Nicola, Jane, Modesty on to the cold roofscape for private conversation – spyification about spyification!
Talk of Modesty's later 'hot date' with Lisa-Louise (the photographer). Nicola and Jane in their new sexual-love partnership seek wisdom from wise Modesty – and seek advice about Jane's new spy mistress (Caroline Harvey).
Much is later made of Jane's spying on two 'lusty ladies' (Jenna Javelin and Lady Blanchet) and Nicola's likely jealousy. It seems to me that Nicola should have accepted Jane's duty to the State and that she is bound to have 'tumbles' as a result. This world is full of 'tumbles' by report of this novel. Nicola seems to me to not ring true as far too precious (sensitive). But some people are like that, I guess.
Talk of Hen's Foot Whiskey – and possible fraud. All tied into the machinations of auditing (divvyng up) the army's prizes that underpin Jane's party of civil service colleagues in Lundin...
Talk of the 'wood pigeon diamond':
<<"Lady Blanchet is Governess of Lundin, and Lady Jenna is Lady Protectress of Lundin."
"And in plain English? What are their roles? What's the difference between a governess and a lady protectress?"
"I don't know… Protectress makes it sound as though Jenna might have more to do with the army, perhaps…"
"Perhaps… But, essentially, the two roles are not clearly defined. So – why do you think there are two rulers with no clear distinction between them?"
"Divide and rule?"
"You really are astute, Miss Brewster. That is exactly the way of it. Either lady, without the other to block her ambitions, would be too powerful for Her Majesty's liking. With the pair of them at loggerheads, the city will be truly part of her Empire."
"So you want me to observe their rivalry over the diamond?">>
Interesting narrative treatment of priorities – e.g. duty towards Nicola or the State, as mentioned before.
Jacqui-Bloodisms of fiction (e.g. stashing of Jane's reports in grating near a cistern etc). Secret Seven / Famous Five feel.
Typo = Do propose to attack my boundary
Incident in meeting Lisa-Louise taking photos near the tower where the Usurper is holed up. L-L talks of Tuerqui – and although I vowed not to let my reading of 'Jane' be affected by what I already know of the plot of forthcoming novels – this section seems to summarise some of the plot of the next few novels.
Lisa-Louise also seems to indicate a 'sexual chain' to Jane's mother that is too short for comfort. Perhaps, in this world, one is never more than two or three tumbles from anyone else at all!
Links to all my JANE chapter comments:
Posted at 12:03 pm by Weirdmonger
September 27, 2009 11:10 AM PDT
Thank you for that!
And thank you for spotting the typo (now corrected).
The possibility of fraud (the question about whisky) underlines what I was saying (in comment on Book 3 Chapter 2) of the reasons for the prize allocation section being physically moved to Lundin. The whisky fraud (if such it is) can amount to no very great sum. Similar problems with items of jewellery might represent a lot of money.
The extent to which Her Majesty desires rivalry or cooperation between Lady Jenna Javelin and Lady Blanchet may be clarified somewhat in a subsequent chapter. The truth of this, I suspect, is complex.
Sex is more complicated than seems implied by your comments on Nicola’s feelings. It can be no more than a pleasant (or otherwise) tumble with someone, but it is apt to stir deep emotions. In Book 1, Jane reports being in love with Modesty. Fleeting as this may have been (and often is with sixteen year olds) it was, nevertheless, profound.
I think that, during the course of the novel, Jane refers both to “tumbles” and to “making love”. The physical activities thus encapsulated are probably little (if any) different from one another. The emotional significance may be very different.
Specifically on Nicola’s and Jane’s relationship, they are now envisaging a lifelong relationship in which they will each carry the other’s gynogenesis children. This is a deep commitment. (How deep should be explored in later volumes.) If each expects (or at least hopes for) fidelity from the other, that seems reasonable to me. While Nicola is (of course) Her Majesty’s loyal subject, it is not to be expected that she would be pleased to discover that the state demands sexual services from her life partner. A complication (and aggravation of difficult feelings) is that several scattered remarks from Nicola seem to indicate that she considers Jane a bit flighty.
In so far as they are discoverable, all of the “Jane” characters’ attitudes to (or expectations of) sex seem to be a bit different from one another.
Her Majesty, for example, seems to regard sex as a means for relieving the tensions inherent in being Empress. Perhaps, in reality, her attitude is more complex than that, for we are never privy to her intimate moments with Gina Gestate.
Modesty also looks to sex to relieve the tensions of command. But, beyond that, it is a wellspring of emotion for her, as is seen (for example) when she cries on parting from Jane at Malden War Dock. Her relationship with Lisa-Louise is different, as should be seen in later volumes of “The Warriors of Love”, but I won’t anticipate that in these comments. With her now blossoming relationship with Lisa-Louise, I think that Modesty is especially well pleased to bless Jane’s relationship with Nicola.
For Lady Jenna Javelin, sex seems to have much to do with power and control. I perceive this as following from her being tortured in the Grim Tower at the Usurper’s command. (There will be more, later in “The Warriors of Love”, on that matter. But, before the end of “Jane”, her intimate relationship with Anna seems to have worked a considerable change in her. She will never be soft, but (sexually) she is becoming less harsh.
Lady Blanchet is a bored aristocrat, who seems to regard sex as a means for staving off ennui. I don’t think she’s reckoned with how much serving Her Majesty will shake up her life. There will be some indication of what Her Majesty desires of Lady Blanchet later in “Jane”. Whether the effects of this will be seen in later volumes of “The Warriors of Love” is something I don’t know for sure. They may figure in Volume 3 (“Daisy”).
Coral Frobisher is carried away by lust, on finding herself unexpectedly paired with an attractive young girl. But I sense that she finds this disconcerting, and is not sorry when Jane terminates their sexual relationship. I think that Coral is a lady who doesn’t like to lose control.
Jane is a young girl, trying to find her way in an adult world. As is the way with teenagers, her hormones are often her mistress. Yet, ultimately, she’s looking for a lifelong loving relationship.
Nicola seems a little more prim than Jane. Perhaps some of what Jane is inclined to release in sexual activity, Nicola releases in her rather irritating jokes. (Well, I think that Coral Frobisher, at least, finds Nicola’s jokes rather irritating.)