I barely managed to finish this week’s North and South reading in time to post about it today. To be blunt, I thought it was boring. Until I started amusing myself with the language. But before I get to that, a few character observations:
Margaret has done an about face:
- She lies (for Freddy)
- She swoons (because she lies)
- She’s moody as hell, and also listless (again, because of that damn lie)
- She’s all “Oh no, Higgins, you don’t want to move to the South…it sucks!”) (And side note: I know there was initial confusion as to where the book was set (some people thought US, ’cause of the whole North/South thing) and I know after reading 3/4 of the book, it’s fully obvious we’re in England, but there are still times when I see South and think US…our Civil War has brain-washed me! I’m like Pavlov’s dog with the damn term.)
Mrs. Hale’s death ended up being pretty much a non-event. I was strangely disappointed.
- Delicately swarthy? Seriously?
- He’s also not much of a presence once he arrives. He’s more there when he’s not there.
- Also, Dolores…hello. Freddy’s got a Lolita stashed away somewhere. I knew he was no good!
So moving onto the language. This is what struck me most about this week’s reading. And no, not swears. More dialect, and also the places that my mind went that Mrs. Gaskell never (in a milliondy-billiondy years) meant for it to go.
Word of the Week: fettle. It means to put to rights. Mrs. G liked it so much she used it twice in one paragraph. I was worried it was going to replace clem, but no. Clem suddenly made a strong comeback.
Other weirdly entertaining ones: liefer (willingly) and knobstick (one who refuses to join a union).
I was also surpirised to see the phrase “put that in your pipe and smoke it.” Who knew it’s been around that long?
Higgins called Mags a wench! That was amusing.
And then there was the reference to Margaret’s “glamour.” Mrs. Thornton (who also thinks Mags is beautiful…huh? I thought she was ugly?) is convinced that she throws a glamour over every one and tricks them into thinking she’s sweet as pie. Cool, I thought…MAGS IS A FAERIE.
And then, Mr. Thornton starts following Mags. Aha, I thought…he is just like Edward. Ergo, HE IS A VAMPIRE.
Suddenly, this book is FUN. I’ve got my eye out for werewolves. I just know they’re going to make an appearance next.