[DWJ] Monthly Read-Along - Charmed Life

erikagillian at gmail.com erikagillian at gmail.com
Tue Nov 6 00:35:09 EST 2012

I'd call it Edwardian but that's a bit nitpicking.   Edwardian would technically be 1901-10 but I tend to think of it as early Upstairs, Downstairs.

"Levi W." <zebraspotz at gmail.com> wrote:

>Wow, good point about the imperialism.
>I'm sure I'm not the only one who thinks about what it would be like to be
>dropped into the world of whatever book you're reading.  It's all the more
>appropriate in *Charmed Life* when that's basically what happened to
>Janet---you have to wonder how you'd react.  And then I have to adjust for
>me being a queer, very butch Jew.  :/
>Please forgive my ignorance of British history, but world 12A is still best
>described as "Victorian," right?  Whatever the era, it always made me think
>of the 1890s and early 1900s.  One assumes that the action of *Charmed
>Life* takes
>place in the 1970s, when the book was published.  There must have been
>social (and fashion!) changes in the last 70 or 80 years---are they just
>invisible from our limited perspective, or is it the implied lack of World
>Wars/toned down Industrial Revolution, or what?
>Didn't DWJ once say that the reason there hadn't been a female Chrestomanci
>yet was sexism?  But it wasn't even clear to me from the books whether
>women *could* be enchanters.  There also seems to be a division between
>nine-lived ones and single?-lived ones (such as Uncle Ralph, I think? it's
>been too long since I read *Lives*), and I would still like to know whether
>there are two- or eight-lived enchanters.
>On Mon, Nov 5, 2012 at 5:54 PM, Andrea Höst <andreakhost at gmail.com> wrote:
>> 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
>> www.andreakhost.com
>> ---
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