By Caroline Clemmons
Please welcome Priscilla Bradford, heroine of QUINN AND THE MAIL ORDER BRIDE. Priscilla, thank you for agreeing to an interview today.
Priscilla, folding her hands in her lap: Thank you for inviting me. I don’t quite understand the reason for your invitation.
Me: Readers like to know more about the characters about whom they read. More information than can be included in the book. For instance, where did you attend school?
Priscilla: Mrs. Dempsey’s School for Young Ladies. It was a boarding school but only a few blocks from my home, so I didn’t board there. Entry into the school was limited to those she called of "good families." My father was a descendant of William Bradford of the Mayflower colony. The curriculum was quite rigid, preparing students to entertain and manage a large household after marriage. The staff thought students would marry soon after graduation. I’m afraid I was a disappointment to Mrs. Dempsey because I didn’t marry right away.
Me: You’re a beautiful woman who must have had many beaus. Did none of them suit you?
Priscilla: I confess I found them superficial and more interested in obtaining the heir and a spare than in the needs of their wife. I didn’t enjoy being viewed as a brood mare, so to speak. At least, that’s what it seemed to me. I realize now that was my mistake.
Me: What brought you to this conclusion?
Priscilla heaves a big sigh: I didn’t realize I would lose everything except my brother, Richard. We had never considered that our livelihood was in jeopardy.
Me: My goodness, what happened?
Priscilla: First, Papa’s business burned to the ground. Then, we discovered he had let the fire insurance lapse to conserve money. He was so devastated by his failure that he shot himself. Richard was the one who found him, so I was spared that, at least.
Me: Goodness, that must have been terrible for you and your brother.
Priscilla: A staggering blow, but not the end of trouble. Immediately after the funeral, a banker came to tell us that our father’s loan payments were long overdue. We had no idea Papa had mortgaged the house. Bradford House had been in the family since just after the American Revolution.
Me: That must have been a devastating shock. What did you do?
Priscilla: What could we do? We had no close relatives. Each of our parents was an only child. The banker gave us a few days to clear our personal things from the house. The furnishings were part of the loan. Richard helped me gather my things into two trunks. We moved to a boarding house. Richard wanted me to remain there until he could rent a small house for us, but I wanted to escape all the sad memories.
Me: I don’t blame you, dear. How did you accomplish your escape?
Priscilla: I have accepted the invitation of a man in Texas to become his mail order wife.
Me: Aren’t you afraid of who the groom might be?
Priscilla: Terrified, but I’m determined to have my own home and children. This man named Quinn McRae lives on a ranch with a cook/housekeeper. That sounds fairly secure, and welcome since my cooking and cleaning skills are lacking.
Me: You’re a brave woman, Priscilla, and I wish you the very best.
Read Priscilla and Quinn's story at Amazon:
Dear Readers, thank you for reading this post. Stay safe.