This phrase, allegedly used in Victorian and Edwardian times to encourage over-loud sharers to switch languages to keep sensitive conversations from the ears of the ever-present servants, has no place in the Abbey world. Upon hearing this reminder, the speaker would then proceed to dish the dirt in French, rather than English, making acquisition of the latter language a desideratum for little pitchers. But not only do Abbey Girls refrain from innuendo and idle gossip so that there is no need to check their utterances, there are virtually no domestiques in Elsie’s oeuvres. [Read more…]
Archives for June 2021
What does the May Queen at Miss Macey’s School DO, exactly?
A question from a Reader prompted me to think about the role of the May Queen at Miss Macey’s School. What does she do, exactly?
I think that, generally speaking, within the power structure of the school she simultaneously does a lot and not much.
First, let us remind ourselves that this is an imaginary role at an imaginary school—while real schools had May Queens from time to time or even for a long time—see my book for more on, for example, Whitelands College and its long-standing tradition of May Queens and now May Monarchs—I do not think that they had the role that Elsie J. Oxenham assigns to her May Queens of the Hamlet Club. [Read more…]