Today we welcome Penelope Howard from Jennifer A. Davids’ A Perfect Weakness
Hello Miss Howard. Won’t you tell us a little about yourself?
Of course. I live in the village of Woodley with my brother, Thomas, our housekeeper Hannah Trull and Fanny our maid-of-all-work.
Woodley? Where exactly is that?
In Hampshire, England.
Ah I’ve been to England several times but never Hampshire. I have been to London and enjoyed myself very much. Have you or your bother ever been to London?
Well, yes…but I’m afraid we did not enjoy ourselves as much as you must have. Although perhaps my brother would not agree.
Oh, I’m sorry. Did you go there together?
No. No we did not. They were quite separate occasions.
What do you do in Woodley?
I help manage the Home Farm for Ashford Hall as well as visit it’s tenants on behalf of the lord of the Hall. I also help our reverend, Mr. Gregory with a number of church related activities. And then there is my work as a volunteer nurse at our cottage hospital.
You do keep yourself busy.
Yes, it helps…well it helps pass the time.
I see. What is the lord of Ashford Hall like?
Lord Turner has very recently inherited. My brother has been bringing him up to date with everything. Thomas is Ashford Hall’s estate agent. He manages all the Hall’s properties. From what we can tell, Lord Turner is a very good man. An American, actually. He was cousin to my uncle, the late Lord Renshaw.
So you’re related to Lord Turner?
Not exactly. The late Lord Renshaw was our uncle by marriage; my aunt being my mother’s sister. Lord Turner is a cousin to my uncle by blood. Otherwise he could not have inherited the barony.
I’m surprised an American could have inherited at all.
As were we. But the solicitor, Mr. Smith assures us it is legal. Though he cannot sit in the House of Lords unless he renounces his American citizenship. He has surprised me though.
He is a doctor. Or was. I’m not sure which. He gets so very odd when someone mentions medicine. Tense. We were under the impression that he would be very involved with the cottage hospital but we have lately heard he will not. He says Hall business will keep him busy. But I cannot see how since Thomas is so very good at managing things. It’s as if a great pain keeps him from practicing medicine. But then he served in the recent conflict in America. Perhaps that is why.
The recent conflict? Do you mean the Civil War?
Yes. I believe he was a doctor in the field or something like that. I wish he would tell me what is wrong. I could help, perhaps.
Well thank you for sharing with us Miss Howard.
Jennifer A. Davids is a self-professed book nerd. The shelves of her office are overflowing with books and there are stacks of them by her bedside. When she’s not reading, she’s dreaming up a new story to tell her readers. She lives in Central Ohio with her husband, two children, and two cats.
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