“Pleasant it is for the Little Tin Gods
When great Jove nods;
But Little Tin Gods make their little mistakes
In missing the hour when great Jove wakes.”
It is 1898, and Ettie Penrose is desperate to avoid the tedium of another London social season. When her brother, a barrister in British India, learns of a teaching position in Calcutta, her parents agree to let her go. Making the same voyage is Lady Mary Curzon, the beautiful American who left a happy life in Washington to marry Lord George Curzon, a British aristocrat and the newly appointed Viceroy of India. Lady Curzon is about to become India’s Vicereine and London society is aflutter that an American will represent Queen Victoria in Britain’s most important colony.
In India, Mary struggles to adjust to the spotlight and the endless demands placed on her husband. Meanwhile, Ettie is learning she has strong views about educating girls, which creates difficulties. Discouraged, she is considering a return to London, when she is invited to summer in the Himalayas with Lady Curzon and her lively American sisters.
Ettie cannot help but enjoy the frivolity of the social season and is drawn to a young protégé of Lord Curzon. But beyond the gaiety, discontent is simmering amongst the Indian intellectuals who see independence as the only future for India. When Ettie’s brother becomes unwittingly connected to an act of violence, he demands she leave India at once. Now, Ettie must determine what she is capable of and what she can ask of the American Vicereine.
Lady Mary Curzon, the inspiration for Downton Abbey’s Cora Crawley
Susan’s UK research trip for Lovebirds & Tin Gods