BARONESS IN BUCKSKIN – Sheri Cobb South
Hampshire, England, after the Napoleonic Wars
The Ramsay barony is an old one with extensive connections…one might say with a plethora of cousins. The seventh and current baron, Lord Richard Ramsay, is a good and responsible man who takes seriously his duties as head of the family. In his household alone, he has two maiden aunts in the dower house, a distant cousin, one Peter Ramsay, whom he had educated and then hired as steward, and a poor relation through her mother's marriage to a Ramsay, Miss Jane Hawthorne, who was companion to the late Lady Ramsay, Richard's mother. Jane has stayed on and runs the household very efficiently. When Richard receives a letter from America about a recently orphaned young lady of eighteen who is all alone, Richard is quick to see his duty. He writes to invite her to England to become his wife. It doesn't hurt that Miss Susannah Ramsay would be bringing with her an addition to the estate, a large plantation in Kentucky and a townhouse in Richmond, Virginia.
With Susannah due soon in Portsmouth, her arrival conflicts with an important Parliament vote in London, so Peter is sent to met her. That he is surprised by Susannah is an understatement. Her dress is dowdy and topped with a too large coat of buckskin, complete with fringes. She has a mass of unruly red hair and a friendly manner to all, including the ship's sailors and common folk met along the way home. After her mother's death, she and her father made no visits to town, so she was brought up solely on the frontier. Someone must take her in charge to redress her and teach her the conduct of a lady before the looming wedding.
BARONESS IN BUCKSKIN has four main characters that you'll come to care for, Lord Richard, Peter, Jane, and Susannah. Their various interactions are the basis of the story and are moving as well as highly entertaining. You'll need to keep your mind open and your hopes alive as you read along. Servants and neighbors provide additional amusement. For a fast and often endearing tale, I readily recommend BARONESS IN BUCKSKIN.