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The Boys of Boulogne

In my upcoming book, The Emperor's Agent, Elza goes to Boulogne in the summer of 1805 on the Emperor's business. I thought I'd share some lovely pictures of Elza and "her handsome boys", the lifelong friends she makes that summer.

Elza contemporary sketch @1805

This is Elza from a sketch made that summer. It's amateur, and I wonder who did it.

Corbineau young

This is Jean-Baptiste Corbineau, who we met in The General's Mistress. He'll have a much bigger role in The Emperor's Agent. He's now Michel's Aide de Camp, and he becomes one of Elza's dearest friends.

Honore Young

This is Honoré-Charles Reille, new to the party except for the one glimpse Elza caught of him in The General's Mistress. He was the wounded man from the siege of Genoa in the cart, the one she felt she ought to know. And indeed she ought! Honoré will turn out to be very important to her future.

The Emperor's Agent

Lastly, this is Gervais Subervie in a miniature painted in the summer of 1805. Elza's never met him before, but we have in the Numinous World, though it's been a long time since Lucia ran errands for his tavern! He's Marshal Lannes's Aide de Camp, and vital to Elza's mission.

Comments

( 7 comments — Leave a comment )
sockich
Mar. 6th, 2013 12:09 am (UTC)
You know, it's not that I ever forget these were real people, not just book characters, but seeing it like this is still pretty damn awesome.

but we have in the Numinous World, though it's been a long time since Lucia ran errands for his tavern

Oh! I have totally been meaning to ask (I hope it's OK), was he anyone else besides Sigismund? I have the main characters pretty well sorted (in my Excel spreadsheet. because I am a dork) but a lot of them are still works in progress.

I've been thinking of Subervie as Kos/Glaukos/Sigismund/McDonald/Subervie, but the only thing there I'm sure of is the Sigismund/Subervie connection and possibly Glaukos/McDonald (there was something about rolling the dice? I think? and this is where it would be nice if amazon let me buy the ebook of Stealing Fire, it's much harder to hunt for details through the paperback ;)) but I have no idea if those two connect. So, ah, is there a connection? Or if you'd rather not say, that's fine. :)
jo_graham
Mar. 6th, 2013 04:48 pm (UTC)
It really is awesome to see their actual faces!

Subervie is Sigismund and Kos, yes. Glaukos/McDonald is someone else. You're pretty well sorted! :)
sockich
Mar. 6th, 2013 10:17 pm (UTC)
Awesome, thanks! :)
m_nivalis
Mar. 6th, 2013 02:06 pm (UTC)
I wanted to ask you how the presence of "real" people, with a known history affects your writing? How do you work with the information in biographies and other documents - I assume they are both a limitation and a guide, in that the road is so to speak already mapped out.

After all, if you're dealing with the Bronze Age, you can fill in the blanks yourself and no-one can tell you different. For the 19th century someone can always come later and point you to an (obscure?) document in a language you don't read which contradicts what you wrote.
jo_graham
Mar. 6th, 2013 04:54 pm (UTC)
They are both a limitation and a guide, yes. And it's true that in the ancient world you can read every single source that exists. And then that's it. Ok, once a generation there may be an archaeological discovery that bears, but it's very rare. Mostly a nineteenth century biography is based on the same sources as one written five years ago. So I read the sources and then everything else can be painted in.

That's really different with the era of The General's Mistress. As you say, there are tons of documents and I don't have access to many of them. Sometimes I've gotten things that I don't think many people have. A friend in Warsaw found me anecdotes about VI Corps winter quarters in 1807 via town archives from a small town in Poland that are handwritten and in Polish. A friend in the Netherlands translated some Dutch articles for me. But there's a point where I'm stuck.

And so I have to make it up. And perhaps someone will say, "Subervie's baby daughter was Marie-Helene, not Aimee!" All I can say is that it's a work of fiction. Someone somewhere will find the baptismal records of a child mentioned one time in passing, and I will have her name wrong. I just have to wing it sometimes and say, "Is this something that changes the story?" If not, then I need to go on and not get endlessly stuck on the baby's name.
hiveshipmist
Apr. 1st, 2014 04:45 pm (UTC)
This Elza profile does remind me of Amanda Tapping. She would be a good actress for the part.
jo_graham
Apr. 1st, 2014 06:01 pm (UTC)
She would be. And she would absolutely be older Elza, the peerless spymaster!
( 7 comments — Leave a comment )