Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Fiction Vs. Reality

Herb, who looks a lot like my husband, his great-nephew. What a surprise ;) 1908 I'm guessing.

I was thinking this morning as I wrote that last section of Flo in the City based on letters, that this story isn't only about the trials and tribulations of a family living in 1910,seen through the eyes of a naive young woman, but it is about 'character' as well.

Herb had many, many character flaws and they were expressed in his letters. (He had no kids, so I can write about him.) When the Nicholsons were written out of the Aunt's will, he wrote "Now that I have lost my house, I have lost any chance to be rich." And it only goes downhill from there for Herbie Nicholson.

To be fair, a great deal of pressure was put on sons in that era. And if you were an only son, the pressure was immense. An illustration of this was the infamous Donald Morrison Affair. Morrison was a local Scot who killed a man over a dispute about the family farm.

He became The Megantic Outlaw and was the subject of Canada's largest manhunt up to that time. Norman Nicholson was one of the Scots who were enlisted to help Morrison out. These people were very clannish. This all unfolded when Herb was a child, at it may well have had an impact on him.

It doesn't help that sons, and especially only sons, were spoiled by their mothers. Apparently, the family never held Herb's misdeeds against him (in public). They attributed his behavior to follies of youth. But he almost destroyed the family, and worse, denied any responsibility for this actions.

Anyway, in the next scene, I'll introduce Herb, through his letter and this first scandal which will keep Margaret pre-occupied and Flora left to her own devices at exam time. Then July arrives, which I can see from the Environment Canada historical records, was hot.

Margaret will go to Quebec for the Tercentenary celebrations and look upon the future king. And then in August Flo goes to Boston.