Wednesday, 27 January 2016

Cranford Pym Terroir

Soon after Miss Mary Hoggins married Mr Fitz-Adam, she disappeared from the neighbourhood for many years.  She did not move in a sphere in Cranford society sufficiently high to make any of us care to know what Mr Fitz-Adam was.  He died and was gathered to his fathers without our ever having thought about him at all.  And then Mrs Fitz-Adam reappeared in Cranford (“as bold as a lion,” Miss Pole said), a well-to-do widow, dressed in rustling black silk, so soon after her husband’s death that poor Miss Jenkyns was justified in the remark she made, that “bombazine would have shown a deeper sense of her loss.”

 However, Mrs Jamieson was kindly indulgent to Miss Barker’s want of knowledge of the customs of high life; and, to spare her feelings, ate three large pieces of seed-cake, with a placid, ruminating expression of countenance, not unlike a cow’s.

Very Barbara Pym I thought, the clothes signalling and the sharpness of observation. Mrs. Jamieson is a great snob and the other ladies are little snobs of the genteel order. Mulliner, Jamieson’s butler is a tyrannical servant, a British institution. Terroir, you know.

No comments: