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Poddington-on-Slossip: Characters

Prudence Buttock



Although Prudence Buttock is slender and lithe, a lifetime of reticent posture, coupled with a nervous, fast gait, have eclipsed any natural grace that she might have once possessed. She hides behind a pair of wire-frame spectacles, the cheap surface reflecting glassy shapes back to the viewer and masking the colour of her eyes. When she speaks, her voice is so hesitant and elliptical as to be almost useless for conversation; and when she's anxious, an unfortunate stammer quite renders her incomprehensible.

Prudence is dressed in a utilitarian dress spun from dove-grey wool. Covering her head is a heavy cloche hat, the bell shape of which gives her the unfortunate appearance of a candle being snuffed.


Prudence Buttock, lucklessly christened 'Persephone Prudence Atargatis Buttock' in deference to her dying mother's wishes, is the very antithesis of her classical nomenclature. Certainly, she does not bring to mind an ethereal nymph whose beauty would cause the very shades of Hell to swell with admiration, nor does she evoke images of an earthy Babylonian fertility goddess celebrated in enthusiastic pagan ritual.

The last year has seen considerable changes in Prudence's life. She has become engaged to Vicar Warrenton, much to the surprise of herself and everyone else in the village; and she has finally recovered from the mysterious summer flu, which aside from weakening her already congenitally weak heart, had made her behaviour a little ... well, odd at times.

When not hiding behind bookshelves, Prudence can sometimes be seen taking down the minutes of the 'Temperance Reform Organization of the Ladies League of Poddington-on-Slossip' (TROLLOPS), chaired by her sister, the formidable Honoria Buttock.

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