Character Lineage Headcanons

Meta related to characters, plots, or other elements introduced by Victor Hugo in Les Misérables.
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Character Lineage Headcanons

Postby TheRandomPhangirl » Wed Sep 11, 2013 9:38 pm

The other day I was chatting with Zelle on Tumblr when I mentioned that in my headcanon Courfeyrac is of Irish decent by a few generations. I then went away and actually wrote something about how it's possible, which wasn't that bad for an 11-pm-drabble, and it made me think about possibilities for other characters. For example, would Enjolras and Fantine have had Nordic blood in them to give them their fair hair? Could Marius have east European to give him dark hair and pale skin?
Any thoughts on things like that?
I'm the one to shout "Down with Polignac!"

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Re: Character Lineage Headcanons

Postby MmeBahorel » Thu Sep 12, 2013 12:48 am

You dont need to. The current "common" phenotype of France is largely based on migration from the Midi to Paris and the industrial north in general in the latter part of the 19th century. Much of the current white population of Marseille is descended from migration from Italian areas - Savoy, Corsica, modern Italy - a bit later.

Northern France borders Flanders; Eastern France is historically German speaking. The people look just like they do across the border.

I think I'm just not seeing the point. You'd do just as well to consider whether anyone had ancestors raped by Swiss mercenaries or English soldiers during the various medieval wars. Or Roman soldiers, some of whom may have been of African derivation and well settled after the pacification of Gaul.

The Irish thing is 100% legit, as is Scottish: the Bordeaux area saw a certain level of immigration due to the wine trade and after the revocation of the Edict of Nantes, some stayed and converted for business reasons. The Irish of course were constantly coming post-Cromwell as religious refugees. But there's no need unless you distinctly want to play with immigrant populations, in which case, why not play within period instead of long ago backstories?
What kind of literature and what kind of life is the same question. - Tom Stoppard

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Re: Character Lineage Headcanons

Postby Marianne » Thu Sep 12, 2013 6:55 am

I actually have a fairly involved backstory for Enjolras' parents--mom was from a minor offshoot of a noble family, dad was a Napoleonic soldier. Her family were émigrés who fled to the Austrian Empire during the Revolution, not that that prevented their sixteen-year-old daughter from eloping with a common soldier when the French army occupied Vienna on the eve of the Battle of Austerlitz. (Which means, yes, Enjolras' mother was born in 1789. If Hugo can pull that kind of shit with his dates, dammit so can I.) It's, um, a high-tension family, to say the least. Helped along by the fact that his parents aren't very nice people.

Fun genealogical facts: when I say 'a minor offshoot of a noble family,' what I actually mean is that Enjolras is distantly related to Lucien de Rubempré, which I'm sure would horrify both of them.
[Dieu] entend ta voix, ô fille des hommes! aussi bien que celle des constellations; car rien n'est petit pour celui devant lequel rien n'est grand.
- George Sand, Les sept cordes de la lyre

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