- Annette Austin
BACK STORY - LAWRENCE JAMES
Over the next couple of months, I will be writing the back story for some of the main characters of Havers End and what their lives were like prior to The James Saga. First, I will begin with the King of Havers End, Lawrence James.
Lawrence Alexander James was born on the Havers End plantation on July 25th 1835, the only son of Edward and Alice James. At an early age, he was a shy child, rarely communicating with his young counterparts. His only friend was Thomas Powell, Grace Powell’s son, who lived at The Big House with him.
HIS EARLY YEARS
During his tender years, Lawrence was extremely close to his mother, doting on her. At her untimely death, Lawrence was devastated. Before his mother’s demise, Lawrence’s relationship with his father was fraught with tension. It didn’t help that after this time, Edward left to go to Atlanta on business for two weeks, two days after Alice’s funeral, leaving Lawrence to grieve alone. This leads to resentment on the part of Lawrence.
The relationship between the two men deteriorates dramatically after Edward makes a shocking decision regarding Thomas. It leads to a complete breakdown in the relationship between Edward and his son.
Before this occurred, Lawrence had grown from being an introverted boy to a charming, confident teenager. His strawberry blonde hair and his magnetic azure blue eyes attract young girls and Lawrence enjoys the attention.
TEENAGER TO MANHOOD
Desperate to get away from his father, Lawrence goes to university to study engineering where he spends most of his time socialising and courting several women, sometimes two at the same time. Academically, Lawrence achieves average grades, when, unbeknown to him, his father pays the head of the university a substantial amount of money so that Lawrence is given better grades.
He begins to court Eleanor Southland, an attractive woman who comes from a wealthy Southern family. However, Lawrence feels they have little in common and he does not love her. Much to her sadness, Lawrence breaks off their courtship. This decision is not taken well by his father, Edward, or by his youngest sister, Madeleine James, with whom Lawrence has a close relationship. Madeleine sees this as an opportunity lost as a marriage between the
two young lovers would have merged two of the most powerful Southern families, cementing the James name in The South. However, Lawrence yearns for a deeper relationship with someone that loves him and who he loves as well.
Added to this, the poisonous atmosphere between him and his father is not helped by the fact Edward insists that Lawrence will take over the plantation someday. Unfortunately for Edward, his son detests Havers End and slavery in general. He has no wish to run the plantation which has brought untold riches to his door and misery in equal measure. The internal power struggle between his father and in some cases, himself, also leads to occasional wild bouts of drinking. Although, most of the time, Lawrence does this to upset his father rather than any enjoyment that he gets out of it.
His life seems to be drifting aimlessly along – until Lawrence meets Jasmine Thomas.
If this back story has whetted your appetite, 'The Fall of the House of James' , the first book in The James Saga is available to buy on Amazon in both an EPUB and a paperback version. It is also available on Barnes and Noble, Kobo, Apple Books and Scribd,
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