dwj-digest (Diana Wynne Jones) V1 #978
pandinac at ucc.gu.uwa.edu.au
Tue Feb 8 22:55:21 EST 2005
On Tue, 8 Feb 2005 JOdel at aol.com wrote:
> In Chrestomanci's world either factories are not so widespread or
> the conditions are not so good that people are seeking employment
> there rather than going into domestic service. OR; the situation at
> Chrestomanci Castle is misleading, since all of the members of that
> household are magic users and a part of the staff of a governmental
> office and the appearance of "castle with servants" is to some
> degree an illusion and not necessarily a representative picture of
> that world's society in action.
In 'The Lives of Christopher Chant', servants were common - the Castle
had them, Dr Pawson had them, Christopher's parents had them (as
presumably did other people - the constant stream of governesses had
to be coming from *somewhere*).
But, come to think of it, the situation does seem to be somewhat
different by the later books (he said vaguely - time for more
re-reading, I think). It's not just what you said about 'Charmed
Life'; there's also the way in 'The Magicians of Caprona' servants are
an item of conspicuous consumption, not an essential of everyday life.
I don't think I recall factories ever being mentioned.
I was going to point out that at least some servants have relevant
magics that would make their jobs easier than our-world counterparts;
but the Castle servants appear to be exceptional in this respect.
"Hold fast to the one noble thing."
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