Daughter of a Duchess

When Eliza was born her mother was forced to give her away, for Eliza was the daughter of a Duchess and a member of parliament. Unfortunately Eliza's mother was already married to the duke of Devonshire, the duke would not allow his wife to keep Eliza so she grew up with her father, who became Priminister. This story goes through Eliza's life as she grows up. Dated in 1828

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2. The letters (seventeen years later)

Eliza ran her hands through the blades of grass, they felt like pin pricks against her skin. The sun burned at her back through her dress, the twins Leona and Lilly were flirting with the Johnson brothers. Eliza had met the twins two years before when her father had become Prime Minister, their father was  member of parliament and the three girls had instantly hit it off.  

"Eliza, you simply must come meet Mr Harrison." Leona said as Eliza looked up. Lilly was still with the Johnson twins, another person had joined them now. A young looking man who was gazing over at Eliza, she blushed when their eyes caught and looked back at her friend. Leona was grinning as she eyed Eliza, the twins had been pushing her to start courting since she turned seventeen three months ago but no-one had really caught her eye, until now. Leona dragged Eliza up by the hand and then darted over to where the three mean and her sister waited, sighing, Eliza followed her friend. 

"Miss Eliza, it is pleasure to make your acquittance." Mr Harrison said as he took hold of Eliza's left hand, he placed a gentle kiss to the skin on the back of her hand. She smiled and did a small curtsy. 

"The pleasure is all mine Mr Harrison." Eliza said.

"Please, call me Daniel." Mr Harrison said. Eliza was about to answer when she saw her maid coming towards her. Eliza excused herself before she ran towards the maid, she had to pick of her dress to stop from tripping over it. The maid's face looked grim, Eliza had a sudden worry that something had happened to her father.

"Miss Grey, your father would like to see you in his study." The maid announced before turning and moving back towards the house. Still worried, Eliza followed the maid back inside the house and into her father's study. Relief flooded her as she saw that her father was ok, he was sat behind his desk admiring a photo of a young woman. Eliza made her way around the desk to stand behind her father and get a better look at the photo, she rested her hands against her father's shoulders. 

"She is lovely, who is she." Eliza asked. 

"I'll tell you later. Eliza there is something you must know, there are some letters on the table for you." Mr Grey said. Eliza walked over to the table and picked up a letter, she read the contents out loud.

To my dearest Eliza,

Today would be your first birthday, I am ashamed to think that I have not set eyes on you since your birth. Had my husband allowed it I would have run to you today, my wishes of a wonderful life are with you forever. Hold tight my darling, one day, we will meet. I love you.

Your mother.

Eliza's hands trembled, tears fell from her eyes and onto the paper. Her mother? No, it wasn't possible. Eliza's mother had given her away, she had never cared or wanted Eliza, that was what everyone had always told her. Suddenly lines seemed to connect.

"Papa, who is the woman in that photo?" Eliza demanded.

"Her name was Georgaina, she was the duchess of Devonshire. She was your mother." Mr Grey breathed out, finally he met his daughters gaze. A jolt of pain rand through Eliza and she gasped at the force of it. Eliza had to clutch at the table to keep on her own feet.

"Why? Why would you show me these after seventeen years of growing up without a mother?" Eliza demanded. Fury rose in her, her words dripped with venom. It might not have been fair to take her anger out on her father but it wasn't fair for him to let her think her own mother considered her worthless. 

"Because she is dead Eliza, your mother died two days ago. You have been invited to her funeral by her husband and her children." 

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