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Captain Stanwick’s Bride by Regina Jeffers is a Celebrate Canada/America Event pick #regency


Captain Stanwick’s Bride: A Tragic Characters in Classic Lit Series Novel


Regina Jeffers


historical fiction; War of 1812, Regency romance; Georgian romance; classic fiction & literature; women authors; historical British fiction; historical clean romance

Book Blurb:

“Happiness consists more in conveniences of pleasure that occur everyday than in great pieces of good fortune that happen but seldom.” - Benjamin Franklin

Captain Whittaker Stanwick has a successful military career and a respectable home farm in Lancashire. What he does not have in his life is felicity. Therefore, when the opportunity arrives, following his wife’s death, Stanwick sets out to know a bit of happiness, at last—finally to claim a woman who stirs his soul. Yet, he foolishly commits himself to one woman only weeks before he has found a woman, though shunned by her people and his, who touches his heart. Will he deny the strictures placed upon him by society in order learn the secret of happiness is freedom: Freedom to love and freedom to know courage?

Loosely based on Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s “The Courtship of Miles Standish” and set against the final battles of the War of 1812, this tale shows the length a man will go to in order to claim a remarkable woman as his.


It was 28 October before he and his men reached Buffalo, a town upon an arbitrary border between the United States and the British territories in Canada. As he had predicted, the militia officers and the regular British soldiers had been funneled towards Fort Niagara. He had assured the men who had served him loyally that they would be released soon. He had instructed each to act in his own best interests so he might return to his family. “If they ask you to sign an oath not to take up a gun again, agree to it. Surely, Wellington has Napoleon on the run by now, and soon there will be no more wars. It would be foolish to die now when the end is near. If any say you acted dishonorably, blame me. Tell them I ordered you to sign. I will swear to my words in any court of the land.” More often than he cared to consider, he had told first one man and then another, “Think of the family who waits and prays for your return to England. Do what you must to survive and reclaim your loved ones.”

Every time he said the words, Whittaker became more resolved finally to know a family he could cherish.

“Do not become too comfortable,” the American in charge of the depot at Buffalo told the some two hundred British officers and a couple dozen enlisted men that remained in the open field, awaiting their fate.

“Why so?” a colonel with whom Whit had held few conversations asked, but he was glad a superior officer had made the inquiry, for Whit wanted to know the answer.

“You will be departing for Fort McHenry tomorrow,” the American replied with an air of superiority.

“Fort McHenry,” more than one man whispered under his breath. Very few of them had ever been that far south, for he and his regiment had spent their whole time in Upper Canada.

“In Baltimore?” the same colonel asked.

“Near there,” the American declared. “A dozen or so miles along the Baltimore harbor.”

“Why McHenry?” Whit asked, unable to remain silent. He had hoped the Americans would have sent them toward Boston, for the harbor there was often employed in the exchange of prisoners. He hoped this move was not a bad omen, meaning they were to be held instead of bargained for by the two governments. Although Baltimore served a similar purpose for prisoner swaps, he feared many in his party would not survive another journey. The weather was turning colder as the full brunt of winter was ready to make an appearance.

“Not for me to say,” the American lieutenant declared as he motioned several of the British soldiers to one corner of the guarded yard inside the fortification into which they had been herded.

Whit began to calculate in his head how many miles it was to Fort McHenry. “Are we to walk another four hundred miles at this time of year?” he demanded.

“Your wounded will be treated here before being sent on,” the American explained with a frown of disapproval, likely a warning about continued questions. “Those with minor injuries or those not requiring immediate surgery will leave tomorrow. Wagons will carry the first fifty deemed able to travel without incident by the doctors. Others will be moved as transportation becomes available.”

Whit deemed himself fortunate to be among the first loaded onto the back of a flatbed wagon. Realizing those who traveled later would face the upcoming winter in the Pennsylvania mountains, he spoke privately to a number of his men, encouraging them to appear as strong as possible before the eyes of the doctors set to examine them. “You must not remain at Buffalo long,” he warned each man. “This area is known for large snowstorms as is the passage through the mountains we are meant to travel. We survived so we might return to our families in England and Scotland and Ireland. Do not allow the Americans to break you now.”

Thankfully, many of his men crawled upon the wagons along with him to make the journey, and Whit knew gratitude for their continued loyalty. He made certain his men had blankets and what passed as hard loaves of bread before they left the depot, having traded his wedding band for the supplies.

“Where is your ring, sir?” Corporal Patton asked when Whit was studying the white ring of skin upon the third finger of his left hand. He had worn the ring for ten years, and his hand felt odd without it.

“You are wearing it, Patton,” Whit said with a distracted frown marking his forehead.

“Not your ring, sir,” Patton protested. “What will Mrs. Captain Stanwick say of your sacrifice?”

Whittaker looked again upon his hand and shrugged. “I fear Mrs. Stanwick was of a fragile nature. She passed while I was aboard ship to Upper Canada. I did not discover her death until I had been at my position for some three months.”

“I didnae know, sir,” Patton admitted with the usual tone of regret, his countenance marked by obvious embarrassment.

“Mrs. Stanwick and I had a righteous life together, such as it was. I likely spent more time on the Continent with Wellington than I did with her. No need for sorrow for me, though. My lady would have wished that the ring could bring comfort to others. Mrs. Stanwick possessed an excellent heart, one filled with kindness.”

His words were true: Mrs. Ruth Collier Stanwick had been the very best of women, just not the very best woman for him. He had never loved her, and she held no real affection for him. Duty was all there was between them, and, with his assent, they had each carved out a life that did not involve the other. He had never known passion. Never felt more than obligation in his life. Silently, Whit pledged to write his letter to Surrey when he reached Fort McHenry. He would claim a new beginning, and this time he meant to know happiness. He swore under his breath as the wagon rolled away from the Buffalo depot, “Captain Whittaker Stanwick will finally have what other men have: a wife he holds in affection and children to brighten the remainder of his days.”

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What makes your featured book a must-read?

Nearly a dozen authors were involved in the Tragic Characters in Classic Lit Series (I penned two such tales), where the reader encountered some of their “favorite,” or should I say, “least favorite” characters found in classic literature. The parameters of the project were quite simple. (1) The story must be, at least, 40,000 words. (2) Instead of the original setting for the tale, all the stories in this series took place between the late Georgian period and early Victorian, meaning late 1700s into about 1840. (3) Each novel was based on a different tragic character from a public domain novel, story, or poem.

The idea was to provide the tragic character a “happily ever after.” It does not matter if he/she was the protagonist or the antagonist in the original tale, in these new renderings he/she became the hero/heroine.

In the series, one met fallen heroes who succumbed to vice, greed, etc. He/She could originally have been detested for what values he accepted, but, in these new tales, he redeems himself: His fate changes. He finds the fortitude to change his stars, learn to accept what cannot be changed, and move beyond the impossible to discover “Love After All.”

This story is inspired by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s “The Courtship of Miles Standish.” Truth first, the “hero” and “heroine” of Longfellow’s narrative poem are John Alden and Priscilla Mullins of the Mayflower and Plymouth Rock fame. The Aldens are my tenth great-grandparents through their daughter Rebecca. However, I am well aware Longfellow’s (who is also related to the Aldens through their daughter Elizabeth) tale is not necessarily based in history. There is no proof Captain Standish wished to court Priscilla Mullins and sent Alden as his spokesman, with Priscilla supposedly telling Alden, “Why don’t you speak for yourself, John.” Yet, is not such a great place to start?

Giveaway –

Enter to win a $10 Amazon gift card:

Open Internationally. You must have a valid Amazon US or Amazon Canada account to win. Runs June 29 – July 6, 2023. Winner will be drawn on July 7, 2023.

Author Biography:

A writer penning more than 60 novels, Regina Jeffers is the award-winning author of stories with dashing heroines and daring heroines, all set in the Regency or early Victorian era. A Smithsonian presenter and a Martha Holden Jennings Scholar, Jeffers has been honored with multiple awards for her tales: She writes full-time, skillfully enveloping her readers in the hearts and minds of her characters. She will have you cheering for her characters, will likely make you cry, will have you laughing aloud, as well as wanting more.

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Always Austen (Group Blog)


Jul 02, 2023

I love taking my kids to see the fireworks and hanging with family!


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Jun 29, 2023

Thank you, Regina, for sharing your book in our Celebrate Canada/America Bookish Event!

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