from The Essential Paradise, series sourcebook Edit
Doc. 6.21.01. Edit
Personal information Edit
- Full name: Darby Madeline St Claire
- Nationality: Paradisian native, belonger
- Parents: Mr & Mrs St Claire
- Birthdate: 16 September 1979 (Virgo)
- Birthplace: Hurricane Hole, Eden Island, BPI
- Height: 165 cm [5 ft 5 in]
- Weight: 52.5 kg [116 lbs]
- Figure (cm): B81, W61, H86
- Hair: very light brown or blonde, short, straight or slightly wavy
- Eyes: hazel
- Ethnic background: English, French
- Religion: Anglican; non-practising
- Sexual orientation: lesbian
- School: North Eden High School, Devon, BPI; O-levels 1995; A-levels: DNF
Story arcs: Paradise Two; 1994-1998
Personal life Edit
Darby was born at Mercy Hospital, Hurricane Hole, and is an only child. She does not get on well with either mother or father, possibly due to the parents who both appear rather cold, aloof and noncommittal towards her. Her mother tends to find fault with her more than to encourage her and seems unaware that her daughter prefers girls in more than a friendship sense. Mrs St Claire does seem to approve of her daughter’s friendship with Lady Susie, before whom she is always respectful, cheerful and full of compliments.
A lifelong resident of Somerset, Eden Island, Darby is close friends with Laura Ivey, Sheridan ‘Sherry’ Moss, Debbie Pangarth, Mickey Davies, Bonnie Watson, and Lady Susie Cavaliere. From being so inseparable Darby, Bonnie and Sherry became known as ‘The Three Musketettes’ during their fourth year at Somerset Township Elementary School and the nickname, like the friendship, has endured.
She knows Jenny Talbot but often expresses a petty jealousy about her, especially when Lady Susie mentions having spent time with Jenny rather than with her.
Preferences and pursuits Edit
Though she is neither shapely nor particularly pretty, Darby gravitates towards skintight dance trousers, very short shorts, abbreviated skirts, satins, lace appliques, and even leather (a rarity in the hot humidity of Paradise). She likes and owns numerous pairs of stiletto court shoes and often paints her toenails to wear high-heeled sandals. Though she professes to be an aesthete, she does not have much appreciation for colour, material or fashion and will frequently wear tops in combination with bottoms that should never been seen, let alone worn, together.
Darby is rarely if ever seen wearing knickers as leisurewear in public, as do many girls in the territory. Though she is respectably well suntanned, she rarely sunbathes topless in public.
She tends to overapply most makeup, or else to not wear any at all. Without makeup her face is almost babyish; if not for her height (165 cm, at age 15) she might easily pass for a pubescent child.
Darby’s favourite colour is ordinary green, described by Laura Ivey as ‘Crayon Green’.
She does not seem to venture any opinions about the arts, music, sport (at which she is inept), or politics, preferring to change the subject when others discuss them. She claims to detest organised religion but does attend at St Paul's, Somerset, often enough to be considered a parishioner. She is not particularly creative nor artistic, plays no musical instruments, does not write or sing, dances unexceptionally (though she fancies herself an irresistible siren on the dance floor), and plays at parlour games only as is required by social circumstances.
She is a regular welcome guest at Camelot estate and generally assumes the full run of the exclusive property, both during Strategy games and when seeking or in the company of Lady Susie.
Darby knows to drive and has a 30-HP licence; but, in the course of the story arcs, she never acquires a car of her own. She is frequently seen driving one of the Camelot estate cars and sometimes even Lady Susie’s own.
Behaviour and manners Edit
To those she does not know well or like, Darby seems saccharine in her simpering superficiality. She seems to prefer the company of those wealthier or better-connected than she, such as Sherry Moss and Lady Susie, as though they might shower her with gifts or she might benefit socially from the association (though neither really happens). Though she has few social or personal attributes with which to attract such people, she seems to imagine herself, whether arrogantly or naively, more charming, more beautiful and more desirable than she really is.
Darby thrives on shocking friends and strangers with outgoing-- some would say outre-- behaviour. Amongst friends she is not shy about admitting attractions to other girls, even whilst she seems to believe she is keeping her lesbian interests a secret from greater society or that her friends might find such information interesting or appealing. Often she embarrasses others by clinging, petting, kissing, or insinuating bluntly about what she would like or what she would others to like.
In Sweet Sixteen, she celebrates her 16th birthday party with a very extravagant, well-attended event held at the Somerset Casino. She spends over half the evening in one of the guest bedchambers up stairs, entertaining a variety of girls including Bobbi Voss, Evelyn, Amelia Townsend and Vicki Bolton.
Darby is only an indifferent student though her marks are above average. Her favourite study partner is Lady Susie; but despite Lady Susie’s usual strong marks in virtually all subjects this preference is probably more to Darby’s attraction to her personally, romantically and sexually than academically.
Sexual preferences Edit
An avowed lesbian, one of Darby’s favourite indulgences is performing cunnilingus. She also has a fetish about masturbating whilst others watch her. Indications are that she enjoys sexual activity more to pursue personal pleasure (though she does not consistently achieve orgasm) than to provide it for others or to share intimacy as a part of a mutually-pleasant romantic relationship.
She enjoys the attention and company of older lesbians, who indulge her fetish to be treated as a naughty schoolgirl or even badly-behaved child, such as at Ginger McLeeson’s party, in Girls Will Be Girls, at Amanda Connaught’s women's retreat in October 1995, in The Goddess and The Princess, and with Dr Patrice Pymlington, her physician at the Somerset Women’s Clinic, with whom she has a discrete but torrid affair in The Adventures of Darby St Claire.
The character of Darby serves as a good example of the closeted hussy.
Patterns in seduction Edit
By all accounts Darby’s interest in girls is primarily sexual, meant to indulge her own need for lesbian experience.
Darby’s tragic flaw is that she views nearly all her acquaintances as potential sexual conquests; but she is constitutionally unassertive, even cowardly passive. Frequently she relies on others’ experiences to demonstrate possibilities for herself and will more likely proposition someone who has had experiences with others she knows than risk a proposition with someone about whose interest she knows nothing. Consequently most of her attractions are just unrequited desire, quick to fade and to be replaced, typically based upon physical appearance or availability rather than on character, shared interests or anything deeper.
In The Seduction of Laura, she enlists the help of Lady Susie to seduce longtime friend Laura Ivey. Much to Darby’s disappointment, Laura quickly prefers the attention of the affectionate Lady Susie, whom she has known and admired for some time.
At Darby's insistence, Lady Susie helps her to seduce Trudy Wells, nearly to the point of rape, but Trudy resists them both forcibly and rejects them both as detestable former friends.
Darby is characteristically suspicious of others’ attempting to go round her, perhaps due to a (merited) fear that she is insufficiently charming, sophisticated, intelligent, attractive or sexually adept to compete with those whom she regards as her own conquests. Lady Susie becomes very creative in keeping Darby in the dark about her exploits which surpass even Darby's flair for the dramatic and daring. She does surmise (correctly) that Lady Susie and Jenny Talbot are intimately involved but probably does not guess the full extent of Jenny's inclination till Jenny presents herself to her at Darby’s 16th birthday gala.
In Rivals At Heart, Darby attempts to gull Lady Susie into sharing a new friend by inviting her to her home on the pretence that they will be alone all night; but the plan backfires when Susie takes up with the friend, Chelsea Day, with whom Lady Susie has a pleasant, if short, affair. When Darby commits a similar error in 'Night In The Ruts', Lady Susie sneaks out of Darby’s house without her clothes and hikes home, through the woods, leaving Darby and her older friend confused and disappointed. The relationship between Darby and Lady Susie remains strained thereafter.
Relationship with Lady Susie Edit
Darby met (then The Hon.) Susie Cavaliere when they began riding the same bus for North Eden High School in September 1990. By degrees the two became closer friends. In The Seduction of Susie, Darby observes Susie’s 15th birthday, in November 1994, by giving her a sexy see-through negligee, encouraging her to perform striptease with it (which Lady Susie does only later). In January 1995 Lady Susie invites Darby to a nude sunbathing session under the sun lamps in the Camelot palace sun room, during which Darby masturbates. This she confesses to Lady Susie whilst the two share a shower, later.
Before long Darby is actively coaxing Lady Susie to learn more about her own sexuality. Frustrated by her own failure to adequately stimulate her, she introduces Lady Susie to both Nicole Bonelle and Terri Peale, whom Darby has enlisted to ‘try’ her before she can be satisfied that her interest will not be in vain. Ultimately Lady Susie will ‘seduce’ Darby, taking her completely by surprise, and afterwards assumes the more dominant role in an intimate friendship.
Darby never confesses any romantic interest in Lady Susie, nor does Lady Susie admit the same towards Darby. Darby seems pleased to consider herself the one who introduces Lady Susie to sexuality, regarding her beauty and wealth as sufficient grounds to expect that she should be both self-aware (autoerotic) and sexually receptive of others. Either as proof of her loyalty or naivete, Darby respects Lady Susie's need to keep her sexuality a secret from the greater world and, throughout the Paradise Two series, materially supports the junior baroness's efforts to remain anonymous and to establish an alter ego through which Lady Susie can further indulge her growing sexual appetites.
Throughout 1995 the two have an on-off relationship with each other, also involving others; not once does either acknowledge any interest in boys. Darby and Susie attend together the women's retreat at Breadfruit Beach, at which they engage sexually for the last time.
Post- ‘Paradise Two’ series Edit
After Lady Susie meets Chloe Jamison in October 1995, she makes it plain to Darby, who continues to pursue her, that she will henceforth consider herself in a monogamous relationship. Following the end of her affair with Patrice Pymlington, and having no association with Amelia Townsend, Darby leaves NEHS without sitting her A-levels and does not appear in the Two Paradises episodes for over two years. Apparently she takes a job in Hurricane Hole and sets up housekeeping with an older lover, though she may in fact have a series of affairs (likely sexually, not romantically, based).
Hearing of Lady Susie's separation from Chloe in 1998, Darby writes to Lady Susie, proposing that they reunite and offering to leave her current job and to join Lady Susie in London. When Lady Susie declines, Darby jealously launches a campaign to expose her former friend's lusty lesbian past just as Lady Susie’s career begins to blossom towards success. Lady Susie’s deft handling of the potential public-relations catastrophe leaves Darby discredited and disreputable; the two have no further contact till they reconcile at Lady Susie’s engagement party in December 1999.
Family home Edit
Darby lives at 19 Carmichael Street, (Upper) Somerset, Eden Island. The house is a one-and-a-half-storey faux-Tudor cottage, having the ridgepole parallel to the street, with an attached garage, rear terrace and no basement. Darby's parents occupy the back bedroom on the ground floor, using the bathroom in the gallery; the smaller front bedroom is used as a TV room.
Darby, typically self-important, occupies the spacious suite in the garret having French windows to a small balcony over the driveway, to the airier north end, and an en suite bathroom in a dormer above the kitchen in front. She has a rather high four-posted bed that stands to one long wall, a round table with chairs for a desk by the French windows, and a round green carpet in a clear space between the bed and the door on which she often dances, with friends or alone.
The sitting room is to the rear, with a side fireplace having a raised hearth and a wide multi-sash window overlooking a terrace to the rear. The rear garden, only nominally landscaped, gives onto the woods of Somerset Borough Park.