Saturday, August 25, 2007

My Patagonian Characters.

I am just putting my characters from my book back in their box but before I do I thought I'd introduce my companions of the last few years. I found these pictures in archives and they are photographs of people who really emigrated to Patagonia in the mid-nineteenth century - but of course I have given them new names and invented new characteristics. I suppose it is a form of identity theft.

This is Silas Jenkins - my main protagonist. The story is told from his point of view in the third person. He is about 38, gingerish, with blue eyes and about 5' 9". He's resolute, fairly taciturn and married Megan about eight years ago. For a short time he was happy running a small holding but then everything went bad and he was forced, through poverty, to sail on the Mimosa with his family. He loves to sing and feels most things intensely.

The love of Silas's life is Megan aged 30. She is pictured here with her daughters Myfanwy and Gwyneth. Her eldest son child, Richard, has died on the voyage over the Atlantic. Gwyneth was born a fortnight later (all of this is based on the records of a certain family that emigrated to Patagonia. They were also called Jenkins and I met one of their descendants when I went over there in 2004).

This is Megan's brother, Jacob Griffiths. He is aged about 32 and a Congregational minister. He's a large man, 6' with pale green eyes and a blusterer.

Edwyn Jones is Silas's adversary. He is the leader of the colony and with his wife, Cecilia, tried to prepare for the rest of the colonists in advance. He is, perhaps, the most interesting character. He believes passionately in the idea of Patagonia as a promised land for the Welsh. He has a powerful persuasive voice and is a smooth political operator. He is about 35 years old with mesmerising blue eyes.

Cecilia is Edwyn's loyal but fragile young wife. She is only 25 and guarded and quiet. She finds the Patagonian adventure more difficult than she anticipated.

The Jones' partner is Selwyn Matthews. He is the son of Welsh immigrants to Wisconsin, but has agreed to come south because he is interested in preserving Welsh culture and Language. This picture was taken when he was older. In my book he is only about 30 and is large, strong, quiet and shy.

Here is the the James family. Along the back John, the father who is a shepherd, then the three older children Ieuan, Miriam and Joseph with the mother Mary at the end. The members of this family, especially Mary and Miriam, are Silas's friends and allies.

The other very important character is Antonio. He is aged about 56 and lives a nomadic life with his wife, Seannu, and her sisters Trecca and Mareea. As a child he was sold to an Argentine rancher then escaped back to his tribe whereupon he was called to be a shaman. He subsequently became an outcast when he was thought to have put a curse on the chief's mother which killed her. He has his own voice in the book with the main narrative chapters interspersed with Antonio's story told in the first person.


Blogger Lee said...

I can't wait to read it.

Sat Aug 25, 09:29:00 pm  
Blogger Susanna said...

wow, very cool

Sat Aug 25, 10:18:00 pm  
Blogger Anne S said...

Sounds a really interesting book. I look forward to reading it whenever - soon, I hope, for your sake

Mon Aug 27, 12:03:00 am  
Blogger Kay Cooke said...

Oh I can't WAIT to read that book Clare! You are amazing ...

Mon Aug 27, 09:54:00 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you to you all. I'm just in the process of sending it out now and hoping someone is interested. I'm happy with it now - but it's been a (very) long road.

Mon Aug 27, 01:05:00 pm  
Blogger Andrew said...

Looks very interesting material.

Mon Aug 27, 04:09:00 pm  

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