Mary Elizabeth (Williams) Lucy was born November 25, 1803. Her life could have been drawn from an Austen novel– a pampered younger daughter, as Austen herself was, number six of eight children, she was close to her siblings throughout her life and grew up in what she called “a cloudless childhood”. Reluctantly wed at age 20 to George Lucy of Charlecote Hall, Mary soon came to love her husband and home. Later in life she chose to write her memoirs as a way to pass the time and provide amusement for her grandchildren. Most of what we know about her life comes from this memoir and the resulting work could have been written by Elizabeth Bennet, Emma Woodhouse or a score of other heroines (all gentlemen’s daughters) who married into the upper classes of the waning Regency. When Mary married in 1823, her husband, several years older than herself, had already spent a good deal of time and money in improving his estate, an Elizabethan monolith which had fallen into disrepair over the years. The current house, now belonging to the National Trust, was extensively remodeled in Victorian times by Mary Lucy and is presented today as it was when she was the mistress of the house. Here, the Lucy family history is brought vividly to life by the portraits of each generation; from Sir Thomas Lucy, the local magistrate who allegedly flogged the young William Shakespeare for poaching the Lucy family heard of fallow deer, to the family who
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