In this blog post, I am highlighting the character Count Fosco in the novel Women in White by Wilkie Collins.
This is not a book review as I am focusing on one of the antagonists only.
Why am I doing this? I am glad that you are curious to know. Count Fosco is unique in being one of the only characters that have caused me to physically close the book and walk away in a huff. Pretty strong reaction but he is a pretty vile character. I remember being angry for quite a while and it was a few days until I could pick up the book again.
In the novel, he commands a very strong personality and does everything in his power to make all those around him cower and be obedient to his whims and commands, including people and animals.
Here is an excerpt describing him as he transformed his once independent and lively wife to a meek puppet:
“And the magician who has wrought this wonderful transformation – the foreign husband who has tamed this once wayward Englishwoman till her own relations hardly know her again – the Count himself? What of the Count? This, in two words: He looks like a man who could tame anything. If he had married a tigress, instead of a woman, he would have tamed the tigress. If he had married me, I should have made his cigarettes as his wife does – I should have held my tongue when he looked at me, as she holds hers.”
He reminds me of those villainous fiends in silent films, the ones who tie the heroine on the railway track while twirling his moustache and laughing maniacally in glee. Throughout the novel, he actively schemes and interferes in the life of the heroine, trying to rob her of everything, including her free will.
So, if you are interested in being mad at a fictional character that is just too evil to ignore and quite possibly one of the greatest antagonists ever written, I recommend you to read Women in White 😅