Wednesday, 15 August 2012

The Moonstone 2: Detective Fevah

This post is part of Reading Rambo's The Moonstone readalong, and so it contains ALL the spoilers. 



Let's be real, all I really want to talk about is Miss Clack. But first! The happenings.

"The Moonstone has served the Colonel's vengeance, Betteredge, by means which the Colonel himself never dreamt of!"

VAN DER DRAMA

So, basically, the Verinder household is falling the heck apart. Cuff suspects Rachel and totally gives credence, even though he doesn't believe it's the case here, to Laura's theory of Rachel stealing her own jewel to pay for her super illegal Victorian abortion: "Sometimes, the money is wanted for purposes which I don't suspect in this case, and which I won't shock you by mentioning." Yeah.

Franklin is rejected by Rachel pretty harshly, considering the times, and the man CANNOT handle it.


R2D2 can sympathize.

So he goes off to "foreign parts," a la Hartright. Basically if a male protagonist in Wilkie's books is spurned in love in ANY way, he has to leave the country. It seems like where love is concerned, Wilkie makes men out to be snivelling ninnies while lady characters are like, "Ah, yeah. All in a day."

Well, except, perhaps, poor Rosanna Spearman. The evidence strongly suggests she's met her grave, as she predicted, in the Shivering Sands. But how easy would it have been for her to have walked off in the shallow water, leaving no footprints?! Also, she sounds like she was a pretty high-class thief back in London, pre-reformatory. I don't think her feelings for a squishy aristocrat would give her enough motivation to destroy herself. I say we haven't seen the last of Rosanna Spearman.

In the meantime, Betteredge hands us off to our next narrator, the delightful Miss Clack. I love this narrative with my whole heart, as did the readers of the time, according to the Wilks. Wilkie also tells us in his "Preface to a New Edition" that he dictated the Miss Clack narrative while bedridden with rheumatic gout. Meaning he was so, so high on opium during this whole business. 

Miss Clack's narrative is a pretty bold-faced critique of a very specific breed of righteous Christian that is unique to England (Clack's chosen publications "are not to be found in the literature of any other country in Europe") (at the time). It's nice because Wilkie sticks, I think, to criticizing the people, rather than the religion or God, so I can go ahead and enjoy how outright he makes her hypocrisy.

I would like to quote all the quotes, but I am at work and I didn't bring the book. But, I mean, you've read it. You remember the awesome. Now! On to more Drusilla goodness! She's no Marian but she might just be The Moonstone's Mr. Fairlie.

21 comments:

  1. "But how easy would it have been for her to have walked off in the shallow water, leaving no footprints?!"

    ...this is possibly better than my moonwalking theory. But in the end it comes to the same, namely that ROSANNA IS STILL ALIVE SOMEWHERE.

    I hope while he was dictating Miss Clack's part, he did it all in a high, indignant voice.

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    1. "I hope while he was dictating Miss Clack's part, he did it all in a high, indignant voice." yes please

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    2. "...this is possibly better than my moonwalking theory."

      HERESY! What is better than moonwalking?!?

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    3. Maybe she moonwalked IN THE WATER. UNTRACEABLE.

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    4. Perhaps Rosanna is hiding in Lucy's room, and is pulling all the strings in this story. And Lucy is just a really good actress.

      OR MAYBE she is dead and we'll finally get a ghost in a Wilkie book!

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  2. Clack is SO The Moonstone's Mr Fairlie. Ridiculously so. I love to hate her soooo much!

    And, I can't tell you how vindicated I was by the whole 'I won't shock you by telling you about abortions' business, because seriouslyyyy- I was being so facetious (facetious? Something, anyway) with that theory, but it turns out that it's something at least considered! So, yay!

    Also, I love how no one thinks Rosanna is dead. NO ONE. When she doesn't actually return, we're all going to be SO sad!

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    1. *I* think she's dead! Me, over here!

      Except that... OMGOMG I just had a theory. Rosanna was an awesome thief, right? And she recognized Franklin, yea? What if they orchestrated the whole thing? *brain explodes*

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    2. Bingo. 5 points to Tikabelle - I totally agree!

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    3. ZOMG. Yup - Rosanna and Franklin: Danny Ocean and Rusty Ryan.

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    4. THAT WAS MY FINGERSMITH THEORY

      But I'm choosing not to believe it, because FRANKLIN + RACHEL FOREVER, PEOPLE

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    5. Oh yes, those things aren't really compatible, are they? But which to choose?! Both are so good!

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    6. I think Rosanna totally knew Franklin before, and he might've been involved with thieves (this could be the terrible, awful thing he did that Rachel's upset about?), but I dunno if they were co-conspirators because of his involvement with the assemblage of the moonstone narrative.

      Yeah. That thing.

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    7. Maybe Franklin was involved with the thieves due to some of his non-English upbringing. It's that Italian temper he learned. Maybe they knew each other then and that's why Rosanna was always trying to talk to him and he was all "nope, don't know you at all." I refuse to believe Rosanna loved him because she had Lucy

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    8. ROSANNA AND LUCY HAVE A LOVE THAT SURVIVES THE AGES

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    9. I think it's more likely that Godfrey has the Dark Past and Rosanna was trying to warn Franklin, since he would be the one to challenge Godfrey to a deul for Rachel's honor.

      Maybe Godfrey has been embezzling all the trouser monies!

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  3. Wilkie being super out of it on opium during the Clack narrative makes so much sense. And I wholeheartedly agree that in the Clack narrative Wilkie is making fun of the people that act like her but not of the religion itself.

    Poor Franklin. But if he is our Hartright, running away when heartbroken, does this mean that he'll come back and save the day? Cos he did commission the narratives. Maybe he acted all heroically and was like "you know what? This needs recorded so future generations can read about how awesome I am"

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    1. I did not SAY he was making fun of Christianity (since OBviously this is all directed at my comment. obvs). But idiots who read things can have a tendency to lump the two things together. I know he's not responsible for idiots, but Dickens still did it better.

      FRANKLIN SHALL WIN THE DAY

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    2. Idiots ruin everything. Also I haven't read the Dickens you referred to so I can't see if his is better or how much better it (prob) is.

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    3. Idiots do ruin everything. And Franklin is going to have some epiphany abroad and come back with the case solved! This will happen.

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  4. When I comment late on things, everyone has already said the good stuff...but NO ONE HAS SAID ANYTHING ABOUT THE R2D2 GIF, AND THAT IS A TRAVESTY. I want to embrace his semi-cylindrical body and give him a cup of warm battery fluid.

    Oh, but here's a book-related question. So Hartright and Franklin both went and traveled all around to get over their heartbreak...but would a woman during that time ever have that kind of freedom? I mean, even with all her money, could Rachel just go on a tour of the world because someone made her sad? It doesn't seem likely. And Rosanna didn't have freedom OR money, so death was her only escape (allegedly). DISCRIMINATION.

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  5. Ohhhhh man, this was the opium part? AWESOME. Totally explains the ridiculous "I'll hide a book in every room" thing. That was so silly.

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