Character Visual References

Sebastian Saint-Clair, Viscount Foxbridge
When creating Lord Foxbridge, I wanted a look that was very aristocratic to begin with, so I searched through English portrait galleries to find what I was after.  But I also wanted him to be pretty in a more modern fashion, so of course I found quite a few examples that suited what I had in mind, though true oval faces and large round eyes are hard to come by today.  And then there is the Hon. Stephen Tennant, one of the famous Bright Young People of the 20s, pretty and aristocratic...though a little more fey than I wanted Lord Foxbridge to be, plus his mouth is too severe and his chin too long.  And then there is the coloring, the cinnamon-colored hair and eyes that I was looking for, for which I found a few examples.


Sergeant Sir Oliver "Twister" Paget, Bt.
The gentleman below is film actor Phillip Holmes (1907-1942).  I'd started out basing Twister on one of JC Leyendecker's famous "Arrow Collar Men," but when I found Mr Holmes, his face and bearing were just perfect.

Lady Caroline "Caro" ("Charley") Chatroy
I've based the whole Chatroy family, Dukes of Buckland, on the Manners family, Dukes of Rutland.  I've always been fascinated by this family, especially when I took Manners as my stage-name and then my pen-name.  For this story, I started by basing Lady Caroline, physically, on Lady Diana Cooper (née Manners), one of the first ever celebrity socialites, though she would be a good deal older than Lady Caroline, and was not a lesbian or a cross-dresser (so far as I know).

Having started the conceit, I continued it: the site of my fictional Buckland House is the former location of Rutland House, and is now Rutland Gate, a private avenue of townhouses, on Knightsbridge; the subsidiary title Marquess of Petterby is derived from the subsidiary title Marquess of Granby (Petter as an anglicization of 'petit,' opposite of 'grand'); the name of the Chatroy estate is Castoures (or Castoris) Castle, from the Latin word for beaver—because the Manners family estate, Belvoir Castle, is pronounced 'Beaver'; and though architecturally based on Warwick Castle, the location in Leicestershire is the location of Belvoir.  Of course, the name Manners was harder to change, so I just grabbed a name I'd been saving for another story... an anglicization of Chateau Royale, indicating that their lands were once held by a Saxon king before the Conquest of 1066.

However, in my internet travels I discovered a much better model for Caro's looks: Lee Miller, a 1920s fashion model, student (and lover) of photographer Man Ray, and intrepid war correspondent. She is about the same age as Caro, and rather than being androgynous is extremely versatile, equally  convincing as female or male instead of both at once, perfect for our purposes.

I describe Pond as being small and dark and slightly ferret-faced, and I haven't found many actors or models who fit this description; I had imagined a cross between a young Adrian Scarborough and a fuller-faced Lee Ingleby, so imagine if you will...

The Right Honourable Albert Edward Montdore Saint-Clair,
10th Earl of Vere ("Pater")

When characterizing Foxy's father, I was inspired by paintings of the Rt. Hon. Charles Grey, 2nd Earl Grey: there is a portrait of him by Romney at age 17 hanging at Eton College which I found in a book on 18th-century portraits and fell in love with; when I realized that this was the very same Earl Grey who graces the backs of my boxes of bergamot-scented tea, I was amazed.  It just goes to show that you can be pretty in youth and young manhood and not-so-much-so in middle age.

Of course, you'll have to imagine him in late-Edwardian dress, with not so much sideburn, and a very pinched, peevish expression.

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