Some months ago she had left Bath—where she’d been ensconced for many years—and made her way to London. There she had taken occupancy of the family townhouse in Berkeley Square and proceeded to spend the Season looking for a worthy young lady. Invited everywhere and universally fawned upon, she attended breakfasts, teas, dinner parties, assemblies, balls, Almack’s; indefatigably had she searched, interviewed, investigated. Her letters came to him bristling with detailed reports.
Angrily, she wrote that this earl’s daughter was already affianced, and that duke’s girl had just gotten married; their available sisters were too young, or too old, or had a squint, or teeth that made one blench. The girls of a fine old family from the North would have been considered if not for their abject lack of fortune.
One otherwise promising young lady, Grandmama had learned to her fury, had been concealing the ugly fact of an uncle in the fishmongering trade. The granddaughter of an old friend, whom she had long thought to be a possibility, looked decidedly consumptive. Another girl who had seemed likely at first came from a family in which the women were notoriously poor breeders. And, naturally, there were whole swathes of young ladies who could be ignored—no matter how wealthy or pleasing in appearance—as their bloodlines were pitifully inferior.