Monday, March 21, 2011

The Right Kind of Girl - Discussion Thread

Several times in Neels books she refers to 'a soft Devon voice'  (Didn't Betty live in Devon?)...can we get some help here from anyone who knows? Is there an actor/actress with a soft Devon voice? Examples, people, examples!

I'm willing to bet ready money that this lady doesn't
have a baby under that blanket.
Doreen Hervey is too sensitive to breastfeed. I'm certainly not going to throw stones here. I'm not sure if her 'sensitivity' is physical or mental, either one can be a legitimate concern - I'm fully on the side of choice when it comes to breastfeeding. When I was a kid, breastfeeding was not popular amongst the women of my mother's generation...I only knew one woman who nursed her kids...and she would do it right in the middle of church.  She was very modest about it, but back then it was just weird. Nowadays it's much more common to see women nursing in public, which is great, but that wouldn't have been me, except in a dire emergency (frankly, none of my babies could stand being covered up by a blanket...and being...umm...'pleasing plump'(read generously endowed) myself it was always tough to juggle baby AND blanket with any assurance of adequate coverage).

Later on in the book, Doreen Hervey tells Emma about Nanny: 'This one's an old dear, and she's taught me a lot--you know, how to hold Bart properly and what to do when he yells.  I'm not afraid of him anymore.'
She was quite serious; Emma murmured sympathetically, reflecting that it was fortunate that the Herveys could afford a nanny. Doreen would have been an ideal RDD's younger sister. A nice person - yet totally self-absorbed and selfish.

The travellers are staying on 'common land'. Here's a bit of what wiki says about Common Lands:
Historically most rights of common were appurtenant to particular plots of land, and the commoner would be the person who, for the time being, was the occupier of a particular plot of land (or in the case of turbary, even a particular heath). Some rights of common were said to be in gross, that is, they were unconnected with ownership or tenure of land. This was more usual in regions where commons are more extensive, such as in Northern England or the Fens, but also included many village greens across England and Wales. Most land with appurtenant commons rights is adjacent to the common or even surrounded by it, but in a few cases it may be some considerable distance away.

Example rights of common are:
Pasture. Right to pasture cattle, horses, sheep or other animals on the common land. The most widespread right.
Piscary. Right to fish.
Turbary. Right to take sods of turf for fuel.
Common of marl. Right to take sand and gravel.
Mast or pannage. Right to turn out pigs for a period in autumn to eat mast (beech mast, acorns and other nuts).
Estovers. Right to take sufficient wood for the commoner's house or holding; usually limited to smaller trees, bushes (such as gorse) and fallen branches.
Hmm. I don't see 'right to camp', but it must be written somewhere, right?

Maisie's topics of conversation: 'It was refreshing, after all that sweetness, to listen to Maisie's down-to-earth talk, which covered everything under the sun--the royal family, the government, the price of fish and chips and the goings-on of the young couple who had rented rooms beneath hers--and all the while she talked she attended to the babies, raising her voice above their small cries.' I love how she always has something to gossip about.  I find it amusing that she talks over the babies...just like she was cleaning floors or washing dishes.

Boston Cream Pie...yum.
Emma hears him say he's going to Boston and replies, 'Boston, USA?' Here in the States the question would be,' Boston, Massachusetts?' No, no, never mind...when talking about a place we would just say, 'Boston?' The only other Bostons I'm familiar with are 'Boston Cream Pie' and the 70's/80's rock band 'Boston'.