Wednesday, April 2, 2014
The A to Z Challenge: B is for Benjamin
For the month of April, I've decided to join the A-Z blog challenge. This means I'll make a sterling effort to produce twenty-six blog posts during April, one for every letter of the alphabet, each having some connection with my books and their setting.
B is for Benjamin, known within the family as Benjy.
Benjy is the youngest child in a large family. His parents' genes have combined very successfully in him. He has his father's quiet intelligence, along with his imagination and ability to see beyond "how things are", and his mother's skill at getting her own way. His perseverance he shares with both of them.
It's ironic that someone so good at mixing with people should have been named after an uncle who was quite the reverse. Benjy's Uncle Ben is based on a real person from the trove of old family tales my late father-in-law used to share with me. The real-life model for Ben intensely disliked strangers, to the extent that when his brother married and dared bring "a strange woman" to the farmhouse he walked off the farm and never again darkened the family's doorstep. When their father died and the estate needed to be settled, his siblings had to advertise far and wide in an attempt (in vain, as far as I know) to contact him.
Benjy has a great way with people, and a tendency to light up the room with that smile of his—not to mention a tendency to take over the page! In an extended family with a tradition of farming or other rural trades, and of work passed on from father to son, Benjy has very different ambitions. I plan to give him a book of his own eventually, but he'll have to wait his turn.
I've yet to see an actor who matches my image of Benjy. A younger (and blonder) James McAvoy might approach it.