Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Daemons Discuss - Podcast: Take 17! | Chapter Discussion about the All Souls Trilogy; Ch 16 - 20 of A Discovery of Witches


Take 17 - The One With the Fortress

Description: We journey further into Diana Bishop and Matthew Clairmont's new budding relationship. We find out Marcus is Matthew's son and get a bit of his background. We get a whiff of some of Matthew's secrets. We learn how a vampire is made, and vampire standards as far as tales they don't tell. We journey to France and meet one of Matthew's mothers: YSABEAU. Jam-packed chapters = jam-packed episode! It will definitely cover a longer commute and an ambitious workout at the gym!

SPOILER ALERT! We (The Daemons) approach this podcast with an assumption that the listener has read The All Souls Trilogy, including A Discovery of Witches, Shadow of Night, and The Book of Life.  If you haven't, and you don't mind, we certainly don't mind!  😊  Let's do this.


1. Show notes:

For newcomers to the series:
- We'll start with the basics: The books in discussion are A Discovery of Witches, Shadow of Night and The Book of Life.  Together they make The All Souls Trilogy by Deborah Harkness. 
- Our Daemon Guides to the All Souls Trilogy are available for download: ADOW, SON, TBOL

Deb's newsletter - The Blast; subscribe on her website
- If you'd like a ready-reference from the author herself, be sure to download the All Souls Real-Time Reading companion (free e-book at online booksellers via Penguin and Headline books).
- Deborah Harkness usually conducts a real-time reading on her Facebook Page (starting in September), and shares her posts across social media. Check out her website for all of her social media links, and of course all that she has to offer her readers! Be sure to sign up for her newsletter while you are there!
- To see what's available on the web as far as the All Souls universe fandom, check our links page.

In this episode:
* (00:01) - Long episode! Yikes! We couldn’t shut up! FYI, we aren't going to worry about episode length anymore. Suggestions: use the extra time as an excuse to procrastinate doing chores around the house. Or use the extra time to lengthen your workout or walk. Or just pause it until you can stomach some more of our banter (listen in shifts)! Or those of you with a long commute won't have to worry about finding something else to listen to mid-trip. Most of all, enjoy!

* (00:26) - We have a coupon code for All Souls Con (good until July 15th 2017).  Coupon code: DISCUSSER - Passes:  now $99 (the 15th of June - date of publication of this episode - WAS THE LAST DAY OF EARLY BIRD PRICES!), virtual passes: $0 (! --> thanks goes to Penguin Books for sponsoring the live stream)  All early bird prices ended the 15th of June, 2017 — Virtual passes will remain absolutely free!  Regular passes are now $99 - but lucky you! You have a coupon code for 20% percent off!

  • Visit AllSoulsCon.org  — You can also see 2015 All Souls Con video there.
  • Register for passes (virtual passes included - you must register to stream): AllSoulsCon.org/tickets
  • Don’t forget to join the All Souls Con Attendees Facebook group!
  • Use our coupon code: DISCUSSER for a discount on passes until the 15th of July, 2017

* (01:48) - Sept-Tours is a castle, but it is described as more precisely a fortress; thus the name of the episode

* (02:05) - Thank you, Discussers! Thanks goes to Stephen, Shelli, Karina, Kate (we didn’t read her email, but we will in future), and Patricia this time.

a. Chapter 16
* (09:06) - Marcus schooling himself because of his father’s state:
Twenty minutes later Matthew opened the door, his hair standing on end and a ferocious look on his face. The younger vampire had to school himself not to take a step backward.
Marcus held out a manila folder with a maroon passport folded around it, every move deliberate, and patiently waited. He wasn’t about to enter the witch’s rooms without Matthew’s permission, not when the vampire was in this state.
* (09:50) - Matthew used to just go away during the rages:
Over the years Marcus had come to appreciate Matthew’s finer qualities—his compassion, his conscience, his patience with those he loved. He also knew his faults, anger chief among them. Typically, Matthew’s rage was so destructive that once the poison was out of his system, he disappeared for months or even years to come to terms with what he’d done.
* (10:40) - Matthew’s secrets . . .
“Stay out of this, Marcus,” his father snarled. “It’s not your business.”
Marcus swore. “Your damned secrets are going to be the family’s undoing.”
* (11:35) - How a vampire is actually made in this series:
Matthew drained him of his blood in a remote hollow, where no one could hear his screams. Even now Marcus remembered the powerful thirst that had followed. He’d been mad with it, desperate to swallow anything cold and liquid.
Finally Matthew had slashed his own wrist with his teeth and let Marcus drink. The vampire’s powerful blood brought him back to startling life.
* (12:47) - Vampires with a conscience do have a set of rules…
  In those early days, Marcus wanted richer blood. He needed it, too, to quench his deep thirst and feed his ravenous body. But Matthew waited until Marcus could track a deer quickly, bring it down, and drain its blood without making a mess before he let him hunt humans. Women were off-limits. Too confusing for newly reborn vampires, Matthew explained, as the lines between sex and death, courtship and hunting, were too finely drawn.
  First father and son fed on sick British soldiers. Some begged Marcus to spare their life, and Matthew taught him how to feed on warmbloods without killing them. Then they hunted criminals, who cried for mercy and didn’t deserve it. In every case Matthew made Marcus explain why he’d picked a particular man as his prey. Marcus’s ethics developed, in the halting, deliberate way that they must when a vampire comes to terms with what he needs to do in order to survive.
* (13:37) - Marcus is truly an American.  He's an “Original Gangster” American from the Revolutionary War. It's interesting to have someone from colonial times in the large family of vampires.

The Battle of Brandywine - the battle that Marcus was a part of when Matthew met him. Painting by Frederick Coffay Yohn: purchase here

* (15:17) - Marcus made himself a big ol’ family:
Over the years Marcus had tried with little success to uncover some of his father’s secrets. He’d never been able to discover who tipped Matthew off that Marcus was raising hell in New Orleans after Jefferson made the Louisiana Purchase, for example. There he’d created a vampire family as boisterous and charming as himself from the city’s youngest, least responsible citizens. Marcus’s brood—which included an alarming number of gamblers and ne’er-do-wells—risked human discovery every time they went out after dark. The witches of New Orleans, Marcus remembered, had made it clear they wanted them to leave town.
* (16:07) - The vampire secret guidelines:
Marcus knew that a vampire’s life was measured not in hours or years but in secrets revealed and kept. Vampires guarded their personal relationships, the names they’d adopted, and the details of the many lives they’d led. Nonetheless, his father kept more secrets than most, and his urge to hide things from his own family was intensely aggravating.

Marcus was rabble rousing in New Orleans after Jefferson made the Louisiana Purchase
* (16:46) - Marcus realizes dear ol' Dad may have been in the congregation:
Every creature in New Orleans—even the witches—had treated his father like royalty.
Marcus wondered if his father had been a member of the Congregation, all those years ago. It would explain a great deal.
* (17:25) - Marcus forewarns the reader about Ysabeau (witch killer!)
“Your mother openly boasts about the witches she’s killed and blames every witch she meets for what happened to Louisa and your father.”
* (17:40) - Matthew quotes George Chapman (we meet him in SON)
He looked up and stared again at the print of the goddess of the hunt stalking her prey. Another line from the same old poem came into his mind. “‘I saw her coming from the forest,’” he whispered, “‘Huntress of myself, beloved Diana.’”
b. Chapter 17 
* (18:19) - The parallels to Diana’s parents and Diana and Matthew:
In my rooms I reached toward Matthew, while in my mind’s eye my mother’s hand reached for my father across a chalk-inscribed circle. The lingering childhood desolation of their death collided with a new, adult empathy for my mother’s desperate attempt to touch my father. Abruptly pulling from Matthew’s arms, I lifted my knees to my chest in a tight, protective ball.
* (18:40) - The taste of cloves – we kind of decided that the clove taste was just Matthew’s proximity and the intensity of his emotions; decide for yourself (opinions vary):
There was a powerful taste of cloves in my mouth, and I’d been mummified in my own duvet. When I stirred in my wrappings, the bed’s old springs gave slightly.
* (21:05) - Witchwind! A new power.  First the fire (blue fingers), then air (witchwind)
The air began to stir around me as if trying to drive off the feeling of being trapped. Chilly wisps edged up the legs of my trousers. The air crept up my body, lifting the hair around my face in a gentle breeze. Matthew swore and stepped toward me, his arm outstretched. The breeze increased into gusts of wind that ruffled the bedclothes and the curtains.
“It’s all right.” His voice was pitched deliberately to be heard above the whirlwind and to calm me at the same time.
* (22:03) - Being invited in.
“Am I forgiven?” he asked sincerely. I nodded. “May I?” he asked, gesturing at his feet. I nodded again.
* (23:40) - The white table
“I wish I could see the pattern in all this.” My white table rose into view, with pieces of the puzzle laid on it. Though I moved a few pieces around—Knox, the manuscript, my parents—they refused to form an image. Matthew’s voice broke through my reveries.
“What are you doing?”
“Nothing,” I said, too quickly.
“You’re using magic,” he said, putting his tea down. “I can smell it. See it, too. You’re shimmering.”
* (23:50) - Angela loves Matthew Clairmont. We all are there. He’s still the “perfect Matthew”

* (24:53) - He’s from France!

The Auvergne, France - where Matthew's home is.

* (25:27) - Changes to Matthew (his color and pupils):
When my eyes met his, I was struck by how tiny the pupils were. Usually they were black and enormous, but something  was different about Matthew tonight. His skin was less ghostly, and there was a touch more color in his normally pale lips.
* (26:17) - Emily’s hair (Emily was a little stressed with a big ol’ secret on her shoulders)
“What’s going on?” Em asked from another extension. After my parents died, Em’s hair had turned silver in the space of a few months. At the time she was still a young woman—not yet thirty—but Em had always seemed more fragile after that, as if she might blow away in the next puff of wind. Like my aunt, she was clearly upset at what her sixth sense told her was happening in Oxford.
* (27:22) - We find out Stephen Proctor hated Peter Knox.
 “Both of you listen to me, then. Get far, far away from Peter Knox. And that vampire had better see that you do, or I’m holding him responsible. Stephen Proctor was the most easygoing man alive. It took a lot to make him dislike someone—and he detested that wizard. Diana, you will come home  immediately.”
* (28:00) - Angela’s confession! She is annoyed by Sarah, but the things that annoy her about Sarah are some of her own traits; like Valerie's confession about Diana in The One With the Owl.

* (28:43) - Jean's annoyed at Sarah’s vampire level secrets. Valerie & Angela counter with Sarah’s parental reasoning … and then there's Emily.

* (30:20) - REALLY, Diana? It was the Aurora Consurgens that convinced Diana to go? Crazy. Angela points out that Diana’s tunnel-vision allows her to survive and cope.

* (31:45) - Matthew has a vampire mother! Cue sinister music.

Château Dauphin is Deborah Harkness' inspiration for Sept-Tours - the word 'Fortress' is quite apt!
* (32:45) -“Courage”
Matthew opened my car door and helped me down. Pulling at my black jacket, I looked up at the château’s imposing stone façade. The forbidding lines of the castle were nothing compared to what awaited me inside. The door swung open.
“Courage,” Matthew said, kissing me gently on the cheek.
c. Chapter18
* (33:12) - The Dr. Doolittle chapter! Jean says this because there are lots of animals in this chapter, and while Matthew talks to them audibly, Diana seems to communicate with them using her mind.

* (33:31) - Angela anticipated a pretty prickly meeting (she’s right), and Jean thinks that Ysabeau apologizes to no one for her nature. She says what she thinks, and she was a well put together French woman.

* (36:45) - Diana smells sweet and repulsive like Spring. We all comment on our first impressions of Ysabeau’s statement.
Ysabeau’s nostrils flared delicately. “I do not like the way witches smell.” Her English was flawless, her glittering eyes fixed on mine. “She is sweet and repulsively green, like spring.”
* (39:59) - Enter the tree symbolism.
“‘You are the tree and branch,’” he said, fixing his eyes on the slashes of countryside visible through the nearest window, “‘where delight’s fruit ripens. ’” Matthew shook his head ruefully. “Marthe will hum the song all afternoon and make Ysabeau crazy.”
* (40:17) - Marthe as the “Jewish grandmother” - she enters at a potentially romantic moment to offer up food.
“‘Vos etz arbres e branca,’” Marthe sang, giving Matthew a wicked look.
He laughed and sang back in a clear baritone, “‘On fruitz de gaug s’asazona.’”
“What language is that?” I asked, getting down off my tiptoes and following Matthew to the fireplace.
“The old tongue,” Marthe replied.
“Occitan.” Matthew removed the silver cover from a plate of eggs. The aroma of hot food filled the room. “Marthe decided to recite poetry before you sat down to eat.”
* (41:46) - Matthew has some pets!
He rounded the stable entrance, an anxious look on his face. “The stallion using your spine as a scratching post,” Matthew replied tightly. I was standing with my back to a large, heavy-footed horse while a mastiff and a wolfhound circled my feet, sniffing me with interest.
* (43:37) - Ysabeau’s horses:
“Fiddat—‘silver.’” Fiddat came forward when Matthew said her name, her dark eyes affectionate. “Fiddat is Ysabeau’s horse, and Rakasa is her sister.” Matthew pointed to the two blacks.
d. Chapter 19
* (45:37) - The Riding; Diana cannot wait to go riding.
  The next morning my first thoughts were also of riding.
I ran a brush through my hair, rinsed my mouth out, and threw on close-fitting pair of black leggings. They were the nearest thing to riding breeches that I had with me. Running shoes would make it impossible to keep my heels down in the stirrups, so on went my loafers instead. Not exactly proper footwear, but they’d do. A long-sleeved T-shirt and a fleece pullover completed my ensemble. Dragging my hair back into a ponytail, I returned to the bedroom.
  Matthew lifted his eyebrow as I rocketed into the room, his arm barring me from going any farther. He was leaning against the wide archway that led to the stairs, well groomed as always, wearing dark gray breeches and a black sweater. “Let’s ride in the afternoon.”
* (47:50) - Diana snoops and finds all sorts of treasures in Matthew’s library:
Now hunting for fresh insights into Matthew, I sought out the next book to show signs of heavy use. This time it was a smaller, thicker volume. Inked onto the fore edge was the title De motu. William Harvey’s study of the circulation of the blood and his explanation of how the heart pumped must have been interesting reading for vampires when it was first published in the 1620s, though they must already have had some notion that this might be the case.
Matthew’s well-worn books included works on electricity, microscopy, and physiology. But the most battered book I’d seen yet was resting on the nineteenth-century shelves: a first edition of Darwin’s On the Origin of Species.
* (48:50) - Matthew’s gifts…the riding gear (+ boots 😃).
“Thank you,” I said. “What’s in the boxes?”
“Open them and see.”
The first box held a pair of black breeches with suede patches inside the knees to grip the saddle. They would be far more pleasant to ride in than my thin, slippery leggings and looked like they would fit, too. Matthew must have been making more phone calls and relaying approximate measurements while I napped. I smiled at him in gratitude.
The box also held a black padded vest with a long tail and stiff metal supports sewn into the seams. It looked and would no doubt feel like a turtle’s shell—uncomfortable and unwieldy.
* (51:40) - The DNA results:
“This is the genetic marker for precognition,” Matthew continued, pointing to the first circled smudge. His finger began slowly moving down the page. “This one is for flight. This helps witches find things that are lost.”
Matthew kept reeling off powers and abilities one at a time until my head spun.
“This one is for talking with the dead, this is transmogrification, this is telekinesis, this is spell casting, this one is charms, this one is curses. And you’ve got mind reading, telepathy, and empathy—they’re next to one another.”
“This can’t be right.” I’d never heard of a witch with more than one or two powers. Matthew had already reached a dozen.
e Chapter 20
* (53:45) - Many things happen rather quickly, so to summarize here's the basic rundown:
  • The library - Matthew's library located in his study and the works contained in it
  • Marthe's love of mystery fiction!
  • The TEA - THAT tea. Marthe promises to show Diana how to make the herbal concoction for her own consumption - yeah, little did we know!
  • The Dinner - Marthe love cooking for Diana, and enjoys entertaining
  • The stories - The pigeon pie, the taxes, Matthew's adventures in New York and Italy, plus nearly flooding the castle
  • The Dancing - Matthew and Ysabeau glide gracefully, and then it was Diana's turn.
  • The floating - Diana lets go and surrenders to Matthew's lead while dancing and starts floating.
  • Ysabeau schools Diana - Basicially "grow up, use your powers."
  • Diana’s “indecent proposal”- Matthew is obviously besotted, and Diana is as well. They share an intimate kiss and Diana invites him to "come to bed with me"
* (1:05:40) - NEWS: Deb’s May update: Books, TV & All Souls Con

* (1:08:04) - All Souls Con info … ICYMI from above, we have a coupon code! (We got done recording when Laura gave it to us) Coupon code: DISCUSSER

* (1:08:42) - Watch for our Summer Giveaways!

* (1:09:20) - Housekeeping! An iTunes review + comments from Auralia and Stephen. Subjects: an awesome review from “Shining Waters” in Canada, Auralia cannot wait to see ADOW on the screen. Stephen shares his thoughts on the “kiss” in our last chapter episode (no tongues), he offers up his Bodleian tote bag for one of our giveaways (we’ll be taking him up on it…stay tuned!), and he clarifies how people in the UK pronounce “Aluminum”: Al-You-Min-Yum. We also play a portion of Ke$ha’s song “Stephen” on the podcast -- we are putting this legally-shaky 21 second clip under the category of “Fair Use,” because we are demonstrating what Angela thinks of when she sees a message from Stephen in our inbox. Regarding the use of copyrighted music on this podcast, this is an extremely rare instance where we'll throw caution to the wind like this (remember, one of us is a lawyer...😲). If you like the song, please support the artist!

* (1:14:04) - Promo break, scroll down, or click here to get a hold of us and/or become a Discusser.

* (1:15:30) - Jean’s last thought is that she’s kind of tired that people ask if Philippe told Ysabeau and Marthe something about Diana/Matthew’s relationship.  We don’t agree with this.  We believe he told who he told, and Ysabeau and Marthe deducted what they did by putting pieces together.

* (1:16:01) - Angela’s Meta is "Disgust" from Disney's Inside Out.

Disgust - from the movie Inside Out
* (1:16:25) - Angela is booked to go to All Souls Con. Jean has to get online and book hers, and Valerie is waiting a bit longer.  She has one of the booking sites looking for her. Which awful airline will win the price wars?

* (1:17:08) - Take the quiz in the All Souls Con Attendee group on Facebook. Join while you are at it! It’s fun. 😄

* (1:18:31) - Valerie has her house back after a familial invasion for her daughter’s college graduation. Her life is back to normal, and she now has time to do Daemon things once again.

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Credits/Copyright Information 
* Intro music: "Ghost Dance" (edited down to second chorus) by Kevin Macleod, licensed for use by Creative Commons.
* News intro: by AwesomeMusicVideos21; provided for fair-use/royalty-free.
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* Our episode titles are a loving tribute to the show "Friends" just 'cause we love Friends and - let's face it - it's easier! Here's how one of the show creators explains their reasoning:
Jeff Greenstein: "When Marta & David & Jeff & I did 'Dream On', we used to spend a lot of time thinking about titles, because they were on-screen at the top of each episode. On "Friends", we decided that was a waste of time. We figured, why not name each episode after the thing that people will ostensibly be talking about around the water-cooler the next day?"
This was a Daemon Production

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