Our new season is now open: Spring 1677 !
|Full Name:|| Isabeau Everhart
(nee de Vere, nee Wimbourne)
|Title:||Baroness (in her own right)|
|Estate Name:||Lismore, Ireland|
|Age:||22 (b. Feb 15 1654)|
|Eye Colour:||Nut Brown|
|Hair Colour:||Dark Brown|
|Circles:||Fashion, Libertine, Arts|
|London:||The Priory, Chelsea|
Reputation: «... this leading fashionata of the pro-England fashion faction is a shrewd, seductive, succulent succubus for whom the word libertine is just too restricting, while known to extent a friendly hand by playing the patroness to newcomers. ...»
There best word to describe Isabeau is sultry. Blessed with curves in all the right places Isabeau knows how to use her natural charms to her own advantage. Dark silken hair tumbles about her shoulders, framing her beautiful heart shaped face. Perhaps her most striking feature is her large dark liquid eyes edged by long dark delicate lashes. Sensuous bee-stung lips hint of hidden passions.
Standing almost as tall as a man at 5’8 she revels in the ability to look directly into a mans eyes with a challenging, sinful gaze, when the mood takes her. Delicate creamy coloured skin that reacts quickly to the sun hints at a continental heritage several generations back.
Isabeau is a confident risk taker who lacks self-doubt. She enjoys battles of word play, and will feel great disappointment is she falls foul of someone else’s games. She longs to be surrounded by beautiful things, and at times wants something only because someone else has it. She has been known to flirt with a man merely to turn his attention from his current amour, only to lose interest in him when he does.
In unexpected meetings she will assign fates hand, only to dwell upon whether it was intended to be a negative or positive encounter. Isabeau’s view on life you ask? Life is for living, live if to the full, take risks but never let another have utter control over you.
Isabeau is somewhat of a free-spirit who maintains an outward facade of conformity when the situation demands. Easily bored her attention has a tendency to wander once she feels the excitement has diminished or the danger has passed. She enjoys drinking, brandy in particular. It is rare day when she will not have a flask deposited somewhere about her person.
It is her opinion that the real power of desire lays in the wanting, to surrender oneself without the thrill of the hunt is to condemn one to lose of all freedom and power.
Once a solid impression has been made Isabeau can be a steadfast and true friend, moving to protect those she cares about if she sees them threatened. She will, however, always draw the line at self-preservation – she has yet to meet anyone that she would risk everything for to protect.
When bored she will make mischief for her own entertainment, rarely of the opinion any lasting damage has been done through her actions. She is tempted to seduce men who show a preferment to someone else - for no other reason than proving she can sway their opinion and promote her own self-image.
Isabeau Everhart, Countess Whittington, is one of the court's more alluring beauties. Known for her fashion sense, her peers judge her to be a daring wit, part of those elusive libertine circles, yet too shrewd to be defined by them. The lady is an accomplished rider, and has even placed second and third in official races.
Rupert Wimbourne, Viscount of Thorneywoode. (b. 1639) Brother and only living relative. They have met only 3 times and share a mutual distrust of one another.
8 other siblings who did not survive beyond childhood.
Ralph de Vere, Baron of Lismore. (b. 1614, d. 1674) Husband who died after 5 years of marriage leaving no heirs.
Isabeau married Alexander Everhart, Earl of Whittington, on March 23rd 1676 and was subsequently widowed in May 1676.
Season 1: May 1675
Recess: May - September 1675
Summoned home by an urgent letter Isabeau quit London society prematurely to settle problems on her estate. An unfortunate riding accident meant her stay in Scotland was extended far longer than she would have liked. Once well enough to travel she returned to London post-haste.
Season 2: September 1675
Returning from pressing business in Scotland Isabeau once more found herself drawn to London, her previous season having been cut tragically short.
Eager to run her horse out again she immediately headed to St. James's Park where she met Owen Langland and Bridget Vaughn. Insanely bored after her long journey south and out of pure devilment she insisted chaperoning the pair who would have preferred to spend some time alone.
Walking in the gardens she renewed her acquaintance with Heather who was enjoying a pleasant stroll thereabouts with Mrs Trentmont. The conversation they shared led Isabeau to suspect the other woman was pregnant and about to make a bad match as a result.
Drawn to the music room by the sound of a Voice Isabeau happened under Master Baptist teaching a young French lord to sing, with Mistress Agnes observing them. From the outset it was clear Agnes did not welcome the Baroness, regardless Isabeau made it her business to join them. An exchange of wits followed, Isabeau feeling sure she had set the other in her place. Shortly after Mistress Isobel also joined the small group. The pair encouraged Agnes to make a public performance even offering to cover the cost themselves, giving the Irish girl little chance to object to the idea.
Answering the Lure of the Game to spend an evening in one of her favourite places, the gambling room, Isabeau met Catriona who curiously thanked her from being the unwitting tool that threw her and Adam together during the previous season. Teaching the Kings mistress to play Basset they agreed to play again at a later date. Some excitement then abounded as a new gaming contraption, a roulette wheel. Learning to play this new game she met Lord Middlesex, who after making a private bet based on the spin of a wheel was invited to join him from a small gathering at his house.
Determined to get into the society wedding on the year Isabeau hired a street boy to steal a decoy purse in front of the church so she could claim her invitation had been lost. The plan worked out perfectly, in the end entrance to the Basildon Wedding proved remarkably easy. From the wedding she took Intoxicating Carriage Ride with Lord Breckland to attend the Basildon After Party . The coach trip proved to be most exhilarating after an incident with some spilt laudanum led to all kinds of naughtiness. In many ways they were disturbingly familiar. Although an elating experience Isabeau grew wary of any tenderness Giles showed her, thinking it would reveal a weakness in herself and make it much harder to protect her heart.
A ride out to the country led to discovery of a coaching inn in Wild Abandon which she imagined might come to play a part in her future adventures.
In the maze she met Frances, Ophelia and Natalie Doolittle in Picnic with the Minotaur. Finding aspects of Natalie reminded her of herself at that tender age she struck up a friendship with the girl. Henry Grey was soon to join them as she invited all of them to attend Letting the Nightingale Soar, the musical recital were Agnes would make her triumphant debut.
Meeting with Middlesex to Pay her Dues Isabeau discovered his small intimate gathering was set for two and set in ancient Rome. Dressed in togas they spend some time speaking in rhyme until she grew frustrated, finding him cold and unresponsive to her advances and far more interested in trying to win her over with words. The final straw came when he gave worship to her foot, which Isabeau quickly discovered she did care for and ended the game.
As the season reached its end Isabeau happened upon Julia FitzRichard writing in the Walled Garden, the pair struck up a conversation and seemed to a similar nature. They agreed to meet again next season and renew their friendship shortly before the shy and retiring Noni joined them. Discovering the woman to be weak willed they set about bolstering her confidence by shouting out loud which soon drew the attention of the lifeguard Charles Whitehurst. They drove the man away by mercilessly teasing him and discovered in the process that he had broken Noni’s heart.
And then it was time for recess …
Recess 2: October – December 1675
Having not long returned to London Isabeau had no desire to return back to Scotland, furthermore she came to realise what she really needed to secure her position in society was a home of her own. A single room in shared accommodation was never going to make many of her ambitions a reality. With this in mind and unable to afford such a purchase she spend the early part of October trying to secure a house to rent in the New Year.
In November, she removed herself to Newmarket for the racing season and made something of an impact by appearing dressed in breeches, masculine riding boots coupled with the very feminine scarlet coat of her riding habit. In this way she entered one of the races riding astride her mount, Abelard, rather than the more conventional side-saddle securing a joint third place with Charles Whitehurst after desperate race for the line.
After meeting Natalie Doolittle in the maze, while picnicking with her sister Ophelia and Frances, she developed a soft spot for the girl. In Natalie she saw glimmers of herself at that age, and assumed the mantle of the older, fashionable and wiser friend that she had never had. Over the past months she began a correspondence with the younger girl, sharing snippets of gossip, giving general advice and answering her questions.
Season 3: December 1675
Recess 3: Jan - March 1676
Before leaving London, Isabeau purchased a house in Chelsea paying a factor to oversee the complete renovation of the property ready for her return.
Just a few days after the season closed Isabeau boarded a vessel to carry her over the English channel and set her on the way to Venice where she fully intended to spend the entirety of the recess. Arriving in time for carnival Isabeau was entranced by the City, the endless watery thoroughfares, the masks and constant sense of wonder.
It was the perfect playground for one such as she, where mystery and teasing seemed never-ending games. More than one night she changed both cloak and mask to trick those around her.
It did not take long until her wild vitality drew the attention of 20 year old Giacomo Orseolo. A young man whose family were descended from a man who had been Doge 600 years ago, as a family they still clung to that glory and believed it set their pedigree higher than many other families. Taking Giacomo as a lover, Isabeau may have tired off him all to quickly, had not his father learnt of their affair. On many counts Isabeau was considered an unfitting companion, first and foremost she did not belong to an elite Venetian family, was not Catholic, was a widow without family and worst of all hailed from the lascivious Court of Charles II. He immediately forbade them for being seen together, and in reply Isabeau immediately set about ensuring Giacomo thought about nothing but her - for it is well known that forbidden fruit tastes all the sweeter. It proved an insanely easy tasks for the young man was already besotted. Guiding his thoughts so the young man believed it was his idea she gently suggested that he could take a fine apartment so they could spend time together. Not only did this mean Isabeau no longer had to pay for her own lodgings but she lived in rooms far superior to the ones she taken upon arrival in Venice.
On the 15th February Isabeau turned 22. On that day Giacomo gravely fell to his knees, resting his head on Isabeau’s lap he told her of the ceremony of Sposalizio del Mare, where the Doge symbolical threw a ring into the lagoon and wed the sea. Swearing he was as devoted to her as the Doge was to Venice he placed a black pearl ring onto her finger. A sign of his everlasting devotion until the day he could make his father see sense. Having no need for such promises and no intention to linger in Venice when court reconvened in London she accepted the gift regardless – for truly it was a very pretty trinket.
Quite incidentally, one carnival evening she is introduced to a young Englishman named Raoul. In his cups he spoke at length at the wonders of his father, the Viscount of Thorneywoode whom loved him dearly. And of the advantages he has provided for his son even though he never married his mother. The knowledge that her brother provided so well for his bastard son when he provided nothing but contempt for his own sister seared a blistering hatred for a brother she had previously only despised. For a passing moment she wished harm on the young man for the mere accident of his birth. The loss of a beloved son might hurt her brother but he would never know who had struck the blow against him. No, striking out at the Viscount could wait. Instead, masked and still quite anonymous, she left the young man with a lingering kiss that was quite the norm on such carnival nights.
Season 4: April-May 1676
Recess 4: 1 June - 7 October 1676
Isabeau de Vere, Baroness Lismore led a charmed life. Lady Lismore let nothing break her stride. Nothing riled her for long. There was no problem that could not be overcome and no enemy that could not be made to suffer. Isabeau Everhart, Countess Whittington, on the other hand did have seem to have quite the same fortitude. Moments of doubt sometimes crept upon her, and things that ought to be beneath her contempt, on occasion, crawled under her skin.
For Isabeau, the solution to this strange and alien turn of events was simple enough. The fates disapproved of her recent choices and were making their displeasure known. Undoubtedly, things would only get worse if she continued to ignore them. For a woman who looked for signs to explain away her most reckless decisions the answer was simple enough, as far as possible she needed to undo the past.
Resolved upon this course of action, she remained unsure of how to deal with the most obvious and irritating of these mistakes. When news arrived that the knave she had the misfortune to call a husband was gravely ill Isbaeau knew her luck was changing for the better, and reassured she was now set upon the path the fates had intended for her she ventured to his bedside. And there he lay, looking so much smaller and insignificant than she remembered, that whatever glamour he had once cast upon her no longer held any effect. It became clear quickly, that she need to nothing to hasten his departure from the world, other than bare witness in order to reassure herself that he really was gone. The death was slow and lingering, with Alex sliding in and out of delirium. At times he spoke of a cousin, accusing him of poisoning him and begging Isabeau to take care of both herself and Maria. It was a plea that fell mostly on deaf ears, and if not deaf then they were certainly bored.
Maria, though now her ward, was another of those problems that belonged in the history Isabeau was choosing to wipe out as if it had not happened. So despite promises made, to a man who broke his own promises, Isabeau refused to keep Maria close or within plain sight. Thus, the girl was sent away to a finishing school – there to start at the very beginning of being raised in the ways expected of the nobility. Which really, she reasoned, was a kindness. The girl was already much behind in her schooling and London was no place to raise a child.
Summer was spent in London wearing black for the sake of appearances, appearing to be the dutiful and grieving wife for the sake of appearances – though never without a scarlet accents. And rarely without a smile and a glass of something fun in her hand.
Discreet enquires were made about the whereabouts of Viscount of Thorneywoode, without ever revealing the man was her brother. Finally his whereabouts were finally revealed, as an attaché to the English ambassador in Sweden. It placed him firmly out of reach for now, but it did not mean he was forgotten.
Finding herself a widow once more was only the beginning. With a stubborn determination to rewrite the past to one that suited her better Isabeau set about a charm offensive, encouraging Baptist May to not only help her trade in her widows bed to secure a title of her own, but to find one that uncommonly similar to the one she had forfeit at marriage. What may have appeared extreme to a mere mortal, or completely sane person, made perfect sense to Isabeau. It was perhaps the first time May had found himself seeking out a title where location, size or the resources was of no importance at all, and all that mattered was a name that was pleasing. And bless the man if he didn't rise to the challenge and find the answer in an insignificant part of Ireland. Lismire.
Travelling with Heather, the pair attended the of Lady Rebecca and her Lifeguard Hale. The pair then diverted themselves to take the waters at Bath. And as was the custom, both donated a brass ring bearing their name upon it, to be fixed upon the stone wall of the ancient Roman bath.
There the pair devised a new game to keep them amused, judging and rating the seductive skills of the men they came across. Rating how witty and comely there were, how effective their approaches were and how determined their advances. Some were rewarded for their efforts, some toyed with and others dismissed. Kane joined the ladies their on route to Windsor, and the trio made the journey together.
When in London, Isabeau resides at The Priory in Chelsea.