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Authors: Barbara Cartland

The House of Happiness

BOOK: The House of Happiness
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THE HOUSE OF HAPPINESS

Copyright © 2006 by Cartland Promotions
First published on the internet in June 2006 by
Barbaracartland.com

The characters and situations in this book are entirely imaginary and bear no relation to any real person or actual happening.

This book is sold subject to the condition that it shall not, by way of trade or otherwise, be lent, resold, hired out or otherwise circulated without the publisher's prior consent.

No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronically or mechanically, including photocopying, recording or any information storage or retrieval, without the prior permission in writing from the publisher.

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THE HOUSE OF HAPPINESS

“I think you may need a little air, Miss Dovedale,” the Marquis murmured as he opened a window and guided Eugenia through.

The air made her stagger.  She grasped hold of the ironwork that ran along the terrace and gazed misty eyed at the Marquis.

“It is all so – so – so wonderful,” she breathed.

“I so am glad that you are – enjoying yourself,” said the Marquis, his eyebrow raised.

“Oh, I am! Only – only one thing troubles me, my Lord.”

The Marquis cocked his head enquiringly.  At the same time his eyes travelled over her face and body with such undisguised hunger that she felt exultant. Why, she might yet have him!

She took a deep breath, and her mind seemed to swim in her head.

“You must not – you
really really
must not – marry Lady Walling.”

A wry smile danced at the corners of the Marquis's lips. “Indeed? Then who
may
I marry, Miss Dovedale?”

Eugenia's eyes widened as if she imagined the Marquis a fool to ask.

“Why, me!” she beamed, brightly and innocently. “Me, Eugenia Dovedale.”

And with that, she stumbled dazedly into his willing arms.

THE BARBARA CARTLAND PINK COLLECTION

Barbara Cartland was the most prolific bestselling author in the history of the world. She was frequently in the Guinness Book of Records for writing more books in a year than any other living author.  In fact her most amazing literary feat was when her publishers asked for more Barbara Cartland romances, she doubled her output from 10 books a year to over 20 books a year, when she was 77.

She went on writing continuously at this rate for 20 years and wrote her last book at the age of 97, thus completing 400 books between the ages of 77 and 97.

Her publishers finally could not keep up with this phenomenal output, so at her death she left 160 unpublished manuscripts, something again that no other author has ever achieved.

Now the exciting news is that these 160 original unpublished Barbara Cartland books are ready for publication and they will be published by Barbaracartland.com exclusively on the internet, as the web is the best possible way to reach so many Barbara Cartland readers around the world.

The 160 books will be published monthly and will be numbered in sequence.

The series is called the Pink Collection as a tribute to Barbara Cartland whose favourite colour was pink and it became very much her trademark over the years.

The Barbara Cartland Pink Collection is published only on the internet. Log on to
www.barbaracartland.com
to find out how you can purchase the books monthly as they are published, and take out a subscription that will ensure that all subsequent editions are delivered to you by mail order to your home.

If you do not have access to a computer you can write for information about the Pink Collection to the following address :

Barbara Cartland.com Ltd.

Camfield Place,

Hatfield,

Hertfordshire

AL9 6JE

United Kingdom.

 

Telephone : +44 (0)1707 642629

Fax : +44 (0)1707 663041

 

Titles in this series

1.      The Cross of Love

2.      Love in the Highlands

3.      Love Finds the Way

4.      The Castle of Love

5.      Love is Triumphant

6.      Stars in the Sky

7.      The Ship of Love

8.      A Dangerous Disguise

9.      Love Became Theirs

10.   Love drives in

11.   Sailing to Love

12.   The Star of Love

13.   Music is the Soul of Love

14.   Love in the East

15.   Theirs to Eternity

16.   A Paradise on Earth

17.   Love Wins in Berlin

18.   In search of Love

19.   Love Rescues Rosanna

20.   A Heart in Heaven

21.   The House of Happiness

THE LATE DAME BARBARA CARTLAND

Barbara Cartland, who sadly died in May 2000 at the grand age of ninety eight, remains one of the world’s most famous romantic novelists.  With worldwide sales of over one billion, her outstanding 723 books have been translated into thirty six different languages, to be enjoyed by readers of romance globally.

Writing her first book ‘Jigsaw’ at the age of 21, Barbara became an immediate bestseller.  Building upon this initial success, she wrote continuously throughout her life, producing bestsellers for an astonishing 76 years.  In addition to Barbara Cartland’s legion of fans in the UK and across Europe, her books have always been immensely popular in the USA.  In 1976 she achieved the unprecedented feat of having books at numbers 1 & 2 in the prestigious B. Dalton Bookseller bestsellers list.

Although she is often referred to as the ‘Queen of Romance’, Barbara Cartland also wrote several historical biographies, six autobiographies and numerous theatrical plays as well as books on life, love, health and cookery.  Becoming one of Britain's most popular media personalities and dressed in her trademark pink, Barbara spoke on radio and television about social and political issues, as well as making many public appearances.

In 1991 she became a Dame of the Order of the British Empire for her contribution to literature and her work for humanitarian and charitable causes.

Known for her glamour, style, and vitality Barbara Cartland became a legend in her own lifetime.  Best remembered for her wonderful romantic novels and loved by millions of readers worldwide, her books remain treasured for their heroic heroes, plucky heroines and traditional values.  But above all, it was Barbara Cartland’s overriding belief in the positive power of love to help, heal and improve the quality of life for everyone that made her truly unique.

 

“Love has inspired great poets, artists and architects throughout the ages.  Love can inspire anyone to greater heights than could ever be possibly imagined”

Barbara Cartland

CHAPTER ONE
-
1835

Eugenia Dovedale mounted the stairs carefully, feeling for each step with her dainty foot. She was bringing tea to her great-aunt and she was terrified of dropping the large, mahogany tray.  

Great-Aunt Cloris took a nap every afternoon. At four o'clock precisely she liked to be awakened by Eugenia. There was a maid, Bridget, who prepared the tray, placing on it the silver pot and jug and sugar bowl, but it was Eugenia who was expected to carry the tray all the way up from the basement to the second floor, where Great-Aunt Cloris slumbered in her large, rosewood bed.

Eugenia reached her great-aunt's room.  She pushed open the door with her elbow and stepped inside.

“Is that you, Eugeeenia?”

She had wanted her great-niece named after her. When this desire was not gratified, the old lady had for ever after affected to be unable to pronounce the ‘French sounding' Eugenia.

“Yes, Great-Aunt Cloris, it is me.”

“Did you bring me the shortbread from Fortnum's?”

“Yes, great-aunt.”

“Excellent. Would you pour my tea, please?”

Eugenia picked up the silver pot and poured.

“Yes.  Is that all?”

Great-Aunt Cloris peered at her great-niece. “You are anxious to escape me?”

“Oh, no. It's just that Mama requested that I join
her
for tea today.”

She looked disgruntled. “Oh, well, of course, you must take tea with your Mama.”

Eugenia turned to go.

“Eugeeeenia?”

“Yes, Great-Aunt?”

“You may take one piece of shortbread.  To share with your Mama.”

Eugenia descended the stairs with the shortbread wrapped in a napkin.

Mrs. Dovedale was sitting before the fire in the little first floor parlour that she and Eugenia shared. She looked up as her daughter entered.

“What have you got there, Eugenia?”

“Shortbread. From Great-Aunt Cloris.”

“Just one piece between the two of us?”

“I don't really want any, Mama.”

“I suppose it's from Fortnum's?”

“Yes, Mama.  I bought it there yesterday.”

Mrs. Dovedale heaved a dramatic sigh. “That I should live to see my daughter treated as a servant!”

“But I am not, Mama. I
enjoy
going to Fortnum's.”

“That is beside the point. You are run off your feet doing errands for that old lady.”

“But Mama, I am grateful to her.  She gave us a home.”

“A home?  You call this a home?  When we are given a quota of coal a day, like scullery maids?  When our meals are rationed and our sherry watered? When you cannot go out into Society because the old skinflint won't open her purse to buy you so much as a pair of gloves?”

Eugenia said nothing. She picked up the poker and prodded the fire. A meagre flame spluttered in the grate. 

“If it was not for my good friend, Lady Granton, you would hardly know what Society was!” lamented Mrs. Dovedale. “You would not know how to address an Earl, or wield a fan, or hold a fork in the correct manner.”

Eugenia suppressed a smile. Mrs. Dovedale seemed to forget that it was she herself, so full of ambition for her daughter, who had long ago taught Eugenia the appropriate social skills.

Great-Aunt Cloris was well-meaning, but hers was a notoriously frugal and austere household. Lady Granton often invited Eugenia and her mother to tea and it was at these sessions that Eugenia now and then met people of her own age.

“To think I once wore satin and took tea with a Marquis!” Mrs. Dovedale continued. “To think I was once Mistress of my own house, with my own maid and a set of copper pans!”

Eugenia shifted in her chair.  She knew what was coming next. A descant on the privileged life that the Dovedale family once lived in Rutland, where Mr. Dovedale was Head Steward on the Marquis of Buckbury's estate, Buckbury Abbey.

Buckbury was one of the grandest houses in Rutland. The first Marquis had been a General, a favourite of King Henry VIII and had been granted the vast lands in the North at the Dissolution of the Monasteries.

The present Marquis was as handsome as his father.  It was a great shame that he no longer lived in England, but on his late mother's estate near the Alps.  Though why he should prefer a no doubt draughty chateau in the wilds of France to the delights of Buckbury was beyond Mrs. Dovedale.

“Such a life he led at Buckbury,” trilled Mrs. Dovedale. “The garden parties in the summer – the boats on the lake at dusk, their lanterns gleaming – the huge log fires in all the rooms in winter – the carriages rolling along the drive for the balls – the chandeliers sparkling. The Christmas parties to which the staff were always invited. Your father and I were accorded pride of place at the supper table. The Marquis was such a generous host. And the last party he held there, you were invited too. Do you remember?”

Eugenia was wriggling her toes before the fire. Her slippers were worn and did not keep out the cold.

“I remember, Mama.”

How could she forget?  Even if her mother was not continually reminding her, the image of Buckbury Abbey that Christmas was engraved on her mind.

Ten years old, she had stood awe-struck at the sight of the tree in the hall. It seemed to go on forever – as high as the minstrel's gallery.  Candles flickered on every branch and the red baubles glowed in their light. Far, far away – right at the top – a silver star gleamed.

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