Topsy Lavish

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Topsy Lavish
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Name Topsy Turvy
Race Human
Age
Occupation Chairman of the Royal Bank of Ankh-Morpork
Physical appearance small old woman, traces of her former red hair
Residence the Bank, Ankh-Morpork
Death of old age, in Making Money
Parents
Relatives nephew Hubert Turvy
Children Step children: Cosmo and Pucci Lavish
Marital Status widow (Joshua Lavish)
Appearances
Books Making Money
Cameos

Topsy Lavish (née Turvy,) now deceased, was in charge of the Royal Bank of Ankh-Morpork before Moist von Lipwig, and is partly responsible for his ascension to the position. A former mistress of Joshua Lavish who later became his wife, she was left 50% of the Bank by her husband. The other 1% controlling share was left to her dog, Mr Fusspot. A very clever woman, she spent most of her time in charge of the Bank fending off her in-laws, the Lavishes, who wanted to run the place further into the ground than it already was. Wary of assassination attempts, she spent all of her time in her suite at the Bank, and had multiple crossbows pointed at the door, ready to be unleashed on a threatening visitor at any time.

She saw right through Moist on his first visit to the Bank, recognizing him for the all-around liar and crook that he really is. Naturally, she liked him immensely, and when she finally did pass away, she left her 50% of the Bank shares to Mr Fusspot, making him the official Chairman - and she left the dog to Moist.

She tried to shoot Death when he showed up to collect her, saying "you can't blame a body for trying". She now rests at the Temple of Small Gods, as far away from the rest of the Lavishes as she can be.


Annotations

It is possible that Topsy Lavish is a reference to Livia Drusilla, later Livia Augusta of the Roman Empire. August can mean one who is an heir to a large fortune, both Livia and Lavish fitting this bill. Also, Topsy replaced Joshua Lavish's first wife, again following Livia's experience with Emperor Octavian (later Augustus). Also, Topsy's deft manipulation of the Lavish family she married into resonates well with the number of children and grandchildren Livia had who became emperors.

Her ability to see the truth of Moist von Lipwig is similar to the episode of Father Ted (Entertaining Father Stone) where an old lady knows instantly that the priest Ted is responsible for her grandson being in a coma.

  • Father Ted: "The old lady's on to us Dougel!"
  • Father Dougel: "Ah, come on now Ted, how could she know?"
  • Father Ted: "Old women are closer to God than we'll ever be. They get to that age and they don't need the operator anymore. They've got the direct line."


It may also be worth mentioning the roundworld nursery phrase topsy-turvy, meaning (literally and/or metaphorically) upside down, that is, confused and muddled.