I’m so excited to show you the cover of my new novella, Mrs Darcy’s Diamonds, that I first started on this website as Elizabeth Darcy’s Ring. It’s the first of a series inspired by jewellery – I’ve always really loved all kinds of jewellery from the very first piece I ever remember having as a birthday gift. It was ‘made’ by my darling Mum – a black velvet choker with a cameo brooch. I think it must have been some time in the 1970s, and I thought I was the ‘bees knees’ in it.
Just lately, after doing some research into my ancestry, I’ve discovered that on one side of my family, they were jewellers, silversmiths, and pistol makers, which in the Midlands and Birmingham where I come from, were the foremost trades from the 1550s, though I think my family were working with jewellery in one form or other from the 1800s. It’s fascinating to see how much English silver and jewellery were crafted in Birmingham, and now when I see a piece I wonder if one of my ancestors had a hand in making or selling it. So I think my love of jewellery must be in my genes! I particularly admire antique pieces and spend many happy hours when I’m in Bath going round antique shops – fortunately, I’m very happy to window shop …
Georgian jewellery is probably my favourite era though Edwardian comes a close second. With the wonder of the internet so many examples of the wonderful skill of the Georgian jewellers can be admired. Everything from the bling of fabulous diamonds to understated rings like the turquoise one Jane Austen owned can be seen and sighed over. At the beginning of Mrs Darcy’s Diamonds, Mrs Bennet is talking about her cut-steel jewellery, which was made to imitate the glitter of diamonds in candlelight. It’s still possible to find these pieces though some seem to be as expensive as real gems!
I really loved thinking about the diamonds that Mr Darcy might have given to Elizabeth, and I’ve been choosing some pieces on my Pinterest page for Mrs Darcy’s Diamonds. The jewellery isn’t the only thing I’ve had fun with – I’ve spent some time picking out portraits of all my characters – I hope you’ll take a look. It’s been a joy to write this novella – I’ve enjoyed fleshing out the story, and thinking about what comes next. It’s being published on Tuesday, September 2nd, on Kindle and Nook, and is available for pre-order on Kindle.
I hope you’ll join me here on 2nd September for the launch and a chance to win some jewellery prizes!