In The Scar by China Miéville one of the major viewpoint characters is Bellis Coldwine, who is leaving the city in the wake of the events of Perdido Street Station. She is described as an ex-girlfriend of Isaac, the main protagonist in PSS, and fears her association with him will be dangerous for her, so she intended to flee temporarily until things cooled down.

I've seen some reviews and descriptions for The Scar that describe her as a minor character in PSS, but I didn't recall her at all and I've seen some conflicting descriptions.

At one point in the book she mentions that she hadn't seen Isaac in years, which would suggest her not actually appearing in the first book, but I don't know if she was simply not being truthful, and even if she was, Isaac could have mentioned her (or recalled her privately) while reminiscing about his past and I simply didn't remember it.

So, does Bellis Coldwine appear, or get mentioned, in Perdido Street Station?

1 Answer 1


After Isaac learns that Motley has taken Lin hostage, he reminisces about his first meeting with Lin, starting:

Before Lin, Isaac's lover had been Bellis; human, like all his previous bedfellows. Bellis was tall and pale. She painted her lips bruise-purple. She was a brilliant linguist, who had become bored with what she had called Isaac's "rumbustiousness," and had broken his heart.

Between Bellis and Lin had been four years of whores and brief adventures. ...

This is in chapter 37, on page 380 of the paperback edition. I don't have a searchable version of the book, but I'm pretty sure it's the only time she's mentioned.

  • Thanks! I also don't have a searchable version of the book, I tried searching on Google Books for both parts of her name with no results (although in retrospect I realize I probably accidentally searched "Bella" instead of "Bellis" as I keep making that mistake) Oct 4, 2016 at 11:16

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