Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Rosie's Riveters: Claire & Fevvers

Rosie the Riveter
Note:  Rosie is posting early this week because of the holidays.

Rosie's Riveters is a weekly posting written by Booklust readers about riveting females in literature. Many readers have strong reactions to the women in the books they read- either very positive or very negative. These are the characters we find riveting, for good reasons or bad ones, and they form the population of Rosie's Riveters. Through this weekly post, we can discuss females we love to hate, or love to love. And maybe, just maybe- we can determine why we react so strongly to them.

I am no longer accepting people to participate in the Rosie's Riveters series.  The participants I currently have on the list will all have their chance to share their favorite or most hated woman, and then we shall start the new
With Reverent Hands series on this blog.  More details on With Reverent Hands can be found in my Sunday Salon post here.

This week's post is by the amazing Claire who blogs at Paperback Reader.  Claire reads a very interesting variety of books- from classics to literary fiction to historical novels to short and fascinating-sounding novellas.  I really enjoy her blog because she writes very thoughtful and thorough reviews.  If I were an author, I'd want her to review my book.  Here she is, describing a character in a book that is now on my wish list.

Who is your Riveter? 
Fevvers, christened Sophie.

What book does she feature in? 
Nights at the Circus
Nights at the Circus by Angela Carter

Do you love her or hate her? 
LOVE her!

Describe her personality- how would you describe her to a friend?  
Feisty, sensational, outrageous, revolutionary, personable, unforgettable, unbelievable.

Can you compare her to a celebrity?  
No, Fevvers is a celebrity in her own right; she is a celebrated winged aerialiste at the turn of the nineteenth century and leading attraction at a circus.

What makes her riveting? 
Hatched from an egg, Fevvers sprouted wings when she was menstruating.  She is Cockney, larger-than-life literally at over six feet in her stocking-feet and peroxide blonde; she is a virgin raised in a brothel and is the strongest female protagonist in literary fiction.

What do you most admire/despise about her? 

She is one of the greatest feminist literary constructs of all time and also a construct of her own imagination.  A "Cockney Venus" in Victorian London, Fevvers is a wonderful heroine.

Would you recommend reading the book in which the Riveter features?  
Absolutely! Angela Carter is an amazing writer and Nights at the Circus is my favourite of her books; her writing is superb and Fevvers is a riveting realisation.

Do you have a quote by or about your Riveter that you'd like to share? 
At the dawn of a new century Fevvers looks to the day where "All the women will have wings, the same as I".


  1. Wonderful choice, Claire :D And I love the quote you picked. Fevvers is certainly an unforgettable character.

  2. Right I'm sold and how I've never heard of this novel is beyond me. I'm grateful to you for the introduction. A lovely day to you Aarti and you too Claire my dear.
    Warmest regards,

  3. Thanks for your lovely words Aarti and for the opportunity to participate! I'm going to link to my guest post and hopefully more and more readers (like Simone) will come across a truly wonderful character that both Ana and I find memorable and riveting.

  4. Fevver sounds fascinating! When I do read Carter, Claire, it's going to be entirely because of you. :)

    Thanks for featuring Claire, Aarti!

  5. I still haven't read this yet, but bought a copy thanks to Claire's ravings! It is great to be reminded about it and I love the quote about wings!

  6. Anonymous12/22/2009

    I've not read this one yet, but it's one of the two Angela Carters I intend to read next year.

    It sounds like a fantastic choice!

  7. I so want to read this book! I've read a short story collection by Carter and was captivated, so I put this on my list w/o knowing anything about it. NOW I'm in a hurry to check this out soon. Thanks.

  8. I've read (and loved) short story collections by Carter but I've never read this book - even though I own it. Fevvers sounds like an exquisite character - I will have to pull Nights at the Circus off my bookshelf and onto the TBR stack!

  9. It delights me that people are going to discover Angela Carter and/or Fevvers through this post; both are very dear to my heart and I can't speak highly enough about either. I have something of an agenda when it comes to sharing the work of Angela Carter!

  10. I've only read Carter's the Bloody Chamber and wasn't sure where to start with her longer novels. I'm putting this on my list!

  11. Just wanted to stop by to wish you and yours a happy holiday season and a healthy wonderful 2010. Thanks for being a supportive blog buddy!

  12. Excellent work, Claire…

    You know, as much as I agree with myself [:-)] about my previous Riveters post about The Fionavar Tapestry and Jaelle, I can’t help but bow my head and agree with both this, and John Clute’s obituary of Angela Carter in Dave Langford’s Ansible Newsletter:

    “Novels like Heroes and Villains (1969), or The Infernal Desire Machines of Doctor Hoffman (1972), or The Passion of New Eve (1977), or Nights at the Circus (1984), are *dangerous*. They dissect the psyche and the future, sex and the technologies of control, with an intelligence that seems at times excessively barbed and rebarbative, sharp and loony, amused and incessant. She had an instinct for the masks of power that gives her work a feminist import, not because she was an advocate (she advocated nothing) but because she seemed incapable of telling a lie.”

    How absolutely right, as you are; and why am I never clever enough to think of things like this???? Aaah, such is the great thing about this series of posts, of course!!!


    (And a very merry Christmas to all!)

  13. so cool! i must get this to read. she has an interesting background being hatched from an egg.

  14. Very interesting riveter! I had never heard of her before, but once again, I have a new book to check out. Great post, it looks like a very interesting book with a phenomenal lead character!


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