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Wordsmith
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Re: Questions for Annie Barrows

Why was Mr. Dilwyn chosen as Kit's guardian?  There is very little mention of him in any of the letters.  My thinking is that he might have been the Island barrister.
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Annie_Barrows
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Re: Questions for Annie Barrows


pedsphleb wrote:

If we look at the book as a historical collection of letters kept by someone in Juliet's family, perhaps we could think that Juliet sent all Sophie's letters to her in a bundle perhaps as a gift to one of Sophie's children :smileyhappy:


Annie_Barrows wrote:


literature wrote:
I glanced through the book quickly again and you are right, I didn't see any letters written by Sophie.  I am going to reread the book and see what I pick up.  There were a few times when I was reading the book initially that I thought considering what good friends Sophie and Juliet were in boarding school, shouldn't there have been more correspondence between them.  Juliet reached out to Sophie about her dilema with Mark and  Sophie should have been more supportive.   Also, I don't remember reading anything about Sophie's outside interests.  Now you really have me curious.  I will reread the book and get back to you.  I'm in the path of  the tropical storm Hanna today so I will curl up on the sofa and read.

It's not that Sophie didn't write letters--we see that she did because Juliet refers to them--it's just that they aren't included in the book. Sophie is a good friend, really she is. Remember when she comes to visit Juliet in Leeds just after the Teapot Incident?


 


Oh yes, that's always an interesting concept--in what time frame and with what motivation were the letters collected? Maybe Juliet collects them much later for Kit, so that Kit will know all there is to know of her mother and of the Society. Sophie, who by that time would be a loving aunt figure to Kit, would send her all of Juliet's letters, but Juliet wouldn't include Sophie's because they weren't part of the story of Elizabeth and the Society. On the other hand, maybe you're right about the Jane-Austen-type elisions. Perhaps Juliet upended the teapot on a bundle of Sophie's letters. It's fun to speculate.


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Re: Questions for Annie Barrows


debbook wrote:
And our generation can pass along emails to our children. Hmm, doesn't seem as sentimental as letters

pedsphleb wrote:

If we look at the book as a historical collection of letters kept by someone in Juliet's family, perhaps we could think that Juliet sent all Sophie's letters to her in a bundle perhaps as a gift to one of Sophie's children :smileyhappy:


Annie_Barrows wrote:


literature wrote:
I glanced through the book quickly again and you are right, I didn't see any letters written by Sophie.  I am going to reread the book and see what I pick up.  There were a few times when I was reading the book initially that I thought considering what good friends Sophie and Juliet were in boarding school, shouldn't there have been more correspondence between them.  Juliet reached out to Sophie about her dilema with Mark and  Sophie should have been more supportive.   Also, I don't remember reading anything about Sophie's outside interests.  Now you really have me curious.  I will reread the book and get back to you.  I'm in the path of  the tropical storm Hanna today so I will curl up on the sofa and read.

It's not that Sophie didn't write letters--we see that she did because Juliet refers to them--it's just that they aren't included in the book. Sophie is a good friend, really she is. Remember when she comes to visit Juliet in Leeds just after the Teapot Incident?


 


 


Emails are definitely uglier and less leisurely than letters, but I love the fact that people are dropping notes to their friends all the time now. 


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Re: Questions for Annie Barrows


literature wrote:
Why was Mr. Dilwyn chosen as Kit's guardian?  There is very little mention of him in any of the letters.  My thinking is that he might have been the Island barrister.

Mr. Dilwyn isn't exactly Kit's guardian; he's the trustee of Sir Ambrose's estate, to which Kit is heir. Elizabeth left no designated guardian for Kit, and that's why she was raised by Amelia, Dawsey, and Isola in turn, but Mr. Dilwyn, as trustee for the estate of a minor, would have some authority over her living arrangements. Mr. Dilwyn is a banker, rather than a barrister, but he's also a generally prominent and trusted figure. 


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Wordsmith
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Re: Questions for Annie Barrows

Was the character of Juliet ever written in part as Mary Ann?  For some reason I felt Mary Ann's presence in Juliet's letter to Sophie on pages 163-164 when she is describing her possible declining years and then quickly comes back to reality...Mark Reynolds?  Who's he?  I just loved the humor in how she described those "declining years".  You can't help but laugh out loud when reading this book.

 

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Re: Questions for Annie Barrows


literature wrote:

Was the character of Juliet ever written in part as Mary Ann?  For some reason I felt Mary Ann's presence in Juliet's letter to Sophie on pages 163-164 when she is describing her possible declining years and then quickly comes back to reality...Mark Reynolds?  Who's he?  I just loved the humor in how she described those "declining years".  You can't help but laugh out loud when reading this book.

 


Well, Juliet is probably the voice in the book that is closest to Mary Ann's own, but that bit about declining years is something that comes up every time I'm facing a major life decision--what if it goes terribly wrong and I end up all alone with my teeth falling out? I don't know why it should be any better to have my teeth fall out in a crowd, but there you are. It was meant to be funny, so I'm glad you thought it was. 


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Rachel-K
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Re: Questions for Annie Barrows


Emails are definitely uglier and less leisurely than letters, but I love the fact that people are dropping notes to their friends all the time now. 


 

I loved that Mark and Juliet could write back and forth to each other about getting together for a meal! I think that Paris still has a couple of letter deliveries a day, but the idea that you would send a note about your daily plans is tremendously romantic.

 

Rachel

Wordsmith
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Re: Questions for Annie Barrows

Annie, would it be so absurd if someone contacted, say, the public library or Chamber of Commerce in Guernsey to find out their take on the book?  I think it would be very interesting.  But am I living in a dream world thinking that today's residents would have the same attitudes as the characters in your book?  Who knows, maybe they do.  If that's the case, then I'm booking my trip ASAP.  Have you considered posting any feedback you received from Guernsey on your website?  I think it would be very interesting to read, especially for the participants in this book club.
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Sunltcloud
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Re: Questions for Annie Barrows

I just happened to come across this older thread and thought I should send a warning signal. If you plan on passing along emails to your children make sure the real old ones are still visible on the paper. I just looked at some of the ones I saved in 1995 and they look faded. I assume that they were printed on a dot matrix printer.

I have saved a lot of family emails from the very beginning and I laugh out loud as I look at them now. My daughter was concerned that we would all become "technonerds." Well, she had no idea then what this would mean later on, but we aren't that far off. Between texting,emailing , instant messaging, reading books on a "kindle," dragging digital cameras and laptops across the world when we travel, checking locations on iPhones, listening to music on iPods, storing our data on external hard drives, our images on the flickr website, and spending half an hour a week with a COMCAST expert discussing routers and home networking, and amplifier trucks, and dropped packets, what else is left?

 

I didn't see it coming. My email to my daughter on 5/3/95 says, "I know we won't become technonerds because we use the net as a means to an end. The net, like the spider's web, is our lookout and not our trap. Love Purplspidr. "

 

A few years later somebody hacked into my Purplspidr account and sent out thousands of emails containing a horrible joke, causing me to receive hundreds of threats from irate recipients of those emails. I never used the screen name again. 

 

But I can't imagine being without my computer. And though I sometimes get nostalgic about the dark room I once had in which shadowy black and white eight by tens slowly rose from their chemical baths, I love the instant appearance of rainbow colored digital images. I just had close to 2,000 of them copied to a DVD. Now, if I could get myself to wade through thousands of old film strips and 20 photo albums and ten boxes of snapshots, scan them, organize them in virtual file folders, well... then my life would be totally digitized. (Not true, she said, there's dust under the kitchen table....even technonerds still have to swing brooms and dust pans.) 


debbook wrote:
And our generation can pass along emails to our children. Hmm, doesn't seem as sentimental as letters

pedsphleb wrote:

If we look at the book as a historical collection of letters kept by someone in Juliet's family, perhaps we could think that Juliet sent all Sophie's letters to her in a bundle perhaps as a gift to one of Sophie's children :smileyhappy:


Annie_Barrows wrote:


literature wrote:
I glanced through the book quickly again and you are right, I didn't see any letters written by Sophie.  I am going to reread the book and see what I pick up.  There were a few times when I was reading the book initially that I thought considering what good friends Sophie and Juliet were in boarding school, shouldn't there have been more correspondence between them.  Juliet reached out to Sophie about her dilema with Mark and  Sophie should have been more supportive.   Also, I don't remember reading anything about Sophie's outside interests.  Now you really have me curious.  I will reread the book and get back to you.  I'm in the path of  the tropical storm Hanna today so I will curl up on the sofa and read.

It's not that Sophie didn't write letters--we see that she did because Juliet refers to them--it's just that they aren't included in the book. Sophie is a good friend, really she is. Remember when she comes to visit Juliet in Leeds just after the Teapot Incident?


 


 


 

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Wrighty
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our changing technology


Sunltcloud wrote:

I just happened to come across this older thread and thought I should send a warning signal. If you plan on passing along emails to your children make sure the real old ones are still visible on the paper. I just looked at some of the ones I saved in 1995 and they look faded. I assume that they were printed on a dot matrix printer.

I have saved a lot of family emails from the very beginning and I laugh out loud as I look at them now. My daughter was concerned that we would all become "technonerds." Well, she had no idea then what this would mean later on, but we aren't that far off.

 


That's very good advice, thanks for the reminder. It is funny to look back and see how much has changed with our technology in such a short time. We were watching a rerun and laughing at how big the cordless phones and antennas were. And having a cell phone in the car was a big deal. The show wasn't even that old. We always get a big reminder how quickly things become obsolete when the Christmas sales begin. As my kids have gotten older the electronic gifts have gotten smaller but more expensive. Luckily for us they don't ask for much.

 

There are some things that never change though, or not much anyway. Whenever I go visit my 90 year old grandmother (I am blessed to have two!) she still has her broken console TV sitting on her living room with her new TV on top of it. Come on people - how many of you have done the same thing at one time? I know we did! We also had the pliers on top of the TV whenever one of those cheap plastic knobs would break off and there was no other way to change the channel, or fix the stupid horizontal and verticle hold. Do you remember your first remote control? Wow! Another dinosaur. A friend of mine still has a black rotary phone on her kitchen wall. No one uses it, they just haven't bothered to change it. Speaking of Christmas ideas...

Wordsmith
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Re: our changing technology

It wasn't that many years ago that we got rid of my mother's black rotary, table top phone that weighed a ton.  How about being a young child without a telephone, tv or washing machine and sitting and looking at the radio while the program was airing.  What about the summer months without air conditioning?  Remember the scrub boards and bringing in the frozen clothes from the outside clothes line in the winter time. 
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Sunltcloud
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Re: our changing technology

I had forgotten about the pliers. But it is funny how some of the old images stay with us; only the other day I thought about "snow on the screen"  then I realized that there is no such thing anymore. Either you get a signal or you don't. Of course the TV never sleeps nowadays, at least not "Nick at Night." If I ever have a sleepless night I can always find something to keep me company.


Wrighty wrote:

There are some things that never change though, or not much anyway. Whenever I go visit my 90 year old grandmother (I am blessed to have two!) she still has her broken console TV sitting on her living room with her new TV on top of it. Come on people - how many of you have done the same thing at one time? I know we did! We also had the pliers on top of the TV whenever one of those cheap plastic knobs would break off and there was no other way to change the channel, or fix the stupid horizontal and verticle hold. Do you remember your first remote control? Wow! Another dinosaur. A friend of mine still has a black rotary phone on her kitchen wall. No one uses it, they just haven't bothered to change it. Speaking of Christmas ideas...


 

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Sunltcloud
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Re: our changing technology

During the summer months my grandmother would lay the bedsheets on the grass behind our house in the morning and use her garden watering can to re-wet them when the sun was overhead at noon - it was her way of bleaching. And she would let me hand her the clothes pins when she hung up the laundry - neatly organized by category, all socks pointing in the same direction. Hilarious! :smileyvery-happy:  


literature wrote:
It wasn't that many years ago that we got rid of my mother's black rotary, table top phone that weighed a ton.  How about being a young child without a telephone, tv or washing machine and sitting and looking at the radio while the program was airing.  What about the summer months without air conditioning?  Remember the scrub boards and bringing in the frozen clothes from the outside clothes line in the winter time. 

 

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Re: Questions for Annie Barrows


literature wrote:
Annie, would it be so absurd if someone contacted, say, the public library or Chamber of Commerce in Guernsey to find out their take on the book?  I think it would be very interesting.  But am I living in a dream world thinking that today's residents would have the same attitudes as the characters in your book?  Who knows, maybe they do.  If that's the case, then I'm booking my trip ASAP.  Have you considered posting any feedback you received from Guernsey on your website?  I think it would be very interesting to read, especially for the participants in this book club.

Most of the Guernsey-related feedback I get is from people who were on the island--or evacuated from it--during the war, but no longer live there. I did get a letter the other day from a little girl who lives on Guernsey, but she was writing to me about my children's books (boy, did she get an enthusiastic reply!) I've asked the British publisher about the Guernsey response, but they are in London, and I'm not sure they have the information, really.  I think I will return to the very nice woman who helped me authenticate the house names in the book and ask her. If I get an interesting response, I'll post it. 


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Re: our changing technology


literature wrote:
It wasn't that many years ago that we got rid of my mother's black rotary, table top phone that weighed a ton.  How about being a young child without a telephone, tv or washing machine and sitting and looking at the radio while the program was airing.  What about the summer months without air conditioning?  Remember the scrub boards and bringing in the frozen clothes from the outside clothes line in the winter time. 

It would be hard for me to be nostalgic about frozen clothes, but I do long for the white transistor radio I owned when I was seven.  However, one of my favorite pastimes as a child is still completely available to everyone: I used to lie under the venetian blinds and bang them with my knee so I could watch the dust motes whirl through the bands of sunshine, turning gold.  Some pleasures are perennial.


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Wordsmith
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Re: our changing technology

But did you ever stand your frozen pajama bottoms up against the wall and watch them slowing thaw out, until they looked like a pile of wet noodles?   Years ago I showed my girls so they could better understand  what I meant.  We also used to drape our bath towel across the radiator in order to have a nice warm towel to dry ourselves with.  It's definitely fun to reminisce about these things but today's conveniences can't be beat.
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Sunltcloud
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Re: our changing technology

I'm having such a good time on this board! I belong to a senior memoir writing group and have written just about every aspect of my childhood in the last few years. One of my favorite pastimes to remember is the shadow puppet game I played. My mother had a spare room in my great-grandfather's house converted into a bathroom while she had to take care of him. Before that the house (built in 1588) had no bathroom, only an outhouse. I loved to hide out in this room. A single lightbulb allowed me to throw shadows against the wall and make up stories about the animals I invented.

 

There also was an old dresser in which my mother hid her projects. One day, just before Christmas, I opened a drawer and saw my doll asleep, covered with pieces of knitting. According to my mother Santa Claus always came on Dec 6 and took the doll with him to get her a new wardrobe. Boy was I ever disappointed that I had pried into that forbidden dresser.

 

I finally gave up my sessions in the bathroom after my great-grandfather died on the toilette. They said he had a heart attack "trying too hard." I was ten then and just a bit happy that the old man with the sharp eyes and the mean words had disappeared from my life. Nobody would count the peaches on the tree anymore and tell on me if one of them dropped to the ground by accident and had to be eaten right away.

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Re: our changing technology


literature wrote:
But did you ever stand your frozen pajama bottoms up against the wall and watch them slowing thaw out, until they looked like a pile of wet noodles?   Years ago I showed my girls so they could better understand  what I meant.  We also used to drape our bath towel across the radiator in order to have a nice warm towel to dry ourselves with.  It's definitely fun to reminisce about these things but today's conveniences can't be beat.

Okay, you got me--I could get nostalgic about thawing pajamas.

 

 


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Wrighty
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Re: our changing technology


Sunltcloud wrote:

I'm having such a good time on this board! I belong to a senior memoir writing group and have written just about every aspect of my childhood in the last few years. One of my favorite pastimes to remember is the shadow puppet game I played. My mother had a spare room in my great-grandfather's house converted into a bathroom while she had to take care of him. Before that the house (built in 1588) had no bathroom, only an outhouse. I loved to hide out in this room. A single lightbulb allowed me to throw shadows against the wall and make up stories about the animals I invented.

 

There also was an old dresser in which my mother hid her projects. One day, just before Christmas, I opened a drawer and saw my doll asleep, covered with pieces of knitting. According to my mother Santa Claus always came on Dec 6 and took the doll with him to get her a new wardrobe. Boy was I ever disappointed that I had pried into that forbidden dresser.

 

I finally gave up my sessions in the bathroom after my great-grandfather died on the toilette. They said he had a heart attack "trying too hard." I was ten then and just a bit happy that the old man with the sharp eyes and the mean words had disappeared from my life. Nobody would count the peaches on the tree anymore and tell on me if one of them dropped to the ground by accident and had to be eaten right away.


Aw, I don't blame you for being a little bit happy! It sounds like he was kind of scary for little kids. And I hope you weren't traumatized when they told you he died on the toilet. That can be kind of scary too. Or funny. (No disrespect intended)

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Wrighty
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Writing

Annie,

 

You've told us about how you came to help your aunt write this book. In the Acknowledgements at the end Mary Ann mentioned how grateful she was that you stepped in shortly after the manuscript was sold. Was that the first time you read any of it or had you had access the whole time she was writing it?

 

~Debbie

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