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Life is not about living the safer option...Life is about living a life worth living.

–Lilly to Mr Ambrose, Storm and Silence

Lillian "Lilly" Ambrose (née Linton) is the protagonist and heroine of the Storm and Silence series, with the story being mostly narrated from her perspective.

Lilly's main goal in life is always to fight for equal rights for women. She identifies as a staunch, independent feminist and suffragette that is devoted to fighting against chauvinism and patriarchy, making sure that she doesn’t miss the chance to express her aversion to men.

After an unforgettable first encounter with Mr Ambrose, her life changes drastically. She fights for her position to be his personal secretary and from there, many adventures ensue.

Early Life

Lilly is the second-youngest of six daughters, born to a gentleman. For the first few years of her life, she lived with her sisters and her parents on an estate in the country. However, after her parents died, her and her siblings moved in with their uncle and his wife into their simple brick home on St. James's Street in London. Lilly and her youngest sister, Ella, shared a room on the first floor, with a window overlooking Green Park. Her uncle, being quite stingy, gave her sisters two dresses each, and had all meals consisting only of porridge and salted herrings to save costs. Her aunt, on the other hand, home schooled them and tried for many years to marry them off to prospective suitors in hopes of entering higher society and cutting expenses. At some point, Lilly became close friends with Patsy Cusack, Eve Sanders and Flora Milton— with the four girls forming a Suffragette's group and organising and participating in protests.[1] [2] [3]

Throughout the Series

Storm and Silence

Suffragist Mission

Lillian stood before a shop window staring at her reflection, dressed in her Uncle Bufford's clothing. Her mission was to make her way to a polling station and illegally vote as a female disguised in male clothing. She made it through the entrance, and just as she was about to get away with her vote, she accidentally curtsied and gave away her status as a woman.[4]

Silent Night

On Christmas Eve of 1839, Lilly was at her house, left with her aunt and twin sisters, Anne and Maria. Her other siblings had gone to visit their relatives while as usual, her uncle had holed himself up in his study. Her aunt had invited three suitors over for the occasion, forcing Lilly to entertain them. The suitors tried to unsuccessfully converse with her during dinner and afterwards, she had no choice but to dance with one of them– an unpleasant experience for her as her foot was stepped on repeatedly. Deciding to put an end to it, she told the suitor she was going to grab a drink, using the opportunity to leave the house. She decided to retreat to Empire House, snacking on food she had saved in her office– the selection including an orange, slice of ham, bowl of nuts and bar of chocolate. While she dolefully reflected on being miserable during Christmas, the door to her office suddenly opened, revealing Rikkard Ambrose standing in the doorway.

They stared at each other and he asked her why she was in the office. As she tried to compose a valid response, he noticed she hid the chocolate bar behind her back. He realized the reason and stated aloud that since she felt miserable at home, she went to the office to be miserable in solitude. At first, Lilly denied it, saying that she was there to file some papers she had forgotten. When Mr Ambrose sarcastically responded that the oranges and nuts she brought probably wouldn't fit into the folders, she confessed that she was miserable and the office was the only place she thought to go to. She then asked him why he was there to which he lied and said that he had forgotten to file some papers. He ordered her to help him bring files before he marched into his office.

A couple minutes later, Lilly entered his office, carrying one of the files she was told to bring, and set it on his desk. She turned toward the window and stared out of it window sadly. When Mr Ambrose noticed and asked what was wrong, Lilly glared at him, questioning why he would care. He retorted that he didn’t and was more concerned about her work efficiency, accusing her of giving him the wrong file. She started to argue back– then sharply inhaled and apologized. She stated that she would fetch the correct one and as she started to head back, Mr Ambrose grabbed her and spun her around, trapping her between him and his desk. When he admitted that he made up the file, she began to curse him– only to cut off her rant mid-word when he abruptly embraced her. Stepping back, he confessed that he didn’t go to Empire House to work but to contemplate about something he had bought, then reached into his pocket and set a small package wrapped in brown paper behind her on the desk.

She turned around to look at the package and when he admitted it was for her, she stared at him in astonishment. Mr Ambrose handed it to her after she asked to see it and thanked him exaggeratedly for buying her a present. She opened it and in her hand was a small yellow figurine of a dancing piggy. She studied it and thanked him again in confusion. He intently stared at her, asking her whether she remembered. She was about to ask what he was talking about when she suddenly realized, her ears turning red in confirmation. Lilly turned the figurine and saw the inscription he had painted on the bottom: "In memory of a memorable night." [5]

After a moment of silence, Lilly's fingers slowly clutched the figurine tightly. She looked up at him with tears in her eyes and told him it was the most important thing she had ever held in her hands. When he asked her if she liked the gift, she insulted it before saying that she loved it. She touched his cheek, asking him if she could share her Christmas food with him in appreciation. He told her to lead the way to her food and as she started to walk in front of him, she abruptly stopped when she noticed something hung at the top of the doorway. Mr Ambrose followed her gaze and noticed the piece of mistletoe. When Lilly said she had heard about the mistletoe tradition, he countered that traditions were useless and antiquated. She stepped closer to him and cupped Mr Ambrose's face with her hands, pulling him down to her and kissing him. When she rhetorically asked if that had felt useless, his arms wrapped around her in response and he pushed her back into his office, shutting the door loudly behind them.

Silence Breaking

Mr Ambrose reveals to Lilly the source of the mysterious disappearances of her past suitors– through his 'disposal' of them through connections with government officials to enlist them in the navy. She is irritated by his interference, but is grateful for their disappearance, so she would not have to marry them. Shortly after, Captain Carter asks for Lilly's hand in marriage after a long impending build-up, to which she declines. Shortly afterwards, Lilly is livid when Mr Ambrose secretly arranges to offer the Captain a promotion, provided he goes to Uruguay so that Lilly will likely never see him again. Mr Ambrose finally admits his feelings for Lilly. Lilly, however, forgets to admit that she loves him in return, and when he proposes marriage closely after his admittance, she denies and he begins to doubt her feelings for him. During the Christmas Ball, they dance, and afterwards she tells him that she loves him, and they have intimate relations despite Mr Ambrose's previous reluctance. He reveals beforehand that he was intent on impregnating her so that she would be forced to marry him, by this point asking for her hand several times, and being refused every time. Lilly only objects to his proposal due to the specifics of the wedding vows that state how a woman has to pledge obedience to her husband, something Lilly could never do, even to the man she loves.

Physical Appearance

Lilly is a young English woman, described to have fiery chocolate brown eyes with a perky nose, pointy chin and round face. She has a slightly tanned complexion with shoulder-length brown hair styled in a bob cut. Figure-wise, she is curvaceous with more of a pear-shaped body, often describing her derrière to be 'generous' rather frequently. On occasion, Lilly does look down on her appearance, stating multiple times that she does not fit the traditional beauty standards for females during the Victorian Era such as having an angular figure, blonde hair and blue eyes. Nonetheless, she is generally perceived to be quite attractive– evidenced by the many suitors vying for her hand in marriage as well as being complimented on her features by others.

While serving as Mr Ambrose's personal secretary, Lilly disguises herself as a male named Mr Victor Linton in order to work. At the start of her employment, she wears her uncle's old clothes consisting of an oversized, baggy suit and huge top hat. However, later on, she is able to afford her own clothes and wears a peacock patterned vest, pinstriped trousers, tailcoat and bowler hat.

Outside of work as her usual self, she wears one out of the two simple dresses that she owns due to her extremely frugal uncle not wanting to spend more on her and her sisters. While posing as Mrs. Lillian Thompson during her trip to Egypt, she wore fancier dresses and jewelry as well as a thobe later on. As her actual self in Battlewood, Lilly bought nicer clothing and accessories to make a noticeable impression on the other members of the Ambrose family.

Personality

Lilly is a free-spirited and feisty soul, filled with sarcasm, wit, and shameless self-expression. She is shown to be extremely intelligent– save for matters involving romance– with sharp memory, quick deduction and cunning. It is for these reasons she is offered a job as a personal secretary.

Throughout the course of her employment, she proves herself as courageous and quite frequently, reckless. She is dedicated to those that she loves, to the point of putting herself in danger to protect them. She rarely cries and tries to hide her softer, emotional side but it surfaces when she feels sympathy and compassion for people that she likes. She is also able to find humour in many dark situations.

Lilly is extremely stubborn and headstrong when it comes defending her beliefs and pursuing her goals, a trait that matches Mr Ambrose's and often puts them at odds with each other. She is the only person who can challenge him without consequences, often using informal language and curse words around him while usually having no fear of his arctic glare. At times, she also demonstrates that she can be charismatic and charming when the occasion arises, using it to her own advantage to obtain information from others. She can be quite influential with her behavior, shown as how her boss gradually adopts a few of her mannerisms including her sarcasm, swearing and fake formality. Her determination to promote feminism is what led to her initial meeting with Mr Ambrose. Unfortunately, it also lands her into trouble from time to time, with unwanted suitors and the authorities.

Relationships

Rikkard Ambrose

Husband

Karim

Friend

Daniel Dalgliesh

Rival

James Carter

Friend

Ella Linton

Sister

Hester Brank

Aunt

Bufford Brank

Maternal uncle

Patsy Cusack

Best friend

Eve Sanders

Best friend

Flora Milton

Best friend

Adaira Ambrose

Friend, Sister-in-law

Samantha Ambrose

Mother-in-law

Trivia

TBA

Appearances

References

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