[LMB] [CVA] (no real spoilers, but...) Byerly's Backstory, Qs for LMB

Lois McMaster Bujold lbujold at myinfmail.com
Wed Oct 17 21:59:05 BST 2012

[LMB] [CVA] (no real spoilers, but...) Byerly's Backstory, Qs for LMB
Matthew George matt.msg at gmail.com
Wed Oct 17 20:42:37 BST 2012

Matt G.:  Without going into any explicit detail, in Captain Vorpatril's 
Byerly Vorrutyer appears, more of his character's backstory is revealed,
and some of his motivations hinted at.

Two questions for Ms. Bujold:  were the details of Byerly's family problems
worked out in your mind when you introduced him as a character, or were
they produced afterwards?  Were they part of why Byerly believed Donna?

LMB:  Most of By's family background, including the complete Vorrutyer 
family tree for By's father's generation, were worked out for _ACC_.  
It's explained in _ACC_ for example that By's Da is Ges's youngest 
brother.  (There were 5 Vorrutyers in that generation: in order of 
birth, Pierre and Donna's father, Ges, Aral's still-unnamed wife, and 
two younger brothers, Richar's Da and By's Da.)  I have never worked out 
their exact age spread.  Some of By's relationship with his father, and 
reasons for his father's personality, were worked out then as well.

By's immediate professional backstory was in _ACC_, or in my mind at the 
time of writing it, in broader outline; more details were added when the 
subject came up in _CVA_.  Some other details didn't make it into either 
book, and remain unsettled, or at least not committed-to.  That might be 
a good question to ask again when the book is fully out and the 
discussion is not constrained by spoilerphobia.

The incident in _CVA_ to which you may be referring could not, I think, 
have influenced how By took in Donna's story about Richards' bad 
behavior when she was 12 (and Richars was maybe 15-16), since that 
occurred earlier.  By is a few years younger than Donna, iirc. (Lady 
Donna and the late Count Pierre being the children of Ges's _older_ 
brother, the Heir.)

Any non-surviving children (defined for these purposes as any who didn't 
make it to puberty) in any of the two generations of that family are not 
committed-to, but could be summoned at need for angsty backstories.  
Well, more angsty backstories.  Ges never married and had no (known or 
legitimate) children.  Unacknowledged bastards, including from Escobar, 
are a possibility unexplored.

I note in passing that By would have been maybe 5 when his Uncle Ges 
died at Escobar, and probably never met him.  Whatever By knows or 
thinks he knows about the man, he would have learned in later life. 
Probably not from his own father.

Ta, L.

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