Beautiful People - Margaret Coventry

In terms of wit and jollity I can't compete with Anna and Abigail, who can put their tongues in their cheeks and make a pretty verse around them. I'm slower and blinder and more like the harper, but they put up with me. Now it is time for Beautiful People (hurrah!) and though I get more enjoyment out of hearing about Anna's and Abigail's (Abigail hasn't posted hers yet, but we talked about it, and that is much the same thing), I got some fun out of my own answers. I hope you do too. Goodness knows they were difficult enough this time!

"That on you is fallen the shadow,
And not upon the Name;
That though we scatter and though we fly,
And you hang over us like the sky,
You are more tired of victory
Than we are tired of shame."

The Ballad of the White Horse, G.K. Chesterton

Margaret Coventry, Precocious Chit

1. If your character could be played by an actor, who would it be?

I’m afraid I simply don’t know. It isn’t as if I am totally ignorant about actors, I’m just a perfectionist and I haven’t found Margaret. This is a perfect portrayal of her physically, but this is only a model.

2. Does your character have a specific theme song?

This is a very curious question. I haven’t been on the sharp look-out for theme songs, and consequently nothing perfect has popped out. I think the Fox would insinuate himself into a private joke of my family’s and sing her “Bad Day,” but the only song which has come up for Margaret thus far as been Audrey Assad’s “Show Me,” which is very pretty, and probably rather apt, but less jolly and light-hearted than one might have wanted. So sorry. You may keep the Fox’s company for that.

3. What's her worst childhood memory?

Can she remember? There were too many unpleasant memories to pick out a worst one, but they all involved her sisters. I think Adamant wasn’t the only one half-glad to leave them behind, even if it was in the company of—but I spoil.

4. If your character had a superpower, what would it be?

She would wither with a singular glare beam. In fact, she gets so much practice that it’s just as well that she isn’t a witch (I don’t quite go in for these modern mutants and scientific superheroes) because several people would have been withered into a flaky skeletal heap by now, otherwise. She does have grit and high ideals, though, which, in a pinch, can work for a superpower.

5. If your character crashed on an island with a bunch of other people, how could your character help the group survive?

It depends on who was in the group. Her high ideals are not always that high. As for helping, she probably wouldn’t be much of one even if she wanted to be. She is not an out-doors sort of person, nor does she know much about the elements, but she at least has pluck and dignity, and she would not make a nuisance of herself.

You could raise me like a banner in a battle
Put victory like a fire behind my shining eyes
I would drift like falling snow over the embers
But for now just let me lie

"Show Me," Audrey Assad

6. Is she married? If not, does she someday wish to be?

Yes, that’s the whole problem, isn’t it? At this point, no, Margaret is not married; and at this point she might marry Skander, if he asked, just to spite Rupert—though she does like Skander well enough. (It would be the most enormous bit of spite, you see.)

7. What is a cause she would die for?

None that I can think of—none that she has told me of. There will be things, presently, and people, to which affection will have grown so strong and the knowledge of value will have grown so strong for which Margaret will be willing to do that extreme a deed. But not yet.

8. Would she rather die fighting valiantly, or quietly at home?

This is a difficult question to answer. It does not follow that Margaret would not die fighting valiantly for her home, or die quietly in her sleep somewhere else. Such is life. Or, rather, such is death. But the old Coventry Saxon in her has a strong appreciation of fate and the rightness of things. She would probably like to make a pretty and momentous gesture before the end.

9. If a stranger walked up to her and told her she was the child of the prophesy, would she believe him?

Probably not, but she isn’t a violent cynic. If it were true, she would probably be brought round to the idea at length. She would ask to see the prophesy and inquire into its validity, perhaps, but unless you were really in earnest she would most likely pass you off as a charlatan or a lunatic—and probably be right.

10. Does she prefer the country, or the city?

Margaret prefers the country, but this does not mean that she has any knowledge of it. But having gone from one cage to another all her life, standing on an upland path gives one at least the illusion of freedom.

* * * * *

“Are you afraid?”

He turned to her, eyebrows flyaway as if in surprise. “Of pain?” Then he fluttered his shoulders. “Nay, it takes a braver man than I to fear pain. I am just a fool.”

Margaret looked away and sighed as a pigeon sighs at the start of a long wet evening. “Sometimes you laugh,” she remarked, half-reproachful, “and there is no laughter in it.”

He turned to her again, quite suddenly, and very surprised, and stared hard at her for some time. “Yes,” he mused at last. “I see why he chose you.”


4 ripostes:

  1. That quote, all I can say is!

  2. Margaret sounds like a really fascinating character. Lord willing today, I'll be ordering from Koorong your book, Shadow Things :), and I'm really looking forward to reading it!

  3. I agree with Anne-girl: the ending quote gave me gooseflesh and shivers (which is an altogether desirable thing for an ending quote). And huzzah for Chesterton, always and always. The answer to the sixth question made me giggle, though it probably shouldn't have, and I now possess a rather morbid interest in Margaret's backstory involving her sisters.

    I think I've become quite fond of the precocious chit. ^_^

  4. Yes, six amused me a little myself, but despite the wry humour I know Margaret wouldn't marry Skander, even if he did ask, because she is quite sure Skander would wind up dead, whether obviously or suspiciously by Rupert's hand it doesn't matter. Poor fellow, she likes Skander too much to do that to him, and she likes herself too much to make herself a widow.

    Huzzah for Chesterton! and huzzah for me? I certainly hope you enjoy The Shadow Things, Joy. Try not to think of me while you read it.

    Let's see, a backstory for the other two Coventry girls... I'm afraid there isn't much. It's really a dull story of dullness, which easily breeds a goodly collection of avarice, sloth, and vanity. They are a prime example of what happens to the human soul without regeneration and when it is subject to stagnation. Charmin' gals, eh, what?