It’s Mother’s Day in the UK on Sunday- Quick! Get your cards sent!
In honour of my mother, who is the most fantabulous mum in the whole world (yes I checked!), I would like to present a small round up of literary mums who are super brilliant too…
Now, these mums were chosen because they are more than just good fictional characters, they would actually make rather marvellous mothers if they were real. So for example, Mrs Bennet from Pride and Prejudice has not made the list. She’s a completely marvellous character in literary terms but I’m pretty sure that most of us would agree that her attempts to sell off all her children, and the multiple ‘quiverings and flutterings all over’ would drive us all batty!
In no particular order….
Molly Weasley (The Harry Potter Series)
I’m pretty sure that Mrs Weasley would top, or come close to topping any poll on literary mums.
Her Christmas jumpers, her excellent cooking, her steadfastness in looking after her seven children all combine with her willingness to take in Harry and care for him as one of her own to show off her kindness and compassion.
She’s always ready with a hug or a decent scolding when needed and, although her protective nature sometimes feels smothering to her children, her badassness is legend.
‘NOT MY DAUGHTER, YOU BITCH!’
Mrs Dashwood (Sense and Sensibility)
Although Mrs Dashwood isn’t without her flaws- she’s often too romantic and emotional, and too governed by the whims of Marianne- she is kind-hearted and very affectionate towards her daughters.
There is a lot of love in the Dashwood household as signalled by Marianne’s fevered fixation on her mother when seriously ill, and her mother’s subsequent dash to her side.
Unlike many mothers depicted in Austen’s novels, Mrs Dashwood cares more for the happiness of her daughters than for what advantageous matches they might make.
Marmee (Little Women)
Almost too good to be true, Marmee, as Mrs March is known to her children, is a highly principled, progressive woman for her time.
She doesn’t insist her daughters marry for money and in fact makes sure that they are educated and able to stand up for themselves at a time when the opposite was expected. She’s non-judgemental, and believes in all sectors of society.
She’s hard working, sets a good example, is available to console her daughters and be confided in, and has a huge amount of love for her children.
She’s able to protect her children whilst letting them make mistakes and learn from them.
Amelia P. Emerson (The Amelia Peabody Series)
A truly formidable woman, Amelia Peabody’s world is turned upside down on her first visit to Egypt where she meets her soon to be husband, Radcliffe Emerson.
Their union produces a son Walter Peabody Emerson, known to almost one and all as Ramses. Her maternal experience later includes Nefret Forth, a girl they rescue from the Western Desert at the age of 13.
Very progressive for her time, and yet in some ways the epitome of a Victorian lady, Amelia instills a liberal viewpoint in her children. They do not treat people differently due to their race. They are kind to animals and compassionate to people less fortunate than themselves (which is, frankly, most other people in the book)
She is fiercely protective and has been known to go into a ‘berserker rage’ if someone threatens Ramses, most notably when Ramses is physically threatened as a youngster.
Woebetide those who cross the Sitt Hakim and her magical parasol!
Mrs Frisby (Mrs Frisby and the Rats of Nimh)
Noone who has read this book or seen the adaptation The Secret of Nimh can fail to be moved by Mrs Frisby’s bravery.
Her son Timothy is ill with pneumonia just at the time they would normally move to their summer home- the spring plowing is about to begin and their home will be destroyed.
Mrs Frisby’s bravery and courage in finding a solution to this is indicative of the sacrifice that so many mothers are willing to make to protect their children.
With no thought to her own safety, she does what she needs to to get the help to move her house.
These are just a few of the great mums out there in the world of literature- who would you have picked??
And thanks Mum! You’re ace!