Fans of Norah Lofts discussion

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The Town House Trilogy - 2009 > The House at Old Vine

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message 1: by Barbara (last edited Apr 10, 2009 12:15AM) (new)

Barbara (sema4dogz) | 2233 comments Hi NL lovers
One of the things in House At Old Vine (and House at Sunset) I have never satifactorily worked out is the relationship of the Kentwoodes to the Hattons. Felicity Hatton in House at Sunset is described as being the image of Elzabeth Kentwoode in House at Old Vine. I thought I'd traced the link, but someone on another NL board says I'm wrong. SO... if you guys can keep an eye on the Kentwoode/Hatton lineage, with special emphasis on the illegitimate part , I'd be grateful for your thoughts when the time comes!

I do think House at Old Vine has one of the most arresting opening sentences don't you.." tomorrow the man I love is going to die; horribly, and in public.."

message 2: by [deleted user] (new)

Yes, I had wondered about that also! (Kentwoode/Hatton link) Since my copy is old I will underline when I get back to it.

Happy Easter!

message 3: by John (new)

John (indyjohn) | 14 comments I can't see that Felicity Hatton and Elizabeth Kentwoode are blood relations and any references that would bear out a resemblance of the former to the later. Oliver Stanton on his return to the Old Vine as an adult observes how young Rupert Hatton looks like the portrait. The reader knows that Rupert is not Ethelred's son by marriage to Canon Hatton but Christopher Kentwoode's, hence Rupert is the great nephew of Elizabeth.

But Felicity's lineage does not link her by blood to Elizabeth in any references. Her father, Chris Hatton, is a son of Barnabas Hatton, who has to be a brother or more likely nephew of Barbara Hatton Kentwoode Flowerdew. In her chapter of The House at Old Vine, Barbara says that the brides of all three of her brothers had been chosen for them by her mother, so we know she had three brothers. But the time periods don't match up for the Barnabas in Felicity's story to be a brother of Barbara or the Canon, he would have to be a nephew. References to the Hatton family and Mortiboys like the Fennels of Ockley are used very freely by NL as fillers about Merravey and The Old Vine and maybe she didn't intend for us readers to look too closely at those family lines, lol. The Fennels for instance, supply marriage partners to the Whymarks, Booth-Sandals, and Hattons in BTH and the Trilogy.
I know this is an update to a very old post but was listening to the audio version of The House at Sunset and had the same thought about the disconnect of bloodlines.

message 4: by Barbara (new)

Barbara (sema4dogz) | 2233 comments Hi John , good to see your post . Yes, I get the Elizabeth - Rupert line, but was always intrigued by the reference to Felicity looking the image of the girl in the portrait ( ie Elizabeth)

I'm inclined to agree with you though , NL never really intended us to pore over every lineage detail in order to prove accuracy . I wonder what she would think of this board !

message 5: by MaryC (new)

MaryC Clawsey | 709 comments I puzzled over the same question some time ago and couldn't get a satisfactory answer. An Homeric nod?

message 6: by John (new)

John (indyjohn) | 14 comments That all being said, one of the elements I have always enjoyed about NL's books are the threads of family DNA she consistently drops in over the generations like the gambling gene in the Hattons, and the wanderer/entertainer/musician gene from gypsy Magda. She did this long before science confirmed there are genetical pre-dispositions for gambling, theft, alcoholism, adventure etc. But she saw that in history and in families over time. If your family stays in one place (especially a rural area) for a long times such observations can be made. Obviously physical features, like hair coloring, etc she tracts as well. like the chestnut hair of the Rowhedges. I was shocked in my 40's to obtain photos of my paternal grandfather's father from relatives in Europe and realize his looks has skipped two generations to me. It was very unsettling for me to see such a strong resemblance to someone in the family whom we always called "the Mad Bavarian"!

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