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Princes of Dol Amroth
February, 25 2006
Questions about the life and times of Imrahil and his family can be asked here, including questions about Ultimatums, Kin-Strife and the shorter stories. Discussions about Brand can go either here or in the Best-Loved Son thread, since his stories sort of overlap both cycles.
I do think such a view is largely confined to the upper echelon, at least in your stories so far.
Hm, I think I see lots of evidence to the contrary. But maybe I'm wrong. What about the fact that Brand's step-father thought nothing of striking his mother? Or that, in Lossarnach Yule, a very young Idren is considered by his mother and by outsiders to be the "man" of the family, the person with whom to negotiate for business, etc.?
In that same story, I got the sense that Emlin, for example, was something of an anomaly when she revealed how much sway she held with her husband and neighbors over their business affairs. I don't think Lathron was expecting defiance from her. Hers was a personal power, resulting from her native, individual strengths and qualities, rather than a power that was afforded to her automatically due to her position as the wife of a well-off merchant.
I get the sense that, as has long been the case in our world, working-class and middle-class women were engaged in work, often out of necessity, that brought them into close contact with the work and world of men, but that in most cases they weren't recognized as being as capable/intelligent/etc. as men. That their upper-class sisters were supposed to stick to their embroidery doesn't necessarily indicate a class difference in how women were viewed, but rather the fact that the upper-class women didn't have to work to support themselves and their families, and so they did not.
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