The Wicked Confessions of Lady Cecelia Stanton

The Wicked Confessions of Lady Cecelia Stanton by Viveka Portman

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Authors: Viveka Portman
Tags: Romance, Historical, Historical Romance
Chapter 1
    Thursday 17 th June 1813
    Wiltshire, England.
    I am with child, again.
    In the unfortunate event I do not recover from this birth, I write my confessions in this diary. I do so in the hope that should word of my most intimate affairs ever become public, then these confessions may give insight into the reasons behind them.
    This is not an easy disclosure, and yet I must, in part to distract myself from my growing fear, but also to remind those I love of why I have taken this path, and perhaps explain why rumours abound regarding my husband and myself.
    My name is Lady Cecelia Stanton, wife of Lord William Stanton of Stanton House, Wiltshire. By September next, we will have been married seven years. In those seven years, with God’s Grace, I will have delivered five healthy children – providing of course I birth this one successfully.
    One may be tempted to deduce from our ever-growing brood that we have a highly compatible marriage – though such deductions would be incorrect. Our marriage has been fraught with difficulties.
    I married William at the somewhat tender age of eighteen. I recall at the time, I neither wanted nor relished the prospect of marriage, but my father was adamant as fathers often are.
    Our marriage ceremony was a quiet one. My husband, it must be stated, was known to be something of a rake. It was his family’s most ardent wish that marriage to me would settle him. No thought however, was given to the fact that I personally found the idea of marriage, particularly to him, abhorrent. It has always rankled me that what is best for the gentleman is not always the best for the lady yet society seems bent on keeping it these inconvenient methods.
    Prior to my marriage, I was never the sort of young lady to fawn over young men. Of course I found the odd one attractive, and frequently pondered over the occasional swelling in a male’s breeches – but never for too long. You see, my interest had already been taken. Many young women fill their minds with the hope of suggestive glances from young handsome men, the improper reading of scandalous books, skilful sewing, or the sweetness of puppies or kittens. My interest and affections however were taken with one Bess Miller.
    I met Bess when I was fourteen, when she was a mere scullery maid. I was an unruly child prone to wickedness even then. I took inordinate pleasure in causing mischief for my governess and nanny.
    I recall my first meeting with Bess with vivid clarity.
    I had been exploring the estate’s greenhouse one morning with the specific objective of avoiding my governess. It was there I happened upon a most outrageous scene. The gardener, a Mister Thistleswaite, had his breeches about his knees and appeared to be urinating over one of the potted lemon trees. His manhood was limp and withered, reminiscent of a butchered turkey neck. I found this sight shockingly amusing, and veritably squealed with hilarity. Unsurprisingly perhaps, Mister Thistleswaite turned and saw me, his face as red as a beet. He frantically tried to make himself decent, but I turned and fled, laughing uproariously as I did. I could hear him call to one of the gardening lads, but I headed toward the kitchens. My hysterically amused flight made me careless and as I hurtled through the kitchens, I stumbled. With arms splayed, my fall overturned a boiling pot of potatoes. The scalding water washed over my hands, and my laughter turned to screams.
    I shudder to think of the damage that may have been done had the pot overturned upon my head, alas, at the time the injury to my hand was pain enough.
    As I cried, it was Bess who first came to me.
    A tall, wiry and strong girl, she lifted me to my feet and rushed me to a bucket of icy water, which the cook used to wash vegetables before consumption. Without waiting for my approval she thrust my hand into the chilled, dirty water. I screamed louder and tears stung my eyes.
    Cook then came to the rescue.
    ‘What you doing, Miss

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