Friday, December 16, 2005

CHRISTMAS CRACKERS. Melinda Hammond ponders on a hero for the yuletide festivities

Well there’s no escape from it: Christmas is here so I thought it might be fun to think about which of my literary heroes would make a good companion for Christmas Day and perhaps you’d like to add yours.

I think many of our favourite heroes would be a dead loss on Christmas Day. Apart from Sir Percy Blakeney, I feel many of them lack the social graces required for what can be, after all, a difficult time. Mr Rochester might be persuaded to dress up for a game of charades, but think of Heathcliff: he would just sit in the corner and glower – he certainly would not enjoy the corny jokes from the crackers. Then there’s Darcy. I can’t imagine him enjoying an eggnog with Mrs Bennett.

Of course, I have a soft spot for my own Rafe Bannerman from The Highclough Lady. I love the thought of him bringing Verity Shore to her new home on a snowy night, and having to walk her the last half-mile or so through an icy blizzard (living on the edge of the Pennines I can admit that this scene is drawn from life!) Rafe Bannerman is a tough man who does not suffer fools gladly and he is never in the best of moods early in the morning, but he is considerate enough to choose a really lovely present for his lady and sufficiently good-humoured to enjoy the Christmas festivities.

Of the rest, Georgette Heyer’s Damerel (from Venetia) would be fun on Christmas morning .... but what do you think? Why not take time out from the Christmas shopping to add your own favourite hero or heroine…..

Happy Christmas!


Anonymous said...

Damerel wouldn't need the excuse provided by misletoe, and although Venetia said she wanted him to cover the place with rose petals, I think she was quite reconciled to the idea of them having a nice, quiet, private orgy with just the two of them. So I'm not sure he would have been much help with Christmas decorations.

Freddy (from Cotillion) would be perfect for advice on decorations and Christmas-card lists, and he'd probably enjoy the jokes inside the crackers too.

Hugo (from The Unknown Ajax) is someone I can really imagine getting into the Christmas spirit. Definitely the sort of person who would like charades, carols, decorating the halls with boughs of holly etc.

Must re-read my Heyers yet again.

Stephen said...

What would Christmas be without the Sales? Spending Christmas at Sale Park would be quite an experience. One would never know quite which waifs and strays Gilly might have invited, but you would know that whoever arrived, Harriet would make them feel completely at ease and at home.

However I would prefer to take stay with the Salfords. Chance would be an enchanting venue for yuletide festivities, and who could possibly be a more entertaining hostess than the author of The Lost Heir, particularly if Phoebe could be prevailed upon to write a seasonal ghost story to read after dinner. Of course there would always be the risk of encountering Sir Nugent and Lady Fotherby, but at least the children would have somebody to play with.

Kate Allan said...

Mr Knightley from Jane Austen's Emma might be good to have around the house at Christmas. :)

Anonymous said...

Stephen said "Of course there would always be the risk of encountering Sir Nugent and Lady Fotherby, but at least the children would have somebody to play with." It would be even more amusing if the children decided to play with the tassels on Sir Nugent's new boots. Hours of fun for all the family.

Anonymous said...

Fairly sure Colonel Brandon would do Christmas properly.

Also, now she's had time to work on him, Sophy's Charles would surely be gratifyingly helpful in the holly-bough department. Whether the rest of the house party could face having their lives sorted out over the holiday period is another question...

Oh, and my favourite, Kit Fancot, would also do everything and more than is expected of him.

Stephen said...

Sophy Rivenhall would insist on bracing country walks, followed by games of charades organised with almost military precision, involving costumes, tableaux and everything. It doesn't bear thinking about. I'd almost rather visit orphans with Waldo and Ancilla.

Ravenhurst sounds much more the thing, provided that Kit cedes all responsibility for the food and drink to his new step-father. A meal organised by Sir Bonamy Ripple would leave one pleasantly unable to walk for days.