Thursday, May 14, 2009

Dowagers

by Michele Ann Young
This is a peek at the Spanish ebook cover for No Regrets. I'm an international author!! The print book is due out in September.

Don't you think it looks intriguing with "SIN" in such large letter. Of course I'm assuming it means "No", but I really like the design. Very baroque.


What do you address the widow of the previous title holder?

Ah, back to earth. Dowagers result in much discussion and therefore deserve a heading of their own, even though most of them would prefer not to be labeled such, especially if they are young and pretty.

Dowager ~ is a widow who holds a title or property, or dower, derived from her deceased husband. All very straightforward.

When it comes to the widows of peers, then we seem to add complications. A dowager peeress is the mother, stepmother, or grandmother of the reigning peer, and the widow of a preceding one.

For example, if you are Joan, the wife of Earl Goodbody, you are Countess Goodbody or Lady Goodbody. You become a dowager on the earl's death. Your son, hopefully you did your job and produced the next heir, becomes the earl.

If he is not married you continue to be Countess Goodbody

If he is married you become Dowager Countess Goodbody, because his wife is now Countess Goodbody. You will be addressed as Lady Goodbody. The Dowager designation only becomes truly important at formal occasions, or introductions when both the widow and the current Countess are present at the same time.

If you are introduced or formally addressed when the current countess is not present, then you are Joan, Countess Goodbody, again remembering that only the current peer's wife if Countess Goodbody.

If the previous countess is still living, the current peers grandmother, she retains the title of Dowager Countess Goodbody, and you are Joan, Countess Goodbody.

If you are wondering why I have burbled on about this, it is so I can find this information here, next time I need it.

Until next time, Happy Rambles