Music Monday: “Get Back”

This is just too marvelous for words. Two Beatles and a Rolling Stone doing a Beatles classic. Enjoy!

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Facts from My Fiction: Nuncheon

Clyties_CallerIsabel Browning was surprised, just a few days later, to see her cousin Samuel escorting Clytemnestra Preston to the Pump Room. He seated Clytie and made his way to the fountain for two glasses of the foul-smelling water. She intercepted him there.

“So, you’ve managed to draw the mouse from her hole. And what an interesting pink dress she is wearing under that blue spencer.”

“Bella, she is my patient and, need I remind you, your future sister-in-law. Please keep your remarks civil.”

“Your patient, Sam? I’ve never yet seen you bring one of your unfortunate soldiers to the Pump Room for waters and nuncheon.”

“Perhaps that is something I shall rectify. If you will excuse me, I believe I have left Miss Preston too long.”

He made his way back to the table, where a pot of tea and sandwiches had already been served. He put the two glasses of water at their places and sat down. — Clytie’s Caller

—–

Nuncheon is an interesting word. It has long since gone out of fashion and usage, replaced by luncheon in modern vocabulary. AngloNorman Dictionary tells us that “The word has a suggested etymology which traces it back to an Old English compound of ‘noon’ and ‘shench’. Its first half, ‘noon’, is derived from Classical Latin ‘nona’ (DMLBS nonus 1929a), meaning the ‘ninth hour of the day’.  In Roman and consequently ecclesiastical time-keeping this would originally have corresponded with 3 o’clock in the afternoon, although in the course of the Middle Ages the word became more and more used (both in Middle English and Anglo-Norman) to refer to an earlier time of day (see AND second edition sub none1, forthcoming). It has been suggested that monastic orders, who had their lunch after the ‘ninth hour’ liturgy, were inclined to perform that service earlier and earlier, so that the term ‘noon’ eventually became associated with midday.”

You may well run across this term in books published during the Regency (e.g., those by Sir Walter Scott) … and now you know what it means, and that it’s not a typo for “luncheon.”


Want your own copy of Clytie’s Caller? Here are the cover blurb and purchase links.

Bath, 1816. Clytemnestra Preston has become so terrified of life that she refuses to leave her room. Not even her family can convince her to take her place in Society again. Doctor Samuel Whittington, late of His Majesty’s Army, may be her only chance for a cure … and romance. Can Sam convince Clytie to open the door, and her heart?

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Weekend Reads, with Bonus Track: “Give Me Some Truth”

Give Me Some TruthGive Me Some Truth by Eric Gansworth

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Carson Mastick is determined to win his high school’s Battle of the Bands, because the prize includes a trip to New York City … and getting off of the Tuscarora reservation is part of his major plan. The problem is, he doesn’t have a band.

Maggi Bokani’s mother has brought her and her siblings back to the reservation, and she’s miserable. But she has a new job … and a crush on one of the guys she works with.

The book is told in first person, alternating between Carson and Maggi’s point of view. So, we see the result of Carson’s older brother confronting a racist restaurant owner, and Maggi’s concern for her sister, among other issues, through their eyes.

The entire book takes place in 1980. As one of Carson’s friends is a huge Beatles fan, the band starts by learning their covers. Each chapter has a title from John Lennon’s work … as does the book. It is no great surprise that the entire thing culminates with Lennon’s assassination, by which time numerous subplots have come together and we see the hero’s journey that both Maggi and Carson have been experiencing. No one is unchanged by the end of this book.

Frankly, I think this is book takes a good look at the challenges faced by people of color. Carson is light-skinned and able to “pass” (he calls himself a ChameleIndian) but not all of his friends and family are … and so he’s keenly aware of being treated differently by the white kids at his school. He’s seen as an insider while others are part of an out group — and he has to face some harsh realizations throughout the tale as a result.

However, this is also a heavy tale that ends on a day that many people my age remember far too keenly (I know what I was wearing and doing on the day John Lennon died). While aimed at a YA audience, more sensitive readers may find this difficult to deal with.

View all my reviews

Here’s the title song for you to enjoy.