The Duchess Lydia

How Lydia became an independent woman of wealth

Widowhood could emancipate a woman or send her into poverty, depending on the size of income she would receive from the dowry that her father had negotiated for her to have upon her marriage. 

Take Lady Russell from Persuasion. She did not remarry again from choice. Her independent life, free from money worries, was so improved without the presence of a husband. A husband could dictate her every move and take control over her possessions. Thus, she would be a fool to remarry unless she became very much in love.

While Lydia’s dowry was quickly wasted away by Wickham, Darby recognized her tenuous position and established a bank account for her in a different name, so she would always have some money that Wickham would not know about. Her lover, David, had then added to her account for each child she bore him. (This occurs in book 1) Thus, by book 2, Lydia has become a very wealthy woman, but not in the normal procedure. David’s final gift was his fine house in West End and half his treasures.

Lydia declares herself an independent lady of wealth, and never plans to marry again. Nor will she tell Darby exactly how she became so wealthy, which concerns him a great deal. Her new home and lifestyle are far beyond the money Darcy had given her and he cannot see how she could have possibly acquired sufficient wealth to afford the house she lives in.

Thanks to the Duke of Rochester’s generosity and the death of Wickham, Lydia Bennet is now a wealthy, independent woman. When Lydia takes residence in the finest house in the West End, her brother-in-law, Darcy, is concerned that she is ‘over her head’.

Despite his concerns, Darcy retrieves his sister, Georgiana, from Pemberley and places her in Lydia’s home. The two young ladies, both recently widowed, form a strong sisterly bond and soon set out to find love again.

 Unfortunately, the man Lydia wishes to marry, David, the Duke of Rochester, is already contracted to marry another woman. When Lydia discovers the fiancĂ©e plans to murder David and his sons, she rallies her servants and friends, determined to stop the murderess at all costs. Will Lydia’s love of David and his boys triumph, or will the “Lady of Death” continue her path of destruction?

“I was retrieving you a present,” Lydia scolded Darcy in return and approached him with the book held behind her back. “Did you enjoy Rob Roy?”

“I enjoyed it immensely.”

“Have you read Waverly?”

“No. That was the first book of the series and I must wait until it is republished. Collectors bought out all the first editions. I had a chance to acquire it once, but I thought the price outrageous so I foolishly didn’t buy it.”

Lydia smiled and presented him his book. “This is from Georgiana and me.”

His eyes rounded in shock as he realized it was Walter Scott’s Waverly. He gently removed it from her hands and opened the cover. “Lydia! This is signed by Walter Scott himself.”

“Indeed, it is.”

“This is a highly-prized book. Whoever owns this house would have you arrested for giving away such a treasure.”

“Oh, Darcy! You make matters so difficult! I want you to have the book.”

“It is not yours to give!” he insisted.

“Yes, it is. I own this house and all these books, and the priceless paintings as well. But this book, I want you to have.”

“Do you have proof you own this house?” he challenged.

“My men of business do.”

“I discovered who owned this house before,” he snapped. “I even contacted him to ensure you were legally allowed to be here.”

“Then you know it’s mine,” Lydia insisted.

“No, I don’t. He told me to mind my own business and to stay out of his.”

Lydia burst into laughter. “Oh, Darcy, you silly goose.”

 The Duchess Lydia
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More About the Author
Liza O’Connor’s favorite books are Pride & Prejudice and Douglas Adams’ four book trilogy, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. Go figure…
Raised in the southern mid-section of U.S., Liza escaped to the East Coast once out of college. She’s worked as a journalist, a radio DJ, a security guard, a stock broker, a strategist, and a business solutions consultant to name a few of her many occupations.  Again…go figure.
She learned to fly planes, jump out of planes, hang-glide, kayak and scuba dive, to name of few of her ‘let’s kill Liza’ sports. However, her favorite activity is to hike with her dog Jess among the shaved mountains of NJ.

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