Member No.: 212
Joined: 24-May 09
Your Name: Lidell
Contact Info: anthrolidell on AIM
Where'd You Find Us: RPG-D
Name: Evander Henry Whinging
Nickname (if applicable): None, but he has always fancied the shortened Evan; unfortunately, no one calls him by this
Date of Birth: December 24th, 1792
Father: Henry Richard Whining (1765 - )
Evander Henry Whinging was born to Henry Richard Whinging, Esq., and to a woman who left shortly after the birth on Christmas Eve of the year 1792, in Dorchester, Dorset County. Despite the shocking circumstances and the town’s incessant gossiping, the established barrister had his son baptized and treated him like he had been born from proper wedlock. The scandal soon died as the townsmen gradually realized that Mr Whinging was impossible to provoke in regards to the situation and that the mishap did not in any way impair his acute capabilities in settling legal disputes.
Nevertheless, Evander did experience a fair amount of ostracism as a child. Through the local grammar and boarding school, his reputation as a bastard son preceded him. It made no matter that Mr Whinging had completely settled all his estates and property onto him, and that his manners were as polite as a gentleman’s. Evander knew he was an outcast, and towards his later years as a child he withdrew into himself and stopped actively seeking company.
Instead, he immersed himself in the wonders of the page. He persuaded his father to hire a tutor for Greek and Latin, and suddenly the worlds of Virgil and Sophocles, Aeschylus and Homer rushed out before him, to spread endlessly into the realms of possibility. Evander, after having mastered the ancient languages, also learned Italian and French, exploring the Renaissance poems and the writings of Rousseau with boundless fervour. He tried his own first poem at twelve, and found a strange fulfilment that pushed back the solitude and the unshakable feeling that he did not belong.
Mr Whinging was adamant in the fact that Evander would test for Oxford or Cambridge when the time came; he disagreed. He knew that his existence would be much the same in the hallowed halls of academia that were near to overflowing with titles and wealth. Perhaps he could match his classmates in intellectual capacity, but for birth and fortune, he would once again be alienated. He instead convinced his father to let him stay in Dorset, for he had ever loved the countryside. In this time, Evander compiled his first book of poems, titled, Songs for a Different Boy. They were addressed to an imaginary companion his own age and explored the many various paths destiny could create. He didn’t think of publishing it, but he continued to write sonnets and dramatic monologues, capturing the power of the landscape outside his window and the torrent of feelings that came with reflection.
When his old Greek and Latin tutor was on his deathbed, Evander visited, bringing a specially written poem for his teacher lamenting the loss of such wisdom and celebrating the many gifts an old man could give to a young boy. The tutor read it, closed his eyes, read it again, and told Evander that his death wish was the publication of this poem. Surprised and yet honour bound, after the funeral he looked for a magazine that would take it. None of the magazines he spoke to expressed any interest, but one publishing house asked for more examples of his poetry. Then, in the short space of two months, it was agreed: Songs for a Different Boy with a few other selected pieces would be printed. Evander bemusedly agreed, thinking that it could not make much of a difference.
He was wrong. Within a year, the name Evander Whinging had become that of a new, literary luminary, not a country bumpkin and a bastard to boot. Two other collections—Musings Beneath the Old Tree and Morals for a Different Boy—followed, each one more critically acclaimed than the last. Mr Whinging, who had hoped for his son to be a barrister like himself, could not ignore the success of his son’s career, and considered moving to London.
Such plans were unneeded. A titled, wealthy patroness soon offered to sponsor the young man of nine and ten for the next London season. Evander, wary of the proposal and yet feeling invincible in his new position as a budding poet laureate, accepted with mixed feelings and a kindling sense of great adventure.
Evander is 171 centimetres tall and extremely slender for his height, weighing at around 54 kilograms. He is of the non-athletic build and has rather elongated bodily features, making him angular in appearance. His face is not classically handsome, considering his plethora of freckles, rather too wide mouth, and drooping nose. His hair is straw-coloured and straight. His eyes are pale green.
Evander has always realized that he is who he is through the extraordinary attitude of his father. It would have been easy for such an established man to throw the baby out with the woman and for him to completely ignore his own vestiges of sin. Actually, Evander has never found the courage to ask for the real story behind Mr Whinging and his unknown mother, but he is certain that whatever reasons his father had to make the decision he did, they must have been good ones. His father is an almost idolized figure in the son’s eyes; he is wise, caring, humorous, and clever. Evander has more than on one occasion wished he would grow up to be Henry Whinging.
However, such dreams do not easily manifest into reality. Evander, unlike his father, is perhaps overly sensitive and extremely insecure. His reading is the escape from the constant doubt and second-guessing of whether this or that remark had been an insult or a compliment. After each volume of his poetry was published, he didn’t allow himself to read the negative reviews, because he knew that it would have an exaggeratedly profound effect on his self-esteem as a literary figure. Every mocking comment on his birth as a child has created a wound, and deepened the pit of his insecurity. Evander does not recognize that his own self-doubting tendencies are ultimately detrimental and destructive. For the time being, he is safe, but any overwhelming rejection could lead him to his grave.
Self-imposed solitude has made Evander a dreamer to cope. Even before the remarks became crueller and he stopped speaking to present the smallest target for emotional attack, he was a quiet, fanciful boy. He dislikes melodrama and chaos, and prefers the trilling of songbirds and the swish of the wind to the often manipulative machinations of people. In his head, his fantasies are boundless. He dreams of the bloody ruins of Carthage and the pockmarked surface of the moon, he paints in thousands of colours the hectic horror of Troy and the divine serenity of the Elysium Fields. There is nothing that Evander can leave alone without hundreds of stories erupting in his mind.
The façade Evander presents to the physical world is not as infinitely colourful as the realm in his mind. He is well-mannered, conscientious, and the soul of brevity to society. Long periods of not using his voice have convinced him he has a clumsy manner in verbal communication. He would rather speak not at all than say something silly. As a consequence, Evander is rather dull company, but he wishes he was not so.
His writing is true vocation. Lines of words, artfully arranged, almost appear fully fleshed when he grips a pen. Evander has never been able to satisfactorily explain to himself the first rush of utter belonging the initial time he sat down and wrote a line of verse. The beauty of language is the one thing he cannot fathom an existence without. A modern critic would describe Evander’s style as “a mixture of Byron’s grandeur and Hardy’s romanticism of nature, Keats’s youthful idealism and Shelley’s tragic, boundless depth of emotion.”
For all the ramblings and wanderings in his mind, Evander has never truly experienced physical adventure before. London could either be his great catalyst or violent undoing and he about to find out which it will be.