March 16, 2006 at 6:38 pm #1895SirAbrahamHughesParticipant
Appearance: Agnes is a young woman who is demure but observant, attentive without being so unspeakably rude as to stare. She is on the tall side, and was once a bit plump, but has been loosing weight recently because of her change in station. Her dark brown hair is usually pulled back in a simple, sensible style, and her dresses tend to be dark grey or navy, simple and befitting her station as a governess. She wears one small, unadorned locket which was a keepsake of her mother?s.
The youngest of three daughters, Agnes never knew her mother, as Lillian Ridgemont died in childbirth. She was mainly raised by her father, Tobias, and her older sisters, Emily (six years older) and Dora (ten years older).
As a young child, Agnes lived with her family in an estate in the countryside called Lanesbrook, about an hour west of London by carriage. She and her sisters were taught by a governess, Miss Price, who her father maintained at Lanesbrook. They seldom had visitors, as Tobias was devastated by the loss of his wife. By the time Dora was seventeen, however, he decided that it would be best for his daughters if they moved back to the city.
Upon moving to London, Agnes continued to study with Miss Price, though Dora was too old for a governess by this time. Though introverted by nature, Tobias began taking the necessary steps to enter his daughters into London society. When Agnes was nine, Dora married a young lawyer named Edward Naughton. He was offered an excellent post at a law firm in Dover, and though Dora was reluctant to give up London society, the possibility of becoming a partner was enough to draw the Naughtons away.
As Agnes grew up, she grew to be quite a good musician, as well as being clever at literature and writing. A perceptive girl, she began to notice around this time that her family was treated slightly differently than other families she knew, but had yet to discover why. Her father always waved off such inquires a touch nervously, and Emily always assured Agnes she was simply thinking too much. After Miss Price left, Agnes continued to take private music lessons from an Herr Klausman, as Tobias loved to encourage her singing. Her father?s main occupations involved writing letters, reading his substantial library, and taking walks in the park or by the river, but he always took special joy in her music.
Three years after Dora?s marriage, Emily married as well; Fredrick Hammersmith, a doctor. The marriage finally secured Tobias? blessing, though with reluctance, for Frederick planned to move to Canada and take Emily with him. Finally, with much discussion on both ends and several fits of tears from Emily, Tobias relented.
Of a quieter temperament than her sisters, Agnes was in no rush to join society or search for a husband, willing to continue her studies and care for her now aging father. The two remaining Ridgemonts, while not quite recluses, lived in relative peace in their London townhouse. Agnes still suspected there was something about her parent?s past that she didn?t know, but never pressed it, not wanting to upset her father, especially as Tobias? health began to deteriorate.
After a period of improved health, Tobias died unexpectedly one afternoon in May 1870. The doctor concluded it was heart failure. Agnes was heartbroken, but had very little time to mourn; the family lawyer, Mr. Jarndyce, told Agnes that her father had left mostly debts. After auctioning off Lanesbrook, the townhouse, and most of the furniture within both, Agnes had enough money to rent some small but respectable rooms and buy a more suitable wardrobe. Through friends of her brother-in-law, Mr. Naughton, she managed to secure a position as a governess for a well-to-do family in the city in order to support herself. She?s been in her current position for just under a year, and has finally begun to fully adjust to life in her new social sphere. Though she still has unanswered questions about her family, her main concern for the moment is doing her job well and taking care of herself.
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