To celebrate the official launch of
Captain Westwood's Inheritance, the heroine of the novel, Miss Catherine Ellis has called upon us today.
Thank you for coming to chat with us today, why do you think Lynda Dunwell choose you to represent her?
We are both independently-minded and believe women have the right to make their own way in the world. Lynda loves to write, my talents are artistic.
Tell us a little about yourself.
My ambition is to become a professional portrait painter, but my father will hear none of it. He brought me south to Hampshire to stay with my Aunt and Uncle at the Parsonage in Aston. The visit was arranged most speedily because I was about to elope with Rossi, my Venetian art master, until it was discovered he was already married. Being most particular about my reputation, Papa insisted I was removed from the county.
Reputation? What is your birth date?
I was born June 18th 1782 in Lancashire, I haven’t yet reached my majority but the life Rossi promised me was very appealing. I would have assisted him in his London studio. I have never been to London.
How do you find the society in Hampshire?
It is a fine county, I like it very much and the company is very congenial. My aunt, she has a tendency to talk too much but she has a good heart and helps the poor of the parish, considers it her duty to introduce me to eligible gentlemen. Why I had only been in the neighbourhood for three days when I met Captain Sir Jonathan Westwood. I was struck by his dashing good looks, charm and good manners but I understand his father has met with a violent death and Sir Jonathan has been cheated out of his inheritance.
Do you play and sing Miss Ellis?
Your question has made be blush, because Sir Jonathan asked me the same the night he stayed at the parsonage. I was playing some Mozart on the pianoforte and he paid me such compliments. When I started to ask him about his life in His Majesty’s Britannic Navy, I couldn’t resist playing Hearts of Oak. Little did I expect him to sing the chorus and verses. He has the most engaging tenor voice.
As an artist, what do you think about the cover of Lynda’s book Captain Westwood’s Inheritance?
It is most appealing and I do not believe I could have portrayed Aston Grange better. I especially enjoyed my stay there as Mrs. Quentin’s guest. She is the daughter of Admiral Richmond and they both featured in Lynda’s debut novel “Marrying the Admiral’s Daughter” which was also published by Musa. But I digress, I am a portrait painter and I am indebted to Lynda because she allowed me to sketch people around the village of Aston without hindrance. Of course, I drew Sir Jonathan several times and, unwittingly I drew Admiral Richmond’s nephew which proved very useful in my story, but I must not give the plot away, that would be most unseemly.
How do you feel about being in a sequel?
I’m not sure I understand the term, if you mean Lynda has used the same setting and some of the characters from her debut novel, then I am very pleased she invited me to be the heroine of her new novel. The neighbourhood and society are new to me and there is one very special gentleman I would very much like to introduce you to, of course, you’ll have to read “Captain Westwood’s Inheritance” if you wish to meet him.
Thank you Miss Ellis for coming to talk to us today.