While I haven't been having a 'summer of leisure,' (what is that, exactly, anyway?) I have had ample opportunity to read. (Not having cable is an enormous help, I might add.) I also have every Saturday and Tuesday off, so amid family time and the usual round of chores and writing commitments and writing class I've been working my way through my list. A week or so ago I posted the Kick-Off, with Orchid Fever; today I have three others for you.
The descriptions of Viking life-primarily a woman's life-was definitely the most engrossing aspect of this book (for me at least.) Discussions of weaving given by modern scholars, and the value of the cloth made by women, as well as the household products they made (cheese, ales, henwifery, etc.) have long been overshadowed by the image of the burly war-crazed horned-helmeted Viking warrior. Not that there isn't truth to that image, and I am a product of that heritage, but if the women weren't back in the home providing food and clothing for those men, Rome's history may have been very different.
"She brooded alone over a missing letter from Aunt Everina, wondering whether Godwin had received and replied to it. If so, what had he said? What could they be plotting? At the back of her mind was always the sense of her diminished future, the life of school-teaching in Ireland which, as matters continued to deteriorate in Skinner St., Mrs. Godwin must often have told her to prepare for." ~pg 183 She probably would have been better off. As it were, she never had a chance to have her own life.
A very interesting point is made concerning a gift the Shelley's bought Fanny while in Europe: "...he and Mary went into Geneva and bought a gold Swiss watch for Fanny back in London. It was an appropriate gift: in times of sudden poverty Shelley would part easily with his own gold watch; Fanny, in thrall to others [including Mary and Shelly, who were fond of her only when they wanted something from her, and who despised her for her lack of courage in not running from home when she was of no further use to them- NKP], was more in need of keeping time." ~pg 200
Ultimately, Fanny Wollstonecraft was the sacrifice of a party of people who refused to recognize the value of the gentle, unassuming soul in their midst.
Wednesday will see new updates to Lulu's Library, as school will be over for my Little Guy and he is going to sign up for our library's Summer Reading Program. He has informed me that he is going to read "all the Magic Tree House books." There are 55 of them. He has read 12 this year in school. We'll see how far we get!
What are you reading? I'd love to know. Drop me a line. Happy reading everyone!