What can I tell you about Angelica, the heroine of the first Mr. Darcy’s Impertinent Daughters book?
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Well, Angelica isn’t like most ladies and is a good combination of her parents.
She can be reserved in company, but isn’t shy. She’s insecure, a bit, about finding her place in society. Like most eighteen year olds, she is desperate to be seen as a grown up, but hasn’t entirely left childhood behind.
Angelica is Darcy and Elizabeth’s eldest daughter, but their third child. As such, she has a close bond with her parents and her older brothers. Darcy dearly loves all of his daughters but the oldest girl might be just a *bit* more of the apple of his eye. Angelica is astutely aware that she has to set a good example for her younger sisters.
She is closest to the sister next in her age, Seraphina. She is also close to her Bingley cousin, Alice, who is only a few months older than her. Angelica is fiercely protective of her younger brother, Tommy and her littlest sisters Raphaela and Christiane. Angie’s other favorite relative is her mother’s cousin, Michael Gardiner. Like her, he has an interest in traveling and exploring the world. He always has something exciting to tell Angelica about what he’s seen or done.
Although Darcy and Elizabeth both have dark hair, Angelica has inherited lighter coloring featured on both sides of her families. With blonde hair, blue eyes, an oval face, and symetrical features, she is seen as a classical beauty. However, she doesn’t have the docile nature to go with the Victorian ideal. She feels no duty to marry immediately and wants to experience life before settling down. She also has no problem being bluntly honest and has little patience with hypocrites.
Would you like an excerpt of when we first meet Angelica? How about one that tells us more about her as a person?
Fitzwilliam Darcy watched as the angelic lady descended the stairs at Pemberley. His breath caught at her beauty. She was easily the loveliest young lady present at the ball held in her honour. She saw him, a dazzling smile spread across her face, making her eyes dance. They sparkled in the candlelight.
Reaching the bottom of the steps, Darcy hooked her hand over his arm and led her to the entrance to await the guests. She greeted each of them with a smile and a kind word. Her tender heart and good nature shone even brighter than her beauty. After the final guest arrived, a few people lingered in her circle. She laughed and teased, offering her dance card to several young men when requested for a set. Each time, Darcy had to repress a growl. Perhaps once or twice, he had emitted a sound, given the anxious expressions the gentlemen threw in his direction.
At last, the music began, and Darcy took his lady to the floor for the first set, swelling with pride. She moved with practiced grace and ease. He always enjoyed dancing with her, and tonight was no exception, no matter how little he generally liked the activity. Although he knew his expression was likely austere and grim, she did not laugh at him or tease. As he brought her from the floor, and they awaited the next gentleman to approach, she squeezed his arm and gave him a sympathetic smile. An eager young man approached, and Darcy’s heart thudded loudly in his chest as she let go of his arm and took another’s. Watching her go, felt like a knife to his gut.
“You did very well, my dear,” his wife of twenty-five years said from his side. Darcy glanced down at her. Emotion shimmered in Elizabeth’s eyes. “It is hard to see her so grown up, is it not?”
Angelica Darcy smiled at her gathered cousins and sister. The ladies had decided to take breakfast upstairs the morning after the ball. Now, they all piled into Angelica and Seraphina’s shared bedroom. The half dozen voices in her room merged into a frenzy talk of the ball and beaus. Deciding to take a morning walk lest a migraine begin, Angelica straightened her pelerine collar in the mirror before meeting her sister’s eyes and waving at her.
“Well, where is Angelica going?” Alice Bingley asked Seraphina.
“I am taking my morning walk,” Angelica answered from the doorway while tying bonnet strings under her chin.
“Will you see the gentlemen?” Lavinia Hurst asked. “I heard from my father they were to go fishing this morning.”
“My intended path does not come near any fishing hole,” Angelica answered. “However, anyone is welcome to join me.” Silently, Angelica prayed that the others would decline.
Lavinia and Alice’s attention had already moved on to the discussion about which Ward brother was most handsome while the others appeared to be discussing the purse strings of the other young men invited to the house party at Pemberley. Seizing the moment and thankful that no one had decided to attend her, Angelica slipped out the door unnoticed.
Once on her favourite path, she took a deep breath of the fresh, country air. Her parents had instilled a love of the outdoors in her, often joking that she had loved the paths of Pemberley before she could even walk. Mrs. Darcy enjoyed telling others of an infant Angelica who could only be soothed in the dead of night by the fresh air and gazing up at the stars.
Angelica glanced up at the sky on this morning. The stars may be gone, but the wanderlust they had inspired in her from her earliest memories were not. As much as she loved Pemberley, she longed to see more of the world. Her parents often wondered where she got it from, with murmurings now and then about some genetic trait from a troublesome relative.
However, Mr. Darcy would come to Angelica’s defense. She did not merely wish to have adventure and travel, she had a keen interest in learning about different geographies and culture. Angelica would not be an ignorant tourist left with no greater knowledge of her destinations than the variances of an English ballroom from an Italian one. Angelica wished to see the ancient ruins of Rome and the waterways of Venice. She imagined traversing the alps of Switzerland and seeing the French Riveria. Perhaps she might even journey to India one day. Alas, there was no means of easy land travel and she grew horribly seasick on ships. She could never tolerate more than a crossing of the Channel.
Proper young ladies, especially daughters of Mr. Darcy of Pemberley, did not trek across the globe. They were expected to sit at home…and do what, Angelica had yet to determine. After the distant day that she would marry, she would obviously run a home. However, there was little enough to occupy a clever and intelligent young lady once potential suitors had gone for the day.
A sly smile grew across Angelica’s mouth. She had one thing most other ladies in her position did not: two adoring elder brothers. George and Malachi were meant to make a tour of Scotland and Angelica had all her hopes set on going with them.
Other misses her age probably spent the morning after their come out ball sitting in a drawing room and smiling at foolish young swains. Angelica sniffed in distaste. She was in no hurry to wed and there were months until the season began. She longed for one real adventure before being proper Miss Darcy in London and shown around the marriage mart. Her cousin Alice had her heart set on London balls. Even Jenny Bingley had declared them enjoyable and she was probably the shyest person Angelica had ever met. Well, before seeing high society at its alleged best, Angelica preferred to see the wilds of the country with no more company than a book. Coming to her favourite clearing, Angelica shook out the blanket she had brought with her and set down upon it before focusing all of her attention on the pages she held.