Telling stories from the Cavendish financial accounts
Money, marriage and remembrance:
telling stories from the Cavendish
‘Account books form a narrative as engaging as any tale of sea monsters
or cannibals,’ so Sir Thomas Cromwell tells himself in Hilary Mantel’s fictionalised depiction.1 Mantel compellingly dramatises for us how Tudor financial
accounts were sources of hidden stories, and we regularly find Mantel’s
Cromwell turning to them to access alternative versions of events. This chapter
performs, as it were, the inverse process to Mantel: it begins with a book of
10 Began my letter.…‘The political mind of the people is sadly warped….The registration has not gained us much, if anything. I cannot understand the injudiciousness of those of Mr James Wortley's friends who declined his offer to pay the whole or part (I cannot possibly learn which) of the expense of his last election.…The people call out for a man of money. The town is said to say it cannot support such expenses again. Whether Halifax is to be a corporation town or not seems to hang upon the calculation of
. Equally significant, strategic marriages helped make the Walkers’ brand new ‘worsted’ wealth more acceptable to older ‘wool’ families. Thus William's daughter Elizabeth—Ann Walker's aunt—married into the prosperous Priestley family of Sowerby, clothiers who had invested their money in canal shares, silver, books and scientific instruments.
they have stolen some of my coal—said I should be glad if they had—would look after [i.e. attend to] them.
15 To have the Mytholm pew in Lightcliffe church lined with dark green, ready for us next Sunday…½ hour with Marian—20 minutes with my aunt till 10 10/”—then near ½ hour again with Marian—money matters— if I could let Marian have fifty of the hundred A– & I are to give her on leaving & the rest at Christmas. Yes .
would be glad to take me—then if I say anything decisive she hesitates. I tell her it is all her money which is in the way. The fact is, she is as she was before, but was determined to get away from the Sutherlands and feels the want of me. But [I need to] take someone with more mind and less money. Steph [Belcombe] is right: she would be a great pother. Have nothing serious to say to her—she wants better
than I can manage—I touched her a little but she soon
10 A little while tête à tête with my father, Marian being gone to Halifax. Mentioned Marian & her intended marriage—said she had no need to do it—I had always offered to do all I could for her—she might have had a home whether A– & I were here or not—& I had only made one request viz that she (Marian) should [not] invite [to Shibden] people she knew I did not wish to have anything to do with. Matches for money seldom answered—I only hoped she would take care not to be deceived—I did not think
was. They (the Priestleys) knew all my family concerns. I meant to leave him my executor—and all she said astonished and grieved me.…Thought I, ‘she little
dreams what is in my mind—to make up to her. She has money and this might make up for rank’….The thought as I returned amused and interested me .
On 31 August Anne Lister again called at Lidgate, and chatted
–32 were sobering for Anne Lister. She could not forget that she lacked both a life-partner and serious money. Travelling to Holland with Mariana, Anne found her increasingly provincial, and their relationship dwindled to little more than friendship.
Sibella MacLean died. Another friend of Lady Stuart's, Lady Gordon, with whom Anne flirted, talked symbolically of their wintering together in Rome—but nothing came of this.
Anne Lister actually set up house in Hastings
account of my exp[enditure] before 1815;..but, in May 1815, my father, mother, & sister…went to live…near Market Weighton; and I came to Shibden, to live with my uncle, & I lived there from that time, the spending of all that was spent on my account.’
Anne Lister's almost obsessive precision about money and time is already starkly evident. She was also determined to confirm her direct dynastic descent. Once ensconced at Shibden Anne, as we know, acquired a
Martin Amis: the limits of comedy
[I]n Angela Carter and Martin Amis, one finds Dickens’s impress,
in particular the interest in the self as a public performer, an
interest in grotesque portraiture and loud names, and in character
as caricature, a vivid blot of essence. (Wood, 2002, 11)
This chapter of the present study will look at the work of Martin
Amis in the light of my earlier discussion of the grotesque in
literature. I will be examining, among other works, his novels Money:
A Suicide Note (1985a, first published 1984) and London Fields (1989