character sketch: Matty from Inheritance of Shadows

Map of Webber's Farm
Webber’s Farm

Matthew Webber is the owner of Webber’s Farm in 1919, at the beginning of Inheritance of Shadows. He was born in 1886 and he took over the running of the farm when his father died before the war. He’s not a big man, but he’s wiry and strong from all the physical work he does; and like everyone nowadays, he knows how to kill a person with his bare hands and use a gun.

He’s been in love with Rob Curland from a distance for years, but obviously he had to hide what he felt-from everyone and from Rob too, because who wants to end up in prison? Instead Matty was walking out with Marie Booth from the farm over the hill in a desultory fashion, in the same way that Rob was walking out with her sister. Then the war came and despite working on the land and therefore not being required to join up to fight, both he and Rob went away to France.

Matty has always believed he isn’t as clever or as worthy as his brother Arthur, because Arthur went to university and then away to London and Matty stayed at home to run the farm. He fears not being good enough and not living up to his hero-worship of his brother. But actually, Matty is as clever as his brother was, and more sensible too.

He likes reading and he likes learning. He was educated until he was sixteen and then he left school and helped his father with the farm. He’s kept reading, though, anything he can get his hands on, so picking up the books and continuing Arthur’s research isn’t too much of a stretch for him. He loves that he and Rob are equals in that. Equals in everything, really. That’s what he wants from life-someone to share things with.

You can read the first 7,500 words of Inheritance of Shadows as the free short story The Gate.

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