I picked up a couple of later Anne books at a secondhand bookstall. Re-reading Anne of Ingleside confirmed, alas, that I don’t like it very much. Anne herself doesn’t do much except float around being the perfect mother (with occasional jealousy) wearing nice clothes, and I am entirely uninterested in her children. Can’t we at least hear what she does occasionally beyond gloat over babies and teach her children the wonders of the universe*. Is she organising Gilbert’s practice (someone must be, and he seems to spend all his time out slaving over midnight bedsides), doing household management beyond sewing, or ever writing anything at all? I found myself wishing that she had a gardening column a women’s magazine. I am also irritated by the narrative snobbery, which strikes me as particularly ironic given that Anne herself was an orphan and child nurserymaid who if she had been a boy and thus been required to work would no doubt these days be someone her children are not encouraged to associate with. It strikes me as a bit like the later Abbey Girls books, written far too much later in order to provide cash or completeness, and as a slot-in there is no room for significant things to really happen. I suppose I ought to get round to reading Rilla of Ingleside one day.
Anne’s House of Dreams, on the other hand, I do like, though I had not noticed** before how long they spend having dinner with other people, including one they’ve only just met, the evening of the day they get married and arrive at the house. And it’s not even Anne or Gilbert who invites Captain Jim to stay for supper! I have visions of Gilbert sitting there by the fire after dinner grinding his teeth and wishing everyone would just go.
The Guardian is not entirely positive about Peaky Blinders, post-WWI Birmingham set drama on BBC2 tonight. They are sceptical about the accent, which was my first worry. Still, I shall give it a go. You don’t get many TV dramas set in Small Heath.
*Now I want a Blue Castle/Brian Cox crossover. Also, anyone who wasn’t seen Horrible Histories’ Wonders of the Ancient Egyptian/Greek/Anglo-Saxon Universe has a treat in store on YouTube.
**I suspect I skipped the relevant chapters. I do tend to skip Montgomery's Person X Reminisces sections.