Year of Wonders: In excruciating detail!
YOW is a novel in 3 parts:
Year of Wonders/Year of the Plague 3. Epilogue:
Why this structure?
To hook the readers into the story straight away. Prologue p.3
Apple picking time
“I used to love this season.” p.3
“…where he sits still and silent.” P.3, paragraph 3, line 1
Readers: Who’s this guy and why is he depressed? What’s happened to him? p.4 “It was the first time he’d looked at me in days.” p.4 “…even if they could remember how to do so.”
p.4 “Finally, when I’d run out of things to pretend to do, I left him.” Reading strategy:
Read the first line of each paragraph.
Details of Anna’s brief marriage to Sam Frith and his death in the mine. There are also details of her father and step-mother and The Puritans. p.9 Why does Anna love to read? It’s a great escape from reality! It still works today! p.12 The introduction of Elizabeth Bradford.
How do we know she’s a social superior to Anna? Typically, she didn’t even bother with a greeting. p.13-18 Anna and Michael Mompellion confront Elizabeth Bradford. We learn that the house that Mompellion is living in used to be the Bradford house before the Bradford’s abandoned the town when the plague arrived. p.19
Michael Mompellion makes an overt attempt to seduce Anna. At this point we realise that her attraction to him is a mutual feeling. They are both attracted to each other but neither one dares to admit it directly.
Ring of Roses p.23
Introduction of George Viccars:
A tailor from London who she accepts as a lodger to receive some income from his rent. Kind, and good with children, knows how to have fun. Isn’t a Puritan. George Viccars is well travelled and worldly compared to Sam and the other villagers. Anna likes this. p.26 “When he entered our cottage, he brought the wide world with him” p.29 “Mr Hadfield had ordered a box of cloth from London and there was great excitement when it arrived” This is the cloth that brings the plague to the village, although nobody realises yet. p.30-32
George Viccars proposes to Anna with the gift of the dress and she’s very excited although it appears that George is already Ill. p.34 We meet Elinor Mompellion:
* She’s pretty
* 25 years old
* Has a weak body
* Has a strong active mind
* Isn’t afraid to do dirty work
* Likes to be active
* Tries to treat people equally
p.37 Elinor is the source of Anna’s education
Anna feels she’s only getting attention from Elinor because Elinor has been unable to have children. p.38
People’s attitudes to intelligent, single women: Witch! p.38
Attitudes to sickness and medicine: Sickness is sent by God to test you and you shouldn’t try to use Devilish medicines to try and stop God’s work. p.39
is beautiful and without family and is also very skilled at medicines.
Aphra (Anna’s step-mum)
Simple minded, superstitious, doesn’t like Anys p.43 Michael Mompellion
Notices that Anna’s in trouble and offers to help. p.46 Michael Mompellion does what’s necessary, we realise that he’s sensitive and able to comfort Anna and he’s also physically strong.
The Thunder of His Voice p.47
p.47 3rd Paragraph
* Good with medicines
* Makes her own perfume
* Is witty (can come up with counter insults quickly)
* Other people are rude to her but still ask her for her help with childbirth * Doesn’t care what others think of her (independent minded) p.49
Anna is the only person in the village to burn the clothes that George Viccars had made for her p.50
Anna stops to visit Anys on the way to the Bradford house p.53
Anys (on the topic of her sleeping with George): “It was naught more to either of us than a meal to a hungry traveller.” p.54
* Her work
* She values excitement, fun, many men over one man (pleasure)...
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