Well no, nobody took up the challenge of writing that missing chapter, So I suppose it will be forever lost.
Moving on, though… The library which inspired the whole story in the first place is about to undergo a complete transformation.
For some weeks now, it has been in the possession of its new custodian. She loves it, but announced that it needed some figures. What good is a library, after all, without any readers? Consequently I was commissioned to create two new characters, from the late Victorian or Edwardian era. As we chatted through the sort of people she’d like, a story began to emerge. No surprise there; this lady is a consummate storyteller.
I was asked to make one a female academic. That suited me perfectly. I’d been longing to create Olivia Libris, the renowned author.
“And the second one?” I asked. “Male or female?”
“Female,” she decided. “She’s a suffragette. Let’s make the library a celebration of women’s education and emancipation. Could you make a suffragist newspaper to put on one of the chairs?”
So here they are – Olivia and her young friend Philippa, who is based on one of my heroines, the educational pioneer Philippa Fawcett. (I did my teacher training at the college named after her in London.)
Both are gloriously free of corsets and have removable ‘Votes for Women’ sashes. The newspaper and a reprinted poster from the time complete the set.
Tomorrow they will be off to take up residence in the library, unless they have a demonstration planned, of course.
I so enjoyed recreating a couple of these courageous women. We have so much to thank them for.