George

Tomboy. Only child. Owner of Timmy…and an island.

George is probably the character everyone remembers the most. Her full name is Georgina but she refuses to answer to it, preferring its masculine abbreviation. If any character insists on calling George ‘Georgina’ (beyond some mischievous teasing) you know they are a bad lot (eg Mr Roland, the mean tutor of Five Go Adventuring Again). George wants most dreadfully to be a boy, having been brought up in a society in which men are more important than women, have more freedom and don’t have to do the washing up. She has short hair, dresses in boy’s clothes and prides herself on being as ‘good as a boy’. George is hot-headed, honest, and a great swimmer and rower. Being an only child she occasionally needs a bit more alone time than the others (although Timmy is always welcome).

George has a memorable entrance into the series – she most definitely does not want her pesky well-rounded cousins Julian, Dick and Anne coming to stay at Kirrin Cottage and detracting from her lone-wolf-only-child-outsiderness. After some initial skirmishes, they bond firmly although George occasionally takes her feelings of gender inequality out on Anne who, in many ways, represents everything George does not want to be (dependent, domestic, more easily scared by the numerous ‘bad sorts’ the Five encounter).

George’s style is tomboy chic, heavy on the sexual ambiguity (a bit Mercedes D’Acosta, perhaps?) – cropped hair, light jerseys and shorts for summer, brogues and trench coats during the autumn and winter. As a lover of outdoor activities, she generally sports a healthy tan during the summer months.

‘George had been burnt a dark-brown, and her eyes were startling blue in her sunburnt face. She had had her hair cut even shorter than usual, and it really was rather difficult to know if she was a boy or a girl… … … [she] enjoyed strutting about in her shorts and jersey on the beach, using her boat as well as any fisher-boy and swimming faster than them all’ (Five Run Away Together)

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