Basicallyrun's Reviews > Lessons in Love

Lessons in Love by Charlie Cochrane
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's review
Dec 18, 2011

really liked it
Read in December, 2011

I rather liked it. Probably because I *know* the author writes for Hornblower fandom and knowing that, her two leads suddenly start to look awfully familiar. Which is a good thing as far as I'm concerned, because I like Hornblower, I like Edwardian era fiction, and I like murder mysteries, so all in all, a jolly good thing. I will admit, it got a bit... soppy at points, but bear in mind that while I am a hopeless romantic, I can't stand declarations of undying love and all that, so yeah. Still only coming in about a three on the Bassett Scale, though, so not too bad. And minor quibble: it's set at *Cambridge*. This is a Big Deal, and on the whole, Cochrane does a marvellous job of bringing the setting to life. But. It's *Oxford* that has tutorials. Cambridge calls them supervisions. I know, it's a terribly minor thing and probably wouldn't even be noticed by someone who only knows Oxbridge by reputation, but it threw me. And literally five seconds of googling would've been enough to correct that.* Final gripe: the names. Jonty. Orlando. Is it just me that gets visions of Legolas conjured up by 'Orlando'? Although if your two criteria for picking names are 'must be named after a Shakespeare character and have a good reason to hate his name', then I suppose it's fair enough. And by five pages in, I was mentally swapping them out for Archie and Horatio anyway.

* Two possible get-out clauses for the tutorials/supervisions thing. 1) It might just have been Orlando that called them tutorials, I forget, which would be OK since he got his degree at Oxford. 2) Possibly the division of names didn't happen until after 1906, when the story's set. In both cases, mea culpa and apologies for ever doubting you, Charlie Cochrane.

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message 1: by Charlie (new)

Charlie Cochrane LOL
There's another explanation/s to add to poor Oxford educated Orlando having 'tutorial' in his brain, which is that tutorial is an easier term for readers to get on with. (Rather like you could argue that Senior Common Room could be Senior combination Room). There have been a few rods choices like that.
And the author couldn't pin down when the term came in at Cambridge. Yes, there's a reference to supervisions from a student handbook of the Edwardian era but you can find Cambridge references to tutorials from earlier. (And I have a nagging feeling I've seen it in Forster, as well.)
They still called them supervisions in cambridge in my day and I've had to explain the term time and again!

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