Georgiana's Point of View:

I have never regretted marrying Randall. He was the love of my life, and while my time with him was shorter than that with my first husband, and while many blame me for his untimely death, I treasure the few happy months that we shared, and wouldn't trade a single moment with him for a dozen married years with another man. After having experienced loving joy with him, I swear that I will never remarry.

My first marriage, to Baron Henry of Wintershire, was arranged by my parents, as most semi-noble marriages are. So far as husbands go, Henry was a fairly good one. He never beat me or cheated on me, as near as I can tell. If anything, he had no interest in women whatsoever. He found himself caught up in hunts and balls and matters of state. I was caught up in a whirlwind of polite company and social occasions, but my husband and I never quite loved one another.

He did get two daughters on me, however: Henrietta (who, obviously, was named after her father) and Ursula. The girls were beautiful, and healthy, and I poured all my love into them and into raising them, making up for the lack of attention their father gave them. I became a somewhat strict disciplinarian, punishing the baron's daughters when their father would take no time to, and the servants feared to overstep their bounds, and I gained a reputation as something of a witch within the castle.

When we had been married over a decade, and Henrietta was nine and Ursula seven, Henry's younger brother plotted against him, as is common in minor court. One cannot have power without intrigue. I won't bore you with stories of how the schemer usurped his brother's position, but will only mention that all ended with our family destitute of wealth and name. Henry took his own life later that year.

When I met Randall, he had recently lost his own life, and he had only one daughter, a pretty girl named Ella. Randall spoiled the girl, perhaps making her more allowances than he would were his wife still alive. While I found his parenting technique disappointing, I was awed by the kindness he showed a widow and her two daughters, and soon, we fell in love.

Randall was moderately wealthy, thanks to an advantageous trading agreement. When I met him, he was in the process of retiring, so that he and his daughter could live off the fruits of his labors. After our marriage, however, Randall had to care for a new wife and three daughters, and it wasn't too long before he set out across the seas again.

All I can guess is that his ship must have been lost at sea during one of his more treacherous trading journeys. He simply sailed away one day and never returned. While I would like to imagine that he is still alive, somewhere, and that he will return one day, when I am most honest with myself I must admit that he is almost certainly dead.

His family and friends cut off all contact with me and my family, blaming us for his accident, as he would never have returned to sea if not for us. In a sense, I guess they were right to blame us, although I know I can't give in to that line of thinking, or I'll never be able to go on living, or to raise the children I've been left with.

That's how these past few years have passed. I've focused on raising my daughters, unable to bear the thought of opening myself to love again. We've had no men, no potential suitors, no friends, and nobody but ourselves. It's been me, my daughters, and the brat.