Out of the thousands of women who file through England's stately country manors in any given year, how many can help but imagine themselves mistress of all that they survey? How many can resist linking their name, if even temporarily, with the words "Lady," "Countess" or "Duchess" just to see how it sounds? How many refrain from dreaming of a meeting, an acquaintance or even friendship with a member of the family? Not many, I'd be willing to bet.
Edith Lavery is no different from the rest of us except that she accomplishes what most of us only dream of. While traipsing through Broughton Hall, a chance encounter with Charles, the Earl of Broughton, is long enough for Edit