My Favourite Female Character

Vesuvia Adelia Rachel Ortese Aguilar is a medieval pathologist from the University of Salerno, Italy, in Ariana Franklin’s The Mistress Of The Art Of Death. Better known as Adelia Aguilar, she is strong-minded, decisive and excellent at her work. Living in a time – twelfth century – when women doctors, especially those who did post-mortem analysis were burnt at the stake as witches, she strives hard to do her work, without having to compromise. Sent to investigate the murders of four children in King Henry IVth’s England, she excels in a man’s world. And boy does she do it well! She exudes a magnificent presence by which most of the male characters of the novel and the series are silhouette in the background.

Her characteristics are faintly feministic and mostly liberal. She uses her stubbornness to snoop around places where women are forbidden and find out the killers. And, in spite of receiving absolute threats she doesn’t back down. In fact, she makes up her mind to return to Salerno only after revealing the dark truths about the murders.

Her strength at work does not shadow her personal life. Her passion at investigating murders is complemented by her curious nature. She speaks her mind with authority and no one can disagree with her. There’s not one instant where she misuses the power in her hands.

Franklin’s words form images in your mind – as you go from page to page in this historical mystery thriller. The plot isn’t directly woven around Aguilar, but most of the time the action is centred on her life and work in a way that Aguilar forms the core and punch of the novel itself.

And, a note on her name: she was named after Mount Vesuvius, where she was found as an orphan, she quite resembles the volcano. Calm and poised, she carries herself elegantly. But you nudge her the wrong way, she erupts with fierceness you’ve never seen or felt!


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My Favourite Female Character, 8.7 out of 10 based on 3 ratings

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This entry was posted on Sunday, October 17th, 2010 at 8:39 am and is filed under Appreciation, Authors, Contest. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.

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