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Hugh Sockett

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Writer. Author. Thinker.

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The Estella Trilogy

The Estella Trilogy comprises three novels: Pip and Estella, Better Expectations, and A Star that Would Not Dim.  The Trilogy is a sequel to Dickens’ Great Expectations from 1840, the date scholars attribute to the end of Dickens’ novel, up to the final years of the 19th Century.  While Estella is the central character in all three books, Pip and the Gargery family with other new characters inhabit the personal, social, cultural and political struggles of the era.

The three books are available on Amazon and Kindle.


Pip and Estella

June 25, 2021

Pip and Estella is a sequel to Great Expectations that continues themes of shame, guilt, love, religion, war, murder and the wealth gap, developed within a quasi-feminist stance.  Estella is reconciled with her natural mother, a working-class murderer, who brings her away from the Havisham curse and to Pip whom she marries following the death of his wife.  Pip is recruited as a lawyer by Jaggers, whose will create a Trust for the Relief and Education of the Poor.  Estella creates for herself a role promoting the Trust as an agency for the welfare of prostitutes, an interest stimulated by a close loving friendship with Nellie, a former whore in the navy town of Chatham in Kent.


Better Expectations

August 30, 2021

Better Expectations explores Estella’s evolving life as a widow committed to the pursuit of philanthropic endeavors, specifically in confronting such social problems as prostitution.  Her numerous friends come to see her as a fount of wisdom and good advice. She urges a sorrowful Honora Brandram to discover the whereabouts of twin boys she had to surrender for adoption. She demonstrates her utter devotion to her step-son Albert in her support for his adventures in the Paris Commune and in his unconventional romance with Elizabeth, daughter of a diplomat in Paris where both experience the travails of the Prussian victory. She initiates a tour of Italy with a group of her friends where she encounters Harriet Middleham, Pip’s lover before he was married. Her mature influence on friends and acquaintances is represented in her founding the League of Free Women. Yet for good reasons, she mistakenly creates a crisis in the marriage of Pip and Susanna Gargery.
She develops two primary friendships: the first with Charlotte Mudge with whom she shares a London home, and whom Estella solidly supports in her marriage to Oliver, an eccentric and increasingly disturbed Norfolk vicar and his accidental death.  More controversial for her friends is her loving relationship with Nellie Fletcher, wife of Pip’s wartime comrade now the blacksmith in the original Joe Gargery’s forge.  They form an intimate loving relationship, rare in a mistress-servant relationship, but Estella explains to her friends how she sees her mother in Nellie and defends their Sapphic affiliation.
Indeed Victorian strictures on inter-personal behavior occur throughout the book in terms of the variety of its location, religious and social attitudes to it, and its legal prohibitions and punishments. However, the book’s portrayal of powerful women leads to their constant search for independence and freedoms, on all of which Estella takes a tolerant and highly active view.

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A Star That Would Not Dim

November 20, 2021

The first two working-class members were elected to Parliament in 1874, indicative of political class struggle. In this final volume of The Estella Trilogy, the Jaggers Trust for the Relief and Education of the Poor seeks to alleviate profound social problems including prostitution, rural poverty and education.  Estella is now its Chair, part of her independent life since Pip’s death in 1870.  
Yet women struggle with social change although the suffrage is not yet pre-eminent.  Divorce, relationships with servants, children’s education, new wealth, individual responsibilities in an age of colonial expansion, along with loyalty and status in marriage determine how women are to plan their futures.
Estella is now a lady widely regarded as a fount of wisdom, a star that does not dim with age. Maturity brings constant self-reflection prompted by her reading the Jaggers - Havisham letters about her as a child. Yet she has many pleasures: In Paris where Sargent paints her portrait; at Numquam House where she relaxes with Nellie, and the discussions in The League of Free Women.  
Yet her parental legacies haunt her: Molly, Abel Magwitch and Miss Havisham. From her mother she has inherited an unhinged jealousy. Estella admits to herself that both her parents were murderers, and wonders if everyone does not think seriously about killing someone.


I:   Marriage and the Gargerys

II:  Consience and the Gargerys

III:  Politics and the Gargerys

The Gargery Trilogy continues the saga of the families, friends and acquaintances of the main characters in Great Expectations - Pip, Estella, Pip's young namesake and Joe and Biddy Gargery.


A Bit About Me

My Story

At different times, I have thought that inside me was a novel, but I have had a long career as a philosopher and as a teacher, so my books and numerous articles have primarily been analytic non-fiction, though I have also written a spoof on the academy in the 1980s. Like many people who read, the writing of Charles Dickens is a constant fascination.  So as I move into a different stage of my life, I have written sequels to Great Expectations with a working ambition The Estella Trilogy. Much of our contemporary life finds echoes in the themes and characters this great author articulated for us, in this novel especially.

BTW the above photo is the view from James Madison's study at Montpelier towards the Blue Ridge Mountains. 


Press Release on Pip and Estella

July 22, 2021

The Dickens You Say? Yes, Professor Emeritus Hugh Sockett Wrote a Sequel to Great Expectations

By Buzz McClain

Even Schar School professor emeritus Hugh Sockett calls what he has done since retiring “a bit cheeky.” “Daunting” is another word for it: In an astonishing act of self-confidence, Sockett has written a sequel to Charles Dickens’ 1861 classic novel, Great Expectations.

And not just a sequel, but a trilogy. Yes, three books. And it’s his first attempt at writing fiction. “Cheeky” doesn’t begin to describe what the English ex-pat has accomplished in taking on one of literature’s most revered stories by one if its most beloved authors. But an early review characterized the first volume as “Dickensian while being a thoroughly modern novel as well,” concluding that “Sockett has proven equal to the task.”

The Estella Trilogy, Volume 1: Pip and Estella went on sale on Amazon and Kindle in June; Volume II: Better Expectations will emerge in August; Volume III: Estella, the Star That Would Not Dim will be released in November.

Sockett, 83, said he was inspired to explore the fates of Pip, Estella, and Young Pip after watching the 2012 movie version which he found “disappointing.” He put aside his other post-retirement projects—a memoir of his father (“I was stuck at the Battle of the Somme, which he attended”) and a book on education and civil society, his academic area of interest—to extend Great Expectations. “I was certain only at that stage that Pip and Estella would marry,” he said.

In addition to extending Dickens’ adventure, Sockett addresses in his volumes aspects of Victorian society that Dickens did not, or did so only tangentially: religion, sexuality, prostitution, and the subjection of women (and the subsequent suffrage), among them.

With the story firmly in mind, Sockett familiarized himself with the process of having a book published. He obtained, at a large fee, a spreadsheet of “well over 800 literary agents grouped in three categories,” he said. “I suppose I sent out somewhere around 400 queries.”

About a third of the agents replied, but it wasn’t always what Sockett wanted to hear. One said that a trilogy would be “a seven-year task.” Another seemed interested in representing the work but after nine months still had not read the manuscript.

Finally, Sockett stumbled on Waterside Productions, a California-based publisher that enhances publication on Amazon’s print-on-demand service by developing marketing materials and campaigns as well as, possibly, representing the work to Hollywood. With Waterside’s help, the process of bringing his work to market accelerated.

Now that the first book is in virtual bookshops, Sockett is deep into the second volume. “It is such fun,” he said.

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Bio in Brief

Writing has always been my trade as a university professor. I have tried to inject into talk about education the importance and centrality of thinking about it through a moral not a technical language.  For example, if I am teaching children truths, whether in science, math or history, I am helping them to become truthful people. and cathartic experience for me. Truth is not some abstract destination but an ideal which should regulate how we think and what we believe.  Yet I am the last person to think this is easy.  Far from it. So I have written my several books and  numerous articles with teachers in mind, but I am sure they are accessible to a general audience. 
So I began my career as a history teacher in a large comprehensive high school in London. I then moved into teaching student teachers in London and practicing teachers in Cambridge, where I completed my PhD as a part-time student in London.   I  went to a small University in Northern Ireland as a full Professor of Education where I spent four years directing an Institute of Continuing Education based in Derry (or Londonderry, as the British called it).  This was at the height of the Troubles and civil terrorism was a permanent feature of life. My last position in the United Kingdom was as Dean of Education at the University of East Anglia,  Since 1986 I have been at George Mason University in Virginia, first teaching teachers but in recent years teaching political science to undergraduates.  There I have the privilege of teaching people from many countries, with many different backgrounds, from the youngster right out of a Mid-West High School to veterans of recent conflicts.  Of my teaching I am very proud and, at the risk of being arrogant, I have included a section of comments my students have written about me. Now retired, my writing is rather different, not just the book referred to, but a memoir of my father who fought in World War I, tracing his life from being a five year old child working as a lather boy in a barber's shop to a New Testament scholar reading Latin, Greek, Hebrew, Aramaic and Syriac, while a parish priest.  So there is much to do!
I am constantly educating myself with new ideas and challenging myself with different writing techniques. I love learning more about my readers, and would love to hear more about yourself, your tastes.

Significant Academic Books

My most recent comprehensive analysis of my argument



My developed argument for morality as the basis of teacher professionalism.


Notebook and Pen

A Quartet of Romance

In the summer of 1924, a young man graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Divinity at the University of London and later arrived at the small market town of Wollaston in Northamptonshire, England to take up his first ministry at the Baptist Church in early 1925.   His college career had been exemplary, winning prizes in Hebrew and Divinity, and he was becoming an accomplished scholar in Greek.  He was 29 years old, having endured life for three years in a front-line regiment during the carnage of the European battlefields, Ypres, the Somme, Passchendale.  He was respected as a young preacher before the War and was a pacifist at its outbreak, a cause he abandoned in the early summer of 1915 to volunteer, following his older brother. He was commissioned in September 1918.  Breaking that  class barrier, however, won him no plaudits from the College Principal, a man of immense Old Testament scholarship, unfortunately endowed with the prejudices of his class.

            Benjamin Sockett was tall, short-sighted, slim, broad-shouldered and elegant with an officer’s bearing, and equipped with a fine mind and appropriate ambition.  In Wollaston, he was soon to meet two sisters, Margaret and Alice Keep, daughters of a prosperous farmer, Adam Corrie Keep, whose family heritage over many generations lay in rural Northamptonshire, although Wollaston boasted a shoe factory.  In 1833 Adam had bought a portion of the Manor of Wollaston with a substantial house near the town center where the Misses Keep in the 1870s established a private school, Alice teaching arts and Margaret the classics. Outbuildings were also converted for a Sunday School.  The beginning of Benjamin’s friendship with Margaret was celebrated by her gift to him of William Morris’ The Story of Sigrund the Volsun in July 1925, inscribed “to my friend,” followed in October with Arthur Rackham’s illustrated version of The Rheingold and the Valkyrie with an inscription in Greek from Theocritus’ Idyll XXVIII – The greatest pleasure comes with a little gift – “in remembrance of October 28, 1925.”   Clearly, as Alice Keep gave him a copy of Morris’ The Earthly Paradise that year, the relationship between the three of them began with common intellectual and artistic interests.  Alice’s influence on that relationship, as the artist, is apparent in gifts being works by Morris and Rackham.

            Margaret Keep was born in 1853, and her sister Alice the following year.  Neither married, nor did one of their younger brothers Henry who emigrated to Australia and had a political career there.   So when Benjamin arrived in Wollaston, age 29, the sisters were 72 and 71 respectively.  For Christmas 1925 the two sisters gave Benjamin three of 10 volumes of Robert Browning’s Poetical Works, one of which was inscribed “To the Reverend B. Sockett from his grateful friends, Margaret and Alice Keep.”  Robert Browning’s poetry was indeed to become a major source of mutual love and interest for Margaret Keep and Benjamin Sockett.  Margaret surely kept a flame going for Browning. For, almost 40 years before, in March 1887, Margaret had developed a mutually deep affection and love with the poet that ended with his sudden death in Venice in 1889.   In recent years, the relationship between Robert Browning and Margaret Keep has received attention from scholars. Browning certainly wrote poetry to her (e.g. A Pearl, A Girl). His letters to her and hers to him indicate a profound love and affection: some scholars suggest that she reminded him of his only wife, Elizabeth Barrett who had died in 1861.   But, inscriptions in the books Margaret gave to Benjamin support the conclusions of scholarship. These gifts included several signed copies of Browning’s works signed by him:  March 1887, the inscription of Parleyings with Certain People is from “hers affectionately, Robert Browning,” and in May 1888 “written in remembrance of a pleasant week filled with enjoyment by the presence and companionship of Margaret Keep”.  In April 1889, Browning gave her a Handbook to the National Gallery with the note on the flyleaf: “I wish my dear Margaret Keep as much joy in the study of painting that I, for many a year, have had fortunately, Robert Browning.”

            Browning’s work, then, was obviously a focus for Margaret and Benjamin.  In April 1926, she gave him a copy of Browning’s Asolando inscribed “in remembrance of one who was as kind and good as he was great.”   But their friendship reaches new depths by 1928, as the inscriptions from Margaret in her gifts to Benjamin reveal: “from his affectionate and ever grateful friend,” (April 13), “in remembrance of many happy hours and much kindness”,(April 20) and, in July a rather startling quote from Tennyson’s Idylls of the King which, though a description of Arthur, is clearly intended for Benjamin “with the love of his friend,”

            “And indeed He seems to me 

            Scarce other than my own ideal knight, 

            Who reverenced his conscience as his king; 

            Whose glory was, redressing human wrong; 

            Who spake no slander, no, nor listen'd to it;………………..

            Several lines omitted”

            Wearing the white flower of a blameless life”

            The line immediately following the first five reads “Who loved only one and clave to her” which perhaps Margaret thinks is going a bit far in her affectionate expressions, but it is ambiguous. Perhaps she thought Benjamin would interpret this as referring to Browning, but maybe it referred to him.  Yet in September, in perhaps the highpoint of her devotion, come four words from Philippians 4:1 written in Greek in her gift of The Confessions of Saint Augustine, the words meaning “dearly beloved and longed for”.   The phrase ‘dearly beloved” in the Greek is αγαπητω, agape being the Greek for a non-erotic love, which might be called Platonic.  Indeed this seems to have been the character of the relationship for her, though for Benjamin it was one of great gratitude and devotion for her support and company in the loneliness of his first ministry and over six and a half years, feeding his intellectual interests with nearly 40 books as gifts – poetry, Loeb editions of 7 of Plato’s dialogues, and her bequest to him after her death in 1935 included money, furniture, two signed photographs of Browning, a daguerrotype of her as a young girl, and much else.  These gifts are among the many treasures Benjamin’s children later inherited.

            Yet there is one fascinating aspect to the Margaret-Benjamin relationship that suggests an intellectual, even radical openness, though some of this account has to be speculative.  In a recent scholarly edition of Browning’s poems, it is accurately stated that Margaret Keep gave Benjamin a copy of Michael Field’s poems Long Ago.  It was a gift, not a bequest.  Michael Field was, however, the pseudonym of Katherine Bradley and Edith Cooper who were not only aunt and niece but lesbian lovers for 40 years. The eventual public revelation of ‘Michael Field’s’ identity was ascribed to Browning.  They were close friends of his and members of what was called the Aesthetic Movement.  The poems are Sapphic, unsurprisingly, dedicated to homosexual love.  What does this suggest about the conversations on poetry between Margaret and Benjamin?    As the book was a gift, presumably they had at least discussed the poetry and its sexuality.  Margaret must have talked about it with Browning and therefore she saw no difficulty in discussing it with Benjamin.   However, in 1955, Benjamin sold various Browning papers at Sotheby’s  among which was this volume, and it now in the Library at Eton College.

            For, after six and half years in Wollaston, in March 1931, he took up the office of Minister at Winchmore Hill Baptist Church in north London, a very different assignment: a shift from a rural environment with a small congregation to a bustling middle-class suburb of the capital city.  There, almost immediately, he met Dorothy Talbot and fell in love.  She was the daughter of one of the church’s deacons, Edward Talbot and his wife, Susan, and was part of the church as the leader of the Brownie pack.  Benjamin and Dorothy were engaged in January 1932 on which occasion her brother Frank wrote to her: “There are some things so obviously right that need no support from reasons.” They were to be married in January 1934.   It was a very dramatic courtship on three counts: first he finally decided to quit the Baptist Ministry in March 1933 for the Church of England which meant a separation from Dorothy from June 1933 till their wedding in January 1934, he in Manchester and she in London, though, of course, they met from time to time.  However, on the very night he announced his intention to leave the Baptist Ministry to the Deacons, he was taken severely ill, necessitating three or four weeks in hospital, and a long convalescence.   Finally, there was a romance between his sister and her father that was a severe trial for both of them.

            His convalescence occupied the Spring of 1933.   His base had been with Dorothy’s parents in London after his illness, but it included two five-day visits to Margaret Keep in Wollaston in May and June, and one or two visits to his mother and sisters in Newport, South Wales and a vacation with Dorothy in Paignton. (On his first visit to Margaret Keep he forgot to take his bottom denture.)   He then went to Manchester in July to begin induction as an Anglican deacon, then priest, and at that time Dorothy, too, had changed her religious allegiance. However, he had “burned his boats” and was attached without pay to Saint Nicholas Church, Burnage.  He had to wait to formally become curate until he had passed the Anglican Deacon’s exams in the autumn which “involved me eating humble pie”, as he was no novice in the Christian ministry. As he was not accustomed to Anglican rituals and dress, he was gradually introduced to the various activities of a new parish and he had to learn how to get up from prayer and not “pitch forward”, wearing the full cassock and surplice of the Anglican priest, unfamiliar to a Baptist.

            In 1932 at their engagement, Benjamin was 36 and Dorothy was 27 years old.  His life had been immensely turbulent, whereas hers had been placid. But in the six months that he was starting off life as an Anglican, they wrote to each other almost every day: sadly her letters have been lost, but his letters reply so thoroughly to her that we get a good glimpse of her, and of who he was.  From his own descriptions in the letters he sees himself as ‘a public man’, with a ‘restless passionate nature’, a ‘highly strung temperament’, little confidence in himself, not good at self-control and ‘a very lonely soul’, but ‘full of hope, yet fearful’ in his new position in the Anglican church. This nervousness and lack of confidence extend to his reluctance to drive a car.  He has ‘no man friend he can talk to’.  His ruminations about leaving the Winchmore Hill ministry include worries about his sermons, full as they are with literary allusions.  The war is still with him: he records several nights of leaping out of bed with what he calls nervous fits.  He mixes ecstatic optimism with dire pessimism.  He is constantly aware of money problems, being unpaid.    However, his meeting with Dorothy clearly was the major change in his life. Previously, he ‘had always feared being roused to a pitch by any woman’, and ‘those feelings and instincts he always despised and fought against, were completely sublimated by her’, indeed his instincts, he says, ‘were bottled up until she came to him’.  No doubt, with that sensibility, he could be a close friend to someone as unthreatening as Margaret Keep, 44 years his senior.   So, he rhapsodizes, as he calls it, about Dorothy whom he loved ‘with the power of his nature.’ She is ‘abundantly worthy of the best a man can offer’, having ‘beauty, wholesomeness and goodness’, ‘sweet, gentle and refined’.  She fills and completes his nature such he ‘could do aught else but need and hunger for her all the time.’ “If only we can get started,” he writes in the August before their January marriage, “that will be my nearest approach to Heaven above.” He spoke regularly not merely of his love for her, but of his ‘reverence and honor’ for her.  He is in raptures when he hears that the Bishop has approved of their marriage, apparently not usually allowed for deacons, but he is “a man of experience” said the Bishop.  Above all, the letters show his struggle with the idea of a close partnership, for he had been this lonely soul for almost three decades, but dogged in his pursuit of intellect and spirituality.  He tells her she should do things, but then immediately qualifies that with such phrases as ‘but I rely on your judgment’. 

            Paramount within the pages of his passionate and loving letters to her, there is continuing concern for her health. She had severe menstrual problems, as well as being susceptible to colds: he wanted her greenstick fracture attended to more carefully ,  so he is delighted when she gets boots that adjust her gait.  She was a good tennis player, however, and he urges her continue that to build her strength. He is thrilled at seeing her ‘trim light little figure cleaving the waves’ and at one point wants her to swim and train as an athlete.    But all this passion and advice is regularly tempered with whether he has upset her in writing, whether he has been selfish, or not in his words, too bossy. He constantly refers to her height, so she is his ‘little lady’ but when he addresses her as a lady, he says, he is using the word not merely as a term of endearment but “in the best sense meant by the best people.”   So, finally after an avalanche of letters in the days immediately before their wedding, they are married on January 16, 1934 in an Anglican church in Tottenham, London.

            Yet their courtship was bedeviled during their engagement by the fourth romance, following Browning and Margaret Keep, Margaret Keep and Benjamin, Benjamin and Dorothy. It was that between Dorothy’s father Edward John aged 65 and Ann, one of Benjamin’s four sisters, then 28 years old.  Nothing is known of the detail of their relationship except from the reactions of members of the two families as reported in Benjamin’s letters.  He had referred early in their correspondence to a growing estrangement between her parents, and he complained that his own parents whose estrangement was ‘never made up’, and he was aware of ‘troublesome relatives”.  He clearly felt a major responsibility for his three younger sisters, then in their late 20s and for his mother with whom they lived. His two elder brothers were married, and his concern was both loving and, to some extent pastoral. 

            Benjamin was particularly keen in the early days of their courtship to create warm relationships between his family and hers.  He arranged for two of the sisters to come to London, as they had obviously visited Wollaston during his time there.   So anxious was he to forge a relationship between the two families that he was active in arranging meetings.  The liaison of Edward John, my grandfather, and Ann, my aunt, was fortuitous, but perhaps unsurprising.  Here was a vivacious 65 year-old with a twinkle in his eye, married to Susan, a formidable woman, older than he, with strict fundamentalist religious beliefs.  He certainly found more fun and enjoyment with his daughter than his wife.  Ann, however, was one of that generation of women whose putative husbands were lost in the war. So mutual attraction was not merely possible but an opportunity for affection.  But later, as Benjamin described it, ‘this trouble has arisen out of caring too much for relations and their feelings.’   The trouble, of course, was not merely the fact of the liaison, but the trouble it created between Benjamin and Dorothy.

            The September 1933 letters reveal the problems; ‘If there should be any sign of serious friction over my sisters between Father and Mother,’ he writes to Dorothy, ‘you would tell me, I know, and I could and would see to it that they keep away and it would be done without any fuss or bother.’  His restlessness increases the following week: “What mystifies me is this sudden travelling passion which has beset Father, as well as its area. I hope that Mother is not too annoyed at what is happening. I am glad they like each other so, but if Father must go to South Wales and to Newport (where Ann, her mother and sisters lived together), then Mother will go also.” He wonders whether Dorothy’s brother, Frank, might ‘intervene’.  However, the story reaches something of an impasse because, for all Dorothy’s treasuring Benjamin’s letters, there are none of hers to read between this September letter and that of November 21, a seven-week gap when, over six months, letters were being exchanged on an almost daily basis.  One speculative conclusion to draw from this is that the missing letters were full of argument between them about this ‘trouble’ that profoundly tested their family loyalties, as well as their own relationship, so Dorothy destroyed them.  For, indeed, Benjamin constantly urges her to keep his letters private so that they can be completely open and truthful with each other. 

            Yet this ‘trouble’ continued to rankle, but in a new form, that of the failure to heal the breach. By November, Ann was ‘penitent and eager to make amends.’  Benjamin asked Dorothy “to heal the breach between yourself and Ann’ for which he ‘would be glad and grateful,’ so she visited Newport that month also to make amends: but it was an ‘unhappy visit’ as Benjamin’s family complained to him that Dorothy and Anne were not as they had been, a reflection on Dorothy.  His family reaction annoyed and surprised Benjamin, but ‘Whatever unhappiness may have been caused, this at least is clear, that there will be no more excessive friendliness between Father and Ann.”   But, obviously in advance of a new meeting between Edward John and Ann, Benjamin becomes more forthright on the behavior of his father-in-law.

            “I shall not mention it to Father, if you can assure me that he intends to act differently in the future.  But I must be sure of that because it may be worse for all in the future if the thing is left as it is.  He must refrain from greeting them with a kiss and he ought, if he must write to Newport, write an open letter to all.  Tell him of the trouble that has occurred and of the great trouble that will occur if he continues this loose relationship with Ann.  She must be made to behave too. I shall refrain from speaking to Father only if I can be sure that he understands and is going to play the game in the future.” “This business about Father and Anne hurts us and them but we must go through with it. It must be settled once and for all.”

 Ann diplomatically had a surgical operation so as not to attend the wedding which, to Benjamin and no doubt Dorothy, was a great relief.

            The fallout from the romance between Edward John and Anne was drastic.  We do not know how they saw it – as an innocent fling, a flirtatious dalliance, or a serious possibility – and whether they resented the pressure to give it up.   However, it had seriously tested Benjamin and Dorothy’s engagement. Anne’s family blamed both Benjamin and Dorothy for not supporting Anne.  Dorothy was anxious throughout to defend her father and was also sympathetic to him.  Susan, Edward John’s wife, appears to have had dismissed her husband’s infatuation, though she was obviously hurt.  Benjamin was ‘so filled with conflicting emotions, I hardly know what to do,’ and ‘ really could not believe that my people were such a poor lot.’  Relations between Benjamin and Dorothy’s family moved along, ignoring the past. Not so with Benjamin’s family, for the upshot of the trouble was a sad estrangement from his family.   He never saw Ann again. The sisters kept news of his mother’s illness from him until after she died.   

            But he kept in contact with his friend, Margaret Keep. He had other friends in Wollaston: he stayed there the night before his wedding, and it would not be surprising if he called on her.   Indeed, after his marriage, he continued to visit his friend Margaret Keep, too, notably when she was dying in early 1935.   In her will, she not only made a substantial bequest to Benjamin, but also she left 50 pounds to Ann. Perhaps she saw herself in Ann, an affectionate relationship between a younger woman and an older man bordering on the erotic but not realized, one which outsiders, to protect themselves perhaps, would call Platonic..


Beyond The Fog:
True or False?

November 24,2020

  • Human beings understand their present, past and future world through language.

  • Such understanding takes the form of beliefs about the world that are formulated in thought.

  • The content of such beliefs will differ in different social contexts, such as a nation or a culture

  • The truth of shared beliefs makes social life possible.

  • To hold a belief is to commit to its truth.

  • Commitment may be more or less strong, dependent on the difficulty in ascertaining evidence for the truth or facing such obstacles as prejudice.

  • The value of truth for social life implies that individuals regulate their lives through attention to the truth of what they believe, notwithstanding disagreement.

  • To be regulated by truth is to seek to be truthful.

  • To hold beliefs which are true implies open-mindedness including the ability to change held beliefs.

  • To examine evidence implies the ability to judge evidence impartially.

  • Such evidence may be illusory and open to different interpretations, given the complexity of social life and human behavior.

  • The introduction of children to their lives through education demands that they be taught to be truthful, open-minded and impartial if those lives are to be regulated by the truth.

  • These intellectual virtues override in importance the transmission of beliefs about the world, presented to children as knowledge that they must acquire through memory.

  • Intellectual virtues become stable dispositions of mind and character.

  • Such dispositions are necessary intellectual and moral properties for those who would teach the young.        

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