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|More on the cat scene
Written by LaurieC
(9/21/2004 10:24 p.m.)
in consequence of the missive, Ah!!, penned by Tori Marie
I noticed that right before Irene cuddles the cat, James has insensitively exclaimed, "it's a pity you haven't got a child to think about, and occupy you!" A brooding look came instantly on Irene's face, and even James became conscious of the rigidity that took possession of her whole figure... Shortly thereafter, James concludes on a scolding note, departs, and Irene sorts the mail and gathers the cat in her arms.
This might be a stretch, but this is the Victorian era, and I see by this time in 1886, Queen Victoria had produced her nine children and had several grandchildren. In one of my reference books*, it states that during this time period, the typical family size was five or six children, but I don't know if the upper middle class modeled their family size on that of the royal family's. I hate to generalize too much, but I'm supposing there was social pressure to have children, and this is reflected in the scene between James and Irene. She may want to have children, but circumstances dictate otherwise. Hard to say what's going on at this point in the novel, so I can only speculate.
Does anyone recall how long Soames and Irene have been married?
*Victorian Britain: An Encyclopedia; ed. Sally Mitchell. Garland Publishing (1988).
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