[LMB] Points of view - Characters

Gwynne Powell gwynnepowell at hotmail.com
Wed Oct 27 13:58:54 BST 2021

I'm doing a reread of False Colours (Heyer discussions tend to send me
back to her). I haven't revisited it often, it never became a favourite, but
I'm hoping that will change.

I've already realised why I didn't really take to the book the first time: it's
Lady Denville. The twins' mother is described in the most glowing and
admiring terms, she's lovely, she adores her children, she's beautiful and
good-natured... etc etc. But she's also incredibly self-indulgent and greedy,
she spends money - that they don't have - like water, and makes no effort
to economise. She's massively entitled, and expects everyone else to
do whatever is necessary to keep her comfortable.

Yes, I know that the same applies to most of the upper classes - but we
see quite a few of them who do have jobs - in the army or the government
mostly - or who support charities, campaign to help the poor, manage
their income carefully, run successful farming operations, and so on. They
do something. They make an effort. Lady Denville is pure parasite, she
seems to think that because she was beautiful when she was young, she's
entitled to leech onto everyone around her, for life.

Ok, yes, that's rough, but that's the point; we're apparently meant to see
her as pretty and fun and sweet, and I just don't. It's happened in other
books, by other authors. And the odd movie or tv show - there's a character
who is obviously meant to generate warm friendly feelings, and for me
it's the total reverse.

Of course, sometimes the reverse happens; I'll feel sorry for a character
who's meant to be disliked. Or I'll admire them, or understand them
(which should probably worry me.)

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