Since 1997, you’ve been coming to BarnesandNoble.com to discuss everything from Stephen King to writing to Harry Potter. You’ve made our site more than a place to discover your next book: you’ve made it a community. But like all things internet, BN.com is growing and changing. We've said goodbye to our community message boards—but that doesn’t mean we won’t still be a place for adventurous readers to connect and discover.

Now, you can explore the most exciting new titles (and remember the classics) at the Barnes & Noble Book Blog. Check out conversations with authors like Jeff VanderMeer and Gary Shteyngart at the B&N Review, and browse write-ups of the best in literary fiction. Come to our Facebook page to weigh in on what it means to be a book nerd. Browse digital deals on the NOOK blog, tweet about books with us,or self-publish your latest novella with NOOK Press. And for those of you looking for support for your NOOK, the NOOK Support Forums will still be here.

We will continue to provide you with books that make you turn pages well past midnight, discover new worlds, and reunite with old friends. And we hope that you’ll continue to tell us how you’re doing, what you’re reading, and what books mean to you.

Reply
Frequent Contributor
ezraSid
Posts: 34
Registered: ‎12-16-2007
0 Kudos

Re: PART TWO: The Twelfth of July

I am a bit more than half way through part 2 and have some of my own questions wiggling around in the back of my head. Part suspicion, part question and am eagerly anticipating the rest of the book. I agree with the previous posts that Grace's thoughts on the actress's behaviors were perceived as forward and "rude" but that the same liberties taken by Ursula were perceived as affectionate and to be expected. Then again, it wasn't Ursula and Grace's first meeting.
I found Frederick to be a question. Is he hoping to inherit? Does he want the responsibilities that go along with inheritance? Does he hope that Jemima's child is a boy? He seems odd and hard to read in this chapter. One can't help but ponder his actions.
~Grace~
Frequent Contributor
ezraSid
Posts: 34
Registered: ‎12-16-2007
0 Kudos

Re: PART TWO: The Twelfth of July

Yes! I am glad someone else has caught those hints too! I thought it was perhaps my imagination at first! I have much speculation in mind with that one! I can't wait to see how it plays out!
~Grace~
Frequent Contributor
ezraSid
Posts: 34
Registered: ‎12-16-2007
0 Kudos

Re: PART TWO: The Twelfth of July

I think they may have had some knowledge of hemophilia in the 1900's as many royal families had to deal with such. The emperor Nicholas in Russia, his son suffered from the disease, as did other royals in europe. Perhaps it was common knowledge that girls fared better than boys did in families with "cursed blood"?

As for stopping the clock, not all families had the luxury of having doctors attend to the death of a family member. Clocks were stopped when the person died so when the doctor arrived, it was noted when the person died.

Hope this helps.
~Grace~
Frequent Contributor
bookhunter
Posts: 322
Registered: ‎06-09-2007
0 Kudos

Re: PART TWO: The Twelfth of July



Jrdnstrttn wrote:
...I'm also bothered by Ursula not asking Grace for her input about the movie and it's content. I'm sure she is very interested in the subject, being that the story has been passed down to her through generations. It seems to me that she'd fall all over herself to learn all she could from a living person who had been there.




This bothers me, too. I would think that in researching Ursula would have sought out the one living person who knew the people involved. But maybe that is more typical of "researchers" than we know. When researching for a movie or a book, do people always go out and talk to witnesses, etc? Find out as much as they can, or is it a hinderence to the creative process? In this case, Ursula is taking liberty with the facts that she knows, and having to create events that she doesn't know...

Ann, bookhunter
Melissa_W
Posts: 4,124
Topics: 516
Kudos: 966
Blog Posts: 3
Ideas: 15
Solutions: 33
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
0 Kudos

Re: PART TWO: The Twelfth of July

It was noted that women with brothers who suffered from hemophilia were more likely to have sons with hemophilia. Because hemophilia is carried on the X chromosome (which was not "discovered" until after the events of this book occured) the disease doesn't display classic Mendelian sorting (Gregor Mendel's research was first published in the 1880s).

The unique thing about the comparison to European royal families was that the hemophilia gene spontaneously arose in Queen Victoria herself and passed into the other European houses via Victoria's daughters. The heirs to both the Spanish crown and the Russian empire both suffered from hemophilia inherited from Victoria's granddaughters.



ezraSid wrote:
I think they may have had some knowledge of hemophilia in the 1900's as many royal families had to deal with such. The emperor Nicholas in Russia, his son suffered from the disease, as did other royals in europe. Perhaps it was common knowledge that girls fared better than boys did in families with "cursed blood"?

As for stopping the clock, not all families had the luxury of having doctors attend to the death of a family member. Clocks were stopped when the person died so when the doctor arrived, it was noted when the person died.

Hope this helps.


Melissa W.
I read and knit and dance. Compulsively feel yarn. Consume books. Darn tights. Drink too much caffiene. All that good stuff.
balletbookworm.blogspot.com
Inspired Contributor
Linda10
Posts: 81
Registered: ‎10-02-2007
0 Kudos

Re: PART TWO: The Twelfth of July

Karen, as one of the readers commenting on the fact that the gender of Jemima's baby is not revealed in this chapter, I want to thank you for going back and editing those posts that will give it away for those readers who aren't this far yet in the book. That was nice of you to go to all that trouble. We appreciate it!
Distinguished Wordsmith
Everyman
Posts: 9,216
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
0 Kudos

Re: PART TWO: The Twelfth of July - SPOILER



paula_02912 wrote:
I think she was relieved because the first two boys she had died from hemophilia, which she said ran in her husband's side of the family...so it makes sense for her to be relieved to have a girl, because there is a higher percentage chance, in her mind, that this baby will survive...

I agree. Hemophilia almost always affects males, very seldom females, and I believe this was well known at by 1916.

The odds are that a male child would have suffered from it, also. Jemima would have, probably, been devastated by bring three children through pregnancy and birth and losing them all to this disease.
_______________
I think, therefore I drive people nuts.
Distinguished Wordsmith
Everyman
Posts: 9,216
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
0 Kudos

Re: PART TWO: The Twelfth of July



bookhunter wrote:
[snip] I think the character of Fredrick is a sad figure because he is not able to pursue his dreams. [snip] He was not successful in love/marriage.
He was not successful in the military.
He has not been successful in his business.
And I guess we can even say he is not very successful as a father....

I have noted before that almost everybody in this book seems to wind up unhappy, at least so far. Unhappy, or dead. Count the number of deaths just in the story so far. Jonathan's two sons. Frederick's wife. Jonathan. Lord Ashbury. That's a lot of deaths for a fairly small family in not a lot of years. And also we have the death (stated or implied, I can't recall which) of Graces's husband after a short and apparently not successful marriage, and the implied tragedy of Marcus, I can't remember whether by this chapter we have heard of the reality of what was implied in the first chapter since I've read through all of Book 2, and don't want to spoil. But clearly there's some tragedy there.

And we're going to have Robbie's suicide (if it was that) pretty soon. And the inferences of some other tragedies to come.

The writing is so good in this book, and the mysteries hold my attention sufficiently that sometimes I forget that it's really, at least so far, a pretty depressing story.
_______________
I think, therefore I drive people nuts.
Distinguished Wordsmith
Everyman
Posts: 9,216
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
0 Kudos

Re: PART TWO: The Twelfth of July

A general comment:

I see that Karen has had to edit a number of posts in this thread, presumably for spoilers.

I understand how that can happen, given how many of us are reading ahead (I'm a few chapters ahead of this one by now, and had to be really careful about spoilers in a post), and how many have already finished the book.

But I hope we can lessen Karen't burden, and be fair to other readers, by being extra careful about spoilers. Karen has enough work to do preparing those super chapter introductions and making her insightful points.

Let's make this a 'be kind to Karen' week by taking care with spoilers!
_______________
I think, therefore I drive people nuts.
Distinguished Wordsmith
Everyman
Posts: 9,216
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
0 Kudos

Re: PART TWO: The Twelfth of July



crazyasitsounds wrote:
Throughout the book, I was always slightly confused by the fact that Ursula's movie was about the story Grace is telling but, at the same time, not really about the same thing at all.

That's a good point. Initially, Ursula only wanted approval for the way the Drawing Room looked; she wasn't looking for any information about the facts, which she thought she knew from all the press reports. And like most filmmakers, she had no hesitancy in changing the facts when a different approach would make better theatrics.
_______________
I think, therefore I drive people nuts.
Frequent Contributor
adoring_fan
Posts: 202
Registered: ‎07-27-2007
0 Kudos

Re: PART TWO: The Twelfth of July

On page 150, Lady Violet insists that Jemima go and rest, that the heat is what has caused her baby to stop moving. Then she says, "That, and..." but doesn't finish. I think she is referring to the obvious, the grief, that all are feeling; but perhaps she is referring to something else. Did anyone else wonder about this passage?
Krystn
I am only as strong as the cocktails I drink, the hairspray I use, and the girlfriends I have....
Distinguished Wordsmith
Everyman
Posts: 9,216
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
0 Kudos

Re: PART TWO: The Twelfth of July

I'm sorry. I was one of the guilty ones -- I had read a few of the posts talking about that and responded to it without realizing that it hadn't been mentioned in the book yet.

I try to be really careful about spoilers, but obviously I slipped here I'm sorry.
>

Linda10 wrote:
Nfam, I agree with you. As I read the posts for this chapter, I saw several references to the sex of Jemima's baby. I, too, went back to reread that part of the chapter and couldn't find anything about her actually having the baby yet. Now that I'm farther along in the book, Jemima does, of course, give birth and we finally know if there's an heir or not. I was a little disappointed that some readers "let the cat out of the bag."




Linda10 wrote:
Nfam, I agree with you. As I read the posts for this chapter, I saw several references to the sex of Jemima's baby. I, too, went back to reread that part of the chapter and couldn't find anything about her actually having the baby yet. Now that I'm farther along in the book, Jemima does, of course, give birth and we finally know if there's an heir or not. I was a little disappointed that some readers "let the cat out of the bag."


_______________
I think, therefore I drive people nuts.
Moderator
KxBurns
Posts: 1,006
Registered: ‎09-06-2007
0 Kudos

Re: PART TWO: The Twelfth of July


Everyman wrote:
A general comment:

I see that Karen has had to edit a number of posts in this thread, presumably for spoilers.

I understand how that can happen, given how many of us are reading ahead (I'm a few chapters ahead of this one by now, and had to be really careful about spoilers in a post), and how many have already finished the book.

But I hope we can lessen Karen't burden, and be fair to other readers, by being extra careful about spoilers. Karen has enough work to do preparing those super chapter introductions and making her insightful points.

Let's make this a 'be kind to Karen' week by taking care with spoilers!



Thanks Everyman, but it was I who let loose the spoiler this time, which I why I took the liberty of editing all those posts that referenced it!

That's what happens when you take notes and the narrator tells you something happened, but that event doesn't actually unfold until the next chapter :smileyhappy:

Morton uses this stylistic technique frequently. Do you think it heightens the suspense or not?

Karen
Distinguished Bibliophile
Peppermill
Posts: 6,768
Registered: ‎04-04-2007
0 Kudos

Re: PART TWO: The Twelfth of July


KxBurns wrote:

Everyman wrote:
A general comment:

I see that Karen has had to edit a number of posts in this thread, presumably for spoilers.

I understand how that can happen, given how many of us are reading ahead (I'm a few chapters ahead of this one by now, and had to be really careful about spoilers in a post), and how many have already finished the book.

But I hope we can lessen Karen't burden, and be fair to other readers, by being extra careful about spoilers. Karen has enough work to do preparing those super chapter introductions and making her insightful points.

Let's make this a 'be kind to Karen' week by taking care with spoilers!


Thanks Everyman, but it was I who let loose the spoiler this time, which I why I took the liberty of editing all those posts that referenced it!

That's what happens when you take notes and the narrator tells you something happened, but that event doesn't actually unfold until the next chapter :smileyhappy:

Morton uses this stylistic technique frequently. Do you think it heightens the suspense or not?

Karen

Karen -- although we are not told in actual words until the next chapter the gender of Jemima's baby, we were given in this chapter "The Twelfth of July" these factoids (I believe you are referring to the first one of these in your comments):

P. 143 "It was the twelfth day of July 1916, the day after the joint funeral service for Lord Ashbury and the Major. The day Jemima's baby arrived, and the day the question on all our lips was answered."

P. 142 "Mr Frederick sits front and centre, his mother one side, Jemima on the other."

P. 143 "The photographer had been booked for nine-thirty, and by the time we assembled on the front lawn the air was tight with shimmering heat."

p. 146 "Lord Gifford, no doubt."

P. 146 "'Look here, it's only just now gone half ten. Lady Violet won't ring for luncheon for another two hours. Why don't you take rest early today? Grace can manage the tea.'"

pp. 147-48 Jemima has been assisted to her room before midday. (A non-spoiler clarified from the first page of the next chapter.)

Ms. Morton has packed a lot into these few hours, including a lemonade break after the picture shoot. (This chapter is another one of the places where I still haven't been able to create a totally coherent time line for HAR. But, in all respect to Ms. Morton, let me say so far neither have I identified any impossibilities.)

It surprised me when Karen (our moderator) mentioned the gender of Jemima's baby with this chapter, but then when I went back to the chapter, I thought we had enough information to deduce the baby's sex from the clues we were given from the picture, with Mr. Frederick front and center. As I re-read and construct this time line, I see the trap I fell into. (I took the photograph with Mr. Fredrick's position as containing a clue that didn't exist.)

However, one question I still haven't been able to trace back totally is what DO we know about Mr. Frederick at this point in time based on information earlier in the book. I.e., what COULD we logically deduce from the information we do have?
"Seize the moments of happiness, love and be loved! That is the only reality in the world, all else is folly. It is the one thing we are interested in here." -- Leo Tolstoy
Frequent Contributor
ELee
Posts: 418
Registered: ‎10-26-2006
0 Kudos

Re: PART TWO: The Twelfth of July


bookhunter wrote:


Jrdnstrttn wrote:
...I'm also bothered by Ursula not asking Grace for her input about the movie and it's content. I'm sure she is very interested in the subject, being that the story has been passed down to her through generations. It seems to me that she'd fall all over herself to learn all she could from a living person who had been there.




This bothers me, too. I would think that in researching Ursula would have sought out the one living person who knew the people involved. But maybe that is more typical of "researchers" than we know. When researching for a movie or a book, do people always go out and talk to witnesses, etc? Find out as much as they can, or is it a hinderence to the creative process? In this case, Ursula is taking liberty with the facts that she knows, and having to create events that she doesn't know...

Ann, bookhunter



At first I felt bothered by the fact that Ursula only wanted Grace’s input regarding the authenticity of the set, but after rereading pp 13-14 I gained more perspective. I think that Ursula probably feels that she has firsthand information that has been passed down through her family because her great-grandmother was at Riverton the night of the episode. Her “family legend” in combination with the research she’s done would take care of the “gentry” side of the story, leaving the “servant” details to be corroborated by Grace.
Melissa_W
Posts: 4,124
Topics: 516
Kudos: 966
Blog Posts: 3
Ideas: 15
Solutions: 33
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
0 Kudos

Re: PART TWO: The Twelfth of July

Anyone else find it interesting that the young actress's name is "Kiera" and it's that Kiera Knightly is currently starring in "Atonement"?



KxBurns wrote:
The chapter begins with the introduction of the actress, Keira Parker, who will portray Grace in Ursula's movie. The meeting between Keira and Grace is a great illustration of the changes in manners and class markers since Grace's youth, and much of the commentary to this effect comes directly from Grace.

But what I found most revealing were Keira's questions and Grace's answers to them. Keira asks what seem to be naive questions about Grace and her relationship with the Hartfords, in order to establish her character's motivation.

Grace maintains that she kept her distance, as dictated by the conventions of the day. She does allow that she might have had feelings about events that she kept to herself. But, of Keira, she thinks "No doubt she had glimpsed a larger role for herself, an amended script in which the housemaid is no longer an outside observer, but a secret member of the Hartford sisters' coterie. She is young, of course, and from a different world. She doesn't conceive that certain lines should not be crossed" (p. 138-139).

Yet we're lead to believe that Grace did, in fact, play a larger role than she lets on. Whether she was truly just an observer or she crossed those very lines remains to be seen!

Returning to 1916, the deaths of Lord Ashbury and Major Jonathan raise the question of inheritance/succession.

Also of note is Grace's questioning the character of Frederick toward the end of the chapter. His coldness in the face of his father and brother's deaths leads Grace to agree more with David's assessment of his father than with Nancy and the staff's devotion to him. Do you think she is correct in this interpretation?

Karen

Message Edited by KxBurns on 01-10-2008 12:31 PM


Melissa W.
I read and knit and dance. Compulsively feel yarn. Consume books. Darn tights. Drink too much caffiene. All that good stuff.
balletbookworm.blogspot.com
Wordsmith
Tarri
Posts: 457
Registered: ‎02-26-2007
0 Kudos

Re: PART TWO: The Twelfth of July

OT but Atonement is one of the best books I've ever read.
Frequent Contributor
ELee
Posts: 418
Registered: ‎10-26-2006
0 Kudos

Adapt and survive, or not

"Mass production...People working too quickly, trying to keep up with conveyor belts, no time to make sure things are done properly."
"The ministry can't see past the bottom line...once they see the quality we're producing, they won't sign up for any more of those tin cans."

When I heard Frederick's response to Lord Gifford's inquiry about his business, I thought of Booth Tarkington's Ambersons. Just as WW1 and its wake brought swift and dramatic changes to Europe, so too the Civil War in America. For the Amberson family, the shift to industrialization and developing technology brought great societal changes and "Big Business" quickly overwhelmed the aristocracy. In light of this, the belief of the older members of the Hartford family and servants that the war would be fought and won to preserve "the society they remember" seems naive and stunted. That head-in-the-sand approach, refusing to recognize change, recedes backward to what was "proper", rather than moving forward to "possibility".
Inspired Contributor
nadine1
Posts: 41
Registered: ‎10-16-2007
0 Kudos

Re: PART TWO: The Twelfth of July

Yes, Keira's disrespectful behavior toward Grace during their meeting is apalling. However, Kiera's behavior is right on the mark according to an adolescent psychology course that I took and my current intereactions with my younger college age co-workers. One passes through adolescents when one accepts responsibility for one's own actions and does not blame others.

Grace is demonstrating her loyalty to the Hartfords and/or her service profession by keeping her secrets until after her death.
Moderator
KxBurns
Posts: 1,006
Registered: ‎09-06-2007
0 Kudos

Re: PART TWO: The Twelfth of July


ELee wrote:
At first I felt bothered by the fact that Ursula only wanted Grace’s input regarding the authenticity of the set, but after rereading pp 13-14 I gained more perspective. I think that Ursula probably feels that she has firsthand information that has been passed down through her family because her great-grandmother was at Riverton the night of the episode. Her “family legend” in combination with the research she’s done would take care of the “gentry” side of the story, leaving the “servant” details to be corroborated by Grace.




This is very true -- from Ursula's point-of-view, she has the more direct connection to the story via her family ties. She has no way of knowing just how intimately Grace is acquainted with the details of the story!

Karen
Users Online
Currently online: 48 members 234 guests
Please welcome our newest community members: