Historian Iris Sophia March & Professor Roderick (Rory) David Alleyn: Biographical Information
Iris Sophia March is the daughter of Lillian Susan Raleigh (deceased) and Frederick Walter March , Professor Emeritus, William & Mary. Iris has a younger sister Helena a volcanologist working in Hawaii.
Roderick is the son of Jessica Gwyneth Jones and Gerald Henry Alleyn (deceased), and has a younger brother, Christopher, an archaeologist at the U. of Virginia. Jessica recently retired from her position as Head Librarian at the Williamsburg Library. Both Jessica and Gerald were born in Britain but came to the Williamsburg area due to Gerald’s parent's good friend, Jacques de Winter extolling the wonders of Virginia.
Iris and Rory and Max grew up together. (Helena and Christopher sometimes joined them but both preferred to sit in a quiet place and read). Their childhood was somewhat tumultuous since they and their families were all caught up in Max’s great-uncle Jacques’ passion for fast cars and vintage cars. (Fortunately, the adults had business savvy and turned it into a profitable business.)
Even Iris, to her amazement, was a part-time grease monkey and gymkhana enthusiast. While her sister and most of her friends were involved with horses, she was involved with cars. As a result, her parents never had to worry that she would have a date whose car mysteriously broke down in some out-of-the-way place! Perhaps because they were all such close friends, the group never thought of each other as someone to date.
As they went from high school to college, they expanded their interests --Max studied botany, Iris volunteered at digs at Colonial Williamsburg, and Rory discovered the world of literature. When they graduated from William & Mary, they put away their cars and went to Cambridge for graduate studies. Here they meet the very British Harry Holbrook, the younger son of the Marquess of Caterham and an archaeology student. He quickly became a close friend.
After graduation the trio returned to Williamsburg. Rory and Max accepted teaching positions at William & Mary. Iris received a position as an assistant curator at Colonial Williamsburg.
At long last, Iris and Rory “discovered” each other and married a couple of years ago. They bought a house next to Max and then bought an Old English sheepdog named Whimsey (named after Lord Peter) and an orange Tabby named Clementine (named after the fruit). Max couldn’t figure out what took them so long. Now, he too, could have a life of his own!
Besides teaching British Literature, Rory (now a full professor) writes mystery stories, a genre that has always fascinated him. His protagonist is a professor at a Virginia college whose hobby is vintage cars and who keeps finding dead bodies! He is a successful novelist much to his delight
Iris has received a number of promotions and is now in the Department of Historical Research, the lynch-pin for the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation. Here she is involved with evaluating programs and exhibitions, training interpreters, reviewing manuscripts and study guides, and involved with charting new directions for Colonial Williamsburg.
Iris and Rory’s exciting backgrounds and abilities make them popular, and they think there is nothing better than good times with family and friends.
By-the-bye, they still have their love of fast and vintage cars!