Bridgerton (2020) s02e01 Episode Script

Capital R Rake

1 Whoa.
I just think it's important No, no, no.
Gregory, you Shh! Let her come out on her own.
- Is this the plan? - Thank goodness you're here.
- She's requested time.
- We do not have time.
Stand back.
No offense, Sister, but you are the last person she'd like to see.
- What does that mean? - Are we sure she's in there? - Of course she is.
- Where else would she be? - Climbed through the window, the chimney - Quiet! She may hear you.
I left my husband and child at home for this.
I told everyone this would happen, now we're late for the queen.
I hear something.
If one of you utters a single word Let us get this over with.
I yearn for someone fresh, someone unexpected, to turn this season on its head.
That is what we need.
There is no room for indifference.
Apathy is a blight the monarchy simply cannot endure.
Of course, Your Majesty.
But remember, a young lady cannot be a diamond until you anoint her as such.
So if for any reason you do not find one among the candidates today Do you think she will return? We have heard nary a peep from Lady Whistledown since last season ended.
Perhaps the writer came to her senses.
Perhaps she realized taking on her queen was a bad idea, and she will never publish again.
It is a convincing theory, ma'am.
Or she simply left for the country, as the rest of us did in the off-season, bored by the lack of any real gossip.
You do know what that would make her, then? One of us.
Could we not have appealed to the queen, Mama? After having mourned dear Papa for so very long, perhaps Her Majesty might extend a kindness and allow us to be presented again.
I see no need to go through all of that again when I myself am already betrothed to Mr.
Finch may very well still change his mind.
Particularly when he notices there is still no dowry.
Hush! The new Lord Featherington shall see to that, when he finally decides to show his miserly face.
Just remember to remain composed.
And control your emotions.
Her Majesty does not take kindly to any hint of hysterics.
I found a small smile worked best to appear open and approachable, but not too eager.
Now, let us see it.
She's practically melting.
- Here.
Allow me.
- And your curtsy, dearest.
Tell your sister how you managed such balance.
Simply locate a stationary object and keep your eyes set.
I used a painting nearby.
We practiced it.
Several times.
- You have natural gifts - Do not patronize me.
- And give me that! - Oh! My task this season cannot be exceptionally difficult.
Hastings did it after all.
How hard can it be? - Ah.
Spoken with such feeling too.
- I do not need feeling.
What I need is what I have, and that is a list.
Tolerable, dutiful, suitable enough hips for childbearing, and at least half a brain.
And that last part is not so much a requirement but a preference, in fact.
Miss Cordelia Patridge.
The Lady Abigail Evans.
Miss Mary Ann Hallewell.
Miss Margaret Goring.
It is not too late.
You could say I collapsed.
That I got something unmentionable on my gown.
All the feathers affected my senses.
Anything, Mama, to get me out of doing this.
My darling girl.
No matter what, you will always be a diamond to me.
If Penelope were here Penelope? How many times must I warn you to be wary of that window? Do you wish to appear like a befreckled beggar spending all day in the sun? Of course not, Mama.
My apologies.
The Dowager Viscountess Bridgerton and Miss Eloise Bridgerton.
It is here.
What is the meaning of this? I've seen enough.
- But Your Majesty, there are still - I have seen enough! Does this mean I can go? I don't know what this means.
Truly, I cannot say I will long for any of this.
Best of luck to you, Brother.
You shall certainly need it this season.
Dearest gentle reader.
Did you miss me? As the members of our esteemed ton lazily sojourned in their rustic retreats, this author was doing but one thing.
I knew she would return! Honing my skills.
Increased her price too, I see.
Or should I say, hatching my plans? Is she truly that good a writer? No, even better.
I was sharpening my knives - "For all of you.
" - for all of you.
How do you think she does it? Certainly not by herself.
How could she? Oh.
Eighteen? We agreed on 20.
My mistress changed her mind.
You're new to this arrangement, so I'll say this only once.
What my mistress wants, she gets.
For whatever reason, that would be you at the moment.
That doesn't make you special, Mr.
Printers in this town are ten-a-penny.
But there's only one Lady Whistledown, and she could just as easily take her business elsewhere.
So it's 18, not a penny more.
And the delivery boys need a wage increase.
They're running around town while you get to sit on your lazy arse.
Yes, ma'am.
Then my mistress thanks you for your services.
Questions abound as to this author's identity and means.
Seeking those answers shall prove fruitless, indeed.
I am off to the market with my maid, Mama.
I have just a tiny bit of pin money left, and I There is, of course, another unknown identity at present.
Though, this one you will be able to unearth.
I speak of the season's diamond, wherever she may be.
Your move, Your Majesty.
One and two.
 One and two.
I do not think she's very good.
- I believe she can hear you.
- I can hear you.
- Ow! Watch my feet! - Might we be done? If you are to catch the queen's eye after that interruption, you must be perfection.
I believe it was the interruption that was perfection.
Shocking that Eloise Bridgerton was not named the season diamond, was it not? Was anyone else aware that dear Colin has decided to add Albania or some such place to his itinerary as he gads about the world? No.
But how happy for him that he can simply decide to do that.
Joining us for tea, Anthony? Uh, I'm afraid I must pass.
Too many calls on my funds today.
Now that the season has started, I need to fill your coffers at the modiste and oversee the hiring of extra staff.
Your ring.
When you get the chance, I need it.
The fields by Ferryhallow.
I was thinking we might hold off on leasing them due to the hard frost.
I beg your pardon? The frost hardens the soil, saps it of nutrients.
That is very well.
But you requested my ring? Father's betrothal ring.
Did someone catch your eye at the presentation, Brother? I thought all the young ladies looked beautiful.
Not particularly.
And all the young ladies looked the same.
Like ladies.
I'd simply like to be prepared for when the opportunity presents itself.
The opportunity? I've compiled an index of the season's eligible misses and arranged interviews.
Interviews! Dearest, I shall be more than happy to give you my ring when you find someone with whom you are very much in love.
Besides, it is in safekeeping at Aubrey Hall.
- Very well.
- See that he is quite well.
Me? I'm not in need of coddling.
I assure you all, everything is in order.
Are you looking forward to being a mother? Oh, very much.
I am quite close with my brothers and sisters.
I love children.
What number do you have in mind? Of children? Four.
Or five.
Perhaps six.
Three children is what I have always wanted, my lord.
If your daughter had a penchant for overspending, how would you deal with that? We must secure a new lady's maid for Eloise, now that she is out.
Ensure she is even more strong-willed than the last.
What are those? Uh, accounts requiring your signature, my lord.
The harp is a wonderful instrument, my lord, teaching one patience, strength, and an appreciation for beauty, of course.
But do you read? Books? I am fluent in French, Italian, Latin.
And your Greek? Apologies, my lord.
I much prefer a quadrille.
I ride.
I paint.
I sing.
I dance.
I can divide and multiply.
I even construct my own hats.
Five and twenty more, my lord.
Whoa, there! Miss, are you in trouble? Come on.
Come on.
Careful, now! Whoa, there! Enjoying your victory lap? You'll not be afforded such an ample head-start this time.
Apologies, sir.
I did not mean to cause anyone concern.
Does your maid know you are riding astride? I have no maid.
Then you're married.
Forgive me.
Then you are lost.
I am not lost either.
I'm on my way back to Mayfair.
- It is just ahead.
- Mayfair? Well, then I appreciate your attention, sir, but I assure you I am perfectly safe.
Perhaps we pretend this encounter never took place? You allow me to go my way, and you go yours.
You worry about being seen.
I worry about meeting strange men in parks at dawn who fail to leave me alone with their questions.
Your secret is safe.
I shall not tell a soul.
How grateful I am.
Losing races to strange women in such parks at dawn.
I can only imagine the questions I would be asked.
Is that what that was? - A race? - Was it not? Does one not need actual competition for a race? If we had decided on a finish line together, but alas, we made no such agreement.
I see you are not one for losing.
I shall have you In the rare instances it occurs, I'd admit that I have either lost or am in the wrong.
But I'm afraid the same cannot be said for you.
- I beg your pardon? - Mayfair is not right ahead.
It's the other way entirely.
Not lost, you said? Good day, sir.
Let's go.
We have not yet been introduced.
I am afraid that is not possible.
Not when I have a victory lap to enjoy.
Well, what do you mean she was not in her room? I went to find her after awakening, but she was not there.
Lady Mary.
Lady Danbury.
Oh, how delightful it is to see you.
And you.
After all these years.
You look well.
Allow me to introduce to you my youngest, - Miss Edwina Sharma.
- Ah.
A true pleasure, Lady Danbury.
I am so grateful for your hospitality.
Your home, it is magnificent.
Consider it yours for the season.
Though, I was expecting another? Yes.
My eldest.
Well, she did get off the ship with you last night, did she not? - Apologies.
- Kate! - There you are, dearest.
- I hope I did not keep you waiting long.
The gardens here are so lovely.
After such a lengthy journey, I found that I wanted some freshness and morning air.
But, uh I am here now.
My eldest, Lady Danbury.
Miss Kate Sharma.
Well, now that we are all arrived Almost.
I beg your pardon? We have almost all arrived.
There is also Newton.
Is he still upstairs? Mama tells us you host the first ball of every season, Lady Danbury.
I have appropriated a conservatory for this year's festivities.
Did you hear that, Edwina? Well, that sounds delightful.
It will make for a most spectacular entrance to society, indeed.
I cannot tell you how eager the young ladies are for the upcoming season.
As am I.
I would've ensured their presentation to Her Majesty the Queen, but I thought it wise for me to examine their deportment prior to their first engagement.
Her Majesty is most discerning, you understand.
So Her Majesty will be in attendance, then, at the ball? Well, there is no reason for concern, Lady Mary.
You will be with me, after all.
Of course.
Now, I have made all the arrangements.
The pianoforte is tuned, the instructors hired.
Dance lessons begin at noon, followed by a short but comprehensive visit from a lovely French tutor I have secured.
Well, stand up.
Both of you.
Could you, uh Exceptional posture.
Beautiful smiles.
Yes, they are, quite.
The age of the elder miss may raise concern.
Any suitable gentleman will require some persuading, whether we like it or not, as she will already be regarded as an old maid at the mature age of Six and twenty, ma'am.
But it should truly be of no concern, as I assure you I am not here to find a husband for myself, only for my sister, who, indeed, stands quite tall and smiles rather exquisitely.
Even more so when she speaks French, I rather think.
She is accomplished in both Latin and Greek, in addition to Marathi and Hindustani, of course.
She not only plays sitar and maruli, but pianoforte too.
And as for her dancing, well, it is quite remarkable, if I do say so myself.
And I do say so, considering it was I who taught my sister the cotillion, the quadrille, the waltz.
Self-taught, naturally, but still quite remarkable nonetheless.
Hmm! Well Kate feels quite passionately about her sister's prospects this season.
I hope you did not go to too much trouble, finding all of those instructors? Not at all.
My mama did not err in her description of you, a woman of such grace and kindness.
I am sure we have much to learn from you, such as the preparation of this most excellent tea.
- Kate, dear? - Mm-hmm? Might Newton require a walk before he makes his mess all over these fine carpets? Indeed.
Delighted to make your acquaintance, Lady Danbury.
My sister and I do look forward to your sponsorship this season.
Daphne provided me a list of recommendations for a successful season.
Private advice regarding the top ten ways in which to entrap a man.
I'm telling you, Pen, the season has barely begun and already I feel touched in the head.
Another quill? You do get through them at an extraordinary rate.
I have been busy with my correspondence.
- To the new heir? Is he here yet? - No.
I only mean, Colin has been keeping me informed of his adventures in Greece.
In fairness, I have stopped reading his letters.
He rambles.
- He's certainly no Lady Whistledown.
- No.
But, then again, Colin has, in fact, been somewhere, unlike her.
Well, I thought you revered Whistledown.
Did her arrival not save you from your presentation to the queen? I was delighted by the diversion, to be sure.
But, I sat with her paper all morning, and in truth, all she does is repeat what she hears.
Someone must report the gossip.
Does she not have a way with words? But what is she saying with those words? Truly, I did not mind Whistledown's silence the last ten months, as it finally gave me some time to read a few articles of substance.
"My own sex, I hope, will excuse me if I treat them like rational creatures, instead of flattering their fascinating graces.
" Wollstonecraft.
Rather haughty.
Imagine if Whistledown wrote like this, instead of simply turning our eye to every newly-minted debutante.
Perhaps then we might find our respite from the tedious sequence of tea parties and balls.
I rather think the only reason Whistledown writes about such things is because she is not an active participant in them.
Everyone has their theory, I suppose.
Would you like me to prepare some potatoes for the ladies downstairs, ma'am? Potatoes? Again? Why are we always eating potatoes? Because these days, I am the housekeeper, lady's maid, scullery maid, and cook.
Have all the staff truly departed? Though I am quite good at boiling the veg.
Thank you, Mrs.
Potatoes would be lovely.
A season with no new dresses, nor servants.
Are we to empty our own chamber pots too? - Mama, I cannot do that.
- Calm yourselves.
As I have told you, once the new Lord Featherington arrives, we will be provided for.
Well, where is he? Why is he taking so long? Because he wishes to make us suffer.
The new Lord Featherington is off somewhere, delighting in our misfortune, because the man is as cruel as can be.
I hear he cast his only son out to the Americas for daring to question his word.
I tremble to think where he will send the rest of us if he has a mind.
Cornwall, perhaps.
Cornwall? Well, I suppose you may visit Mr.
Finch and me.
If there is nary a penny for new dresses or staff, there is none for her dowry.
He shall prevent me from marrying? Of course not.
The man may be an old, bitter curmudgeon, but he is a gentleman and he will keep a gentleman's agreement.
Which is why we must waste no time in finding matches for the lot of you.
Unless you are all betrothed by the time our cousin arrives to claim the Featherington estate, we shall be at his mercy.
And then heaven help us all.
You could always sell the silverware.
The dinner service should fetch a handsome price.
Are you thinking of wearing that one? It is quite beautiful.
These are for you, Bon.
We have come to London to find your husband, not mine.
You are but a dear old maid.
Who shall be perfectly happy doting on my many nieces and nephews one day soon.
I shall spoil them exceedingly.
You do know that, yes? What is it? I only hope they like me tonight.
How could they not? Mama is doing that thing she always does when she is worried.
The gossip she endured after marrying Appa had to have been unbearable, do you not think? Is this what troubles you? That was many years ago.
Everyone will still have questions.
About our family.
About how you and I are related.
We are sisters.
This place may feel different, but it will never change the way you and I see each other.
Besides, you heard Lady Danbury.
She will smooth everything over.
She is on our side.
The dowager is more formidable than I imagined.
She will have your head when she learns of your secret morning ride.
Are you certain no one saw you? Yes.
Now, never mind her.
The dowager is not half as frightening as she thinks she is.
You must be excited.
This is the first chapter of a happy story.
All you have to do this evening is remember what it is you are looking for.
- Someone charming.
- Mm-hmm.
And handsome, of course.
A prince or a duke, perhaps.
It is not a man's appearance or title that will woo you.
It is his mind and spirit that will court yours.
He will speak in a manner that only your heart can hear.
That is what you are looking for.
That is the true love you deserve.
This one? They will not be ready.
Just remember to breathe, Bon.
The Marquis of Ashdown.
A little young, to be sure, but he has 10,000 a year.
The Earl of Gloucester.
His wife recently died of influenza.
He might make a particularly estimable addition to your dance card this evening, Miss Sharma.
I will not be taking to the floor tonight, Lady Danbury.
Is there someone back home you've yet to tell me about? Come now.
I am long past all of that.
The only match I am interested in is for my sister.
She trusts me implicitly.
Now, what about the Duke of Suffolk? According to Debrett's, he should be quite the catch this year.
The duke flaunts his mistresses.
I assure you, Miss Sharma, I have our prospects well in hand.
There she is.
So many flowers, when what I really seek is a gem.
So soon, Lady Danbury? Lady Danbury.
A delightful soiree, as expected.
Though my own later this week will be much more exclusive.
Your Majesty, I would not think to compare.
And rightly so.
Your Majesty, may I present Lady Mary Sharma, whom you must remember.
And may I present her daughters, Miss Sharma and Miss Edwina Sharma, my personal special guests for the season.
A high honor, indeed.
I hear you have made quite a journey to join us again after all these years, Lady Mary.
If only you had extended the courtesy of offering your queen a final farewell before you left.
Oh, I do relish a challenge.
Stop fussing with your dress.
You look lovely, dear.
I look like a prize calf, trussed up for auction.
Even Daphne felt most apprehensive at her first official ball, and look how well her season turned out.
Oh, right.
Come, Sister.
The cakes at these occasions are surprisingly good.
Uh Uh It truly is a sparse crop.
Oh, I am sure there is someone here who will charm you.
After all, this is the season the viscount intends to find a wife.
- You honestly just did that? - I believe I did.
Lady Bridgerton.
Lord Bridgerton.
- Dance, please, Lord Bridgerton? - Good evening.
Is that Lady Mary Sheffield Sharma? I can't believe she would show her face here again.
A scandal, Mama? Lady Mary was the incomparable of our season, until she fell in love with and married some kind of clerk, I hear.
The two of them absconded to India thereafter.
A maharajah I would have understood, but the man was no more than a common worker who already had a child.
That must be her.
The older one.
Lady Mary's parents, the Sheffields, never lived down the shame, did they? Too ashamed to show their faces in London.
If only every family could be as respectable as ours.
Yes, Lady Featherington? Dearest! My love.
and Mrs.
Lady Featherington.
It is a delightful surprise to see you in attendance.
After such a long mourning period.
Almost as long as our son has been courting Philippa, if you can imagine.
It has been a difficult time, indeed.
Darkness has been our candle in recent months.
Have you come unaccompanied? Or has the new heir finally come to manage this unsettled business of your daughter's dowry? "Unsettled.
" That is the precise word, Mr.
Finch, because I, too, have been very unsettled, indeed.
Shaken to the bone, in fact, by by grief.
Missing my dear, dear, very dead husband.
I told you it was too soon! You told me you wished for the boy to be out of the house! Our apologies, Lady Featherington.
Do let us know when you are more settled.
Yes? - Number eight? - Yes.
I know that gentleman.
- Who? - The viscount? I do not believe I have yet made an introduction.
Of course.
It must be my mistake.
Though you have quite the eye.
Viscount Bridgerton is wealthy, well-connected, and from one of the ton's most illustrious families.
Apparently hoping to marry this season, he may very well be our most eligible bachelor, indeed.
He is very handsome.
I suppose he is.
Lord Corning.
I was hoping to see you this evening.
Allow me to introduce Miss Sharma and Miss Edwina Sharma.
It is a pleasure.
Miss Edwina, would you honor me with a dance? Corning, you said? The Baron Corning.
I would be delighted, my lord.
I do not recall reading of Corning's family in my research.
It does not matter what you have and have not read.
It is unacceptable here for a lady to decline a dance with a gentleman unless she's already reserved by another.
I see we have much to learn.
Spanish dance? And they say Millerson has a whelp in the country.
Spitting image of his father.
There you are.
Oh, Pen, I'm so glad to see you.
Mama is already being insufferable.
At least she did not see fit to dress you as a sunflower.
I declare a bee might mistake me for the real thing.
Miss Bridgerton.
May I request your next dance? Or I might accompany you to fetch some lemonade? - You seem parched.
- How can you tell? Is she wilting? Or punch, if you prefer? - A plant pun, if you're wondering.
- Apologies, gentlemen.
I regret to inform you that my dance card is already full.
Lord Byron? Wellington? Eloise, these names are false! I am merely following my sister's valuable advice.
She told me that it is of the utmost importance for a lady's dance card to be filled with all of the right names.
Eloise? There you are, dear.
There is someone I would like you to meet.
Bridgerton! I owe you a drink.
Whatever for? With you as the prize catch of the season, the rest of us shall receive a respite from the marriage-minded mamas this season, indeed.
Enjoy your freedom while it lasts.
You, too, will soon submit to this ridiculous rigmarole of courtship.
Squiring every eligible miss around town until you're barely able to see straight.
Is one lady unlike any other? Simply pick the least objectionable and get her wed, bed, and bred.
Then you can return to more pleasurable pursuits.
And more pleasurable partners.
You may be cavalier, but if I must leg-shackle myself in marriage, the lady in question should have more to recommend her.
Do not tell us you are hoping for a love match? Love is the last thing I desire.
But if my children are to be of good stock, then their mother must be of impeccable quality.
A pleasing face, an acceptable wit, genteel manners enough to credit a viscountess.
It should not be hard to find.
And yet, the debutantes of London fall short at every turn.
You want the best.
Perhaps the queen will finally name a diamond.
Save you some trouble.
At least, of choosing her.
Wooing the piece will be a different story, indeed.
I shall have no problem there.
- Smoking room, gentlemen? - I shall be there anon.
Is someone there? I can hear y you.
Pardon me, my lord.
I never got your name.
I was wondering if we'd meet again.
So you might discern if my wit is acceptable, my manners genteel? You were eavesdropping? It was hardly an effort, seeing as you were proclaiming your many requirements for a wife loud enough for the entire party to hear.
You take issue with them? I take issue with any man who views women merely as chattels and breeding stock.
None of that was meant Viscount Bridgerton, yes? When you manage to find this paragon of virtue, whatever makes you think she will accept your suit? Are the young ladies of London truly so easily won by a pleasing smile and absolutely nothing more? So, you find my smile pleasing.
I find your opinion of yourself entirely too high.
Your character is as deficient as your horsemanship.
I shall bid you good night.
Pen! Pen.
Are you going somewhere? I was just getting some air.
It is so very stifling in the ballroom.
The air or the dreary conversation? I do suppose this is the one benefit of being out.
I have you to run off with.
We shall never have to be alone.
My thoughts exactly.
Have you seen your brother or your sister? They managed to escape you? Good for them.
Lady Danbury.
Splendid evening.
For the most part.
There are a few guests whose absence I might not have regretted.
I do hope I am not one of them.
You and I have common interests this season, it seems.
I heard.
Your wards, I look forward to meeting them.
And I look forward to showing these other mamas how the game ought to be played.
Though, it appears you have already stoked the fire by informing them of the viscount's intentions for this season.
My son said he was ready.
Who am I to question it? They all must come around eventually, I suppose.
Lady Danbury, we wish to leave.
Miss Sharma, allow me to introduce you Charmed.
My mama is already in our carriage.
We will see you at home.
People are watching, my dear.
You are clearly upset What is clear is we are woefully unprepared to navigate this lion's den.
I am sure Edwina's absence will only make her that much more desirable.
It truly was a magnificent soiree, Lady Danbury.
We are most grateful.
Well, it would seem both of us may have our hands full this year.
Not if I have something to say about it.
And as you very well know, I always have something to say.
Delightful evening, Mama! Night, Sisters! Good night, young ladies! - Can you go any faster? - Yes, miss! Lawks, I thought you weren't coming.
My mistress apologizes for the delay.
This is for today.
It must print before noon.
Last edition's takings, yes? 800 copies at five pence apiece, sold for eight pence each, minus the delivery boys' wages, there should be eleven pounds, two shillings here altogether.
My mistress is willing to take an even ten.
You get to keep the surplus for your rapid service.
These delays will be more frequent now due to an unforeseen circumstance, so, it's really a bargain.
There is nothing quite like the sweet-scented smell of success.
But after taking in the scene from last night's festivities, it is clear the season won't be quite so fragrant for everyone.
The Viscount Bridgerton's own mama may have loudly declared her eldest son's lofty intentions to marry, yet I cannot be the only one wondering if this former Capital-R-Rake is, indeed, ready to flourish.
Perhaps the viscount, like the rest of us, is simply waiting for the queen to finally name her diamond.
Or perhaps this author should take matters into her own hands.
I shall not be hustled into making my selection.
Not by anyone.
Of course, Your Majesty.
Take this away.
And bring me a list of the peerage.
Some tea, my lord? Perhaps some warm milk may be better.
Oh! Are those marbles? What fun! Might I go and read now? Though, of the many purportedly well-trained and bred hothouse flowers on display this year, this author must wonder if a more surprising choice might still be in store.
The younger one would do, if the eldest just got out of the way.
The sister is dreadful.
Not on my chair! Whichever darling miss receives such high esteem, let us hope there is a suitor available of only the sharpest wit, lest his dry musings leave a young lady wilting like a parched rose.
It is rather clever the way she uses plant puns to belittle.
Clever indeed! The candlesticks, see what they're worth.
Yes, ma'am.
You see? Lady Goring was quite taken with Eloise's dress last night, Madame Delacroix.
She would keep saying how well it complemented her complexion.
She said you reminded her of Daphne, dearest.
I am not Daphne.
- This is the one.
- Ah.
With pleasure, Lady Bridgerton.
You do know, Eloise, that you might enjoy the next ball if you, in fact, danced with someone.
Meeting new people, it can be thrilling.
Yes, it certainly seemed as though Anthony had a thrilling time.
Swept away by many a nimble-footed young lady, Brother? I can still barely feel my toes.
I thought you ladies were taught to dance.
I thought you gentlemen capable of worthwhile conversation.
How sad both of our hopes were dashed.
I think Eloise would make a brilliant diamond.
I could not agree more, Hyacinth.
Perhaps Her Majesty will take note at her ball tomorrow night.
I despise you.
Madame Delacroix.
I didn't know you were back in town.
Bien sûr! Who else could dress these delicate debutantes for the season? Does that mean I shall see you later on tonight? I hear there's a party.
I have much work to do, Mr.
Bridgerton, and my art must come before all else.
Enjoy your time.
Are you and the modiste still, uh, making a stitch? Apparently not.
Have you found a wife yet? Or are you planning to offend every girl until there are none left? Is Mother aware? - Aware of what? - I'm off to deal with our solicitor.
Have fun with your pretty pictures, Brother.
Anthony? There were some lovely young ladies in attendance last night, were there not? Lady Delilah has beautiful manners, and I hear Miss Goodrum is very accomplished in her needlework.
Perhaps you shall get to know them better soon.
Lady Delilah can barely string a sentence together, and Miss Goodrum thought that Napoleon fights for the Spanish.
As for every other eager chit you pushed in my direction, I'd happily never lay eyes on them again.
- Anthony - I am looking for perfection, Mother.
And you should be too.
The woman I marry shall be the Viscountess Bridgerton.
The lady of this household, responsible for launching my sisters and bearing my children.
Do you desire them to be raised by a woman who does not know how to so much as hold a map right side up? This is the duty I must fulfill.
You will end up alone with such expectations.
Good day, Mother.
La-la-la-la-la-la-la Why is it so quiet in here? Because I am alone? Reading, as I always do.
You are so boring.
I will be perfectly putrefied if Philippa does manage to marry Finch.
" The word is "petrified.
" What is that? What is what? - What you are writing.
- I am not writing.
But you were.
Do not Hand it back! Why, you little devil-doll! This is what occupies your "quiet" time? What are you ladies doing, still up? Penelope was writing to Colin Bridgerton.
Well, that would explain the ink all over her fingers.
I declare, Penelope.
Colin is my friend! As if he would ever waste his ink on someone like you.
- Are these worth anything? - What? Your books.
Books can be worth something, can they not? I do not think so, Mama.
Oh, pity.
You must stop wasting your precious time on such pointless pursuits as writing silly letters.
Colin Bridgerton is no more your friend than I am the next Catherine the Great.
Now, wipe your hands, lest someone should think you a commoner.
A letter for you.
Your tea grows cold.
My horses do not.
Did you plan to ride again tomorrow morning? I know all that goes on in my home.
And since you insist on sneaking around, I may as well save us both the trouble.
Correspondence from your grandparents, the Sheffields.
I wrote to them before you arrived.
Those people are not my grandparents, Lady Danbury.
I have no relation to them whatsoever, in fact.
It seems you have not been straightforward with me.
I realize I should not have gone out for a morning ride without a chaperone.
And what about failing to tell me why you have truly come to London with your sister? I'm rather more concerned about that.
We have come to find Edwina a husband.
And is that all? You would be wise to reconsider resorting to more forgeries and half-truths, Miss Sharma.
Very few attempt to outwit me, and even fewer succeed.
You are living under my roof, under my care, relying on my good name, my connections, my money.
I vouched for you and your sister in front of Her Majesty the Queen, all because I thought I was paying a kindness to an old friend And we are truly grateful for everything.
Your mama misses your father, naturally.
But she never really wanted to come back here, did she? You did! I have no interest in being used as a pawn in someone else's game.
That is not what we are doing.
Then tell me what stipulations the Sheffields have apparently set down with regard to Edwina's match.
Stipulations which, if met, will, I am guessing, guarantee great fortune for you and your family.
Edwina must marry an Englishman of nobility.
They could not control your mama's marriage, so they mean to interfere with your sister's.
They never recovered from my father's lack of rank and title.
Though let me assure you, Lady Danbury, I am not here for selfish reasons.
After my father died, Mama and I did the best we could to raise Edwina, all so she would never know of our struggles.
But our money ran low.
We used the last for this very journey.
The Sheffields have agreed to bestow a sizable dowry on my sister, and to look after my mama.
But only if Edwina marries properly.
And what about you? If I could marry for the sake of my family, I would.
But I am not my mama's daughter by birth.
Edwina is.
I've spent the last eight years raising my sister to walk in the right way, to talk in the right way, to play the pianoforte just so.
Teaching her twice as much and watching her work twice as hard as anyone else.
I even taught her how to make this pitiful excuse for tea the English so adore.
I despise English tea.
But if it means my sister will not be left destitute, then I will smile, and I will nod politely after each and every sip, to be sure.
Your sister has a right to know.
As you said, it is her future.
That is precisely why I shield her.
Because I know her.
If she was made aware of the circumstances, she would marry quickly only to please us.
She would say yes to any man kind enough to ask.
Edwina deserves a chance to find love without such a burden.
Please, you must not tell a soul.
Formed under pressure, desired by many, yet possessed only by a fortunate few, there is nothing on earth quite so envied as a diamond.
Might our queen finally extinguish the fevered speculation and bestow the highest of honors to a most fortunate young lady tonight? With so many futures at risk, I do suspect this author is not the only one waiting with bated breath.
I do hope you are finding everything in town to your satisfaction, Lady Mary.
Indeed I am, Your Majesty.
This time around, that is.
Perhaps your mother would enjoy some refreshment, Miss Sharma.
I might think Lady Mary deserves some recognition, ma'am.
It's certainly a sign of true devotion on her part, having sought to introduce her daughters under the discerning eye of Your Majesty, after all.
The youngest one, in particular, I think, will certainly make a match that will be the envy of the ton.
Why do I sense my strings being pulled, Lady Danbury? You said you wanted to shake up the season.
Now is your chance.
Anyone here you've not yet rejected? You're the artist.
Do you see anyone remotely inspiring? We shall have our diamond tonight, and I shall have a wife.
Lady Bridgerton.
Miss Bridgerton.
Such a shame your presentation at court was so rudely interrupted.
Shame, indeed.
I nearly forgot you were making your debut this season.
After your elder sister's triumph, perhaps good fortune might run in the family.
Uh, it is a delightful ball, Your Majesty.
Very diamond-y.
Though, I must admit, I am more of an emerald person myself.
Oh, dear! My favorite necklace is one of emeralds.
- How thoughtful of you to know that.
- Oh.
It seems you have indeed come a long way since last year, Miss Bridgerton.
Excuse me.
If the queen, in fact, names Eloise the diamond, whom will you marry then, Brother? Hush, you.
Pen! Pen! Pen, Pen.
We must leave.
The queen, she I somehow managed to charm her.
- She seems to, in fact, like me.
I don't - Eloise, you must calm down.
Eloise Bridgerton.
The diamond.
Perhaps now you might stop spending time with insipid wallflowers all evening and refine your circle of friends.
I may have an opening I would rather die.
How you managed an entire season of these absurd events alongside people like Cressida Cowper is beyond me.
And it's not just her.
It is all of them.
Staring at me as if I were some fine china teapot.
How did you do it on your own, Pen? I do not share your difficulties, El.
- "Insipid wallflower," remember? - Ugh.
That is not Cressida is incensed that even her new dress cannot hide her character.
It's not that bad, you know.
- The wallflower thing.
- Mmm.
I always get the first glass of lemonade.
I know who all the best dancers are just from watching.
I can always tell when a suitor is serious about courtship just by how he looks when a young lady dances with another.
The wall even affords me the chance to hear what the footmen say in secret.
You've been keeping it from me.
You do not have to pretend any longer, Pen.
You like all of this.
Well, it can be amusing.
I know you have begun to think little of her, but is Lady Whistledown still not a source of amusement? It's not that I think little of her.
When she was gone, I thought I would miss her.
I thought I needed her to make sense of this world.
But now she is back, reporting on the same old things.
Just another reminder of how trapped I am.
I can feel people's eyes on me.
Every time I walk into a ballroom, I know they are comparing me to Daphne.
She was so good at being the diamond and it made my mother so happy.
I can never live up to that.
I do not want to live up to that, but it does not make it any easier to know you are constantly disappointing people just by walking into a room.
I never thought of it that way.
No one truly notices me.
I suppose that is what I like.
When you're invisible, you have all the amusement you want without any of the expectations popularity brings.
It frees you.
Do you think that is why Whistledown remains anonymous? Perhaps.
Do you think that is why Cressida is so cruel? No.
I think she just wears her hair too tight.
Your presence is noted, and your queen most appreciative.
Allow it to now be my honor to present to you the season's diamond.
Miss Edwina Sharma.
You look at her the way I look at a finished painting, Brother.
Every man needs a muse, does he not? Viscount Bridgerton.
Have you yet met my new incomparable? I am most grateful for the introduction, Your Majesty.
I only hope I shall be afforded the pleasure of a dance.
I suppose I should thank you.
Oh, child.
It is much too soon for that.
You must know the real work begins now.
There will be a mire to wade through on behalf of my sister, to be sure.
Speaking of, where is my sister? Forgive my directness.
Do you have any thoughts about children? Other than the fact that I desire them so? However many I have, my lord, I shall feel most fortunate.
Together with my husband, we will chart the best course.
How very sensible.
Do you play any musical instruments, by chance? Many, in fact.
But, for the most part, my education was taken up by more serious pursuits.
Modern languages, classical literature.
I do love to read.
You do not seem discomposed by my line of questioning.
Why ever would I be? A man who knows what he wants is most admirable.
Is your father in attendance? I should like to speak with him.
Sadly, my father died years ago.
I'm so sorry.
As did mine.
Though, perhaps you could speak with my sister.
It is her blessing you shall need if we are Oh! Here she is now.
- Kate! - Ah, Lord Bridgerton.
I see you've met Miss Edwina.
This is Her sister.
- Miss Sharma, my lord.
- Oh.
The Viscount Bridgerton is a most excellent dancer.
Perhaps I may learn a thing or two from you, my lord.
Would you join me in the retiring room, Sister? Is something wrong, Didi? You are not to go near that man.
Do you understand? She is a lovely diamond, dearest.
She is who I shall marry.
There are a few things I must make you aware of.
Color, clarity, carat, cut.
At long last, the queen has named her most precious stone.
What is all this? Ma'am.
He is here.
The new Lord Featherington.
Lady Featherington.
That still work if we are not married? It's rather strange.
I thought the heir was old.
- I thought the heir was ugly.
- Ladies.
It is quite all right.
You must mean my father.
And no offense taken.
He was ugly.
And very old.
So old that, well, he died.
I'm terribly sorry for my late arrival.
I made the trip from America.
But don't worry, I've started taking care of things.
That must be you.
Your dowry to that fine Finch fellow is paid.
The late Lord's books are on their way to me now.
And I even took the liberty of having your possessions moved from your bedchamber, Lady Featherington.
Yes, it's still strange.
You had my possessions moved? Well, I shall be taking over those rooms, now that the home is mine.
You understand, yes? It is like you said, Mama.
The new Lord Featherington is here to provide.
While this author finds Miss Edwina Sharma to be an exceptional young lady, it is about time I used these pages of record for something else.
A shift.
Is the entire practice of naming a diamond not well, rather ridiculous? Should a woman not be valued for so much more than her dancing skills or her comportment? Should we not value a woman instead for her candor, her character, her true accomplishments? What do you think, Eloise? I love it.
Perhaps if the queen abandoned this absurdity that is the diamond, we would all see that a woman can be so much more.
What is it, Your Majesty? Edwina Sharma.
My diamond.
It seems she will need to do more for me this season than simply sparkle.

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