It’s wonderful when your imagination and research overlap. In my mind’s eye I pictured Daniel Morgan, Grace’s advocate in Saving Grace, as Byronic in appearance. During my research I read that the real-life advocate Daniel is based on was also described as ‘Byronic in his handsomeness’. I think only a romantic would choose to speak up for Grace. In contrast, his rival advocate (in real-life and my book) had a weak chin, an unkempt moustache and he wore a monocle.
Carys is a Welsh word for love while the Beaumond, or Beaumont, family were medieval lords. Carys is a young widow with an interest in books. As the story starts, she is translating early medieval manuscripts. She is also concerned about her friend, the extremely rich Grace Petrie, who is suspected of poisoning her husband. And so she hires the dashing Daniel Morgan, a lawyer, to save Grace. Picture, a coat of arms associated with the Beaumonds.
Sker Grange, photographed c1901, Grace’s home in Saving Grace.
Florrie Williams was Grace Petrie’s maid. She was the first on the scene when Charles Petrie was poisoned and a key witness at the inquest. Meanwhile, here is a maid’s typical day.
5.30 am Clean the kitchen floors
6.00 am Hot water
6.30 am Wake seniors, lay and light fires, lay servants’ breakfast, deliver nursery breakfast
7.30 am Water and tea-trays to family, empty chamber-pots
7.45 am Servants’ breakfast
9.00 am Family breakfast
9.30 am Clear and clean
12 noon Servants’ lunch, nursery lunch
1.00 pm Family lunch
2.30 pm Clear lunch, rest
4.30 pm Tea-trays for household
5.30 pm Servants’ tea, nursery tea
6.00 pm Lay dinner, help in kitchen
7.00 pm Family dinner, serve and clear
9.00 pm Servants’ supper
10.00 pm Bed
Wages in 1876, £20-25 per annum
Picture: a maid with her fellow servants and a guest, enjoying a tea and cake break.
Take a ride on a Victorian train.