Edward Howe

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Sir Edward Howe, by Shyangell
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Sir Edward Howe, by Shyangell

Character Profile

Name: Sir Edward Howe
Date of Birth: Unknown
Service: None
Rank: Knight
Nationality: British
Billets: Unknown


Biography

Edward Howe happened to be vacationing in Funchal when HMS Reliant came to port with Temeraire. A bookseller mentioned to William Laurence that Howe was staying there and could probably identify the young dragon's breed, which was at that point unknown. Sir Edward mistakenly pegged Temeraire as an Imperial, not realizing that the ruff and jaw tendrils that differentiate Celestials from Imperials do not develop until maturity. It should be noted that up until this point, Howe - like most Europeans - had never actually seen a Celestial or Imperial. His information came from the writings of le comte de La Perouse, who once spoke to an Imperial in Korea.

Sir Edward gave Temeraire and Laurence several books to study at their first meeting. Later, he sent more through the mail, including a book of dragon stories from the Orient which Sir Edward had translated and annotated. This book arrived just as Temeraire was beginning to sprout his tendrils and ruff. Self-conscious about the changes in his own appearance, he was reassured by the frontispiece of the book, which displayed a drawing of the Yellow Emperor with the same sort of tendrils and ruff.

Howe came to visit Temeraire and Laurence again at the London covert while they were there to celebrate the British victory at the Battle of Dover. Temeraire's use of the Divine Wind had been crucial to this victory. It was news of this ability that alerted Howe to his earlier error, since it is possessed only by Celestials. Howe warned Laurence and Temeraire that the Chinese would not like the British having put Temeraire in harness, as later events proved true.

Sir Edward was a member of the Royal Society and was knighted for his scholarship. He wrote several books and papers on dragons including the Dragon Myth Book (the name of which is unknown), Observations on the Order Draconia in Europe, with Notes on the Oriental Breeds (excerpt in His Majesty's Dragon), and A Brief Discourse upon the Oriental Breeds, with Reflections upon the Art of Draconic Husbandry (excerpt in Throne of Jade).

As a boy, Edward Howe grew up in London and would often go to the London covert "dreaming of dragons."

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