(Artist credit for this pic of Immanuel Winter goes to the lovely Fiammetta de Innocentis)
I put up a poll on my Facebook page asking the fans of my work what they would like to see next as a preview of The Winter Garden. Only a few people answered (I’m not that popular and Facebook hides my posts), but it was unanimous that they wanted to see a character preview. What I am going to reveal here will contain no spoilers and only contains information from before the events of The Winter Garden. Down the line, I may release a few more of these along the way, but may I present to you, the leading man of The Winter Garden, Immanuel Winter.
Immanuel Winter was born February 2nd, 1870 in Berlin, Germany. His family line can be traced back to the alchemists of Cologne, but during the time of the French Republic, his family migrated to Berlin. This change of cities officially shifted their already changing identity from alchemists to scientists, but one remnant of their esoteric past remained in the form of a pendant:
“It was a vial no bigger than his finger wrapped in curled gold vines and tarnished silver leaves. Etched into the stopper were the words ‘Miscē cum Cruor.'”
The mysterious vile hung around the necks of his mother’s ancestors for centuries, only to be used in case of an emergency. Immanuel inherited the necklace, dubiously believing in its power but dutifully wearing it to please his mother when he left for England.
Following in the footsteps of his ancestors, Immanuel traveled to Oxford to study science, specializing in the rising field of evolution along side Professor Elijah Martin. His days at Oxford tend to be one of a somewhat lonely existence. A lack of enthusiasm for sports or preening while putting an emphasis on his studies, does not aid in his pursuit of friendship, but being the favorite of his Professor Martin, his ties to the Oxford science department gives him connections and opportunities the boys could not. Far from home, he has few friends and tends to spend his time hauled up in the Bodleian library or in the gardens sketching plants to send back to his mother. Besides science, he has a natural aptitude and affinity for drawing, especially when the subject fits with his scientific endeavors.
Immanuel is described as having
“deep-set blue eyes, angular cheekbones, and sandy hair”
and stands around six feet tall, though his willowy build makes him appear taller than he actually is. Regarding his own person, he tends to put the needs of others ahead of his own. He takes care of himself yet does not pay much attention to fashion or working on his physique as many of the other Oxford boys do. Self-sacrificing and quiet, Immanuel can be overshadowed by those with a boisterous disposition, but his work ethic and instinctual grasp of science earns him a place in the scholarly work of the evolutionists. At the time of The Winter Garden, he is twenty-one and in his final year at Oxford. Unable to return to Germany, Immanuel tries not to think about the uncertainty of his future and throws himself headfirst into his schoolwork as well as his sketches.
Hopefully you have enjoyed this little window into Immanuel Winter’s life. As I said, I tried not to give too much away. If there is anything you would like to know about him, leave a comment, and I will see if I am able to answer it (without giving away spoilers). Maybe in a week or two, I will post one of our overindulged, cossetted heroine, Emmeline Jardine.