(urth) Ouen's Catherine

Roy C. Lackey rclackey at stic.net
Wed Oct 18 22:54:29 PDT 2006

bsharp wrote:
>However, she [Catherine] is forced to return
>the way she came and is given back to the torturers twenty years later
>her sentence (Allowin's necklace?) is carried out just before Chapter 1 of
>Shadow opens.

I think it would be rather strange that the torture and death of a woman who
looked just like the maid who annually played Holy Katharine would have gone
unnoticed and unmentioned by Severian and every other member of the guild.
Besides, the torturers buried their "clients in the lower reaches of the
necropolis". The woman whose body was taken by Vodalus was buried higher up
the hill, among the statuary.

>Unfortunately, if Catherine is an exultant it excludes Cyriaca from being
>her sister,

Not necessarily. They might still have been half-sisters.

> and thus Agia and Agilus from being Severian's cousins.

I just don't see any text-based connection that links Cyriaca with the
twins, but there are some things that weigh against a connection. Cyriaca
was apparently a postulant traveling in the southern part of the country
with the Pelerines at her time of menarche. Sometime in her last year with
them before making her final commitment, she ran away from the order (sound
familiar?) and went home. The Pelerine outfit she wore to the archon's party
still fit her, so she must have been full grown when she left the order. So
she must have spent several years with them.

I don't think she had the time, motive or opportunity to have ever owned and
operated a rag shop in the slums of Nessus. But, more importantly, Agia said
that their mother had "bequeathed" the shop to the twins. I take that to
mean that their mother was dead.


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