Study Guide

Victoria Forester in Stardust

By Neil Gaiman

Victoria Forester

Heart-Breaking Beauty

The daughter of Tommy Forester and Bridget Comfrey, Victoria is, to Tristran, "the most beautiful girl in the British Isles" (2.11). He's not alone in having this opinion either, and the other male residents of Wall also are infatuated with her: "She turned many heads and, in all probability, broke many hearts" (2.11). Some people make quite an impression, and Victoria is clearly one of them.

What does this goddess of love look like? "She had her mother's grey eyes and heart-shaped face, her father's curling chestnut hair. Her lips were red and perfectly shaped, her cheeks blushed prettily when she spoke. She was pale, and utterly delightful" (2.12). She's also headstrong, which we know because she wants to work for Mr. Bromios the same way her mother did in her youth, though this idea gets shot down by both her mom and her dad.

When Tristran walks her home from the shop where he works one night, he asks her for a kiss, and for her hand in marriage. She refuses both quite bluntly, and then she asks him:

"And why ever should I marry you, Tristran Thorn? What could you give me?" (2.69)

It's a fair enough question, even if it seems like a pretty transactional perspective on marriage. In a time when women don't really have property rights, though, it seems like Victoria takes a practical approach to marriage, wanting to make sure to secure her future. Romance, in other words, is a luxury, and not at the top of her pragmatic priority list.

Either she doesn't take Tristran seriously when he offers to bring her back riches from all around the world in exchange for her hand, or she just wants to get rid of him, but either way, she promises him that "'If you bring me that star […] the one that just fell, not another star, then I'll kiss you. Who knows what else I might do'" (2.84). She goes on to promise him "'Anything you desire'" (2.92), which, considering her rebuff of his advances so far, seems like something she only offers because she doesn't think she'll actually have to make good on her word.

Tristran bows and runs off, and "Victoria Forester laughed at the skinny shop-boy, laughed long and loud and delightfully, and her tinkling laughter followed him back down the hill, and away" (2.99). We don't think it's malicious laughter (though it may be a little mocking), but rather that she's amused at how earnest Tristran is. She certainly doesn't expect him to actually run off to Faerie on this quest.

Not Yet a Bride

When Tristran returns from Faerie, Victoria apologizes to him, and she seems to really mean it. She tells him, staring straight ahead as though it's difficult for her to say:

"I have had to live […] each day […] with the possibility that I had sent you to your death." (10.66)

Ouch, yeah, we can see where that'd be pretty rough. It also reinforces our general sense, though, that despite sending Tristran off on a seemingly impossible mission, Victoria is actually a decent person when all is said and done.

Further, she reveals that Mr. Monday asked for her hand in marriage right before all the foolishness with the falling star transpired. Despite this, though, she intends to keep her promise to Tristran if he decides he wants to marry her instead, which takes some backbone. She's obviously relieved when Tristran tells her that what he desires—which she is bound to give him—is for her to marry Mr. Monday as soon as possible: "She exhaled in one slow shuddering breath of release" (10.88).

She is super excited to be getting married, and when she starts talking to Yvaine about it (not knowing who the star is) at the market, Victoria's eyes "shone with pride and delight" (10.119). And since she and Mr. Monday become two Mondays on a Friday, their union helps lift the spell binding Tristran's mom to Madame Semele. Yay.

In short, even though Victoria starts out pretty self-absorbed, she matures as a person and earns herself a happy ending, too.