Ruining My Childhood: A Pirate’s Love, chapter three

A Pirate's Love by Johanna Lindsey

Welcome to yet another exciting recap of A Pirate’s Love by Johanna Lindsey, a historical romance novel first published in 1978.

When last we left Bettina, she was laughing herself to sleep about how her mom was trying to turn her into a shameless Mary Sue.

Chapter three opens on the day Bettina is to set sail. Apparently her parents are going to accompany her part of the way–I feel like tighter editing would have cut the first two chapters, at least, and started the story at the point when they’re about to actually say goodbye–and the servants are all super excited about the wedding they won’t be going to and slacking off in their glee, which Jossel complains about. I dunno, I’m kind of wondering if the servants don’t give a shit about the wedding and are just happy the family is leaving so they can chill out.

The large coach that Andre had purchased especially for the journey to Saint-Malo was impressive indeed. It was drawn by six coal-black horses and was large enough to carry all the trunks on top, including the small chest that contained Bettina’s dowry in gold.

I wonder if a pirate is going to get that gold. What do you guys think?

There’s some fashion porn describing Bettina’s clothes and her trousseau. Which sounds super special and I can remember being a kid and wishing that I had a trousseau, but it turns out that it’s just a fancy word for a hope chest.


In Bettina’s case, a really fancy hope chest.

Oh, incidentally:

Her wedding dress had taken the longest time to make, of course, but it was a beautiful garment, a masterpiece,and all who had worked on it were proud of the results.

The dress was creamy white satin, the same color as Bettina’s hair, covered with handmade lace, except for the tight-fitting sleeves. Flowing lace sleeves fellaway from the shimmering satin ones. It was a beautiful gown, caught tight about the waist, with a square neckline and flowing skirt, the lace divided in the front of the skirt to reveal the satin beneath. Bettina would wear white satin slippers with the dress, and the white pearls Andre had given her on her nineteenth birthday. Her veil, yards of white lace, had been worn by her mother on her own wedding day.

The story about white wedding dresses only being a thing after Queen Victoria isn’t true at all. Because white was a difficult color to achieve, wealthy brides would wear it to show off how much money they had, rather than to symbolize virginity. Metallic dresses were also very common and white and silver were frequently paired. The ubiquity of cultured pearls today makes us forget just how rare and costly natural pearls are. Here’s a natural pearl necklace that recently sold for $1.6 million. Bettina’s string of pearls is a dowry in and of itself. Her mother’s veil, too, would be worth a fortune, being made of yards of white handmade lace.

So this paragraph isn’t just telling us how pretty her dress is. It’s showing how very wealthy and powerful her family is, which would be the point of it at her wedding, too.

The narrative makes a sudden shift into Madeleine’s viewpoint and then we get a new character, Jacques Marivaux, captain of the Windsong, introduced by a couple paragraphs from his perspective. It’s a little confusing and I can see why this isn’t really done nowadays. I definitely find sticking to one character’s viewpoint at a time much easier. Jacques is already complaining in his head about how crappy it is that he has to sail some stupid girl around and how she has a whole bunch of stuff with her and ugh. I don’t know if this is an indication that this is an untrustworthy captain or if it’s just random misogyny for flavor.

Every sailor gets a boner looking at Bettina, so the captain sends her to stay in his cabin for safety. And then boggles that she’s being sent with so much gold, since she’s so gorgeous any man with sense would marry her without a dowry at all.

Aaaand…that’s it. Pretty short chapter, just getting us from point A to point B for the most part. Now that she’s at sea I can dread where things might go in the next chapter. I’ll have the recap of chapter four up on Wednesday.

One thought on “Ruining My Childhood: A Pirate’s Love, chapter three

  1. Pingback: Ruining My Childhood: A Pirate’s Love, chapter four | C.M. Stone

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