Your Angelyn’s Blog Post
Originally posted on Angelyn's Blog:
“Mama, I’m as concerned about Diana as you are. If she truly needs me, I will always be there to help her.”
“Of course.” She poked her elegant finger among the brooches and earrings in the ornate box. “You’ve managed everything quite well up to now, have you not? But beware, my darling. We have only just arrived in London. Inevitably, Diana is bound to choose another improper friend. One that may not be as amenable to your carte blanche as Miss Swynford.”
“Did you say Diana’s gone out riding? I should go call for my horse.”
The dowager cocked her head. “Your niece is all the way to Hyde Park by now, most likely. Quite keen, she was, to try out her new mare.”
“That wretched animal she picked up from the horse knackers? The dealers at Tattersall’s were glad to be rid of her after she injured one of their grooms.”
“The very one. She tried to kick one of ours in the head just this morning.”
Diana’s Garnet was never a favorite of her Uncle Russell’s. She was an ill-tempered mare and he always said Diana rode her just to spite him. But in his heart he was proud of his niece for saving the animal from the knackers, and for trying to make something of the tall, angular chestnut. He knew Diana needed Garnet, just as Garnet needed Diana. The Marquess of Wimberley was only too aware that the victim of abuse, be it man or beast, can sometimes be set upon the road to healing when given a purpose–a destiny. And his lordship fervently hoped this first step for Diana would lead her toward recovery. Little did he know it would lead him there as well.
The notion of rescuing animals–saving them from ill-treatment–was a topic of considerable discussion in the Regency period. Philosophy was motivated in those days by new ideas about the rights of man. A century before, Locke, and later Kant, had already raised the notion that animal abuse was a bad thing–not for the animals, but for man. In the mid-eighteenth century Rousseau argued the matter one step further. The beasts of nature, by virtue of them being sentient, have their own right to the mercies of natural law, even if they cannot reason on their own.