New article and several other threads

Philip.Belben at Philip.Belben at
Thu Jun 15 08:12:41 EDT 2000

>> A more interesting question: If our world is one of the ones
>> in which there was a Christopher Chant who died at birth, who
>> was he? Who would he have been when he grew up?

Is there any evidence that Christopher Chant had _any_ analogues who died at

There seems to be evidence that Cat's dead-at-birth analogue in our world would
have been quite an ordinary person (assuming there's such a thing as an ordinary

Mary Ann:

> The correspondence between Janet's family and Cat's seem to me to
> sugges strongly that interworld person-parallels are strongly
> family-related.  But if this is so, there surely should not be a
> Roger or a Julia in any other world.
> If, however, identity isn't so strongly tied to biological descent, it
> seems surprising that there are such firm parallels between Janet's
> family and Cat's....

To which Jennifer replied:

> Maybe the Chants are an "important" or "core" family in any world they're
> in, as they seem so strongly magical in Chrestomanci's world?

I think the evidence is that Janet's family in our world is not a core family.

Mary Ann's point about how closely the analogue magic (for want of a better
term) is tied to genetics is a good one.  The fact that Milly can wander between
worlds by Christopher's method suggests that she also lacks many (any?)
analogues, since we know that a pair of analogues cannot coexist in the same
world (as witness what happens to Gwendolen's analogues when she goes wandering,
but also Sudden Wild Magic).  This ought to make it very unlikely for Roger and
Julia to have analogues (so perhaps they will grow up into multi-lived

One possibility is that the analogue magic is linked only to certain genes (or
groups of genes).  Then it is not entirely impossible for analogue-less
Christopher and Milly to produce combinations of these genes that also occur
elsewhere in the Related Worlds.  I don't much like this, but the implication in
CL is that it is actually linked to the physical appearance genes.  (Is this the
only time DWJ ever simplified something to put it in a children's book?)

> Curry and treacle
> Treacle was originally theriacum, a medicinal mixture, ("treacle wells" as
> mentioned in Alice in Wonderland were ones with healing properties, and
> "brimstone and treacle" was a good tonic apparently) but as sugar was
> originally thought to be good for you it came to mean sugarcane extract-
> pretty much like molasses. Gingerbread and fruitcake tend to have treacle in

Molasses is basically crude sugar-cane extract...

> them. Nowadays it can mean golden syrup- a bit like corn syrup, I think.
> Treacle tart is a piebase with breadcrumbs soaked in syrup in it- a small
> piece is very nice. Doesn't someone eat a golden syrup sandwich somewhere?
> It sounnds a bit Archer's Goon-ish. I can't imagine why anyone would eat
> curry with treacle, (instead of chutney maybe?) unless it's just that
> treacle is quite an "English" thing.

Well, golden syrup is _refined_ sugarcane extract.  Essentially it is sugar and
water - chemically it is fairly unstable, and the sugar can crystallise out (and
often did so during the hot summers of 1975 and 1976 iirc.)

Treacle pudding (I don't think it was treacle tart in WW) is a suet pudding
flavoured with syrup.  Again, nice in small quantities, but high on

I think the Anglo-indians - somewhere in series XII, one imagines, if there was
a Battle of Waterloo for them to have lost - ate treacle pudding _after_ their
curry, which sounds a very British thing to do, in the circumstances!

Just another half-groat!


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