Phillip, Duke of Westerfield, lived in Belgrave Castle which had been built by the Latham family. He had two sons by his first wife who died when the boys were only four and seven. The Duke at seventy-four had for a number of years schooled his son, Tristan to manage Belgrave Castle. Tristan had two daughters. The younger son, Edward was a drinker and gambler with a string of illegitimate off spring but not having married did not have any legitimate children.
The Duke met Marie-Isabelle when he was fifty-five and she, eighteen. He fell for her and she for him. She was a beautiful blonde almost-white haired girl and the daughter of a French marquis, cousin to a French king that died in the Revolution. Her father sensing the Revolution sent her to live with a English family that they had been friends with when she was still an infant with provisions for her keep. The Duke and Marie-Isabelle married a few months after they met.
Marie-Isabelle loved Belgrave Castle and the staff loved her. Their happiness was short lived, she became pregnant and two days after the child, Angelique was born, she died. Phillip devoted his life to raising their daughter, she was tutored at home, she learnt the French language, and he took her every where he went and as she got older, she looked after him with perfect care. Angelique’s father gave her a package which he told her to hide and to tell no one. She would not be able to inherit anything unless he gave her something which was a gift to her. Tristan would inherit the Castle and the title, Duke of Westerfield, but he and his brother, Edward had hated her mother and called her the ‘French Whore’ and Angelique was also called that because of her mother. When her father die’s her brother sends her to work like a slave at the home of some friends of theirs.
The Duchess, A Novel By Danielle Steel, expansively goes on and tells you the story of Angelique and how she gets to come back to the home she loved, Belgrave Castle.