Bedtime musings on character in DWJ (F & H)

Hallie O'Donovan hallieod at
Fri Nov 17 08:28:04 EST 2000

Ven wrote:

>I always thought the cause of Reg's dodgy character lay in his
>upbringing, insofar as that was a consequence of the relationship
>between his father and mother and his father and Laurel. Reg's
>mother was deserted by his father (I think) before his birth. I don't
>think it says but the implication is surely that he had to be married
>to Laurel in order to substitute for the man with the black poached
>eggs for eyes (Ye Gods! the unpleasantness of that description
>strikes anew when typing it). Anyhow that would have made Reg
>illegitimate as well as fatherless, at a time when that was a
>disgrace (and it would have been fairly disgraceful then to have a
>father who deserted your mother too).

I hadn't even thought of the marriage question.  Reg's father 
probably wasn't one of the Mr. Leroy/Consort type though, was he? 
That wasn't what was going to happen to either Tom, as far as I can 
tell.  And, I could be very wrong on this, but going on Granny's 
remark about liking Janet, despite her being no better than she 
should be, I rather doubt the illegitimacy.

>I think his mother made
>mistakes with him, being too indulgent perhaps. She may have felt
>she should have saved his father and overcompensated out of guilt.
>By the time of F&H I think she has learned from her mistakes and
>come to terms with the past, which is why she is able to be a
>much better granny to Polly than she was a Mother to Reg. I
>suppose Polly is Granny's chance to get things right, which she
>does as far as Polly's upbringing goes but I think she was always
>in two minds about Thomas Lynn.

I agree about the general over-indulging, not teaching Reg to think 
of others (Esther and Dorian's posts as well as Ven's).  Gran does 
say she's ashamed at how Reg behaved.  It's just so hard to imagine 
the indomitable Gran as a spoiling parent!  And Becca and Cara are 
living proof that a mother raising children alone doesn't necessarily 
spoil them. :)

Hallie (not really argumentative, just endlessly fascinated by Fire 
and Hemlock discussions)

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