Beautiful People - Anthea

"And though she be but little, she is fierce." 
- Shakespeare

Some of you may remember with a chuckle the rather idiotic post one of my Crown of Life characters wrote on my blog a while back. This character has been a bit of a puzzle to figure out, hone in on and work with, but on the whole she's given me very little trouble and has become a spunky, if not vain close little friend of mine. Sometimes I've thought her to be very much like me. At times I think she is nothing like me at all. Sometimes I love her something fierce and at times I hate her to a loathing, but at all times I feel for her, sympathize with her and seem to understand her and her deepest thoughts, fancies and dreams like she really is me. This is a supreme blessing for any writer because I know I could easily have had a lot of trouble with a character like her! And since she keeps popping up in my story every other chapter, I thought I may as well do a proper Beautiful People for her. What say you? So, my dear folks, let me introduce you to Valerius' little sister...

Anthea Gallus

1. What does she look like?
Anthea is not tall (a reality she bemoans), has a curly cascade of hair, inky black in colour, that always falls in dark ringlets across her cheeks and brow. Her eyes are sea-grey with flecks of copper in them, but when they burn with an intensity (usually of anger) her irises can sparkle almost emerald in hue. 
2.  What is her favourite type of shoes? 
She prizes her beaded sandals dearly, as the normal leather tongs that the Romans wear are too plain for her tastes. But if she were living in modern times, she'd mostly definitely wear shoes with high heels and of bright, tawny colours varying from shades of orange, yellow, pink, or silver...
3. How old is she? 
The story begins in A.D. 59, when Anthea is fourteen
4. What kind of personality does she have?  Introverted or extroverted?  Cheerful or morose?
Anthea would be described as extroverted, with interesting streaks in her that don't fit quite in the box; she has the capability of being extremely cheerful, fun-loving and frolicsome, but as a down side she is of a temperamental nature and can get into horribly morose, sulky moods and fierce tempers on a whim. She is a ray of golden sunshine when pleased and a grey thundercloud of storm when displeased. However, she is very sociable, loves hanging out with her friends and is on most terms a jolly little daisy of a maiden.
6. Is she married or does she have a sweetheart? 
Upon meeting Anthea at the story's start, you find her a precocious girl of nearly fifteen summers tied by a family betrothal to a man almost a dozen years older then her, and who perhaps is not all she dreams of in a man: Flavius Apicius. However, she does love him fiercely and looks up to him with something akin between respect and fear. She's often torn between her dreams, fancies and the memories of her childhood, parents and brother, and her duty as his betrothed wife and the love she bears for him.
7. Does she journal? 
Goodness, what?! In normal circumstances, Anthea's vibrant, vivacious personality and way of life has no place for quiet contemplation. She thinks it altogether silly that her brother chronicles his thoughts on parchment with such scrupulous care, "like a mother hen brooding over her little eggs", she'd joke; the meditative medium of journaling is one of many things that Anthea considers "positively boring".  But it is often that what we think to be of no importance becomes centre-stage in our lives. So it is with Anthea, when through a storm of internal as well as outward trouble, she is forced to pen her sea of emotions and the events of her life on paper. 
8. What’s her favorite animal? 
It is without doubt her brother's white Prussian cat, Martina, who happens to be the sorest trial of Valerius at home besides the pestering of his sister, but to Anthea is pure delight.
9. What does her average day look like? Night owl or morning person? 
Perhaps you'd be surprised that Anthea is an early bird. Except for her father, and occasionally Valerius, she is usually the first to get out of bed in the morning at dawn to watch the sun rise over the Palatine Hills as she plans her day. It is probably the only time ever where she can afford a measure of solitude and quiet, but that is limited and her brain remains an active beehive. But after a 'light' breakfast consisting of salted bread, milk, a cluster of dried fruit, two eggs and a slice of cheese, she becomes so sleepy she goes back to bed and wakes up at about noon when her day really starts.  She first has a midday meal and then goes off and lounges either in the peristyle or in her bedroom chambers with her personal slave following closely at her heels. She does at this time nothing in particular except pathetically strum her little harp, breeze through a literary classic, or spend some time with her mother in lethargic chit-chat. By late afternoon, she then takes to her comfortable chair and gets her personal slave to attend to her luxuriant, thick black hair and general makeup. After that, she takes about half an hour selecting her outfit for the evening and afterwards her slave helps her into it. Sometimes, on occasion she rides out with one of her friends to the Baths, the markets or to the theater for a few hours of recreation and entertainment.  It is then, a light supper and off to the main entertainment of the day (generally a social banquet or a party with some of her girlfriends). And then it is off to bed.
10. Does she have a sweet tooth? 
In as much as she loves honey cakes, sugar dates, plums, figs and anything sugary, how can she not have a sweet tooth?
11. What colors are her bedroom? 
The colours denominating her bedroom chamber vary on occasion but usually are lilac lavenders, gentle pinks and/or creamy whites
12. Can she cook? 
She has never tried but even if it were befitting her social status, she'd not have the energy or desire. She is a pathetically lazy creature when it comes to practical domestic affairs.
13. What is her favorite household chore? 
It is to Anthea's great advantage that women of the social ranking she belongs to, do not lift a finger in household chores, except to do the most dignified and easy tasks, such as needlework, taking care that the household runs efficiently etc. But it would be ordering the slaves about their duties that would be Anthea's favourite... and no, she is so sweet and charming (most times anyhow) that the servants hardly hold any grudge against their young mistress. 
14. Is she naturally curious? 
Quite! Little details, little wisps of gossip can arouse her deepest curiosities  However, she is too comfortable to really pursue her curiosity to any great heights, especially if it endangers her secure little world.
15. If she had a song, what would it be? 
Two songs, one is "To Believe" by Jackie Evancho and the other "May it Be" by Enya. Below are snippets of the lyrics from both songs that especially are suited to Anthea and her life's journey, from a flighty little maiden, to a burdened young woman with a charge and call she's not sure she is ready to accept. And if you are left curious by that last remark, I will annoy you further by saying I will not divulge any more specifics ;).

To Believe
"...To believe in a day
When hunger and war will pass away
To have the hope amidst despair
That every sparrow's counted
That You hear each cry and listen to each prayer

Father, as you see, I'm just a child
And there's so much to understand
But if Your Grace should surround me
Then I'll do the best I can
I promise, I'll do the very best I can..."
- Jackie Evancho 
May it Be"May it be an evening star shines down upon you
May it be when darkness falls your heart will be true
You walk a lonely road
Oh how far you are from home...

May it be the shadow's call will fly away
May it be you journey on to light their day
When the night is overcome
You may rise to find the sun

Mornie utulie
Believe and you will find your way
Mornie utulie
A promise lives within you now"
- Enya


  1. That's a great post, dear Joy! Anthea looks like the sort of person I'd like to meet and befriend :) I really enjoyed reading it ....the character has truly developed nicely,
    Well done :)

  2. Anthea sounds like a very interesting and delightful character to write, Joy! If I met her in real life, I daresay I'd find her both extremely exasperating and delightfully lovable. :)

    Oh, and you may tell Anthea that I am not very tall either, so I can empathize with her. ;)

    This post also reminds me I haven't done a Beautiful People post in a long time. Hmm... ;)

  3. Hello Joy!

    As you know, we have been commenting back and forth on a post on my blog, and the other day I received a comment from you asking for my email. I was all ready to give it to you, until I realized it was by a blogger of the name "Joy C." and not by your usual account. Was it really you by way of a different user, or was it a spam? If it was truly you, I'd be more than happy to give you my email; it'd be fun to converse back and forth! However, I just thought I'd check with you beforehand.

    Love in Christ,


  4. Oh, thank you, Sarah for your encouragement, I am glad you feel her character has developed :). She'd be an interesting friend to have, wouldn't she! Do you want me to introduce you to each other? I would be very happy to oblige!

    Love you, dear sister. God bless you.

  5. No thanks to me, Emily, after all Anthea is the person of her choice as much as she is of mine :). You've hit the nail on the proverbial head because that is how she really is: exasperating, silly and delightful and lovable all at once!

    Well, I am not one for great height either (most of my friends being a head taller than me!), so she has a sympathetic patron as well as friend in us, doesn't she?

    ...Yes, Emily, that comment with "Joy C" on your blog asking for your e-mail was really me! I was just commenting via a different account than the one I normally use. Do you mind so much that you give me your e-mail (I won't publish the message) so I can contact you? I've been really busy lately, and the main purpose for wanting to e-mail you was to ask if you'd be willing to guest post on my blog :). Hope to hear from you soon!

    In His unfailing love,

  6. The more I find out about Anthea the more curious and interested I become. At the beginning of The Crown of Life she seems to be one of those flighty characters that amuse or annoy me by turns but I can tell that she changes as the book progresses. It will be very interesting watching her character deepen and mellow as her story progresses someday when I read your book. :)

    "May It Be" is one of my most favorite LOTR's songs. I think I have it entirely memorized!


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