Derk as Mad Scientist / Chrestomanci as Parasite(was: Buffy)

Michelle Thomas michellet at
Tue May 21 09:46:59 EDT 2002

> I think Derk _is_ a bit of a mad scientist.  I don't have much of a problem
> with
> his simple genetic modifications - the sheep, the geese, and so on - but some
> of
> the other animals give me major problems.

Though carnivorous sheep are wrong, and could lead to BSE-like diseases :)
> In our own world, class consciousness and egalitarian sentiment mean that very
> few people choose domestic service as a career, simply because by taking a
> domestic job you imply that your employer is your social superior.  OTOH have

But also because it is life of drudgery, often isolating, and you are at the
whim of a individual who may be a good employer or then again may not be.
> This is an interesting piece of misdirection.  Ordinary people have little
> idea
> who Chrestomanci is - Cat didn't even know he was an enchanter.  The rebel
> magic
> users knew who Chrestomanci was, but didn't realise how many of his staff were
> also magicians, on whom he could draw in an emergency.

But this is a very good point.
> Finally, I suppose, there is a certain conservatism in Chrestomanci Castle.
> Just as they don't think of using anything other than silver cutlery at dinner
> until Janet suggests it, they probably wouldn't think of using magic "as a
> home
> help" (Mark mentally criticising Gladys) when every big house has an army of
> servants to run it.  In fact, _not_ employing servants at a place like
> Chrestomanci Castle would probably look very strange in that world (and spoil
> the misdirection).
In The Magicians of Caprona, do they have servants? I can't remember
clearly, but I think they use magic for most things - instead of employing a
coachman and keeping real horses they use paper ones when necessary.

I do think that Charmed Life is more conservative than most of her books.
There is a definite implication that the ill-educated hedge-witches are not
capable of running their own affairs.  Chrestomanci just takes away their
witchcraft and says 'let them complain'.  He is supposedly controlling those
with magic to protect ordinary people, but he can be pretty dictatorial and


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