Tess Struan

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Tess Struan (1825-1917) is a character in the James Clavell novels Tai-Pan and Gai-Jin. She is the daughter of Tyler Brock, Tai-pan of Brock & Sons Trading Company. Tess marries Culum Struan, who is the son of Dirk Struan, founder of Struan's trading company and main rival to her father. It is recounted in the novel Noble House that after her father-in-law's death, she ruled Struan's through successive tai-pans, smashing her father's company. She would later be known as "Hag Struan", becoming a bitter old woman whose children all died unnatural deaths.

Tess Struan harbored passionate feelings for her husband's father, Dirk Struan, from the very start of her relationship with Culum. After Dirk's death Culum came into power but proved to be an ineffectual leader. Out of necessity Tess rose to become a hard-as-nails leader and merciless adversary of any trading company opposing the Noble House. Despite being the daughter of Tyler Brock, Tess Struan used information provided by Edward Gornt to bring about the utter ruin of her father's company with the help of Jeff Cooper. Tess exercised control over the Noble House until the early 1900s in which time she beat back many attempts to ruin the company. Having been a figure of such surprising strength for so many years she became known by all those around her as "the Hag". This title was known by Tess and she rather enjoyed her reputation for ruthlessness; she was intent that the Noble House be taken seriously.