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Irulan


Her Extreme Imperial Highness, Crown Princess Irulan Corrino III is the eldest daughter of the 81st Padishah Emperor Shaddam Raphael Corrino IV and the recent Lady Anirul Sadow-Tonkin Corrino in the Dune Universe.

She turned out be the co-author and editor of numerous historical works; and an object of veneration as Saint Irulan-the-Virgin.

During her longest life-time here on Kaitain, she was also the firstborn Imperial Crown Princess and the heiress apparent to the Golden Lion Throne of the Galactic Padishah Empire with her future role of being the Grand Supreme Padishah Goddess-Empress of the Known Universe.

As the favorite daughter to the Emperor and his Empress Consort, Irulan was trained in the nuances and the obligations of command.

Still being one of the youngest Bene Gesserit Sisterhood members, she received additional training in techniques of observation, memory and self-control. However, suffering from peer pressures and her own intellectual inadequacies, she never excelled in either her courtly or Bene Gesserit studies.

Little is known of Irulan’s childhood, but one tendency emerged early in life: her obsession with writing. Beginning at the age of five, she kept a journal and later confided her thoughts to a diary.

As she entered the local Bene Gesserit Chapterhouse to begin her full training, she continued to keep both the diary and the journal; the diary enabled her to develop her analytic capacities, especially in regard to human character, and the journal prepared the way for her growth as an historian. Her journalistic skills and her introspective tendencies were enhanced by the Bene Gesserit training with its emphasis on observation and analysis.

The Bene Gesserit Reverend Mothers came to regard Irulan as one of the weakest links in their power structure; Irulan remained an independent thinker, and what she thought about most was an exception to the qualities usually demonstrated by the people in cloister around her. In a setting which promoted the sacrifice of personality to the political structure and the sacrifice of family loyalty to power, she developed an admiration for and a faith in normal humanity and the old-fashioned virtues of love and devotion.

Irulan's writings include very little about Anirul and it is clear that her non-relationship with her own mother did nothing to counterbalance the attitudes toward motherhood to which she was exposed. Motherhood was not a virtue espoused by either the royal houses or the Bene Gesserit, since in either case it was merely a biological role made to serve other, larger purposes than love for and nurturing of a child. Her father, therefore, was the dominant figure in her life. She wrote much about the significance of fatherhood and clearly regarded her father (whose favorite child she was) as a source of instructive wisdom as well as affection.

The degradation of the mother role, a strong devotion to a male figure, the ability to find satisfaction in her writing, her training in royal command — all these laid the basis for Irulan's acceptance — with only small spurts of rebellion — of the position of virgin wife to Paul. In her position as Paul's virgin queen, she stood for the moral law of the community, a law which upheld order and status and continuity. But her passivity in the acceptance of her role indicates, also, a lowered sexual threshold, confirmed by her decision to remain single after the death of Paul. Further, these qualities explain her later assumption of the role of protectress of Paul's children. Surrounded by a prescience she did not share — that found in Alia, Leto II, and Ghanima — her major role naturally became that of a supporting, rather than leading, actress.

But since those "children," Leto and Ghanima were never really children, so that tune Irulan devoted to their rearing marked a quiescent period for her. Standing beside Chani, and later beside Alia in the royal court, she contributed wherever and whenever she could to the royal judgments and directions for the good of House Atreides. Blonde, tall, and beautiful, she commanded by her appearance a certain awe from strangers, an awe which she, remote, refused to concede; she knew too well her role as royal pawn. Without seeking power for herself, she could gain little respect from others, but all the while she was carefully observing and analyzing.

As Leto II assumed command of the Bene Gesserit breeding program and the powers of the Bene Gesserit declined accordingly, they lost their reasons for secrecy, and a new age, of sorts, dawned in the empire — an age which historians centuries later called the Age of Enlightenment. Irulan was a motivating force for this age, for she began thinking of founding an imperial library. With the accession of Farad'n to the position of a royal scribe, she found a powerful ally.

For many people the quality of Irulan's scholarship remained in dispute. When she was a child, her father had given her access to certain rare volumes' in the royal archives, but during her lifetime no-one was sufficiently interested in her work to investigate the value of this background — even though she had certain important works copied for the new library. After the accession of Leto II, she continued her own writing and also edited the works of others, producing biographies, collections of others' sayings, dictionaries, histories, and the editions. Among these were the Fremen Stilgar's private papers, and her editing of them vastly improved his style. Over the years she became a skilled interviewer; the sympathy of her expression inspired confidence and no doubt explains the frankness of the intimations she elicited from her subjects. Thirty years after Leto's accession, she returned to Wallach IX, where she was presumed to have passed away in a comparative obscurity.

Irulan never had a sense of being "drunk on too much time"; knowing only too well the crude jokes about the possible anagrams of her name, she sought refuge in quiet dignity and careful work. From her research, she knew that Irene was an ancient Greek word meaning "peace," and, never using any of her royal titles as pen names, she signed many of her works with the simple logo "IR."

During her last thirty years on Arrakis, rumors persisted of romances, first with Duncan Idaho-10,235 A.G., and later with the son of Ghanima and Farad'n; but these were ill-founded. Irulan might have ever remained the Virgin Queen. A hundred years following her apparent death, her works were "discovered," and sometime after that a movement of veneration for St. Irulan the Virgin developed among the populace.

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