This blog will cover "The Duchess and the Jeweler," "The Legacy," "Lappin and Lapinova," and "The Searchlight." I was shocked when I read in Virginia Woolf: A-Z that Oliver Bacon was Jewish, well, yes, there is the long nose, but was it a little joke to give a Jew the last name "Bacon"? Is that Kosher? It was a bit of a challenge to unravel the mystery of the bet, but it was more clear after finding out that Oliver was Jewish. The bet was that Oliver would never become anything because a Jew didn't have a chance. He seems to have had high ambitions. Maybe he changed his name to seem less Jewish. Maybe that's what the tapping of the nose meant as he walked down the street passing the other jewellers; however, wikianswers claims that it means "this is a secret." But then again, Jews were being rounded up in Germany at this time. Moving on to the nod to Joseph Conrad with the comment of mines and diamonds is South Africa, I wonder if she read any of his work. I think I read somewhere during this course that she did. After she leaves, he discovers the pearls are indeed fake, and that's why the weekend is going to be so very long. Is the truffle he routed out the invitation to spend the weekend with the duchess's family? But the truffle is rotten. Was it that he thought he bested this duchess, but then she got 20K for fake pearls? He thought he had the noble woman begging him, a low-born Jew, and, therefore, making her subservient to him, but she got one over on him. She dangled the bait of her daughter to the jeweler and caught herself 20K.
In my altered book, I write two letters for Angela, the wife from "The Legacy" -- one to her husband and the other to her lover -- and I change the outcome of the tale giving it a feminist twist. It was in writing these two letters that I realized both were holding or trying to hold power over her. B.M. made his demands, and Gilbert made his -- that she stay childlike, stupid -- excuse me ignorant, and beautiful while on his arm. B.M. employed blackmail to try to force her into his demands. They ended up together in death.
For "Lappin and Lapinova" I found it sad that the one way she felt a connection to her husband, he killed. The honeymoon was over, and he grew tired of the childish game.
Mark Hussey claims that both of the stories of the married couples deal with the woman being subservient to the male-dominant society. Rosalind tried to compensate by living in a fantasy world where her husband did accompany her for a time, and Angela tried to escape by trying to find worth in charity.
"The Searchlight," I must say that I didn't get it; however, with these people living in an old castle, I was reminded of the book I Capture the Castle. If these stories are about ghosts, then this is the ghost of her great-grandfather. The ghost in "Lappin and Lapinova" is the marriage and the rabbit royalty. In "The Legacy" it would be the wife, B.M., and the child Angela never had (ghost of a chance of having a child?). Oliver is haunted by his ambition, his mother, and his poor childhood. Maybe the ghost is partiarchy. Well, not for Oliver...
Hussy, Mark. Virginia Woolf: A-Z. New York: Oxford University Press, 1995. Print.
Woolf, Virginia. “The Duchess and the Jeweler.” A Haunted House, and other short stories. eBooks@Adelaide. 26 July 2010. Web. 2 November 2010.
---. “Lappin and Lapinova.” A Haunted House, and other short stories. eBooks@Adelaide. 26 July 2010. Web. 2 November 2010.
---. “The Legacy.” A Haunted House, and other short stories. eBooks@Adelaide. 26 July 2010. Web. 2 November 2010.
---. “The Searchlight.” A Haunted House, and other short stories. eBooks@Adelaide. 26 July 2010. Web. 2 November 2010.