A new entry in the popular Bridges Over Time Series, tracing the history of the Whitmead family, focuses on Lucy-Anne Whitmead, who lives in the late 1700s, as she uses an unexpected legacy to win freedom from an abusive husband.
George may be young but he has decided ideas about wifely deportment and his interval at home stretches as one young woman after another proves too talkative, too opinionated, too forward, too independent. Then his eye falls on Lucy-Anne, 17, shy, quiet, inexperienced and protected.
Even before the wedding Lucy-Anne understands that the sun shines on George exclusively and that her own orbit will be of his choosing. But at her wedding her great aunt Henrietta bestows an unusual blessing: "I wish you well, my dear, and I wish you power and freedom too; more of them than I have ever had."
Her words ring in Lucy-Anne's mind over the years, most often ironically, for power and freedom were not part of her marriage bargain. Lucy-Anne traded away any chance at either in return for the security she gains from being George's wife and mistress of his Surrey Estate.
But it's a hard bargain. George, disappointed in an heir, returns disgruntled to his beloved India, leaving his wife in the care of his mother, both cocooned in respectable seclusion on his estate. But old Mrs. Whitmead soon dies in a most protracted and hideous manner and Lucy-Anne is left to cope on her own. A particularly blistering and insensitive letter from George destroys the last of her regard but Lucy-Anne struggles to run the estate and live according to his proscriptions while carving out a niche for herself.Read more ›