Monday, April 25, 2011

The Fortunes of Fransesca--Discussion Thread

The Very Estimable Betty writes: 'at least the girl didn't wear a skirt up to her thighs and one of those vulgar tops printed with some stupid sentence.'  Methinks she was penning from cruel experience and I can't think of an outfit more opposite to a tasteful sweater set and knee-skimming silk skirt...
Not that I've seen it...but, c'mon, it's iconic.

On payday at Lady Trumper's, Francesca has to hand out the wages - cash in envelopes.  Betty Debbie says: "I'm wondering about the tax implications..." but I think Lady Trumper just liked the wads of cash. (Can't. Cudgel. That. Indecent. Proposal. Scene. From. My. Brain)

Marc (a heart surgeon) loans Finn his mobile phone while Auntie is in the hospital.  First of all, that's very generous of him..but secondly - what happens if a patient needs heart surgery asap?  Maybe he had a bleep?

While working as a stock girl at the supermarket, Francesca is occasionally allowed to buy things at a discount.  My sister, Betty Tia, had the best awful job perk ever.  She worked at the BYU bookstore and got something like 15% off every purchase.  Think about what that means to the cumulative cost of college!  I, on the other hand...I worked at the laundry.  So...I could bring in my dry cleaning (of which students have an enormous amount) whenever I wanted!  Sure, I picked up a husband there and I guess that might be considered a perk...

It's a booster!
At the big family dinner in Holland, the smaller children where perched on cushions. We used telephone books and/or encyclopedias--which, funnily enough, are both fading in the paper-goods firmament, more often used in digital form, and thus no good for bottom boosting.  Still, I'd never ever sacrifice (because that's what it would be) a decent pillow to face a spaghetti-smeared future.

Marc's London flat bathroom has guest toiletries. ' there was everything there that a woman could possibly need - make-up, brushes, combs, toilet water - a choice of bottles, too - a pile of towels, soaps, even several toothbrushes in their cellophane packs arranged beside a choice of toothpastes'.  I love The Great Betty and I love every single thing on that list...except make-up.  It's such a personal purchase and I would be hard pressed to use anything touched by another woman.  Maybe there was a handy cup full of those little disposable brushes...

Lady Trumper's husband was knighted for making nuts and bolts for tanks...That's a little glass-half-full, don't you think?  Let's try the glass-half-full approach.  Lady Trumper's husband was an integral cog in the wartime machinery that staved off a Nazi onslaught. 

This poster has nothing to do with tank parts but I just couldn't resist...


  1. Betty Barbara here--
    Thanks for mentioning the mobile phone, because that jogged my memory for something else I wanted to mention. Mayhap this book was written earlier that it was published--a lot earlier.
    Marc's elderly butler/man of the house is mentioned to have been in the resistance with Marc's dad. Given that the book was copyrighted in the late 1990's, that would make faithful retain around 80 years old(If he had been in his 20's during WWII). If Marc's dad was his contemporary, and Marc is typical RDD age(say 37), the Marc's dad was well into his 40's when Marc is born. Of course, dad and retainer could have been teens during the war, which would make retainer in his early to mid 70's and put dad back to typical RDD age when Marc was born.
    Anyway--a round about way of mentioning that I think this is the last Betty Book that mentions WWII.

  2. Betty Barbara here--
    Best reason for working in a retail bookstore (as I did for 17 years)? That lovely employee discount of 33%. I did NOT make any money for the first 5 years I worked there--I spent the equivalent of my salary on books. I did get it under control after a while, but it was hard.

  3. We called them "sitting dictionaries." Still do.

  4. Words can not describe how much I love that poster!

  5. I agree about the poster!! It's terrific. :-)