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  #11  
Old 06-24-2017, 09:50 PM
Pcdunn Pcdunn is offline
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Funny you should mention the male-female dynamic at work then. I have just started reading Atwood's "The Handmaid's Tale", in which she has three classes of women who wear different colors. Each class represents one of the three major traits of the female gender (as determined by men, I presume), and their colors and names are: blue for Wives, the companions, red for Handmaids, the sexual partners, and green for Marthas, the cooks and house-servants. Rich and important men have multiple women fulfilling each role. Poorer men have poor women called Econowives, who wear multi-colored dresses and perform all the functions at the same time.
It's not hard to see this class system echoing the Victorian era.

Have you read Stevenson's The Strange Case of Doctor Jekyll and Mr. Hyde ? That has always struck me as very Victorian in its approach to good and evil, as well as showing a certain early insight into psychology.
There is a modern novel called "Hyde", which is supposedly Stevenson's story from the viewpoint of Hyde as narrator, which is amazingly well-written. I enjoyed it very much and recommend it to everyone.
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  #12  
Old 06-24-2017, 11:40 PM
Merry_Olde_Mary Merry_Olde_Mary is offline
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I love The Handmaid's Tale. It's depressing, but so creative and well thought out. And the "voice" Margaret Atwood uses in her writing has such a sure touch; it's simple and lyrical, but also tough-minded. She's the real deal.

Have you seen the movie version from the 80's? It's REALLY depressing...the book isn't AS bleak, because you don't see everything actually happening. I can't comment on the recent hulu channel's adaptation : ( I just saw 2 episodes and then my trial membership ran out.

You might read Atwood's Alias Grace next, if you haven't already. It's a psychological murder mystery...set in Canada's Victorian age. Again, beautifully written. They're making a miniseries of it now and I hope it's good!
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  #13  
Old 06-25-2017, 12:50 AM
harry harry is offline
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If you want an example of Victorian thinking on class.look no further than the army.On occasions when there was an open do,the instructions were as follows.
Officers and their ladies.
Warrant officers and their wives.
Other ranks and their women.
The above outlasted the Victorian era.
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  #14  
Old 06-25-2017, 01:01 PM
Pcdunn Pcdunn is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Merry_Olde_Mary View Post

Have you seen the movie version from the 80's? It's REALLY depressing...the book isn't AS bleak, because you don't see everything actually happening. I can't comment on the recent hulu channel's adaptation : ( I just saw 2 episodes and then my trial membership ran out.

You might read Atwood's Alias Grace next, if you haven't already. It's a psychological murder mystery...set in Canada's Victorian age. Again, beautifully written. They're making a miniseries of it now and I hope it's good!
.
No, I haven't seen either dramatic version of The Handmaid's Tale. I catalogued the campus library's copy years ago, and read the appendix, in which a bunch of historians in the 22nd century are listening to a lecture about "The Handmaid's Tale" and whether it is genuine or not. Pretty amusing satire of academic conventions.
Now finally getting into the meat of the story, and very intrigued by it.

Thanks for the recommendation. I haven't read a lot of Atwood, but will try "Aliad Grace." My favorite Candaian mystery series is "Murdoch", which has been aired here under the title "The Artful Detective."
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  #15  
Old 06-25-2017, 01:04 PM
Pcdunn Pcdunn is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by harry View Post
If you want an example of Victorian thinking on class.look no further than the army.On occasions when there was an open do,the instructions were as follows.
Officers and their ladies.
Warrant officers and their wives.
Other ranks and their women.
The above outlasted the Victorian era.
Very true, Harry. Kipling had all of nuances down well, didn't he? Wasn't there something about the ladies and the wives being "sisters under the skin" in one of his ballads?

Of course, colonialism is a whole other can of worms...
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  #16  
Old 06-25-2017, 08:16 PM
Merry_Olde_Mary Merry_Olde_Mary is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pcdunn View Post
Thanks for the recommendation. I haven't read a lot of Atwood, but will try "Aliad Grace." My favorite Candaian mystery series is "Murdoch", which has been aired here under the title "The Artful Detective."
Some of her stuff is too dense for me, and I don't follow it as well...but I also liked an earlier work of hers called The Edible Woman.

PS: I finished MAYHEM, and the English author Sarah Pinborough puts in her Acknowledgments section:

The most valuable Internet resource for anyone writing in this period has to be the 'Casebook: Jack the Ripper' website where there is a wealth of information and discussion.

So, she was a lurker here at one point...or actively involved!
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  #17  
Old 06-26-2017, 05:29 AM
Abby Normal Abby Normal is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Merry_Olde_Mary View Post
'allo, pets.

I am working on a novel that has a London 1888 setting, and wonder if others might be interested in some thread where we keep each other updated as to our progress and research, etc. Basically, I'm looking at different ways to get myself going again. I've done quite a bit of research on the UK Victorians (as opposed to our American ones) via biographies and books about architecture, customs, etc. and am kind of still in that SWAMP of understanding their day to day lives...which dictates how the characters spend their days, how long it takes for them to get somewhere in town...basically, EVERYTHING.

But the (many many) details are still unclear. For instance, I Just this week changed tacks and started in on some fiction set in 1888, and one book stated "He turned on a small gas lamp." How does one do that, exactly? The Victorians were thrifty, so I don't think lamps were kept permanently lit on a pilot light and just turned up when they needed more light...how does one "turn on" a small gas lamp? And is that different from a small oil lamp??

Uggh.

As to my own experience, the work of mine that's been produced has been stage plays, done on a smaller scale in both Manhattan and Hollywood. I worked for many years in the literary department of a very high ranking talent agency, which you would think would give me insight into writing the Perfect Novel. Unfortunately, it doesn't, necessarily. It's helped me note what NOT to do...but not exactly WHAT to do. Which is, of course, tragic.

I need someone to talk to!!
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Hi merry
I write books and poetry. I had a book, juvenile fiction, a fantasy called the popcornmaker published a while back. It's available on the net at various sites that sell books and also on Amazon.
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  #18  
Old 07-01-2017, 12:50 PM
miss marple miss marple is offline
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Welcome Merry Old Mary

I think more important than worrying about gas lamps [ Don't get bogged down in detail] is to understand the very rigid and stratified class system in the 19th century. From Ladies and Gentlemen in society,upper class,who did not work. public school.Younger sons and relatives of this class who became Army officers, Bishops and Barristers, landed gentry. Industrial class of wealthy Self made manufacturers, who sometimes married into the upper class. Middle class professionals Solicitors, Doctors , Clergy. Lower middle class,artisans. clerks butlers.,Publicans. Police shopworkers. Working class servants, labourers, factory workers and the extreme poor.
Everyone knew exactly what class anyone was, by their accent,their clothes, their manner, their status. The upper classes despised anyone' in trade' anyone who sold anything for a living even if very rich.
Then there was the Demi Monde, bohemians those from all groups who engaged in such activites as Art, Theatre, Literature, Music and did not give a fig for society and lived by their own rules.
The middle classes were very respectable and thrifty and hated scandal and tried to abide by conventions. Ironically the upper and lowest class had the most in common as both could do what they liked and had shared interests such as gambling, sport and whores. Hope this is helpful.

Miss Marple
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