Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Dramatis Personae: Elizabeth Sophia Markette

I didn't get started on Beautiful People until March 2012, so unfortunately I missed a year's worth of lovely questionnaires.  But when I was looking through the archives the other day, I thought "well, why should I miss out?"  So I've decided to slowly but surely work my way through the Beautiful People archives, featuring a different character each time.  Today, I'll be exploring the protagonist of Only a Novel, with the BP questions from March 2011.

First of all, I should give all y'all some background on my protagonist.  Her name is Elizabeth, and on the surface she's boring as all get-out.  I honestly don't blame you if you find her dull.  Because sometimes she is.  But that's part of the manifold and complicated reasons why I like her, and I'm hoping that after reading a little more about her, you'll start to like her too.

Born in June of 1860, Elizabeth grew up in a wealthy home in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, cared for by her grandparents after her parents died when she was very small.  Her grandfather passed away when she was thirteen, and she led a quiet life with her grandmother--going to school at Miss Raleigh's Academy for Young Ladies and reading everything she could lay her hands on--until her grandmother's illness and death when Elizabeth was twenty-one.  With her grandmother's death came the unsettling news that the family fortune was all gone, and Elizabeth was left to make her own way in the world.  Not being the kind of person to sit down and acquire a case of the doldrums when things take a turn for the worse, Elizabeth packed her bags and set off for England  to seek a position as a governess.  Because, you know, everything's better in England.  All of Jane Austen's stories take place there, after all! (Thank you, my dear, I think we had all apprehended that much.)  On the voyage, she met an extremely fashionable and slightly eccentric young socialite, Lavinia Solange Vivian Bancroft, who was determined that they should be Best Friends... that is, until Lavinia learned more about Elizabeth's plans to be a governess.  Nevertheless, Elizabeth stuck to her guns, obtained a position with the Crimp family, and began her new job as caregiver for Jonathan and Isabelle (who aren't exactly angels and aren't exactly holy terrors, but are somewhere in between).  But of course, she was quite sure that this was all only temporary--sooner or later Mr. Darcy would come galloping up on a white horse and sweep her off to Pemberley to live happily ever after.  Heh.  That's what she thought.

And if I continue to ramble about the entire plot of the story, I'll give it all away and nobody will ever want to read it, so I'll stop now and get to Beautiful People.

~What is her full name?
Elizabeth Sophia Markette.

~Does her name have a special meaning?
*hastily rushes to a baby names website to look this up* Elizabeth is the Greek form of a Hebrew name meaning "my God is an oath".  Sophia means "wisdom".  Heh.  Ironic, that.
I suspect this question might have been asking if I had a special meaning in mind when I named my character... the answer is no.  I named Elizabeth after Elizabeth Bennet in Pride and Prejudice (a fact that comes into play in the story), made up Markette out of mine own little head (stop red-underlining it, Chrome) and then stuck Sophia in the middle after asking bloggy friends for suggestions.

~Does she have a methodical or disorganized personality?
Definitely methodical--or at least, that's what she'd like to think.  Elizabeth prides herself on being logical and not heedless, but the truth is that she gets flustered quite easily.  NO SHE IS NOT AN AUTOBIOGRAPHICAL CHARACTER.

~Does she think inside herself more than she talks out loud to her friends? (more importantly, does she actually have friends?)
Elizabeth is a thinker.  Much of the book's narrative is told from her perspective, as if the reader is inside her mind.  (I'm not a huge fan of the italicized words followed by "she thought", as if the character were speaking aloud.  Thought processes are much less structured than that--at least, in my mind. :P)  Anyway, Elizabeth is most certainly more of the type to think things out privately rather than "spill" to her friends.  Though, if she's talking to the right person, she can be inveigled into sharing her thoughts.  And yes, she has friends.  She is quite offended that you would suggest otherwise. She does INDEED have friends.  Three of them, in fact.  No, four. Er, five.  Wait, is it permissible for a young lady (even if she be a governess) to count an upstairs maid as one of her friends?

~Is there something she is afraid of?
Heehee.  Pardon me while I attempt to make the answer to this question less than eight paragraphs long.  Yes, there are quite a few things Elizabeth is afraid of, and since I am a mean author, several of those things pop up to scare her silly in the course of the novel.  The things Elizabeth is afraid of include heights, large birds, embarrassment, nippy-yippy-dogs (you know the type--the Fifi kind who yap and squeal and run at you and try to bite) and the Bubonic Plague.  Thankfully the Bubonic Plague does not figure in the novel.  Or does it....?  *scribbles down ideas*

~Does she write, dream, dance, sing, or photograph?
I suppose I should answer each one of these separately.  Writing-- Elizabeth writes letters and that's about it.  Dreaming-- science has declared that everybody dreams every time they sleep at night, whether they remember the dreams the next morning or not.  So yes, Elizabeth dreams.  Dancing-- she took lessons in school, and can hold her own in a waltz, but it's not her favorite thing to do in the whole wide world.  Singing-- hmmm.  I really don't know.  She hasn't yet had any occasion to do so.  I'm inclined to think she isn't much of a singer.  Photograph-- personal cameras weren't around yet in 1882, so far as I know.

~What is her favorite book? (or genre of books)
Funny you should ask this.  Let me think very, very hard.  I'm sure I'll come up with something... oh! Yes, of course! Elizabeth's favorite book is Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen, an author of whom she is rather inordinately fond.

~Who is her favorite author and/or someone that inspires her?
Heh.  See above.

~Favorite flavor of ice cream?
Vanilla.  I'm afraid Elizabeth's a bit boring in that respect, but hey, vanilla ice cream is good! Besides, ice cream's ice cream.  Who passes up ice cream?  Crazy people.  Or lactose intolerant people.  (No offense, lactose intolerant people...)

~Favorite season of the year?
Mmm... spring, I think. It's romantical and pretty, and the weather is nice, and she likes to daydream about strawberrying at Donwell Abbey. :D


Maria Elisabeth said...

I must jump in and tell poor Elizabeth's authoress that I do not find that character dull at all. Rather the contrary, in fact. And she seems to have a delightful sense of humor too.

Not that you wouldn't know that, but it bears repeating. :P

Hayden said...

Oh, this is so interesting! I love all of your answers and want to read your book. A lot. Get it published PLEASE :)

I started doing Beautiful people a bit late as well, so I may steal your idea about revisiting certain beautiful people questions

Melody said...

Oooh, I didn't actually read this yet! I shall do so now. :D

Elizabeth is NEVER boring. For one simple reason.
Jane Austen.
Nobody who is a Jane Austen fan could be boring. It is not possible.
*Melody snickers at herself*

"No she is not an autobiographical character"....BAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA.

Oh yes, that is true about your thought narrative. And you do it very well. I like it. :)

I don't remember the being afraid of heights showing up in the book... or nippy-yippy-dogs... but I know Certain Other People who... um... aren't particularly fond of either thing. (We'll leave out the birds, because they ARE mentioned... Yes, thank you Mary...)

Ice cream is ice cream, you say? Did I say it was an elephant, ma'am?

Daydream about strawberrying at Donwell Abbey... sigh... don't we all.
Minus the Mrs. Elton, preferably. ;)