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Re: Miss Lee and Latin

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Posted by Robin Selby on January 13, 2019 at 05:35:12 user RobinSelby.

In Reply to: Re: Miss Lee and Latin posted by wdmtgts on January 10, 2019 at 14:12:33:

I don’t see why the original name for Miss Lee’s school should begin with ‘Great’.

Alternatively, Ransome might have sent Miss Lee to a school that everyone (including Mr Lee’s agent, who made the arrangements) would have heard of, ie Roedean. By a couple of happy coincidences, Roedean ( was a feeder school for Miss Lee’s college, Newnham, and during the war was evacuated to Keswick, where Walpole’s house was situated. It’s interesting that Walpole might have been able to help Ransome with Miss Lee’s original school, and (after his death) with her actual school.

Roedean was a boarding school, and was situated in Brighton. It would therefore have been easy for Mr Lee’s agent to run down to keep an eye on her and take her out for the odd treat. We need to consider where Miss Lee would have lived during school holidays; one does not get the feeling that Miss Lee was invited to the homes of other girls at Roedean. Did Miss Lee ever visit London? Difficult to avoid London on the way to Cambridge.

Mr Lee presumably acquired his English agent via contacts in Swatow/Shantou. Mr Lee might have maintained contact with businessmen who paid their ransom to him after they were captured by his junks. Perhaps the agent arranged for the supply of Miss Lee’s European furniture and Cooper’s Marmalade. Alternatively they might have been procured in Swatow/Shantou.

Perhaps an English company operating in Swatow/Shantou sent an employee back to London for training, and he became Mr Lee’s agent?

It’s difficult to tell when Miss Lee was at school. She has her Taicoons firmly under control, so presumably some years have elapsed since she returned from England. You pays your money and you takes your choice, but I imagine that she was at school in the 1920’s, and was 25-30 when the events described in the book took place.

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