Posted by Peter H on April 15, 2006 at 19:27:18 from 188.8.131.52 user Peter_H.
In Reply to: Re: Nancy growing up? posted by Fiona on April 15, 2006 at 17:42:44:
she was squashed by all those late Victorian/Edwardian proprieties
Fiona – again I must register a polite reservation at the above (and I know you won’t mind). I am nervous about retrospective value judgments. The G.A. might not have felt she was ‘squashed’ by her upbringing – she may, in contrast, have felt that she was ‘coached’ and ‘refined’ by it. She was certainly the product of the Victorian age, and judging by her behaviour in the books she championed the values she had been taught. I have a fair bit of sympathy for the old girl. She was a person who had been stranded on the shores of a new different age, to which she could not adjust. This problem has occurred time and time again in many families, including my own, and it is still occurring today.
OK, she could be criticised for not making the effort to adjust to standards of behaviour which had been accepted by Mrs Blackett, and certainly that indicates an insensitivity on the G.A.’s part. But she wasn’t in any way evil or malicious – that is why she is a superb creation. It would have been all too easy for AR to create a ‘bad fairy godmother’ type of character, but instead he went for this character whose worst fault was making Nancy and Peggy wear party frocks. No big deal from a general point of view, but in the context of the world we enter when we read the S&A stories, that was horrendous. Still, I’m glad the G.A. is in those books – they would be nothing without her. I don't think a ‘George Owdon’ would have worked in the Lakes.
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