Christopher Chant is the current Chrestomanci, the father of Roger Chant and Julia Chant and Millie's husband. He appears in every story in the series (except "Warlock at the Wheel", in which he has an off-stage part), usually in a supporting role and usually under the name (or rather title) of Chrestomanci - the two exceptions to both of these is The Lives of Christopher Chant and Conrad's Fate, chronologically the first two in the series.
He is tall, and has black hair, which was curly when he was a boy.
Christopher Chant is the son of Cosimo and Miranda Chant. He grew up in a large house in London, raised mainly by a succession of nursery maids and governesses, and saw his Papa so rarely that when he was small he was haunted by a fear that one day they would meet and he would not recognise him.
As a child, he resisted his Mama's attempts to groom him for a place in Society, since the only Society he'd heard of was the Aid the Heathen Society, which did not appeal. He learned better when he went away to boarding school -- the first chance he'd really had to associate with people outside his family circle -- and went on to become as elegant and splendid a member of society as his Mama could wish.
Early in his life, Christopher found he could travel between worlds via astral travel through the Place Between, although to begin with he thought he was only dreaming this. He occasionally managed to bring things back (most of the time, he lost things while scrambling about through the Place Between: which was still better than most astral travellers, who could not touch things in other worlds, let alone bring them back). These included a clockwork dragon, a flute shaped like a horse, a necklace of tiny pearl skulls given him by the mermaids in Series Five, and a set of bells from Series Ten. Meeting the mermaids also prompted him to try and discover whether women in his own world had fish tails under their dresses; this led to the Incident with Lady Badgett.
After The Last Governess recognised the significance of the artefacts he had brought back from other worlds, his Uncle Ralph asked him to do a series of experiments to see just what he was capable of. These experiments were carried out under the supervision of Tacroy. On his second experimental trip, to see if he can bring back an Asheth Temple cat from Series Ten, he met the Living Asheth, an encounter which was to profoundly shape the rest of his life.
Apart from this sign of talent, which only Uncle Ralph, The Last Governess, and Tacroy knew about, Christopher seemed to be unable to do magic at all. At school, he took to getting his friend Oneir to cover for him, while he in return covered for Oneir in algebra.
He occasionally went to stay with various cousins during school holidays; he got on all right with Caroline, but he and Francis despised one another.
While he was at boarding school, he became a keen cricketer, being particularly good at bat, and for a while entertained ambitions of playing the game professionally. Then one day, during cricket practice, he was accidentally hit in the head by a cricket bat wielded by Oneir, and killed instantly. The fact that he was right as rain again by nightfall led to the discovery that he was a nine-lifed enchanter. His father took him out of school to be tutored by Dr Pawson, who discovered why he was unable to do magic (which will not be revealed here, as it is both a spoiler for The Lives of Christopher Chant and a spoiler for Charmed Life), before being taken off to live at Chrestomanci Castle under the guardianship of Gabriel de Witt, who was then Chrestomanci.
As Chrestomanci, Christopher adopted his distant relatives, Eric Chant and Gwendolen Chant, but refused to recognise Gwendolen's talent for Magic. He was nearly attacked by the Willing Warlock who temporarily turned into a caterpillar. Christopher accepted Janet Chant, who came from Twelve-B, as his ward after Gwendolen went to another world.
He also took Antonio "Tonino" Montana to Chrestomanci Castle. Eric did not like Tonino at first but they defeated Neville Spiderman. Christopher also did a lot of things as Chrestomanci, such as defeating the Inquisitor of the world containing Larwood House and taking Thasper back to his home world of Theare. He and his family went on holiday to the south of France and helped Carol Oneir (the world's youngest best-selling dreamer) with her dreams. At some point, he took Antonio "Tonino" Montana (who was travelsick) back to Italy. When they returned, he was nearly shot and took away the magic of the Farleigh family. He also took Marianne Pinhoe to Chrestomanci Castle to study dwimmer.
Christopher is described as having dark hair and being handsome. Carol describes him as "twice as good-looking as Francis". He is also depicted as being "... very tall and rake thin ..." (The Pinhoe Egg).
He is also extraordinarily well-dressed and never seems to be seen in the same elegant outfit twice. Most famous, to the lucky few who have seen them, are his dressing-gowns, he has one for every day of the year and includes:
- flowered silk, red and purple, with gold at the neck and sleeves (Charmed Life, chapter 4)
- wide and flowing, partly orange and partly bright pink, with a bright scarlet lining (chapter 6)
- green, with gold dragons embroidered on (chapter 12)
- sky-blue, with golden lions on (chapter 14)
Christopher Chant gazes vaguely at things or people he is concentrating on: the vaguer the look the more he's thinking. Christopher is known to get people's names wrong, such as calling Gammer Norah Farleigh "Miss Forelock" or Oneir's wife "Mrs. Oh Dear". He only gets people's names wrong when he doesn't care about them or they're not important to him. As a boy, he was constantly nursed by many governesses and maids who often came and left, and he often got their names mixed up. He never managed to learn their name properly, and even when he did, they left as soon as they came, hence he doesn't bother to learn names of unimportant people for they never stay in his life for long. Millie says he is obsessed with his clothing and he makes everyone else get only the finest silk shirts when she says he could fix it all by magic anyway. In her opinion his downfall is laziness and having an over-inflated ego.
- Charmed Life
- The Magicians of Caprona
- Witch Week
- The Lives of Christopher Chant
- Conrad's Fate
- The Pinhoe Egg
- Mixed Magics
|Members of the Chant family|
|Christopher Chant, Cosimo Chant, Miranda Chant, Conrad Chant, Charles Chant, Francis Chant, Caroline Chant, Roger Chant, Julia Chant, Gwendolen Chant, Eric Chant, Janet Chant, Alice Chant|
|Benjamin Allworthy, Gabriel de Witt, Christopher Chant|