I always enjoy writing the villain, perhaps because these characters are so opposite to who I am as a person or maybe more accurate, it’s the part of me that does not get to come out! This could be why I love writing the bad character and the worse I create them, the more likeable I find them. I will admit, I did fall in love with Katherine Villiers, and I regret not having more scenes featuring her.
In the first part of the Landed Estate novel, Katherine’s character was not originally the antagonist as the role fell to her husband Sam Villiers but she was always by his side, edging him on to take what rightfully should be his. Katherine takes on the reins in second and third part of the story very smoothly. In fact, it had been Susanna’s biggest downfall. She underestimates Katherine, not seeing her as any threat, when, in fact, she is knowledgeable of a hidden secret that almost destroys Susanna’s family name and estate. We also see the power of Katherine as she reveals yet another secret on her death to Susanna that changes the course of the story concerning Point Pleasant House and half of the estate.
There have been many times when I kept the characters of Susanna and Katherine apart, building tensions between them so that when they did meet, I wanted it to be electric. Katherine Villiers, formerly of the Westby family, could be described in earlier part of the book as the beautiful wife of Sam Villiers. She loves the lavish lifestyle and pomp going with Castlefort House. However, as the story moves on, Katherine loses all standing and hid from public view which is discovered later is part of her plan to avenge her lost title.
Katherine Villiers is led by power and status. Being lady of Castlefort means everything to her. Even though she desperately tries to regain the status she once had with her husband, she never does and what we find in the final part of the story, is an embittered woman, regretful and suffering from her internal demons which she is unable to control. Her fall from grace is evident, but she never loses hope until eventually she accepts her own mortality, and perhaps the wasted life, in pursuit of only one thing.
One can question, what kind of mother has she been to her only child, George Villiers? His character is not dissimilar to that of his father. Does she fail in his upbringing as it has been noted by herself in a conversation with her son? She states that she has been absent too long in his life, even though she recognises his struggles? Perhaps it is his father’s legacy that George is living up to. When the Villiers lost Castlefort House, she refuses to leave with her son and family, insisting on standing in the rain outside her home. Did Castlefort and her position mean more to her? Devastated that she has lost it for a second time?
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