Chastity Trewartha

Chastity is a surface worker at one of the local copper mines and is introduced in the prologue as the quarry of the Wild Hunt. Although the prologue is set in the 1850s this is not specifically mentioned anywhere, other than a passing reference to the copper mining boom of the 1800s in “Rain”. I felt that stating the date specifically would have interrupted the flow of the story, so I had to come up with another way to establish the time period in which Chastity lived. One possibility would have been to include the date in the chapter heading, but I wanted to keep to single word titles for the majority chapters and using a date didn’t seem to fit with that approach. To get around this, I decided that the character should have a name that would give her a distinct location in both time and place. Trewartha, as an obviously Cornish name, fixes her location and Chastity was chosen as a name that resonates well with the Victorian era. Women of that time were often named after religious virtues. Other potential names included Temperance and Prudence. I chose not to go with Temperance because the name had recently been used in a high profile TV and book series and Prudence didn’t seem to fit her character very well.

Chastity is described as a ‘bal maiden’, which was the name for a female mine worker, bal being derived from the Cornish word for mine. Her occupation and traditional dress are also used to help establish the time in which the prologue is set. The ‘gook’ that is described in the prologue was the name of the traditional headdress that extended over the shoulders to protect the bal maiden from weather, noise and debris.

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