The Plot and CharactersMature

Thank you for choosing to read my project: Splendor and Subterfuge!  S&S is meant to be structured like the typical historical romance novel by surrounding the five major families of 19th century New York City with various scandals and plots.  This first page is for me to keep track of all the plots as well as the characters involved.  Enjoy!

Situation I

  • The youngest Children of the Aldridge and Shipley familes are now both at marriageable age (at least 16).  Surprise is that the daughter of the Aldridge family Chelsea Aldridge) finds out she is pregnant and to prevent dishonor on her family name and becoming disowned she pleads her childhood friend Jonathan Shipley to marry her.
  • The problem with this is that Jonathan is currently in love with one of his family's maids named Brienne Gardner. He was planning on marrying her after discussing his love and given blessing from his father, but now agrees to marry Chelsea to save her from her situation.

Involved characters: Chelsea Alridge, Jonathan Shipley, Maid: Brienne Gardner, Father of the baby.

Situation II

  • The head of the Deveraux family is Philippe Devereaux.  His first wife died about five years ago and has recently married Vivianne Devereaux.  His first wife gave him 2 children, Rosaline Devereaux (The youngest) and Jacquelyn Devereaux (The oldest).  The current wife s trying to have him disown them.
  • Philippe is torn by his duty to his family and his love for his new wife.  His children are terrified because if they are disowned, they will receive no money as inheritance or marriage supplements and suddenly become commoners in the cruel society.
  • The daughter Jacquelyn is obsessed with causing a divorce between Philippe and his current wife.  Divorce is often frowned upon in society, but not as severe as the shame that would be placed on the children if they were removed from the family.

Involved characters: Philippe Devereaux, Vivianne Devereaux, Jacquelyn Devereaux, Rosaline Deveraux.

Situation III

  • The Daughtery family are very new to the New York society.  Their story is that they have recently discovered royal relations over in Ireland and inherited a very royal sum of money.  In actuality, the Daughtery are professional con artists.
  • The Daughterys are a threesome, consisting of a brother (Victor Daugherty) and sister (Willa Daughtery) andVictor's Wife (Josephine Daugherty).  The three are all young by society's standards (in low to mid twenties) and the single one is a very desired match for the singles of the upper class families.
  • The types of cons the threesome compete in range between buying/selling/faking art, gambling, and creating false relations to important families so that they are given gifts and occasionally money in inheritances.  They are always at risk of being caught and constantly try to fit into the New York society.
  • Victor is completely addicted to the thrill of the cons and refuses to stop, his wife goes along with it out of love but is fearful of being caught.  Willa is tired of the lies and thinks their position stable enough and just wants to blend into society.

Involved characters: Willa Daugherty, Victor Daugherty, Josephine Daugherty

Situation IV

  • The Astor family has always been one of the most famous families of New York ever since the colonization by the Dutch several hundred years prior to the current time period.  Their name is rich and implies absolute society prestige.  However, it appears that their money has suddenly run out.  Recent deaths in the large family in Europe leave the American cousins in financial ruin.  To prevent utter shame and the loss of status in society, each of the Astors has taken up secret identities to begin earning money on the side.
  • The head of the Astor family, Cameron Astor, has started funding one of the mafia families in the Italian part of New York.  He deals with drugs and murder and is trying to convince his son, Damian Astor - the eldest child, to join him.
  • The middle child, a daughter named Sofia, has recently married a man who is a lawyer, who she discovers is cruel and rigs court cases and arranges deaths so that he earns more money.
  • The youngest child, Oliver, is sheltered dearly by Carolina Astor - the mother of the three children and second in command of the family.  The youngest child is blissfully unaware of the scandal in their family and is in love with a member of one of the other five families.
  • Carolina Astor has recently, and secretly, become the owner of a brothel in lower New York.  She takes frequent "family visits" to Europe where she actual spends time overseeing and protecting the girls of her business.

Involved Characters: Cameron Astor, Carolina Astor, Damian Astor, Sofia Paulison, Harold Paulison, Oliver Astor, brothel girls, Mafia members

Situation V

  • Jonathan's oldest sister and him never got along.  She is a very pretentious and selfish type who likes to be the center of attention and is only a few years older than her brother and other sister.  She had always been her fathers favorite and considered herself to be the prettiest of the Shipley clan and everyone thought she would be the first to be married off.  However, it appears that her brother will be instead.  She is severely jealous of this and in turn cruel to her brother in every way.
  • Somehow or another, she discovers that the Aldridge girl is pregnant and that Jon is in love with a maid.  She then decides to force her brother into helping his friend, the eldest Astor son, fall in love and marry her so that her match will be the more prominent one in the family.  She is also set on finding out which maid it is and making her life miserable.

Involved Characters: Mercedes Shipley,  Jonathan Shipley, Maid: Brienne Gardner, Damian Astor

Situation VI

  • It appears that the Senior Mrs. Aldridge is having an affair.  With whom, you ask?  None other than the sly Senior Mr. Astor.  It appears this head of the household not only has an inclination to dealing with organised crime but also enjoys corrupting the married women of high society.
  • Since the death of her late husband, the widowed Mrs. Aldridge has seemingly abandoned the socially accepted practices of a widow and has been seen on dates with younger men and often without the presence of her black widow's garb.
  • Questions keep arising about whether or not the late Mr. Aldridge was such a kind man as he seemed.  Was he too hard on his wife, ultimately driving her away from him?

Involved Characters: Poppy Aldridge, Cameron Astor, Young Gentlemen Suitors

Situation VII

  • It has only been a month since the death of Mr. Aldridge who was found in his study one morning asphyxiated with the tell-tale sign of froth coming from his mouth.  He had been poisoned.
  • Many question who the killer could have been, and what were their motives?  Certainly it could have been the Aldridge boy, a middle child often overlooked by the rest of the family.
  • Or maybe it was his loving wife?  She doesn't seem to be mourning his death quite in the ways that seem acceptable.  Was it her lover, Mr. Astor?  The two could have been caught and are trying to cover their tracks.
  • The Oldest daughter and her husband?  The Oldest daughter had been disowned years ago when she ran away with some Spaniard boy her father had quarreled with.  Since his death she has returned to town with her new husband, pregnant and all.  Is it possible that they are trying to get back in their mother's graces?
  • Even more suspicious, could it have been the youngest Daughter?  Poor Olivia is secretly pregnant, is that enough to cause her to act rashly?
  • Lastly of all, one has to suspect the servants.  Mr. Aldridge was a stern man who ruled his home with an iron fist.  It is easy to assume that some poor servant had one day decided enough was enough.
  • A young detective with the New York Police has taken it upon himself to look into these matters and find out who the aristocrat's murderer is.

Involved Characters: Mr. Aldridge (deceased),  Poppy Aldridge,  Cameron Astor, Evette Aldridge-Franco, Jaime Franco, Colton Aldridge, Chelsea Aldridge, Aldridge Servants, NYPD Detective: Parker Petyr

The End

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