Wednesday, November 3, 2010
Question of the Week
La Neels is never so vulgar as to mention naked-ish-ness. She flits around allusions to 'barely there' bodices, an occasional rip in the seat of the pants, talks endlessly of nice legs and catalogues crate loads of bikinis but there is a degree of silliness about nightwear.
Our heroines are never the shortie pajama or t-shirt and undies kind of sleeper. They are more likely to be shrouded in winceyette up to their chins with a dressing gown to boot. Nevertheless, we are offered passages like this found in The Magic of Living:
...Arabella, suddenly uncertain and hopelessly behind the times when it came to the correct behaviour towards handsome men she might encounter in her dressing gown, retreated before him...
My question is, what do you make of these passages?
Here's my answer: While thinking that they call to mind an era at least 50 years dead and buried from when The Great Betty wrote them I actually love them. They match the retro feel of the books themselves (wherein modesty, privacy and blushing are casually engaged in) and are a welcome escape from the I-Facebooked-a-status-update-with-pictures-of-my-colonoscopy world. Two thumbs up from this Betty for keeping some things under wraps. In the interest of full disclosure, I am one of those TMI types (to my Mother-in-law's unending horror, I am sure) but like the idea that there are those on this earth who are not.