|Reading A Little Further
||[Apr. 26th, 2014|09:15 am]
And then Smithie falls in love with one of the women who keep the local tea shop. Great unpleasantness ensues. Joyce, Smithie's new girlfriend, is horrid to Enid. "You betrayed Smithie with Nina," she says. "So you've got what's coming to you."|
Things fall into a liveable, just-about-bearable routine. Then there's a gap in the record. Next thing we know Smithie is engaged to someone called Cyril Bullpitt (where on earth did he come from?) and Enid has met Dorothea, the woman who is going to be her companion for life. They discuss religion; Doro is a high church Anglican and Enid had broader views. Then Enid suggests they go to bed...
I knew Doro. She was four square and jolly. She and Enid were closer than most married couples. I thought of them- and the family spoke of them- as Enidanddoro- as if they were all one word...
My great-grandmother's sister had a female companion for life, though they never lived together. But somehow she decided not even to mention her in her memoirs, which is such a shame because while her memoirs do give the impression of an amazing woman who was a trail-blazing feminist (first female school director in Denmark, first female member of the Copenhagen city council) they also make her sound like an old spinster who sacrificed everything for her career. And she didn't, she really didn't.
I like how your great aunt wrote about it all. And preserved it for somebody to read some day. I would have liked to have such a first-hand account of my great-grandmother's sister's life, rather than her own whitewash of her memoirs.
Enid also wrote biographical sketches- one of which she had privately printed- and they too say nothing about her private life.
2014-04-26 10:35 am (UTC)
It would be lovely if you could write them up and publish somehow - it would be great as you are a descendant, and a writer :) ...Jenny xx
Early days, but I think we need to do something to get this material out there.
Having known Doro and your great aunt makes it all that much more personal, doesn't it? It's fascinating how it was all recorded with such detail. Good for Enid!
That was the way My Partner was with her last partner. People would run their names together like that. They are still friends. They broke up because the other woman wanted children. My Partner has never wanted children (nor have I). The former partner married another woman and they have a wonderful daughter who is now I teenager.
Smithie chose to marry a man. I don't know why. The man- poor old Cyril- doesn't seem to have been terribly inspiring. Enid has a poor view of him- but she would, wouldn't she! Smithie went into a depression before the wedding, called it off and then changed her mind and moved the date forward- as if to prevent herself from getting cold feet again.
If Smithy was depressed... and who can know exactly why... but it might have been because the economic/social pressures of not having a man in her life became much too much to bare for her.
Every so often, when I'm very, very depressed, I sometimes wonder if I shouldn't have just stayed with my ex-husband. He has very faithfully and consistently worked all of these years, while I have experienced sometimes horrific poverty. Then I talk to some woman who is happily married, and she will say something like "I really want to go to seminary, but my husband won't go for it." And, of course, he has all the power because he makes much more money than she does. Lesbians sometimes give up, and marry men, because they think it is going to make their lives more "comfortable". It doesn't... or, at least, that is my viewpoint.
I'm sure in Smithie's time, this was even more the case.
I believe Smithie felt trapped in the relationship with Enid- which was also a business partnership. She had put her all into it and Enid was persistently- and callously- unfaithful.
I wish we knew more about Mr Bullpitt. Enid makes him sound like a cold fish.
These two need both a book and a TV miniseries. It would knock that Sarah Waters woman into a cocked wotsit.