Vivien’s horse in Notorious Vow has a remarkable history that only gradually comes to light in the course of the novel. Not until near the end of the story does she finally understand how it was that Thor, the name she gives to the beautiful iron gray gelding, came to arrive on her doorstep in obscure Knightsbridge. At that time, she couldn’t wait to ride him during the promenade of the ton in Hyde Park, but this happy occasion was marred by the jeers and insults hurled at her when she rides Thor up Rotten Row. She is despised for pretending to be someone she is not—-one of them!
Thor was an English Thoroughbred, descended from the famous Godolphin Arabian, one of the three foundation sires of most racing Thoroughbred in the world today. Have you read Marguerite Henry’s beloved King of the Wind? Then you’ll be familiar with the touching story of this remarkable stud that permanently enriched the bloodlines of Thoroughbreds to this day. I like the inclusion of Grimalkin, his lifelong companion, in the portrait. Do you see him?
Thor, like his great-great-great grandsire, was a king of the wind, as Vivien found out when he was startled into a bolt that led her straight to the ha-ha barrier in Hyde Park.
What does color have to do with this? Thor was a gray, but this was not always so. To Russell’s dismay.