[DWJ] Hello again, and beards

hschinske at aol.com hschinske at aol.com
Mon Sep 15 12:35:53 EDT 2014


He can't be that young, given that he's definitely a grown-up, not a 
teenager, when they first meet at the funeral. Isn't Polly nine then? 
So if he was over 20 then, he'd have to be over 30 by the end of the 
book.

I spent a long time trying to find where it says how old Aidan Cain is 
in Enchanted Glass. He finally turned out to be twelve, pretty much 
exactly the age of my son when the book came out.

Helen

-----Original Message-----
From: Carol Carr <coracleg at gmail.com>
To: Diana Wynne Jones discussion <dwj at suberic.net>
Sent: Mon, Sep 15, 2014 12:55 am
Subject: Re: [DWJ] Hello again, and beards


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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