In the summer of 1863...
Catherine’s father had been saving for her debut into womanhood since before she was born.
It wasn’t as though he knew for sure the child growing in his wife’s body would be girl – but Elizabeth simply had a knack for knowing things. She wasn’t a witch in any sense of the word; she was just one of those women who simply knew things.
When they first met, she walked straight up to him and said “You’re going to marry me one day.”
And she was right – a year later they married and he never doubted her intuition again.
But if he knew – as his wife did – how beautiful his daughter would become, maybe he would not have spent those late Wednesday nights in the West-end Tavern.
Before her tenth birthday, Catherine would see her mother die.
However, in all honesty, Elizabeth, with all her knowledge, surely would have known of her own fate. And so she spent every second with her daughter – teaching her all the womanly attributes she would need for the rest of her life.
Catherine learnt to read and write almost as well as her mother, as well as cook, clean and sew.
Before her tenth birthday Catherine had learnt more than almost any other her age – and her beauty was already starting to show.
But her father was an old, wise man. Instead of accepting the proposals from men twice his daughter’s age he vowed to wait, to see how high the men would bid for her. It was his dream that she would marry above her class.
If her father had known that his wife would die, he would have spent more time with her. He would have been there to love her. Well, at least that’s what he told me after.
But honestly, I couldn’t tell you much about my Catherine’s father for he was not the one I was interested in. I could however, tell you much about the girl that became the most beautiful woman in the world.
But I might be biased.