In which Anna and Amante go on the run, meet some good souls, some bad ones and accomplish miracles with corks and home-made walnut dye, thus saving their lives. Will it all go right in the end? You will have to listen, won't you?
Random Notes For Part 3
Disguises. Victorians loved disguises. Think of Sherlock Holmes
The beautiful Ann breaks one of her front teeth! No one later remarks on this.
Amante has corks in her cheeks to alter the shape of her face. A great idea, but did she keep them in all the time? It might make talking tricky. I think Mrs Gaskell got too carried away with the fun of disguises to think about its sustainability
In the blacksmith’s smithy, when M. De La Tourelle turns up, he describes his wife as having run off with a base profligate woman from Paris. It’s a good job he didn’t say she was Norman as that would have been more likely to give the game away. Phew.
The Countess de Roeder (for it is she) shies away from the common room “full of evil smells and promiscuous company”. I’ve been in pubs like that. We are set up for this by the description of her being a fair-haired young woman speaking German French who had hair that Amante reminds Anna is the same colour as hers used to be before they cut it off and burned it in the stove.
The Murder of the Countess De Roeder sets up the fate of M. De La Tourelle as we ultimately find out. However, in a modern novel, or film, it would be urged that the protagonist confronted and brought about the doom of the villain, not some minor character never seen (the Baron de Roeder).
We get word of the crooked jeweller a few times just dropped in. I think the subtle hinting at this is very well done
“Ainsi le Chauffeurs se vengent” means “Number 1: Thus the Bandits Revenge Themselves”
Amante’s father was a tailor in Rouen, but earlier, Mrs Gaskell told us that Amante’s father was a Norman father.
And then her complexion goes from roses and lilies to ashen grey. It’s a nice touch that M. De La Tourelle looks up and doesn’t recognise her. This emphasises her unfair transformation into The Grey Woman.
I guess the daughter can’t marry Maurice de Poissy because her natural father killed his father? She slips this in at the end as an additional, but arguably unneccesarry other than for the sheer joy readers take in twists. But it also allowed me to finish in true thriller style with a revelatory sentence with a duh-duh-duh rhythm.
The way this is written made me narrate it in short rhythmic bursts. I think this is due to her sentence structure.
I’ve only been to Heidelberg once, but I liked it immensely and would like to go back.
Next week we are reading another listener request.