Your Name: Vikki
Contact Info: PM for info
Where'd You Find Us: Already here from the start
Name: Demelza Quartermaine, nee Earnshaw, previously Thornley
Nickname (if applicable): Aunt Demelza to any younger relatives; Mellie to close friends from her girlhood
Date of Birth: 2nd February, year of our lord 1754
Husband - Rear Admiral George Quartermaine, age 63
Ex-husband - Baron Robert Thornley (deceased)
Thornley: two daughters, Louisa (Baroness Candleford) age 38 and Caroline (Lady Lattisley) age 35; son died in infancy
Quartermaine: one son, Lt-Commander Andrew Quartermaine age 26
Father / Mother (both deceased)
Brother - Edward Earnshaw, 1749 - still living
Sister - Clementina (Earnshaw) Boden, 1755 - still living
Great Neice - Felicity Staunton, age 18
Miss Demelza Earnshaw grew up on her family's estate in Hampshire, a perfectly contented childhood marked by competition with her sister, the acquisition of all the usual feminine accomplishments, and united efforts to get rid of any governess they disliked. Miss Earnshaw had a very conventional upbringing, old-fashioned even by the standards of 1811. Young ladies should listen to their elders, should not aspire to anything more than a good marriage, and should not seek to put their own opinions or desires above those of more experienced and knowledgeable persons.
In her day very attractive, with a pleasing demureness and not lacking in charm, Miss Earnshaw made a highly successful debut in 1771. Her accomplishments, looks, good breeding and demeanour soon made her one of the diamonds of her debut year, and she married (at her mother's instructions) Baron Thornley, a wealthy landowner. This first step into the peerage was utilised to the family's advantage, and her younger sister managed to snag a Viscount. One of her brother's children married into the Irish peerage, which Demelza never approved of. Irish is Irish, after all.
After ten years of perfectly acceptable marriage, Lord Thornley was thrown from his horse during a hunt, and suffered a blow to the head. He did not live long. His widow, still well under 30 and with two young daughters, was left at the mercy of a cousin on whom the estate and title was entailed (and therefore was not even a dowager). This did not suit her at all. After the requisite mourning period, she set about finding another husband.
Her subsequent marriage to then-Commodore Quartermaine has also been acceptable, and produced one further child (a son who has since followed his father into the Navy). Demelza's two daughters made good matches and now have families of their own.
Socially, Demelza has always been a force to be reckoned with. After her marriage, she became a respected society hostess, her social clout only increasing with age until now she is a member of the formidable card room set, a genuine battleaxe with contacts everywhere and a finger in many social pies. The good opinion of her and her card room comrades can make a debutante's journey significantly easier.
Demelza is of average height and has remained slim in her later years, not gaining weight as some ladies tend to do. She attributes this to healthful living and good morals. Her hair has by now turned white (thankfully not grey; there is no less attractive shade on this planet than grey) and is worn in a modish but dignified and age-appropriate style, much like her clothes. She has piercing blue eyes, which sometimes scrutinise one through a lorgnette.
Slightly hard of hearing, but still has most of her own teeth.
Demelza was once a popular debutante and society hostess, and remains popular among her own age group. Although she has not played the harpsichord in many years, or practiced any of her girlhood accomplishments for a long time, for that matter, she remembers her younger days well... and through rather rose-tinted glasses. Nothing these days is quite as good as it was back then. Part of what is to blame for this is, in her opinion, the increasing tendency of young people to do as they please. What are elders for if not to ensure that young people, with their lack of life experience and so forth, make the right decisions? Young people nowadays seem to think they know better than their parents and elders.
Her social success and long life have led her to be supremely confident; coupled with a naturally critical nature and the aforementioned rose-tinted glasses, this means she has a tendency to find fault. Given that she has, in her opinion, earned the right to do as she pleases by now, she is often extremely blunt, even rude, when she sees something she dislikes. Likewise, she can be equally blunt when she approves of something, and if she does like you, she will put herself out on your behalf.
Rather set in her ways, she is more likely to approve of people with conservative attitudes and behaviour, but will just occasionally take a contrary liking to someone if they amuse her.
Demelza has been a faithful wife to both husbands, but has never been in love with either of them. To her, marriage is a matter of convenience and politics, a social requirement and duty. This is how it should be among the upper classes - how else are they to keep standards up after all? The 'luxury' of marrying for love is distinctly lower class, in her opinion. However, she is contented in her marriage and has respected and felt some friendly affection towards both husbands.