• What is the relationship between Aphra and Elizabeth Bradford? How do they act toward one another?
• How does Mompellian behave? Why is this surprising?
• Identify passages that raise issues or questions that need explaining.
Ring of Roses
• This chapter introduces and characterizes a number of essential figures for the novel. Find passages that characterize each of the following—write a brief list of qualities of personality and role in the village next to each.
Anna Frith –
Elinor Mompellian –
Mem Gowdie –
Anys Gowdie –
George Viccars –
Josiah Bont (Anna’s father) –
• This is the chapter in which the plague arrives at the village. How does Brooks imply that it arrives?
• What are the symptoms of the plague?
The Thunder of His Voice
• In what ways are Anna and Anys similar? How do they differ in attitudes and values?
• What happens with the clothes that Mr. Viccars had made?
• Colonel Bradford is presented as a negative character. What are some elements that contribute to this portrayal?
• The plague is first discussed at the Bradford’s dinner table. What do we learn about the state of things in London? What are the varying opinions on how to act if the plague strikes?
• How much time passes after George Viccars death before action resumes?
• Mompellian’s meeting with Anna by the stream begins to expand upon his characterization. What elements of his character appear that had not been apparent before?
• Who finds and disposes of the dead rats?
• The scene between Mem and the barber / surgeon at the Hadfield’s contrasts two different approaches to healing. Which character / method seems to be presented more favorably?
Sign of the Witch
• What are the treatments for Jamie as he fights the plague? Are any effective or not?
• What is Anna’s state of mind after Jamie’s death?
• Why do the townspeople attack Mem...
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