[DWJ] Hello again, and beards

Carol Carr coracleg at gmail.com
Mon Sep 15 03:55:15 EDT 2014


Oh really? I always guessed sort of mid to later 20s,  given that he had
lost his youthful looks from the stress of it all. But I look forward to
your blog.

On Mon, Sep 15, 2014 at 7:51 PM, Kyra Jucovy <arykiy at gmail.com> wrote:

> Since I am on the verge of turning 33 myself, real soon now I am going to
> be blogging my demonstration that Tom Lynn was in fact 33 at the end of
> *Fire
> and Hemlock, *which I still think is an amazing Easter Egg that is just so
> clever.  Polly, of course, was 19.
>
> ---Kyra, legendarily obsessed with what ages characters are in books
>
> On Mon, Sep 15, 2014 at 1:08 PM, Janet Eastwood <
> janet.eastwood at hotmail.com>
> wrote:
>
> > Me too! I got to his age in years and days, and then the problems of
> > midsummer, leap years, and months (30/31 days) defeated me. Math is not
> my
> > strong suit.
> > Sophie also is given an unusually precise age, although she isn't
> actually
> > 18 for most of the book. Charmain's age is given by inference as well -
> she
> > has just completed year 10, which places her at 14 or 15 during her
> > adventures, depending on whether her birthday is before or after the
> > summer. (This is assuming that House of Many Ways takes place during the
> > summer, but this seems logical as Charmain is not in school at the time,
> > there are abundant flowers on the mountains and blossoming hydrangeas
> > outside Great Uncle William's house, and she is able to convince her
> mother
> > that her letter from the king is her leaving certificate, just in case
> she
> > leaves school after year 10.)
> > Actually, I wonder whether as Old Sophie her age is 78 or 90. We know
> that
> > Sophie is 18. Calcifer tells her that the Witch of the Waste's curse has
> > taken 60 years from her life, which would make Sophie 78. However, Sophie
> > repeatedly claims to be and refers to herself as 90. Sophie's
> > conversational magic makes what she says come true, and Howl and Calcifer
> > confirm that the age-curse has two layers, the Witch's and Sophie's own.
> > This can be read as the first layer (the Witch's) being reinforced, but
> not
> > otherwise altered by the second (Sophie's). It can also be read as the
> > first layer (the Witch taking 60 years) being augmented by the second
> > (Sophie making herself 90, i.e. taking a further 12 years off her own
> life).
> > Anyway, thanks, Eleanor, for calculating so precisely! I enjoy
> > celebrating, if quietly and by myself, the birthdays of fictional
> > characters, which does depend on having a known birth day :)
> > Are there any other books where the ages and dates are given so
> precisely?
> > My impression is that DWJ mostly keeps age implied, and adjustable
> > according to the reader's preference.
> > Janet
> >
> > > ------------------------------
> > >
> > > Message: 8
> > > Date: Sun, 14 Sep 2014 18:41:16 -0400
> > > From: Nic W <eawil3 at email.wm.edu>
> > > To: Diana Wynne Jones discussion <dwj at suberic.net>
> > > Subject: Re: [DWJ] Hello again, and beards
> > > Message-ID:
> > >       <
> > CAP47DS6gq47B12fkLKCt0bau0pfFLmA2ga3ByBq0V-BHYkLYHg at mail.gmail.com>
> > > Content-Type: text/plain; charset=UTF-8
> > >
> > > Haha, I once worked out his age, too, though I didn't go so far as his
> > > birthday.  Hats off to you!
> > >
> > > - Nic
> > >
> > > On Sun, Sep 14, 2014 at 6:17 PM, Eleanor Joslin <
> > eleanor at dreamvine.org.uk>
> > > wrote:
> > >
> > > > OK, the Witch of the Waste's curse on Howl is based on that John
> Donne
> > > > poem, one line of which is "Ride ten thousand days and nights".  This
> > is
> > > > where I use my inborn talent for opening books at exactly the right
> > page
> > > > without trying, and find the end of chapter 11, just after Miss
> > Angorian
> > > > has been reading him the poem:
> > > >
> > > >         "Oh, nothing," Howl said airily, leading the way back to the
> > > > yellow house called RIVENDELL.  "The Witch of the Waste has caught up
> > with
> > > > me with her curse, that's all."  He seemed to be calculating or doing
> > sums
> > > > in his head while he opened the garden gate.  "Ten thousand," Sophie
> > heard
> > > > him murmur.  "That brings it to about Midsummer Day."
> > > >         "What is brought to Midsummer Day?" asked Sophie.
> > > >         "The time I'll be ten thousand days old," Howl said.  "And
> > that,
> > > > Mrs. Nose," he said, swinging into the garden of Rivendell, "is the
> > day I
> > > > shall have to go back to the Witch of the Waste."
> > > >
> > > > Now 28 years is 10,227 days (the number of leap years is fixed at 7 -
> > > > since the Wales bit is clearly modern, we can ignore the 100-year
> > rule).
> > > > Midsummer Day is defined in different ways - I picked 23 June.
> Howl's
> > 28th
> > > > birthday falls 227 days after that, which takes it to 5 February the
> > next
> > > > year.
> > > >
> > > > Eleanor
> >
> >
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