The votes are in, and what a close call! By a small margin, the winner of the character profile poll is Bessy, the maid of your house. As promised, here’s the character profile/questionnaire I whipped up quite a while ago (the file is dated 26 may 2013!), which helped Jenny come up with the artwork. Hope you enjoy!
Bessy! She’s been working for your family for years, and is just a little older than you (around 23 or so). You are relatively good friends, but as you know she likes to gossip, you’re a little wary about sharing intimate details and thoughts with her. Bessy is very chatty, but she’s also a good and hard-worker, which is why you’ve kept her on all these years.
List three things that make them happy.
- Beautiful things: clothing, accessories, shinies!
- An indulgent meal
- Having a day off from work
What motivates/drives them?
Bessy is well aware of her social situation, and has long accepted her fate of being in service for most of her life. The only way ‘out’ is to marry, but even so, she knows her prospects are men who are also in service, and so it’s likely they might need to both work, depending on her husband’s income. She’s got a lot of potential, but there’s not much she can do with it, given her birth. As such, she does her best at work because she wants Darlington to have a high opinion of her, and she wants to become the best maid the town has ever known—just so she can attract the attention of a handsome footman or butler working for a very well-off family.
What is their flaw?
Sometimes, Bessy is a little bad at keeping secrets to herself. She likes to gossip and will probably leak bits and pieces of information about your family. That being said, she is loyal and dependable when it comes down to it, and her lips have been sealed about the most important family secrets, such as the hush-hush scandal of your older brother.
How would they express their love for a romantic partner?
She would flirt, and do lots of seductive things in the bedroom. 😉
How would they express their love for a family member?
For her parents, she sends them spare money whenever she can, because she hardly has time off to visit. When she has children, she’ll make sure they would learn to read and write, and also associate with other children who are of slightly better standing. She understands her children won’t be marrying to great advantage, but Bessy knows the world is starting to change, and there will be opportunities her kids have that she doesn’t.
You’re seated in a room with an empty chair, and the character is called in to speak with you. What do they do?
Say ‘Yes, Miss <FirstName>?’, then wait patiently for instructions.
Your carriage breaks down midway while you’re returning home from a long journey. How does the character respond?
Bessy will be dutiful at first, and attempt to help: ‘Oh, is there any way in which I can be of assistance?’ Upon all the reassurances that no, indeed, the men have it under control and she’s not needed, she would sit in the carriage and accompany you, make sure you’re comfortable and have everything you need for the wait, and then make some pleasant small talk to lighten the situation.
Who is their best friend, and what did they last do together?
Mr Stevens (the baker)’s daughter, who now helps Mr Stevens run the shop. Sometimes, Bessy and the baker’s daughter meet up and eat the ‘leftover’ bread that hasn’t been sold on the day, and gossip about all manners of things. Bessy last saw the baker’s daughter when she had to pick up some bread, and they spoke quickly about the bickering couple, though Bessy couldn’t get to the meat of the revelation because the next customer was there and getting impatient. Oh well, there’s always next time!
Whom do they dislike the most, and what happened during their last encounter?
Bessy has a love-hate relationship with Mrs Norris. On the one hand, Mrs Norris provides an excellent source of gossip, and seems to know everything in town; on the other, Maid doesn’t like it when Mrs Norris talks about the <LastName>s—this is her family being gossiped about! There’s also a bit of unspoken rivalry going on, because Bessy wants to be the authority on all gossip, and Mrs Norris is quite a worthy adversary there! The last time they met, Mrs Norris called for tea and divulged a nice piece of information about the bickering couple’s latest argument, which Bessy’ll certainly be sharing with the baker’s daughter.
Whom would they like to get to know better? Any particular reasons?
The footman that accompanies Mr Curtis seems to be quite an interesting character—and from what Bessy’s heard, Mr Curtis has a handsome income, does he not?
What is their favourite activity to do in their spare time?
On her days off, Bessy likes to head into town and look at all the shiny and pretty things, and imagine what it’ll be like to own them and wear them herself. She even keeps a mental list of all the nice clothing and accessories she’d like to have, and every now and then, she evens indulges in getting something.
What is the first thing others will notice about this character?
The brightness of her expression and countenance. If not for her attire, she might be mistaken for a gentleman’s daughter!
How does this fit with the impressions you’ve formed about Bessy? Would you like to see more of Bessy, and in any particular situation/s? We’d love to know what you think, so do please leave us a comment!