Some of you may have noticed that, in the modern Selwick Family Tree, Mrs. Selwick-Alderly’s grandson is listed as James (b. 1968). In the books, however, we’ve met him (and, oh, how we’ve met him!) as Jeremy.
There’s a simple answer to this: he changed his name.
Jeremy/James is not a peaceful soul. Left fatherless at the age of one, he was left to the care of a rather ditzy mother. Naturally, his strong-willed grandmother, Arabella Selwick-Alderly, took a hand. She might be an Alderly by marriage, but she was a Selwick by birth. Her grandson was raised with the full complement of Selwick family stories– and a burning bitterness that, by being born to a collateral branch in the female line, he was deprived of any of it. The bitterness was a by-product Mrs. Selwick-Alderly didn’t anticipate. Unfortunately, in character, he turned out a great deal more like Mrs. Selwick-Alderly’s husband Robert than the Selwick side (but more about that later.)
James Selwick-Alderly bitterly resented his cousin William, nearly thirty years his senior, the owner of Selwick Hall. He transferred that resentment to William’s son, Colin.
Always wanting what he doesn’t have, always chasing the next best thing, intent on the outward signs of power and prestige, it was little wonder that James Selwick-Alderly, attempting to get on board with “Cool Britannia”, should change his name to Jeremy, or that he should drop his public school accent for the slurred vowels of estuary English. But, reinvent himself though he might, one thing remains the same…. He still wants Selwick Hall. And he’ll use fair means or foul to get it.