Friday Features: Bachelor Reveal!

It’s Samantha again, sending you a very cheerful Friday greeting from a somewhat spring-like Belfast! This Friday is particularly awesome because it means there are only two more weeks to go before the (long-awaited) update will be released and available on the app store—and, to add to this month-long pre-release celebration, it is on this wonderful Friday that I’ll be revealing the identity of our latest bachelor! In order to do so, let’s start from the very beginning…


Once upon a time, when we first entered Darlington and the world of Regency Love, we walked into town to post a letter Mama had written to an aunt who lives elsewhere (which, by the way, is supposed to lead into another plot we may develop in the future). As you leave, you accidentally bump into a gentleman in his unmistakable red coat:


We meet Mr Graham again at a handful of social gatherings, but before we can learn more about him, we discover the regiment to which he belongs will soon be on the move. Alas, it seems Mr Graham may remain an enigma after all…

Except that we at Tea For Three Studios now implore you to suspend your disbelief a little, and ignore any issues of continuity. Instead of the regiment taking their leave so soon, they will remain in Darlington for a while longer—during which we will have the opportunity to spend some more time with our favourite red coat.

Mr Graham was actually one of the three original gentlemen we wanted to introduce in Regency Love, but as we approached our initial release date back in 16 December 2013, it became quite evident we needed to tweak our plans a little and postpone his plot—after all, we wanted to tell his story thoroughly and well, and rushing would’ve been a disservice. Now, as we’re putting together all the material for Mr Graham and going through the full scope of his story, we’re all glad about our decision. In fact, even though Mr Graham started out as Jenny’s man (we each claimed a gentleman to champion), he’s been weaving himself into the hearts of Melody and myself (which, on my part, is a little unsettling, seeing as I’d much rather the saturnine Mr Curtis—I guess I’ve finally softened to the ladies’ constant badgering for me to write less angst!). And of course, along with Mr Graham, we’ll also be introducing some of his good friends, and they, of course, come with their own stories. I also feel a little disclaimer is in order: although Mr Graham’s story has been inspired by certain historical events, what we’ve come up with is by no means an accurate depiction of the British Army during the Napoleonic Wars. When Mr Graham and his battalion visit Darlington, they are presumably on garrison duty to protect the town from the threat of a potential French invasion. Beyond that, however, we once again appeal to your imagination and your forgiving hearts where discrepancies are concerned.

But most of all, we’re all just very, very excited about sharing Mr Graham and his friends with you. I know we’re starting to sound like a broken record, but that doesn’t make our overwhelming excitement and anticipation any less true! And if you’re equally excited (or are just pleased to have guessed correctly the identity of our new bachelor—I’ve been privy to your online speculations over the past few months, and applaud your good judgement), then please do drop us a line and let us know!

Friday Features: Bessy’s Character Profile

The votes are in, and what a close call! By a small margin, the winner of the character profile poll is Bessy, the maid of your house. As promised, here’s the character profile/questionnaire I whipped up quite a while ago (the file is dated 26 may 2013!), which helped Jenny come up with the artwork. Hope you enjoy!


General Introduction

Bessy! She’s been working for your family for years, and is just a little older than you (around 23 or so). You are relatively good friends, but as you know she likes to gossip, you’re a little wary about sharing intimate details and thoughts with her. Bessy is very chatty, but she’s also a good and hard-worker, which is why you’ve kept her on all these years.


List three things that make them happy.

  • Beautiful things: clothing, accessories, shinies!
  • An indulgent meal
  • Having a day off from work

What motivates/drives them?

Bessy is well aware of her social situation, and has long accepted her fate of being in service for most of her life. The only way ‘out’ is to marry, but even so, she knows her prospects are men who are also in service, and so it’s likely they might need to both work, depending on her husband’s income. She’s got a lot of potential, but there’s not much she can do with it, given her birth. As such, she does her best at work because she wants Darlington to have a high opinion of her, and she wants to become the best maid the town has ever known—just so she can attract the attention of a handsome footman or butler working for a very well-off family.

What is their flaw?

Sometimes, Bessy is a little bad at keeping secrets to herself. She likes to gossip and will probably leak bits and pieces of information about your family. That being said, she is loyal and dependable when it comes down to it, and her lips have been sealed about the most important family secrets, such as the hush-hush scandal of your older brother.

How would they express their love for a romantic partner?

She would flirt, and do lots of seductive things in the bedroom. 😉

How would they express their love for a family member?

For her parents, she sends them spare money whenever she can, because she hardly has time off to visit. When she has children, she’ll make sure they would learn to read and write, and also associate with other children who are of slightly better standing. She understands her children won’t be marrying to great advantage, but Bessy knows the world is starting to change, and there will be opportunities her kids have that she doesn’t.

You’re seated in a room with an empty chair, and the character is called in to speak with you. What do they do?

Say ‘Yes, Miss <FirstName>?’, then wait patiently for instructions.

Your carriage breaks down midway while you’re returning home from a long journey. How does the character respond?

Bessy will be dutiful at first, and attempt to help: ‘Oh, is there any way in which I can be of assistance?’ Upon all the reassurances that no, indeed, the men have it under control and she’s not needed, she would sit in the carriage and accompany you, make sure you’re comfortable and have everything you need for the wait, and then make some pleasant small talk to lighten the situation.

Who is their best friend, and what did they last do together?

Mr Stevens (the baker)’s daughter, who now helps Mr Stevens run the shop. Sometimes, Bessy and the baker’s daughter meet up and eat the ‘leftover’ bread that hasn’t been sold on the day, and gossip about all manners of things. Bessy last saw the baker’s daughter when she had to pick up some bread, and they spoke quickly about the bickering couple, though Bessy couldn’t get to the meat of the revelation because the next customer was there and getting impatient. Oh well, there’s always next time!

Whom do they dislike the most, and what happened during their last encounter?

Bessy has a love-hate relationship with Mrs Norris. On the one hand, Mrs Norris provides an excellent source of gossip, and seems to know everything in town; on the other, Maid doesn’t like it when Mrs Norris talks about the <LastName>s—this is her family being gossiped about! There’s also a bit of unspoken rivalry going on, because Bessy wants to be the authority on all gossip, and Mrs Norris is quite a worthy adversary there! The last time they met, Mrs Norris called for tea and divulged a nice piece of information about the bickering couple’s latest argument, which Bessy’ll certainly be sharing with the baker’s daughter.

Whom would they like to get to know better? Any particular reasons?

The footman that accompanies Mr Curtis seems to be quite an interesting character—and from what Bessy’s heard, Mr Curtis has a handsome income, does he not?

What is their favourite activity to do in their spare time?

On her days off, Bessy likes to head into town and look at all the shiny and pretty things, and imagine what it’ll be like to own them and wear them herself. She even keeps a mental list of all the nice clothing and accessories she’d like to have, and every now and then, she evens indulges in getting something.

What is the first thing others will notice about this character?

The brightness of her expression and countenance. If not for her attire, she might be mistaken for a gentleman’s daughter!

How does this fit with the impressions you’ve formed about Bessy? Would you like to see more of Bessy, and in any particular situation/s? We’d love to know what you think, so do please leave us a comment!

Friday Features: Regency Music

It’s Samantha here, welcoming you to the first Friday Feature for our awesome April! This week, I want to talk a little about the music that was popular during the Regency era, primarily because it forms such an integral part of the context, gameplay, and stories in Regency Love. After all, it’s one of the accomplishments you can work on during your time in Darlington, and, should you decide to practise often, your musical prowess can be appreciated by all in your acquaintance.

Firstly, here are a few dates to get us started:

  • 1811 – 1820: The Regency era, so named because the King at the time (George III) went a little bonkers and his heir, the Prince of Wales (later King George VI), ruled as the Prince Regent
  • 1756 – 1791: The dates for Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, whose music was pretty popular during the Regency
  • 1732 – 1809: The dates for Joseph Haydn, who was very popular back in his days—even more so than Mozart, actually!
  • 1770 – 1827: The dates for Ludwig van Beethoven, whose early style was quite “Regency-esque” (formally known as “Classical”), though he later developed a bolder style and broke many rules (in what’s formally known as “Romantic” music)

I’ve mentioned these three composers because their music was really popular during the Regency era, and was heard amongst the gentry everywhere: at concerts, public gatherings, and home.

Now, if we think about music in the Regency, we have to remember there was no way to experience any kind of music unless you—or someone in the vicinity—make the music. Which basically means you have to either attend loads of parties where music is played (by professional musicians or the guests themselves), or learn how to play and/or sing yourself. And of course, it’s important to practise a fair amount in order to play something other than “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” (and I’m not talking about Mozart’s variations), and seeing as there was no Facebook or Tumblr to suck away your time, Regency folks would spend quite a bit of time working on their musicianship. If you think about it this way, then it makes more sense that women (and men) in the Regency were all crazily accomplished and could bang out a Beethoven sonata on request.

In fact, we have a lot of “drawing room” music going on in this era, where private gatherings (of any size) would consist of music performed by you or your friends. Most homes would have a pianoforte (which was a relatively new instrument at the time), or perhaps a smaller fortepiano (which was living its last days). Pianofortes became quite popular because they had enough range in both pitch (high and low notes) and dynamics (the louds and softs) to work as a solitary instrument, and because a lot of composers wrote for it (I guess the two are quite intertwined).

A pianoforte from Jane Austen's House Museum in Chawton. The plate reads: "Square piano 1810. Piano made by Clementi in London. This may be similar to the piano that Jane bought after arriving here."

A pianoforte from Jane Austen’s House Museum in Chawton. The plate reads: “Square piano 1810. Piano made by Clementi in London. This may be similar to the piano that Jane bought after arriving here.”

When given permission to play this, I tinkled out a bit of Mozart--and "tinkle" is exactly the kind of sound this soft, delicate instrument produces.

When given permission to play this, I tinkled out a bit of Mozart—and “tinkle” is exactly the kind of sound this soft, delicate instrument produces.

Our protagonist in Regency Love, although not relatively well off, does have a pianoforte at home—nothing fancy, mind you, but a sturdy instrument Mama owned before she was married, and took with her to her new home. Unfortunately, printed music at the time was really expensive, and our protagonist doesn’t have any of her own. Instead, she borrows from her friends—mostly from Miss Mary Earlwood (what are BFFs for, if not to be your sheet music dealer?)—and she would either commit it to memory, or painstakingly copy down the music herself (or just not return it, though I’m sure Miss Earlwood would have a thing or two to say about that). Either way, it was important to have a few pieces under your belt, just in case you’re at a party and are asked to play. Besides, good musicianship is very attractive, especially to a potential husband: it reveals your particular tastes, shows you are refined and disciplined enough to spend all those hours practising, allows you to express your unique personality through music, and, most importantly, provides much delight. It’s actually for the last reason that Haydn more popular at the time than Mozart and Beethoven: while Wolfie and Wiggy sometimes wrote to impress and even to shock, Papa Haydn wanted to create pleasing music and treats for the ears.

A music stand from the V&A Museum, London.

A music stand from the V&A Museum, London.

Music stand! And a random chair.

Music stand! And a random chair.

The plate.

The plate. A lot of the style and fashion during the Regency was inspired by those from ancient Greece, including the free-flowing dresses worn by the ladies.

Apart from what we now think of as “classical music”, the Regency drawing room was also home to a range of “popular” (though that term itself requires a lot of defining) songs, particularly those from beyond England. I’m especially referring to songs from Scotland and Ireland, of which the most popular works were by Robert Burns and Thomas Moore, respectively. Although some of the songs were a wee bit political, they were subtle enough to pass as love songs, or a quaint little piece about a (relatively) distant place. I’m personally a Thomas Moore fangirl (and admit to owning some nineteenth-century editions of his works), which is why you might see some Moore creeping into the Regency Love drawing rooms.

A copy of Thomas Moore’s Irish Melodies: Edition for Ireland (Dublin: James Cornish, 1857), which I found in the special collections of Trinity College, Dublin. The publication date is much later than Regency/Georgian, but Moore’s popularity started out during the Regency and had grown steadily since.

And so, I’ll leave you with a few examples of the kind of music heard at Regency gatherings (yes, this is absolutely an overt attempt on my part to spread some musical propaganda):

What are some of your favourite Regency-esque pieces? Is there anything else you’d like to add? Please do leave us a comment—we’d love to hear from you!