Effete – definition: 1. no longer fertile 2. a) having lost character, vitality or strength b) marked by weakness c) soft or delicate from or as if from a pampered existence 3. effeminate
I have not come across this particular word before but now I want to use it…! It will most certainly crop up in my reincarnation romance – The Twesome Loop. My novel has two time periods intertwined and this word perfectly describes the perceived personality of one of my female characters.
Excerpt of The Twesome Loop:
A Contract 1874
“You will marry him, Gabriella and that is the last I will hear of it.”
“Do not question my judgement, girl. It is an excellent match.”
Gabriella ran from her father’s study, up the stairs to her bedroom and flung herself onto her bed. It might be excellent for her father but certainly not for her. Her uncontrollable sobbing persisted throughout the afternoon and into early evening. No-one came to comfort her. Father must have forbidden Mother and the servants to attend her. How could her father be so cruel, marrying her to such an old man? He was ugly and brutish. She hated the way he leered at her, licking his lips. It was disgusting. Father only saw William Folkes’ wealth and the large estate in Hampshire. With the marriage, her father, a trader, would climb the social ladder of high society. He clearly didn’t care about Gabriella’s happiness. She was the sacrificial lamb – totally powerless. She had heard mother try to persuade him that William was not suitable, only to be shouted down.
“I am the man of this house and you will comply with my wishes. William is obviously fervent in his feelings for Gabriella. He will be an excellent provider.”
“But, John, she is so young and effete. Could you not find someone closer to her age, a more suitable husband?”
“How more suitable could he be? William is a wealthy and powerful man, Margaret. I am sure he will lavish many luxuries on the girl. She should think herself lucky I found such a good match. What more could she possibly want from a husband?”
“Why, love and children, of course.”
“William is certainly not too old to give her children. Now stop this complaining, I have made my decision and it is final so I will have no more talk of it.”
The marriage contract between John Lightfoot and William Folkes was signed the following week and Gabriella’s father spent lavishly on a magnificent feast to impress his new found circle. He invited dignitaries from all over the county and also many William had suggested. Gabriella watched her father strut around like a peacock, relishing his new found status while she tried to avoid William’s attentions.
She watched in awe as one by one, women arrived wearing wonderful gowns, their hair styled to perfection and bejewelled necks, arms and fingers. Gabriella was lost in her admiration when a deep voice broke into her thoughts.
“Come, my dear, sit by your future husband.”
“I have to circulate amongst our guests, Sire; it is bad manners not to do so.”
“Surely you will be excused if you are spending time with your fiancé?”
Gabriella sat, ensuring there was a reasonable distance between them. William took her hand and drew her toward him. His eyes sparkled and he licked his lips.
“Soon, I will have you alone, my sweet. What wonders will I find under your attire to delight me?”
“Sire, please. I must go to my mother.”
Gabriella felt physically sick. His touch made her skin crawl. Just the thought of him touching her was revolting. As she approached her mother, tears welled up. Her mother embraced her.
“Please, excuse us; my daughter is feeling a little faint. It must be all the excitement.”
Do you have a character it would describe flawlessly?
Let’s look at some examples:
You are too effete with your soft hands and delicate scent for such work
The pregnancy may be too much for such an effete woman
The soil became effete with over farming
A chemical spill made the river effete with the lost of plants and fish
Can you write a few?