Interview: Miss Anne Townsend, Spinster from An Unexpected Wish
Miss Townsend, welcome. Thank you for taking the time to speak with us.
So lovely to meet you as well. I’m delighted to be here.
Perhaps you can tell us more about yourself?
I am the eldest daughter of a baronet. My father was Sir Walter Townsend. We grew up in our family estate in Sussex. My mother died young of influenza so I’ve been responsible for carrying for my younger sisters since her death. Father passed away from heart pains just six years ago. My stepbrother inherited the estate in Sussex. I have two sisters, Sophia and Juliet. I’m also the companion to Lady Danford.
You no longer live in Sussex? Where are you living now?
We currently reside in Beetham. Due to a misunderstanding with my stepbrother, we were forced to leave. Lady Danford was a friend of my mother’s and was kind enough to help us. I serve as her companion and in exchange, we are able to live in a cottage on her fine estate. Beetham is a beautiful place. I had never visited the Lake District before. The rolling hills and the surrounding
woods are lovely to walk in. The village is rather small, but adequate. The market town of Milnthorpe is very close by. St. Michael’s the church is very old and quite lovely.
It does sound like a lovely place. Is there one particular spot you like better than the others?
I’m very partial to walking to the Fairy Steps. It’s a stone formation that was used to help transport caskets down St. Michael’s in ancient times. There is a great deal of folklore around the steps. The villagers say that if you climb the steps without touching the sides, a fairy will grant you a wish.
That sounds like it’s not to difficult. Have you done it?
(Anne smiles). It’s very difficult. The stones are uneven and the walls are narrow in various places, but I have climbed the steps without touching the sides.
And did you get your wish?
(Anne giggles). Indeed, but I must warn you. Fairies can be very mischievous creatures. Be very careful to spell out what you want in precise terms. Leave nothing to chance. Trust me.
Interesting. Can you tell us one thing that happened that you’d like to forget?
The wish had a strange effect on the single gentlemen in Beetham. One of those affected was Mr. Cecil Worth, the vicar. He took it into his head to read Song of Solomon aloud during the Sunday Service. I had no idea there were such writings in the Bible. He used the word (Anne leans forwards) breasts (in a whisper) during service. I was never so embarrassed in my life!
Your life in Beetham must be very different from your life in Sussex. What are some of the things that you like about your life now and would you go back to Sussex?
We live very simply here in Beetham than we did in Sussex. My father was very wealthy and his estate was large. We had many servants to help take care of the house.
Here in Beetham, we have our housekeeper, Hannah and her husband, Thomas to help us. The Lodge has been very gracious to help us as well. It is difficult for me to accept their charity, but what choice do I have? A young lady has no other way to earn her way in the world.
It was during this time you met Nathaniel Matthews. Can you tell us about him?
Mr. Matthews and I met the day I received my wish. He had arrived to visit his grandmother. He also had the unfortunate task of dividing his brother from my younger sister. They had fallen in love.
It was my dearest hope that Sophia would marry Mr. Tony Matthews. We were nearly destitute and winter was coming. Regrettably, it was not to be. I had thought for a time that Mr. Matthews was affected by the wish like the other gentlemen in the village. (Anne smiles softly). We fell in love and he wishes to marry me.
How has this incident changed you?
Before I felt dowdy and plain. You have to understand that my younger sisters are breathlessly beautiful. I cannot compare to their beauty. Nathaniel sees me as beautiful and makes me believe it. It is a rare gift, this acceptance. He is strong and protective. He is loyal and kind. He plans to provide for my sisters. They will have their season in London and a dowry. He is the best man I’ve ever known.
It sounds like you’ve found your Prince Charming.
I have been very blessed. Our marriage will allow me to provide for my sisters in a way I never thought I would be able to do.
Thank you for meeting with us, Miss Townsend. We wish you every happiness.
About: An Unexpected Wish
LOVE IS IN THE AIR
Anne Townsend doesn’t ask for much. Plain and poor, she’d settle for the funds to put food on the table. Making a wish on the fabled Fairy Steps is hardly a solid solution, but to see her two sisters taken care of, Anne’s willing to try anything. Yet when she finds herself suddenly surrounded with suitors, romance is now a possibility for the spinster everyone always ignored except with the one man who will never want her…
Nathaniel Matthews has no time for courting. As the eldest, he has his family’s lost fortune to rebuild, and his reckless brother to manage before he gambles his future away. Odd that
Nathaniel can think of little but kissing bright-eyed Anne, who seems to be fighting off admirers from all sides. Is it the country air, or is Nathaniel ready to discover that love has a magic all its own?
Eileen Richards has been writing for most of her life. Poetry, totally inappropriate answers to essay questions in school, and interesting error codes during her 30 year IT career has prepared her for the manic world of publishing. She writes sassy regency romps set in the small villages of England where the rules are bent a bit and gossip rules the day.Eileen resides with her husband and their diva of a greyhound in North Carolina.
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