((Many thanks to Mary Hanson-Roberts for this lovely picture! You are a gem! :) Visit her page and see more of her artwork here))
(You step out of your carriage and see a large, stately house before you. It looks very formal and cold, yet strangely inviting. You immediately notice that the servants you see hurrying about are dressed in a very old-fashioned manner--almost as if they belonged to a different century entirely. A groom takes care of your horses and carriage as a butler escorts you inside the house, to the front parlor where he announces your arrival to a young lady in her mid-twenties. She looks striking in a red silk dress, her smooth brown hair attractively dressed and topped with a small white hat with a red plume. All of her clothing is of the same old-fashioned look as the servants, but decidedly more ornate. She rises as you enter the parlor and extends her hand to you.)
My name is Isabella, and I understand you are visiting from the twentieth century. I don't think I would believe that so easily if Jennifer hadn't told me herself, and since she also lives in your time, I suppose it's not all that difficult to accept. Well, then, welcome to the eighteenth century--the year of grace seventeen hundred and ninety-four, to be precise. You happen to be in the beautiful green country of England, just outside of London. This is my husband's estate, Greybrooke, and I extend to you our most sincere welcome. Oh, pardon me for my ill manners; I haven't properly introduced myself yet! I am Lady Isabella Whitsfield, and my husband is Sir James Whitsfield. I see your confusion; you do not recognize Isabella as an English first name. Quite correct, my friend; I was not born in England, nor was I born of nobility. My origins are in the French bourgeoisie, the very same people that have revolted in my homeland and turned it into a bloodbath. Pardon me if I shudder, but I cannot bear to think on what has become of my country. Please, come with me to where we can sit comfortably: I have a rather long story to tell.
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