Lady Victoria (Electrodyne Engineers)

(League of Extraordinary Gentlemen - London, 1890)

© 2003 by Stayka deyAvemta

This page was last modified: 2005/01/30


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Lady Victoria

Played by: Stayka deyAvemta

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Lady Victoria Annabelle Montgomery, Countess of Whitfieldshire, was born in January 31st, 1854, as the only child of Earl William Gordon of Whitfieldshire and his beloved wife Annabelle Dorothy, who regretfully died in childbed.

Heartbroken, her father centered all his attentions on his daughter to raise her as well as possible. He never married again, leaving him without a male heir, and thus he decided to give his daughter the best education possible. She was tutored by the best private teachers and it happened that she was an apt pupil in both natural sciences and languages.

By the time she was twenty, she already spoke no less than nine languages (Latin, Greek, French, German, Italian, Hebrew, Spanish, and her native English and Scottish Gaelic) and was quite adept in all things technical, which was somewhat outrageous for a young lady of her pedigree.

Shortly after her 22nd birthday, her father died, and she inherited the Estate as there were no male relatives who could lay a claim to it. To forget the despair and learn something new (and get away from all the prospective suitors who wanted to marry her for her Estate and title), she traveled the world for about 5 years, visiting Hong Kong, China, India, Turkey, Egypt, Arabia, the Balkan and a lot of other countries, learning the languages along the way (additional languages: Mandarin, Cantonese, Hindi, Turkish, Arabic, Russian, Romanian, and Hungarian.)

Finally home again, in 1881, she returned to her Estate and spent time with her hobby of putting together mechanical and electric devices. When one machine in particularly refused to obey her, she virtually willed it to work - thus unconsciously sparking her Awakening. She didn't actually realize what happened and thought it was of course her mastery of the subject that made it work.

After some time tinkering alone in her workroom, she got somewhat bored and decided to make a little visit to London... There she tried to get access to the library of the University of London, but she wasn't allowed in because she was a woman. Of course, Victoria went ballistic, and she swore she would try to do everything to further the right of women to get a proper education at the university, too. After all, not everybody was as lucky as herself to have the money to pay highly qualified private tutors.

So she stormed out of the university and ran into a middle-aged professor who just wanted to get to his office... She started out with a rant on the fact that women are at least as good as men in matters of science, and the professor said "Yeah, yeah...".

Victoria threatened that she would show it to him, and to humour her, he introduced himself as Stuart Taylor Gordon, professor for engineering sciences, and if she really wanted to, she might try to convince him.

So Victoria stormed back home (in the 5 days it took her, she considerably calmed down, fortunately), packed some of her more outrageous inventions and managed to get to Prof.Gordon in another week.

Prof.Gordon already had forgotten the somewhat peculiar young lady and was considerably taken aback, when 2 weeks after their little clash at the steps of the University, she had fought her way into his office and produced her (portable) inventions. After a short inspection, he was utterly amazed as there was true Enlightened Science at work, as it appeared - as he belonged to the Electrodyne Engineers, a society of Enlightened Scientists who were recently founded in London by Charles Babbage and some colleagues who were formerly members of the Artificers (around 1850). He told her he wanted to examine the devices further and asked her to return the next day.

Victoria wasn't 100% thrilled, but she complied. While she spent the time in an exclusive Hotel in town, Prof.Gordon took her devices and showed them to his colleagues, without any comment that is was a young woman who built them. When his colleagues agreed that the creator of these machines really needed to be trained in the ways of the Electrodyne Engineers, Prof.Gordon told them that these devices had been built by a woman.

The other Engineers were positively scandalized. After a heavy debate and numerous shots of whisky, they decided one might try to take a look at that girl, and let her do some tests, before one could still send her home.

So when Victoria barged into Prof.Gordon's office the other day she half expected to be turned away, but instead she faced an assembly of four middle aged to older men who started to interview her on matters of science. No one was more surprised than the Scientists when Victoria managed to answer almost everything to their satisfaction.

Although, when they decided to give her a copy of the Kitab al Alacir to study, they thought maybe this might discourage her, as they gave her a version written in the original Arabian script. But to their utter amazement, she opened the book, read some passages silently and thanked them with the comment it seemed to be very interesting - after all, she knew the language fluently.

The four Engineers sent her out of the office to await their verdict, but this time the debate was considerably shorter, and Prof.Gordon was assigned to become Victoria's Mentor - after all, he was the one who discovered her.

The following years became even more interesting than her years touring half the world. She learned to apply Enlightened Science and create the most fascinating machines and devices. She even learned to build and drive steamcars and zeppelins, although the latter took a while and six dramatic failures, until she finally managed to put together a working zeppelin of her own, the Queen Victoria VII.

In 1890, Prof.Gordon told Victoria that now he really couldn't teach her anything anymore and that she was now a member of the Electrodyne Engineers even though she was only a woman. So she was half glad and half infuriated, when she finally was allowed to be a Scientist in her own right, and she swore to put her abilities to good use for the Queen, the Empire and the furthering of the rights of women.


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