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Archived Group Reads 2018 > Vanity Fair: Week 5: Chapters 36-43

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message 1: by Lady Clementina, Moderator (last edited Mar 31, 2018 11:09PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Lady Clementina ffinch-ffarowmore | 1011 comments Mod
Much of this week’s segment was spent with Becky and Rawdon, getting a peek into the life they were living and people they were bankrupting in the process (from the landlord of the Paris hotel to their old servant Raggles, and even poor Miss Briggs, now companion to Becky (or perhaps not so poor for she was forewarned)). Rawdon seems to have been a great one for raising debts his whole life but without Becky I doubt he would have got “out” of them quite so comfortably. She not only gets them out of Paris safely but also back into England without any of the troubles that Rawdon would have met with had he dared to step back in. Meanwhile Becky’s attempts at making a place for herself in society are not quite as successful as she would have hoped; yet as she herself acknowledges, from just a governess much looked down upon to a Colonel’s wife, connected by marriage to the titled―she has certainly come a long way. And yet, money still is a problem (and we see some mixed feelings about her past life emerging now, on the one side, her not seeing herself as able to return to that company any longer, and on the other, wondering with a hint of regret that she’d have been willing to give up her social position if she had the resources to do so, or whether she ought to have married an old sweetheart Frank). Meanwhile the property situation in the Crawley family is also seeing changes―with Pitt assuming Miss Crawley’s property after her death, and soon after his place as head of the family when Sir Pitt passes. It was nice to see him speak up for a change. He extends a hand of friendship (though no monetary help) to Rawdon and Becky, and while it is the former who isn’t quite inclined to go home, he seems quite happy to assume the “younger brother” role once he does. Becky on the other hand has wormed her way even into Lady Southdown’s heart, and nurses dreams of an introduction in court.

Another contrast is brought out between Becky and Amelia in their attitudes to their children, again representing two extreme positions, Amelia obsessed to a degree with her child and her love for him, and Becky who couldn’t be bothered less, not even looking at the little fellow. Here is Thackeray once again highlighting that either extreme isn’t ideal, yet not really showing us anyone who is a little more balanced, leaving finding that balance to be found by the reader perhaps.

Young George has also met young Rawdon, and they seem to have taken to each other, though they are as different in nature as their parents.

The last chapter in this segment brings about a change of scene as we find ourselves in India to which not only had Jos returned, now that his furlough is over, but Dobbin with the rest of the regiment is also posted. Mrs O’Dowd thinks that in him is the perfect groom for her sister Glorvina (“Glorvina, indeed!”) and matrimonial schemes begin to play out. Dobbin however is not to be moved. But when news of this reaches Amelia, we finally see some hint of jealousy and realise perhaps that she isn’t quite as indifferent as we’ve been made to believe thus far.

In the Osborne household, Maria is married and she and the Bullocks are treating her family, and the connection, just as they’d treated Amelia―so a little taste of their own medicine for them, although I doubt they realise it, or rather that they look at it as that. But that is what Vanity Fair is all about isn’t it―the position, the riches, relationships built and broken on these foundations, and no real feeling. But Miss Jane who has seen little Georgy finally, thanks to the Misses Dobbin, seems to be hatching plans to snatch him away from Amelia. Does that mean more heartbreak for her ahead? Poor Dobbin is horrified at hearing that Amelia is all set to remarry, and as a consequence is preparing to head back to England. Does that mean things will clear up at last―for Amelia and Dobbin at least?


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ConnieD (bookwithcat) | 36 comments Good gravy, this is a long book! ha


message 3: by Lady Clementina, Moderator (new) - rated it 4 stars

Lady Clementina ffinch-ffarowmore | 1011 comments Mod
ConnieD wrote: "Good gravy, this is a long book! ha"

So it is- but luckily keeping one interested.


Lois | 186 comments Reading chap 40 now, and I don't know how Thackeray does it, but I'm actually feeling sorry for Sir Pitt.


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Lady Clementina ffinch-ffarowmore | 1011 comments Mod
Lois wrote: "Reading chap 40 now, and I don't know how Thackeray does it, but I'm actually feeling sorry for Sir Pitt."

I think he manages to show people as people rather than in clearly defined shades. Mrs Bute managed to "manage" Aunt Crawley as well so a Sir Pitt not in very good health shouldn't have been much of a surprise.


Lois | 186 comments Lady Clementina wrote: "Mrs Bute managed to "manage" Aunt Crawley as well so a Sir Pitt not in very good health shouldn't have been much of a surprise."

True; but it wasn't how Mrs Bute was to him but rather the servant girl Hester:

When the door shut upon her he would cry and sob—whereupon Hester's face and manner, which was always exceedingly bland and gentle while her lady was present, would change at once, and she would make faces at him and clench her fist and scream out "Hold your tongue, you stoopid old fool," and twirl away his chair from the fire which he loved to look at—at which he would cry more. For this was all that was left after more than seventy years of cunning, and struggling, and drinking, and scheming, and sin and selfishness—a whimpering old idiot put in and out of bed and cleaned and fed like a baby.

That last line...sigh. How terrible to be treated such in your final days. No matter how bad the person was...it is still quite sad picturing him helpless like that. I guess he's getting a taste of his own medicine. I can't help feel sorry for him though! O_o

Mistreating patients like this still happens today and it goes back to your point from the previous section about how the classics bring out truths about human nature regardless of time. I guess the deep-rooted message here is, "treat everyone well".


message 7: by Gabrielle (last edited Apr 03, 2018 06:38AM) (new) - rated it 2 stars

Gabrielle Dubois (gabrielle-dubois) | 463 comments Lois wrote: "Lady Clementina wrote: "Mrs Bute managed to "manage" Aunt Crawley as well so a Sir Pitt not in very good health shouldn't have been much of a surprise."

True; but it wasn't how Mrs Bute was to him..."


It's difficult to read or see an old person bad treated, it's unbearable.
This said, isn't Hester 12 years old who used to work in the kitchen? I'm not sure... If she's is, ne one can blame her to treat Sir Pitt this way: she's certainly been herself treated this way, and Sir Pitt is only now a very disgusting old man for such a young girl. I couldn't imagined have asked my daughter, when she was 12, and even now that she's 17, to take care of her grand-father. It's to difficult.
And maybe I don't feel sorry for this man after all! Didn't he beat his wife?


Lois | 186 comments Gabrielle wrote: "And maybe I don't feel sorry for this man after all! Didn't he beat his wife? "

LOL! Very true and exactly what needed to be said to bring me back to reality Gabrielle ;) No more feeling sorry for him. :p Yes, the wife-beater and all round bad person sure was miserable in the end.


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Lady Clementina ffinch-ffarowmore | 1011 comments Mod
Lois wrote: "Lady Clementina wrote: "Mrs Bute managed to "manage" Aunt Crawley as well so a Sir Pitt not in very good health shouldn't have been much of a surprise."

True; but it wasn't how Mrs Bute was to him..."


I'd forgotten that bit- you're right - that was horrible- in fact even nurses back then were terrible- much more so than now- a-la Sairey Gamp- only then does one really begin to appreciate Florence Nightingale's role. But that said, one does hear even now of patients having to face verbal and physical abuse- not just patients but also older peple in general.


message 10: by Lady Clementina, Moderator (new) - rated it 4 stars

Lady Clementina ffinch-ffarowmore | 1011 comments Mod
Gabrielle wrote: "Lois wrote: "Lady Clementina wrote: "Mrs Bute managed to "manage" Aunt Crawley as well so a Sir Pitt not in very good health shouldn't have been much of a surprise."

True; but it wasn't how Mrs Bu..."


Agreed on it being difficult- but we need to also consider that this may have been expected back then- from a servant- irrespective of age. I can get that she would have lost patience with him, but does that justify her conduct?

As you say, may be he is getting his just desserts but one can't help feeling a little sorry nonetheless.


Gabrielle Dubois (gabrielle-dubois) | 463 comments Would Rebecca be changing? In any case, again, she seems to be the only one who thinks about herself and about the society she lives in:
On chapter 36, Thackeray writes:
"But, as we have said, she was growing tired of this idle social life: opera-boxes and restaurateur dinners palled upon her: nosegays could not be laid by as a provision for future years: and she could not live upon knick-knacks, laced handkerchiefs, and kid gloves. She felt the frivolity of pleasure and longed for more substantial benefits."
If she had loved her child, I would have liked her...


Gabrielle Dubois (gabrielle-dubois) | 463 comments Lois wrote: "Gabrielle wrote: "And maybe I don't feel sorry for this man after all! Didn't he beat his wife? "

LOL! Very true and exactly what needed to be said to bring me back to reality Gabrielle ;) No more..."


like button!


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Gabrielle Dubois (gabrielle-dubois) | 463 comments Lady Clementina wrote: "Gabrielle wrote: "Lois wrote: "Lady Clementina wrote: "Mrs Bute managed to "manage" Aunt Crawley as well so a Sir Pitt not in very good health shouldn't have been much of a surprise."

True; but it..."


I lost my father two years ago. He had Parkinson desease for years. He couldn't do anything alone in the end and had lost his mind. It's really something I don't wish to anyone. Even thinking about this time makes me cry. Fortunately, we were around my father.
But what I want to say here, is that this decay of the human body is really the most terrible thing to see. And I don't think a little girl can manage with this, especially for this little Hester with Sir Pitt: a man, not even an old woman. Let's imagine she would have said: "No, I can't do this." Who would have wanted to do it? No one. She probably would have been beaten to force her to do it. She's not educated, she just does what she's done.
And maybe the bad treatments Sir Pitt has received for few days at the end of his life will open him the door of Paradise? So thank God who'll feel sorry for him, because... I don't!


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Lois | 186 comments Lady Clementina wrote: "But that said, one does hear even now of patients having to face verbal and physical abuse- not just patients but also older peple in general. "

Yes, exactly! That's what it reminded me of - elder abuse especially in nursing home and palliative care facilities. You hear about stories like that ever so often and it so heartbreaking.

I too get that Sir Pitt wasn't a good man and was perhaps only getting what he was due...but still, like you said, I too don't know how I can justify her behaviour towards him in his sickly state. I mean, where's the humanity? It is like saying, because he was a criminal, he deserved to be beaten to a pulp by the cops. *sigh*

Whatever his past, his end was sad nonetheless.


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Lois | 186 comments Gabrielle wrote: "I lost my father two years ago. ...

But what I want to say here, is that this decay of the human body is really the most terrible thing to see. And I don't think a little girl can manage with this, especially for this little Hester with Sir Pitt: a man, not even an old woman. Let's imagine she would have said: "No, I can't do this." Who would have wanted to do it? No one. She probably would have been beaten to force her to do it. She's not educated, she just does what she's done.
And maybe the bad treatments Sir Pitt has received for few days at the end of his life will open him the door of Paradise? So thank God who'll feel sorry for him, because... I don't!"


I'm sorry for you loss Gabrielle. It must have been a difficult time for you and your family. *hugs*

While I understand the points you've raised re Hester being a young servant girl, I too, like Lady C, am looking at this irrespective of age and rather in the eyes of what her duty as servant and caregiver encompasses.

It wasn't a question of whether she could manage taking care of him or not but rather, her attitude and her behaviour towards someone who could no longer talk back (perhaps even shout back and be cruel either in words or in actions as he did in the past) or express himself in any way possible.

Does a doctor stop treating a patient who suffered from a stroke because he was a rude patient to him in the past? Does he think, "oh no, that man was cruel to me so I'll just shout at him and push him around in his final days because he deserves it"?

No, because how is he then any better than the patient.


message 16: by Lady Clementina, Moderator (last edited Apr 03, 2018 08:21PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Lady Clementina ffinch-ffarowmore | 1011 comments Mod
Lois wrote: "Lady Clementina wrote: "But that said, one does hear even now of patients having to face verbal and physical abuse- not just patients but also older peple in general. "

Yes, exactly! That's what i..."


It's really quite heartbreaking- I'd actually read up a fair bit on this for a class some years ago, and it was really very disturbing to read- even within families, things get really awful for so many people, the children or the carers who adopt that attitude seem to forget both what the older person in question has done for them all their life, and that they may well be in teh same position one day- aside from teh fact that they've forgotten to be human at all.


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Lady Clementina ffinch-ffarowmore | 1011 comments Mod
Gabrielle wrote: "Lady Clementina wrote: "Gabrielle wrote: "Lois wrote: "Lady Clementina wrote: "Mrs Bute managed to "manage" Aunt Crawley as well so a Sir Pitt not in very good health shouldn't have been much of a ..."

I know it is a very hard thing to see- while I haven't had a personal experience of this kind- both my grandmothers went through a phase when they were completely bedridden before they eventually passed but that was back when I was much too young to understand- but with friends/neighbours I have seen instances like that and can only imagine how hard it is both for the carer and the person in question- especially one who has been independent all their life and suddenly finds himself/herself in a situation like this.


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Linda | 115 comments It seems Thackeray’s intent is a sad comment on human behavior toward the dying and dead. In addition to the treatment Sir Pitt suffered in his final days, once he died his family quickly moved on. Not mourning in the room where his body lay before it was buried, focusing on the trappings if mourning - wearing black- rather than feeling a deep sense of loss. A seemingly perfunctory funeral service. Is it because Sir Pitt “earned” this because of his behavior during his life? Does anyone “earn” such disregard?

Another topic which seemed to take center stage in this section was the extreme importance of marriage for women during this period ( and extending further into the century)- certainly a frequent theme in 19th century
literature.
Mrs. Bute is intent on finding husbands for her daughters no matter the cost. Glorvina keeps trying to find a husband, but without success. Becky needs to be married to Rawdon to carry out her scheming. An unmarried woman has no real place in society. Hopefully she will have relatives to support her- Amelia (although she does have a bit of money from Dobbin), evidently Glorvina, Jane who has been forced to spinsterhood by her father and her dismal existence when compared to that of her sister Maria’s. Marriage did not ensure happiness but few other options existed.


Gabrielle Dubois (gabrielle-dubois) | 463 comments Lady Clementina wrote: "Gabrielle wrote: "Lady Clementina wrote: "Gabrielle wrote: "Lois wrote: "Lady Clementina wrote: "Mrs Bute managed to "manage" Aunt Crawley as well so a Sir Pitt not in very good health shouldn't ha..."

Lois wrote: "Gabrielle wrote: "I lost my father two years ago. ...

But what I want to say here, is that this decay of the human body is really the most terrible thing to see. And I don't think a little girl ca..."


Thank you, Lois.

Hester's " duty as servant and caregiver encompasses."
This poor little Hester if I remember correctly, was working in the kitchen, she wasn't a servant in the house. A nurse should have been employed (hired? I am not sure about the English verb) by Sir Pitt's family.
Who, from the family takes care of this old man, does his duty towards his parent? No one. Oh, yes, Lady Jane visits Sir Pitt in his bedroom. How kind she is! (sarcastic tone of mine!) I can imagine her, enter in the room with a beautiful and fresh dress, smelling good, putting beautiful and fresh flowers in a vase, saying kind chosen words, and then leaving the old man to be washed and feed by this poor little girl.
Shame on all this family! And a big pity for Hester who has never been taught how to take care of an old man.

Yes, LadyC, this passage of the old man bad treated is really awful to read and imagine.
You say Hester lacks humanity, but I think humanity is something we learn, as children, from our parents, from adults around us.
Shame on all the adults around Hester who didn't teach her humanity and made her become a future adult who probably won't have a clue what humanity is.


Gabrielle Dubois (gabrielle-dubois) | 463 comments Linda wrote: "It seems Thackeray’s intent is a sad comment on human behavior toward the dying and dead. In addition to the treatment Sir Pitt suffered in his final days, once he died his family quickly moved on...."

The discussions between Frederick Bullock and Osborne father, before and about the marriage with Maria, is really awful, is it? Like a merchant and a customer talking about the price of a piece of meat! This made me sick.


Gabrielle Dubois (gabrielle-dubois) | 463 comments When Becky is in Paris, and since the beginning of this VF, men are around her and attracted by her, because (even if she's bad) she's cute, fresh, young, witty...
But, in the chapter... I don't remember which one! when Amelia is a young mother at her parents' house, Thackeray writes that, like Becky, Amelia has also men around her.
IMO, Thackeray shows that men want to see in a woman the image of the perfect mother, but also a sexually attractive woman. If Amelia and Becky were only one person, wouldn't it be the perfect woman for Thackeray?

Isn't it very difficult to be a woman! :)


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Lady Clementina ffinch-ffarowmore | 1011 comments Mod
Linda wrote: " the extreme importance of marriage for women during this period...."

This is a recurring theme from pre-Victorian to Victorian books- the whole of Pride and Prejudice, but particularly Charlotte's case that stands out, for instance, and nearly every other, Mrs Kirkpatrick in Wives and Daughters which we read last, Becky here - either a marriage or sufficient means were of the utmost importance.


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Lady Clementina ffinch-ffarowmore | 1011 comments Mod
Gabrielle wrote: "Lady Clementina wrote: "Gabrielle wrote: "Lady Clementina wrote: "Gabrielle wrote: "Lois wrote: "Lady Clementina wrote: "Mrs Bute managed to "manage" Aunt Crawley as well so a Sir Pitt not in very ..."

I don't think that there were such clear cut distinctions- I mean did nursing/looking after the sick have a specific place in the hierarchy of servants- not really sure-
what I meant by "nurse and caregiver" was not that this was her designation, but that this was the work assigned to her at that point- so in that sense this fell within the duties expected of her.


message 24: by Linda (new)

Linda | 115 comments Gabrielle wrote: "When Becky is in Paris, and since the beginning of this VF, men are around her and attracted by her, because (even if she's bad) she's cute, fresh, young, witty...
But, in the chapter... I don't re..."


I also realized reading this section that for all their differences, Becky and Amelia share this characteristic that are both very attractive to men - Becky as a flirt and Amelia as the demure woman. The fact that for both it results in other women disliking them, gossiping about them and scorning them is a pretty harsh condemnation of women's treatment of each other by Thackeray. Did he really believe that women as a whole are so shallow as to allow jealousies over men to direct their behavior in such mean spirited ways? Are we meant to see such behavior emerging as a result of competition for husbands?


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Lois | 186 comments Gabrielle wrote: "... This poor little Hester if I remember correctly, was working in the kitchen, she wasn't a servant in the house. A nurse should have been employed (hired? I am not sure about the English verb) by Sir Pitt's family. ...

And a big pity for Hester who has never been taught how to take care of an old man. ...

You say Hester lacks humanity, but I think humanity is something we learn, as children, from our parents, from adults around us.
Shame on all the adults around Hester who didn't teach her humanity and made her become a future adult who probably won't have a clue what humanity is. "


Wasn't she a lady's maid just prior to Sir Pitt's illness? She was a companion of some sort to the butler's daughter who had hoped to become the next Lady Crawley. I think she got promoted in the process from the kitchen.

While I agree that in our eyes as modern readers, it is too much to expect a young teen to take care of a 70+ year old man, we have to bear in the mind that age cannot be the main point of contention here. Because, as we see further down in this section, there is a 13 year-old Miss Dolby who was married off to "old Mr Chutney"!

If such young girls were being married off in those days (and giving birth), taking care of the elderly is not far out of the realm of expectation for a young servant girl like Hester.

Like Lady C says Gabrielle, I too don't believe there was a clear distinction when it came to care for the sick in the household. If your boss (be it the Lady of the house or the Master or their kids or anyone higher in hierarchy than the servant in question) was ill, and a young servant girl was assigned the task of care, it was her duty as a member of the servant-class of the house to take care of her superiors; and to do the job to the best of her abilities, regardless of her age.

And, I don't think servants were necessarily taught to be humane. They learned on the job and picked up cues as they went along. But you would right in supposing that the house in Queen's Crawley was perhaps not the most conducive environment for such instruction anyway.

Besides, I don't think Thackeray would have expected us to feel too sorry for Sir Pitt or to commiserate with young Hester either - these are our modern views intervening through the expressed sarcasm of it all. ;)


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Lois | 186 comments Linda wrote: "I also realized reading this section that for all their differences, Becky and Amelia share this characteristic that are both very attractive to men - Becky as a flirt and Amelia as the demure woman. The fact that for both it results in other women disliking them, gossiping about them and scorning them is a pretty harsh condemnation of women's treatment of each other by Thackeray. Did he really believe that women as a whole are so shallow as to allow jealousies over men to direct their behavior in such mean spirited ways? Are we meant to see such behavior emerging as a result of competition for husbands?"

Are you saying that we don't see such behaviour in our time amongst our sex, Linda?

I agree with Thackeray's views; anytime two women are in direct competition - be it over a husband as it was it VF or for a job as it is in our time - such behaviour among the female sex is to be expected. I think so anyway even as its member.

But yes, I was quite surprised at how Amelia is regarded by the opposite sex everywhere she goes. I didn't realize she was quite the beauty and it is no wonder now that Thackeray has presented us with these two extremes of the female sex.

As much as they are different is nature, they are similar in circumstances and perhaps also in outcome as a result. It is the choices they make and how they go about them that differentiates them.


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Lois | 186 comments Gabrielle wrote: "The discussions between Frederick Bullock and Osborne father, before and about the marriage with Maria, is really awful, is it? Like a merchant and a customer talking about the price of a piece of meat! This made me sick. "

Yes, and it still happens around us to this very day depending on where in the world, and among certain classes and cultures.

There was a big hullabaloo when Prince Charles married the "commoner" Diana (who really in the eyes of the general public wasn't a commoner at all!) and similarly when Prince William married the "commoner" Kate (who had private education all her life which regular people can't afford); and even now when Prince Harry is about to marry the "American" (but also rich from her acting career) Meghan. And that's just in that one family!

Even if a lot has changed now from Thackeray's time, I think the essence in expectation that comes with a marriage (especially in instances when one is marrying into a large family - a frequent subject in Asian dramas *wink*), really hasn't changed all that much 200 years since. This is just my view though.


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Lois | 186 comments Gabrielle wrote: "Would Rebecca be changing? In any case, again, she seems to be the only one who thinks about herself and about the society she lives in:
On chapter 36, Thackeray writes:
"But, as we have said, she ..."


Yes, we see another instance of this in Chap 41 as well. As Lady C points out in her intro to the discussion here, there seems to be some "hint of regret" on her part; but Thackeray quickly nips it by writing:

... if ever Becky had these thoughts, she was accustomed to walk round them and not look in. She eluded them and despised them—or at least she was committed to the other path from which retreat was now impossible. And for my part I believe that remorse is the least active of all a man's moral senses—the very easiest to be deadened when wakened, and in some never wakened at all. We grieve at being found out and at the idea of shame or punishment, but the mere sense of wrong makes very few people unhappy in Vanity Fair.




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Lady Clementina ffinch-ffarowmore | 1011 comments Mod
Lois wrote: "Gabrielle wrote: "The discussions between Frederick Bullock and Osborne father, before and about the marriage with Maria, is really awful, is it? Like a merchant and a customer talking about the pr..."

Very much so. Worst of all, to me, was Maria's seeming acceptance of this attitude, in fact willingness to embrace it so to speak- even though she did have an idea of the truth.


Gabrielle Dubois (gabrielle-dubois) | 463 comments Lois wrote: "Gabrielle wrote: "... This poor little Hester if I remember correctly, was working in the kitchen, she wasn't a servant in the house. A nurse should have been employed (hired? I am not sure about t..."

Yes, yes, yes, Lois,
I perfectly know a 13 yo English girl in the 19th, wasn't considered the same as nowadays...

Oh, God, I appreciate our persistent debates! :) None of us wants to give up her point of view, I like that!


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Lady Clementina ffinch-ffarowmore | 1011 comments Mod
Gabrielle wrote: "Lois wrote: "Gabrielle wrote: "... This poor little Hester if I remember correctly, was working in the kitchen, she wasn't a servant in the house. A nurse should have been employed (hired? I am not..."

And we don't have to either :)


Gabrielle Dubois (gabrielle-dubois) | 463 comments Lois wrote: "Gabrielle wrote: "The discussions between Frederick Bullock and Osborne father, before and about the marriage with Maria, is really awful, is it? Like a merchant and a customer talking about the pr..."

"hullabaloo"? here's a new word I will remember, Lois, it sounds so so hilarious!
Now I'll say to my husband: Oh, quel hullabaloo cette maison! Let's clean it up! :D :D :D

The fuss around the English Royal family's marriages is maybe just made by English newspapers to sell more!

Even if a lot has changed now from Thackeray's time, I think the essence in expectation that comes with a marriage (especially in instances when one is marrying into a large family - a frequent subject in Asian dramas *wink*), really hasn't changed all that much 200 years since. This is just my view though.
I don't know about Asian dramas, and around me and myself, as we are not the Prince Charles' cousins, we just expect love from a marriage! :)


Gabrielle Dubois (gabrielle-dubois) | 463 comments Lois wrote: "Gabrielle wrote: "Would Rebecca be changing? In any case, again, she seems to be the only one who thinks about herself and about the society she lives in:
On chapter 36, Thackeray writes:
"But, as ..."


Yes I also noticed this passage, Lois.


Gabrielle Dubois (gabrielle-dubois) | 463 comments Lady Clementina wrote: "Lois wrote: "Gabrielle wrote: "The discussions between Frederick Bullock and Osborne father, before and about the marriage with Maria, is really awful, is it? Like a merchant and a customer talking..."

Right, Lady C,
But as I said, the discussions between Frederick Bullock and Osborne father, before and about the marriage with Maria islike a merchant and a customer talking about the price of a piece of meat. And here, Maria is the piece of meat, and ... can a piece of meat give its opinion? :D
Oh, I'm awful!


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Lady Clementina ffinch-ffarowmore | 1011 comments Mod
Gabrielle wrote: "Lady Clementina wrote: "Lois wrote: "Gabrielle wrote: "The discussions between Frederick Bullock and Osborne father, before and about the marriage with Maria, is really awful, is it? Like a merchan..."

This piece of meat could have refused to go through with the marriage, unlike George and Miss Swartz, she wasn't being forced to g through with it, but she saw it as an opportunity to better her social position, and didn't care that she was wanted for her money and not for herself.


message 36: by Linda (new)

Linda | 115 comments Lady Clementina wrote: "Gabrielle wrote: "Lady Clementina wrote: "Lois wrote: "Gabrielle wrote: "The discussions between Frederick Bullock and Osborne father, before and about the marriage with Maria, is really awful, is ..."

I think Maria just accepted what a woman’s place was. She certainly was enjoying her life, to the point of distancing herself from her sister who, as the remaining daughter, has been ordered not to marry by their father so that she can take care of him. Maria should be thankful to Jane, not relegating her to second class parties.


Gabrielle Dubois (gabrielle-dubois) | 463 comments Lady Clementina wrote: "Gabrielle wrote: "Lady Clementina wrote: "Lois wrote: "Gabrielle wrote: "The discussions between Frederick Bullock and Osborne father, before and about the marriage with Maria, is really awful, is ..."

I agree.
But I also think, when you're rich, it must be very difficult to find love. And however, what's love?
Love is a promise of happiness at the end of a novel, but after?
September 2018 will be my 20 years happy marriage anniversaire. And sometimes I wonder which were the minutes, the few words, the few glance that made me say yes to this man, my husband. No one can say what years will be like after a wedding, it depends on the emotional investment that each one puts in it, it depends on the faith we keep in our marriage, it depends on the work and the patience we have the will to put in it, and if we're able to do it.
That's why, when I write a lovestory, it never ends up at the wedding, because for me, true love is after.
So, about Maria, (if we leave aside the part of money and social position), the discussion about her wedding, and her wedding, is maybe the smallest part of her marriage, after all.


Gabrielle Dubois (gabrielle-dubois) | 463 comments Linda wrote: "Lady Clementina wrote: "Gabrielle wrote: "Lady Clementina wrote: "Lois wrote: "Gabrielle wrote: "The discussions between Frederick Bullock and Osborne father, before and about the marriage with Mar..."

I agree, poor Jane! This old Osborne makes me think of my Grand-father, in a way: he was a tyran with my Grand-mother ... old times ... old me! :D


message 39: by Linda (new)

Linda | 115 comments Lois wrote: "Linda wrote: "I also realized reading this section that for all their differences, Becky and Amelia share this characteristic that are both very attractive to men - Becky as a flirt and Amelia as t..."

Perhaps I am just too idealistic in my belief that women have, on the whole, evolved from this type of backbiting. Of course, it’s natural for anyone ( man or woman) to think themselves better than their competitors and to look for faults in them while emphasizing their own good points. But the women who gossiped and lied and turned their backs on Becky and Amelia basically because they were attractive to men- ugh. I hope the current generation of 20-30 year old women are more kind to each other.


Gabrielle Dubois (gabrielle-dubois) | 463 comments Linda wrote: "Lois wrote: "Linda wrote: "I also realized reading this section that for all their differences, Becky and Amelia share this characteristic that are both very attractive to men - Becky as a flirt an..."

Oh, Linda, you're cute and idealistic! And I am not mocking you. You're refreshing.
Men, I mean men and women, are not perfectible. They remain the same; only usages and costumes change, like the world around Men which Men make change. But the seven sins remain, and among them: Envy. Well, that's what I think.


message 41: by Linda (new)

Linda | 115 comments Gabrielle wrote: "Linda wrote: "Lois wrote: "Linda wrote: "I also realized reading this section that for all their differences, Becky and Amelia share this characteristic that are both very attractive to men - Becky..."

Merci. Yes, agreed the seven sins are still going strong. I guess what annoys me is the reason for the envy based bad behavior- being attractive to men. Just another 21st century reaction to a 19th century novel!


message 42: by Lady Clementina, Moderator (new) - rated it 4 stars

Lady Clementina ffinch-ffarowmore | 1011 comments Mod
Linda wrote: "Lois wrote: "Linda wrote: "I also realized reading this section that for all their differences, Becky and Amelia share this characteristic that are both very attractive to men - Becky as a flirt an..."

I wish it were true Linda, but unfortunately not from what I've seen and heard- Women really do tear into other women, and are very ruthless about it.


Gabrielle Dubois (gabrielle-dubois) | 463 comments On chapter 43, when one sees the luxurious and idle life that English settlers led in India, one understands that they were pushed out! Especially, more obviously, that they were not at home ...


Gabrielle Dubois (gabrielle-dubois) | 463 comments On chapter 38, about Mrs Sedley and her daughter Amelia:
Mrs Sedley, like Amelia, like old Osborne, should know that one doesn’t raise a child for oneself, but for him. It's hard to admit, but it's so. It's not easy to do, because love interferes every day and confuses us, well ... except in Vanity Fair!

Sorry, ladies, I have a little time to reread my reading notes this afternoon, and I saw that I forgot a lot of them... what a mess in my spiral notepads I spread everywhere at home!


Gabrielle Dubois (gabrielle-dubois) | 463 comments Lady Clementina wrote: "Gabrielle wrote: "Lois wrote: "Gabrielle wrote: "... This poor little Hester if I remember correctly, was working in the kitchen, she wasn't a servant in the house. A nurse should have been employe..."

Yes, Lady C, one book, as many different ways to read it as readers!


message 46: by Lois (last edited Apr 07, 2018 07:24AM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Lois | 186 comments Gabrielle wrote: "Yes, yes, yes, Lois,
I perfectly know a 13 yo English girl in the 19th, wasn't considered the same as nowadays...

Oh, God, I appreciate our persistent debates! :) None of us wants to give up her point of view, I like that!"


LOL! ;)

" "hullabaloo"? here's a new word I will remember, Lois, it sounds so so hilarious!
Now I'll say to my husband: Oh, quel hullabaloo cette maison! Let's clean it up! :D :D :D


LOL! It does sound funny doesn't it? Yes, it is a word used to describe all the noise (from people protesting) and chatter around some event. :)

The fuss around the English Royal family's marriages is maybe just made by English newspapers to sell more!

That's true too.


I don't know about Asian dramas, and around me and myself, as we are not the Prince Charles' cousins, we just expect love from a marriage! :)

:D
It's interesting to see what's out there among other cultures. Even though our external looks and colours may be different, the struggles are similar.


Laurene | 158 comments Gabrielle wrote: "Lady Clementina wrote: "Gabrielle wrote: "Lois wrote: "Lady Clementina wrote: "Mrs Bute managed to "manage" Aunt Crawley as well so a Sir Pitt not in very good health shouldn't have been much of a ..."

I am so sorry to read about your loss of your father. My mother in law has Parkinson's and she simply is not the same person she use to be.


Laurene | 158 comments Gabrielle wrote: "Linda wrote: "It seems Thackeray’s intent is a sad comment on human behavior toward the dying and dead. In addition to the treatment Sir Pitt suffered in his final days, once he died his family qui..."

Absolutely agree --- it was hard to take in


message 49: by Laurene (last edited Apr 09, 2018 06:03PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Laurene | 158 comments Gabrielle wrote: "Lady Clementina wrote: "Gabrielle wrote: "Lady Clementina wrote: "Lois wrote: "Gabrielle wrote: "The discussions between Frederick Bullock and Osborne father, before and about the marriage with Mar..."

I absolutely love what you wrote Gabrielle!! And wishing you an early wonderful Happy 20th Anniversary!!


Laurene | 158 comments Linda wrote: "Lois wrote: "Linda wrote: "I also realized reading this section that for all their differences, Becky and Amelia share this characteristic that are both very attractive to men - Becky as a flirt an..."

like button :)


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