[DWJ] Monthly Read-Along - Charmed Life

jodel at aol.com jodel at aol.com
Sun Nov 4 22:15:04 EST 2012

>>I have been noticing in Jones that the good guys are very often at the top of 
the social order--such as Crestomanci in his mansion--something one finds much 
less often in American fiction.  We all grew up from younger sons, 
disenfranchised folk, runaways, slaves, etc. and don't much expect the people 
running things to be honorable or dependable.

Jameela Lares
Professor of English
The University of Southern Mississippi<<

It sometimes looks that way, but I'd say that DWJ is more solidly in the E. Nesbit camp of giving adventures to mostly middle-class children. There are exceptions (Mitt in Drowned Ahmet is the first that comes to moind, but I'm sure there are others). And the people "in charge" in DWJ are so often making a thoroughgoing botch of it.

Adventures for the middle-class made a lot of sense in Nesbit's day, since children of the poor wouldn't be as likely to be reading her books (apart from the rare Dickie Hardings), and may have already been holding down jobs, anyway.

By mid-20th century there was a lot less excuse for that. But it seems to have been a fairly common trope which is only somewhat breaking down even now.

But Chrestomancy Castle is not an indication of upper class background. It's a Government facility and the title is a government office. Christopher Chant himself probably qualifies as genteel in origins, but his part of it are sort of "poor relations" and his own particular branch of the family are largely considered a somewhat disreputable example of a misalliance. The certainly weren't rich enough to support the style of living that his mother considered her due.


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