Posted by John Nichols on August 08, 2020 at 10:47:24 user Mcneacail.
In Reply to: Re: Chocolate - 'very' Middle Class? posted by Peter Hyland on August 08, 2020 at 06:48:11:
AR created an ambivalence in his books and I think he did it deliberately. We know that Blackett family has some form of income probably from investments, this would not have been uncommon, but it does give them a certain status. + they have previously had more servants than Cook, and really Cook is a necessary feature of the stories for supporting the children at critical times. Mrs Blackett may keep house for her brother, but based on the long term story idea one can presume the house and some surrounding land belongs to the Turners, which suggests the Mrs Blackett lives with her brother, but he owns the land based on likely English inheritance, but of course I could be wrong. Clearly he has been a black sheep and having your sister to look after the house would be convenient -- no matter how much you travel having a home is important as much for status. Beckfoot is not named as a farm so it's status is above a farm. No matter what anyone says sending out children to boarding school indicates status and some elements of wealth. The ambivalence makes it interesting - we just do not know.
The father's death is certainly a nod to the war, which would resonate with a lot of children at the time.
An operating copper mine would be valuable during the war, but the ore was very deep by that stage and the story of some one prospecting during a war and dying is interesting but unlikely -- so this is a nice romantic yarn, for people who in the 1930s would have remembered the end of the copper era that brought a lot of wealth to the area.
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