One of the major supporting characters in Code Name Verity is Paul, leader of the Damask resistance circuit. A superb organizer, he takes pride in how he'd never lost anyone in his circuit (before Julie, but then that wasn't his fault). He dies in the line of fire during a semi-successful rescue attempt for a convoy of prisoners destined for an internment camp.

But Paul is also a serious sexual assaulter who gropes every woman within reach and makes lecherous comments about those that aren't. Maddie is at one point driven to chase him out of her sleeping-area with a gun.

Code Name Verity is a meticulously researched book, evidenced by a bibliography and an Author's Debriefing at the back. The latter includes this passage:

I had to use a sample [ballpoint] pen in Code Name Verity—ballpoints weren't on the market yet. But it was plausible. That's all I ask—that my details be plausible. And I love that the ballpoint pen was first manufactured for the RAF. Who knew?
There's a real story, like this one, behind just about every detail or episode in the book.

She goes on to list more instances of things pulled from history, including historical precedent for the two main characters. This leads me to wonder - is Paul's character based on anything specific? Can we pinpoint possible inspirations? (I'd accept both "from the horse's mouth" citations and/or plausible explanations)

  • A thesis discussing real-world history through the lens of Code Name Verity - doesn't answer your question, but might be interesting.
    – Rand al'Thor
    Nov 28, 2021 at 10:42

1 Answer 1


Not sure how I landed here, but this is the Horse's Mouth speaking. Paul is based on every single slimy dude who ever chatted me up or groped me. All his lines and suggestive actions are based on real things that happened to me (not by the same guy). In his character I was also exploring a theme that I don't think people consider often enough, which simply put is that "You can be a hero and still be a jerk."

  • 4
    Welcome! Awesome to get the actual horse to show up :)
    – bobble
    Sep 12 at 23:05

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