You guys know I love Victorian novels, right? How can you not know this about me. I love them, almost uncritically. Even the bad ones. Let’s face it, Tess of D’urbervilles is kind of terrible, but even then I’m like, Indeed? Moar? Ok and then to a lesser extent, fantasy novels. I’d rather read a semi-lame fantasy novel than some highly-acclaimed white-class ennui bad sex balding crisis novels.
It stands to reason, then, that my major beef with Victorian novels is the lack therein of dragons.
But then here we are! A Victorian novel full of undesirable marriage proposals and daughters cast upon the mercy of relatives due to an indulgent father’s unclear will and untimely death all sprinkled with musings on the plight of the servant class AND DRAGONS. And not just, And also there are dragons, but everyone is dragons. The unwanted marriage proposals are made BY DRAGONS, TO DRAGONS.
You get it, there are dragons. You are unsure why I am still talking. Me too!
Ok so, Bon Agornin dies and (as is the custom) his family gathers to EAT him, only his eldest daughter’s husband eats more than his allocated share and his youngest son, who could have really used that dragon flesh and so extended his
wealth girth, as well as his youngest daughters, who are now to be foisted on the mercy of relatives, they all SUE the eldest daughter’s husband (except the one youngest daughter, who is being foisted on them, because suing people upon whom you are dependent is simultaneously awkward and bad form).
And when Everyone Is Dragons, social mores become biological imperatives, and the metaphorical is made super-literal. The lords and ladies ACTUALLY EAT the ailing children of the lower classes (because dragonflesh is the most fortifying of the fleshes, and to do so is for the good of all [except the ailing children, natch]). And this wouldn’t be a Victorian novel unless romantical elements were involved, but a young female dragon who is placed (however unwillingly) in a compromising position is STAINED a SHAMEFUL PINK. You are your OWN scarlet letter, bitch.
And I hesitate (except in the most Daddy Long-Legs of scenarios) to be like You will dig or You will not dig. But here I am EXCEEDINGLY uncertain, because unless Victorian novels are your sprinkler system, I’m not sure you’ll enjoy playing in their pool of tropes?
But I did. Eight caterpillars.