Turner Series: Characters
Here is a list of some of the characters in the Turner universe. Including some never-before published tidbits!
Ash, Mark, and Smite’s mother. Deceased as of the time of the story. Always a little odd. It’s never clear when she crossed the line from eccentric into madness, but by the time their father died, she was long gone.
Random Backstory Element That Never Came to Pass: I tried very hard to make a storyline work in which we discovered in Mark’s book that she had syphilis. Unfortunately, the time needed to go mad from syphilis is long enough that I just couldn’t get the dates to match up—she would have had to have contracted it by the time Mark was born, and while I think virgin heroes can be very sexy, I’m pretty sure that virgin syphilitic heroes are not.
I’m fairly certain that the Turner’s father is never named in the books. I’m also fairly certain that his name is John. He was a reasonably well-to-do tradesman. He owned a mill in Shepton Mallet, and also had a good bit of money saved away. When the mill was burned down (by early saboteurs when he brought in the spinning jenny), he never bothered to rebuild and instead lived on the income from his savings.
Random Snippet of Conversation I Haven’t Been Able to Work into the Books:
“I’ve always tried to be more like father,” Ash said.
“Why?” Smite asked bluntly. “It’s not as if he was a truly stellar parent.”
“He always talked with me. He made me feel important. When he knew he was dying, he told me it would be my responsibility to watch over you, because Mother was—”
“If a man truly cares about the future of his children, he doesn’t put an impossible responsibility on the shoulders of his fourteen-year-old son. He writes a will and names a guardian, and he leaves the family fortune in trust. None of this is difficult to understand, and I shouldn’t suggest that anyone mirror that sort of complacency.”
The eldest son. Went to India when he was fourteen to rebuild the family fortunes after their not-quite-sane mother gave it all away.
Random tidbit about Ash that I never got to disclose: He’s actually very good with languages, and learned the rudiments of six different languages while he was there.
The next-eldest Turner. I don’t actually think I’ve ever explained the time-gap between Smite and Hope, and I don’t believe I will now.
The second Turner boy. He has a nearly perfect memory, and a handful of idiosyncratic behaviors. As of shortly after the end of Unveiled, he’s a magistrate in Bristol.
Random Detail That I Kept Trying to Put in the Books and Never Could: When Smite writes letters to his brothers, he doodles little cubes in the margin. This is one of the first things I knew about him.
The final Turner boy. He’s the youngest, the blondest, and the most chaste. He’s written a book on chastity; when it’s published, Queen Victoria knights him for his contribution to public morality.
Random Thing That Never Fit in the Book: Mark went through a “wild” phase when he was sixteen, in which he actually kissed a handful of girls. Two of the girls have never forgotten. The third, if she thought about it, might vaguely remember that there was once a nice blond boy…now what was his name?
The Duke of Parford
Once upon a time, the Duke had an actual name, but I can’t find where I put it, and I’m afraid I may have actually put it in the book somewhere, and so if I just make it up, you’ll know that I’m wrong.
The Duke’s Legal Status: The reason why the Duke of Parford actually hasn’t been charged with the crime of bigamy is (a) he’s dying, and nobody in the House of Lords wanted to go there, and (b) he hadn’t seen his wife in seven years at the point when he married his second wife, and so this is actually a defense.
The Duke’s Mental Status: Things that nobody can know in the time period: The Duke has actually suffered a series of strokes, which have resulted in some fairly painful personality changes. He was always a jerk, though; he just used to be capable of hiding it.
The Actual Duchess of Parford
Was a courtesan that the Duke of Parford married in his wild, wild youth.
Things That Were Never Relevant to Reveal: She actually got the better end of the deal in the non-dissolved marriage. She was packed off to America, where she met a rich man who married her, loved her, and gave her four children of her own. He died and left her very wealthy.
Anna Dalrymple, née Anna Lowell, the woman formerly known as the Duchess of Parford
The mother of Richard, Edmund, and Margaret.
Things we Didn’t Know About Her: She didn’t die of a broken heart when she found out her husband was a bigamist, as was commonly bruited about. She died of complications to a lung infection that had been lingering for years. Her maiden name was Lowell, which Margaret adopted for her subterfuge.
The oldest of the Dalrymple children. Used to be friends with Smite at Eton; isn’t any longer (obviously), and has been engaged in a fairly one-sided war for several years. When he had a courtesy title, it was as the Marquess of Winchester. Some of his intimate acquaintances still call him Winnie, much to his chagrin. Old habits die hard.
Little Known Tidbit: I can never understand when people don’t like Richard. He’s my favorite character who never gets a point of view, which is why all the extra scenes are all written from his point of view.
The second brother. Edmund was his father’s favorite, and it shows.
Things that Died in Draft: In the first version of Unclaimed, Edmund Dalrymple was the villain. This caused some seriously squicky family things, and so I changed it to someone else entirely. It was a Very Good Change, but it also means that Edmund becomes Sir Never Again Appearing in the Series. Which is just as well.
The youngest Dalrymple child, but not as naive as her brothers think. She actually hasn’t spent much time around her brothers. She was very young when they went off to school, and her parents led essentially separate lives—her father in London for much of the year, and her mother back in the country. During holidays, her father would sometimes take her brothers off to the seaside, but she only rarely came.
The Real Truth About Margaret’s First Name: “Anna” is my placeholder name; I use it for all my heroines when I haven’t figured out what they are really called. So when her first name is Anna, but nobody calls her that, that is kind of like a…a really dumb private joke. You’re laughing, right?
Ian Lowell, Lord Forsyth
Anna Dalrymple’s brother. Not really a Dalrymple, but then technically, since their parents weren’t maried, none of the children are really Dalrymples either.
The housekeeper at Parford Manor.
True fact about Mrs. Benedict: She had a wild affair when she was younger with a man who now works as a valet on an estate twenty miles away. They still coordinate their days off, and they’re still very discreet friends with benefits.
Smith is the major-domo. He basically has no other qualities.
True fact about Smith: He has never had a wild affair with anyone, and none of his friends give him benefits. Nonetheless, he’s a pretty decent guy.
One of Ash’s men of business.
Religious Discussion Deleted from the Text Because it had No Bearing on the Story: Strong is actually Jewish (he’s wearing a skullcap, after all), and when he gently inquires from Ash as to whether this was an attempt to get him fired, he’s actually asking if this was a form of discrimination. It was. Ash talked to his men.
Ash’s man of business. In London most of the time. There really isn’t anything particularly interesting about him, except that he’s worked with Ash since Ash was eighteen. Ash is the godfather to his children.
Tollin and Josephs
Both footmen, of only passing interest.
One of Ash’s men of business. On the verge of promotion, even if he doesn’t realize it.
I have nothing to say about him.
A physician in the vicinity of Parford Manor. Business-like. He’s actually quite young for his age. He trained in Edinburgh.
Unknown Detail About the Way Authors Lean Upon their Spouses: Mr. Milan served as a consult for Dr. Ardmore’s diagnosis, but he disapproved of the treatment.
Lady Elaine is Margaret’s friend and the heroine of Unlocked. She’s blond, reasonably zaftig, and has a very embarrassing laugh.
Award Given to Character: Most Haunting Unwritten Backstory Ever, Forcing me to Write a Novella. I wrote a scene way back when I was writing Unveiled from Elaine’s point of view, and I was trying to get a handle on her as a character. For those of you who have read Unlocked, it was a scene involving a copper bathtub. It was so viciously haunting that I had to write her a happy ending.
Evan Carlton, Lord Westfeld
The man who started all the cruel jokes about Lady Elaine in the first palce.True fact: I wrote 5000 words of Unlocked with a totally different hero. It did not work. Tessa Dare was the one who suggested I make the hero be someone who had tormented her in the past, and I’m eternally grateful to her (for that among many other things).
The Reason why Evan had climbed Mont Blanc: When I was in France almost a decade ago, I took the gondola up to the top of L’Aguille du Midi, and watched people attempt the ascent. I also walked back down, and got many, many blisters.
Diana, Lady Cosgrove
Married to a man very much her elder. It’s a marriage of convenience—she has his children, and he doesn’t have to see him.
Random Thing about Lady Cosgrove I wish I could have changed between Unveiled and Unlocked: The line where she attempts to hit on Ash. I wish I hadn’t actually given her any kind of outlet like that.
Elaine’s mother. Something of a genius, and rather misunderstood, partially because her genius does not extend to social interaction.
Thing Never Mentioned: Lady Stockhurt doesn’t have a particularly happy marriage. Her marriage to her husband was arranged. Her husband was very happy with her looks, and very surprised to discover that she lacked the skills necessary to play a good political hostess—which was all he wanted from a wife. Luckily for Lady Stockhurst, she hasn’t really noticed.
A fellow who is friends with Ash, and who throws a party.
Once Upon a Time: Lord Rawlings was the hero I conceived of for Elaine. He really sucked as a hero though, and you should all be happy I abandoned the idea.
Frederick Talhuis, Earl of Indiver
Margaret’s old fianceé The one who ditched her when he realized he wouldn’t be getting a duke’s daughter and a dowry.
I have nothing useful to say about Freddie, except that his family name is Spanish, and if I’d ever had to write more about him, I would have used that fact for some reason.
Lady Elaine’s butler.
There is nothing to say about him.
A lord. He’s a bit of a dandy, but also very serious.
Random Tidbit About the Dude with the Weird Name: I love his name. Someday I will write a book about his son, because the opportunities to have fun with someone named “Lacy-Follet” are basically endless.
Even More Random Tidbit about the Dude with a Relatively Normal Name: Dallington is named after Victoria Dahl. No, really. She probably doesn’t even remember it.