Dr. Florence Seward is an American therapist who has “an unconventional new approach” to treating Vanessa Ives’ problems. Seward is played by Patti LuPone, who played a different character, the "Cut-wife" Joan Clayton, in Season 2.
Appearance and Personality Edit
Dr. Seward is a middle-aged woman with short brown hair, stern expression and austere clothes. Vanessa Ives has noted that she bears a very strong resemblance to Ives's mentor, Joan Clayton. Seward is very forthright and with a slight sense of humor.
Dr. Seward is descended from the Clayton family of Devon, West Country. On the advice of Ferdinand Lyle, she was contacted by Vanessa Ives to receive treatment as in the past she had helped Sir Ferdinand to overcome a phase of profound ennui.
Initially skeptical of Vanessa's tale of vampires, witches and demons, Seward soon noted the darker traits of Vanessa's personality, and eventually agreed to place Vanessa into a hypnotic state to help her recall hidden memories from her past. Once the session had begun, however, Dr. Seward found it impossible to pull Vanessa back out of the fugue, even when she resorted to burning the young woman on the hand, and ultimately all she could do was to wait under Vanessa emerged of her own volition. After this, she and Vanessa befriended one another, and, at her advice, Vanessa paid a visit to Dr. Sweet.
Skills and Abilities Edit
- Hypnotist: Dr. Seward understands the working of the human mind enough to place a patient into a hypnotic trance. She does so only sparingly, as she is sceptical about the value of hypnosis, especially in the face of its associated risks.
- Psychology: Dr. Seward is a skilled alienist that, with a simple glance at the attitudes of her patients, can identify their psychological troubles.
Memorable Quotes Edit
Dr. Seward (to Vanessa Ives): I don't care about politeness. There are no manners here. If you want to scream like an animal, you should. Or cry. Or yell. There are no emotions unwelcome in this room, and if this process doesn't appeal to you, the door is there.
Dr. Seward (to Vanessa Ives): I already know what's wrong with you. You're unhappy. You're isolated. You think you're the cause of this unhappiness and are unworthy of affection so you've few friends. Recently you lost something you think very important. Your lover, your faith, your family, or all three. You blame yourself for this, so it makes you neurotic, and you don't sleep and don't eat anything healthy anyway. You used to take care of your appearance, but you've lost interest in that, so you avoid mirrors. Sunlight bothers you, so you avoid that too, about which you're guilty because you think it's unhealthy and even immoral not to like the sun. You're not a woman of convention or you wouldn't be here, but you like to pretend you are so people don't notice you. But you sometimes like that as well, and can dress to draw the eye. But then you think the men who look at you are fools, or worse, to be taken in by such an obvious outward show. So, instead you're drawn to dark, complicated, impossible men, assuring your own unhappiness and isolation because, after all, you're happiest alone. But not even then because you can't stop thinking about what you've lost, again, for which you blame yourself. So the cycle goes on, the snake eating its own tail.
Dr. Seward (to Vanessa Ives): Uncovered memories are sometimes suppressed for a reason. The mind protects itself from what it doesn't want to know, the castle pulling up the drawbridge.
Dr. Seward (to Vanessa Ives): You have to trust people, Vanessa. They can surprise you.
- This incarnation of Dr. Seward was inspired by the character Dr. John "Jack" Seward, M.D. from Bram Stoker’s 1897 novel Dracula.