Perdita and Honeysuckle Weeks lass Perdita Rose Annuziata Weeks, the actress who played Mary Boleyn in The Tudors and now appears in Magnum, P.I. as Juliet Higgins. Her sister is the talented (and wonderfully named) Honeysuckle Weeks, who played Sam so brilliantly in Foyle’s War. The Weeks family must have had fun naming their kids. And, of course, there’s Perdita, the mother of 99 of the Dalmatians in Disney’s 101 Dalmatians.
There is a reason why the name Perdita is so very uncommon. It means “lost one.” But why would the Oxford folk call the young woman by such an unhappy name? And who, after all, was she? Indeed, why do we even know of her today? After all, a great many English immigrants arrived as indentured ser vants, both male and female. That was how many paid their passage to the New World. T he t r a n sp or te d p er s on w a s obliged to serve several years (usua lly seven) in repay ment. They were worked hard on the colonial plantations as field hands or house servants. They weren’t allowed to marry, and should a woman have a child while indentured, she had to work more years (for the child). Still, after working off their time, they were free and could work for themselves. Perdita’s story, however, is most unusual, and it comes down to us in a most extraordinary way. Capt. Coward’s fine home, Plimhimmon, and its later occupants figure into the story again, so we need
Plimhimmon, ca. 1860. 142
March 2019 Tidewater Times