pownoll. 

I actually got caught up in writing profiles for Bee’s kids and then I got lost in research and the regency men wouldn’t let me go it wasn’t entirely against my will…

marchesamedici asked:

Em resents this, besides Liz doesnt have an unbiased view. If you don't keep up standards then where will we end up? (Plus she wagers she can assuage any monarch by batting her lashes prettily)

Em, you think batting your lashes prettily can assuage all issues. Just because something works 9/10ths of the time doesn’t mean it’s going to succeed that one time when you really need it do so! Besides, if ‘I’ do not keep up standards? I apologized for letting Byron in with the Sherry, and did we not share it after it was confiscated? I thought the matter was settled. We both needed a drink and now we had one. 


The assembly hall of the vaulted establishment of Almacks began to fill up at 9 PM. Many of the guests having come straight from the state dining hall of the newly renovated Apsley House, and all who had come from there, came pleased. Whether they would leave Almacks with the same warmth and ease that they had arrived was less then likely. Gossip and chatter filled the hall as music from the orchestra box provided light accompaniment. Tonight was a special night for the guests and many of the men hoped that because of it, they might be able to get away with things that otherwise they would not. It was the 47th birthday of the Duke of Wellington and in honor of such a birthday, the patronesses had decided to be a little more lenient on who was allowed to attend. (Not too lenient, though. Heavens above! if you give an inch, they take a mile!) Tonight was also to be the night where the Quadrille would be introduced as an acceptable dance. A thing which pleased even more of the guests who had grown weary of the strict rules on adherence to propriety. 

There were a great many in attendance, beyond the esteemed Patronesses themselves, who were: Emily Stewart, Viscountess of Castlereagh; Sarah Villiers, Countess of Jersey; Emily, Lady Cowper; Mrs. Drummond Burrel, Baroness Gwydyr; Dorothea von Lieven, Countess von Lieven; and Countess Esterhazy.  There was also Marshal Gebhard von Blucher (aged 73!), Don Miguel Ricardo de Alava y Esquivel, Lord Castlereagh, Lord and Lady Hornblower, Lord Byron, The Prince Regent (as none of the patronesses could work out how to exclude him on this night of all nights) and even some from far distant lands! There were those who were new to Almacks, those who had little but a rising talent, etc…

What came as a surprise, though, was when 10:40 rolled around and the guest of honor had yet to arrive. Elizabeth turned to her dearest friend and fellow patroness with despairing eyes. Emily had turned the Duke out before for being seven minutes later and wearing trousers rather then the breeches cut off at the knee, surely she would not do so again during the man’s very own birthday! The other man who she had yet to see was the Lord Byron. If she were to be honest with herself, then she’d admit that she truly did not believe he would come. Why should he? He had just gone through the most horrific trial, been abused, tormented…why had she sent the invite in the first place? 

She did her best to keep her pacing subtle and in the shadows so she would not disturb the other guests (or attract the notice of Lady Jersey.) He must think she sent the invite with malicious intent, in an effort to once again have him mocked before the public. She folded her hands behind her back now so that she would not be able to wring them or fidget. This was absurd. One would think for the amount of time she spent worrying over the poet that she was in love with him (which couldn’t be further from the truth-ye gods what a terrible match.) Suddenly she was stopped in her pacing by the presence of a buxom woman with brunette ringlets and a frustrating expression on her face. Or perhaps her face was the frustrating part, rather then the expression. 

“Your Grace, I cannot help but notice that the Duke has not arrived.”

‘how observant you are. I suppose you’d like a medal for your achievements.' She bit back a retort and then prepared to respond in another way, halting herself again when she found herself about to request if the woman wished to see her husband to drape herself over him again. Finally with a great deal of effort she nodded abruptly, “indeed, he has not.” Ah well, points for trying. The woman pouted and stalked off to make a nuisance of herself elsewhere.

Still, the disruption served to bring Elizabeth back to the present. Her eyes moved over the room and with each new observation she found herself truly loathing the rule against alcohol at Almacks. It was cruel that one should have to keep order without being even slightly tipsy. 

In one part of the room, her new friend, Miss Belle, had found herself the center of attention. Some of the attention, Elizabeth reasoned, had to be good. There was a handsome frenchman that appeared to be regaling her with flowery compliments, and then there was Uxbridge-would he NEVER give up? by god the man had lost a leg! his WIFE was in the very room! Luckily Blucher had come to hher rescue and was lambasting the englishman in indecipherable (yet wholly terrifying) german. Uxbridge seemed totally unphased and managed to draw up his reserve of English disinterest. While the two older gentleman were distracted, another gentleman tried to attract Belle’s attention. The whole image was deeply amusing for Elizabeth who recalled how much the woman had fought even buying the gorgeous gown she was in tonight. She ought to go rescue the woman, though. 

In another corner of the room, the prince regent was making due with the thinly sliced bread with a great deal of displeasure whilst regaling Lady Conyngham, as she sat in his lap with his arm over her shoulders (hand suspiciously close to her heaving bosom) with how brave he had been leading that charge at Waterloo. 

It was now Eleven and the guest of honor had still not arrived. Good god she needed a drink.