April 25, 2006

Edwardian Llama


- A Snapshot of your life as it might have been in 1905

You are a Schoolmaster!


You'll go to the local school in the village and then to Durham. You'll be the first person in your family to go to university.

Career Prospects

Through a mixture of hard work and intelligence you'll do well in your work as a schoolmaster. You'll receive a pension but will not live to enjoy it as you'll be killed in the First World War.

Leisure Time

You'll enjoy inviting neighbours in for tea but you'll have your main meal - meat and vegetables - in the evening. You'll go to church regularly and will be on the parochial Church Council, as well as being an active supporter of the local Conservative club. You'll go to theatre and musical concerts in the local market town when there is something worth seeing and will always buy the best seats.

Living Conditions

You'll live in a village and employ three domestic servants who live with you - a cook, a maid and a scullery maid. You believe that your wife has better things to do than household chores.

Marital Relations

You'll marry your wife when you're 25 - she is a friend of your family and goes to the local church.

World War One

At the outbreak of World War One you'll feel it?s your duty to join the army as a non-commissioned officer and will rise to the rank of company sergeant major. You'll be killed in the trenches at Ypres in 1917.

Well at least I hope I take out a few Fritzes first. Where's my entrenching tool?**

Yips! to Squire Basil.

(** Serious bonus points if you get the allusion. UPDATE: Answer below the fold.)

"There is a photograph in existence of Aunt Sadie and her six children sitting round the tea-table at Alconleigh. The table is situated, as it was, is now, and ever shall be, in the hall, in front of a huge open fire of logs. Over the chimney-piece plainly visible in the photograph, hangs an entrenching tool, with which, in 1915, Uncle Matthew had whacked to death eight Germans one by one as they crawled out of a dug-out. It is still covered with blood and hairs, an object of fascination to us as children."

- Nancy Mitford, The Pursuit of Love, Chapter 1.

Uncle Matthew is quite a character, apparently modeled closely on Mitford's own pater. Here's a leetle more:

[Cousin] Linda and I were very much preoccupied with sin, and our great hero was Oscar Wilde.

"But what did he do?"

"I asked Fa once and he roared at me--goodness, it was terrifying. He said: 'If you mention that sewer's name again in this house I'll thrash you, do you hear, damn you?' So I asked Sadie and she looked awfully vague and said: 'Oh, duck, I never really quite knew, but whatever it was was worse than murder, fearfully bad. And, darling, don't talk about him at meals, will you?'"

Posted by Robert at April 25, 2006 11:26 AM | TrackBack

-I'll live alone and have a private income. I am unimpressed with the quality of my servants' work.

Well, I got the living alone part right. Where's my private income, dammit? And my servants?

Posted by: dillene at April 25, 2006 11:46 AM

Also a schoolmaster, and also wiped out at Wipers.

I'm a little surprised that a surpassingly snooty fellow like Basil Seal should think that Edward VII was the last British monarch to give his name to an era. Rupert Brooke, Robert Graves, Siegfried Sassoon, and a bunch of others are consistently referred to as "the Georgian poets." Even I know that.

And I'm so ignorant that your entrenching tool allusion just mystifies me.

Posted by: utron at April 25, 2006 11:47 AM

Major General Ray Smith was nicknamed "e-tool:"

"In boot camp the squad had heard about Ray’s exploits in Vietnam with an entrenching tool, or E-tool, a small, collapsible shovel. One instructor had told them that Ray’s M-16 jammed during a night attack, and he had continued down the trench line swinging an E-tool, later remarking that a shovel doesn’t jam. A different version had it that he had assaulted a North Vietnamese machine-gun position with an E-tool. Whatever the story, he was known in the Corps as “E-Tool.”"

Posted by: Bill from INDC at April 25, 2006 11:52 AM

Who are you kidding? That's a camel, not a Llama.

Posted by: Babs at April 25, 2006 11:53 AM

"I'm a little surprised that a surpassingly snooty fellow like Basil Seal should think that Edward VII was the last British monarch to give his name to an era. Rupert Brooke, Robert Graves, Siegfried Sassoon, and a bunch of others are consistently referred to as "the Georgian poets." Even I know that."

-"Georgian" is here referring to the poets themselves and not to an era...Were not these gentlemen more often referred to as the "War Poets"? These were the men who waxed poetic in between bouts of biffing Fritz. "Snooty...Snoty...The sauage king of Chicago...Robert, the allusion please...

Posted by: Basil Seal at April 25, 2006 12:21 PM

I got schoolmaster myself. My great uncle actually made it until Oct. 3. 1918. KIA in northern France. He should have been out of the war, having lost part of a lung to a gas attack in 1916, but the bastards in charge at the time kept chewing up so many men that he was needed back.

That's one reason I like Rumsfeld. He may not have all the answers, but at least he understands that you need to change approaches to the current & future wars, and not rely on the past so much.

Posted by: rbj at April 25, 2006 12:41 PM

Pregnant househelp who gets tossed out to work in a sweatshop putting bristles in brooms. Never to marry.

Wow. A working class dad really screws you. :)

Posted by: Nicole at April 25, 2006 01:31 PM

Humph. I can't answer it, because apparently, according to the idiots who assembled that website, there were no clergy in 1905.

Posted by: Brian B at April 25, 2006 02:01 PM

Nancy Mitford's father was not nearly so lovable as he appears in her books. He was rotten to Nancy and a big fan of Hitler.

Posted by: miriam at April 25, 2006 04:21 PM

True. Of course, nearly the entire family were quite mad.

Posted by: Robbo the LB at April 25, 2006 04:35 PM

Umm, a very difficult quiz to even answer (unless your dad's employment was more "stable" than mine).

I mean, dad had a job "digging ditches" (with a Math degree), moved to a desk job doing contruction bidding, worked his way up to OSHA coordinator & VP of several mergered firms... so depending on which of my dad's titles I either get a life of luxury, or a 60+ hour a week drudgery job with starvation.

Posted by: Gekkobear at April 26, 2006 12:50 PM