Pink XI Week 1 in Review

This post was written by Dara.

manz flower

Cambridge, 2004: We find Eloise back in the states babysitting undergrads and worrying about the status of her relationship with Colin. On the eve of his arrival, she discovers through a happenstance discussion with her teaching partner a possible clue to the whereabouts of the missing Pink Carnation – the vampire of Belliston Square with Mrs. Gwendolyn Reid all over it.

London, 1806: Miss Sally Fitzhugh is finding her second season a bit stifling, and truth be told lonely. In an effort relive the glory days of adventures with her friends (rather than hearing about their escapades with spies – and billiard balls, no less—second hand) she finds herself in the middle of the garden of the Duke of Belliston, rumored vampire and confirmed mysterious bachelor. While Sally finds the Duke intriguing, his relatives are clearly less than pleased at his return to England, but never the less require his presence at his sister Lady Clarissa’s ball then following night.

The gossips are in full swing at the ball, full of misinformation about Lucien, who is attempting a less than successful reconciliation with his sister and an unsettling discussion with his uncle about the murky circumstances surrounding his parents’ deaths. Sally, after a profound discussion on the merits of stoats as pets, takes it upon herself to find the Duke and provide some friendly advice on surviving the Ton.

Before she can offer said advice, however, a mysterious note arrives for the Duke and the two find an unknown woman, murdered, with a vampire bite. Rather than allow the murder to be pinned on the Duke, Sally persuades the Duke to leave, with the promise to call on her the next day, before sounding the alarm as only she can.

There is always so much that happens in each chapter, it is impossible to capture everything (and I can’t do it half as well as Lauren does anyway). What is your favorite part of our first section? What did you think of our reunion with Turnip and Arabella?

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10 thoughts on “Pink XI Week 1 in Review

  1. I liked seeing Arabella so confident and happy after a few years of marriage to Turnip. And I love Sally’s observation that “Arabella enjoyed chaperoning just about as much as Sally enjoyed being chaperoned,”- it’s clear that there’s a great deal of affection between them as well.

    I am writing this here because it is not something I can observe in the footnotes of an article- the final reader report on my first book took me to task for not sounding scholarly enough in my footnotes. Remember how Lauren often says that the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries are a tiny world in which everyone knows everyone else?

    My current book is on the Stamp Act crisis in 1765 and the Regulator Rebellion in North Carolina in the 1760s and my interest in this subject began in 2005 when I was assigned to research a man named Martin Howard who was a Loyalist in Rhode Island for an internship at the Newport Historical Society. He was kicked out of RI for being a Loyalist and was made the Chief Justice for NC just before the Regulator Rebellion began.

    Anyway, Stella Tillyard wrote a joint biography called Aristocrats of the 18th-century Lennox sisters, Caroline, Emily, Louisa and Sarah in the 1990s, which was made into a television series and is still one of my favorites. Their brother was Charles Lennox, the third Duke of Richmond.

    I was reading a collection of letters by and to Governor Tryon of NC yesterday and all of a sudden, I came across a letter from Charles Lennox to Tryon authorizing Martin Howard as the chief justice for NC. I love finding connections between people whom I was already interested in and didn’t think were connected- I think Eloise says at one point that it makes them more real.

    Oh, and for a Pink Carnation connection, when Penelope tells Alex in Blood Lily that her uncle was court-martialed for an uprising in Dublin and that her mother found it bearable only because Lord Edward Fitzgerald was involved too, Edward is Emily’s son and Charles’ nephew.

  2. This is my first read of Manzanilla, so I was thrilled!. Love the part so far with Turnip and Arabella. I just hate that everyone is still making fun of Turnip.

    Lucien’s character is intriguing, and I can’t wait to hear more about the mystery surrounding his parents.

    • It used to bother me that everyone made fun of Turnip, too. But after reading Mistletoe, I came to peace with it; if it doesn’t bother Turnip I guess I don’t need to get upset about it. But I did love seeing Sally defend Turnip against the comments of the Ton in these chapters.

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