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Excellent Women
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message 1: by John (new)

John Seymour 2. Excellent Women is firmly rooted in a specific place and time. What can you learn about England in the 1950s from this novel? Think about the war in the then-recent past—the specter of the bombed-out church that Mildred and Everard attend, for example—and the changing position of women. How would you describe the city and the lives of Londoners? Is London a place of opportunity or a metropolis haunted by history? What in particular does it offer to Mildred that another place might not?

Book Wormy | 1815 comments Mod
I really didn't see London in terms of anything other than the place where the characters live. There are references to the better areas and the worse areas, old town houses are now made into flats where multiple people live sharing facilities and there are plenty of churches to choose from.

London doesn't offer Mildred anything that another place couldn't as far as I can see.

Kristel (kristelh) | 3803 comments Mod
The role of women might be changing as it truly did after the war. Women were much more likely to be independent and to take care of things. But over all, these women are not much changed yet.

message 4: by Pip (new) - rated it 4 stars

Pip | 1304 comments I thought I that it was very definitely set in a particular time and place. In 1952 Britain rationing is still in place and there are several references to how frugal one had to be with one's rations. Many bombed out places had not yet been reconstructed. Muriel's lodgings did not include her own bathroom, she had to exit her apartment to use a bathroom down the hall, shared with the tenants of the apartment below. Traditions, such as those of the church year (the endless Sunday's after Trinity, for example) were still in place. It was impossible for a vicar to share a house with a single woman, even though she had her own, self-contained apartment. People travelled by bus, rather than Tube, or by cab. Despite all these details the larger world do s not intrude into the daily life of the characters.

message 5: by Jen (new) - rated it 3 stars

Jen | 1608 comments Mod
I agree that it is firmly rooted in both a particular time and place. Women's positions are in a state of flux with women beginning to experience greater independence and rights but societal pressures still exerting traditional gender roles --goal of getting married, being involved in church, taking care of men, etc. I did find the tension between increasing freedoms and society opinions interesting.

message 6: by Patrick (new) - added it

Patrick Robitaille | 891 comments Agree with others about the fact that it was deeply rooted in time and place. I would definitely not have fitted in that era, nor would I have been interested in dealing with these people. Too boring.

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