What irks me about Tomalin's approach...
Posted by JennieC on March 21, 1998 at 09:56:33:
A little further down the board, Clare wrote, "It somehow bothers me when people present their assumptions in such a way that it can be misread as the actual facts."
This bothered me all the way through Tomalin's book, but particularly in the first half. Her psychological analyses are especially annoying--the way she constantly refers to the "farming out" of the children as scarring them for life. Good grief. It's the pot calling the kettle black, IMHO. The majority of parents in present day society "farm out" their kids to daycare and school, don't they? And people who choose to stay at home with their children or home school them are labeled "weird" and "abnormal." So what's Tomalin's beef?
That was just one of the many "conclusions" which bothered me. Now (**SPOILER ALERT**), I will give you that Tomalin comes round in the final four paragraphs to say that we really cannot make any assumptions about Jane's life, since we have so little to go on. So why did she spend a whole book doing just that? I was not impressed with her approach, though I did find the book a good read, if only for the many wonderful facts about Jane's surroundings and relatives.
Jane will be somewhat of a mystery for generations to come, unless perhaps hundreds of unseen writings come to light. Aren't we all that way? If my descendants read my journals a hundred years from now, they will get a very small picture of what I was like and will probably assume I had a very narrow life. I just can't put all of myself into letters and diary entries. Who can?
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