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Lady of Quality
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Group Reads > Lady of Quality Group Read February 2017 Chapters 9-15

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Carol She's So Novel꧁꧂  | 4102 comments Mod
How are you finding this book so far?


Susan in NC (susanncreader) | 3323 comments I really admire the way Annis handles her brother's ham-handed attempt to interfere in her life and keep her away from Oliver by showing up and dumping the wife and kids on her. And the fact that she doesn't play games with Maria, she lets her know she won't tolerate her spying and reporting to Sir Geoffrey- go Annis!


Sheila (in LA) (sheila_in_la) | 333 comments Yes, Annis is able to stand up for herself, good for her. I liked that Oliver showed some sensitivity to Annis' mood and even empathy, in chapter 9 (conversation while riding with Ninian and Lucilla). Her reasons for wanting her own establishment in Bath have been made clear--not wanting to be just "Aunt Annis," but to have her own life. I completely relate to that. But--I don't find the book to be as light and witty as some others by this author, so it may not wind up one of my favorites... we shall see.

Maybe there is a bit too much emphasis on how annoying Maria (Miss Farlow) is--the spying is the worst part--her conversation seems like something I could learn to live with, to be honest.


message 4: by Samanta (last edited Feb 04, 2017 12:38PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Samanta   (almacubana) | 8 comments Annis and Oliver

(view spoiler)


Carol She's So Novel꧁꧂  | 4102 comments Mod
Oh boy, do I ever feel out of step with everyone! On previous reads I didn't like Oliver. This time I don't like Annis.


Susan in NC (susanncreader) | 3323 comments Carol ♔Type, Oh Queen!♕ wrote: "Oh boy, do I ever feel out of step with everyone! On previous reads I didn't like Oliver. This time I don't like Annis."

I like her better than Oliver, but she comes across rather brittle, doesn't she? Part of me likes that she stands up for herself with her brother and Maria, but with the slang language and the imperious manner she doesn't come across as terribly likeable or kind, like our heroine in Black Sheep! Sorry to keep comparing, I know it's not fair but having read them back-to-back it's hard not to measure them against each other.


Carol She's So Novel꧁꧂  | 4102 comments Mod
Susan in NC wrote: "
I like her better than Oliver, but she come..."


So far there doesn't seem to be much to Oliver other than he, is on occasion, rude. But I find Annis arrogant & judgemental - & sometimes rude. She rarely shows any of the charm she is supposed to possess. & frankly Annis should have returned Annis to Clara Amber! Lucilla wasn't being mistreated.

My opinion is probably coloured by knowing people who are convinced they are always right and interfering in what is none of their business.


message 8: by Elza (new) - added it

Elza (emr1) | 296 comments Carol ♔Type, Oh Queen!♕ wrote: "So far there doesn't seem to be much to Oliver other than he, is on occasion, rude. "

Agreed. Miles had the more interesting backstory of being banished to India as a young man and then, unbeknownst to anyone, making his fortune there. All we know of Oliver is that he is the "rudest man in town." And apparently he is also incredibly wealthy, which means everyone puts up with his extremely bad manners.

It's interesting that his rudeness is what seems to make him attractive to Annis. No one else in her household or acquaintance would dare to speak to her or treat her that way, so there is the charm of novelty, if nothing else. And if she really found him repellent, all she had to do was return Lucilla to her family and she could cut off any interaction with Oliver completely. But she doesn't -- she wants to keep Lucilla because that is her connection to Oliver.


Sheila (in LA) (sheila_in_la) | 333 comments I don't dislike Annis, but I think she is frustrated and somewhat out of tune with her world. She's not like her sister-in-law, a genuinely kind woman, very at home in her feminine role. Oliver understands her and appreciates her for who she is (not necessarily the nicest, most tolerant, or self-sacrificing, woman). I believe that is his appeal for her. Her other suitors didn't get her the way he does.


Marissa Doyle | 108 comments Carol ♔Type, Oh Queen!♕ wrote: "Susan in NC wrote: "
I like her better than Oliver, but she come..."

So far there doesn't seem to be much to Oliver other than he, is on occasion, rude. But I find Annis arrogant & judgemental - &..."


I agree, Carol...and after thinking about it for a bit, titling this book "Lady of Quality" almost begins to seem a little ironic.


message 11: by MaryC (new)

MaryC Clawsey | 479 comments Elza wrote: It's interesting that his rudeness is what seems to make him attractive to Annis. No one else in her household or acquaintance would dare to speak to her or treat her that way, so there is the charm of novelty, if nothing else.

I'm just following along from memory, and I'm getting a perspective I didn't catch the time or two when I read it! Oliver seems to be something of a Petruchio!


Louise Sparrow (louisex) | 454 comments Annis and Oliver can speak openly to each other, and a lot of the time they agree, I'd say there is a lot to appeal to someone in that.

Miss Farlow would try anyone's patience but I don't suppose it was quite that obvious when she first took her on, and now she can't get rid of her without feeling guilty... although there is definitely a point when I would have.

@Carol, I don't agree that she should have returned Lucilla to her aunt, she could not have forced her to go after all, and would you have her pay the expense just because she rescued her from the roadside? Instead she gave her shelter and wrote to her guardian inviting her to stay, and received her luggage in return. It was up to her Aunt to come for her, or her Uncle to remove her.


message 13: by Rachel (last edited Feb 08, 2017 11:27AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Rachel (rereader3) Louise Sparrow wrote: "Annis and Oliver can speak openly to each other, and a lot of the time they agree, I'd say there is a lot to appeal to someone in that.

And they feel free to disagree, too, on both sides. I can definitely see the appeal!

I have to say I like Annis quite a lot--she's very much a woman out of her time. Running her own business, that's what she'd have liked.


Carol She's So Novel꧁꧂  | 4102 comments Mod
Louise Sparrow wrote: "Annis and Oliver can speak openly to each other, and a lot of the time they agree, I'd say there is a lot to appeal to someone in that.

Miss Farlow would try anyone's patience but I don't suppose ..."


It was the whole "I have never raised a child, but I'm sure I can do better by this teen I met 5 minutes ago" thing. At least later in the book (view spoiler)


Louise Sparrow (louisex) | 454 comments But her aunt was trying to force her into marriage, no matter how well she had done by her before that, so I still think Annis was in part justified... she was also in serious need of some alternative company ;)


Karlyne Landrum | 3895 comments I think Annis did feel sorry for Lucilla at first (her perceptive "tyranny of the weak" remark shows that), but I don't think she really thought she would do a better job of raising her than her aunt had. She even says that her aunt had certainly taught her beautiful manners! However, she does remember her own first season and had seen at least a dozen since then and so was very aware of the pitfalls a girl could fall into if she hadn't had at least a bit of social experience.

Lucilla was fun for her, but if she'd turned out to be more trouble than Annis considered her to be worth, I don't doubt at all that she would have found a way to relieve herself of the responsibility. She's a very competent woman!


message 17: by Elza (new) - added it

Elza (emr1) | 296 comments Re: the "tyranny of the weak" -- there are so many examples in Heyer's work of the soft-spoken, gentle, ruthlessly manipulative woman: Adam's mother in A Civil Contract, Endymion's in Frederica, Selina in Black Sheep, and apparently, although we never meet her, Lucilla's aunt.

I love C.S. Lewis' description of this personality in The Screwtape Letters:
"She is a positive terror to hostesses and servants. She is always turning from what has been offered her to say with a demure little sigh and a smile 'Oh please, please...all I want is a cup of tea, weak but not too weak, and the teeniest weeniest bit of really crisp toast.' You see? Because what she wants is smaller and less costly than what has been set before her, she never recognises as gluttony her determination to get what she wants, however troublesome it may be to others. ... The woman is in what may be called the 'All-I-want' state of mind. All she wants is a cup of tea properly made, or an egg properly boiled, or a slice of bread properly toasted. But she never finds any servants or any friends who can do these simple things 'properly' — because her 'properly' conceals an insatiable demand for the exact, and almost impossible, palatal pleasures which she imagines she remembers from the past; a past described by her as 'the days when you could get good servants' but known to us as the days when her senses were more easily pleased and she had pleasures of other kinds which made her less dependent on those of the table. Meanwhile, the daily disappointment produces daily ill temper: cooks give notice and friendships are cooled."


Carol She's So Novel꧁꧂  | 4102 comments Mod
*Adding the Screwtape Letters to Want-to-read* shelf


Karlyne Landrum | 3895 comments Elza wrote: "Re: the "tyranny of the weak" -- there are so many examples in Heyer's work of the soft-spoken, gentle, ruthlessly manipulative woman: Adam's mother in A Civil Contract, Endymion's in Frederica, Se..."

I can't think of toast without thinking of this woman: "the teeniest weeniest bit of really crisp toast". C.S. Lewis is beyond genius.


message 20: by Kim (new) - rated it 5 stars

Kim Kaso | 503 comments The Screwtape Letters is a classic. Read a lot of C.S. Lewis from late elementary school through present day. I had a professor who specialized in his works in college.


Karlyne Landrum | 3895 comments Kim wrote: "The Screwtape Letters is a classic. Read a lot of C.S. Lewis from late elementary school through present day. I had a professor who specialized in his works in college."

I think my favorite is The Great Divorce. The scenes are just so... vivid. He shaped a lot of my thinking, definitely made it clearer!


message 22: by Kim (new) - rated it 5 stars

Kim Kaso | 503 comments One of my favorites is Til We Have Faces, but I appreciate so many of his works.


message 23: by Mary (new)

Mary | 34 comments Funny "Lady of Quality" tidbit, which has nothing to do with GH book. While waiting for my ordered book Lady of Quality to arrive in the mail, I downloaded to my e-reader a different book, also titled "Lady of Quality". While I knew this wasn't GH, I thought I'd give it a try. Late 19th century novel by Frances Hodgson Burnett. It was interesting, not worth a recommendation, BUT, the FUNNY part was the heroine was named.....Clorinda. Happy memory for this GH and Regency Buck fan.


Carol She's So Novel꧁꧂  | 4102 comments Mod
Mary wrote: "BUT, the FUNNY part was the heroine was named.....Clorinda.

Hahahahaha!


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