GreeneFisher Publications


Publishing Florida Fiction

The Greenefisher Guide to the Green Flourish Pentalogy

Notes on Book 3: La Casa Verde
1895

Chapters 1-5


-"I can not abide green shutters on a house" is a reference to the 1901 novel The House with the Green Shutters by Scottish writer George Douglas Brown. That novel stands as the antithesis to Mary's "heritage" as a literary character which is somewhat more grounded in the Kailyard School of literature. See the notes regarding Sir J. M. Barrie in the section covering chapters 7-9 on book 1 for more details.


-a "huswife" is a small case or roll containing a woman's sewing supplies. The term was popular in the 18th and 19th century and was frequently used by Jane Austen in her novels.


-"Early One Morning" (also known as "The Lamenting Maid") is an English folk song dating to at least the 18th century with lyrics appearing in print as early as 1787. The song was originally popular among the servant class and still appears in various popular media to this day.


-Denn alles fleisch ist wie gras is the German translation of "All flesh is grass" found in Isaiah 40:6 and 1 Peter 1:24. The song as presented in the narrative is based loosely upon the second movement of the requiem known simply as "German Requiem" written by Johannes Brahms and first performed in 1868.


-"My Love She's But a Lassie Yet" is a poem of Robert Burns written in 1789 which is typically sung accompanied by a lively fiddle.


-The "Reel" is a kind of dance originating in Scotland and also refers to the kind of music that accompanies it.


-Edward Bellamy's Looking Backward : 2000-1887 was first published in 1888 and although little known today was the third most popular novel in the 19th century. The protagonist of the book is hypnotized and sleeps from 1887 until the year 2000 when he awakes to find that humanity has united to create a socialist utopia. As a novel, the writing is rather drab as it reads more like a textbook on how things ought to be run rather than actually engaging in any serious storytelling. The concept of the "credit card" as described in the narrative was part of Bellamy's plan to eradicate poverty by issuing every citizen the same amount of credit.


-Gilbert van Camp began canning in Indiana in 1861 and during the Civil War was given a contract by the Federal Government to produce canned pork and beans. By 1898 his company was producing more than 6 million cans of pork and beans in tomato sauce each year and the product is still available and popular to this day.


-Emily's description of "governess politics" is based upon the real-world situation in English society during the 18th and 19th century where a woman could be born into the "upper-class" but not be considered marriage material because her father could not afford a proper dowry for her. This might happen because her father was subject to financial ruin, but also might be a product of being part of a large family where any available cash had already been paid out to the husbands of the woman's older sisters. This put a woman in a bad position because, unlike an upper-class poor man, she could not simply get a job as that would be considered beneath her and not in line with her gender role. Anyone born into the service class would always have ample opportunities to labor, but one of the few acceptable positions for an upper-class woman would be that of governess where she could pass on her education to the children of the rich. Unfortunately it was not a well paying or well respected position and agreeing to perform the work generally forever marked the woman as being socially damaged as it likely condemned her to the life of a spinster.