Your Name: Liz
Where'd You Find Us: I made the board.
Name: Katharine Elaine Steele, Countess of Carrington
Date of Birth: February 18, 1789
Title: Countess of Carrington
, 2nd Marquess of Raulings (father, born 1753)Theodora Grafton
, Marchioness of Raulings (neé Lady Theodora Dillard) (mother, born 1764)William Grafton
, Earl of Bridgeton (half-brother, born September 1782)John Quinn
, Duke of Wycombe - half-brother, born April 1784, married Lady Penelope Beckett
--Lady Genevieve Quinn (born 1809)Lord Henry Grafton and Lord Richard Grafton
(elder brothers, twins, born January 1786)
Lord Thomas Grafton
(stillborn, March 1787)
Lady Theodora Grafton
(deceased as infant, born April 1790)Lady Julianne Grafton
(younger sister, born February 14, 1792)
Gregory Steele, 2nd Earl of Carrington (husband, born 1768, died July 1810)
-Kate's late husband. Died of a heart attack last year while making love to his mistress in a carriage. Literally fell out of the carriage in the middle of Grosvenor Square, trousers around the knees.
Kate was born into a rambunctious family of boys, much to the delight of her mother, Theodora, whose first marriage had been one based on pound notes and whose second was a love match. She was raised in a manner befitting a daughter of a marquessate. Her parents hired tutors for her and her younger sister. Lord and Lady Raulings saw to it that their daughters had some of the best education available, sending for an Austrian tutor to teach them how to play a pianoforte, a Paris-educated French tutor, and a Flemish watercolorist, just to name a few.
For their part, Kate's four older brothers viewed their sister as yet another brother. True, she wore dresses and used a funny saddle, but she could keep up with them on fox hunts and footraces at Raulings Park. This resulted in her being viewed as an entirely separate species than the youngest Grafton child (Julianne) and Kate always felt closer to her brothers than her only sister.
As time passed, however, Kate's interests began to fall more inline with those more appropriate to a young noblewoman. She began to enjoy staying inside and working on samplers with her sister. She began passing up opportunities to go riding with her brothers for staying in and accepting callers with her sister and mother. By the time she turned eighteen and debuted in London in 1807, Kate had morphed into a veritable diamond of the first water.
She was declared a hit by the granddames and had her fair share of suitors, receiving no less than five marriage proposals in her first two months on the scene. However it was not a dashing young dandy that caught her eye, but rather the much older Earl of Carrington. Nearly twenty years her senior, Lord Carrington was intelligent, mature, and attentive (at first). He never made Kate feel silly for not knowing things her education neglected and seemed to appreciate her strengths. The pair was married in a lavish July ceremony in 1807 in Westminster Abbey . He was 37; she was 18.
The earl showered Kate with gifts of jewelry and gave her free rein to redecorate his townhouse in London as she saw fit. In return, the earl had a beautiful young woman on his arm and in his bed. Carrington's father had died of a weak heart; the new countess proved to everyone that this
Earl of Carrington was healthy as a horse.
The first few months of her marriage were the happiest of her life, and Kate fell deeply in love with her husband. Kate occasionally worried over him, having heard of her late father-in-law's health problems and feeling certain that staying out late and carousing then returning to her nearly every night couldn't be good for him, but Carrington always waved away her concerns.
Six months into her marriage, a friend saw fit to inform Kate that Carrington had not dismissed his mistress, a French opera singer, as he had initially promised her. When she confronted him, she was informed in no uncertain terms that he would always be discreet, but he was not going to dismiss Mademoiselle Moreau. Kate was deeply hurt, for this was the first time she realized that she was more in love with her husband than he was with her. Over time, however, she came to realize that her relationship with her husband would never be perfect and that she could live with that, as long as she still had Carrington. Mistresses would come and go, her friends told her, but wives were forever. Despite their troubles, the earl and his countess continued to present an amicable face to Society, throwing lavish dinner parties and balls. Most importantly, he never embarrassed her publicly, something Kate never could have tolerated.
At the beginning of the Season of 1810, however, all that changed. Whilst in the middle of a passionate meeting with Mademoiselle Moreau in a carriage one summer afternoon, the earl suffered an apparent heart attack. In the midst of his death throes, he presumably flailed around the carriage so much that he landed forcefully on the door, which flew open and dumped the half-naked earl in the middle of Grosvenor Square. The incident quickly became fodder for the gossip sheets, having been witnessed by many of Society's most prominent members.
Kate was devastated by the scandal and retreated to the country, after being forced to return to London for the funeral by her parents. Since then, many of her friends have abandoned her and taken to whispering about her at parties, occasionally with Kate in the room. At the urging of her family and the upcoming debut of her younger sister, Katharine has returned to London in hopes of restoring her social standing, though she doubts there will be anyone who will be able to overlook what she now thinks of as "The Scandal".
Kate's looks do not help her easily blend into a crowd, no matter how much she might wish to. At a height of five-feet, six-inches, Kate towers over most women and some men. Her height is even more obvious when standing next to her much shorter sister. This height translates not into a particularly long torso but rather into long, slender legs and graceful arms.
Kate has always been thin, though never sickly looking. Her French grandmère once commented that a thirteen-year-old Katharine's hips were far too slim to ever suffer childbirth, much to Kate's embarrassment. Since then, she has naturally filled out a bit and is secretly proud of the fact that her figure is more womanly than Julianne's.
The most startling feature of Kate's appearance, however, is her bright red hair. It is not the reddish gold of her sister's not the dark auburn of Lady Raulings, but rather a deep, bold red. She despises the attention it brings to her and would, if possible to do so without appearing bizarre, keep it covered from dawn to dusk. When outside, she consistently dons a large bonnet and prefers to keep her hair tucked up a cap while inside.
Complimenting her hair are her eyes, which are a soft, mossy green, unique within her family. Her late husband used to surprise her with emerald jewelry, proclaiming the gemstones to be the exact shade of her eyes. It was his attention to them that has made her rather fond of her eye color. As a debutante, they frequently sparkled with amusement and hidden laughter. Nowdays, however, they are frequently shadowed by a look of guardedness and the merriment that once shone through them has been dampened.
As a girl and debutante, Kate was vivacious, quick to laugh and even quicker to smile. Ladies flocked to her side, delighted to be the friend of the daughter of a marquess who just happened to also be completely and utterly charming. Men were drawn to her bold red hair and mossy green, almond shaped eyes. She was popular among her set, and she loved it.
Kate's husband's infidelity and its very public revelation has curbed her natural outgoing attitude and joking manner. Whereas in the past, she might have laughed aloud at someone's witty comment, now she is far more likely to simply smile. When she laughs, it is no longer the bubbly giggle of a naive debutante, but rather a husky chuckle of an experienced widow. She is unlikely to approach someone, even if they are acquaintances. Too often has she done so, only to have the other person feign ignorance, resulting in yet another humiliation for the young countess.
The overall defining trait for Kate is caution. She is cautious with her words, with her actions, and with her behavior. She almost always thinks carefully before she speaks and chooses each word with care. Because of this, she has garnered somewhat of a reputation for being well spoken. She tends not to speak on topics of any substance with people she does not know very well, choosing instead to discuss exceedingly appropriate, but exceedingly mundane topics. After all, she would much prefer to be considered boring than to give the gossips even more fodder for their cannons. That being said, she feels a certain affinity for others who have suffered from Society's mercurial favor and will often seek these lost souls out.
Since "The Scandal", her sense of humor, formerly mildly sarcastic and lighthearted, has morphed into a cooler, occasionally biting, wit. Kate may be heard making dry remarks that are strangely at odds with her very feminine appearance, though normally only to her brothers. She is hesitant about meeting new people for fear that they will privately mock her, or worse, pity her. Nothing arouses her anger faster than thinking she is being pitied, whether she is correct in that assumption or not. When angered, she does not rant and rave, but instead is painfully cold, speaking in even shorter sentences than it typical and rarely smiling.