"The Widow: half London's contraband bears her mark. Call her the Gracious Widow. She likes that."The Gracious Widow is a survivor of the fall of the Fourth City, also known as Karakorum, the Mongol capital. She is the daughter of Mongke Khan. In The Silver Tree, her real name is revealed to be Shirin (alt: Cheren).
In 1254 CE, it was her forbidden love for William of Paris, a European artist, that brought Mr. Wines to Karakorum and thus brought its fall to the Neath as the Fourth City. She crafted the Silver Tree that still stands in The Forgotten Quarter. Before the Fourth City's fall, she began brewing peach brandy which serves as the source of her immortality. She must drink it regularly to remain immortal.
Her son, or at least a friend of hers, is Yesterday's King.
If one wants to gain her favors, the best way would be to obtain a copy of O'Boyle's Practical Primer in the Various Languages of Nippon, Tartary, Cathay and the Princedoms of the Raj. You know, for ease of communication.