Character Guide

MAIN CHARACTERS:

Harriet French – Harriet is the series’ main protagonist. She was brought up in the north of England by her aunt, after her father died and her mother left to live with her new husband. When the series starts, she’s just starting at Oxford University, looking forward to learning, making friends and meeting the posh boy of her overheated teenage dreams.

The Hon. Tom Flyte – As soon as Harriet meets Tom – a charming and good looking second year at her college – she’s utterly smitten. Tom is a vampire and relatively junior member of The Cavaliers, turned in the 1920s. Though he entirely reciprocates her feelings, Harriet’s mother considers him to not be good enough for her, so initially at least, he goes for a tactic of complete avoidance.

Lord George Stewart – George is one of the the Senior Officers of the Cavaliers, turned during the English Civil War. As beautiful as he is untrustworthy, George seems to abandon his usual different girl every night approach in order to seduce Harriet. But does he really love her or is he only interested in securing his position?

Adelaide French – Harriet’s mother looks more like her slightly older sister, as a result of being made a vampire when her daughter was a baby and she was in her late twenties. Her second husband is Augustine, leader of the Cavaliers, who turned her to save her from dying in a car crash, having become convinced she was the reincarnation of his centuries dead wife. Glamorous, ruthless and ambitious, she’s determined to see her daughter settle down with a nice eligible vampire.

Augustine (Gus) Piso – Harriet’s Step-Father and the two thousand year old leader of the Cavaliers. He’s almost unimaginably rich and powerful, both in his own right and through controlling most of the country through his network of utterly loyal vampires in high places. He does what he has to to ensure the society’s power never diminishes and no one hurts his family, but is otherwise surprisingly gentle. He hasn’t personally killed anyone since classical times and the only vampire he ever created was Adelaide. Unlike most of the Cavaliers, who appear to be in their late teens to mid-twenties, he was turned in his forties or fifties, and looks his age, albeit in a George Clooney sort of way.

HARRIET’S OXFORD FRIENDS:

Caroline – blonde, rich and hyper-sociable, she’s everything Harriet expected to hate, but they quickly become the best of friends. Caroline’s always there to offer a glass of wine and a new plan of attack when things go wrong.

Olamide – A super intelligent, shy black girl from south London, she won’t let anything stand in the way of her top first, at least until Caroline and Harriet encourage her to let her hair down.

Josh – A music student with the voice of an angel and the face to match. From Somerset, he’s got an accent, an attitude and a bit of a chip on his shoulder. Good friends with the girls, he’s fiercely protective of them, especially when posh boys try to seduce them.

Ben – Caroline’s boyfriend. A law student, a talented rower and never one to miss a party. Under the sort of rah exterior perfectly designed to raise Josh’s heckles, he’s a genuinely kind, friendly and cheerful guy. He is aiming to be inducted into the Cavaliers by the end of his first year.

Callum – Olamide’s boyfriend. Even more hard-working than she is, he never appears to leave the library and frowns on the other characters sociable ways.

OTHER CAVALIERS

Rupert – Another Senior Officer of the Cavaliers. He and George have a rivalry dating back 400 years.

Archie – The heir to a Dukedom and one of the newest Cavaliers. Stephanie’s boyfriend, until he killed her to complete his transformation, something he’s never forgiven himself for. Unlike most vampires, who quickly adapt to their new lifestyle, he’s sullen and reluctant to get involved with the societies activities.

Edward – A recent new recruit.  Notorious for being the leader of the gay scene in Oxford, and generally amiably camp, right until the point when he turns ruthless when an election needed fixing. Currently attempting to become President of the Oxford Union – with the Cavaliers on side, the result is practically a foregone conclusion. 

Charles – Another new recruit, he killed Edward’s twin sister Alice to complete his transformation, causing tension between the two former friends.

Crispin – A vampire from the early nineteenth century. Edward’s boyfriend, campaign manager and fixer. He can be charming when he wants to be, but is definitely not someone to get on the wrong side of.

Hugh – A recent recruit. Unusually for the Cavaliers, who are almost exclusively white, male and upper class; he is black, male and upper class. A total ladies’ man, he’s nonetheless nicer than the average Cavalier.

HARRIET’S FAMILY

Aunt Kate: Harriet’s father’s younger sister, she’s brought Harriet up since she was a baby. Aunt Kate is a friendly no nonsense woman who looks her age. She doesn’t work, and her life mainly revolves around her kids – the real ones and Harriet. She never has a bad word to say about anyone – apart from Adelaide whom she treats with barely disguised loathing.

Uncle Bob: Kate’s husband. A hard working man of few words, he loves his kids and is intensely proud of Harriet.

Sam and Jane: Harriet’s twin cousins, but having been brought up with them, she considers them to be more like her brother and sister.  Three years younger than Harriet, they are typical teenagers, obsessed with football and music respectively. When they were younger, they’d looked almost identical, but now Sam’s once curly blond hair is cropped close to his head, whilst Jane’s is long, and ruthlessly straightened. His childish puppy fat is rapidly turning to muscle whilst hers turns to curves.

Stephanie French: Harriet’s cousin on the other side – the daughter of her mother’s twin sister. A few weeks older than Harriet, she went to Oxford before her and was killed by the Cavaliers.

OTHER FRIENDS, ENEMIES AND ACQUAINTANCES

Katie: Rich, glamorous and frankly a bit of a bitch, she’s determined to “get her claws,” into Tom, and isn’t going to let some rough northern girl like Harriet stand in her way.

Julia: A beautiful, ethereal music student running against Edward to be President of the Cavaliers. Before their deaths, she was best friends with his sister Alice and close to Harriet’s cousin Stephanie. She can’t quite put her finger on what’s wrong with the Cavaliers, but is convinced they are responsible for their deaths.

Catherine: A bubbly Union officer and serial planner of parties and fashion shows. Good friends with Harriet despite the fact that they tend to find themselves on opposite sides in elections. Has an on-off relationship with Hugh, in-between numerous other conquests on both their parts.

Harry: Rich and obnoxious, he believes the best way to solve a problem is to throw money at it, whether that’s winning a Union election or becoming a member of the Cavaliers.

Kitty, Sameer, Matt, Priti: Other people around the Union

Polly: A rare example of a female vampire, she was turned in Victorian times and has been Augustine’s ultra loyal PA for most of the succeeding decades.

3 thoughts on “Character Guide”

  1. Are the characters’ colleges specified or important? After most of a term at Oxford (which isn’t long, I know), I’ve started to feel like the colleges have different reputations.

    • I’d definitely agree that lots of the colleges have different reputations – Merton hardworking, Christ Church posh, Wadham super liberal etc etc. I think like most stereotypes these have some basis in truth but are wildly over-exaggerated, though it also becomes a bit self-sustaining as some people apply to colleges with the reputation they think will suit them and then play up to it.

      Most of my main characters go to a made up college called Lilith College. It’s 90% Magdalen (which was where I went) but having one I’ve created means I’m not too tied down by geography. For example, at Magdalen, all the freshers live in the Waynflete Building, which is a 1960s tower block. There was no way on earth I was setting any of my romantic novel in that thing! The supporting characters however all go to real colleges and I did allocate them at least partly based on the stereotypes.

      Remind me, which college are you at? How is that one?

      • I go to St. Anne’s, which wasn’t founded until the late 1800s and didn’t get full college status until the mid-1900s. It’s out of the center of town and I think it has a reputation of being modern and super informal. I also think there are a lot of people who still think it’s all-girls for some reason, even though about half of our students are boys.

        I’m jealous that you went to Magdalen! I love St. Anne’s, but if I had applied as a full-degree student and not as a Visiting Student (I only had a choice of a few colleges), I think I would’ve asked for Magdalen.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s