Friday, July 27, 2018

Interview with Arthur Wilcox

It’s nice to meet you, Arthur. I enjoyed getting to know you in A Perfect Weakness. You stood out to me for several reasons and I wanted to feature you here on Stitches Thru Time for others to meet.

Thank you, Mrs. Thomas. Happy to help. Needed a bit of a break. Won’t be taking my tea for a while yet.

How long did you work as a groom at Ashford Hall?

About seven years, I reckon. Started as a stable-boy when I was 12. Bit older than most but when my pa died I had to find work. Lord Renshaw, the late baron of Ashford Hall, was kind enough to take me on. Not many big houses take on local help for fear they’ll run off home or spread rumors. But the Hall’s been good to me and my family so there won’t be any of that going on, not by us anyhow. 

What did you think about an American coming to inherit Ashford Hall? And what was your first assessment of Lord Turner when he arrived?

First I thought he wouldn’t come at all him being from America and all. Thought it would be too far and we’d be on our own. But he did come and I thought better of him. I was supposed to be with the coach that went to fetch him from the station when he first arrived, but I was sick that day. Didn’t meet him until later when I went to tend to Fortis for him when he came home from Fairview. And he was good enough to let me see the library. I knew then he’d be a good master, bit unusual but good. And I thought he seemed a bit sad.  

Your goal of becoming a physician is both lofty and—frankly—almost impossible for someone of your station in England at this time. What obstacles did you have to overcome to even get started?

To be honest, I never dreamed I could. As you say, ma’am it’s near impossible for someone like me. I kept it sort of secret for a while, since my mum saw me as head groom at the Hall one day. And I didn’t have any books neither, no way of learning anything. But then Lord Turner stepped in, and I began to see it as real.

You kept a very special secret for Penelope Howard. We won’t disclose it here, but please tell us why you remained faithful to her secret for so long.

And it’s still to be a dead secret, Mrs. Thomas, so I thank you for not mentioning it. Miss Howard is a good woman. She helped us when my pa died, took our situation to Lord Renshaw, and got me and my brother, Joseph, jobs so we wouldn’t starve or get sent to the workhouse. So I’ll go to my grave with her secret. She’s one of the kindest women I know.

While Dr. John Turner will win the girl in the end (it is a romance, after all), in one very significant way you were the hero of the story. You took drastic and decisive action that undoubtedly saved many lives. Where did you find the courage and wisdom to do what you did?

Aw, Mrs. Thomas, you’ll be speaking of the well. I don’t think of myself as being courageous or very wise when it comes to it. It just needed to be done no matter what happened to me. Right then, the village was more important than anything else.

Thank you for spending a few moments with us today. I hope you’ve sparked a bit more interest in A Perfect Weakness among the readers here. It truly is a special story!


Jennifer A. Davids is a self-professed book nerd. The shelves of her office are overflowing with books and there are stacks of them by her bedside. When she's not reading, she's dreaming up a new story to tell her readers. She lives in Central Ohio with her husband, two children, and two cats.


  1. Thank you for the interview! You’ve sparked more than a bit of interest in A Perfect Weakness :)

  2. My pleasure, Natalya! Arthur was happy to oblige. :)