Lady Catherine

Lady Catherine is a lady of “a certain age”; a hunchback with a formidable mind locked in a frail, twisted body.

Born sometime around the middle of the previous century, Lady Catherine belongs to an earlier era. The daughter of a noble house, she once lived in London and mixed in noble society until her disability caused her to retreat to the protection of her country cousin, Sir Thomas. Sir Thomas is a bachelor and the leading gentleman landowner in the neighbourhood next to the Duke. He is, however, Catholic and therefore excluded from holding public office.

Lady Catherine does not suffer fools gladly.  Apart from Jarrett - who amuses her - and her friendship with Henrietta Lonsdale, the old woman is cynical of the provincial society that treats her with fear and embarrassment because of her disability and her intelligence.