Sacharissa Cripslock is the granddaughter of the engraver formerly employed by William de Worde to make copies of his newsletter (he may possibly have appeared in Maskerade, working for Goatberger). She confronts William angrily when he starts using moveable type and printing his newsletter with the dwarf Gunilla Goodmountain, threatening her grandfather's livelihood. She is described as eclectically attractive insofar as facial features are concerned. She possesses at least two features that would have made artists from various eras of history bite their easels in two - although, it must be said, that having a nose that would appeal to Rembrandt and a neck that would inspire Pablo Picasso does not guarantee that the whole succeeds as a work of art. However, certain bodily features never go out of style and she is quite well-endowed in that respect.
Sacharissa strives for Respectability – however she suffers from misplaced assumptions on what exactly constitutes Respectability. She takes most of her cues from previous centuries, and believes that correct mannerisms are an adequate substitute for good manners. Either way it is a difficult task for one with her figure, which she tries to conceal with old-fashioned dresses (to no avail). When provoked, she can also fire out -ing's in the same indiscriminate way Detritus fires his Piecemaker.
She ends up becoming a reporter with the new Ankh-Morpork Times, where she shows considerable talent as a journalist with a nose for news and a knack of creating snappy headlines. In fact, she possesses the ability to think in headlines, and has gained valuable experience as an editor, allowing her to cut an article's length in half merely by crossing out all the adjectives. Unlike most citizens of Ankh-Morpork, she does not wield a pen like a carving knife, and has a firm grasp of the idea of punctuation. In addition, thanks to her physical qualities, young men from all walks of life tend to come to her with titbits of information which she puts into the paper. As of Making Money, she seems to have become the Times' chief liaison to Moist von Lipwig, and she has developed a talent for asking devious questions that, if answered thoughtlessly, would make for interesting and embarrassing news headlines, in the style of British journalism (in fact most journalism today). Moist, for his part, regards his interviews with her as a duel requiring him to think quickly on his feet.
In Going Postal, she wears a wedding ring: it is more than likely that she marries William, who was quite taken with her in The Truth, eventually getting up the courage to ask her to lunch... before the hungry press intervened! Despite being married, she still refers to herself as Miss, which Moist von Lipwig surmises upon first meeting her means that she has Views. In Raising Steam, a footnote on page 123 explicitly refers to "Mr de Worde and wife". However, the reference does not elaborate on this. The lack of emphasis upon a romance between William and Sacharissa may reflect on their own reluctance to publicize their private lives (perhaps with good cause in William's case!). Or, it may just be another example of Pratchett's relaxed attitude towards the traditional narrative, in which the main characters' romance would certainly take center stage. Pratchett characters frequently marry but usually nothing much is made of the wedding, except in a few notable cases.
Appearances[edit | edit source]
Raising Steam - Mentioned in connection with William de Worde but not by name.
Sacharissa was played by Tamsin Greig in the TV adaptation of Going Postal.
Annotation[edit | edit source]
Prankster musician Neil Innes (Bonzo Dog Doodah Band and part of Monty Python's reserve team), a man whose lyrics are referenced in passing in I Shall Wear Midnight, wrote a song about an art student with an interesting face and figure called I like Cezanne, says Ann. Sample lyric: She had a body by Modigliani and a face by Renoir. This Bonzos' song might have been part of Pratchett's mental image when visualising Sacharissa.