The Gentlemen Go By – Part 1 of The Vectis Trilogy
The year is 1788, the year before the French Revolution. In Paris the mood against the king and the aristocrats is becoming increasingly ugly. Across the Channel, in London, the nineteen year old orphan, socialite Lady Sophia Catesby, is left alone when her step-father, Edward, Earl of Roxford, is killed fighting for his country in a foreign war. Yet she is not to be too much pitied as he has left her a fortune. But also there is a stipulation.
Until she inherits the money at the age of twenty-one, she is to leave London and reside with a guardian. That guardian is his best friend and first cousin, Jacques, Marquis de St Aubin, a man she has barely heard of and never met. Despairing, angry and frustrated, Sophia knows she must obey. She knows she will despise him and find this unknown bachelor, a contemporary of Edward’s, dull and tedious. But who really is Jacques?
Sophia has much to learn of Jacques and also about the reasons behind this enforced exile. But unbeknownst to her danger is lurking in the shape of her loathed uncle William, a spendthrift, a snob and a bully and now the new Earl of Roxford. And Edward has placed another proviso, one perhaps he shouldn’t have for it has made William a dangerous man indeed. But to begin with neither she, nor Jacques have yet realised it…