Talk about making spirits bright! Reading through the entries for the Name That Root Vegetable Contest brought joy to the computer screen and all that, don’t you know.
Thanks so much to everyone for your incredibly Turnip-spirited suggestions for the Fitzhugh brood, ranging from Pudding to Peppermint. The best part? The thumbnail sketches of their later lives, some of which had me perilously close to choking on my tea.
Also lines like:
— “Turnip, however, could not abide by foisting his children into the world without an appropriate sobriquet (Deuced frenchy word, Sobriq-whats-its).” Meredith A
— “Our youngest is little Emma (notice girls name all follow Jane’s characters). Emma is Sally 2.0. She has no nickname because she is not a vegetable.” Angel B.
And isn’t that just Sally in a nutshell? (Nuts don’t count as vegetables, right?)
And now down to business. The winners, chosen by random number generator, are….
Dianne Casey and Laura Hartness!
In the meantime, I couldn’t resist re-posting an entry that was truly in the spirit of the Pink Carnation– with kudos to Freya for combining Blackadder, Shakespeare, and Wodehouse in an entirely Carnation way. Just click that “more” button to read the entry in its entirety.
Happy holidays, all!
Freya Shipley on the future of the Fitzhughs:
The Fitzhughs’s second daughter is christened Sally, after her doting aunt (who is also her godmother. It was a severe wrench for the elder Sally Fitzhugh to renounce the devil and all his works before the font, but she clenched her teeth and made the sacrifice for the sake of her favorite brother and his offspring.) Young Sally is commonly known as Salad. At the tender age of nine, she has already been judged “overdressed” by the less charitable girls of her set, who snicker about her behind her back. Nothing daunted, Salad continues to adorn herself in ever more elaborate confections of tartan, gold lace, sequins, and embroidered mousseline de soie. By the time of her debut, it’s clear to all that Salad is truly her papa’s daughter, possessed of a larger than life beauty and style, allowing her to shine in fashions that on anyone else would appear merely vulgar. She tends to attract beaux who are stage struck.
Sally’s next younger sister is Elizabeth Arabella, instantly nicknamed (thanks to one of her young male cousins) Lizard. Lizard’s kind-hearted mama and her godmother Miss Austen do all they can to alter the name to Lizzie, but to no avail. Lizard the child remains, even as it becomes obvious that she is growing up to be the most breathtakingly beautiful member of an unusually comely family. Lizard herself seems quite happy with her reptilian sobriquet. To the dismay of many a young buck, she prefers mythology and natural history to fashion papers and the latest on-dits. “She really is quite the most smashing little brain-box,” her father exclaims proudly. When not reading heavy tomes or turning over damp stones at the bottom of the garden, Lizard is secretly preparing for her life’s work. Ever since she can remember, she has been passionately drawn to that most glamorous of professions — that most dangerous and exhilarating of careers, where one lives life balanced on a knife’s edge, seizing the day, never knowing what the next moment may bring: GOVERNESSING. Lizard is the proud possessor of a talisman: a tiny gold locket that once belonged to Marie Louise de Rohan, governess to the young Louis XVI. Within, in tiny, exquisite script, it bears the time-honored motto: “I can’t bear to do any more marking just now — pour me a glass of wine, will you?”
The next Fitzhugh child is Edmund Flashheart Percy Melchett, commonly called Bob. Bob is a golden child, sunny-tempered and warmhearted, who resembles his papa more every day. He is the founder of a select Mayfair club for young gentlemen known as the Drones — a fraternity that continues to thrive right up to the middle of the twentieth century. Bob’s interest in apiculture is deep and abiding. By the time he is eighteen, he has acquired a large number of hives which he cares for on his country estate in Sussex. He also raises Jersey cows (though they make his mama shudder), and grows a great deal of excellent hothouse fruit. Bob’s happiness is complete when, at the age of twenty-two, he meets and marries Jaquinetta, an intoxicatingly lovely young milkmaid who smells of hay and cream. Together, Bob and Jaquinetta devote themselves to the production of marmalade, raspberry jam, clotted cream, and honey, which they share over many a blissful and lingering breakfast table.
The youngest Fitzhugh is Gilliflower Emerald Gentian Lily Rose. As of this writing, she is still so very young that only two things have ever happened to her:
1) Her elder siblings are making a concerted push to nickname her Cauliflower. So far the title has not stuck, possibly owing to the infant Gilliflower’s weary and disdainful glance whenever she hears the name. Observers suspect that as she grows, she may develop a more sophisticated sense of humor — demanding some actual cleverness to make her smile — than that possessed by her merry but easily-impressed siblings.
2) Gilliflower has just been spirited away from her night-nursery by an infamous French operative known only as the Narcissus Noir. The fiend’s motives are as yet unclear, but appear to involve Lord Elgin, Maximillian I of Wittelsbach, the chemistry of the waters at Tunbridge Wells, and a dachshund named Colin. Lord Richard Selwick assures his friends that rescue is imminent.