Welcome back to Austen Promises!
Today’s purple post was inspired by this excerpt from my latest book, A MUCH Later Meeting, which is scheduled to go live the day after this post does. <3
Elizabeth Bennet leaned toward the mirror and added a last touch of balm to her lips. Rolling them together, she leaned back again and examined her reflection.
Time had treated Elizabeth well. Her chestnut curls only had a few streaks of silver in them. There were some creases around her eyes, but her cheeks were as smooth as ever. Her figure had matured a bit, but she still walked every day and so had not run to fat. She stood to examine the fit of her gown.
Fashion had changed quite a bit since Elizabeth’s come-out more than thirty years ago. Waistlines had fallen from just under the bust to the natural waist, which meant longer corsets. Elizabeth hated them. She hated being constricted so much. However, if she wished to look her best, not to mention keep from causing a scandal, she must wear the devilish devices.
Skirts had transformed, too, from long, straight lines to bell shapes. Elizabeth turned to the tall, free-standing mirror to the left of her dressing table. She tilted her head as she looked critically at her reflection. While she disliked the style, she did look well in it. A knock on the door of her bedchamber brought her out of her reverie.
“The carriage is ready, ma’am. Mr. Dalrymple is waiting in the drawing room.” The housekeeper, Mrs. Cowher, called through the door.
Elizabeth strode to the portal and opened it. “Tell my nephew I will be down directly.” She smiled at the servant, who curtseyed and hastened back down the hallway.
Elizabeth looked around the room. Seeing her reticule and shawl laid out on the end of the bed, she picked them up, draping the latter over her arm and looping the former over the wrist of the same hand. Then, she stepped into the hall and pulled the door closed behind her.
Elizabeth gracefully made her way down the stairs. Reaching the ground floor of the house, she turned left and entered the door to her father’s book room. Mr. Bennet, now eighty years of age, was too frail to walk up and down the steps. He lived in this room, by his own preference. Elizabeth often tried to entice him to spend time with her elsewhere in the house, but he refused.
“Ah, Elizabeth. Come to see your old Papa before you go to the ball?” Bennet’s eyes gleamed at the sight of his only unmarried daughter. He lifted his cheek for her to kiss.
“I am.” Elizabeth obliged him before glancing around the room, then at the desk behind which her father sat. “Did you eat? Is there anything I can get you before I leave?”
“I did. Finished the entire plate, too. You can ask Mrs. Cowher if you don’t believe me.” Bennet nodded once and grinned. “I heard voices a bit ago.”
“Yes, Mary sent Neville to escort me to the assembly. I told her I was plenty old enough to not need a chaperone, but you know Mary.” Elizabeth winked at her father.
Bennet chuckled. “Indeed.” He patted Elizabeth’s hand where it rested on his shoulder. “I am happy she did. Even a nephew is better than no escort at all. You enjoy yourself tonight. Do not sit there worrying about me. I have the Cowhers if I need anything.”
“Promise me you will not give that sweet woman a hard time.”
With a wink and a grin, Bennet replied. “Would I do that?” When Elizabeth rolled her eyes, he patted her hand again. “I will do my best. Go, now, and tell young Neville I expect him to pay his respects when he drops you off in the morning.”
“I will.” Elizabeth kissed Bennet’s cheek again, then took a moment to straighten the blanket over his shoulders. “I will see you later. I love you.” With another sweeping, sharp-eyed glance over the contents of the room, she walked to the door and out, closing it behind her.
Neville must have heard the book room door shut, because Elizabeth was only halfway across the entry hall when he popped his head out of the drawing room. “There you are, Aunt Lizzy. Is Grandpapa well?”
Elizabeth accepted a kiss to the cheek from her sister’s youngest child. “He is. He said to tell you he expects a visit when you drop me off after the ball.”
“I knew I could not sneak in here and back out without him noticing. Sharp as a tack he is, despite his age. He likely intends to demand the shilling I owe him.”
“You and your grandfather are gambling again?” Elizabeth’s left brow rose.
Neville blushed. “He bet me I couldn’t recite a section of Virgil’s Aeneid in Latin. I couldn’t.”
Elizabeth grinned and rolled her eyes. “I am surprised you allowed him to goad you into that.”
With a sheepish grin and a laugh, Neville agreed. He took Elizabeth’s shawl and draped it over her shoulders. “Shall we go? Mama will wonder what is taking so long.”
In this excerpt, Lizzy is 50 and her father is 80 or so. As I’m sure most of us know and some of us have or are experiencing, when a body becomes elderly, it gets cold easier. Not that I’m anywhere near that point. No, at this point in time, my body suddenly decides to turn the furnace up for no apparent reason, making me wish my freezer were big enough to crawl into. But, I digress …
Elizabeth makes sure her father is well-protected from a chill before she goes out. While I doubt Mr. Bennet’s blanket was purple, I couldn’t help but wonder what purple blankets might exist in the world.
I started with my old friend Google. Interestingly enough, at least in my mind, was the top ad in the search results. It’s for weighted blankets at Purple dot com. I always get excited by that name, but end up let down. Purple is the name of the company, but as far as I can see, nothing they have is actually purple. LOL
As I figured would happen, once I got past all the ads, nearly every store you can imagine that sells blankets has purple ones. I chose three sites to look at: Amazon, where I do a lot of shopping and whose links will be affiliate links; and two places I don’t remember ever purchasing items from, though I do recall being in one of the stores way back when you could freely do things like shop in person.
So, Amazon. The search results page shows that this store has a large variety of purple blankets. (affiliate link) Some are plain, some have quotes or sayings on them, and some can only facetiously be called purple. Some are cooling blankets, some are Sherpa/sheepskin-like blankets, and some are fleece. They come in all sizes, and all are absolutely lovely.
If you can’t tell, I adore blankets. I have comforters and blankets all over my house, because it gets cold in here in the winter. LOL
Choosing just one was difficult. I ended up going with this queen-sized blanket from page two of the search, because I’d love to have it for my bed. (affiliate link) If it’s still available when my Draft2Digital royalties come in, I’m getting it. It will go on my bed and match my purple sheets. <3
Next, I looked at Bed, Bath, and Beyond. This is the store I have actually set foot in (the one in Boardman, Ohio, I think). I don’t recall buying anything, but it was twenty or thirty years ago, so I may have. As frequently happens with searches at regular stores, what shows up isn’t always what I would call purple. Sometimes, though, there is a purple option that goes with it. This store also has blankets in different sizes and textures. Some have patterns. One is made to order. I’m honestly not as excited about the ones on offer here, though. What I chose was this set of two blankets. I like that they’re fluffy and have nice shades of color that are clearly purple. LOL
The last store I looked at was Wayfair. The products are similar, though this store has a furry blanket, too. <3 This time, I chose a 100% cotton blanket. Cotton is my favorite fabric and I will wear it over anything else if I can get it. Sadly, it’s hard to find clothes in cotton anymore. Anyway, this is a throw, which means it’s not a full-size blanket. What I like about it are the lilac color and the look of a knitted blanket, and, of course, the fiber used to make it. 😉
Are you a fan of blankets? Which did you prefer?