Lord Richard Selwick

Family Connections:  Younger son of the Marquess and Marchioness of Uppington

Flowery Title: The Purple Gentian

First Appeared In:
*The Secret History of the Pink Carnation

Also Appears In:
The Masque of the Black Tulip

The Seduction of the Crimson Rose

Brief Character Sketch:         

Richard grew up determined to be a hero, and what better way to do it than linking up with a league of flowery spies to rescue aristocrats from the French revolutionary regime? After a blunder that resulted in the death of a colleague, Richard struck out on his own, founding the League of the Purple Gentian with the help of two old friends, Geoffrey Pinchingdale-Snipe and Miles Dorrington. Geoff deals with logistics, Miles coordinates with the War Office back home, and Richard gets to swoop around in a black cloak. Winning Bonaparte’s confidence by attaching himself to the Egyptian expedition as a mild-mannered classical scholar, above such petty things as national rivalries, Richard has insinuated himself into the upper reaches of Bonaparte’s circle. Dashing and debonair, he’d be the very image of the gentlemen spy—if only his family didn’t keep getting underfoot. What secret agent can possibly keep his dignity with his mother and little sister popping up at his Paris hideaway?

Trademark: The traditional black mask.

Usually Found: Leaving purple flowers on Napoleon’s pillow; explaining to French operatives that a Gentian is a flower, not a sausage.

In Twenty Years: Trying to explain to his grandsons that a flower was a manly thing to be in his day—really.

 

 

Miss Amy Balcourt

Family Connections: First cousin to Miss Jane Wooliston, aka the Pink Carnation.

Flowery Title: Possibly the Invincible Orchid—or maybe the Heroic Hydrangea.  She can’t quite decide.

First Appeared In:
*The Secret History of the Pink Carnation

Also Appears In:
The Masque of the Black Tulip
The Seduction of the Crimson Rose

Brief Character Sketch        

Amy grew up with a mission—to avenge her parents against the dreadful revolutionaries who had guillotined her father and caused her mother to perish of grief. Raised in the English countryside with her mother’s family and an overabundance of pampered sheep, Amy swore she would return to France someday, to join the League of Whichever Flower Might be Most Useful at the Time. With the help of her intrepid cousin Jane, Amy practiced French dialects, experimented with costume, and plotted a route to France on the nursery globe. Headstrong, impulsive, and entirely without fear, Amy has never met a risk she hasn’t liked, whether it’s climbing a tree or trying to climb into Napoleon’s study.  Amy is ready to take on the League of the Purple Gentian—but is the Purple Gentian ready for her?     

Trademark: Plans A, B, C, and possibly Z—the more daring the better.

Usually Found: Where she shouldn’t be.

In Twenty Years: Headmistress of England’s premier academy for lady spies.

 

 

Lady Henrietta Selwick

Family Connections: Younger sister of Lord Richard Selwick (aka the Purple Gentian), only daughter of the Marquess and Marchioness of Uppington.

Flowery Title: It’s not fair! Richard gets to have one.

First Appeared In:
The Secret History of the Pink Carnation

Also Appears In: 
*The Masque of the Black Tulip
The Deception of the Emerald Ring
The Seduction of the Crimson Rose

Brief Character Sketch:         

It’s not that Henrietta isn’t proud of her illustrious older brother. She is. But sometimes, it gets a little tedious being the younger sister of a famous spy. Generally happy-go-lucky, Henrietta is, on the whole, quite comfortable with who and where she is. She might not be the Beauty of the Season, but she always has enough dancing partners, she’s the linchpin of her own small circle of friends, and she adores playing pesky little sister to all of her brother’s friends. That’s the joy of being pesky little sister; you get to say whatever you like, whenever you like, and there are always men to bully into dancing with your shyer friends. But it would be nice, just once, to be something more than just the little sister….

Trademark: Bunny-the-bunny (a very battered stuffed bunny).

Usually Found: Tagging along.

In Twenty Years: Her mother.

 

 

The Honorable Mr. Miles Dorrington

Family Connections: Heir to Viscount Loring.

Flowery Title: I say, was a chap meant to have one of those?

First Appeared In:
The Secret History of the Pink Carnation

Also Appears In:
*The Masque of the Black Tulip
The Deception of the Emerald Ring
The Seduction of the Crimson Rose

Brief Character Sketch:
           
It would be stretching matters to call Miles the boy next door, since he’s usually at the Uppingtons’. Abandoned by his own parents as they searched the Continent in pursuit of the ideal gout remedy and the perfect lyric tenor, Miles followed Richard home from Eton one Christmas and that was that. Miles would have loved to swoosh around Europe in a black cloak like Richard, but he has one little problem: he’s too damned big. Large and blond and exuberant, he’s about a subtle as an elephant in a lampshade.  Even so, Miles still can’t help hoping that, just this one time, he might be the one who gets to save England.  If only he hadn’t promised Richard he would help to chaperone Henrietta!

Trademark: Ginger biscuits

Usually Found: Looming over things, leaning against things, and attempting to shake that stubborn lock of floppy hair out of his eyes.

In Twenty Years: Still dealing with that lock of hair.

 

 

Geoffrey Pinchingdale-Snipe, Viscount Pinchingdale

Family Connections: One hypochondriac mother.

Flowery Title: That would be too obvious; Geoff prefers to work for his flowery friends under the shadow of anonymity.

First Appeared In:
The Secret History of the Pink Carnation

Also Appears In:
The Masque of the Black Tulip

*The Deception of the Emerald Ring
The Seduction of the Crimson Rose

Brief Character Sketch:         

Having grown up in a house shadowed by his siblings’ deaths and his mother’s hypochondria, Geoff is used to blending into the background. It’s a skill he uses to his own advantage.  Bookish and coolly analytical, Geoff sees himself as a Cardinal Richelieu, the power behind the throne, stage-managing events from the shadows. And he does it well, leading the League of the Purple Gentian through mission after successive mission. Geoff has just one weakness, his very own Helen of Troy (although his friends see her as more of an Achilles’ heel), the biggest flirt in London, Miss Mary Alsworthy.  But no matter how many reams of bad poetry he writes to her, Geoff is disciplined enough not to let his infatuation get in the way of his missions—at least, not yet….

Trademark: Bad poetry.

Usually Found: Quietly extracting everyone else from improbable schemes

In Twenty Years: Writing the definitive history of the Napoleonic Wars—in prose.

 

 

Miss Letty Alsworthy

Family Connections: Younger sister of Miss Mary Alsworthy.

Flowery Title: Letty is more of a household spice than a flower; she’s cinnamon and ginger, like a fresh-baked cake.

First Appeared In:
The Masque of the Black Tulip
(only mentioned)

Also Appears In:
*The Deception of the Emerald Ring
The Seduction of the Crimson Rose

Brief Character Sketch:         

Someone has to run the Alsworthy family, and Letty has been that person for as long as she can remember. Plump, freckled and unfashionably forthright, she learned early on that she would never have the adulation her sister commands simply by having been born a beauty.  Instead, Letty made herself indispensable to her family by becoming the ultimate go-to girl. Without her, who would make sure their mother didn’t spend the butcher’s money on bonnets or that her brother went to school or her sister didn’t elope with the first viscount to come her way? Letty always knows exactly what to do—until she makes one fatal blunder….

Trademark: Ginger hair

Usually Found: Attempting to save her father, mother and sister from themselves. 

In Twenty Years: Happily organizing the lives of her offspring.

 

 

Miss Mary Alsworthy

Family Connections: Older sister of Miss Letty Alsworthy.

Flowery Title: Mary prefers jewels to flowers; they’re far more salable.

First Appeared In:
The Secret History of the Pink Carnation
(only mentioned)

Also Appears In:
The Masque of the Black Tulip

The Deception of the Emerald Ring
*The Seduction of the Crimson Rose

Brief Character Sketch:         

She has been dubbed Helen of Troy, a Peerless Jewel in Albion’s Crown, and every other hackneyed compliment besotted gentlemen can devise. She has three sonnets to her right elbow alone and the amount of poetry to her other features defies numerical calculation.  Born into a family long in lineage but short in purse, Mary has always known her face would be her fortune and she has no qualms about playing the market for the highest possible return.  She is determined to wield power in the only way possible to her; by marrying a peer. All that goes hideously awry when her chosen suitor runs off with her little sister. With an advantageous marriage denied her, facing the hideous prospect of a life dependant on the largesse of her now titled younger sister, Mary finds herself striking a dangerous bargain in one last, desperate attempt to win her own place in the world.

Trademark: Mind-boggling beauty and the ego to go with it.

Usually Found: Scaring the less popular girls. 

In Twenty Years: Terrorizing a whole new generation of debutantes.

 

 

Sebastian, Lord Vaughn

Family Connections: Connected to absolutely everybody who is anybody.

Flowery Title: Lord Vaughn prefers to be the serpent in the garden, not the flower.

First Appeared In:
The Masque of the Black Tulip

Also Appears In:
The Deception of the Emerald Ring

*The Seduction of the Crimson Rose

Brief Character Sketch        

An eighteenth century rake unwilling transported to the nineteenth century, Lord Vaughn has seen and done it all. He was in Paris during the Revolution, dabbled with the Hellfire Club, experimented with opium, spent ten years wandering the Continent collecting art and artistes; in short, Lord Vaughn coined the phrase “ennui”. Home in England for the first time in over a decade, he surveys the ton with a jaded gaze through his silver quizzing glass, drawling sarcastic one-liners to those foolish enough to attempt to engage him in conversation. But one doesn’t live a life of unbridled debauchery without collecting a few skeletons in one’s closet. One of Lord Vaughn’s skeletons is just about to tumble out of the closet, forcing him to strike a bargain with none other than the Pink Carnation.   

Trademark: Silver serpents as a motif for both personal apparel and interior decoration.

Usually Found: Misquoting Shakespeare. 

In Twenty Years: Pioneering a whole new field in quadruple entendres.

 


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