[identity profile] thekumquat.livejournal.com
Trying to write a fic inspired by some of the recent AO3 additions and a nitpicking community post that came up shortly after. I've re-read Peter's Room and AT, but can't find my copy of RAH.

Am I right that in RAH, Patrick has been dragged to interview at Broomhill and tutors have been suggested, but nothing is confirmed other than the plan to sit his O-levels that June, which will be the same time as Ginty?
Will he still be 16, or turned 17 by then?

Prior to that, he was at his hated London day school from some time after Falconer's Lure to December in Attic Term, so is that one year and a term, or two? I think it's two and a term, so he would have been just turned fourteen and entering third year mid-year? (UIV, as Kingscote and my school would have it)

Presumably he was at a boarding school before that? Would he have been at a prep and then a Catholic boarding school for one year age 13?

Meanwhile, Dartmouth for Peter has the problem of not existing by RAH - is there any mention of Peter doing O-levels there? I'd like to think they push him towards science and practical qualifications and generally not being on their boats, just designing them Somewhere Else. I'm assuming he's then one year behind Ginty and one ahead of the twins, education-wise.

I don't recall either of their birthdays, but have an impression Peter's is spring and Patrick's summer - anyone know?

Posted via m.livejournal.com.

[identity profile] bookroom.livejournal.com
Hi all, am new here, but can't see that this has been discussed before.

I was reading End of Term recently, and got thinking about whether AF's account of who precisely can tell Niccola and Lawrie apart stands up to scrutiny (aside entirely from the implausibility of their mother not being able to find the merest freckle, mole or scar to distinguish the unconscious Lawrie from Nicola in The Marlows and the Traitor.) There are lots of indications, not surprisingly, that members of staff and other Kingscote girls who don't know them that well can't tell them apart throughout the series. What interested me more in End of Term was the extent to which their siblings and close friends and classmates can or can't distinguish them.

When Lawrie and Nicola switch for the netball match after Lawrie bruises her leg, they sleep in one another's beds, and Ginty and Ann don't spot the ruse in the morning when Lawrie (as Nicola) pretends to be ill, though Nick at least seems to have a moment of tension when she's afraid Ann will realise - but both twins seem to be able to presume that neither of their sisters will see through the switch, or presumably they would have known in advance it would never have worked. Nick walks in to the gym, and Miranda, her best friend, likewise thinks she's Lawrie until she's told otherwise. Yet when they go in to breakfast Tim knows immediately Nick isn't Lawrie, and we're told she 'had never had the least difficulty in telling them apart'. From Nicola remembering what Peter once told her about how Lawrie always hitched at her stockings and Nick put her hands in her pockets, presumably he can tell them apart too (despite seeing an awful lot less of them than their sisters)? It's unclear whether Jan Scott has guessed before Lois guesses 'Lawrie' is really Nick, while watching her play brilliantly in the netball match, but it emerges that the outcast Marie Dobson has guessed, based simply on the way in which Nick bumped into her and apologised in the gym doorway earlier that day.

Is it plausible that siblings who share a room with the twins would be taken in by an identical twin switch, basing their interpretation of who was who entirely on situation stuff like who was in which bed/wearing which games kit etc? Is Ann just too honest and straightforward to suspect, and Ginty too self-absorbed, and we are to assume that the redoubtable Rowan would have seen through it in a millisecond, even if all concerned were wearing identical school uniform?

Are there ever any indications that any of the other Marlows can't tell the twins apart? Why has Tim never had any difficulty telling them apart, yet observant, intelligent Miranda is fooled initially, when Marie Dobson isn't? (Just that Tim has known both twins since the start of their schooldays, and is Lawrie's best friend, while Miranda only becomes Nick's close friend at the start of End of Term? Or has Marie's outcast status sharpened her powers of observation when it comes to pranks she's being left out of? She's sharp and sly enough to check Nicola's hat name tag to confirm her suspicions.) Esther is a new girl at the start of End of Term, and very diffident, but there is never the slightest reference to her checking that she's talking to Nick, rather than Lawrie, in the way that, say, Jess Geddes does when they find the hawk carving in the Minster.

Anyway, just wondered what anyone else's thoughts were. Is it plausible that even siblings' recognition of identical twins might depend heavily on context (that is Nick's bed, therefore the person in it is Nick)..?
[identity profile] theladymoppet.livejournal.com
I recently snapped up reasonably-priced copies of PR and CT and re-read them for the first time in quite a few years. Here are some of my thoughts:

1. The Bronte discussion in the library in PR is fascinating but are we really supposed to agree with Karen that Gondal and Angria were a complete waste of time? Charlotte gave up Angria but it's an obvious influence on the Rochester backstory in Jane Eyre. I seem to remember from Juliet Barker's biography of the Brontes that Wuthering Heights is much more of a Gondal story than it seems as the Gondal setting was similar to Yorkshire. If Gondal and Angria were essential to the published works, weren't they a necessary part of the Brontes' creative development? Has critical opinion changed on this in the decades since PR was published?

2. When Peter pins Nicola down and twists her arm behind her back, it seems cruel and out of character for him. It could just be that he hasn't quite realised that he is getting too strong to fight with her like they did as children - but then I remembered that Foley does something similar to Nicola in TMATT and I wondered if Peter was subconsciously copying him. Foley gets mentioned in PR (because of the treachery theme coming up again I guess) and it's stated that Peter doesn't remember all that happened. I wondered if the arm-twisting incident was something he internalised and is now acting out - so that, whatever he says, Foley is still an influence on him.

3. Cricket Term - how far ahead is Karen planning? She tells Nicola that Colebridge Grammar is one of her arguments for staying in the Tranters' cottage. I wonder if she is looking ahead to starting a family of her own, because if they save on school fees and/or her family waive the rent for the cottage it makes it harder for Edwin to say they can't afford any more children. I can't see him being keen on going through the dirty nappy stage again and maybe she is already thinking how to counter his arguments?

Otherwise, I'm not sure why Karen is so keen to stay near to Trennels. Edwin doesn't get on that well with her family and you would think they'd do better making a fresh start further away.
[identity profile] geebengrrl.livejournal.com
Can you help?

1. In Peter's Room, Peter, Rowan and Karen are in the bathroom. Peter draws 'an X on the surface of the water in the basin to avert a quarrel'. What does this mean?

2. In Run Away Home, during all the hoo-ha about Nick borrowing Ann's bike to go to Mass at the Merrick's, Rowan says, "I ought to warn you that when old Ramsay [I assume this is their local vicar] does his duty by the A.S.B first Sunday of the month, our mama cuts Matins and goes to evensong instead." What's ASB, why is Ramsay involved avd why would that make Mrs Marlow change her church-going habits?

[identity profile] leapingirbis.livejournal.com
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?
[identity profile] chazzbanner.livejournal.com
Here's another 'I wish we'd find out' question

In Ready-Made Family it is said that it took many years for Nicola to repair her relationship with Fob, after the afternoon on the beach with the shipwreck.

I find myself wondering whether it was an event or events that helped this happen, or whether it was simply the passage of time.

(I find the Peter-centeredness of Fob's universe to be annoying, though I know some find the Nicola-centeredness of the books in general to be equally annoying!)
[identity profile] pisica.livejournal.com
I just finished The Marlows and the Traitor and wondered if anyone knew the answer to the riddle that is the author's note - that the book takes place between 1946 and 1949, which you'll get if you know some piece of esoteric information that has to do with Peter. I don't know it. Does anyone here? My best guess is that after 1949 you couldn't be training for the navy if you were however young he was.
[identity profile] res23.livejournal.com
Let's hope this works. I have finally remembered my user name, but it's taken me ages to remember how to post a new message instead of a comment...

Anyway, I've always wondered what the various Marlow siblings were like as children, and a comment in the thread below about prequels made me think about it even more. I find the twins different in Autumn Term than pretty much everywhere else, somehow very much younger (Nick jumping out of the train, etc). And I'd be curious about how much all the others changed as they grew up, too. It would be easiest to write a prequel with them all much as they are now - Ann being very good, Rowan still supremely confident, Kay very academic, but I think that would be losing something. Was Rowan as insecure as Nick sometimes is about her capabilities? Was Ann always so at peace with helping everyone, or did she sometimes resent it more as a child? Was Karen ever silly? How did Ginty's bomb shelter experience change her? Was she always pretty, and did she notice as a child, or is some of her shallowness later on a result of that? What was Lawrie like before she realised she was supremely good at acting? (and indeed, was that actually known before the play in Autumn Term? It seemed like it was really sort of discovered then - was Nick always seen as the one who was best at everything before then?) Did Peter hide his fears just as well as a child? (I guess we get some clues in Falconer's Lure, that Patrick at least knew some of them. Come to that, we also hear a little about Nick as a child in that one too, wanting to trail after the boys), and a million other similar questions... So, what do you think all the characters were like as children??
[identity profile] tabouli.livejournal.com
Some questions for the Forest Folk:

1. In Cricket Term, Miss Kempe suggests that Lawrie read Fellowship of the Ring to give her a better idea of the sort of creatures Ariel is. On which creatures do you think she wanted Lawrie to model her performance? Surely not the hobbits, who are of the rustic, earthy persuasion. But who, then? The Black Riders fit the "almost immortal but less than human" bill, but they're also menacing and creepy, which Ariel isn't (not from my dimly remembered reading of him, anyway). The ethereal, melodious elves, perhaps? (I also wonder about AF's take on LOTR, writing that into Cricket Term. Did she read much fantasy?)

2. In Ready-Made Family, Peter refers to Edwin several times as "your old man". Are there parts of the Anglophone world where "your old man" is used for "your husband", or is Peter using it in a more literal sense, because to him Edwin is so old? In Australia, "your old man" is, as far as I know, only ever used to mean "your father".
[identity profile] debodacious.livejournal.com
In her review of the Girls Gone By Thuggery Affair in the latest Folly Sue Sims suggests that TTA is the least popular book of the Marlow canon because it is the most dated, and includes references to Cilla Black and Cliff Richard, together with the Thuggery brand of idiosyncratic teenspeak. Now, I am actually rather fond of The Thuggery Affair - I love Lawrie and her outrageously unMarlow behaviour in the cinema, I like Peter more here than elsewhere and I always enjoy Patrick and Jukie's drive through the night. When I first read it I think my way of dealing with the slang was to approach it like A Clockwork Orange - I had got to the end of the book and worked out translations for Alex and his droogs before I found the glossary.

Practically everything Girlsownish that I read was written either before I was born or when I was very young and is therefore dated in some way. I was wondering if the reason people are bothered by the datedness of TTA is because it is comparatively recent - does this make it less acceptable than a school story full of 20s slang, or Georgette Heyer's Regency buckspeak?

Tell me what you think.
[identity profile] childeproof.livejournal.com
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?
owl: Nicola Marlow (nicola)
[personal profile] owl
I happened to be poking about on Wikipedia, and I came across this photographic agency, which happens to have a Peter Marlow on its list. I find this an amusing coincidence, especially considering that our own P. Marlow seems less than keen on remaining in the Navy forever, and could well change his career to something he finds more enjoyable.
[identity profile] intrepid--fox.livejournal.com
Oursin's thoughts about Ann's Marlovian qualities made me think about Peter's. I mean, just how Marlovian is he, when you really think about him? He's scared of heights (can't imagine his naval ancestors gibbering in the rigging, somehow) and this fear, coupled with his pointblank refusal to admit to it, gets him into major strife, like freezing on the cliffs, and feeling pressured into breaking back into the Foley house, all just in case people might suspect something most of them already know anyway.

He's got appalling taste in friends, starting with horrid Hugh and kleptomaniac Dickie as described in Traitor, and extending all the way up to Foley. He and Patrick seem to be friends more through force of circumstance than genuine liking. And you can't help suspecting that his mate Selby at Dartmouth is as dull as ditchwater, can you? Of course, you could argue that poor taste in friends is a trait he shares with Ginty, Karen and possibly Lawrie (Ann doesn't have any friends that we ever see).

Possibly because of all the strongminded siblings he's surrounded by, he's underconfident and has a tendency to be dominated by others (Patrick, Rowan, Giles). And in his turn, he tends to bully other people when he feels he can get away with it, shading into the sadistic when he's acting the part of the chief brigand in Peter's Room.

Although he's good at sailing, there's no particular reason to suspect that he's got anything else which will enable him to make a successful career as a naval officer: he's got no head for navigation, panics under pressure and makes seriously stupid decisions about the best way of handling crises (hmm, we have a large gang of drug-dealing thugs. Tell you what, I'll get a bunch of them to chase me round the countryside brandishing bicycle chains and razors, while you break into their house and my (presumably) virginal and inexperienced young sister is left on her own with a horny and experienced gang-member. What's that? Let the police handle it? Naah.)

Thoughts, anyone?


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