ROXTON LETTERS VOLUME TWO
A Companion to the Roxton Family SagaThis second volume of previously unpublished letters from the private correspondence of the Roxton family spans a twenty-year period, from the 1760s to the late 1780s, and includes extracts from the diaries of Antonia, Duchess of Kinross, and her younger son Lord Henri-Antoine Hesham. Also included are letters by the 5th Duke of Roxton, written in the final stages of his illness, and addressed to his youngest son Lord Henri-Antoine. The volume concludes with a letter by the latter’s wife, Lady Henri-Antoine Hesham, to her mother-in-law, the Duchess of Kinross, while abroad on her bridal trip. These letters complement the later chronology of the award-winning Roxton Family Saga: Dair Devil, Proud Mary, and Satyr’s Son. With a foreword by a late-Victorian descendant, Alice-Victoria, 10th Duchess of Roxton.
Audiobook coming soon, to be performed by Alex Wyndham
Letters and diary entries
Non explicit (mild violence)
Novellla (41,000 words)
I get Lucinda Brant. We are both diehard romantics at heart. When I first started reading Eternally Yours the first volume of Roxton letters, I was unsure how a bunch of letters would hold my interest. I should never have doubted Lucinda Brant. Eternally Yours was magical. FOREVER REMAIN brings us into the world of the sixth duke, his duchess and their dynasty. A bold exciting look into the lives of the Roxton family told through a litany of personal letters which is like listening into their conversations. Each letter which truly feels like a personal chat, uncovers information that was not included in the previous books about this family or answers questions about people or circumstances mentioned in the saga. Lord Henri-Antoine quickly became one of my favorite Roxton characters in Satyrs Son. I truly loved this story about misguided fraternity brothers and the realization of caring and friendship that prevailed. And of course when love came into the picture life was never going to be the same. So when I realized that so many letters of FOREVER REMAIN referred to Henri-Antoine as a young boy and then onto adulthood and ultimate marriage well I was of course hooked. Once again, Lucinda Brant has shown us why she is an undisputed master of this genre.
★★★★★ Top Pick
SWurman, Night Owl Reviews
The Highly acclaimed Roxton Family Saga
LETTER FOURTEEN OF TWENTY-EIGHT
His Grace the Most Noble [5th] Duke of Roxton to Lord Henri-Antoine Hesham.
[Believed to have been written in December 1772, and given to His Grace’s twelve-year-old son upon the Duke’s death in early 1774.]
My dearest boy—my son,
To my great sadness, I will not live to watch you grow into the fine young gentleman I already know you are. I never wanted to leave you. I never wanted to spend a day away from you. And I never regretted a single moment with you, watching over you, and being by your side whenever you needed me to be there.
Maman and I waited many years for your arrival, and when you finally came we were happy beyond words. You have given us such joy. You are so wanted and loved. Please never forget that.
I wish I could have held on to life for that little bit longer, to look after you, to protect and watch over you, and to help you better understand that there comes a time in everyone’s life, from the crossing sweep to His Majesty, when we must pass from this earthly existence into the next, to be welcomed into the kingdom of heaven. But to do so means leaving our loved ones—leaving you—behind to live without us.
Please excuse your papa for one moment while he wears his ducal coronet from beyond the grave, to advise you, his son, of his four maxims: Strive to control your emotions when in the public gaze. Love and laughter are to be reserved for the privileged few. Arrogance is a nobleman’s prerogative, but a true gentleman chooses to be humble when the circumstance calls for it. Never forget you are my son; others won’t.
I am chuckling as I write this, for I am certain you are rolling your eyes at me and sighing and wish to complain to your dear papa that you know these maxims well enough, and that you have not forgotten them, and are not likely to ever forget them because I have told you them often enough, particularly before our visits to Versailles. And yes, you have always done Maman and me very proud. So! Enough of papa’s lecturing.
Though I do have one last favor to ask of you, and that is for you to keep this thought with you at this time: None of what is happening around you—my passing, Maman’s grief, Julian’s sadness—is your fault.
Did I not tell you many times that my illness had nothing to do with you? And this you must believe because it is the truth. What is also true is that your life, the life you knew when your papa was well, will never be the same again. For the longest time you will be sad. That is only natural. And for the longest time, Maman and Julian they will not be themselves. It is perfectly acceptable for you to shed tears and to wonder if the world has gone a little mad.
But I promise you that as the years go by, and you grow taller and stronger, life will return to some semblance of normality, and you and Jack (who is the best friend you could possibly have) will be carefree again and live life to the full.
That is what you must do, for me, for Maman, for Julian, for Jack, and most importantly, for yourself—live, and enjoy your life. I know that you will never forget me, that I will not be far from your thoughts, and that there will be times, quiet moments, and moments of stillness, when you will feel an oppressive weight upon your chest of unbearable sadness. You will sob until it hurts to breathe, and you will wonder why life could be so cruel as to take your dearest papa away from you too early.
And how could your papa possibly know what it is like to feel abandoned and lonely, as if cut adrift and floating directionless on rough seas, and everything around you is a vast dark ocean, and all because your papa is not there by your side to steer you to a safe harbor?
I know this because when I was your age I lost my own dear papa, and in the most tragic of circumstances. I became adrift in this vast dark ocean. And while the circumstances of his passing are different, the experience was no less harrowing, and in some respects—and this you may not wish to believe because how could your grief be surpassed?—it was far worse, because of what happened after he died.
So I wish to share this experience with you by telling you a final story. How could your papa leave you without one last tale to tell? You were a most excellent listener and audience to your dear papa’s fantastical tales of his misspent youth, whether told to you in the English or French tongues. Those hours you lay on the couch recuperating afforded me the leisure and the opportunity to recall my many adventures, and to reflect on my life, and I thank you for that opportunity.
So indulge your dear papa while he tells you about himself when he was twelve years old…
[The letter continues in Forever Remain.]