Wednesday, August 15, 2012

The Moonstone Week 2: Enter the Clack

We get a pretty good description of Rachel's appearance, and except for the fact that her face isn't HIDEOUS and her backside is mentioned not even once (which is probably a good thing since old Betteredge is narrating), she kind of sounds like a Marian clone.
"In a minute more, Miss Rachel came downstairsvery nicely dressed in some soft yellow stuff, that set off her dark complexion, and clipped her tight (in the form of a jacket) round the waist. She had a smart little straw hat on her head, with a white veil twisted round it. She had primrose-coloured gloves that fitted her hands like a second skin. Her beautiful black hair looked as smooth as satin under her hat. Her little ears were like rosy shellsthey had a pearl dangling from each of them." (p. 169)
But is it weird that Betteredge remembers exactly what Rachel was wearing on this particular day? I mean, the man is 70 . . . and also a man.

And then Rachel took her primrose-coloured hand and "unmanned" Franklin with it. Poooor Franklin. But is he the doomed love she was talking about when she finally agreed to marry Godfrey? I think he is. Which means he did something VERY naughty and made her never want to see him again. What did you DO, Franklin? I don't think even he knows.

I know we have our qualms with Betteredge's old-fashioned ideas, but who didn't love him after his reaction to Rosanna's (alleged until I see a body) death? And then this too:
"I don't think I ever felt what a good dutiful daughter I had, so strongly as I felt it at that moment. I took her and sat her on my knee and prayed God bless her." (p. 178)
So you're thinking about taking a woman on your knee . . .

I think this might be scandalous, but I'm not sure:
"I left him, miserable enough, leaning on the sill of my window, with his face hidden in his handsand Penelope peeping through the door, longing to comfort him. In Mr. Franklin's place, I should have called her in. When you are ill-used by one woman, there is great comfort in telling it to anotherbecause, nine times out of ten, the other always takes your side. Perhaps, when my back was turned, he did call her in? In that case, it is only doing my daughter justice to declare that she would stick at nothing, in the way of comforting Mr. Franklin Blake." (p. 180)
She would stick at nothing, you say?

Lately, I'm suspicious of Lady Verinder (may she rest in peace). She frequently spoke with Rachel behind closed doors during the investigation, when Rachel wouldn't talk to anyone else. And when Cuff wanted to see Rachel's reaction to the news of Rosanna's death, Lady V insisted on going and delivering the news herself, alone. Plus, Rachel IS protecting someone in all this moonstone business. I don't think it's Franklin, because he commissioned all these narratives and because she appears to HATE him at this point. But as close as she is to her mother, she would protect her at all costs, right? I choose you, Lady Verinder! Don't think being dead gets you off the hook, missus.

Are we thinking there's a bit of a Sherlock/Watson dynamic between Cuff and Betteredge? Maybe a smidgen of guy love?
"'I declare to heaven,' says this strange officer solemnly, 'I would take to domestic service tomorrow, Mr. Betteredge, if I had a chance of being employed along with You!" (p. 195)
"I looked with righteous indignation at the Sergeant to see what he thought of such a testimony as that. The Sergeant looked back like a lamb, and seemed to like me better than ever." (p. 186).
Stop looking at him like that, Cuff. It's weird.

 Three words regarding Limping Lucy's speech after Rosanna's death: UNREQUITED LESBIAN LOVE. Thank you, Wilkie. Just thank you.

And you GUYS . . . Miss Clack's first name is DRUSILLA.

Miss Rachel speaks out of turn.
She's a bad example, and will have no cakes today.


  1. I'm thinking Betteredge would be perfectly happy to have Mr. Franklin Blake as his son-in-law. Could that be why he never pictured Franklin with Rachel?
    As for whodunit -- I'm totally on board with Lady Verinder as prime suspect, with Rachel covering for her (and possibly never telling Lady Verinder she knew).

  2. I love you Megs. Clearly Drusilla is that Drusilla. Maybe The Moonstone is really just her vampire origin story! Maybe Angel will turn up soon! MAYBE FRANKLIN IS ANGEL! And Godfrey can be Spike! YES!

    Ahem. YES LIMPING LUCY'S LOVE! I just had to add a ps to my post about it because I totally forgot about her lesbian love outburst! Just like with Marian and Laura *siiiigh*

    I think Franklin being 'comforted' by Penelope is totally scandalous. Or at least potentially scandalous. Maybe Penelope will be needing an abortion too now... Naughty Franklin!

  3. "
    I don't think even he knows." Oooooh I hadn' thought of that. READALONG WINS AGAIN. So much I would not have picked up on.

    Also, that's one of my favorite Jon Lovitz sketches ever, so now I love you more. That was totally weird with Penelope. And then she wished him goodbye at the carriage. I just...I don' Maybe Penelope is the real Miss Verinder and Rachel is Betteredge's? Or..something? I'm just gonna throw everything to the wall and when we find out what sticks, shall be like "I TOLD YOU."

    I like how everyone's all "LUCY/ROSANNA 4EVS" because we like pairing people. I wonder how dudes read this book. Also, totes on the Sherlock/Watson thing. But I like Betteredge more than Watson, because he is lovable old Betteredge.

    Er...I do not know that movie at the end, but is it a Cinderella thing?

  4. So...that picture ISN'T from Cinderella.


  5. I forgot about the Limping Lucy speech!! I was overwhelmed by Clack.

    I think the Penelope/Franklin thing is scandalous! I hope those two end up together. I'm liking Rachel better this week, but I still want her to be less of a brat. Or just TELL ME YOUR SECRET!

  6. YES. He never objects to Franklin kissing his daughter...which isn't very fatherly in general, UNLESS he secretly wants them to be wed.

    Hmmm...interesting idea that Rachel may not have told her mother what she knew if she knew her mother had something to do with the missing diamond. Verrrry interesting.

  7. *squeeeeze* I guess we can add vampires to our fan fiction...and now the picture is complete.

    How COULD you forget about the lesbian love outburst? This one wasn't even subtle really...whereas I would say the Marian/Laura thing was more of an undertone than an outright thing.

    We should have known Penelope was scandalous...flouncing around with those cap-ribbons.

  8. LOVITZ. I want to pinch his cheeks every time I see him.

    No matter WHAT happens, you'll be able to tell us you saw it coming. No one can take that away from you....not ever.

    I don't know if I could ever like anyone better than Watson, but Betteredge has gotten closer than anyone else could have to filling that Watson-shaped place in my heart.

    Is it possible that you haven't seen Buffy the Vampire Slayer ever? Drusilla is probably the best villain Whedon ever wrote. She's CRAYZAY...just like the Clack.

  9. I HAVE SEEN S1 AND PART OF S2. And then I got distracted by shiny things. When does she show up? And why is she in period clothing, 'cause that increases my interest 1000%.

  10. *gets all red-faced and flusters around about British social hierarchies*

  11. And I BARELY talked about Clack. By the time I got to that part in my notes, I was tired of writing. But she's clearly amazing, and I don't know what else I could say on that matter.

    I'm liking Rachel much better too! It's becoming clear that her brattiness was some kind of martyrdom to protect a certain SOMEONE. I don't want her to settle for Godfrey...even if he IS a Christian hero. But at the beginning of Clack's narrative, that footnote that Franklin added made it sound like he and Rachel were together? Maybe?

  12. She's introduced in S2, but she's more central in a later season I think. She's basically Nancy to Spike's Sid, and she has this awesome back story where she was a Victorian lady (hence the period clothing) and her family got killed, and she lost her mind. IT'S SO GOOD.

  13. Season 1 is the lamest season. Don't let yourself get distracted - the best is yet to come in season 5 and the first part of season 6!

    Oh man. Now I have to go home and watch Buffy and not get my Moonstone reading done.

  14. Well, perhaps not *wed*, but maybe he wouldn't object to her getting a little knocked up because then Franklin would have to either marry her (not likely) or pay her for the upkeep of his bastard child - aka Victorian hush money.

  15. I'm thinking Betteredge's "have at 'er" attitude with his daughter and Franklin just kind of speaks to how he thinks about women. I think his class ideals are too deeply ingrained to allow Penelope to marry Franklin. Yes? Maybe? Or did women marry up like that back in ye olde Victorian times? It seems like it's skipping a couple rungs of the social ladder.

    And Franklin is DEFINITELY confused about what he did to offend Rachel so. And Limping Lucy's speech!! Yeeaaarrrrgg, so many things!

  16. Absolutely unrequited lesbian love!!!

    I told meant to mention that and then I totally forgot, glad you did though.

  17. This super-gay painting is on the cover of the edition I just stole from my roommate:

  18. Ohhh I remember her. ALSO -- I just took this Penguin edition from Shaan (roomie) and it says THIS in the notes:

    "Collins had earlier been pestered by two evangelical young women who, having found out that he lived with a woman to whom he was not married, would leave religious pamphlets urging repentance where he would be bound to see them."

  19. Is that a lady sitting in another lady's lap whilst a solitary gentleman looks on? THAT'S AMAZING.

  20. I thought she just had her arm around her, but I totally approve of your version instead.

  21. I totally meant to mention the blossoming bromance between Betteredge and Cuff. How could I forget that?? I guess Clack really stole the show this week.

    I'm STILL waiting for Limping Lucy to give that letter to Franklin, so that we can find out what exactly was going on with Rosanna. Wilkie will probably make us wait another two hundred pages, though. *shakes fists*

    (I still think that she wasn't just in love with him. I think she knows him from her Dark Criminal Past and was trying to blackmail and/or team up with him to commit nefarious deeds.)

  22. I hope it's team up. It will be such a let down if Rosanna was just in love with him. Especially because she had Lucy!

  23. YES. Now I hope even more some of the tracts these ladies left Wilkie made their way into Moonstone. I just really want "A Word about your Cap-Ribbons" to be a real thing

  24. Ohhhh...I FORGOT about Rosanna's letter for Franklin! If I were Lucy, I would be steaming that envelope open post haste. I'm not a very good friend.

  25. That WOULD be a letdown. And how infuriating if Rosanna was like, "Lucy, you're the best friend I ever had and you've loved me when no one else could...but this guy is PRETTY and he makes me SAD, and so I must depart this cruel world. You'll recover eventually."

  26. I always forget to take things like "class structure" and "propriety" and "abortions didn't exist" into account. CURSE MY MODERN BRAIN.

  27. That just makes me love Wilkie even more...for some reason I can't explain.

  28. Remind me not to entrust you with any life-or-death post deliveries.

  29. I would still DELIVER it...after lightly perusing its contents.