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Archived Group Reads 2013 > Can You Forgive Her Chapters VII - XIII

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Marialyce (absltmom, yaya) To discuss these chapters


message 2: by Lily (last edited Nov 25, 2013 01:30PM) (new)

Lily (joy1) | 1290 comments Titles for these chapters as an aid to recalling the scope of this thread:


Chapter 7. Aunt Greenow
Chapter 8. Mr. Cheesacre
Chapter 9. The Rivals
Chapter 10. Nethercoats
Chapter 11. John Grey Goes to London
Chapter 12. Mr. George Vavasor at Home
Chapter 13. Mr. Grimes Gets his Odd Money

http://web.archive.org/web/2008120122...


message 3: by Lily (new)

Lily (joy1) | 1290 comments I am at Chapter XIII this afternoon, just having been introduced to two new characters in interaction with George Vavasor. What descriptive names!

"Mr. Grimes was a stout man, not very tall, with a mottled red face, and large protruding eyes. As regards his own person, Mr. Grimes might have been taken as a fair sample of the English innkeeper, as described for many years past. But in his outer garments he was very unlike that description. He wore a black, swallow-tailed coat, made, however, to set very loose upon his back, a black waistcoat, and black pantaloons. He carried, moreover, in his hands a black chimney-pot hat. Not only have the top-boots and breeches vanished from the costume of innkeepers, but also the long, particoloured waistcoat, and the birds'-eye fogle round their necks. They get themselves up to look like Dissenting ministers or undertakers, except that there is still a something about their rosy gills which tells a tale of the spigot and corkscrew."

(Trollope makes use of the broken blood vessels of the nose stereotypically associated with heavy drinking several places as a distinguishing icon in his text.)

"Mr. Scruby was an attorney from Great Marlborough Street, supposed to be very knowing in the ways of metropolitan elections; and he had now stepped round, as he called it, with the object of saying a few words to Mr. Grimes, partly on the subject of the forthcoming contest at Chelsea, and partly on that of the contest last past. These words were to be said in the presence of Mr. Vavasor, the person interested."

Trollope, Anthony (2012-05-12). Can You Forgive Her? (pp. 104-5). Kindle Edition.

Bold added.


message 4: by Lily (last edited Dec 07, 2013 11:23AM) (new)

Lily (joy1) | 1290 comments Chapter 7. Aunt Greenow

I still have not figured out whether the subplot of the suitors of Aunt Greenow is essential to the story as a whole -- hopefully we can return to that question in our wrap up discussions. She and her antics certainly add color to the story and facilitate the location and interactions of the main characters.

"...Arabella had long been a thorn in their side, never having really done anything which they could pronounce to be absolutely wrong, but always giving them cause for fear...."

Trollope, Anthony (2012-05-12). Can You Forgive Her? (p. 54). Kindle Edition.

"...And Kate was surprised to see that real tears— one or two on each side— were making their way down her aunt's cheeks. But they were soon checked with a handkerchief of the broadest hem and of the finest cambric."

Ibid. (p. 57).

I enjoy the gentle humor and the detail of passages like these.


message 5: by Lily (last edited Dec 07, 2013 11:46AM) (new)

Lily (joy1) | 1290 comments Chapter 7. Aunt Greenow

I still have not figured out whether the subplot of the suitors of Aunt Greenow is essential to the story as a whole -- hopefully we can return to that question in our wrap up discussions. She and her antics certainly add color to the story and facilitate the location and interactions of the main characters.

"...Arabella had long been a thorn in their side, never having really done anything which they could pronounce to be absolutely wrong, but always giving them cause for fear...."

Trollope, Anthony (2012-05-12). Can You Forgive Her? (p. 54). Kindle Edition.

"...And Kate was surprised to see that real tears— one or two on each side— were making their way down her aunt's cheeks. But they were soon checked with a handkerchief of the broadest hem and of the finest cambric."

Ibid. (p. 57).

I enjoy the gentle humor and the detail of passages like these.


message 6: by Lily (last edited Dec 17, 2013 12:26AM) (new)

Lily (joy1) | 1290 comments Chapter 7. Mrs. Greenow and Chapter 8. Mr. Cheesacre

Cheeseacre-Greenow-Kate
Obesity doesn't appear to be a problem unique to the 21st century.

Note the attention being given to the piles of barnyard fragrance.


message 7: by Lily (last edited Dec 10, 2013 05:49PM) (new)

Lily (joy1) | 1290 comments Chapter 8. Mr. Cheesacre

I love the play and double entendre of words here:

"...She was ready on the instant to sit down upon the baskets in which the grouse pie had been just carefully inhumed, and talked about her sainted lamb with a deluge of tears...."

Ibid. (p.66.) Bold added.

A drawing of the feted picnic is here, the one for which dear Mr. Cheesacre doesn't feel he gets his fair share of credit:

http://www.anthonytrollope.com/books/...


message 8: by Denise (new)

Denise (drbetteridge) | 19 comments I do wish mine were illustrated!


message 9: by Lily (new)

Lily (joy1) | 1290 comments Denise wrote: "I do wish mine were illustrated!"

Denise -- at least we can use the illustrations from here:

http://www.anthonytrollope.com/books/...

Not as neat as having them "in" our books, but still fun to find and use.


message 10: by Lily (new)

Lily (joy1) | 1290 comments Denise wrote: "I do wish mine were illustrated!"

Denise -- at least we can use the illustrations from here:

http://www.anthonytrollope.com/books/...

Not as neat as having them "in" our books, but still fun to find and use.


message 11: by Lily (last edited Dec 11, 2013 03:14PM) (new)

Lily (joy1) | 1290 comments Chapter VII. Mrs. Greenow

"Whatsoever might be the faults of Kate Vavasor, an unmaidenly desire of catching a husband for herself was certainly not one of them."

Ibid. (p. 62).

This sentence struck me as strange. I would have thought "catching a husband for herself" would have a very maidenly desire of those times. (I thought of the comment elsewhere of the possible predilections of Miss Kate.)


message 12: by Teresa (new)

Teresa (tnorbraten) | 107 comments Having a large size was proof that you could feed yourself well.


message 13: by Denise (new)

Denise (drbetteridge) | 19 comments Lily wrote: "Denise wrote: "I do wish mine were illustrated!"

Denise -- at least we can use the illustrations from here:

http://www.anthonytrollope.com/books/...

Not as neat..."


What an interesting little website! Thanks!


message 14: by Lily (new)

Lily (joy1) | 1290 comments Chapter IX. The Rivals

Is Mr. Cheesacre as a suitor for Katy ever plausible to the modern reader? Would he have been for Trollope's contemporary readers?

I found the interactions between Captain Bellfield and Mr. Cheesacre to be amusing, but questioned their significance to the mainstream of the story. Perhaps again it was a case of Trollope demonstrating how social situations are handled by a deft, self-protective woman like Mrs. Greenow. It was perhaps another case of Trollope suggesting what might work in courtship, what might not matter, and that certainly the boasting of the type indulged in by Mr. Cheesacre was to be avoided. (I'd have to search to find his first name.)

Eman -- another example of Trollope's advice column writing? Don't boast like Cheesacre; it can be okay to be broke like a Captain Bellfield type, but be careful with the execution thereof and expect some curbs from the object of your efforts; consider the advantages of being a friend with your competition. But, this still isn't the passage I hope to find again. Will let you know if and when.


message 15: by Lily (new)

Lily (joy1) | 1290 comments Samuel Cheesacre -- see msg 18 of first thread for Chapters I--.


message 16: by Lily (last edited Dec 14, 2013 08:19PM) (new)

Lily (joy1) | 1290 comments Chapter IX. The Rivals

"...Nevertheless our friends did dance on the sands; finding, however, that quadrilles and Sir Roger de Coverley suited them better than polkas and waltzes."

Ibid. "The Rivals." (p. 76).

Sir Roger de Coverley dance -- an eight-minute version on YouTube. Fun to watch, but shorter ones are available.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vxFgdC...

From Wikipedia: "...an English country dance and a Scottish country dance (also known as The Haymakers).... The Virginia Reel is probably related to it. The name refers to a fox, and the dance's steps are reminiscent of a hunted fox going in and out of cover."

If anyone knows Wikipedia editing, the entry could use adds for Trollope and Austen references to the dance.

I like the appropriateness here of the name referring to a fox. Is it from some folk tale? I can't tell from the Wiki entry.

I rather enjoyed Mrs. Greenow's doctrine on flirting, with which the chapter ends.


message 17: by Lily (last edited Dec 15, 2013 06:11PM) (new)

Lily (joy1) | 1290 comments Chapter X. Nethercoats

This chapter gives us a very clear picture of the home of Mr. John Grey and subsequently of the man himself. The equanimity is threatened by Alice's letter upon her return from Switzerland, and Mr. Grey goes to London determined to resolve the situation.

Any thoughts on the meaning of the name? I think of "hinterlands," but that is a different word. Looking up "nether" didn't help much, either.


message 18: by Lily (last edited Dec 15, 2013 11:44AM) (new)

Lily (joy1) | 1290 comments Chapter XI. John Grey Goes to London

John Grey deals with his wayward fiancée, giving her the freedom she seems to need.

Trollope uses the chapter as his opportunity to expound a bit on his views about marriage in his social strata of England of the time:

"...I do not know that a woman can assure to herself, by her own prudence and taste, a good husband any more than she can add two cubits to her stature; but husbands have been made to be decently good, — and wives too, for the most part, in our country, — so that the thing does not require quite so much thinking as some people say."

Ibid. "John Grey Goes to London." (p. 89).

Trollope does have traditional ideas as to what ought to be the purpose of a good woman's life:

"...Fall in love, marry the man, have two children, and live happy ever afterwards. I maintain that answer has as much wisdom in it as any other that can be given;— or perhaps more...."

Ibid. (p. 90).

He comments on his lead character that:

"...But she had gone on thinking of the matter till her mind had become filled with some undefined idea of the importance to her of her own life...."

Ibid.


message 19: by Everyman (new)

Everyman | 2531 comments Lily wrote: "I am at Chapter XIII this afternoon, just having been introduced to two new characters in interaction with George Vavasor. What descriptive names!

"Mr. Grimes was a stout man, not very tall, with..."


I love the way Grimes gets his 94 pounds out of George and the lawyer (assuming the note is ever honored!) But he had better get his money up front next time.


message 20: by Everyman (new)

Everyman | 2531 comments Lily wrote: "Chapter 7. Aunt Greenow

I still have not figured out whether the subplot of the suitors of Aunt Greenow is essential to the story as a whole -- hopefully we can return to that question in our wrap..."


But it's delightful humor. I love the triangle with Cheesacre, he obviously having his eye on Aunt Greenow and she pretending that his eye is really on Kate.

Since I really don't like Kate, I think maybe she should be saddled with him. She would hate it, but that's okay with me. [g]


message 21: by Everyman (new)

Everyman | 2531 comments Lily wrote: "Chapter VII. Mrs. Greenow

"Whatsoever might be the faults of Kate Vavasor, an unmaidenly desire of catching a husband for herself was certainly not one of them."

Ibid. (p. 62).

This sentenc..."


Perhaps he means that there are maidenly and unmaidenly ways of catching husbands, and she, despite her poverty, didn't fall into the unmaidenly trap. I do agree that maidens of the day were expected to make themselves desirable to potential husbands. But Aunt G is proposing something fairly bold, intentionally sitting beside Cheesacre to go after his money, and perhaps that would be considered unmaidenly.

I don't know, just a possibility.


message 22: by Everyman (new)

Everyman | 2531 comments Lily wrote: "Chapter IX. The Rivals

Is Mr. Cheesacre as a suitor for Katy ever plausible to the modern reader? Would he have been for Trollope's contemporary readers?"


I think absolutely. He was still, as I gather, in younger middle age. I can't find the spot now, but if I recall correctly he was a widower, which shows that he wasn't a crusty old bachelor trying to live a second childhood through a young wife. He was a bit of a fool, but a clever fool who knew where his interests lay, but was also generous and not miserly.

I would say that Trollope's audience would see that for an impoverished young woman with minimal social accomplishments (as far as we can see), he would be quite an acceptable catch.


message 23: by Everyman (new)

Everyman | 2531 comments The Greenow sub-plot may be not particularly central to the story, but I really like the old lady. Consider this:

"But how do you know, aunt, that Captain Bellfield hasn't paid his washerwoman?"

"I know more than you think, my dear. It's my business. How could I tell whose attentions you should receive and whose you shouldn't, if I didn't inquire into these things?"

She's not one to be taken in by flash or surface appearance, and what's more she takes seriously her responsibility as the chaperone of a marriageable young woman. "I mean to make the place pleasant for you if I can, and the world may object if it likes."

She's got her head screwed on right, she is going to do right by Kate if she possibly can, and she has a sense of humor on top of it. What's not to like?


message 24: by Everyman (new)

Everyman | 2531 comments I was struck by how both John Grey and George Vavasor, in this section, have the same absolutely unwillingness to take Alice seriously. Both refuse to let credit her claims that she won't marry them. Both treat her like a little puppy dog that doesn't know it's own mind, but needs to be taught how to behave or what's good for it.


message 25: by Lily (last edited Dec 15, 2013 06:15PM) (new)

Lily (joy1) | 1290 comments Everyman wrote: "...Both treat her like a little puppy dog that doesn't know it's own mind, but needs to be taught how to behave or what's good for it. ..."

Well, I'd suggest "a little puppy dog" may overdo it as an analogy, but regardless, I'd take John Grey's treatment over George's.

(So JG pats her on the head and GV kicks her in the tummy, if the analogy is applied?)


message 26: by Everyman (new)

Everyman | 2531 comments I was a bit surprised by the nascent feminism that Trollope introduces in Chapter 10. I didn't think he had it in him.

She was not so far advanced as to think that women should be lawyers and doctors, or to wish that she might have the privilege of the franchise for herself; but she had undoubtedly a hankering after some second-hand political manœuvering. She would have liked, I think, to have been the wife of the leader of a Radical opposition, in the time when such men were put into prison, and to have kept up for him his seditious correspondence while he lay in the Tower. She would have carried the answers to him inside her stays,—and have made long journeys down into northern parts without any money, if the cause required it. She would have liked to have around her ardent spirits, male or female, who would have talked of "the cause," and have kept alive in her some flame of political fire.

This is not the traditional female role that most of Trollope's heroines follow. Even Mrs. Proudie, though she seeks to be the power behind the throne (bishops sit on thrones, or at least did in Trollope's day) I don't think ever thought that women should be bishops. She was happy manipulating things from behind the scenes. But she's a mature woman with a long history of manipulation; Alice is still a young woman feeling for her place in life. To even think this way is pretty far forward for her, I think.


message 27: by Everyman (new)

Everyman | 2531 comments I love that passage in Chapter 10 (yes, it's a favorite chapter of mine):

John Grey had, so to speak, no politics. He had decided views as to the treatment which the Roman Senate received from Augustus, and had even discussed with Alice the conduct of the Girondists at the time of Robespierre's triumph; but for Manchester and its cares he had no apparent solicitude, and had declared to Alice that he would not accept a seat in the British House of Commons if it were offered to him free of expense. What political enthusiasm could she indulge with such a companion down in Cambridgeshire?

She thought too much of all this,—and was, if I may say, over-prudent in calculating the chances of her happiness and of his. For, to give her credit for what was her due, she was quite as anxious on the latter head as on the former. "I don't care for the Roman Senate," she would say to herself. "I don't care much for the Girondists. How am I to talk to him day after day, night after night, when we shall be alone together?"


That is a concern, I think, of many young couples, especially those who haven't had a long period of acquaintance (or maybe it was more of an issue in my youth when young men and women still weren't supposed to spend that much unchaperoned time together, so being alone together for long periods was terra incognito): will we like each other's conversation after ten or twenty years together? What will we find to talk about for the rest of our lives together?


message 28: by Whimsical (new)

Whimsical (goodreadscomb_flowers) | 189 comments Everyman wrote: "The Greenow sub-plot may be not particularly central to the story, but I really like the old lady. Consider this:

"But how do you know, aunt, that Captain Bellfield hasn't paid his washerwoman?"
..."

I find that the women in this story are multi-layered and multi-faceted and the author is very good at revealing the various layers of their personality especially as they pertain to relationships with men. Alice by herself seem to be strong and independent but when she is around men she folds somewhat and can't seem to think straight and she tend to be very fickle with her emotions towards them. Aunt Greenow seems to be the smarter of the two women but then she is older and more experienced but she keeps things close to the vest, so to speak, and does not reveal much to her two suitors ( who are the the most fun to read about especially when they are together). She hides behind the mourning of her dearly deceased hubby, while at the same time playing each of the suitors to the hilt. I don't care for Kate who is the female version of George, cunning, devious and selfish. Lady Glencora is referred to over and over as being "very young" but I have not seen her age mentioned anywhere. Perhaps, this means that her actions should be excused because of her age??? I also notice that all the women in the story are "well-off" in various degrees but the men trying to win their love are not -- except in the case of Mr. Grey who seem to be in a class by himself.


message 29: by Everyman (new)

Everyman | 2531 comments Whimical wrote: "Aunt Greenow seems to be the smarter of the two women but then she is older and more experienced but she keeps things close to the vest, so to speak, and does not reveal much to her two suitors ( who are the the most fun to read about especially when they are together)."

I have to admit that my sympathies are with Mr. Cheesacre, in part because I was that sober sort of young man who seemed always to be outshined by the flash sort who appealed more to young women than sober sense did.


message 30: by Everyman (new)

Everyman | 2531 comments Whimical wrote: "I don't care for Kate "

I'm more strongly antithetical to her than that. I find her a very nasty piece of work when it comes to her treatment of Alice. Trollope several places calls her a traitor, and that's exactly what she is. If one likes Alice, and I think at this point it's hard not to, it's pretty much necessary to dislike, if not to hate, Kate.


message 31: by Everyman (new)

Everyman | 2531 comments Whimical wrote: "Lady Glencora is referred to over and over as being "very young" but I have not seen her age mentioned anywhere."

I'll wait until we get to the thread for that chapter to talk about her.


message 32: by Lily (last edited Dec 15, 2013 10:07PM) (new)

Lily (joy1) | 1290 comments Everyman wrote: "...If one likes Alice, and I think at this point it's hard not to, it's pretty much necessary to dislike, if not to hate, Kate. ..."

Hmm... I just saw Kate as the too loyal sister and a friend to be taken at face value. I didn't see her as deliberately manipulative of Alice, even though she was at some level. I'll be interested in your pointing to especially egregious infringements of friendship or ones of outright perfidy.


message 33: by Lily (last edited Dec 16, 2013 10:34AM) (new)

Lily (joy1) | 1290 comments Everyman wrote: "...He was a bit of a fool, but a clever fool who knew where his interests lay, but was also generous and not miserly...."

Well, he never seemed particularly clever about human nature, other than his own. Mrs. Greenow pegged Mr. Samuel Greenow when she spoke of his tendency to overshadow his generosity with his boasting and his need for gratitude to be acknowledged. (Somehow, that doesn't fit my picture of you, Eman, unless you were once a bit pompous like Mr. G. and mellowed into a gracious gentleman only with time. [g])


message 34: by Trudy (new)

Trudy Brasure | 93 comments Lily wrote: "Chapter VII. Mrs. Greenow

"Whatsoever might be the faults of Kate Vavasor, an unmaidenly desire of catching a husband for herself was certainly not one of them."

Ibid. (p. 62).

This sentenc..."


I was also perplexed at this statement. I thought that the entire career of an unmarried girl of that era was to catch as good a husband as possible.

Is a girl supposed to pretend she is detached from the process? And only be concerned for others?


message 35: by Lily (new)

Lily (joy1) | 1290 comments How only do we think Samuel Cheesacre is? I pegged him at 45-55, perhaps older, but don't remember what text, if any, took me to that range. Probably more the illustrations and the widowhood of Mrs. Greenow, who I presumed to be at least 45, were the basis of my thought process.

What about Kate and Alice -- both in their twenties, I presume, and I believe we are given the age of at least Alice somewhere?


message 36: by Trudy (new)

Trudy Brasure | 93 comments I thought Alice was 25 or 27. From somewhere in the beginning. I assume Kate is roughly the same. George is older.


message 37: by Lily (new)

Lily (joy1) | 1290 comments "...Alice Vavasor when she will be introduced to the reader had already passed her twenty-fourth birthday."

Ibid. "Chapter I. Mr. Vavasor and His Daughter." (p. 5).


message 38: by Lily (last edited Dec 16, 2013 10:56AM) (new)

Lily (joy1) | 1290 comments Chapter 12. Mr. George Vavasor at Home

There is here some of Kate sharing with her brother what should have been private communication within the friendship of her and Alice. But it seems to me that Alice was astute enough that she should have been wary.

We get to see the vengeful side of George in more detail here, as well as his secretiveness.


message 39: by Whimsical (new)

Whimsical (goodreadscomb_flowers) | 189 comments Everyman wrote: "Whimical wrote: "I don't care for Kate "

I'm more strongly antithetical to her than that. I find her a very nasty piece of work when it comes to her treatment of Alice. Trollope several places ca..."

Eman: I totally agree with you about Kate. I guess I held back allot about my feelings about her!!! Dangerous person to have as a friend or relative.


message 40: by Whimsical (new)

Whimsical (goodreadscomb_flowers) | 189 comments Everyman wrote: "Whimical wrote: "Aunt Greenow seems to be the smarter of the two women but then she is older and more experienced but she keeps things close to the vest, so to speak, and does not reveal much to he..."

Cheesacre is rough around the edges but at least he is honest and has the means to support a wife in the "class" (for want of a better word) of Mrs. G. The Capt. is a liar and a parasite and is stone-blind broke. For the life of me I don't understand why Mrs. G is leaning towards the Capt. unless she has other plans up her sleeves that are yet to be revealed. This is just my opinion, perhaps having lived with a man twice her age and toothless to boot, she wants a younger husband even though he maybe be broke as she seems to feel she has the means to support him and can manipulate him as much as she can, something she seems to be very good at doing.


message 41: by Lily (last edited Dec 16, 2013 03:02PM) (new)

Lily (joy1) | 1290 comments You guys startle me. I saw Alice as being responsible for looking out for her own best interests. I didn't see Kate as viciously undercutting her, just having quite bad judgment about the desirability of a relationship with her brother. But I am now watching the story in light of your viewpoints.

Do call telling passages to our attention?


message 42: by Lily (new)

Lily (joy1) | 1290 comments Whimical wrote: "...The Capt. is a liar and a parasite and is stone-blind broke. For the life of me I don't understand why Mrs. G is leaning towards the Capt. unless she has other plans up her sleeves that are yet to be revealed...."

'Tis a fascinating aspect of the story. Look forward to our discussions as the chapters roll by.


message 43: by Lily (new)

Lily (joy1) | 1290 comments "...She'll never marry him, at any rate," he said to himself, "and she is right. He'd make an upper servant of her; very respectable, no doubt, but still only an upper servant. Now with me;— well, I hardly know what I should make of her. I cannot think of myself as a man married..."

Ibid. (p. 102).

Does John Grey need to learn more about Alice if he is to refrain from constraining her into becoming "an upper servant ... very respectable, no doubt, but still only an upper servant"?

Does Trollope use George here as a very forward thinking mouthpiece about the wifely role that was easily foisted upon women of Alice's class at the time?


message 44: by Lily (new)

Lily (joy1) | 1290 comments Chapter 13. Mr. Grimes Gets his Odd Money

I'll plead someone to summarize this chapter in a sentence or two. I didn't really follow all that seemed to be going on here, except that Mr. Grimes is attempting to put the screws to Scruby and Vavasor to get the money owed for work he has done, and they are resisting. The significance of what they finally agreed to escaped me.


message 45: by Lily (new)

Lily (joy1) | 1290 comments @19Everyman wrote: "I love the way Grimes gets his 94 pounds out of George and the lawyer (assuming the note is ever honored!) But he had better get his money up front next time..."

Please elaborate -- basically the clarification I am seeking in the post above.


message 46: by Everyman (new)

Everyman | 2531 comments Lily wrote: "Hmm... I just saw Kate as the too loyal sister and a friend to be taken at face value. I didn't see her as deliberately manipulative of Alice, even though she was at some level. I'll be interested in your pointing to especially egregious infringements of friendship or ones of outright perfidy.
"


I don't need to point to them -- Trollope does it for me. [g]

Early in Chapter 14: "Kate Vavasor had sent to her brother only the first half of her cousin's letter, that half in which Alice had attempted to describe what had taken place between her and Mr. Grey. In doing this, Kate had been a wicked traitor,—a traitor to that feminine faith against which treason on the part of one woman is always unpardonable in the eyes of other women. "

And in at least one other passage I can't find right now he makes clear that Kate is wronging Alice by trying to push her into marriage with George.

She is going out of her way to try to push Alice on George, and not for Alice's sake at all, but for hers and George's.


message 47: by Everyman (new)

Everyman | 2531 comments Lily wrote: "Chapter 13. Mr. Grimes Gets his Odd Money

I'll plead someone to summarize this chapter in a sentence or two. I didn't really follow all that seemed to be going on here, except that Mr. Grimes is..."


A lot of electioneering at the time was done in and through pubs, buying drinks for the electors to sway them onto your side. In the previous election, which George lost, he had used Grimes's pub and had built up a debt of three hundred and ninety-two thirteen and fourpence, a sizeable sum at the time.

Scruby had put the screws on Grimes and basically said, settle for three hundred pounds now, or wait forever for the full amount. So Grimes reluctantly accepted the three hundred pounds, but obviously it rankled. He had signed a settlement of the debt for the 300 pounds, so had no right to the other 94plus, but he was ticked.

So now that George is thinking of running again, Grimes has his chance to put the screws on in return. It's either pay me the 94 pounds, or I'll support the other candidate. Obviously his pub (and his endorsement) are of value, so Scruby reluctantly agrees to pay the 94 pounds in order to keep Grimes on their side.

But if Grimes is smart, he won't let them build up a big debt next time, because in that case he'll get the same treatment of having to settle for less than the full bill. That was my comment, that this time he had better get his money up front and not give them a chance to force him to settle for less than what he's owed.

Make sense?


message 48: by Everyman (new)

Everyman | 2531 comments Lily wrote: "There is here some of Kate sharing with her brother what should have been private communication within the friendship of her and Alice. But it seems to me that Alice was astute enough that she should have been wary.
"


Why do you think that? Kate was supposed to be her friend. Why should she be wary about Kate turning on her?

I don't get the sense that Alice is all that astute. She seems dithery, not having a really firm grasp on what's best for her.


message 49: by Lily (last edited Dec 18, 2013 06:47PM) (new)

Lily (joy1) | 1290 comments Everyman wrote: "...Make sense? ..."

Very much so. Many thanks! (It was the first part, about the "leftover" from the previous election and how Grimes was now applying the screws before "playing again" -- indeed, championing the opposition -- that I hadn't fully comprehended. Guess I just didn't care enough to follow the back and forth -- nor perhaps fully comprehend the role of the pubs in electioneering. I "got it" that, if Grimes had learned his lesson, he'd want his money up front next time.)


message 50: by Lily (last edited Dec 18, 2013 06:56PM) (new)

Lily (joy1) | 1290 comments Everyman wrote: "...I don't get the sense that Alice is all that astute. She seems dithery, not having a really firm grasp on what's best for her...."

Well, because you're certain John Grey is best for her?

John Grey has to grow, too, if he is to be worthy of Alice. I consider her instincts, if not necessarily her common sense, as reaching out for a larger world. Unfortunately, for a woman of her day, she probably could only satisfy any such ambitions through a man.


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