After effectively getting some creative juices re-flowing because, after I bitched and moaned about this latest writing project to my best friend, she broke out into song: "Chapter 18/I hate Chapter 18/That's two thousand words/ I gotta delete," I have decided to re-read said Chapter 18 and figure out why I hate it quite so much. (Upon reading it over, I see that it's actually not so bad. Why is writing so annoying like that sometimes?)
Also, I need to figure out where the heck the pacing went in this section of the novel, because it's taking a bit to get to the frickin' point already.
In the meantime, have an excerpt from about thirty pages ago.
Miss Parker beckoned to Beatrice as they approached their destination and Beatrice quickened her step. She was no stranger to Hyde Park, but she was more familiar with the southern half, it being closer to Mayfair and Belgravia. But today, Miss Parker had guided them on a walk from Hyde Park Corner northwards to Speakers' Corner.
Miss Parker smiled. "This is where people often come to espouse ideas, some ridiculous, some radical."
Beatrice nodded, trying to catch the words coming from the various people crying out their ideas. A few had fliers or posters—Irish Home Rule! Improve Working Conditions! Democracy! Empire!
"So many," Beatrice said. "So many people with so many ideas."
"Yes," Miss Parker said. "That's the wonderful thing about a country such as ours. People can express their ideas. In the past, that wasn't always possible. These people are here to talk about whatever their cause or belief is."
"I see," Beatrice said. "I don't think I understand all the issues they mean."
"We shall improve upon that."
"Do you mean actually learn about…politics?" Beatrice blinked. "That's unsuitable."
Miss Parker smiled kindly. "Lady Beatrice, what people often designate as 'unsuitable' are the things they either don't understand or think are beneath them. Politics is often unsavory, it's true, but it's how the country runs. Never let it be said that it doesn't affect you."
Miss Parker walked back toward the park away from the cacophony of the various speakers and Beatrice followed.
"When Parliament doesn't approve laws that affect women—not only suffrage, but inheritance and marriage laws, don't you think they'll have an affect on how you live your life one day?"
The governess smiled gently. "I don't mean to turn you into a harridan, Lady Beatrice. But I mean to open your eyes to the world. When you marry—and you'll marry a prominent man, I'm sure—you'll only be a boon to him if you're aware. What was it that Mary Wollstonecraft wrote? 'Strengthen the female mind by enlarging it and there will be an end to blind obedience.'"
Beatrice snickered. "Miss Parker, you're a radical."
"Perhaps I am."