081 - The Legend of Lyon Redmond
After almost two years of waiting we finally come to our Pennyroyal Green conclusion. Olivia Eversea is at last ready to put the Redmond she should have never loved away for good. The trouble is as the wedding gets closer, the world appears to be conspiring against her. Lyon for his part has tried to forget the girl who broke his heart on a rainy night five years ago. And yet, upon learning of her impending nuptials, Lyon cannot seem to leave England’s shores as he planned. Can our star crossed lovers untangle their feelings and start anew or will the past be just too hard an obstacle to overcome? Thanks you Julie Anne Long for your amazing series and we cannot wait to read its final chapter in “The Legend of Lyon Redmond.” **It’s all SPOILERS for these long lost lovers**
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Want to listen to a certain segment? Here is our outline this week:
0:00 - 08:00: Intro/Author Facts
08:00 - 21:12: Synopsis
21:12 - 22:59: Parlour
22:59 - 1:03:20: General Discussion
We are now including our synopses as a semi-transcription of the episode in our blog posts. You can learn more about how we compose these by reading this article. As a reminder though, our synopses are FULL of spoilers. Read ahead at your own risk :)
The Legend of Lyon Redmond Synopsis:
*Please note the book is written by switching back and forth from past to present. We have decided to go in chronological order as it is much less confusing for a shortened synopsis*
Olivia Eversea and Lyon Redmond met at a local Sussex ball. Lyon took one look at Olivia and promptly stole her from her next partner. He was unaware she was an Eversea and even after he found out, it did not matter.
Their courtship mainly consisted of Lyon meeting Olivia on her way to the Duffy family every Tuesday as was her assignment by the Society for the Sussex Poor.
There was nothing wild in the courtship. No secret kissing, not wild proclamations, just a boy and girl meeting and getting to know each other better.
Things came to head when Lyon was due to go to London to give a proposal to the Mercury Club. Before he left, he tried to give Olivia a pair of gloves she had mentioned admiring at Postlewaite’s. Olivia though was a thinker and did not accept them with joy.
“But I can’t keep these, Lyon. What am I to do with these? I can’t wear them in public. I can’t do anything at all with you in public. How will I explain how I came to have them? What were you thinking?”
Olivia quickly leaves and Lyon is flummoxed.
Lyon cannot help thinking about this event while in London and eventually cuts his trip short by a week. Olivia was ecstatic to see him and immediately gave him a miniature of herself as an apology for not being more thankful for the gloves.
Our two finally have their kiss and it is electrifying. And oh how Lyon wants to do more beneath Olivia’s skirts but he is a gentleman so he does not.
Olivia is then moved to a new family to deliver food too. It turns out that it was noticed that Olivia was in the presence of a young man and her family intervened to have her charity assignment changed.
Through some clandestine dropping of prayer books, Olivia let’s Lyon know she has been assigned to a new family. Turns out Lyon had already figured out this information and gives her a spot to meet him.
The next week Lyon is there and shows Liv a clearing he knows about. She is enchanted and then our young love sick MCs have a very staid coming together through clothes. Although Lyon gives his Liv an orgasm and he, very gentlemanly, comes in his trousers.
The evening Lyon goes to his father and tells him that he wishes to marry Olivia Eversea. Isaiah Redmond responds as we have come to expect. He tells Lyon he may marry Olivia but he will be cut off from everything. His funds, the mercury club, and his entire family. He will be allowed no contact.
Lyon wastes no time and rushes to Olivia’s house in the middle of the night. He asks her to come away with him, immediately. He is not going to give into his father and if it’s just the two of them, then he can be happy.
Olivia is taken aback. She hates being told what to do and while she wants to leave with Lyon, how can he ask this of her with no notice.
And so Olivia says the words that everyone has been speculating on all these years.
“What am I afraid of? You’re asking me to leave everything and everyone I know behind right now. But how on earth would we survive? What kind of life will we have?” “I will take care of you, Liv.” He was so certain she almost capitulated. But fear had momentum. “How? What way? What on earth do you know how to do? Shall I go out to work? How on earth will we live on nothing at all? I’ve seen how the Duffys live, Lyon, and it’s hardly life at all. If they loved each other ever, it was killed long ago.”
“What if loving you is what I do best?”
She opened her eyes. She looked at him, standing in the rain, amid the wreckage of their dreams, and said: “Then I pity you.” He jerked. As surely as if she’d sunk a blade right into his heart. And then . . . and then she’d never seen anyone so still. His face was ghost-white even in the lamplight. She shook his coat from her shoulders and seized the lamp and then she ran back into the house, her feet skidding along the wet ground, as if fleeing the scene of a murder. It might as well have been her own.
Lyon Redmond has just received notice from Lavay about Olivia Eversea’s impending nuptials. At first, he’s determined to leave England as was his plan, and yet, he has done nothing but think of Olivia from the moment he left Pennyroyal Green. So he tells his crew they shall be staying in England for a bit longer.
Olivia Eversea is currently in London preparing for her upcoming wedding. While she is confident that she has chosen the right man for her, she still cannot help but be a little disinterested in the wedding preparation. What does it matter if her dress is trimmed in silver or in beads. Does it really matter?
To top things off, she’s a bit overrun with thoughts of Lyon Redmond, the man who left. Even while trying to put thoughts of him aside, the world continues to conspire against her. Outside the dress maker’s shop, there is a chorus who is singing a brand new song, entitled “The Legend of Lyon Redmond.” Then later, she enters her favorite tea shop only to find the place overrun with cartoon depictions of the artists imagining Lyon Remond’s adventures. In both the song and the cartoons, Olivia is not portrayed in a flattering light. She is the uppity society girl who drove the ton’s golden boy to parts unknown.
As the wedding continues to approach Olivia is getting more and more anxious. It is all becoming a bit much, so when a letter arrives from Mrs. Hannah More, one of Olivia’s abolitionist heroes, asking her to come to a conference for a couple weeks, Olivia convinces her family that she must go.
When Olivia arrives at the inn where she is to meet Mrs. More, she discovers the last person she expects to see: Lyon Redmond.
He had sent the letter to lure Olivia away from her family so the two of them can have the reckoning they both deserve.
Lyon says though that this reckoning will not happen at the inn. Olivia must accompany him to his ship.
She agrees, drawn by the man she never expected to see again.
Once on the ship, they actually set sail. Olivia is extremely frustrated by this high handedness but is a little less annoyed when they arrive in a secluded spot in Spain.
Lyon has taken her to one of his houses. In fact it is exactly the house he described to her when they were first getting to know each other. An elegant house, with just a few nice pieces of furniture. Where sunlight can pour into the house.
She held still, suffused with wonder and a peculiar peace and sense of rightness in this house. It was a strangely familiar sensation. And then she recalled the first she time she had felt that way: It was when he first approached her in the ballroom. As if the fences surrounding her world had been kicked down.
The two finally have a chance to talk that first night. They go for a walk on the beach. Lyon tells her where he has been, what he has accomplished, and asks why she did not believe in him.
She tells him that she had no idea he would leave that night. She was just young and scared by the sudden demand that she leave all she had known behind with no plan at all.
Lyon acknowledges that he did not have the right to push her also tells her that he was devastated that she could not chose him.
The next few days are spent in a magical fashion. Lyon takes her to a beautiful waterfall where their instant attraction leads to a full blown encounter. Lyon cannot resist Olivia and Olivia cannot resist the kisses of the man who has always set her blood on fire. They make love next to waterfall and then proceed to have few other encounters in their Spanish paradise.
However, their time together was always finite and eventually the ship comes to take Olivia back to England. She looks to Lyon and realizes that he is not returning with her.
He tells her that she must remember her code but he cannot return to life in England in which she does not willingly choose him.
He watched as they rowed her out. And he watched her grow smaller and smaller. And he prayed. And he held his breath. But she did it. She got on the ship. She got on the bloody ship. She never once looked back. Ah, she certainly knew how to punish him. He dropped to his knees on the sand and blew out a long breath, wrapping his folded hands across the back of his head.
Olivia arrives home and is swept into the wedding frenzy. People are arriving, the dress is finished and before she knows it, the day has arrived and she is standing at the alter with Landsdown.
Landsdown says his I dos. But when Adam turns to Olivia and asks if she will love and obey until death do they part, Olivia, to the shock of everyone, says that she cannot.
To say I do, would be a lie. She cannot promise to love and cherish because that would be a lie, and her code in life was never to lie.
As she apologizes, she turns to leave and sees a homeless man at the back of the church stand up. He begins to unwind bandages from his face and there, for all of Pennyroyal Green to see, is Lyon Redmond. He silently turns and leaves the church. Olivia, without any hesitation runs after him.
When she finds him in the bell tower,
Those were the worst few moments of my life.” His voice was husky. She wasn’t ready to forgive him. Or to speak. Or to do anything but keep him in sight, lest he disappear again. Because she had come to claim him now. “They were also the best moments of my life,” he added.
“I should have known I would go to the ends of the earth for you. I was born loving you. And no matter what, I would have fought for you.”
“Yes.” The word she should have said to him so many years ago. Yes, I’ll go with you. Yes, I’ll be with you. Yes, I believe in you. Yes, you are my life and my love and my destiny. Of course.
“I love you,” she added hurriedly. Because she’d longed to say it to him, and she couldn’t wait a moment longer. “I always have. I always will.”
All hell breaks loose in the church and Adam calmly holds the crowds at bay and then sends them all home.
After the last of the wedding goers leaves, Adam heads to the bell tower, where he finds Olivia and Lyon. Giggling and whispering to each other as if no time had ever passed.
After the two chat and make plans for their own wedding Lyon goes to see his family.
He confronts his father, who is just overwhelmed with having his son back but also has to confront the man Lyon has become. He tells his father how he learned who was behind the Dreieck group. And it wasn’t Jacob Eversea, it was Isaiah Redmond.
I won’t tell you how I learned it, but I undertook to seek out the source for the woman I love. As you know, it’s one the things she feels most passionately about. It’s as part of her heart as I am. I feel passionately about it as well. And I can’t imagine that even you condone the practice of slavery, not even for profit.”
Lyon also sees his siblings.
If anyone in the room had harbored any lingering resentment about Lyon’s disappearance and the crushing confusion and pain of his loss, it was instantly drowned by the superior power of love and gratitude and the sheer rightness of having Lyon here again. And now that they were older, and each of them had fallen in love, they understood more fully why Lyon had to do what he’d done. And relationships could shift and flow to allow him back in.
Lastly he sees his mother:
It wasn't until he met with his mother alone, and she folded him in her arms, that Lyon Redmond finally wept. For all that he knew, and all that he was certain she knew and understood, and because he loved and had missed his mother.
The following Sunday, we have the wedding of Lyon and Olivia. No more bets could be placed and the whole town marches out to see the legendary couple themselves.
“And it might have been the misty morning. The little church might have seemed as dark and soft as a womb. But everyone said the bride’s and groom’s faces were so radiant they could have read aloud by them.”
There is an epilogue. It is 2015. We learn that Lyon and Olivia had kids and were extremely happy. All the siblings had wonderful lives and had offspring that populated the world. They all also achieved massive success which we learn courtesy of a Redmond relative in 2015, who has Olivia’s journal recounting her life lived with her one and only.