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Norah Lofts Message Board


Tyger posts on 12/4/2008 6:14:15 PM You all totally misunderstand Norah Lofts. She lived in a small village on the Norfolk/Suffolk borders. Inbreeding in her time was rife. In the 1940/50's she was the equivalent of Margaret Thatcher. She wrote abouthingsthatbwere not acceptable at the time. BUT everyting is fictional.... While I applaud and laud your reverence (and I am a huge fan - I collect 1st Editions!) she was a historical researcher How many you have a copy of her Domestic History of England? I bet I am ethe only on. I have lived in the area, you haven't. You know nothng about the way the people think in these rural villages, the fear they have of other people. Sorry, you are non-starters on the East Anglian stakes. If you haven't got over 1000 years of history behind you, how can you understand. You all read the books, you query every nuascence, you nit pick but you don't have the history and soul. Sorry. To those who have said that they cannot visualise where Norah based her novels then please ask me. I am obviously controversial as nobody responds to mre!! But I speak the truth, I lived there and read her novels in situ.
Barbara Hoyland posts on 11/27/2008 1:53:48 AM Yes, it would be lovely to have a map. In Madselin, Karen, Stigand of Bemid, Madselin's first love did belong to Lord Bowdegrave, in fact I think it is suggested that it was in Lord B's train that he went to Byzantium to fight the Turks. Rolf, the Norman who Masdelin married had two knights, the very young and honourable Sir Eustace and the (as you said) snotty Sir Godfrey. I don't think their surnames were mentioned but maybe someone else knows. This Sir Godfrey is very unlike the later ones, being snobbish and rather cruel. Sir Eustace seems more like the emotional ancestor as it were. The whole of this novel takes place in The Rinland- was that a real place I wonder? Colchester seems to the most major city in it. Lord B is mentioned as having a manor in Kent somwhere, but it seems that it was by no means his only one
Karen posts on 11/26/2008 12:49:57 AM Too bad no one has ever seen or been able to picture a map of the places NL has written about.... I am a visual thinker, and as I read I'm always trying to figure out where every place is in relation to every other. I was also trying to figure out if there was a connection between the setting of Madselin and the later novels. NL was very specific about the geographical features, though, and I haven't seen anything similar elsewhere. One of the (rather snotty) knights in Madselin was a Sir Godfrey, though. I haven't got the book, but my memory is that he seemed likely to be an ancestor of the later Sir Godfrey Tallboys. And isn't an ancestor of the Bowdegraves referred to as the absentee landlord of...oh, it's not coming to me... Madselin's one-time sweetheart's home? The Bowdegraves seem to have been a force to be reckoned with in many of the novels....



Barbara Hoyland posts on 11/24/2008 7:36:49 PM Good to know there are still young fans of NL Cassie. Yes, you're right Mary, about Tallebois in The Homecoming. I think I;ll go with the explanation that not-very-literate local country priests originally read the names and Anglicized the pronunciation Sir James is Godfrey's brother by the way
Cassie posts on 11/24/2008 10:48:55 AM I have been reading NL since I was an early teenager (I'm 32 now) It's fun to know that there are other fans out there!! She was such an amazing author! I am trying to find books by NL at our library but they have such a small selection. Ugh!!
Mary posts on 11/22/2008 12:26:00 AM On the pronunciation of Mortiboys, isn't there something similar in The Hmecoming? Sir Godfrey's older brother (can't remember his name, but his wife's name is Emma) remarks that of course the name Tallboys was originally Taille (de) Bois, but that with the way it sounds, he hopes his (supposed) grandson will be tall.
Barbara Hoyland posts on 11/21/2008 11:10:48 PM Hi Tryna I never thought of the Emma Hamilton connection - but you may well be right , well spotted! Do you have any ideas on my earlier questions on the half-brother motif? Or does anybody have any thoughts on the descendants of Madselin/Rolf connection? I;m always impressed by people's clever noticing skills in this regard.
Tryna Pizzicaroli posts on 11/21/2008 3:00:24 PM Only read "Day of the Butterfly," once, but seemed to me it was based on Lady Emma Hamilton. A poor but beautiful woman who worked as a live "strike a pose" actress in a tavern, falls in love with the nephew of a rich uncle who passes her to the old man, who marries her for her beauty. She then falls in love with a sailor. The timing is different, during the British Civil War. Anyone else get this?
Barbara Hoyland posts on 11/2/2008 1:57:06 AM I haven't come across Sharon Mc Crumb but will certainly look out for her after your descriptions, to find a neo-Nl would be wonderful. Yes it was the Donner style party referred to at the end of Bless this House, I wrongly remembered it as a shipwreck. I remember the six-fingered hand description of Layer Wood too. In Pargeters? Or The Old Priory,was it? One of my favourite NL's is Madselin, the earliest setting I think, of any of her novels, set just after the Norman conquest. I'm not sure, but I don;t believe she revisits any of the descendants of Madselin and her Norman husband Rolf , though in Jassy there is a sort of related detail about why Mortiboys is called Mortiboys. She talks of an ealy Saxon who fought to the death and indeed set fire to himself and dwelling when it was apparent the the Normans would take it and the victors were so impressed they called the place Morte de Bois. NL goes on to say that this become in the local tongue Mortiboys. I believe this to be one of NL very rare false notes: Mortiboys suggests that the speaker saw the words Morte de Bois and pronounced it English fashion and I would have thought no ordinary person at that time would be literate so more likely to have heard the name as Mordybwa or Mortibar or something. Though it could have been a priest who first read and mispronounced it I guess .
Karen posts on 11/1/2008 6:06:20 PM A little synchronicity - every year we have a Haunted House, following the Halloween Parade, in the little town I live in. This year the high school kids researched the Donner Party, and their re-creation of it (not in its entirety, of course) was part of this year's Halloween festivities. And yes, the Tom Rowhedge reference was to Donner-party-like pioneers. On a slightly different note, someone had once asked on this message board if anyone knew of a map of NL's Suffolk? I've looked at old maps on the internet, and tried to imagine where she might have located different communities - some names are similar, and I've tried to imagine the six-fingered hand she describes (was it in Pargeters?) - but I've really got no idea about it. Has anyone here found such a map, or recreated one? Perhaps someone with a knowledge of Suffolk that the rest of us don't have?
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