Wednesday, 2 January 2008
I don't believe a word of it! (And you can't make me).
1. The eponymous hero in Little Lord Fauntleroy, which is one of those books people feel they have read when they haven’t. It’s actually rather a good read, but the Little Lord himself is like no real boy has ever been; so cherishing of his mother, and slow to pick up on what everyone thinks of his bullying old grandpa.
It's his cissy clothes, which started a trend in America at the time (see photo) that everyone thinks of in connexion with him. I found a frankly worrying picture of LLF, with excessive ringlets, velvet and lace, astride another boy, that I have spared you.
2. Lyra, in The Praise Singer by Mary Renault. Lyra is a totally bogus depiction of a high class whore. This is not my area of expertise, but whatever hetairai were like, I am convinced they weren’t like this. And I’m one of Mary Renault’s biggest fans.
3. Esther Summerson in Bleak House. Beguilingly written, indeed one of my favourite characters in the book, but again, fake. Prepared to marry one man out of duty and gratitude, when she is in love with another... So good, loving, and modest. A fictional construct.
4. Harry Potter. Unloved since he was a baby, brought up by the ghastly Dursleys, yet he turns out well-adjusted and nice. Improbable.
5. Leonard Bast in Howard’s End. Carrying a weight of symbolism on his frail shoulders, he is E.M.Forster's lone unsuccessful forray into the lower classes. Better in the Merchant Ivory film, as fleshed out by the actor Samuel West.
Who would you nominate?
Posted by Lexi at Wednesday, January 02, 2008