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 Post subject: Romance in Maids of La Rochelle
PostPosted: 04 Apr 2016, 10:30 
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hey,

Have major uni assignments due and needed to rest my brain with a dip into EBD.

Got to the point in Maids when Elizabeth meets Paul Ozanne for the first time. His younger step sister Pauline had shown up on the La Rochelle doorstep and Elizabeth and Anne had given her tea and told him where to find her.

After this 10 minute conversation, Anne decides not only that Paul is in love with Elizabeth but that they will be married soon. "What the heck!" was all I could think in between my academic haze.

I can only agree with Mr Darcy: "“A lady's imagination is very rapid; it jumps from admiration to love, from love to matrimony in a moment.”

Even for EBD was that going way OTT?

cheers,
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 Post subject: Re: Romance in Maids of La Rochelle
PostPosted: 04 Apr 2016, 11:18 
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It's not just ladies! Peter Chester says something to Anne about "when Ozanne marries Elizabeth", even though Paul and Elizabeth are not officially courting and he seems to be going purely on the basis of Paul having a soppy look on his face when Elizabeth's around.

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 Post subject: Re: Romance in Maids of La Rochelle
PostPosted: 04 Apr 2016, 11:29 
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It sounds quite consistent with EMBD's own attitude to friendships, even with the same gender, though - that she would have a sudden enthusiasm for somebody. And as she didn't marry, and couldn't write that from experience, might she have presumed that between a future husband and wife it was even more so?


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 Post subject: Re: Romance in Maids of La Rochelle
PostPosted: 05 Apr 2016, 08:42 
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[quote]Peter Chester says something to Anne about "when Ozanne marries Elizabeth", even though Paul and Elizabeth are not officially courting and he seems to be going purely on the basis of Paul having a soppy look on his face when Elizabeth's around.[/quote]

True, but at that stage Elizabeth and Paul were at least friends and had had more than a 10 minute conversation. So at least Peter had something to base his opinion on.

Anne decides the minute she closes the door at which point all they know is his name and he has a younger sister, that a) Paul's in love with Elizabeth and b) she's in love with him.

I know that it is possible to fall for someone hard within minutes of meeting them, but surely it's a tad extreme for an observer to say that.

But I would love to see what EBD would have made of online dating. "But of course you'll get married. Just look at his way with emojis."

cheers,
Joyce

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 Post subject: Re: Romance in Maids of La Rochelle
PostPosted: 05 Apr 2016, 10:51 
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Even this is an advance on whichever of the Clitheroe "Northern Saints" falls for Maidie Willoughby on first sight of just her photograph! That's a bit later in Janie of La Rochelle.


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 Post subject: Re: Romance in Maids of La Rochelle
PostPosted: 05 Apr 2016, 11:46 
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Oh I forgot about the Northern Saint and the photo!

didn't Janie immediately get all gooey eyed about how sweet they would be together and planning their wedding?

EBD believed very strongly in love at first sight/word/text didn't she?! :D

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 Post subject: Re: Romance in Maids of La Rochelle
PostPosted: 05 Apr 2016, 12:30 
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Maybe it's another sign of EBD's inherent Victorianism coming through - middle and upper class young ladies being so closely chaperoned that they wouldn't have met their future spouse more than a few times before becoming engaged...?


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 Post subject: Re: Romance in Maids of La Rochelle
PostPosted: 05 Apr 2016, 13:26 
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But the 3 sisters are living on their own in a cottage. There is no one to chaperone them.
They were left virtually penniless following the death of their father and sit arround painting and writing. I much prefer Madge Bettany who went off and started a school.....


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 Post subject: Re: Romance in Maids of La Rochelle
PostPosted: 05 Apr 2016, 15:21 
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Jenefer wrote:
But the 3 sisters are living on their own in a cottage. There is no one to chaperone them.They were left virtually penniless following the death of their father and sit arround painting and writing. I much prefer Madge Bettany who went off and started a school.....

But not everyone has Madge's get-up-and-go attitude. Can't we accept folk for what they are and not criticise them because they're different from someone we admire? And if al the characters were the same, would we be interested? It's their very differences that make them appealing. Or so it seems to me! :dontknow:

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 Post subject: Re: Romance in Maids of La Rochelle
PostPosted: 05 Apr 2016, 15:58 
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I agree that Madge is a more interesting character, but I don't have a problem with the Temple sisters because they're living within their own means and not causing anyone else any problems. The one who does annoy me is Sylvia in Ballet Shoes, who lets her domestic staff go unpaid, takes freebies from friends and even takes money earned by the children, rather than getting off her backside and looking for a job.

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 Post subject: Re: Romance in Maids of La Rochelle
PostPosted: 06 Apr 2016, 19:50 
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Anne and Elizabeth are also good enough at the painting and writing to be published / exhibited (or am I misremembering?) and are bringing up their younger sister. I don't think they're doing so badly :D


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 Post subject: Re: Romance in Maids of La Rochelle
PostPosted: 07 Apr 2016, 04:10 
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I see the Temples and the Bettanys as coming from very different eras. Anne and Elizabeth are gracious, accomplished young women, who have been brought up to the kind of life where they'd be gracious entertainers, and keep a lovely home (managing the servants deftly), with a bit of artistic pursuit on the side. But there's no idea that they'd ever need to earn a living. When they're left nearly penniless, there's a brief mention that neither are suited to teaching, so they retire to live in ladylike poverty on Janie's pension, hoping to earn enough through their art to earn a living, and, as it turns out, waiting for wealthy young men to court them. There's no idea that when Janie's money runs out one of them might need to get a job with a salary, for rent and food, or that Janie should be trained to work, rather than practising piano.

Madge is a much more modern figure. She's got a high school education, and is active and sporty. Her reaction to their financial crisis is to figure out a practical way to earn a living and care for Joey ("maybe I can sell some paintings" is *not* a practical plan), and she picks a very independent approach. When she meets her handsome, wealthy, future husband, it's as a successful businesswoman in her own right.

As far as romance goes - that's a trend through the CS books as well. Handsome, eligible doctor (or artist) meets pretty mistress, looks admiringly at her, and a term later, after no more than a handful of encounters, they're engaged. It's a weird mix of modern (the women aren't chaperoned, are self-supporting and independent, and make up their own minds) and old fashioned (no dating). They miss both the old and new versions of getting to know someone before marrying them.

Personally, I don't believe in love at first sight. A sudden, intense feeling of attraction on first meeting, sure, but for every example that ends in a 50 year marriage, there are lots of intense first connections that fizzle out into nothing, or end badly with a deep regret for rushing into a commitment too quickly, or turn out to be a summer fling, or where the attractions isn't backed up by mutual compatibility, or where the feeling of connection turns out to be one sided.

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 Post subject: Re: Romance in Maids of La Rochelle
PostPosted: 09 Apr 2016, 21:23 
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Alison H wrote:
I agree that Madge is a more interesting character, but I don't have a problem with the Temple sisters because they're living within their own means and not causing anyone else any problems. The one who does annoy me is Sylvia in Ballet Shoes, who lets her domestic staff go unpaid, takes freebies from friends and even takes money earned by the children, rather than getting off her backside and looking for a job.


But she did - she let the rooms of her enormous house to boarders, who probably paid quite a hefty rent. It was just GO-type fortuitousness that two of those boarders offered to educate her children and a third organised their training for a career. And I rather expect the staff chose to stay, even unpaid, rather than being cast out into the middle of one of the worst depressions our country has known!

Actually, if you read the original version, published as "The Witcharts", you will see that actually, it was a bit different....


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 Post subject: Re: Romance in Maids of La Rochelle
PostPosted: 11 Apr 2016, 01:41 
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I always think that Maids seemed to be from a different much earlier era than the first of the CS books. Maybe Madge and Elizabeth/Anne represented the different sides of EBD's own character?

I do think that Madge and Elizabeth are very different but that Madge and Anne seem to have more in common. Anne maybe had a bit more life than Elizabeth. I like all of them though and think they did the best they could given the different characters and talents.


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 Post subject: Re: Romance in Maids of La Rochelle
PostPosted: 12 Apr 2016, 17:32 
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I agree that Maids does seem much more dated than School At.

The decision to move to Guernsey does seem a little short sighted, given they had Janie's future to consider. Was Janie, at fifteen, intended to spend the whole of her life living in genteel poverty on a small island with a very limited social circle?

As it happened they did all meet their husbands there, but if Elizabeth and Paul hadn't fallen in love and married, there'd have been no opportunity for education or training for Janie, and limited opportunities for any of them to work if they had needed to.

Mary and Biddy Devine were left in a very similar situation at a similar date, and for all the Abbey Girls deplore the situation they find Mary in, she was at least working to support herself and Biddy and equipping Biddy to earn her own living.

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 Post subject: Re: Romance in Maids of La Rochelle
PostPosted: 13 Apr 2016, 03:29 
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I think that Anne and Elizabeth were planning on making a living from their art. But the chance that they'd make enough on artistic pursuits to support themselves is really, really low, even if they were selling stuff. And that would still leave Janie without a marketable skill. And Guernsey was low on job opportunities even for the locals.

But there really aren't many appropriately lady-like jobs they could do. They don't want to teach, which rules out being a governess (and they have no certificates for teaching at a school). They would need training to do nursing or secretarial work. They could work in a shop or something like that, to earn enough money to live on, but that was probably too low class to consider. They aren't considering more commercial applications of their art (like knocking off quick paintings to sell to tourists).

The only thing I can really think of is being a companion to a wealthy older lady - they can play music, do mending and embroidery, read out loud, do simple nursing and cooking, write letters, and are appropriately well bred to be a companion rather than a servant.

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 Post subject: Re: Romance in Maids of La Rochelle
PostPosted: 14 Apr 2016, 00:20 
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[quote="jennifer"

The only thing I can really think of is being a companion to a wealthy older lady - they can play music, do mending and embroidery, read out loud, do simple nursing and cooking, write letters, and are appropriately well bred to be a companion rather than a servant.[/quote]

That's much what Kitty did in "Sally's Family" when the family all decided to get some kind of paid employment to help Sally.


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 Post subject: Re: Romance in Maids of La Rochelle
PostPosted: 14 Apr 2016, 01:56 
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They would not have needed certificates to teach (or run) a school - Madge Bettany and many others in GO literature did not, and lots of ladies come on hard times ran hat or dress shops, using their artistic skills (although that might have been a little later).

They could have taught music (again a classic standby of a lady of little means - think Irene in "The Forsythe Saga") or drawing. Their status would have upped the fees.

What they did seem to do is say "we are ladies and must not seem to work even if we need money" and (like the later millners and dress shops) hoped to sell their art (and books) to their friends. An upmarket version of knocking on doors and selling pegs and lucky heather in that people buy from charity rather than because they want the product


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 Post subject: Re: Romance in Maids of La Rochelle
PostPosted: 14 Apr 2016, 13:09 
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They would not have needed certificates to teach (or run) a school .... and lots of ladies come on hard times ran hat or dress shops, using their artistic skills (although that might have been a little later).

They could have taught music (again a classic standby of a lady of little means


Elizabeth could have been a mother's help/nursery governess. I don't think being a companion or governess would have suited Anne so well.

The problem was that on Guernsey the potential clientèle for any small business they tried to start would be very limited, and they'd be competing with established local businesses. They weren't even in St Peter Port, but were in a fairly isolated location.

Madge's plan was intended to give them an income, but was also definitely designed with Joey in mind - it would benefit her health and give her a home, education, companionship, even a means of earning her living in the future.

Elizabeth and Anne provided a home for Janie, but don't seem to have thought about the rest.

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 Post subject: Re: Romance in Maids of La Rochelle
PostPosted: 14 Apr 2016, 15:29 
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Yes, for any entrepreneurial thing they'd need to be in a large enough place to have customers, which would likely also mean a higher cost of living.

It makes me think of the Durrants in EJO's Go Ahead Schoolgirl. The father dies, leaving them without any money. The eldest daughter gets an untrained teacher position at a village school, which just barely supports the family, but there's no money for education or training for the younger girls.

Madge had the advantage of capital - they had the house to sell, which gave her the start up for the school. She could also, I suppose, have taken in boarders and taught basic music lessons as an alternative.

I get the feeling with the Temples that their social class was more important than their financial class. They were ladies. Ladies didn't work for wages. The fact that they had no money and no prospect of money in the future was secondary to that.

I do wonder what their father had been thinking. He had his pension from the navy, but no savings, and heart disease. Presumably, he was hoping to marry the elder two off before he died.

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