Counting up in Janie of La Rochelle
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Author:  Joyce [ 06 Aug 2016, 01:17 ]
Post subject:  Counting up in Janie of La Rochelle

At the end of the book, we are told that the entire clan descended on Guernsey for the summer. In a moment of boredom I tried to add the all up - have I missed anyone?

Janie, Julian, Grandma, Dad, baby Julie

Anne, Peter, Beth, other kids?

Elizabeth, Julian, Mike, Billy, Nella, Vanna, Pauline

Cesca, Jack, baby Nita

Willoughby (a)
Rosamund, Nigel, baby Harold

Willoughby (b)
Sir Piers, Sigrid, Rex, Maidie, Marjolaine, Dina, David, Peter, Tim, Britta, one more boy Fritta (?)

Mother, father, Con, Allegra, Josie, other children ?

Mother, father, Heather, Honey, Hazel

That's 42 people! Plus nannies and maids and other friends (Cuthbert maybe?) would probably push it up to 50 plus.

No wonder most of the meals were outdoors! How on earth would you find a dining room big enough for them all?


Author:  Noreen [ 06 Aug 2016, 08:54 ]
Post subject:  Re: Counting up in Janie of La Rochelle

Crumbs! Perhaps literally, even - think how much bread that lot would eat on a daily basis...

The Athertons also include Noel (who is thought to have married Beth Chester later on); the eldest child of Sigrid and Sir Piers is Frithiof.

Did the Chesters have Paul and even Nancy by that point? Robin and Dickon, the (I think) next two after them are twins so perhaps more likely to be referred to as such.

Author:  ivohenry [ 06 Aug 2016, 10:23 ]
Post subject:  Re: Counting up in Janie of La Rochelle

Chesters would have had Paul, Nancy would probably be on the way as she's much the same age as Julie, maybe a few months younger.

Author:  Joyce [ 06 Aug 2016, 10:54 ]
Post subject:  Re: Counting up in Janie of La Rochelle

Even just the basic logistics of getting everyone ready in time for an outing would drive me slowly mad. Especially with the small children and babies to be considered.

Just waiting for my cousin to get all the stuff together for her 2yo and newborn tries my (limited!) patience.


Author:  Noreen [ 06 Aug 2016, 16:43 ]
Post subject:  Re: Counting up in Janie of La Rochelle

As has been said elsewhere, I don't think practical arrangements were EMBD's strong suit. I made the comment about bread because a few years ago SLOC and I had a week's holiday with a friend and her three children, and I was astonished at how much bread we got through by the time we'd had breakfast, made picnic lunches and allowed for the odd snack.

Author:  jennifer [ 07 Aug 2016, 03:09 ]
Post subject:  Re: Counting up in Janie of La Rochelle

One advantage is that in those days, the older kids wouldn't need constant supervision. So you could send Noel, Jose, the younger Willoughby kids and the Raphaels out in a pack for the day, and probably entrust them with Beth and Mike (but maybe not Bill).

Then the nannies would be on hand for the younger children, either watching them at home, or going along on outings. And servants, of course, to do a lot of the cooking and cleaning up.

Author:  Joyce [ 09 Aug 2016, 11:18 ]
Post subject:  Re: Counting up in Janie of La Rochelle

Sorry - just realised Grandma was dead at that stage so one less adult to help supervise!

And yes, fair enough, the nannies and servants would do the real work. But the food bill alone would be phenomenal. Can you imagine taking everyone out for ice-cream? The order list alone ... :-)

Though EBD does start to think about practicalities later on when Len says she and her triplets ate their way through a loaf and a half at tea and their father jokingly told them it cost too much to keep them.


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