Fire and Hemlock

Hallie O'Donovan hallieod at indigo.ie
Fri May 26 11:24:38 EDT 2000


Alex:

>I too think that Seb's mother was an ordinary mortal; I seem to remember
>some reference to it and it's that that gives Seb his normal, listening to
>the Doors side. Seb is in danger though because he will be given to Laurel
>in Mr Leroy's place when Mr Leroy dies jsut as Leslie is set up to take
>Tom's place if he dies. What I do have difficulty with is who the woman who
>died was. I'm not completely sure that it was Seb's mother, I think that it
>was Laurel who told us that and everything she says is questionable. Also,
>why would she be leaving all that she owns to Laurel?

Oh, I think I can answer the last of those questions at least!  Seb's
mother (and Polly says it was she, BTW) had her life taken in order to
renew Laurel, but Polly says: "...and I suppose she (Laurel) has to pretend
the dead woman is her mother so that she can inherit from herself".
>
>The other thing I wondered about was why Tom had been left the pictures. Was
>it to control him, and was the fact that Polly ended up with the Obah Cypt
>one f the reasons why she and not Laurel began to have some power over Tom's
>life? The amorphous figures in the Fire and Hemlock picture became, in some
>way, Polly's creation not Laurel's.

I think Polly says that Laurel's gift-with-a-catch is given through the
pictures in some way.  But the Obah Cypt as giving Polly power over Tom?
I'd always just put it down to Polly's "holding on" to Tom, as Janet did in
Tam Lin.  But that's an interesting possibility to mull over.  Granny
certainly does get upset when the hair starts to dissolve.

>I'm also intrigued by the figure of Granny and the way in which Polly's
>Grandfather was also taken by Laurel. I always wonder why Granny remained so
>close to to there when the evil in the house had taken her husband.

That one seems to make sense, as I think it was explained as being the only
thing Granny could do not to forget what had happened.

Was the
>weakness in Polly's father caused by his own father's dalliance with Laurel
>and therefore was the failure of his marriage to Ivy due to that? In which
>case, Polly's relationship with Hunsdon(?) House could be construed as being
>directly related to Laurel' s relationship with her Grandfather.

I never quite got that one either.  Polly says it explained a lot about
Reg, but I wasn't sure what it did explain.  Being half Leroy doesn't seem
to automatically cause weakness - Ann says her mother was a Leroy!

>I've got lots more questions but that'll do for now. I love that book.

Me too!

>By the way, I alsways thought that the end with the nowhere and the use of
>the double negative was based simply on word play and on the chilly logic
>used by Laurel; I hadn;t got anywhre near as complex as some of the stuff
>coming from this list.
>
>By the way, what is this Cecelia book you keep referring to? I've never
>heard of it.

"Sorcery and Cecelia" is a book by Patricia Wrede and Caroline Stevermer
(sp?).  It's a book written in letters, and set in a magical Regency
England.  Lots of fun, but very hard to find a copy, as some of us know all
too well!

Hallie
hallieod at indigo.ie




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