I know this has been brilliantly covered in fanfic, but I have been searching back through old threads and can't see that it has ever been discussed in a thread here. In Peter's Room we are told as a casual aside, that Trennels was built by a Joshua Marlow, who made his pile in the slave trade.
Presumably this is historically likely. No-one got to build a house like Trennels without doing something dubious at some point; if not the slave trade, then employing children in the mines / being a slum landlord / driving small farmers off their land etc. Maybe AF was inspired by a real life stately home that she'd visited that had been built using money from the slave trade.
My question is this really: why did AF toss this fact into the story at all? Would an original child reader have queried how Trennels existed? There seems no need to mention it at all.
Peter is romanticising Malise at the point where he thinks about Joshua. Is the mention of one dodgy ancestor meant to alert the reader to the possibility that Malise might not be all he seems?
Is it a sneaky dig at the Marlow's Protestant forebears? Patrick's ancestors were busy being martyrs for their faith and suffering discrimination for being Catholics - but look what the Protestants (with their Protestant work ethic and all) did?
Is it too much of a stretch to wonder if AF had Mansfield Park on her mind, given MP and PR's themes of play-acting and love triangles, and indirectly answered the question of whether the Bertrams were slave-owners?
What do the younger Marlows think about living in a house built with slave money? Peter seems to think of it as accepted and unremarked family history. The entail means of course that they can never wash their hands of it, but do they ever have any sort of conversation about it? (And yes, this will be my prompt for the summer fic fest if we have one again!)
One of the unused prompts for the summer fic exchange was about the Marlows having children. I haven't written that prompt exactly but I have written a few scenes about Nicola and her children, including a new, longer one posted today. All on my LJ.
I found myself pondering this in between my summer holiday reading. One of the favourite features of the AF books is the references to books the characters are reading / have read; and many people, like myself, seem to have tried new authors simply because Nicola was reading them.
Although the series crept into the eighties most of the books they mention are from previous decades, apart perhaps from Nicola's book token buy in RAH? So, I started to wonder, if AF had kept writing until the present day, what books would the Marlows be reading now?
Would Karen have found escape from her own strained family set-up in the dysfunctional families of Anne Tyler?
Would Ginty have adored the Hunger Games, seen herself as Catniss and enjoyed lots of lovely fantasies about hiding out in a cave with Patrick, nursing his injuries and kissing him as much as possible?
Would Nicola have enjoyed the archeological detective stories of Elizabeth Peters? Presumably she'd have been keen on Patrick O' Brien, as AF was.
I don't suppose Rowan gets much time to read - a page or two of a Dick Francis or one of his successors, before falling asleep at night. What might she take on holiday if she ever gets the chance?
And Rose, having read everything in the Trennels playroom, will be a fan of Jacquelin Wilson. Will Chas like Harry Potter?
I'm stuck on Lawrie. I'm thinking she might be into some of the Youtubers' spin-off books; that's if she ever has time to read any more, what with spending all her time on Youtube watching make-up videos?
I'd be interested to know what other books people think they might be reading now?
Maidenhead? And sharing AF with one's children.
August 12th, 11:59
Apologies if this has been discussed before but I can't find any references. I'm reading AF aloud to my daughters, 11 and 9. I was worried they'd find the novels too esoteric and wordy, but so far the novels have been a surprising - and very gratifying - hit with both, to the extent the 11-year-old told me she couldn't sleep for thinking about Lawrie and Tim. I think I'll skip Thuggery, Attic Term (too much Catholic and lerv stuff)and prob RAH, as not great, but am very much looking forward to the next two school books. Has anyone else shared AF with the next generation?
Reading aloud also helping me notice things I missed during countless childhood rereads and during the read through two years ago.
On which note, in chapter one of Falconer's Nicola says they were bombed in Hampstead during the war, had to move to Maidenhead and only moved back at half term. To paraphrase Nicola's pov on this: 'Maidenhead's all right, it has the river, but it's not London."
This would mean that they moved in the middle of the summer term of the twins' third form, yes? Which means in Autumn Term, the half term interlude, which I took to be in Hampstead (I haven't got my copy to hand to check) was actually in Maidenhead?
Can anyone explain?
Anyone else have brief moments of excited recognition when you hear or see something that you recognise from the Marlowverse? I had one this morning when Sarah Cox on the radio referred to that 'old Victorian phrase - Never apologise, never explain,' and I thought 'that's what Lawrie said to Nicola before the Cricket Match', and my drive to work was considerably brightened up.
Nicola and Lawrie didn't know who famously said it, but hoped it might be Churchill, as I remember.