Tuesday 4 September 2018

Jane Colby's Frivolous Pink Bonnet

Jane Colby's Frivolous Pink Bonnet:  Object Post 92

Source? Probably imported from England
Significance? O’Halloran’s description of it was enough for Anna to identify the probable wearer
Fate? Jane would have worn it for at least a couple of years, and probably retrimmed it more than once
Author’s inspiration? I wanted to make Anna’s mistress go against type
Appeared in? Anna’s Own

It’s a woman, Mrs Kelly. No better than she ought to be, if you’re wanting my opinion.” Her face pinched up. “Well into middle age, she is, and wearing a bonnet fit for one of they fashion journals. And sooch a colour, too.”

After Anna Bailey was transported to Van Diemen’s Land, she served her sentence in the employment of Jane Colby. She stayed on after gaining her freedom.
Married and living at Kelly’s Castle with her husband Mad Jack, and expecting a baby, Anna was delighted when Jane came to visit her.
Jack was away and had told Anna and her dour maid O’Halloran to be careful of strangers, which was why Anna sent the maid to see who was coming up the road.
Jane loved bright colours, favouring green, cream and yellow… and pink.

“Pink?” asked Anna disbelievingly.
 “Bright pink,” said the maid. “You’re never thinking you might know this person, Mrs Kelly?”
 “Oh, I do hope so!” said Anna. “Bring the buckets, Ruby, and come down to the house.” She picked up her own skirts and made her way down the hill, as quickly as her ungainly form allowed, to meet Jane Colby. “Ma’am!” she cried. “Oh, it is so good to see you - but where is the master? Is all well at Sherwood?”
Jane straightened the outrageous ribbons of her capote hat. “Anna,” she said smilingly, “how very good it is to see you again my dear."

Jane’s “bonnet” was actually a capote hat, and to Ruby, a widow who persisted in wearing black at all times, the colours were startling.

Jane and her bonnet brighten Anna’s life  in Anna’s Own


Sally is Sally Odgers; author, anthologist and reader. You can find you way into her maze of websites and blogs via the portal here.(Sally is me, by the way.)

The goal for 2017 was to write a post a day profiling the background behind one of my books; how it came to be written, what it's about, and any things of note that happened along the way. 2017 is well behind us, but I ran out of year before running out of books. As of June 2018 I STILL hadn't run out of books, but many of those still to come are MIA by which I mean I don't have copies and remember little about them. There are more new books in the pipeline, and I'm certainly showcasing those, but in between times, I'm profiling some of my characters, places and objects. Thank you so much to everyone who's come along on this journey so far!

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