Darcel Grantaire

Typist: Amy Hunt
Birthdate: 14th March, 1806
Hometown: Bordeaux
Appearance: A naturally gaunt young man, slightly towards to the short side of average in stature. Dark hair, not quite black, is worn to almost to the shoulders and either nominally tied back or loose in earnest; it has a tendency to fall into his eyes, which are brown, kind and often amused but have a propensity to darken in hue when he is serious. Features are mismatched and aesthetically unattractive, but very expressive. His boots are usually in need of polishing, his coat is perhaps in need of airing and he has never yet learned how to tie a cravat respectably.
Parents: Gilbert (12th September, 1771 - 1st April, 1832) and Josette (22nd August, 1784 - 27th December, 1834) Grantaire. Grantaire père was senior clerk to a small wine selling company with mostly British contacts that settled into a slow decline during the reign of Napoleon Bonaparte, from which it never recovered. Gilbert was a dour, humourless man, diligent and often exacting and possessed of a strong sense of tradition; doubtless a royalist at heart, had he ever looked beyond his own affairs. Physically, he was short and heavyset. Having already failed to interest his firstborn in the matter, he raised his younger son, Blaise to inherit his position, which he did on the old man's death from a stroke in early '32. Josette (maiden name: Verner) was a pretty, graceful girl of a respectable family who had vague aspirations towards the Parisian stage, but ended up a dutiful wife, instead; her out of tune piano playing stands as evidence that she was no great loss to the theatre world. Ill suited to motherhood, she vacillated between smothering affection for her offspring and sharp impatience with them, coupled with an inclination to muddle their names. Increasingly unwell, but obstinately mistrustful of doctors, she died in 1834 of what was probably undiagnosed tuberculosis.
Siblings: Elise Grantaire (17th November, 1809 - 5th May,1886). Dubbed "Vesta" by her elder brother for her explosive temper, she wasn't apretty girl, but inherited some of her mother's natural grace. An energetic child, she had a part in a considerable number of Darcel's boyhood escapades and kept up a sporadic correspondence with him during his schooling in Paris, while spending most of her own adolescence and girlhood tending to her invalid mother. In 1835 she married one Philippe Lefevre and removed with him to Lyon, where she had four children: Charlotte (b. 1838), Philippe (b. 1841), Darcel (b. 1843) and Claire (b. 1845). After her marriage she renounced all contact with her younger brother.

Blaise Grantaire (3rd January, 1815 - 19th February, 1848). Similar in appearance to his older brother, but broader and stout. Taciturn and suspicious by nature and known to commit mild acts of sadism. His father's replacement protegé, he was no more apt a student than his predecessor, being chronically lazy and dull witted, but what he lacked in intelligence he made up in cunning and secured his place far more firmly than Darcel ever cared to. Relations between the brothers were strained at best; Blaise viewed Darcel as a rival and Darcel viewed Blaise as a fool. In about 1836 the vintner became insolvent and dismissed his employees. Shortly after, plagued by his own and his father's bad debts, Blaise fled from his creditors to Paris, where he became involved in some fairly sordid undertakings-- primarily blackmail. In early 1848 he got caught in the midst of a brawl in a tavern that may or may not have been political in nature and was fatally wounded when one of the instigators unexpectedly produced a knife.

Felix Grantaire (29th April, 1822 - 11th February, 1823). A late, sickly, and unexpected child whose gestation and birth just shy of his mother's fourth decade was a significant contributor to her ill health. He died of fever before his first birthday. Whether his name is optimistic or ironic is a matter for conjecture.

Significant Others: In one reality, with her typist's indulgence, Jolanta Stelmaczyk, and thus parent to Valeska (whom he adores, but hasn't the faintest idea what to do with). Beyond that, "significance" isn't his strong point.
Email/IM: darcelgrantaire@drunkanddisorderly.co.uk
Webpage: http://winecask.diaryland.com/
Appears In: His epic goes under the simple working title of Grantaire, until such time as his typist completes it and solicits assistance in coming up with something more appropriate. Various stand alone stories and role-play logs.
Other Info: Precocious and vigorous as a child, he was equally likely to be found devouring literature (from which he acquired an impressive selection of obscure allusions) or perched up a tree in mischief. Apathy set in around age fifteen-- to hear him tell it: "right in the middle of a bloody geometry examination"-- and after enduring several years of cheerful indolence, his family packed him off to university in Paris with instructions to either learn a trade or rot there. Consequently, he ended as a law student in an attempt to do both. A generalised sense of misanthropy didn't prevent him from forming an extensive circle of acquaintances there whilst shamelessly neglecting the majority of his studies, nor from befriending and settling to the company of Les Amis de l'ABC and conceiving of an enduring affection for their leader. He has an almost infallible sense of direction, an enormously retentive memory and a keen sense of the absurd that becomes sarcasm with provocation. Suffers more from dipsomania than outright alcoholism, is persistently incoherent and exhibits a lack of self esteem. Otherwise, he is, in all contradictions: affectionate, verbose, gregarious, ironical, ambivalent, lethargic, incorrigible, maladroit, fiercely loyal where he loves and-- of course-- cynical.

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