I recently realised how few Mothers with great characters could be found in literature. Two of my fellow English Literature graduates and I compiled a list of eight awesome Mothers which was about all we could think of, and I posted about four of them last week.
These next four are not as well known. Have you heard of them?
5. Demelza Poldark from Winston Graham’s Poldark series.
Demelza has to be one of my favourite portrayals of a person ever. The long series of 12 books takes us from her been a scrap of a child in a fight over a dog to the mistress of an estate and highly esteemed society lady, and mother of many children. She is always portrayed to us as a real person, in all areas of her life. There are other mothers shown here too. Well done, Winston.
6. The mum in Angela Carter’s The Bloody Chamber from the short story collection of the same name.
In this awesome fairy tale adaptation the Mother gets some serious awesomeness thrown in. I can remember getting my mum to read the story afterwards just because it’s great. Noticeably I don’t think there are any great mums in the rest of the short story collection, however.
7. Ira Hath in The Windsinger Trilogy by William Nicholson.
These books are pretty epic in that it is a whole family who have the adventures, and each of them have their own unique part to play. Ira Hath, the mother, is a Prophetess. Though she is fiercely protective about her children she also believes in them and urges them to adventure and their destinies. She’s amazing!
8. Mrs Coulter in His Dark Materials by Philip Pullman.
Arguably not a great mother, but a great character. And complex enough for it to be arguable. A woman who struggles with the way motherhood interrupts her personal agenda and plans? But can’t quite escape it? And doesn’t come to any real conclusion? Interesting in my book.
I feel like there is one major one that I’ve forgotten! Mrs Bennet is cropping up in a lot of comments too, though I’m not certain how I feel about her. I think she’s going to need a post of her own! Can you think of any other awesome literary mother characters?