Pale Fire


Vladimir Nabokov

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Queen Blenda Character Analysis

Queen Blenda is King Charles’s mother and King Alfin’s wife. She dies of a rare blood condition exactly 33 years before John Shade’s death. Charles and his mother weren’t close and he has no love for her, but for a while he believes himself to be haunted by her ghost. This is likely due to his knowledge that his mother didn’t approve of his relationships with men, although he refused to stop on her behalf.
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Queen Blenda Character Timeline in Pale Fire

The timeline below shows where the character Queen Blenda appears in Pale Fire. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Commentary: Lines 49-98
Identity, Delusion, and Loneliness Theme Icon
Death, Mystery, and the Afterlife Theme Icon
Patterns, Fate, and Coincidence Theme Icon
...poetry and relishing masquerades in which boys dressed as girls and vice versa. His mother, Queen Blenda, died of a congenital blood disease on the night of July 21st, 1936. At... (full context)
Identity, Delusion, and Loneliness Theme Icon
Line 80: my bedroom. Charles the Beloved thought of Fleur—the daughter of his mother ’s favorite Countess—only as a sister, although other men found her intensely sexual. She didn’t... (full context)
Death, Mystery, and the Afterlife Theme Icon
Loss and Longing Theme Icon
Between the Queen’s death and Charles’s coronation, he suffered—he didn’t love his mother, and he felt terrified of... (full context)