|Reclining lady with a Cat by |
In Chapter 16, I present a character who is not bad--but certainly not helpful: Sir Prescott.
In the first version of Aubrey, Sir Prescott was a pedantic academic. Through the various revisions, he grew in importance until he became a member of the Academy board and Sir James's rival.
Sir Prescott is not a bad guy. He's the Head of Rostand College. He owns a spa. He's less likely to feed Aubrey to the wolves than Sir James.
However, none of this makes him trustworthy. He may not sell Aubrey to slum magicians for money, but he would, perfectly innocently with boatloads of well-meaning, sell her for a stake in an academic argument.
Of course, he wouldn't see it that way (academics never do) He would be absolutely sure that he was doing what was best for Aubrey--helping her to overcome her terrible ordeal by submitting herself to his proven psychological methods.
This type of not-really-a-bad-guy-but-not-a-good-guy character makes for good tension and some fun. After all, who else could Aubrey manipulate by swooning--and who else would totally deserve it? (Think of Shakespeare's Malvolio.)
*There is very little information on the web about H. Guerault. Apparently, he was something of a one-trick pony (hey, if it sells . . .) since he also did Reclining Lady With Dog.
On a side-note, when I tried to find more information on Reclining Lady With a Cat, I discovered that the art world is awash with pictures of ladies with cats, reclining and otherwise, including this creative parody of Leonardo Da Vinci's Lady with an Ermine.
I chose Guerault's cat-lady for her expression. After all, Chapter 16 is where Aubrey schemes to get what she wants.