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January 03, 2007

Epilogue

Jean Day based her splendid novel Consequences, which appears in 32 chapters in Open Writing, on a diary of one of her forebears, Charles Simpson Walker. The story is interlaced with the imagined diary (written by Jean) kept by Mary Eagle, the young woman who Charles married.

The fact that Jean’s story involves real people rather than invented characters adds huge historical relevance to the novel.

In this epilogue Jean tells what happened to those mentioned in Consequences in their later lives.

To read the story from the beginning please click on Consequences in the menu on this page.

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December 20, 2006

32 - Consequences

...So on to a new year & a new decade. This past decade has been full of joy but also full of sorrow with the death of dear Mother, whom I shall never forget. But also joy at finding again the love of my life & at the pleasure of getting to know our beautiful baby...

And so, after trials and tribulations, things now are going well for Charles and Mary Walker and their infant daughter.

Jean Day's novel, told so satisfyingly in diary form, comes to a happy conclusion.

Jean based Consequences on an actual diary. Next week she will give an account of what happened to the characters mentioned in the story which has been unfolding in Open Writing for the past 32 weeks.

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December 13, 2006

Chapter 31

...I was aware that Charles had come in and was looking at us, together. His eyes were wet, “It is a miracle,” he said. “You have finally found each other.” And it was true. I suddenly had nothing but love and compassion for my little girl. All my disgust and dread and anger at her for ruining my life had drifted away. Charles said we looked like the Madonna and Child...

At last Mary Walke begins to appreciate the joy of motherhood. Having given birth to a child conceived before her wedding day, Mary has been overwhelmed by the disdain of some friends and relatives in moralistic Victorian times.

To read earlier chapters of Jean Day's absorbing novel please click on Consequences in the menu on this page.

Continue reading "Chapter 31" »

December 06, 2006

Chapter 30

...Mary continues to be agitated regarding my asking Adelaide to make me some shirts. She has been looking up details in my diaries about my past activities with Adelaide to feed her jealousy. She found out that Mr. Hilbourne had hoped that I would marry Adelaide, which was of course out of the question. She also found out that Adelaide has children & is as yet unmarried. She intimated that the children might be mine. We are not speaking at the moment...

Charles and Mary Walker, snubbed by some of their friends because their infant was conceived out of wedlock, are now finding reasons to fall out with one another.

Jean Day's novel, told in diary form, brings to life Victorian times. To read earlier chapters please click on Consequences in the menu on this page.

Continue reading "Chapter 30" »

November 29, 2006

Chapter 29

...Tomorrow is Mary’s birthday; she will be twenty. I had hoped to take her to the theatre to celebrate, but she shuns all my suggestions for outings in public. She is so frightened of the opinions of others. Bought her a vase at Chamberlains...

In a stuffy moralistic age poor Mary Walker's life is being made miserable by folk who know that she has given birth to a child conceived out of wedlock.

Jean Day's novel, told in the form of diaries kept by husband and wife, gives a keener sense of life in Victorian England than a dozen history books. To read earlier chapters please click on Consequences in the menu on this page.

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November 22, 2006

Chapter 28

...Today is my birthday, and I am 20 years old. A new decade to look forward to, or so Charles says, but I am so down in the depths of unhappiness that I find it hard to believe that I was ever happy and carefree...

Moralistic neighbours are shunning poor Mary Walker, whose new baby daughter was conceived out of wedlock.

Jean Day's novel, set in Dickensian times when the middle and upper classes were quick to condemn, is a most engaging read. For earlier chapters please click on Consequences in the menu on this page.

Continue reading "Chapter 28" »

November 15, 2006

Chapter 27

...Mary & baby & I started on our first family expedition at 11 o'clock for Malvern going by rented coach by the Upham Road a little way & then by a by lane past Shenards & Warnard Greens, through a beautifully tinted country at the fall of the leaf, on to the Wyche which we dined off bread & cheese at John Davis as I usually do; feeding Mary with a bottle of sugar water provided by Sarah for the occasion; then along the brow of the hills through the clouds, so speaking, which dragged along the summits into Malvern...

Charles Walker and his wife Mary, whose child was conceived out of wedlock, feel the pressures of living in highly moralistic Victorian times. "Melancholy circumstance, marking my progress on the road of life by fearful looming mile-posts,'' Charles writes in his diary.

But he is a young man with a zest for life, and soon he and his wife, along with their first-born, are enjoying a family outing.

To read earlier chapters of Jean Day's compelling novel please click on Consequences in the menu on this page.

Continue reading "Chapter 27" »

November 08, 2006

Chapter 26

"On Sunday, Charles and I took Mary out in the perambulator for her first outing since her birth...''

Mary Walker and her husband Chalres face up to the ignomony of being the parents of a child conceived before they were married.

To read more of Jean Day's vivid narrative of family life in moralistic Victorian times please click on Consequences in the menu on this page.

Continue reading "Chapter 26" »

November 01, 2006

Chapter 25

"I can’t feel anything for Mary. I hold her and try to love her, but all I feel is annoyance that things couldn’t have worked out better for us. Charles loves her and makes up for my lack of attention...''

Mary Walker, having given her infant daughter away to conceal the fact the she had been conceived out of wedlock. After Mary and her husband Charles decide what they have done is wrong and receive the infant into their home, Mary finds she does not take to motherhood.

Jean Day's account of domestic life in puritanical Victorian times is a must read story. For earlier chapters please click on Consequences in the menu on this page.

Continue reading "Chapter 25" »

October 25, 2006

Chapter 24

"We are home now, and life is almost back to normal, but Charles is not himself. He says he feels the lack of our child most sorely. He feels we have been guilty of a great sin, not only putting our daughter into another’s bed, like a cuckoo, but setting up a web of lies that will surround us for the rest of our lives...''

Mary Simpson and her husband Charles are deeply regretting having given their baby daughter, who was conceived out of wedlock, away, fearing public condemnation in moralistic Victorian times.

For a reading treat see earlier chapters of Jean Day's absorbing novel by clicking on Consequences in the menu on this page.

Continue reading "Chapter 24" »

October 18, 2006

Chapter 23

...Before an hour was up, the midwife hurried into our room looking distraught. One of Mary Ann’s twins had died. She said she had overheard Mary telling Mary Ann that we didn’t intend to keep our baby & she wondered what we would think of replacing the dead twin with our baby. She said we had only a few minutes to make up our minds, as Mary Ann would soon be awake & we would have to make the switch before she realized what had happened. May God help us through these difficult times...

Charles Simpson Walker and his wife Mary face up to the most desperate decision that could confront the parents of a new-born child.

Jean Day's story of young love in moralistic Victorian times makes the past seem as immediate as the present. To read earlier chapters of this absorbing novel please click on Consequences in the menu on this page.

Continue reading "Chapter 23" »

October 11, 2006

Chapter 22

...She sent a servant to inform Charles of what was happening. I so much did not want it to happen, but my body would not be ruled by my mind. The maid led me to the next door bedroom, with me bent over with embarrassment and discomfort....

Mary is due to go to Scarborough, there to give birth. But after witnessing her friend Mary Ann give birth to twins, she herself goes into labour.

Jean Day's novel, based on an actual diary, continues to give an engrossing account of love and marriage in moralistic Victorian times. To read earlier chapters of this vivid tale please click on Consequences in the menu on this page.

Continue reading "Chapter 22" »

October 04, 2006

Chapter Twenty-One

...Mary enjoying her visits with Mary Ann Boyce. She needs to feel at home, and nothing does that better than to have good friends. She has confided about her pregnancy to Mary Ann, (who had already guessed) and now that she has told someone, she feels more content with the situation and is prepared to loosen her stays somewhat. Can’t help but worry about the effect of her tight corsetry might be having on the unborn baby....

Though concerned for the welfare of his wife Mary, as they settle into married life, Charles Simpson Walker, a young man with a vigorous mind and inquistive mind, continues to follow the course of world events.

To read earlier chapters of Jean Day's hugely entertaining historical novel click on Consequences in the menu on this page.

Continue reading "Chapter Twenty-One" »

September 27, 2006

Chapter 20

...Our whist evening went well; although I am sure the ladies looked at me somewhat askance. I am feeling like I can no longer conceal my bulge, despite all the contrivances. So I have asked Charles if we can avoid social encounters for the present time. It will not be long before I am off to Aunt Ann to fulfil our plans...

Jean Day’s novel, tells in diary form the story of a young couple who, in moralistic Victorian times, had to hasten their wedding day because of an unplanned pregnancy. To read earlier chapters of this vividly realistic tale click on Consequences in the menu on this page.

Continue reading "Chapter 20" »

September 20, 2006

Chapter Nineteen

…Mary busy making plans for Mayor’s party – altering her dress etc. She still looks very trim & not at all revealing her true state. Am very proud to be seen with her. It is something joyful to know one's name is now on the lips of my little pretty sweetheart grown now into the bloom of womanhood, handsome & worthy of all admiration…

Charles Simpson Walker, a young man who was forced to wed in a hurry, now delights in married life and is proud of his wife. Jean Day continues her vivid recreation of life in Victorian times. To read earlier chapters of her engaging novel told in diary form click on Consequences in the menu on this page.

Continue reading "Chapter Nineteen" »

September 13, 2006

Chapter Eighteen

"Last evening Charles decided it was time for me to have a lesson in whist which is a great favourite of his. He invited his friends the two Miss Mayburys to play against us, and help him teach me. I have never played a game of cards before...''

Mary is making new friends and enjoying married life, but an occasional cloud crosses her domestic horizon.

"Charles was very much involved with gardening, but he let it slip that Adelaide was there helping (?) him. He does seem very fond of her.''

Jean Day's novel of domestic life in Dickensian times is history made real. To read earlier chapters of this engrossing tale told in diary-form click on Consequences in the menu on this page.

Continue reading "Chapter Eighteen" »

September 06, 2006

Chapter Seventeen

...He criticised the cleanliness of the house the other day. He is used to being in rooms which were cleaned daily by servants, and although I did many jobs at the Inn, heavy cleaning wasn’t one of them, and it doesn’t come easily to me. Now there is only me, and I have so many jobs to do that I spend less time cleaning than other things I would rather do. I cried at his tone, and he did apologise....

Charles Simpson Walker and his new wife Mary settle down to married life - good times and bad.

To read earlier chapters of Jean Day's convincing and entertaining historical novel click on Consequences in the menu on this page.

Continue reading "Chapter Seventeen" »

August 30, 2006

Chapter Sixteen

...I now have my own & very wonderful wife. To look on Mary’s beauty alone is exalting, it partakes of the nature of the angels...

Charles Simpson Walker is settling into married life - but he is determined to still give time to his old friends.

Jean Day continues her richly-detailed account of domestic affairs in the mid-19th Century. To read earlier chapters of the novel click on Consequences in the menu on this page.

Continue reading "Chapter Sixteen" »

August 23, 2006

Chapter Fifteen

...We arrived at our new home late last night, and Charles picked me up and carried me over the threshold. I laughed so hard because I though he would drop me, as I now feel so big and I’m sure I weigh more than he does...

The newly-married Mrs Charles Simpson Walker is carried in traditional style into her new home. She then starts to get to know the town of Worcester.

Jean Day's novel, a story of an 1859 romance told in diary form, is told with such immediacy as to make the long-gone past come alive. To read earlier chapters click on Consequences in the menu on this page.

Continue reading "Chapter Fifteen" »

August 16, 2006

Chapter Fourteen

... Finally we made our promises – mine rather soft and trembling and Charles being loud and clear. Charles put the gold band with our initials engraved on it on my left ring finger. We had to sign the various documents and my parents, Charles’ Father, and Sophia and Mary Ann also signed as witnesses. Suddenly it was all over and we were walking back down the aisle, with the loud music throbbing around us, now husband and wife. Charles stopped just outside the church to kiss me and say, “I love you, Mrs. Charles Walker,” and I felt that nothing could ever be as wonderful again as that moment...

At last! Mary Eagle becomes Mrs Charles Walker. The happy couple go to Manchester on honeymoon and are guests of the succesful novelist Mrs Gaskell and her husband.

Jean Day's wonderful story, told in diary form, continues to richly portray life in the mid-19th Century. To read earlier chapters of this absorbing novel click on Consequences in the menu on this page.

Continue reading "Chapter Fourteen" »

August 09, 2006

Chapter Thirteen

...Charles plans on wearing a morning coat – with a blue flower in the lapel, a white waistcoat, dark grey trousers and a black top hat. His folded cravat of will be in a shade of blue to match my dress and he will wear lavender gloves (made by his Uncle Richard) stitched in black...

While Mary Eagle, who is expecting a child, is busy with her wedding plans, her betrothed Charles Simpson Walker pursues his career and looks out on the developing world of 1859.

... Charles keeps informing me of the goings on in the world. Apparently ground has been broken for the Suez Canal. Charles gets very excited about these things...

Jean Day's novel, inspired by a diary kept by Charles Simpson Walker, vividly recreates the social mores of 150 years ago. To read earlier chapters click on Consequences in the menu on this page.

Continue reading "Chapter Thirteen" »

August 02, 2006

Chapter Twelve

...Charles is very excited because he has managed to secure a copy of Charles Dickens’s latest book, The Tale of Two Cities, which was published on the 14th. Charles is well known to the book sellers, so they make sure he gets his choice of new books available. I look forward to reading it when he has finished...

Mary Eagle, busy preparing the guest list for her wedding, looks forward to a good read.

Jean Day's novel was inspired by the 1859 diary of Charles Simpson Walker. Into this she weaves the imagined diary of Mary Eagle, Charles's betrothed. The narrative vividly recreates a long-gone age. To read earlier chapters click on Consequences in the menu on this page.

Continue reading "Chapter Twelve" »

July 26, 2006

Chapter Eleven

...In General Election, Conservatives, led by Lord Derby, re-elected as a minority government, only gaining a few seats. Changes must take place to make situation more tenable. Read in the paper that only one man in seven has the right to vote as the criterion is those who pay more than £10 per annum in rent or rates. I only just qualify...

Charles Simpson Walker's "enforced'' early wedding to Mary Eagle draws ever nearer. But Charles, a young man with a lively mind, still has time to consider the world and its affairs.

Jean Day’s novel, Consequences, was inspired by Charles's 1859 diary. She contrasts passages of this diary with Mary's imagined diary in an engaging narrative. To read earlier chapter of the story click on Consequences in the menu on this page.

Continue reading "Chapter Eleven" »

July 19, 2006

Chapter Ten

...Mother and I have decided the breakfast meal for after the wedding. As Charles is a vegetarian, it is important that I support him in this. So we will have no bacon or sausage at the meal. I would like to make some marchpane fruit which will also be an attractive decoration on the tables along with preserved cherries and quinces. Then we can have Cheese Cakes, Pippen Twists, Eggs in Snow in pastry cases, and muffins. Small tartlets - some marmalade and some with apple jelly would go well and can be made in advance. Everyone likes Macaroons. All these things can all be eaten without needing forks...

Jean Day's vivid love story is set in 1859. It is based on an actual diary kept by Charles Simpson Walker and the imagined diary of his betrothed, Jean Eagle. For earlier chapters of this absorbing tale click on Consequences in the menu on this page.


Continue reading "Chapter Ten" »

July 12, 2006

Chapter Nine

...Letter from Mary telling me details of the meal planned for our wedding reception. She has put much thought into it, in order for it to be entirely suitable for vegetarians; expect I will be the only official one there, but Mary says she will follow my dictates on this matter when we are married. She is such a sweet girl. I have lately thought much of her; her fair face & the memory of our young pure days haunting me very often....

Charles is busy with work and social activities. Mary, who is expecting his child, makes wedding preparations in distant York.

Jean Day's real-life story, set in the 1850s, is a convincing blend of Charle's actual diary, and an imaginative version of the diary Mary might have kept during this stressful time in their lives.

For earlier chapters of the story click on Consequences in the menu on this page.

Continue reading "Chapter Nine" »

July 05, 2006

Chapter Eight

Mary, who is pregnant and temporarily no longered welcomed to live with her parents, receives a communication from her betrothed which is more like a bookkeeping form than a letter.

Jean Day continues her absorbing love story, set in 1859, which was inspired by an old diary which came into her possession. For earlier chapter of Jean's novel click on Consequences in the menu on this page.

Continue reading "Chapter Eight" »

June 28, 2006

Chapter Seven

“I know,” Charles continued, “that I am to blame for this. We love each other so much, and in a moment of weakness I made love to Mary the last night when I was here for the New Year holiday. We didn’t expect there would be consequences, but now it appears that there are, and we need you to support us in how we are going to cope in this situation.”...

Charles Simpson Walker and his betrothed, Mary Eagle, face up to the most embarrassing of all confessions.

Jean Day’s novel, Consequences, was inspired by Charles's 1859 diary. She balances Charles's actual words by imagining Mary's account of events, weaving them into a novel of young love.

Continue reading "Chapter Seven" »

June 21, 2006

Chapter Six

...I have had a most distressing letter from Mary today, stating that she may be with child as a result of our liaison in early January. I cannot believe it is so. She must be mistaken, but none the less I have said that I will go to York on Saturday to resolve the situation...

Jean Day's absorbing novel is based on the 1859 diary of Charles Simpson Walker. She weaves into the narrative her fictional diary of Jean Eagle, the York girl who is betrothed to Charles.

For earlier chapters of the story click on Consequences in the menu on this page.

Continue reading "Chapter Six" »

June 14, 2006

Chapter Five

"The penny royal drink had no effect so I could delay no longer, and with great trepidation, I wrote to Charles last night, stating my fears and asking what we should do. He wrote straight back and said he will come up on Saturday after work, and we must tell Mother and Father about it together. He said he would think what action we should take and we will talk about it more on the weekend...''

Poor Mary is pregnant, and her husband-to-be Charles blames her rather than himself for her unwelcomed condition.

Jean Day tells a love story of 150 years ago, the narrative made more immediate by being carried forward in diary form. Charles's story is based on his true-life diary. Mary's diary came from Jean's imagination.

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June 07, 2006

Chapter Four

Jean Day's novel Consequences, a narrative of young love, is set in the 1850s and vividly conveys the customs and manners of that time.

The Charles in her story is Charles Walker. The words in Jean's fascinating narrative are taken from a diary kept by Charles in 1851. Mary's diary is a creation of Jean's fertile imagination.

The poem in this chapter was found in a collection of books which included Charles Walker's diary. Its authorship is unkown.

To read earlier chapters of the story click on Consequences in the menu on this page.

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May 31, 2006

Chapter Three

Mary surprised me & somewhat shocked me by her bold behaviour in coming into my room this morning. I think & hope all will be well & she won’t regret her impetuosity…

Jean Day continues her story of young love, told in intimate diary entries. We get to know something of Charles; of his literary tastes and lively outlook on the world.

For an introduction to Jean’s story and earlier chapters of this engrossing diary-narrative click on Consequences in the menu on this page.

Continue reading "Chapter Three" »

May 24, 2006

Chapter Two

"He came over to me, and drew me into his arms, and I felt so content there. He kissed me gently, and then shook himself and pulled away. But I so much did not want to be separated from him. I wanted this lovely warm feeling to go on forever...''

Here is the second chapter of Jean Day's intriguing novel, set a century-and-a-half ago. The story, narrated in diary form, tells of a young woman's love for a man who is older and more experienced than herself. "If only he knew what I have written here,'' says young Mary, confiding more details to her diary than one might expect.

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May 17, 2006

Chapter One

Here is Chapter One of Jean Day's novel, Consequences, which was inspired by the 1859 diary of Charles Simpson Walker, who lived in York.

Her wonderfully readable narrative weaves passages from this diary with the fictional diary of Mary Eagle, who was engaged to Charles.

The story begins with Mary telling of an evening at the theatre with her betrothed - then hinting at an incident which threatens her romance.

Continue reading "Chapter One" »

May 10, 2006

Consequences

Jean Day’s novel, Consequences, was inspired by the 1859 diary of Charles Simpson Walker, who lived in York.

Her wonderfully readable narrative weaves passages from this diary with the fictional diary of Mary Eagle, who was engaged to Charles.

Today Jean introduces her story, which will be serialised in Open Writing in 32 weekly episodes, commencing next Wednesday. Do watch out for it!

Continue reading "Consequences" »

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