Author Topic: Reading/Book Pet Peeves  (Read 255880 times)

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Jocelyn

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #330 on: February 10, 2013, 02:51:30 PM »
I meant 'public school' in the British sense. :)
Vanity Fair wasn't published til 40 years after Taffy's supposed school girl days; and even so, did daughters of dukes attend boarding schools at that time? I thought governesses were pretty much the standard for the early 19th century for those of highest rank.

Twik

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #331 on: February 10, 2013, 04:09:30 PM »
I suppose it depends on what "high born" means.

Orphaned daughters of dukes would not likely go to boarding schools in 1815. However, remember that Jane Eyre was, if not an aristocrat, might be considered "high born" if it means "not descended from working people". And look what she got as a school! I would presume that there would be some sort of school for in Regency times for children who were not wealthy enough to be provided with home education, but were not at a social level to be sent to the workhouse or apprenticed to a trade.
My cousin's memoir of love and loneliness while raising a child with multiple disabilities will be out on Amazon soon! Know the Night, by Maria Mutch, has been called "full of hope, light, and companionship for surviving the small hours of the night."

Jocelyn

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #332 on: February 10, 2013, 06:19:25 PM »
I suppose it depends on what "high born" means.

Orphaned daughters of dukes would not likely go to boarding schools in 1815. However, remember that Jane Eyre was, if not an aristocrat, might be considered "high born" if it means "not descended from working people". And look what she got as a school! I would presume that there would be some sort of school for in Regency times for children who were not wealthy enough to be provided with home education, but were not at a social level to be sent to the workhouse or apprenticed to a trade.
Well, I'd consider that there needed to be a title attached to the father of a high-born child. ;D
  I realize that even in America, an 'orphan' might be a child who had lost only one parent, but surely a surviving parent wouldn't want their child to have the label of having graduated from an orphan's school attached to them. And if the child is a true orphan, who's paying for the school? Seems like a very risky financial venture to have ONLY orphans at your school, even if you did have a wealthy benefactor.

nuit93

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #333 on: February 10, 2013, 06:24:45 PM »

My mom has recently discovered that she has spent over $600 US since we gave her a kindle for her birthday in September. This is with a self imposed limit of not spending over $2 on an e-book.
I've spent less than that, and I have close to 1200 books on mine-most of which I'll never have time to read, but if they're free... ::)

I have a Nook, but I haven't bought a single book for it yet.  I did, however, go NUTS downloading stuff from the Gutenberg files.

Slartibartfast

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #334 on: February 10, 2013, 08:35:18 PM »
There were actually a fairly substantial number of "orphaned" children who were in fact illegitimate kids of titled/noble fathers.  If the father deigned to give any money for the child's care and education, [as I understand it] sometimes the story was given that the child was an "orphan" and a rich person had taken a "special interest" in their well-being.

Firecat

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #335 on: February 10, 2013, 09:32:33 PM »
There were actually a fairly substantial number of "orphaned" children who were in fact illegitimate kids of titled/noble fathers.  If the father deigned to give any money for the child's care and education, [as I understand it] sometimes the story was given that the child was an "orphan" and a rich person had taken a "special interest" in their well-being.

I think I also remember reading that some wealthy young ladies who got pregnant out of wedlock would take a long trip to the European Continent, and bring the child back as a "foundling" she "adopted."

Twik

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #336 on: February 10, 2013, 10:07:45 PM »
I agree that a lot of children were probably illegitimate (even Dickens mentions that in Nicholas Nickleby). On the other hand, Dickens and Bronte also address the issue of "poor relations" - the children of your improvident cousin, say, who married for love, and then died in childbirth. You (the titled, wealthy aristocrat) don't want to throw them out to starve, but you don't want them hanging around your home, either. Presto, the solution is a boarding school, where you can take care of the problem in a "decent" manner, in as inexpensive a way as possible. I do get the idea from Jane Eyre that these schools were not a recent invention, so possibly they stretched back to Regency days.
My cousin's memoir of love and loneliness while raising a child with multiple disabilities will be out on Amazon soon! Know the Night, by Maria Mutch, has been called "full of hope, light, and companionship for surviving the small hours of the night."

Barney girl

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #337 on: February 11, 2013, 04:34:06 AM »
I meant 'public school' in the British sense. :)
Vanity Fair wasn't published til 40 years after Taffy's supposed school girl days; and even so, did daughters of dukes attend boarding schools at that time? I thought governesses were pretty much the standard for the early 19th century for those of highest rank.

Sorry, that's me making assumptions.
I'd wondered whether to add in about Vanity Fair's date of publication. (particularly as I remember adding a whole chunk of it into an exam essay in school on early nineteenth century novels, then suddenly remembering it wasn't!
I'd been working been working on the assumption that Thackeray was writing relatively close in time after the period in which he set the book that he would know that such schools existed, but I'd agree with you that Public Schools in the UK sense didn't exist for girls then.

By the way, for any one interested, I read a fascinating book "Dotheboys and Beyond" at Christmas. It's initially research into the origins of Dotheboys Hall, but moves on into a general account of education for boys in the nineteenth century and how it improved with the introduction of the County Schools, which gave a much more rounded education than the public schools.

iridaceae

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #338 on: February 11, 2013, 05:09:56 AM »


Well, I'd consider that there needed to be a title attached to the father of a high-born child. ;D
  I realize that even in America, an 'orphan' might be a child who had lost only one parent, but surely a surviving parent wouldn't want their child to have the label of having graduated from an orphan's school attached to them. And if the child is a true orphan, who's paying for the school? Seems like a very risky financial venture to have ONLY orphans at your school, even if you did have a wealthy benefactor.

An orphan can have money.

LifeOnPluto

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #339 on: February 11, 2013, 06:02:23 AM »
I was reading a (traditionally published) book recently, written by a British author, and set on an island near Papua New Guinea. One of the main characters is Australian. She tells the other characters that when she was 16, she joined the "Sydney Police Department".

Ok. Firstly, there is no such thing as the "Sydney Police Department". If she was working as a cop in Sydney, she would belong to the New South Wales Police Force. Secondly, you have to be at least 18 to join. There's no way they'd admit a 16 year old. The book just lost all credibility for me at that point.


Margo

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #340 on: February 11, 2013, 06:25:48 AM »
There were girls boarding schools in regency times - I've recently been re-reading Jane Auten's 'Emma' and Emma's friend, Harriet Smith is at a boarding school in the village, with the owner of the school being one of the ladies who can be relied upon when Mr Woodhouse wants people to come to play cards with him of an evening.

In her description of the school, which I think is described as having about 40 pupils, Austen describes it as an 'honest, old fashioned boarding school' and makes a few digs at other schools, so I guess they were pretty common.

I would have thought that it was more likely to be  middle class girls who would go, daughters of sucessful merchants etc rather than those of the landed gentry (going back to Austen again, there's no suggestion of any of her heroines going away to school, he assumption seems to be that you either have a governess (with additional tutors for things such as music, dancing or drawing as required) or are taught by your own mother. (remember Lady Catherine de Bourg's comments about Mrs Bennett must have been a slave to her daughters' education, when told they had no governess?)

An illegitimate child might well be placed at school, by her father, to give her a better chance than if she stayed with her mother.

I would have expected that the orphaned child of an aristocrat would be more likely to have an establishment formed for her, either in her own house, or elsewhere, rather than be sent to school. Her guardian or nearest relation might well either take her to live with them, or move into her own property to care for her.

Seraphia

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #341 on: February 11, 2013, 09:17:14 AM »
There were girls boarding schools in regency times - I've recently been re-reading Jane Auten's 'Emma' and Emma's friend, Harriet Smith is at a boarding school in the village, with the owner of the school being one of the ladies who can be relied upon when Mr Woodhouse wants people to come to play cards with him of an evening.

In her description of the school, which I think is described as having about 40 pupils, Austen describes it as an 'honest, old fashioned boarding school' and makes a few digs at other schools, so I guess they were pretty common.

I would have thought that it was more likely to be  middle class girls who would go, daughters of sucessful merchants etc rather than those of the landed gentry (going back to Austen again, there's no suggestion of any of her heroines going away to school, he assumption seems to be that you either have a governess (with additional tutors for things such as music, dancing or drawing as required) or are taught by your own mother. (remember Lady Catherine de Bourg's comments about Mrs Bennett must have been a slave to her daughters' education, when told they had no governess?)

An illegitimate child might well be placed at school, by her father, to give her a better chance than if she stayed with her mother.

I would have expected that the orphaned child of an aristocrat would be more likely to have an establishment formed for her, either in her own house, or elsewhere, rather than be sent to school. Her guardian or nearest relation might well either take her to live with them, or move into her own property to care for her.

That's not entirely true - in Persuasion, Anne was sent away to school shortly after her mother died. That's why she didn't like Bath, and where she meets her school-friend Mrs. Smith who comes into play later in the novel. Also, I remember another character (Isabella?) complaining that no children had ever had such long school holidays as the little Musgroves, so presumably they were being sent to school also.

It does seem pretty far-fetched that a school would be established solely for orphans though. At least some of them would be charitable cases, and the proprietor(ess) would have to charge pretty exorbitant rates to the other pupils to make up the difference.
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Lynn2000

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #342 on: February 11, 2013, 11:54:04 AM »
I recently read a pretty good book that nonetheless kind of peeved me by the end. It's called Napoleon's Buttons and it's non-fiction, a blend of science and history--how history has been shaped by chemistry, like the search for certain spices opening up world exploration, how plastics changed the economy, etc.. I like that sort of thing, and it's really pretty good. The conceit of the title is the idea that the tin buttons of Napoleon's soldiers' uniforms might have crumbled away in the cold Russian winter, contributing to the massive failure of that invasion. They mention this in the introduction--with lots of qualifiers and maybes and perhapses--and then they never talk about it again!

So basically, the book called Napoleon's Buttons has very little to do with Napoleon or buttons. It just irritated me because they didn't have to pick that as a title, they could have chosen a lot of other things and I would have been perfectly happy with the book. But I kept waiting for the chapter on Napoleon and the buttons, and it never came. It's like those older, small movies that release new DVD covers with a big star's face on them, even though the star was little-known when they did the movie and only appears in it for two minutes.

I vaguely remember reading another book, something about "reigning queens of England" before Elizabeth, where you really had to stretch the definition of "queen," "reigning," and "England" to make all the entries fit the title. They were all before Elizabeth I, though.  ::)
~Lynn2000

Tabby Uprising

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #343 on: February 11, 2013, 01:35:56 PM »
I recently read a pretty good book that nonetheless kind of peeved me by the end. It's called Napoleon's Buttons and it's non-fiction, a blend of science and history--how history has been shaped by chemistry, like the search for certain spices opening up world exploration, how plastics changed the economy, etc.. I like that sort of thing, and it's really pretty good. The conceit of the title is the idea that the tin buttons of Napoleon's soldiers' uniforms might have crumbled away in the cold Russian winter, contributing to the massive failure of that invasion. They mention this in the introduction--with lots of qualifiers and maybes and perhapses--and then they never talk about it again!

So basically, the book called Napoleon's Buttons has very little to do with Napoleon or buttons. It just irritated me because they didn't have to pick that as a title, they could have chosen a lot of other things and I would have been perfectly happy with the book. But I kept waiting for the chapter on Napoleon and the buttons, and it never came. It's like those older, small movies that release new DVD covers with a big star's face on them, even though the star was little-known when they did the movie and only appears in it for two minutes.

I vaguely remember reading another book, something about "reigning queens of England" before Elizabeth, where you really had to stretch the definition of "queen," "reigning," and "England" to make all the entries fit the title. They were all before Elizabeth I, though.  ::)

This book sounds fabulous (despite the button issue) and I thank you very much for sharing your peeve!

Jocelyn

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #344 on: February 11, 2013, 01:50:13 PM »


Well, I'd consider that there needed to be a title attached to the father of a high-born child. ;D
  I realize that even in America, an 'orphan' might be a child who had lost only one parent, but surely a surviving parent wouldn't want their child to have the label of having graduated from an orphan's school attached to them. And if the child is a true orphan, who's paying for the school? Seems like a very risky financial venture to have ONLY orphans at your school, even if you did have a wealthy benefactor.

An orphan can have money.
But would a wealthy orphan choose- or have a guardian who chose- to send them to a school for orphans?
Seems to me that if money were no option, you could just send the child to any boarding school that had a good reputation, and have them educated along with children who weren't orphans, rather than choosing a school where all the classmates would be orphans. Orphans weren't exactly a high social status, and condemning a child to a lifetime of having to admit to being a graduate of a 'school for orphans' seems improbable, if there were the option of sending them to a school for high-born children in general...or letting them live with a guardian.