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 Post subject: Jo's relationship with Jack's family
PostPosted: 16 May 2018, 10:40 
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I know that EBD seems to've preferred not to involve relatives outside the CS world – Madge and Jo's aunts are completely forgotten about, and Jem doesn't have any relations or friends from home at all at his wedding! – but what do people make of Jo's relationship with Jack's family? She knows Mollie, and stayed with the Maynards one Christmas, but we know that she and Lydia don't get on, for cryptic reasons involving the mysterious Rolf. None of Jack's family are asked to be godparents to the triplets, and there's never any mention of them visiting Jo. Unnecessary travel in wartime was discouraged, but even so. When Jack is presumed dead, no-one even mentions contacting his mother and brother. They must have done, but we're not actually told about it. Then, when Bob is killed, Jo doesn't bother mentioning it all day, and then seems more concerned about the prospect of having to move to Pretty Maids than about the fact that her brother-in-law is dead.

I appreciate that I'm overthinking this and that EBD just wasn't big on mentioning in-laws, but does anyone else get the impression that they didn't get on. Maybe they thought Jack should have married someone Catholic? What exactly went on between Jo and Lydia? How would Mrs Maynard snr have reacted to Jack handing her home over to the National Trust? Come to that, what happened to the Bettanys' aunts?!

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 Post subject: Re: Jo's relationship with Jack's family
PostPosted: 16 May 2018, 16:56 
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Don't forget in the early books Mollie Maynard is CofE - if all the family are CoE except Jack that explains the no godparents thing easily (of course it doesn't explain Jack having a rosary since at boyhood if he converted as an adult)

There is a mention of Jo being adored by Jack's parents but that they were dead in Goes To It I believe - of course his mother left money to the triplets and Stephen, yet died between Aug 1939 May 1940, Stephen not having even been conceived at that point


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 Post subject: Re: Jo's relationship with Jack's family
PostPosted: 16 May 2018, 20:10 
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Yes, it is in Goes to It, right at the beginning: Madge is discussing with the staff the idea of moving from the Channel Islands, and mentions that Jack is sending Jo and the triplets away to somewhere safer. Miss Wilson asks 'And where will they go, Madge? Pretty Maids is out of the question, I imagine.'
'Oh, quite impossible. If the old folk had been living, it would have been the obvious solution, for you know how they adored her, and she loved them dearly. But now that they are gone, and Mrs Robert and the Major are in possession, it's out of the question, as you say. None of the Maynards have ever liked poor Lydia, and she is a most uncomfortable person, I admit. She has always resented the fact that, since Rolf's death, Jack is his brother's heir; and since the coming of the Triplets, it's been worse. Bob Maynard wrote a charming letter to Jo, but Lydia has taken no notice whatsoever.'

So while there are tensions in the family, I don't agree that they're between Jo and her parents-in-law.


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 Post subject: Re: Jo's relationship with Jack's family
PostPosted: 17 May 2018, 03:54 
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claire wrote:
Don't forget in the early books Mollie Maynard is CofE - if all the family are CoE except Jack that explains the no godparents thing easily (of course it doesn't explain Jack having a rosary since at boyhood if he converted as an adult)

There is a mention of Jo being adored by Jack's parents but that they were dead in Goes To It I believe - of course his mother left money to the triplets and Stephen, yet died between Aug 1939 May 1940, Stephen not having even been conceived at that point


1) If the family are Anglo-Catholic (high church) then the rosary is entirely possible.

2) It's also possible that Mollie is Anglican and Jack is (Roman) Catholic if this is a "mixed marriage". Whatever the official line, there's plenty of RL evidence of girls being brought up in the religion of their mother and boys, in that of their father, particularly if there was money or a title involved.

3) Money could have been left in trust for a future first son.


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 Post subject: Re: Jo's relationship with Jack's family
PostPosted: 17 May 2018, 07:57 
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So it's Lydia who causes all the trouble - yet we never even get to meet her. What a wasted storyline :lol: . Didn't one of the CS mistresses say that she (or maybe her sister) had been at school with Lydia? So someone else could have been brought into a potential plotline as well. I feel like we're missing something!

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 Post subject: Re: Jo's relationship with Jack's family
PostPosted: 17 May 2018, 18:09 
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I think that was Miss Stewart, who’s sister (not mentioned before or after) had been at school with Lydia, and agreed that she was a pain.

Given that, unless I am misremembering, Charlie, and hence presumably her sister, are Scottish, and Lydia Maynard at least ended up in Hampshire (?), I do wonder where they all went to school. Roedean or some such?


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 Post subject: Re: Jo's relationship with Jack's family
PostPosted: 17 May 2018, 19:41 
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Didn't Jo convert to being a Catholic when she married Jack? Also; I remember it being said somewhere that Lydia spoilt Rolf so much that didn't he get killed through disobedience? And when Jo gave birth to the triplets it made things worse.

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 Post subject: Re: Jo's relationship with Jack's family
PostPosted: 17 May 2018, 21:38 
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I think Joey's conversion must have been sometime soon after they were married. They don't marry in Switzerland after they escape as Jack says "there's so much red tape over being married out here, especially as we are of of different religions that I feel we'd far better leave it till we get to our own country".

In one of the original Chalet Club newsletters she says Joey's conversion is "in a book that never saw the light of day". Whether she did actually write it, or at least plan it, we don't know. There are gaps when there could have been a book in the early years of their marriage.


Last edited by ivohenry on 19 May 2018, 00:23, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Jo's relationship with Jack's family
PostPosted: 18 May 2018, 10:57 
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Caroline wrote:
I think that was Miss Stewart, who’s sister (not mentioned before or after) had been at school with Lydia, and agreed that she was a pain.

Given that, unless I am misremembering, Charlie, and hence presumably her sister, are Scottish, and Lydia Maynard at least ended up in Hampshire (?), I do wonder where they all went to school. Roedean or some such?


But when she is so ill in Jo Returns, isn't there some mention of a brother coming to take her to 'her home in distant Herefordshire'?


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 Post subject: Re: Jo's relationship with Jack's family
PostPosted: 19 May 2018, 08:08 
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Miss Stewart has a sister, Nancy, and a doctor brother mentioned.

With Rolf, we're told that he died in an accident due to deliberate disobedience, that it was directly due to Lydia's defects as a parent, and that the doctor *told* her that "she had only herself to blame". That could go a long way to explaining why she was so prickly! What gets me is that Joey came very close to the same thing happening to her - if Margot had drowned in Lake Lucerne, due to deliberate disobedience, would Joey have been told it was her own fault?

I did a quick check, and Mrs Maynard (sr) is mentioned in Eustacia as alive but having been ill. Then Jack's parents aren't mentioned until the second half of Exile, when both are dead.

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 Post subject: Re: Jo's relationship with Jack's family
PostPosted: 20 May 2018, 07:10 
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jennifer wrote:
if Margot had drowned in Lake Lucerne, due to deliberate disobedience, would Joey have been told it was her own fault?


Or Mike falling down a cliff looking for bird eggs ... or <insert everyday Chalet school happening here>


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 Post subject: Re: Jo's relationship with Jack's family
PostPosted: 20 May 2018, 10:58 
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Victoria wrote:
claire wrote:
Don't forget in the early books Mollie Maynard is CofE - if all the family are CoE except Jack that explains the no godparents thing easily (of course it doesn't explain Jack having a rosary since at boyhood if he converted as an adult)

There is a mention of Jo being adored by Jack's parents but that they were dead in Goes To It I believe - of course his mother left money to the triplets and Stephen, yet died between Aug 1939 May 1940, Stephen not having even been conceived at that point


1) If the family are Anglo-Catholic (high church) then the rosary is entirely possible.

2) It's also possible that Mollie is Anglican and Jack is (Roman) Catholic if this is a "mixed marriage". Whatever the official line, there's plenty of RL evidence of girls being brought up in the religion of their mother and boys, in that of their father, particularly if there was money or a title involved.

3) Money could have been left in trust for a future first son.
Yes, or Jack and Mollie's mother may simply have left a lump sum as a trust (or perhaps two lump sums, given that Mollie married some years before Jack) to be divided between any grandchildren, extant or future: Jo says to Mollie in Reunion "Len will have her share of Grannie Maynard's legacy when she comes of age". Though at that rate it might not amount to all that much, given Mollie's seven children and Jack's eleven!


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 Post subject: Re: Jo's relationship with Jack's family
PostPosted: 20 May 2018, 13:21 
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I’m pretty sure it says somewhere specifically that the triplets and Stephen will have Granny Maynard’s money.


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 Post subject: Re: Jo's relationship with Jack's family
PostPosted: 20 May 2018, 14:24 
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JB wrote:
I’m pretty sure it says somewhere specifically that the triplets and Stephen will have Granny Maynard’s money.
Yes, that too - but we'll never really know. I don't think EMBD let such minutiae bother her when she was in the thick of writing a story, and I can't blame her. Most of her young readers won't have cared either! Jolly unfair on Mollie's children if it were just the triplets and Steve, though...

ETA:
Alison H wrote:
How would Mrs Maynard snr have reacted to Jack handing her home over to the National Trust?
I've always assumed that Pretty Maids was Mr Maynard's family home, but I suppose it could have come via Jack and Mollie's mother, especially as she might even have been a relative (knowing EMBD's penchant for convoluted family relationships and long-lost cousins). I tend to avoid 'What would X have made of it?' questions, especially if the person is dead, as we can't know. As I suspect that they were devout, whatever their religious persuasion, perhaps they would be likely to consider it a worldly matter and not something a Christian should worry about.

Edited to correct a mistake


Last edited by Noreen on 24 May 2018, 10:30, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Jo's relationship with Jack's family
PostPosted: 20 May 2018, 14:33 
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ivohenry wrote:
I think Joey's conversion must have been sometime soon after they were married. They don't marry in Switzerland after they escape as Jack says "there's so much red tape over being married out here, especially as we are of of different religions that I feel we'd far better leave it till we get to our own country".

She would still have had to convert before the marriage, ivohenry, and well before if they wanted a full nuptual mass for their wedding, as she would have needed time to learn about the faith and be received into the church - although her Anglican baptism would have been accepted, otherwise she would also have had to be baptised.

Hm, I think it was accepted back then, as it is now, but I'm happy to be corrected. My own father converted before my parents married in 1943 - my mother gave him no choice! :roll: - but I never asked about his baptism.

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 Post subject: Re: Jo's relationship with Jack's family
PostPosted: 20 May 2018, 19:04 
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In The Thorn Birds, which admittedly is not necessarily accurate on matters theological, Catholic Meggie and Protestant Luke marry in a Catholic church, but without a full nuptial mass, and ... I forget the details, but some other parts of the full service were omitted too. Maybe Joey and Jack went for that option? When the triplets are born, Joey tells Madge that they're being brought up as Catholics, which suggests that Madge wouldn't have taken that for granted, i.e. that Joey hadn't converted at that point. And Joey is godmother to Josette, who's born around the same time as her wedding, and EBD was very insistent in Lintons that Catholics couldn't be godparents at Protestant christenings. So I'd think that Joey's conversion took place after her marriage.

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 Post subject: Re: Jo's relationship with Jack's family
PostPosted: 20 May 2018, 21:05 
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Joey and Jack get married asap after they leave Switzerland and it's all referenced in the cut chapter in Exile. Besides, Helen McClelland wrote Joey and Patricia from EBD's own notes which deals with Joey's conversion to Catholicism. It was published by the NCC and is worth a read.


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 Post subject: Re: Jo's relationship with Jack's family
PostPosted: 21 May 2018, 00:19 
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Joey and Patricia is set in the gap in the middle of CS in Exile, about June/July 1939. Joey has not yet converted to Catholicism, she reaches the decision to do so by the end. She must have converted soon after, though EBD doesn't actually tell us.


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 Post subject: Re: Jo's relationship with Jack's family
PostPosted: 21 May 2018, 11:02 
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Someone - it might well have been Helen McClelland in one of her books - made the point that EBD would probably have preferred Jo not to convert until after her marriage, to make it clear that she was converting out of personal religious convictions, not purely because she was marrying a Catholic.

My grandma converted to my grandad's religion before they got married, in 1941, so obviously I'm not criticising anyone who does that. It was much more common then for people to convert to a partner's religion because mixed marriages were seen as more problematic than they are now. However, I'm inclined to agree that EBD would want us to think Joey converted for purely religious, rather than practical, reasons.

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 Post subject: Re: Jo's relationship with Jack's family
PostPosted: 22 May 2018, 20:57 
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I'm reading "To the Rescue" now and I'm at the bit where Jo and Jack are talking about inviting Lydia for Christmas.

"Jo made a face. 'I don't want to do it, but I suppose we must. She probably won't come. But we can ask her. By the way, Jack, it won't be too unkind to take Steve, will it? I mean -- poor Rolf, you know."

I see there's no love lost between Lydia and Jo, and I know that Jo is talking privately with Jack, but that seems a bit harsh. Her sister-in-law lost first her son, then her husband. It's possible she lost people from her own side of the family in the war. Invite the poor woman for Christmas!

Plus you'd think Jo, a woman who wants a big family, would have some sympathy for a woman who had only one and now even he has been taken away from her. That doesn't give Lydia license to be rude or nasty to Jo, but we know Jo is good at getting in other people's skin and understanding them. It would be nice to see a bit more tenderness toward the mother of her dead nephew.

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