Diane wrote

Lying around on sofas stops being heroic and self-sacrificing and becomes selfish and

Yes, but I think that's a fairly modern view. You could contrast 19th & 20th century attitudes here, perhaps. Yet we still have invalids sympathetically spoken of - by EBD, for instance.

True Mothers conceal their illnesses until they finally keel over while doing the mending.

This is just what the mothers do in Red Roofs & Sally Anne.

PS I really want to mention the Merediths in Rainbow Valley here, where
not having a mother is to be completley unsocialised.

It's too long since I read the book for me to be sure what you mean (not a hint for you to clarify! I'll read it).

And also a representation - as you very rightly suggest - of maternal
selflessness - Mum works herself to death?  So inducing pangs of reader-

Yes. I'd be glad if people could supply some examples here. I'm afraid my memory sometimes supplies a quote but not the book it's in.

Barbara Dryden

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