[DWJ] Age in F&H

Kyra Jucovy arykiy at gmail.com
Tue Oct 7 13:32:18 EDT 2014

Too busy to respond to emails just now, but, quickly, it was Eleanor, not
me, who calculated Howl's birthday, so please give her due credit!

On 8 Oct 2014 01:22, "Janet Eastwood" <janet.eastwood at hotmail.com> wrote:

> Kyra, it's been a private game of mine to figure out the ages and
> birthdays of people in books for years, but you leave me entirely in the
> dust with your calculations on Howl (the question of leap years always
> threw me, also the different number of days in each month - I could get
> down to how many years and what fraction of a year Howl was at Midsummer,
> but not much further than that) and now Tom. Seriously impressive!
> So now a question (or two):
> 1. How do you calculate the ages of the characters in Dark Lord of
> Derkholm and Year of the Griffin?
> In DLD, Shona is 17, Kit is 15, Blade and Calette are 14, Don and Lydda
> are 13, and Elda is 10. Titus is roughly 17, Reville unknown but in the
> 17-25 range, and Sukey is roughly 17. (I know I'm missing Geoffrey; his age
> is never given even in "he looked about *x* years" terms.)
> In YG (8 years after DLD), Elda would then be 18, Ruskin is 35, Blade and
> Callette are 22, and Kit is 23. But what about Claudia, Titus, and Lukin?
> Claudia met Blade when she was 14, which if I assume was during the last
> year of the tours makes her 22 (Derk does visit some uncooperative
> marshfolk, with Blade tagging along to do the translocations for the two of
> them); but there's no indication of *when* she met him - it could have
> been earlier. For some reason my notes include a faint penciling of 17 or
> 18?
> Titus was 9 the year Claudia was born, which adds to the confusion,
> because if Titus was approximately 17 during the last tour, he would be 25
> in YG, which would make Claudia 8 during DLD and 16 during YG. 16 seems
> much too young for Claudia to be going to the University; also, as Blade is
> 22, makes his attraction to her (in YG) slightly less likely.
> And then Lukin. His mother took the children and left King Luther when
> Lukin was 10. This was during the tours, but we don't know how long before
> they ended. When Luther mentions this fact to Querida during the meeting at
> the beginning of DLD, there is no indication that everyone else either was
> shocked, or knew this already. Have you caught any other references that
> would pinpoint these more precisely?
> Sorry for the lack of page numbers!
> 2. And question two, I co-run a blog (if co- can be used on one of four),
> and I'm planning a post on characters' birthdays, starting a list of whose
> birthdays are when. I like to celebrate favourite characters' birthdays;
> JKR has been most helpful this way. Would you mind if I give Howl's
> birthday, according to your math? If so, how would you like to be cited?
> Janet
> > ------------------------------
> >
> > Message: 6
> > Date: Tue, 7 Oct 2014 13:05:44 +0800
> > From: Kyra Jucovy <arykiy at gmail.com>
> >
> > Dear all,
> >
> > As promised in a message to the list a few weeks ago, here is a
> textual proof that Tom Lynn, at the end of *Fire and Hemlock*, is 33:
> >
> > 1) Tom is ten years older than Seb: "Tom's ten years older than I
> am." (Part 4, Chapter 6, pg. 376)
> >
> > 2) Seb was fifteen when he and Polly met on the train: "Quite apart
> from the fact that Seb was guarding her, she had not the least idea what
> you talked about to boys of fifteen." (Part 2, Chapter 3, pg. 174)
> >
> > 3) Polly was eleven when she met Seb on the train, making her four
> years younger than Seb: "Granny did give Polly a birthday present after
> all. Polly was staying with Granny the week she was eleven, because Dad
> was coming back to settle up who was to have what." (Part 2, Chapter 1,
> pg. 133); "Halfway through the summer term, a little before Polly's
> twelfth birthday, a packet came for her through the post." (Part 2, Chapter
> 4, pg. 183)
> >
> > 4) Just to emphasize that, even though they met on the train in the
> spring and the book ends in October, the age gap should be the same in
> October, at the start of the book in the October nine years previously
> Polly was ten: "That was when she was how old? Ten?" (Part 1, Chapter 1,
> pg. 14); and she thought Seb was fourteen: "He was in a grey suit and
> looked as respectable as the rest, and he was rather old too - at least
> fourteen, Polly thought." (Part 1, Chapter 2, pg. 22). This isn't
> sufficient evidence on its own because Polly wasn't sure at the time, but
> combined with the fact that she was sure he was four years older than she
> on the train a year and a half later (possibly with the help of her added
> retrospective knowledge based on, you know, being engaged to him) AND the
> fact that it all works out to make Tom 33 at the end of the book, it helps.
> >
> > 5) Polly is nineteen at the end of the book: "And the habit died hard,
> even at the age of nineteen." (Part 1, Chapter 1, pg. 13)
> >
> > 6) Hence, Seb is four years older than she and thus 23; Tom is ten
> years older than that and thus 33.
> >
> > Regrettably, I forgot to copy down the details of my F&H edition,
> but hopefully the part and chapter numbers will help anyway. . . .
> >
> > I will always think that this is the most amazingly awesome Easter
> Egg ever. You have to be obsessive about finding out people's ages in
> books even to realize!
> >
> > ----Kyra
> >

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