Dating Chrestomanci/Caprona

Belben, Philip Philip.Belben at
Thu Aug 7 12:30:21 EDT 2003

Hello again.  I don't know how long it is since I last posted, but it
feels like ages!  I was in a nasty car crash a few weeks ago, and when I
went to work I was feeling so wobbly that my boss insisted I see a
doctor.  The doctor gave me two weeks off work, which I followed up with
a week on holiday (a music course).  This week I have been catching up
on my e-mail...

Kyra De-lurked:

> I'm quite confident that in my copy of _Witch Week_ the journal
> that the students write are all dated, in October and November of (I
> think) 1980.  I remember this because it was always slightly

I think that's right.  Also interesting is the date (1983?) is
explicitly given on some of the official forms in Magicians of Caprona.

> simultaneously, it had only just missed ;-).  When exactly WW takes
> place in relationship to _Charmed Life_ is an open question, but
> Chrestomanci still speaks of Janet as his "ward" in it, which I
suspect he
> wouldn't do if it took place sufficiently long after for Janet to be
> up.  So I always assumed exactly what Paul did.

My feelings exactly.

Further evidence is that Janet, coming from our world, is surprised at
the low-tech of Cat's world.  And in Witch Week, one of the questions
Chrestomanci asks when trying to identify the world is "How long have
you had decimal currency?"

On the subject of analogues, who says Henry V had no analogue in
Chrestomanci's world?  There was no king of that name, but he needn't
have been king to exist.  And analogues don't even have to have the same
name, do they?  (Gwendolen, Janet, Romillia, Caroline... I think one
other was named.  Jennifer?)

I'm not totally certain that parents of analogues have to be analogues,
either.  I'm not aware that this is discussed, though.

On the subject of analogues of great inventors, the difference in
character between Gwendolen and her analogues suggests that they
wouldn't have been frustrated inventors in XII A.  On the other hand,
the correspondence of the Casa Montana indicates that Enzo Ferrari
probably had an analogue who became a motor car pioneer, and the
analogues of Rolls and Royce got together just as they did here.

One thing does puzzle me, though.  All the letters from Chrestomanci to
Frank Chant were hand-written.  Not just the two that C. wrote himself,
but the one that was written by [a secretary] and signed by C.  And yet
in Lives, Chrestomanci Castle definitely has typewriters.  I am
surprised that the third letter ("Sir, you were warned ....  Nor is this
a charitable institution") was not typed.  I suspect that DWJ had second
thoughts about how low-tech she wanted this world to be.

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