I first drew Lady Elinor in 1985 and for many years I tried to work her into a novel but somehow that idea never quite worked. The character was too feisty, which wouldn’t have been accurate: it was genuinely believed that God had ordained that men were superior. A woman was the property of her father and then of her husband, as a result a woman in the 1520s/30s didn’t have many choices. The only freedom was to be a widow or for her husband to be working away and to trust her enough to run the family estates. I’ve had a lot of fun coming up with ideas about the type of advice or comments she might dish out – and I was quite surprised to discover that tyres did exist in the 16th Century, just not as we know them!
After the third Lady Elinor design I decided I wanted to have another, rather less feisty character. Lady Maude may have been Lady Elinor's great grandmother. Her costume dates from some 60-70 years before Lady Elinor's and she is easier to stitch.