Aloysius Pendergast

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Aloysius Pendergast
First appearanceRelic
Last appearanceCold Vengeance
Created byDouglas Preston &Lincoln Child
Information
GenderMale
OccupationSpecial agent with FBI
TitleDual Doctor of Philosophy(Classics and Philosophy)
Spouse(s)Helen Pendergast
RelativesSee The Pendergast family
 
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Aloysius Pendergast
First appearanceRelic
Last appearanceCold Vengeance
Created byDouglas Preston &Lincoln Child
Information
GenderMale
OccupationSpecial agent with FBI
TitleDual Doctor of Philosophy(Classics and Philosophy)
Spouse(s)Helen Pendergast
RelativesSee The Pendergast family

Aloysius Xingú Leng Pendergast is a fictional character appearing in novels by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child. He first appeared as a supporting character in their first novel, Relic, and in its sequel Reliquary, before assuming the protagonist role in The Cabinet of Curiosities.

Pendergast is a special agent with the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). He is a favorite among fans for his unique personality, cultural discernment, and his almost preternatural competence. He works out of the New Orleans, Louisiana branch of the FBI, but frequently travels out of state to investigate cases which interest him, namely those appearing to be the work of serial killers.

Contents

Background

Aloysius Xingú Leng Pendergast was born circa 1960 and raised in New Orleans, Louisiana. Pendergast retains his Southern manners and mellifluous Deep Southern accent. He studied Anthropology at Harvard University (graduating summa cum laude) and received a dual Doctor of Philosophy degree in Classics and Philosophy from Oxford University in England (which one of Oxford's component colleges he attended has never been specified).Child, Lincoln and Preston, Douglas. "Authors Preston & Child Interview Special Agent Pendergast". The Authors. http://www.twbookmark.com/authorslounge/articles/2004/september/article19440.html. Retrieved July 15, 2005. 

Pendergast once served with the U.S. Special Forces.

A number of years before the series began, Pendergast was married to Helen Esterhazy Pendergast. She was presumed killed in a hunting accident, but reappears in the so-called Helen Trilogy.

Pendergast is generally described as being stoically aloof and eccentric, though his ineffable politeness and unerring intellect imbue him with an irresistible charm or enigmatic sense of danger if the occasion should call for it. Well-learned in many subjects, he converses easily with doctors, scientists, intellectuals, vagabonds, highly specialized masters of specific disciplines, and people of a wide variety of language and culture alike. He is a master of psychological manipulation, disguise, and improvisation.

Pendergast appreciates the finer things in life, including expensive cuisine and wines. Foods and drinks he enjoys include Château Pétrus wine, antipasto, green tea of only the purest and most spiritual kind, gelato, and steak tartare. He has a great distaste for opera. His interests encompass a wide variety of vastly differing walks of life, yet all focus on the enlightenment of the human mind, body, and soul. His cloistered and elegant habitat in the famed Dakota building of Manhattan, NY, has been described as being elegant yet sparsely furnished. It contains well-tended bonsai trees and a large waterfall cascading down one wall.

He spent a year in Tibet studying the deep meditative art of Chongg Ran, taught to him by the monks of the Gsalrig Chongg monastery.

Pendergast is polyglot, demonstrating mastery of Italian, Latin, Greek, and Cantonese, and appears semi-fluent in Mandarin. He also has some knowledge of Japanese.

Appearance

Pendergast is always described as tall and slender, though it is revealed that he is fit, graceful in movement and physically powerful despite his slight frame. His coloring is pale enough that many people jokingly refer to him as being albino. He has platinum blond hair and grey eyes. Pendergast religiously dresses in a black, hand-tailored suit made of a special blend of wool not made since the 1950s, and is consequently described as looking like an undertaker.

In many cases, Pendergast's normal appearance is irrelevant. A master of disguises, he has fooled even close acquaintances on several occasions.

Accoutrements

Pendergast owns a pair of 1959 Rolls-Royce Silver Wraith (one each in New York and Louisiana); his chauffeur and personal assistant is a mysterious man named Proctor. All of Pendergast's suits are custom-made in Italy, and his shoes hand-made by John Lobb of London.

His personal sidearm is usually a customized .45 Caliber Les Baer Government Model M1911 pistol. In Relic he carried a revolver described as a five-shot .45 Colt Anaconda double-action revolver. He has also mentioned a Signature Grade 1911 .45ACP made by Hilton Yam that has not been seen outside a hypnotherapy session.

Pendergast maintains an apartment at The Dakota in New York City, and later inherits an internally renovated Beaux Arts mansion near Harlem from his great-granduncle in The Cabinet of Curiosities. In his apartment there is a fully furnished zen garden where Pendergast likes to take time to meditate before a new challenge.

Though he is a scrupulously scientific man, he wears a sort of talisman or amulet on a chain, that consists of his own modified version of the Pendergast family crest: a lidless eye over two moons, one new and one full, with a phoenix (the original version featured a lion).

Pendergast carries a variety of hidden tools, such as lock picks, flashlights of various sizes, test tubes, syringes, and forensic chemicals.

Friends and relations

The Pendergast family

Officially, the Pendergast's family wealth came from pharmaceuticals, and the family became sufficiently old and established in New Orleans to conduct themselves as aristocracy. However, there are hints that the fortune actually came from patent medicine ("snake oil"), and that some of the family's customers suffered permanent injury or even death from its effects.

Pendergast also confides, to his shame, that a streak of insanity has afflicted his family for generations, such that many of them have been convicted of horrible crimes, and ended their lives in asylums.

Chronicles

Special Agent Aloysius Pendergast appears in several stand-alone novels and stars in two trilogies. All of these books have been jointly written by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child.

Stand-alone novels

The Diogenes trilogy

The Helen trilogy

References

External links