My Main Character Has Her Say…

The Corsican landscape Maria loves so much

When you’ve spent months, or even years, with your characters they somehow take on a surprising reality and a life of their own. I felt a bit empty when I typed ‘The End’ to The House at Zaronza since  I had become very fond of my main character, Maria Orsini.

Well, she refuses to be confined between the pages of a book, so here she is today on History Imagined. I’m interviewing her about her motivations and how she has ridden the many storms in her life.

I’m sipping a glass of Corsican vin de myrte with Maria Orsini in her family home in Zaronza, on the Mediterranean island of Corsica. Her story starts in early 20th-century Corsica and goes on into World War I and the Western Front and beyond.

VC: tell us about your family background in Corsica, Maria.

MO: I was born in 1879 in Zaronza, a village on the north Corsican coast, the only child of middle-class parents. A new schoolmaster, Raphaël Colombani, came to the village in 1899 and we fell in love. We had to meet in secret, since my strict parents wouldn’t have approved. We came from different social classes and my father was convinced that all teachers were socialist firebrands and atheists. Raphaël and I met in secret and hid our letters in the village shrine to Santa Ghjulia. Continue reading…

You might also like:

Women in Traditional Corsican Society
Courtship and Marriage Corsican-Style
Revisiting Inspiration on Corsica

Copyright © Vanessa Couchman 2017, all rights reserved.

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