Being the story of Pamela Beryl Harriman née Digby.
Edwards Kenelm Digby was a man of simple bucolic preoccupations – horticulture, hunting, civic duty, in no particular order. The graying elements of his once-bright red hair rimmed his bald head, and he sported a trim salt-and-pepper mustache. He had a slightly goofy smile, which led some to consider him dimwitted. A decade earlier, in his polo playing days, he had been tall and thin. Now he was portly. He had two conspicuous but benign affectations, the carnation he wore in his lapel, and the box of Fortnum & mason chocolates he carried under his arm.
His wife the former Constance Pamela Alice Bruce, was a handsome woman, with prominent dark eyebrows and erect bearing. Unsentimental, almost physically aloof, she commanded respect but inspired little affection. Even her nickname ‘Pansy’, failed to soften her stern aspect. Her marriage to the eleventh Baron Digby fortified her place in the English upper class, but she had social ambitions that reached far beyond her husband’s 1,500-acre estate at Minterne Magna in Dorset. These she invested in her eldest daughter, Pamela Beryl Digby, seventeen years old and poised to enter Society.
She was not beautiful, not yet. She was plump, her face as broad as the moon, with a fleshy chin and a neck too short to suggest elegance. She had wide eyes of deep blue, a nose with a slight aquiline curve, pouty mouth, and milky skin scattered with freckles. Her cheeks carried a perpetual pink flush that turned fiery when her emotions shifted. Her auburn hair swept back from her forehead and curled down to the nape of her neck. A patch of white streaked her hair on the left side, the result; she liked to explain, of a head injury when she fell off a pony.