LADY ALISON CHARWELL, born Heathfield, daughter of the first Earl of Campden, and wife to Lionel Charwell, K.C., Michael's somewhat young uncle, was a delightful Englishwoman brought up in a set accepted as the soul of Society. Full of brains, energy, taste, money, and tinctured in its politico-legal ancestry by blue blood, this set was linked to, but apart from Snooks' and the duller haunts of birth and privilege. It was gay, charming, free-and-easy, and, according to Michael, "Snobbish, old thing, æsthetically and intellectually, but they'll never see it. They think they're the top notch-- and they are--quick, healthy, up to date, well-bred, intelligent, they simply can't imagine their equals. But their imagination's deficient. Their really creative energy would go into a pint pot. Look at their books--they're always on something--philosophy, spiritualism, poetry, fishing, themselves; why, even their sonnets dry up before they're twenty-five. They know every thing--except mankind outside their own set. Oh! they work--they run the show--they have to; there's no one else with their brains, and energy, and taste. But they run it round and round in their own blooming circle. It's the world to them. And it might be worse. They've patented their own golden age; but it's a trifle flyblown since the war."
Alison Charwell--in and of this world, so spryly soulful, debonaire, free, and cosy--lived within a stone's throw of Fleur, in a house pleasant, architecturally, as any in London. Forty years old, she had three children