17 November 2005

To Much With The Belly Button Pondering

THIS ONE is quite amusing, though.

Today, for lack of anything better to do, I read a book. There are plenty of them in this house, but needing something I had never read before, I turned to our collection of oldies.

Today I read The Girl Captives, A Story Of The Indian Frontier, by Bessie Marchant. Produced by Blackie and Son of Glasgow, there was no print date but it was presented to one Winnie Short, for attendance and behaviour, by the St Saviours Girls' Sunday School in Paddington, Christmas 1922 and must have been written during, or referred to, sometime between 1837 and 1901.

Today I learned many wonderful things about 'normal society' of the then recent past, how the virtue of kindness to others 'of a lower station' could be conveyed to the young women of the day.

I learned that even then, in the early 1920s, Germany was referred to as The Fatherland; that German traders would set up their stalls at an Indian festival market and that it was worth remarking, as unusual, that everything they sold was marked 'made in Germany'.

I learned that Queen Victoria (hence the dates, above) was referred to in India as The Great White Queen, or more familiarly as Kaiser-i-Hind, meaning Empress.

Heres an excerpt for you:

"Juliet bowed in her turn, her manner to the full as haughty as his. "It may be that the ransom will be paid in shot and shell if you do not have a care, Mr, Wuzeer," she rejoined haughtily, for somehow the little prime minister, with his foppish airs and affected manner, got upon her nerves to quite a serious extent, and she could rarely resist the temptation to have a fling at him when opportunity offered."


Wonderful.

4 comments:

bart said...

cheryl...
society isn't normal mostly, and the people who populate it even less most of the time... the things that happen, we need to sort out on our own...

time, circumstance, tradition and expectations all play their roles in creating history for all its worth...

keep well...

Cheryl said...

LOL
Calling it 'normal society' was my way of avoiding a long blurb on racism and the class system, which were very evident in the book, but I have to assume they were beliefs that many adhered to at the time.
Other than that 'normal' is a swear word in our house ;)

Kim said...

I wonder what class I'd have been in... shudder!

jane said...

You're brave. I never would have tried to read this book. Not that it doesnt sound interesting, I just don't think I'd understand it. Even the little exerpt you provided was too difficult for me to comphrehend & I totally missed the class thing.
Besides that, I enjoy the way you tell things. You'd make an exceptional author.