I’ve always been fascinated by the role of secondary characters in novels. What would Jane Austen’s Persuasion be without Sir Walter Elliot and his overweening vanity? Or Jane Eyre without poor, dear Helen Burns, or lively Adèle? Those characters live to serve, in a way. In the best sense, secondary characters provide more than a placemarker, or merely someone for the hero or heroine to talk to. They should mean something to the plot, and they should reflect bits of the primary characters, exposing their strengths and weaknesses along the way.
And so I thought I’d reveal a little about the secondary characters that people Lady Anne and the Howl and the Dark, and the next two installments Lady Anne and the Ghost’s Revenge & Lady Anne and the Gypsy Curse.
Many secondary characters in ‘Howl’ are, I realize, missing someone who has died or disappeared. (Hmm, funny how things can occur to the writer only after they are done writing the books! I never thought about that before I wrote this post.)
These are three:
The Marquess of Darkefell’s mother:
Lady Sophie Darkefell, Dowager Marchioness – Sophie was once a great beauty, a diamond of the London Season. Her marriage to the Marquess of Darkefell was a great coup, but we, as readers, aren’t really sure it made her a happy woman. The great tragedy of her life was not losing her husband, but losing her favorite child, Lord Julius Bestwick, Darkefell’s twin brother. When he died in
The Marquess of Darkefell’s sister-in-law, married to his younger brother John for four months:
Lady John Bestwick –
The Marquess of Darkefell’s secretary:
Mr. Osei Boatin – when Lord Anthony Darkefell plucked Osei Boatin from the frigid waters of the
So… I have always found secondary characters fascinating. Do you? Are there any memorable secondary characters in the novels you love?
And… Is your life like a novel? Are there memorable secondary characters in the plot that is your life?