Miss Beryl Cavendish
Miss Beryl Cavendish is not a charming person in the slightest.
Tall, bony, and far too sharply-featured to be considered lovely, the best thing that can be said of Beryl's looks is that she has excellent posture and the thin scars on her eyebrow and cheek give her a roguish sort of intrigue. Her personality is blunt, dour, and unattractively solemn, and that alone has made it hard enough for her to win friends and suitors alike.
What Beryl does have, however, is money. The Cavendish family is an old one in Suffolk, and while they have long been impoverished, several excellent investments made by young John Cavendish have seen to it that they family is once again wealthy and connected. Young John has even managed to marry a viscount's widow, recently, lending credibility to the once-scandalized family name.
However, there is one glitch with John's recent marriage: Lady Charlotte Harris is nearing the end of her childbearing years, and while it is not impossible that the two of them will produce an heir to the family's good fortune, it is unlikely. And so it falls to young, unlovely Beryl to marry well and forge the next link in the Cavendish family chain. It is a daunting task-- her Season in London was entirely uneventful, and she failed to attract a single marriage prospect. Some accused her of not even trying: Beryl has always preferred to step back into the shadows and let John charm the people around them.
But perhaps in Tyrhampton, Beryl's prospects will be somewhat improved. Perhaps enrollment in the local school might teach Miss Cavendish a measure of charm to make up for her plainness. Perhaps, out of the shadow cast by John's dazzling charm, Beryl might come into her own at last.
Or perhaps she will fade comfortably into quiet country life, finding happiness in obscurity until her family tires of waiting and calls her back to Suffolk. Either way, Beryl is not complaining.
Ian Cavendish is the patriarch of the family, and he is well known for his horrid temper. Ian has lead a hard life, during which he has buried three sisters, two infant children, and both of his parents. Upon burying his father, Ian found that he had inherited no shortage of debt, and rather than paying them back he saw fit to drink away what was left of the family fortune. It is no secret in town that Ian Cavendish makes his family utterly miserable, and no one can blame the Cavendish children for being eager to escape their father's rule.
Edith Cavendish, nee Murray, was the youngest daughter of a ship's captain, who found herself captivated by young Ian's brooding charm. A bright, clever woman, Edith did her best to improve the fortunes of her husband's family, but she was no match for her husband's habits. Edith died just two years after giving birth to Beryl, and Ian never remarried.
John Cavendish is Beryl's senior by six years, and is very much the golden child of the family. Handsome, charming, and clever, John has done much for his family. From caring for Beryl after their mother's death, to making the investments to save the family from the poorhouse, to marrying a viscount's widow, John is nothing short of heroic in his sister's eyes. Though he outshines her in nearly every aspect, Beryl does not seem to hold any ill will towards her brother. She adores him, like nearly all others who happen to meet him.
Charlotte Harris-Cavendish is a lady of good breeding, far above anything John might have hoped for. While she herself is not nobility, she found herself married to Lord Harris, a viscount. She bore him no children, and when he died the title passed to a relative of his, but Charlotte retains the title of 'lady' out of courtesy. While nearly ten years John's senior, Charlotte and her husband do seem to be very much in love, and Charlotte's cleverness is serving the family just as well as her money and clout.