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 Post subject: Re: Jo's relationship with Jack's family
PostPosted: 22 May 2018, 22:10 
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The whole attitude towards Jack's family in Rescue is very odd, especially given that the book is supposed to show what nice people Jo and Jack are, helping Phoebe and Reg. I find it so strange that Jo waits all day to mention Bob's death, as if it were something minor, and then she and her friends only seem bothered about what a hassle it'll be if she and Jack have to move to Pretty Maids. When Mlle Lepattre died, people like Janie Lucy, who'd never even met her, turned up to the memorial service to support their friends, but, when Bob dies, no-one even mentions how Lydia, Mrs Maynard snr (if she was still alive?) or even Jack might be feeling.

I can understand Jo not wanting Christmas spoilt by a relative with whom she doesn't get on - a lot of people will have been there! - but it doesn't really fit in with the general atmosphere of the book, when Jo and Jack fall over themselves to help two people whom they've only just met, and even show sympathy towards horrible Zephyr.

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 Post subject: Re: Jo's relationship with Jack's family
PostPosted: 24 May 2018, 10:49 
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mynameisdumbnuts wrote:
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.
Rescue was published in 1945, and it seems to me that there was already a tendency in children's books to try to avoid anything more than bare details surrounding a death, for obvious reasons. That continued through the 1950s and most of the 60s - I think it's as late as the 1970s before things change, in that respect.

And Jo's (and possibly Jack's) feelings about inviting Lydia for Christmas are true to life, unfortunately, even if less than ideal, as Alison pointed out. I feel that we simply don't see enough of the Lydia situation to say what anyone should have done. I also think that EMBD retained the (to us rather harsh) attitudes of her Victorian/ Edwardian upbringing toward death in childhood - as in the whole business of the doctor telling Lydia that she was at least partly to blame for Rolf's death, which seems quite horrific to us now, of course.


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 Post subject: Re: Jo's relationship with Jack's family
PostPosted: 25 May 2018, 20:20 
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I seem to remember that originally Jack was not RC. I forget the details but it was something about him attending a Church of England service in one of the Tirol books. Probably EBD wanted Jo to be RC as she herself became and the best way to do it was making Jack RC and then having their children brought up as Catholic and Joey then converting.

The triplets and Stephen only were left money by their Maynard grandmother. If wonder if EBD forgot that it was Bob who died in Rescue and remembered it as being one or both of Jack's parents dying hence the money to the triplets and baby Stephen.


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 Post subject: Re: Jo's relationship with Jack's family
PostPosted: 25 May 2018, 20:43 
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He takes some part - sidesman? - in an Anglican service early on. I'm inclined to think that EBD, having become a Catholic herself, wanted Joey to marry a Catholic. She'd already got Jack lined up as Joey's future husband, and it was easier to change Jack's religion (and hope no-one remembered he'd originally been an Anglican!) than to bring in a new character and have to establish a relationship between the new man and Joey from scratch.

I can't think of any other mixed religion marriages, though. There may well have been some, but I can't think of any where we know for certain that the two partners have different religions. Len is a Catholic and Reg an Anglican, but the issue isn't mentioned when they get engaged, or beforehand ... which is a bit odd, for the 1950s.

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 Post subject: Re: Jo's relationship with Jack's family
PostPosted: 30 May 2018, 20:51 
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If only the four oldest children were left money it would insinuate they were the only grandchildren to be born at the time of their grandparent's death. Maybe EBD had forgotten she'd already killed off the grandmother?

I wonder if Bob was also a Catholic if, as someone suggested above, the boys were brought up as Catholic? Would Lydia then also be Catholic? The blaming of her son's death on Lydia is very cruel - also would it not equally be Bob's fault for spoiling his son?

If Joey had not converted at the time of her marriage she would still have been obliged to promise to bring her children up as Catholic, wouldn't she?


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 Post subject: Re: Jo's relationship with Jack's family
PostPosted: 30 May 2018, 21:52 
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When Jo is showing Madge the triplets for the first time ahe says she can't ask her to be a godmother as thre will be brought up as Catholics. This may imply she hasn't yet converted, if she had she wouldn't really need to say this as Madge would have known. It was - maybe still is? - standard practice that the non-Catholic parent had to promise that the children woud be brought up Catholics


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 Post subject: Re: Jo's relationship with Jack's family
PostPosted: 31 May 2018, 14:03 
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Selena wrote:
I wonder if Bob was also a Catholic if, as someone suggested above, the boys were brought up as Catholic? Would Lydia then also be Catholic? The blaming of her son's death on Lydia is very cruel - also would it not equally be Bob's fault for spoiling his son?


Presumably Bob made the money and it was Lydia's job to raise their child; therefore, people would blame her for not doing better.

It is cruel to blame Lydia. I doubt EBD/Jo would adopt the same attitude if Sybil had accidentally killed Josette or if Mike had died falling down a cliff collecting birds eggs, or whatever it was.

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 Post subject: Re: Jo's relationship with Jack's family
PostPosted: 31 May 2018, 20:42 
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I had assumed that Bob, as Regular Army, might well not have been home very often in which case Lydia would have been the primary carer for Rolf. That would have depended on where he was stationed and what he actually did.

We don't know where Rolf was when the accident happened, or even where the Robert Maynards were living at that time. Nor do we know when they moved to live at Pretty Maids. There's the possibililty that Lydia had lived at Pretty Maids after Rolf was born (because Bob was away and "everyone" felt it would be better for the baby to be in the country and being brought up in the family traditions, in the place that he would inherit etc. etc.). It is indicated that Lydia will not want to stay on at Pretty Maids and will prefer to live in London. I can see a scenario where she resents being stuck in the countryside, away from her friends, expected to devote herself to a small child in which she's not really interested, being seen by everyone as a Bad Mother and is, therefore, to blame when something goes wrong.


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 Post subject: Re: Jo's relationship with Jack's family
PostPosted: 01 Jun 2018, 14:53 
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Victoria wrote:
I can see a scenario where she resents being stuck in the countryside, away from her friends, expected to devote herself to a small child in which she's not really interested, being seen by everyone as a Bad Mother and is, therefore, to blame when something goes wrong.


Do you mean that maybe Lydia never wanted a child? I'm intrigued by that sad yet plausible possibility. Imagine if Lydia only had a child because that's what was expected of her and there was pressure to produce an heir. The reason she doesn't care for Jo isn't jealousy, it's that she can't relate to a woman so wrapped up in babies and motherhood. What an intriguing idea.

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 Post subject: Re: Jo's relationship with Jack's family
PostPosted: 01 Jun 2018, 15:26 
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is horrified at the thought of having to move away from her friends and be stuck at Pretty Maids, so it's quite possible that Lydia was too, and would have been quite happy had she been able to stay in London where she could have led a busy social life whilst a nanny took little Rolf off for walks round Hyde Park ... but the idea that she wasn't interested in children is quite possible too. It wasn't as usual then as it is now for people to choose to stick at one child: I'd always assumed that Lydia and Bob just weren't able to have more children, but maybe it was a deliberate decision.

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 Post subject: Re: Jo's relationship with Jack's family
PostPosted: 01 Jun 2018, 19:14 
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If that were the case there would probably be a lot of guilt mixed in with the grief when he died


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 Post subject: Re: Jo's relationship with Jack's family
PostPosted: 01 Jun 2018, 21:32 
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I think that's a really interesting point, Alison. Maybe Lydia was rather like Nadine in Elizabeth Goudge's Eliot books? Not necessarily as in having another love interest (though one never knows), but in preferring a life built round her own interests in town? Nadine changes her mind, after a fashion, having had the twins, and then the change of scene turns out to be creative, but of course Lydia doesn't have that opportunity... I do feel sorry for the woman, for all sorts of reasons, even though she's obviously difficult to like.


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 Post subject: Re: Jo's relationship with Jack's family
PostPosted: 03 Jun 2018, 02:05 
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ivohenry wrote:
When Jo is showing Madge the triplets for the first time ahe says she can't ask her to be a godmother as thre will be brought up as Catholics. This may imply she hasn't yet converted, if she had she wouldn't really need to say this as Madge would have known. It was - maybe still is? - standard practice that the non-Catholic parent had to promise that the children woud be brought up Catholics


I was a non Catholic who married a Catholic in October 1983.

I was allowed by the Catholic Church to be married in my own Church after producing the certificate to say I had been christened. My husband-to-be had to attend his own Church every week and we got special permission from the local RC bishop.

However, I had to actually sign a document to say I would bring up any children of the marriage as RCs. I did the signing in a lounge of a local hotel. I signed with all good intentions but also because I did not think we would have children.

Ten years down the line we did have a child. Although a believer my husband had only gone regularly to church for that brief period to get permission. I knew it would be me who would be responsible for the child's religious upbringing and no way was that religion going to be other than mine. Husband did not mind so she was christened in Church of Scotland with my sister as godmother and husband's RC brother as godfather.

It would all probably be a lot different if husband had kept his involvement with his own church. As it is daughter says she is atheist...


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 Post subject: Re: Jo's relationship with Jack's family
PostPosted: 03 Jun 2018, 06:42 
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Perhaps something that happened in my family could explain why Jack and Mollie were brought up in different denominations!

My grandmother was from a Catholic family and all of her siblings were baptised as Catholics. However, when it came to starting primary school for two of her older siblings there was no space in the local RC, only in the C of E. As a result of this those two children grew up being Protestants. This was in 1920s and 1930s Liverpool and I believe, though it was not confirmed, that my grandmother’s brother and sister were also re-baptised (is that a word?) as C of E in order to attend school. The sister went on to marry a Protestant though I’m not sure about the brother’s wife. However, all denominations of the family attended weddings.

A generation later, my Dad (RC) married my Mum (C of E) and both my brother and I (both born in the early 1980s) were both brought up in Mum’s denomination. All of my godparents are Catholic.


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 Post subject: Re: Jo's relationship with Jack's family
PostPosted: 03 Jun 2018, 09:22 
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Laura, that may well be it, as long as we omit the mentions of Jack and Mollie being twins (which is contradicted several times so who knows what EBD had in mind!).

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 Post subject: Re: Jo's relationship with Jack's family
PostPosted: 03 Jun 2018, 10:38 
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But then as Alison pointed out earlier on about Jack
Alison H wrote:
He takes some part - sidesman? - in an Anglican service early on. I'm inclined to think that EBD, having become a Catholic herself, wanted Joey to marry a Catholic. She'd already got Jack lined up as Joey's future husband, and it was easier to change Jack's religion (and hope no-one remembered he'd originally been an Anglican!) than to bring in a new character and have to establish a relationship between the new man and Joey from scratch.
I remember the matter of Jack acting as a sidesman at an Anglican service in one of the early books, too, though I've never managed to find it again. That's simply something that he couldn't have done if he were Roman Catholic, as he would have been forbidden to take an active part in the religious services of any other church. I also agree with Alison about EMBD changing Jack's religion and hoping no-one would remember, especially as Mollie Maynard leaves for Australia in In Camp (book eight) and is scarcely heard of again until she turns up in Reunion (book fifty)!


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 Post subject: Re: Jo's relationship with Jack's family
PostPosted: 03 Jun 2018, 13:11 
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Miss Wilson is also Protestant in Head Girl, but is Catholic by Camp, so there's more than one switch of religion in the series. In Rivals it also says that "one of the English mistresses always takes prayers for the rest", which implies that most of the English mistresses are Protestant, but Misses Durrant, Wilson and Carthew are all Catholic later, leaving only Miss Annersley and Miss Maynard for the other side. Although Miss Durrant is Catholic in Rivals, but Protestant in Three Go.

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 Post subject: Re: Jo's relationship with Jack's family
PostPosted: 03 Jun 2018, 13:26 
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Grace Nalder and Con Stewart are Catholic too which meant in Camp all the staff, which included Nell Wilson, were Catholic so Juliet /Grizel had to take Protestant prayers. These three became the triplets' godmothers rather bizarrely.


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 Post subject: Re: Jo's relationship with Jack's family
PostPosted: 03 Jun 2018, 14:58 
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mynameisdumbnuts wrote:
Victoria wrote:
I can see a scenario where she resents being stuck in the countryside, away from her friends, expected to devote herself to a small child in which she's not really interested, being seen by everyone as a Bad Mother and is, therefore, to blame when something goes wrong.


Do you mean that maybe Lydia never wanted a child? I'm intrigued by that sad yet plausible possibility. Imagine if Lydia only had a child because that's what was expected of her and there was pressure to produce an heir. The reason she doesn't care for Jo isn't jealousy, it's that she can't relate to a woman so wrapped up in babies and motherhood. What an intriguing idea.


I wasn't particularly thinking that she didn't want a child, more that, having had a child, she found looking after the child not interesting. I was thinking, as has been suggested above, that she'd been assuming the primary care would be done by other people and she's really only be involved in the hour-after-tea or treats. Instead, the assumption by the family with whom she is staying is that she "ought" to enjoy looking after the child and "ought" to be devoting herself to the child. In addition, she doesn't have friends locally and the things she enjoys doing are in London (I'm imagining narrowed nostrils at the breakfast table when she announces, yet again! that she's off to London to do some shopping and veiled hints about this not being quite the thing for a Mother).

That could still leave her as disinterested in Joey since they would have nothing in common.


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 Post subject: Re: Jo's relationship with Jack's family
PostPosted: 03 Jun 2018, 15:49 
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Audrey25 wrote:
ivohenry wrote:
It was - maybe still is? - standard practice that the non-Catholic parent had to promise that the children would be brought up Catholics

I was a non Catholic who married a Catholic in October 1983. I was allowed by the Catholic Church to be married in my own Church after producing the certificate to say I had been christened. My husband-to-be had to attend his own Church every week and we got special permission from the local RC bishop. However, I had to actually sign a document to say I would bring up any children of the marriage as RCs.


I find that amazing, Audrey! We got married 10 years before you in 1973. Okay, we got married in my Catholic parish church, but SLOC, a non-Catholic, never had to attend his own church every week - he wasn't a church-goer! Nor did I need the permission of my bishop to marry him, and SLOC certainly didn't have to sign anything to agree to bring up our children as Catholics. He just had to agree verbally to my parish priest. My sister married there in 1979 and they had the same treatment as us.

I wonder if yours was different because you married in a non-Catholic church, Audrey?

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