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2014/15 Group Reads - Archives > Wives and Daughters - Ch. 6-10

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message 1: by Silver (new)

Silver VI. A VISIT TO THE HAMLEYS.
VII. FORESHADOWS OF LOVE PERILS.
VIII. DRIFTING INTO DANGER.
IX. THE WIDOWER AND THE WIDOW.
X. A CRISIS.


message 2: by Renee (new)

Renee M | 751 comments The Hamleys are adorable. But it bothers me that they're so prejudiced in favor of Osborne with poor Rodger always second fiddle. Rodger seems like such a decent guy.

Also, there are so many allusions to Dr. Gibson "needing a wife" and scarlet fever that I'm sure one or both these things will surely play a large roll as the story unfolds. Oh, the perils that await poor Molly. The poor widowed doctor and his fickle house staff.


message 3: by Madge UK (last edited Feb 08, 2014 01:21AM) (new)

Madge UK (madgeuk) | 2933 comments The Hamley's hoped that Osborne would become a Senior Wrangler, which is the name given to Cambridge's foremost Mathematics student in each academic year. A prestigious position which attracts lucrative bursaries. Once said to be the highest intellectual attainment in England.


ries.


message 4: by Renee (new)

Renee M | 751 comments That's very interesting. Thanks, Madge!


message 5: by Lynnm (new)

Lynnm | 3027 comments The proposal was a bit bizarre. They barely know one another. And the next minute, they are engaged. Hey, I need a wife to make sure young men stay a safe distance from my daughter. Hey, I need a husband because I don't like trying to make it on my own. :-)

But poor Molly. And she doesn't even know the real reason why.

Looking forward to meeting Osbourne. Roger seems nice though.

And Lady Cumnor is her own woman. She's the one who runs the house and family. No passive, submissive, silent, obedient woman for Lady Cumnor! I like her... :-)


message 6: by Lynnm (new)

Lynnm | 3027 comments Madge wrote: "The Hamley's hoped that Osborne would become a Senior Wrangler, which is the name given to Cambridge's foremost Mathematics student in each academic year. A prestigious position which attracts lucr..."

Thanks for the info, Madge!


message 7: by Hedi (new)

Hedi | 978 comments Lynnm wrote: "The proposal was a bit bizarre. They barely know one another. And the next minute, they are engaged. Hey, I need a wife to make sure young men stay a safe distance from my daughter. Hey, I need ..."

Lynn, I thought the same thing about the proposal. Most of all that Mrs. Kirkpatrick had not even thought about that until shortly before the proposal was made. It seemed though rational in a certain way, still irrational, not to speak of any kind of romance.

The Hamleys seem truly very nice and down to earth despite their aspirations. It is almost a little too idyllic (one son similar to his mother - more intellectual and literary, the other similar to his father enjoying nature and science), but the first break has already occurred with Osborne's failure in Cambridge.


message 8: by Hedi (new)

Hedi | 978 comments One thing I forgot:

It will be interesting to see how the new family will cope with each other.
Mr Gibson esteems Mrs. Kirkpartick without really knowing her, thinking of her kindness to Molly. We have already discussed that it was quite negligent of her to let the girl oversleep.
On the other hand, there will be another girl in the family who has been brought up very differently to Molly.

So there seems to be an environment for many different kinds of conflicts in the future.


message 9: by Emma (new)

Emma (emmalaybourn) | 298 comments Maybe Mr Gibson's rather abrupt proposal can be seen in the light of his profession: he's used to diagnosing a problem and then promptly treating it. So having diagnosed the problem of Molly having no chaperone, he then goes straight for the most obvious remedy. Once he has decided to get married, his choices, after all, are pretty limited unless he wants to attach himself to one of the Miss Brownings.


message 10: by Casceil (new)

Casceil | 220 comments Emma, that's a good point. I find I am puzzled by some of Mr. Gibson's choices where Molly is concerned. Sending her away because his apprentice had a crush on her and behaved inappropriately did seem unfair. It's as though Molly and the maid who carried the message were punished, but the apprentice was not.


message 11: by Frances, Moderator (new)

Frances (francesab) | 1869 comments Mod
Roger reminds me of a young Charles Darwin, who was apparently something of a failure academically but spent all his time as a child and young man studying the natural world around him.


message 12: by Casceil (new)

Casceil | 220 comments A number of men who became known as "greats" of science, and for that matter, other fields, got off to a very slow start as young men. Supposedly Einstein was very late learning to talk and to read. Winston Churchill was dead last in his class at Sandhurst. And when Piaget took an early version of an IQ test, he scored in the moron range. There is a wonderful book, In the Mind's Eye: Visual Thinkers, Gifted People With Dyslexia and Other Learning Difficulties, Computer Images and the Ironies of Creativity, that has many such stories. The author's theory is that "late-bloomers" are slower to develop all the connections between neurons in their brains, but eventually develop a much richer and denser network of connections than do the early-bloomers. It seems likely to me that Roger is much smarter than his parents give him credit for being. Siblings usually score within ten poits of each other on IQ tests, unless there is something clearly wrong with one of them.


message 13: by Madge UK (last edited Feb 13, 2014 05:34AM) (new)

Madge UK (madgeuk) | 2933 comments Thanks for that useful info Casciel.


message 14: by Renee (new)

Renee M | 751 comments Yes! Very interesting information.


message 15: by Emma (new)

Emma (emmalaybourn) | 298 comments How much sympathy should we feel for Mrs Kirkpatrick? Obviously she is a rather self-centered and careless woman, but I can't help feeling some compassion for her when she bursts into tears on receiving Mr Gibson's proposal, "because it was such a wonderful relief to feel that she need not struggle any more for a livelihood." A selfish reaction! - yet it's a result of her circumstances: as a widow obliged to earn her own living, she hasn't had a particularly easy life. While being a governess to Lady Harriet was probably a bit of a sinecure, trying to run a school would be hard work. So I do feel a certain sympathy for her position.


message 16: by Madge UK (new)

Madge UK (madgeuk) | 2933 comments Marrying for love was not the norm in Victorian times and her feelings probably echoed those of the majority of women accepting a proposal. We see it through the prism of freedom and choice, somethjng Mrs Kirkpatrick did not have. I feel sympathy for all Victorian women!


message 17: by Karen (new)

Karen (skbrum) I very much like the compassion of Roger toward Molly. So sad though that Mr. Gibson sent Molly away to the Hamley's so she would not attach herself to a man, they have a crisis, and that it is another man other than Mr. Gibson that comforts her at the very house that he sought to protect from any intimacy with a man. Of course, that's what makes it so interesting.


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