So, if Lord Alexander Harrow looks like Ingres' sketch of Lord Grantham, what does Miss Charlotte Hopesay look like? I have been particularly concerned about this since my agent (hereafter referred to as Anne-Marie, since repeatedly saying "my agent" sounds a bit pretentious) pointed out that I give no physical description of her at all, beyond what she wears.
Well, she's not one of Heyer's junoesque heroines, like Sophia Stanton-Lacy (let salone Nell Stornaway), but neither is she particularly petite. She is not an incomparable beauty like Miss Isabella Milbourne, but she is pretty - even striking - if she wants to be. Her hair is neither flaxen curls nor raven tresses, but a reddish brown, and her eyes are hazel. In other words she looks something like this. Heather Findlay from the progressive rock group Mostly Autumn, who, as it happens, are playing in Cirencester in a couple of week's time. If the concert hasn't sold out yet, I'll be there.
Since, during the course of Lord Alexander's Cipher; or, the Bridekirk Behemoth, Miss Hopesay is drugged, jilted, goes into the wilds of Gloucestershire where she crawls around in attics, gets knocked on the head, tied up and then caught up in an explosion, she doesn't always look as calm as in that first photograph. But then again, neither does Miss Findlay.