The Child of Fortune

This is the opening of the book I am working on these days. Any reactions or comments?

London, February, 1768

William Belmont, Earl of Claverton, a gentleman of lofty lineage and assured privilege, occupied a secure place in his world. While not notably handsome, he had a pleasant, slightly round face that normally bore an expression of satisfaction with the circumstances of his life. 

He had never displayed any particular brilliance or talents, so he was considered by his peers to be an honorable and reliable fellow. His dependents thought him a decent enough landlord or employer when they thought about him at all.

The tenth holder of a title that went back to the fifteenth century, the earl took little interest in the politics of his day, having experienced some unpleasantness in that regard in his youth. However, if one of his friends told him that it was his duty to vote in a certain way on a certain issue, he would loyally appear in the House of Lords on the appointed day and vote as requested.

In his youth he had married a beautiful and charming woman of equal wealth and breeding, possessed of a pleasant estate on the Isle of Jersey, and had lived with her in tranquil harmony for many years. Her death, only a few years ago, had followed a brief and not overly distressing illness, and he had mourned her sincerely without being required to make any significant changes in his normal activities. 

She had left him a quite satisfactory heir, Charles, Viscount Belmont, a youth of pleasing manners and appearance. Except for a serious bout of fever in his childhood, he had never given his parent any real cause for concern. Even the gambling debts he acquired at White’s were no more than the usual price paid for moving in the highest circles of society.

At present both father and son were residing in their London home, known naturally enough as Claverton House. It was a modern mansion in St. James Square, near the newly built Norfolk House, which lent a luster to all the houses in the square. At this time of year—indeed, at most times of year—the earl preferred London to the family seat in Somerset. Claverton Castle had been in the family since the fourteenth century, and though it had been added to and modified over the centuries, it remained unfortunately drafty. Still, it was comforting to possess a castle. 

On the whole, the earl found little to complain about in his life. Thus he was perhaps overly disturbed by this afternoon’s caller. 



I think my favorite line is

I think my favorite line is "Still, it was comforting to possess a castle." Because, you know, everyone should have one. Delightful, Lil.


He was not known for any exceptional intelligence or abilities, therefore his peers heardle 80s regarded him as a trustworthy and dependable individual.

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