Lady Allendale

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Lady Allendale getting introduced to Temeraire. (c) Anke Eissmann
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Lady Allendale getting introduced to Temeraire. (c) Anke Eissmann

Character Profile

Name: Lady Allendale
Date of Birth:
Service: n/a
Rank:
Nationality: British
Billets:


Biography

Lady Allendale was William Laurence's mother and she was far closer to him than her husband, Lord Allendale. She often fretted about her youngest son, because of his chosen professions. She found a kindred spirit in Temeraire, who also cared deeply for her youngest son. She was also amused that Temeraire had been able to get Laurence interested in reading books, something she herself had no success achieving.

After Laurence's quarrel with his father, Lady Allendale continued to write to him even though she was unable to get the letters "franked" by her husband. (As a lord, Lord Allendale had the privilege of sending mail for free if it was marked with his seal.) Laurence thus had to pay the postage himself in order to receive the letters. After some time, Lord Allendale relented on this point.

When Admiral Roland met Lady Allendale, she was struck by her ladyship's sense of noblesse oblige, a trait that Laurence shared with his mother. For example, when Temeraire offered to take Laurence's family to safety in Scotland, Lady Allendale gently explained to him that it was their duty to stay with their tenants and servants.

Like her husband, Lady Allendale was initially under the impression that Emily Roland was Laurence's "by-blow" (illegitimate child). She sent Emily a gift, a necklace of garnets set in gold. Emily's mother, Admiral Roland, found this situation highly amusing. However, once Lady Allendale met Admiral Roland and learned she was Emily's mother, it can be assumed that her ladyship figured out fairly quickly that Laurence was not the father. Emily's birth obviously pre-dated Laurence's entry into the Aerial Corps by some years, and it was unlikely he would have made Admiral Roland's acquaintance before that.

Lady Allendale was careful to inquire with the Corps after anyone who Laurence's servant, after he was arrested for treason. She found a place for Gong Su, Temeraire's chef, at Wollaton Hall, and kept Laurence's things--including the impressive sword Temeraire had chosen for him among Lung Tien Qian's possessions.

In 1807, Laurence noted that she looked older than she had when he had last seen her. Her hair had gone completely gray. It can be assumed this was due to her son's imprisonment and her husband's illness, which George Laurence implied was caused by Laurence's treason.

After it was announced that "J. Roland" had been made a Peer of the Realm, Lady Allendale invited Jane to dinner with "every Cabinet Minister she could contrive to lay hands on," according to Jane. The ministers and their wives were all shocked to find that Roland was a woman, but they could not say anything under Lady Allendale's watchful eye. Eventually, the ladies warmed to Jane, and the dinner was called a success.

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