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Woven Revolution: Circe

Once I have gender, faith and location decided, I usually start to develop the character's personality. Beginning today, the next three posts will focus on the three main characters in my trilogy. We begin with the youngest of the three characters: Circe D'Arras.

Bird's Eye Patter


Age plays a big portion in our lives, which we all understand. How we behave at the age of sixty is different than how we behaved at the age of six. For some of us, freedom is at sixty; for others it is at six. The ages around eighteen to twenty-two are a common range for characters especially in romances because it is the expected marrying age. For this trilogy, the women are all in their twenties and thirties because it gives me the base I need.

Also, in this time period, there will be certain expectations of women of certain ages. For Circe, at twenty, she is on the edge of her adult life, and preparing to make a name for herself.

In Georgian England, women were allowed to work in the weaving industry, with a few actually becoming well-known in their own rights. One such woman was Anna Maria Garthwaite (1688-1763) who was well-respected silk designer, and considered one of the best of her time. She created designs by painting watercolors which were in turn translated into woven designs for the silks.

A Woman Designer

Based upon Garthwaite's life, I chose to have Circe become a designer. Also, with her family background in weaving, she would have known a bit about weaving. Throughout the trilogy, Circe will be the one who creates many of the designs woven at the studio.

Circe D'Arras was a character created about a year ago, though she had a different name. She is an orphan who is placed into the Wriothesley household. The story of how she became an orphan is actually told in another book I'm writing set about ten years before Circe's story begins.

Suffice it to say that Circe has very good reasons to keep her family name out of papers and in the Pennsylvania Colony only. She comes from a Huguenot family of weavers who lived in Spitalfields, London. She remains in contact with her two older sisters, while her three younger siblings remain with her (two brothers and a sister). The middle three brothers have little to no contact with the rest of their family.

A Woman Alone

Character develop a personality all their own, though I often have an idea what that personality will be like. For example, I knew Orfhlait ni Sorcer from Shamrocks of Stone would be abrasive, but respected. In that way, I knew Circe would be a woman who stood alone.

Out of the three women, she is the most confidant, but her confidence comes both from the love of her family (adopted and blood) as well as her sheer audacious belief she can do whatever she wants. She has the ability to see things beyond what other's see, but she also tends to ignore other people's opinions.

She is the passionate visionary who sees larger aspects of the world. She struggles especially with the pacifist beliefs of both the Quakers and the Anabaptists around her. She knows that occasionally people can retreat, but only for the purpose to fight another day.

In her story, Circe develops out of her immaturity into a maturity that does not deny her passion, intelligence or creativity, but establishes herself as a wise woman who expects and deserves respect.


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