At last, Sir Terry, we must walk together
Thursday, March 12th 2015: Sir Terry Pratchett died at home in Wiltshire following a long battle with Alzheimer's. BBC report, 3:26pm GMT
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She Won't Take 'No' For An Answer 1
Her Grace, The Duchess of Ankh, Lady Sybil Deirdre Olgivanna Ramkin-Vimes, Lady of the Ramkin Estates.
|Lady Sybil Vimes, (née Ramkin,) Duchess of Ankh|
|Name||Sybil Deirdre Olgivanna Vimes (née Ramkin)|
|Occupation||aristocrat, caring for Swamp dragons|
|Physical appearance||strong woman with a large build|
|Residence||Ramkin Residence, Scoone Avenue, Ankh|
|Parents|| Lord Ramkin (late father)|
Lady Ramkin (late mother)
|Relatives||Grandfather Sir Joshua Ramkin and various aunts and uncles are mentioned|
|Children||Samuel Vimes Jr.|
|Marital Status||Samuel Vimes Sr. (husband)|
|Books|| Guards! Guards!|
Men at Arms
Feet of Clay
The Fifth Elephant
Full name: Her Grace, Lady Sybil Deirdre Olgivanna Ramkin-Vimes, The Duchess of Ankh. Lady Sybil is the last scion of one of the oldest clans of the Ankh nobility, the Ramkins, (while there are still a few of the old noble families around, there are also many new nobility, civic figures given Lord titles by the Patricians down the ages.)
Like many other old noble families, the Ramkins are hard-headed, and never shirk a battle when Ankh-Morpork calls. Nor indeed in other circumstances: when Samuel Vimes is flung thirty years into the past in Night Watch, he only becomes fully aware of the reality of the situation when he returns to a "home," which in that place and time is not his. After punching the butler, he is forced to retreat by a determined-but-then-much-younger Sybil, who makes a very-determined attempt to disembowel him with a broadsword.
This is a character trait in Sybil: right from her first appearance, chronologically speaking, it is clear that she won't shirk from a fight in defence of things she loves. (It also means the ungallant can conjecture that at the time of Young Sam's birth, she is 46 years old, contrived from the notion that during the time travel in Night Watch the then-young Vimes is 16 and the then-young Sybil is also, as stated, 16, making her the same age as Vimes.
In appearance Lady Sybil is a strong woman with a large build. She is over forty years in age and still very active, both in lifestyle, and in social activities. She is one of the notable breeders of swamp dragons. Her house includes a penhouse for the dragons. She is also founder of the Sunshine Sanctuary for Sick Dragons. To her, the murder of a swamp dragon is equivalent to the murder of a human or other accepted humanoid citizen. Due to the fire hazards associated with breeding swamp dragons, Lady Sybil does not keep her real hair. In social occasions, she likes to wear a big chestnut wig and a light blue dress. In private, she is often wearing a wig and a lot of leather armors, rubber boots, thick gloves, as she works on the dragons.
Lady Sybil is the richest woman in the city of Ankh-Morpork. It is possible that she is the richest person (regardless of gender) in Ankh-Morpork. She owns approximately a tenth of uptown Ankh, and extensive properties in Morpork. The Assassins' Guild, for example, pays rent to her for their grand Guild house. Lady Sybil is also one of the more sensible, more gracious, more accepting (of changing times and ethnic diversity and so on), less arrogant, and less snobby among the nobles of the Sto Plains. She may use class/nobility/etc., but she doesn't actually believe in it.
Before meeting Samuel Vimes, (then Captain of the Night Watch division of the Ankh-Morpork City Watch), Lady Sybil spent all her time on dragons and seldom attended social parties. Her mansion was very dilapidated, her gardens were a mess of ivies over statues of old Ramkins, there were few servants, and she cooked her own meals and lived in only a few rooms in the large mansion. After marrying Vimes, Lady Sybil became active in society again because she considers that Vimes is truly a gentle man, (not a gentleman,) a good man who deserves better things in life. Lady Sybil is not arrogant, so there are quite a few nobles that she considers to be 'very silly', but she still dines with them and writes to them.
Lady Sybil maintains an extensive correspondence list; her Hogswatch card list is in two volumes. She was at school with Angua's mother, Serafine von Überwald and regularly sent her letters. This is believed to have been discontinued following the attempt on Samuel Vimes's life by the Überwald werewolves. This wasn't so much the murder attempt as the fact that at the time, Lady Sybil was effectively kept prisoner by her old schoolfriend, who lied to her that she had no knowledge of what was going on. If there is something Lady Sybil cannot abide, it's this sort of dishonesty. (Let alone the fact that Serafine violated the sacred bonds of trust between the Ladies who Organise). It is also a safe bet that Serafine has been struck off the Hogswatch card list and blackballed by everyone who was with her back in Form 3b.
While at at school she excelled at geometry under the tuition of her maths teacher Miss Turpitude.
After several promotions of Vimes by the Patrician Lord Havelock Vetinari, Lady Sybil is also the Duchess of Ankh. Vimes loves her very much, but it irks him when she is mentioned as the Duchess of Ankh, because that's due to him being the Duke of Ankh, and he doesn't like being a Duke.
After a rather difficult childbirth (she was a lot older than the norm), Lady Sybil safely gave birth to a son (named Sam) thanks to the professional attentions of one Dr. J. "Mossy" Lawn. As thanks Vimes signed over to Dr. Lawn the freehold of a large corner site near Goose Gate, in addition to a large sum of money. The site is now developed into the Lady Sybil Free Hospital, with Dr. Lawn as the head physician.
1 At Crundells, however, the family motto is "What We Have We Keep". No Latatian is given: perhaps Quis Habemus Servamus.