The Princess Bride (was Re: McKillip)

Melissa Proffitt Melissa at Proffitt.com
Wed Sep 5 00:17:11 EDT 2001


On Tue, 4 Sep 2001 20:31:19 +0100, Dorian E. Gray wrote:

>Melissa said...

>> And I'm reading _A College of Magics_ and have already figured out why I
>> thought it was Regency when it's actually Edwardian, but I'll save that for
>> later.
>
>Well?  It's later - why did you? :-)

Pushy, pushy, pushy...  :)  It took me FOREVER to finish this book!  Not
because it's boring or anything, but because people kept interrupting me for
stuff like dinner and bloody noses.  It was all very frustrating.

This will contain spoilers for _A College of Magics_.  They occur further
down the message, so this is the only warning I will give.  If you don't
want the plot revealed to you, for heaven's sake stop reading now and go
read the book.

This time, I figured out almost immediately that it was supposed to be early
20th century, with the references to cars, trains, and King Edward of
England (though it's possible that it's a different Edward, I think the
combination of hints implies that this at least follows our own world's
history).  I also realized that I'd read the book longer ago than I'd first
thought, because none of the historical elements had meant anything to me at
that time.  It's only in the last three years or so that I've read anything
that gave me a context for that historical period.  Now, having read not
only _Three Men in a Boat_ but also the Peter Wimsey books and Laurie King's
Mary Russell novels, _A College of Magics_ made more sense.  I totally did
not pick up on the trains and the cars and things before (or, I suppose I
did notice them, but they didn't mean anything at the time).

On the other hand, I had remembered it as a Regency era story when it was
actually set about a hundred years later.  The first reason for this is (as
above) my lack of education.  I also associated Stevermer with _Sorcery and
Cecilia_ and I think I assumed the two books were more similar than they
are.  That's as far as I'd gotten when I wrote the above post.

The other reason, which I came up with after finishing the book, was that
the parts of the book that stuck with me the first time were all related to
Galazon and Faris's thwarted betrothal to King Julian.  (Also the surprise
ending, but that didn't have any bearing on my sense of what era the story
belongs to.) And those bits all seem to belong to an earlier time than the
rest of the book.  The idea that Brinker could negotiate such a thing and
have it work seemed archaic by contrast to the university and the trains and
the educational model.  Maybe if I'd read _The Prisoner of Zenda_ it would
make more sense, but even that book takes place in the late 19th century, so
maybe not.  At any rate, that's why I was confused.

Happy now?  :)

Melissa Proffitt
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