Posted by Colin Havard on November 21, 2002 at 16:39:00 from 126.96.36.199 user Colin.
In Reply to: Re: S, A & D's 'class' posted by John Wilson on November 21, 2002 at 10:13:03:
It's always dangerous to discuss 'class' 1) among the English and 2) in reference to a different historical period. However I'll risk it! I was in private boarding schools in England from age 9 starting in 1944 and finishing in 1953. My family was professional middle class -- my father was a physician -- and my school friends and acquaintances had a variety of backgrounds. Some belonged to service families, like the Walkers, some were genuinely aristocratic and belonged to families with extensive land holding, others were industrialists, others academics (like the D's), and there were also a fair number of country-dwelling 'gentry' who did not engage in agriculture to any considerable degree but had comfortable houses and a few acres of garden. Many of them must have lived on inherited money -- enough to be comfortable but not enough to be considered really rich. I have always visualized the Blackets as a family like that. They would have been a bit more 'county' than the Swallows or the D's and also more rooted in the social life of their locality, but they would have gone to the same schools and shared the same accent. Jim Turner who is so useful for AR's plots, is something of a mystery. He's not exactly a playboy but it's not clear where his income comes from. My sense is that Beckfoot is owned by Molly Blacket, perhaps inherited from her deceased husband, and that Uncle Jim is a more or less permanent guest when he's not on one of his gold-hunting trips or staying on the houseboat.
The point I am making is that, in 1930's terms, the Walkers, Callums, and Blackets were basically socially homogenous and the 'class' differences among them were mostly incidental and insignificant.
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