[DWJ] Monthly Read-Along - Charmed Life

Andrea Höst andreakhost at gmail.com
Mon Nov 5 17:54:02 EST 2012

One discussion point which was raised on a different forum about the
Chrestomancis was the set-up of having a white "English" man dispensing
justice and judgment over not only his whole world, but a number of other
world.  The question of what gives him/his government authority over any of
these people.

[Also, strong lack of female Chrestomancis.]

On 5 November 2012 14:15, <jodel at aol.com> wrote:

> >>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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Andrea K Host
andreakhost at gmail.com


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