May. 17th, 2008 12:55 am
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A little while ago on [ profile] ankaret's LJ, there was some discussion of what a set of Marlow action figures might include. My feeble suggestions were quickly followed by these two gems from [ profile] ankaret.

Lois with poseable ankle )
Giles in a fair isle jumper with optional Surfrider set )

Apologies for my fairly feeble photomanip skills.
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I've just read RAH for the first time and whilst I enjoyed it, I also found it rather disconcerting.  I found myself unsure which side AF was expecting us to take in the Edward saga and wondered what others felt.    If I've got it right, Edward was snatched by his father as a baby and taken to Switzerland, and his mother refused to follow as she didn't want to live abroad.  When Edward came back to visit, his mother then refused to let him go back to his father (who had, after all, snatched him).  As far as all the Marlows except Ann are concerned, Judith is then the demonised one, with comments about how stupid she was not to just follow him to Switzerland, and particularly how dreadful to have put him into care and all efforts are obviously put into reuniting Edward with his father.  Edward is seemingly quite disturbed by the whole thing and is fairly unpleasant throughout the whole thing.

Several things disturbed me about this book.  One was that no one seemed to communicate at all with Edward - I kept waiting for some sort of denoucement involving Edward, Judith and Felix, where there would be lots of weeping and resolving of misunderstandings, and finally an arriving at some sort of joint custody arrangement which Edward was happy with, or at least some moment when Edward would break down and we would get some glimpse of the distress he was going through, and of the complexities of what was going on.   

Another was how united the Marlows were in their pursuit of returning Edward, and how completely they dismissed Ann's opinion about it - what do you think AF wants us to feel about Ann in this book?  Her religious views are obviously against AF's own, and she comes across as rather dogmatic in othe ways - is her support of Judith meant to be another example of how she takes the side of the law without considering the facts and emotions of the case?  

Then, despite this, it seemed like AF was trying to make the point that the case wasn't cut and dried, by introducing Judith's overdose and also portraying Judith as a likeable character when she appears, but that doesn't seem to lead to much genuine reflection on the part of the Marlows, just momentary second thoughts in some cases. 

But then, after reading RAH, I felt that most of the Marlows did not get portrayed as possessing much capacity for self-reflection, and also didn't appear to communicate much with each other! Giles in particular appeared to simply decide what to do, announce it and then do it.  I was reminded of that comment made by someone (Lois Sanger?) in Cricket term I think (am just remembering so have probably got it wrong) about Nicola thinking, like Rowan, that what more could one ask out of life than to be a Marlow.  It seemed like they just acted, assuming that somehow, their very Marlowness would mean they were on the right side.   

What does anyone else think?  Will a re-reading resolve these issues, or are they intrinsic to the book? 


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If I actually post this in the correct community, it would be a start wouldn't it? *sigh*

I have a really quick query, basically how old is Giles in RAH?

I think his age is mentioned in Autumn Term so I could work it out, but I've lent my copy to someone.

Thanks - it's bugging me :D
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Hello there! I'm still working my way through the marlow books, but one thing that I really like so far are the bits when the narrative switches from Nicola's point of view to one of the others in the family.

I find it fascinating to see the family ins-and-outs from the different perspectives, it seems to become so much more three-dimensional, and I only wish Antonia Forest did it more. I like Nick a lot, but I sometimes find her limiting, and often wish I knew the true dynamics and what was really going on at the 'top' of the family, between the boys, and between the 'middles' like Ginty and Ann.

Obviously I still have some reading to do, but I think so far (in the first 4 books) I've come across the p.o.v's of nicola (obviously) and Lawrie, Peter, Ginty, and a bit of Patrick and a Teensy bit of Karen, but still no Giles, Rowan, or Ann. So I'm just curious as to whether we ever get to see through their eyes too?
(I don't mind spoilers a bit, so no worries about that!)
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The discussion about Kay below made me wonder how many children each of the Marlows would end up producing. I hope this hasn't been discussed before - if so I apologise! My thoughts are as follows:

Giles - lots, of course. Borne by a meek and long-suffering wife?
Kay - not sure. Maybe two, by a later marriage.
Rowan - I haven't decided whether Rowan will settle down in a same-sex partnership, in which case I don't think she will bother with children, or whether she will marry, initially decline children, but then suddenly decide in her mid-thirties that her biological clock is ticking and ultimately end up with two sons.
Ann - Ann will marry mid-twenties and - ironically and unfairly - have great difficulty conceiving. They will adopt two children before she finally produces a daughter.
Ginty - boy and girl? Followed by divorce?
Peter - don't know. Perhaps he will surprise everyone by becoming the real pater familias?
Nick - I reckon four boys, and would quite like them to be by Robert Anquetil.
Lawrie - after a succession of affairs with her leading men (and because she likes to shock and likes the attention probably a couple of leading ladies too), Lawrie will settle down with a somewhat older and very dashing film star, will initially reject the idea of children, but aged 37 will suddenly decide she wants one and immediately and without difficulty produce a daughter, which will really rub Ann's nose in it.

What does everyone else think?
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We know that Nicola has a fairly well-established Family Liking List, according to which she habitually ranks the members of her family, with Ann always coming last, presumably after Bucket, Tessa, and assorted Marlow horses. We might also assume that Giles tops the list, with Rowan close behind him.

My questions are (because I've just begun what looks to be hellish workday, full of politicking and collegial back-stabbing, and I fancy some Marlovian amusement on the side):

How do the rankings work in the middle of Nicola's list - who is next to Ann as second-last? Ginty? Does Lawrie figure as a kind of twinnish second-self or would she get her own independent liking ranking?

Also, f we imagine the other Marlows to have their own Family Liking Lists, how do they rank each other? (If Ann were to allow herself for a moment to be uncharitable enough to deviate from 'But of course I love them all the same - they are my family', who would she like most? Karen, who seems to be least unpleasant to her?) What does Giles really think of the Marlovian Lower Deck? Are we to assume Peter hero-worships Giles, or does his slightly-taken-aback reaction to no longer being the only male on the scene in Run Away Home indicate seething sibling-Naval rivalry?


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