Friday, July 6, 2012
Erin O'Riordan Guest blogs- Great Redheads in Books.
Great Redheads in Books – Guest Post by Erin O’Riordan
The Weasleys – J. K. Rowling gave us an entire clan of redheads in Molly and Arthur Weasley and their brood of seven offspring. Harry Potter’s closest friend is Ron Weasley, the youngest of the six Weasley brothers, who is immediately recognized as belonging to the Weasley family by the faculty at Hogwarts simply on the basis of his hair color. As an adult, Harry will marry Ron’s only sister, Ginny. Rowling did not mention in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows whether any of Ginny and Harry’s children inherited their mother’s red hair. Of course, in England, the Weasleys are referred to as “gingers.”
Pippi Longstocking – The red-headed mischief maker, who first appeared in print in 1945, began as bedtime stories Astrid Lindgren made up for her daughter. Pippi herself has no living mother, and her father leaves her alone for extended periods of time while he sails the seven seas. The adorable freckle-faced youngster, whose hair is described as carrot-colored, is stronger than the strongest man in the world, has an unlimited supply of gold (in contrast to the chronically impoverished Weasleys) and hangs around with a monkey and a horse. She has little concern for the conventions of society – ensuring that pretty much every kid who hears her stories wants to be her.
The Red-Headed League – Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s contribution to red-haired literature is The Red-Headed League, the title of one of Sherlock Holmes’ cases. Mr. Jabez Wilson comes to the famous consulting detective in his lodgings at 221B Baker St. to seek help in the perplexing case of the League, which recruited him, paid him a good salary for a boring task, then folded suddenly. Not any redhead could join the Red-Headed League, though. As Wilson explains, “it is no use your applying if your hair is light red, or dark red, or anything but real bright, blazing, fiery red.”
Kissin’ Kate Barlow – In his young adult novel Holes, Louis Sachar introduces the character of Kate Barlow. Once a humble schoolteacher of the Wild West, Kate became a notorious outlaw, compelled by the tragic loss of her true love, Sam the Onion Man. She robbed stagecoaches, and her signature move was kissing a man before she shot him. Although Kate is plainly referred to as redheaded in the book, the film adaptation has her portrayed by the beautiful and talented by decidedly blonde Patricia Arquette.
Lisbeth Salander – I confess to not having read any of Stieg Larsson’s Millennium Trilogy, but according to the website Raising-Redheads.com, Larsson’s heroine Lisbeth Salander is a natural redhead with a preference for dying her hair black. A sort of grown-up version of Pippi Longstocking (like Pippi, Lisbeth refuses to conform to social conventions- and drinks tons of coffee), her creator also comes from Sweden.
Blaylock, Son of Rocke – For those of you unfamiliar with the Black Dagger Brotherhood series of urban paranormal novels, J. R. Ward’s fictional world is incredibly complicated. Vampires are a species, distinct from humans, with their own royal family, a goddess who created them and even their own devil. The Brothers are an elite, secretive band of tall, buff, powerful warriors who fight the vampire devil’s minions. A member of the younger generation of warriors, Blay is a redhead with blue eyes. He’s the only one of the Brothers who’s gay, which is severely frowned upon in his aristocratic social circle. He’s desperately in love with Qhuinn, one of his two closest friends. A large faction of Ward fans root for “Team Qhuay,” Blay and Qhuinn together as a couple.
The guest blogger, Erin O’Riordan, is a natural brunette whose hair is currently a very unnatural burgundy with gold highlights. She writes crime fiction and erotica, though she can’t remember writing any red-headed characters. She can be found online at her book blog, Pagan Spirits: http://www.erinoriordan.blogspot.com