[There are some spoilers for The Daisy Chain coming. If you haven't read it,
it is a top read so do try it!]
Thank you, Barbara and everyone who has written an article so far. I hope
the lack of criticism in the last few days isn't disappointing - I think it
is actually a compliment, as no one is disagreeing, just reading with
Anyway, hoping to do my bit. One book that I thought of while reading
Barbara's article was The Daisy Chain. Mrs May doesn't really count as a
sick mother, as she was killed outright at the beginning of the book, but
this leaves her elder daughter, Margaret, to be a sort-of proto Katy, an
invalid elder sister of a long family who adopts the elder sister/mother
role so beloved by EBD, among others. Like Katy, she runs has the reins of
the household firmly gripped in her small but capable hands, all the time
while confined to her bed.
Also in The Daisy Chain, illness and death as a punishment are illustrated
by Flora's baby. Flora married for money, and was punished by the poor
health and subsequent death of her baby. It later transpired that the baby
was being fed laudanum by its nurse, to keep it quiet.
The ultimate royal sick mother might be the last Tsarina - she seemed to
lurk around being non-specifically ill a lot. I wonder what was actually
wrong with her, does anyone know? Depression?
Other sick mothers: (and apologies if they have already been mentioned):
Diggory's mother in The Magician's Nephew; Will's mother in The Subtle
Knife; the mother in The Railway Children.
I wonder why sick mother's are more appealing than sick fathers? Fathers
tend to me abroad working or something, rather than ill. I can think of
Gwen's father in Mallory Towers but not any others - there must be SOME,
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