Name: Gwendolen Rosaline St. John
Play by: Jennifer Lawrence
Of average height for a woman, Gwendolen is curvaceous and has been described as "pleasantly plump" by many. Her features are aristocratic and finely formed, with high cheekbones, fair skin, and full lips, paired with slightly tilted eyes of expressive hazel coloration. Her hair is a dark golden blonde that falls to her waist, although it is usually kept pinned up and out of the way. She bears a few scars on her arms, a fact which usually leads her to keep herself covered as much as possible.
Naturally easygoing and friendly, Gwen has a bright, bubbly personality that almost seems to make her glow. She's intelligent, poised, and talented, as expected of a woman of nobility, no matter how minor -- but where it seems rote for most women, she is clearly genuinely passionate about the things which interest her, a fact that shines through in her daily activities. She is also hard-headed, stubborn, and fiercely independent. In addition to this, she's extremely loyal to those who earn it, and above all else, is violently protective of her four-year-old daughter, Elise.
To give her daughter everything she was never able to have. To finally find some happiness of her own.
Born and raised in London, Gwendolen was the daughter of Lord Harrington St. John and his wife, Lady Mallory. Minor nobility whose family fortune had long been squandered by Lord St. Johns past, they had only two children. Michael, who would inherit the title, and little Gwendolen. Gwen was a sunny child, always stopping to pet animals, feed birds, smell flowers, and speak to the poor, simply because she liked to make others smile. This passion for life carried over to her lessons, both in traditional studies and in etiquette, leading her to be the ideal lady.
Her parents anticipated this would lead to a good match, and it was when she was sixteen that their hopes came to fruition. Samuel Hawthorne was four years her elder, rich, and with an appreciative eye for beautiful women. When he first saw Gwen, he was visiting London with his father, and his younger brother, Nathaniel. Immediately, he decided to pursue her, but upon realizing she was sweet and virginal and not likely to give in to his charms, he went to his father for assistance. He then went to her parents, who were eager to marry her off to him. They were betrothed for a year, and shortly after her seventeenth birthday, they were married.
Samuel had been recently named the American ambassador to the city-state of Venice, and so he took his new bride there right after their month-long honeymoon. Nathaniel, who had befriended Gwen, joined them as his brother's aide. That first year of marriage was delightful enough as Samuel showered her with attention.. but when she failed to produce an heir right away, he turned abusive. Gwen suffered in silence, unwilling to turn to Nathaniel, fearing that she would lose her best friend if she spoke ill of his brother -- a situation made all the more unbearable by the fact that she'd long ago fallen in love with her husband's younger brother.
When, after a year of marriage, Gwen became pregnant, her world shifted on its axis. Samuel chose to turn his attention to his many mistresses, which was a blessing.. but Nathaniel left for reasons unknown, leaving Gwen alone and miserable. Things went downhill after she gave birth to a girl, resulting in the return of Samuel's abuse, joined by repeated rapes as he attempted to get a son on her. All in vain. She endured this torture for a few more years, until Samuel's debauchery finally caught up to him. He was found in the bed of one of his mistresses by her husband, who proceeded to shoot him.
For the first time since she was sixteen, Gwen was truly happy, and free. She shed her married name and resolved to raise her daughter Elise as best she could, intending to never let the little girl know such sorrow as she had. She took over Samuel's shipping business, having been tending the books for a few years, and wondered what life had in store for her next. She never could've anticipated what it would lay at her feet in the form of a ghost from her past.