Thursday, December 7, 2017

Daemons Discuss - Podcast: Take 27! | Chapter Discussion about the All Souls Trilogy; Chapters 3 & 4 of Shadow of Night

"Bell, Book and Candle" - Original pre-edit photo by Tim Pierce; attribution 2.0 license by Creative Commons

Take 27 - The One With the Hag

Description: (Covers chapters 3 & 4 of Shadow of Night) Matthew Clairmont and Diana Bishop get around to acknowledging the need for some witchy guidance. The intent: to return back to the present time armed with Diana's new magic, ward off the Congregation, and finally discover the secrets of Ashmole 782.

Matthew's friends (The School of Night) offer help by coming up with elaborate stories to explain away her differences. Françoise tries to come to Diana's aid by calling for some gloves and shoes to be made.  Matthew summons the Widow Beaton to the house as a witch teacher for Diana. The insane/hilarious fun of all of these interactions is what is covered in this episode!

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. *Note - this podcast is labeled 'explicit'

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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:
* (00:55) – Thanks Discussers, NE Angela & Wendy!

a. Chapter 3
* (08:50) – The backstory constructed by the “lads” – Matthew stars in the show!
What they had concocted so far was melodramatic in the extreme. This was not surprising given that our two resident playwrights, Kit and George, came up with the key elements of the plot. The characters included dead French parents, avaricious noblemen who had preyed on a helpless orphan (me), and aged lechers intent on stripping me of my virtue. The tale turned epic with my spiritual trials and conversion from Catholicism to Calvinism. These led to voluntary exile on England’s Protestant shores, years of abject poverty, and Matthew’s fortuitous rescue and instantaneous regard.
Although it's not the same, Diana practicing her writing reminded Valerie of doodling your school-girl crush's last name with yours.
* (10:08) – Diana is practicing writing, and testing out her names . . . (not unlike being in school testing out your possible married name with your crush!)

* (11:10) – Diana is holding on too tight . . .
“You’re holding your pen too tightly. That’s why the point keeps breaking and the ink won’t flow. You’re holding on to your new life too tightly as well.”
The original version of Penguin/Viking's commonplace book; first issued with the release of The Book of Life
* (11:27) – Penguin/Viking's version of Diana’s commonplace book (see above!)

* (11:55) – Matthew and Walter argue outside (and Diana notes the mail). Angela speculates that Walter was chastising Matthew, Valerie wonders if it was about the Queen’s business, and Jean thinks it could be. Angela also wonders if it was maybe Knight’s business. It could be any of those things!
Matthew and Walter were below. The panes of glass muffled their words, but the subject of the conversation was evidently unpleasant, judging from Matthew’s harried expression and the bristling line of Raleigh’s eyebrows. When Matthew made a dismissive gesture and turned to walk away, Walter stopped him with a firm hand.
Katherine Jones (née Boyle)
* (14:31) – The chess piece; Matthew is an observer this time. Jean brings up The Book of Life, and Baldwin being the rook and Diana being the queen.
“Kit won it from me fair and square last night—just as he was supposed to do. At least this time I could see how he managed it. He distracted me with his rook.”
* (15:44) – Katherine Boyle (Robert Boyle’s sister) & The Invisible College
That was my name now. Diana Roydon, wife of the most obscure figure associated with the mysterious School of Night. I examined the page critically. My handwriting was a disaster. It looked nothing like what I’d seen of the chemist Robert Boyle’s neat, rounded script or that of his brilliant sister, Katherine.
* (16:51) – We wonder how Deb decides to insert these little eggs, or does it come out organically (especially since she has famously said that she doesn't use an outline to write). Jean compares Deb to Diana as far as writing about people and things from the past like she knows them.

* (18:29) – Matthew assures that Kit won’t lose the chess piece . . .
“All the more reason not to worry. As long as it pains him to look upon the likeness of Diana, he won’t be able to part with it. Christopher Marlowe is a masochist of the first order.”
From our drive into the ditch: Hale Navy is what Valerie decided to paint her hall bathroom -- photo from REMODELaholic
* (19:03) – The colors! Goose Turd Green, and Rat Hair! Then we went into the ditch; we started talking about copyrighting modern colors for paint. Valerie brings up the darkest black, and Jean brings up a new blue, and we talk about Tiffany blue, Ford’s blue. Also, we were talking about Benjamin Moore’s Hale Navy (the color Val is painting her bathroom -- see color above).

* (21:40) – The Caudles … blech! The Caudle Diana made Tom:
Set your water to boil. Beat two egge yolkes. Add white wine and beat some more. When the water boils, set it to cool, then add the wine and egge. Stirre it as it boils again, adding saffron and honey.
* (22:11) – Somers and Bidwill show up to take Diana’s measurements
Sturdy feet tromped down the hall. The disapproving Françoise appeared at the threshold. “There are men here for Mistress Roydon,” she announced, stepping aside to reveal a gray-haired septuagenarian with callused hands and a much younger man who shifted from one foot to the other. Neither of these men was a creature.
* (22:48) – Outsiders low-key knew what Matthew actually was.
“Sir. My lord. Master Roydon.” The young man blurted out most available titles except for “Your Majesty” and “Prince of Darkness.” These were implied nonetheless.
* (23:28) – Matthew squashes the notion that Diana will ever show in court.
“Ladies who are going to court are having white stamped with gold or silver.”“We’re not going to court,” Matthew said swiftly.
A depiction of ague, painting by Thomas Rowlandson, 1756-1827
* (24:04) – The seriousness of ague:
“Rafe Meadows’s girl was sick with a terrible fever. We feared for Old Edward, but he is only afflicted with an ague,” Somers replied tersely.“I trust Meadows’s daughter has recovered.”“No.” Somers snapped the thread. “They buried her three days ago, God rest her soul.”“Amen,” said everyone in the room.
* (24:37) – The Oxford Viva = an oral exam. Mystery solved. We suspected as much, but we were just confirming our own guesses.

* (25:30) – The FNG (Fucking New Guy)! Matthew tells Diana not to worry about how others perceive her.
“But my accent, the way that I walk . . .” Even I had noticed the length of my steps relative to that of the other women in the house, but Kit’s open mockery of my masculine stride had brought the point home.“You’ll adjust. Meanwhile people will talk. But no one’s opinion in Woodstock matters. Soon you will be familiar and the gossip will stop.”
* (27:03) – The term “statuesque” - we are assuming in this context it means more voluptuous.

* (28:08) – The dynamics of the School of Night
Educated in the finest Renaissance style, the members of the School of Night were able to move between ancient and modern languages with alarming speed. All of them knew Aristotle backward and forward. And when Kit, Walter, and Matthew began talking politics, their encyclopedic command of history and geography made it nearly impossible for anyone else to keep up. Occasionally George and Tom managed to squeak in an opinion, but Henry’s stammer and slight deafness made his full participation in the intricate discussions impossible. He spent most of the time quietly observing the others with a shy deference that was endearing, considering that the earl outranked everyone in the room. If there weren’t so many of them, I might be able to keep up, too.
* (28:30) – The auras and Diana’s magic changing
Henry and Tom entered the room looking for Matthew. My third eye blinked open, surprising me with sudden awareness. Since we had arrived, my other nascent powers—witchfire, witchwater, and witchwind—had been oddly absent. With the unexpected extra perception offered by my witch’s third eye, I could discern not only the black-red intensity of the atmosphere around Matthew but also Tom’s silvery light and Henry’s barely perceptible green-black shimmer, each as individual as a fingerprint.
* (29:30) – They determine they need a witch.
“You’re not fine.” He tossed the quill onto the table. “Your scent has changed. I think your magic might be changing, too. Kit is right. We must find you a witch as quickly as possible.”
b. Chapter 4
* (30:18) – November 2nd is All Souls day; a previous continuity issue we discussed is resolved.

* (30:40) – Little regard was held for women or people who lacked university education.
“At last,” Matthew said. His friends had been eager to help him find the creature. Their suggestions illuminated a collective disregard for women, witches, and everyone who lacked a university education. Henry thought London might provide the most fertile ground for the search, but Walter assured him that it would be impossible to conceal me from superstitious neighbors in the crowded city. George wondered if the scholars of Oxford might be persuaded to lend their expertise, since they at least had proper intellectual credentials.
* (31:37) – The word witch vs. the word wizard. "Witch" tended to be viewed negatively, whereas "wizard" which is likened to the word "wise." Thanks, society! 😐

Disney's evil queen disguised as an old hag -- the image that was conjured up in Jean's head!
* (32:11) – Widow Beaton was straight out of central casting. Jean compares her in her mind to the evil queen in Snow White
At the far end of the room, standing in the shadows, was the witch from central casting: diminutive, bent, and ancient. As we drew closer, the details of her rusty black dress, stringy white hair, and leathery skin became more apparent. One of her eyes was milky with a cataract, the other a mottled hazel. The eyeball with the cataract had an alarming tendency to swivel in its socket, as though its sight might be improved with a different perspective. Just when I thought it couldn’t get worse, I spotted the wart on the bridge of her nose.
* (33:56) – Matthew gets amorous in an attempt to calm Diana down
“Trust me.” Matthew lowered his lips toward mine. His eyes were smoky, and his instincts to pursue his prey and push it into submission were sharp. Not only did the sixteenth-century husband want to prevail over his wife, but the vampire wanted to capture the witch.“I don’t find arguments the slightest bit arousing,” I said, turning my head. Matthew clearly did, however. I moved a few inches away from him.
* (34:21) – The quote that angered us all (booooooo!):
“And if you really want to behave like an Elizabethan woman, stop questioning me,” he said roughly as he departed.
* (35:09) – Beaton arrives (and they kind of leave her there) . . .
“Elle est ici,” Pierre announced, his glance flicking in my direction. “The witch is here to see madame.”“At last,” Matthew said. His friends had been eager to help him find the creature.
* (35:38) – Jean’s French is abysmal! We get a mini French lesson from Angela regarding the name Françoise. She explains the difference between the names Françoise and François. With the 'e' on the end, an 's' or harder 'z' sound (if you want to emphasize) is pronounced at the tail end of the name, distinguishing the feminine from the masculine.

* (36:30) – Kit owes a bunch of people a bunch of money including his tailor, his landlordWHO DOESN'T HE OWE? 😂 He intended to pawn the chess piece to settle his debts. Matthew offers to pay for it. Diana: "whew!"
Matthew had been following the volleys with increasing amusement. “Who are you in trouble with now?” he asked Marlowe, reaching for his wine. “And how much is it going to cost to get you out of it?”My tailor.” Kit waved a hand over his expensive suit. “The printer for Tamburlaine.” He hesitated, prioritizing the outstanding sums. “Hopkins, that bastard who calls himself my landlord. But I do have this.” Kit held up the tiny figure of Diana that he’d won from Matthew when they played chess on Sunday night. Still anxious about letting the statue out of my sight, I inched forward.“You can’t be so hard up as to pawn that bauble for pennies.” Matthew’s eyes flickered to me, and a small movement of his hand had me sinking back again. “I’ll take care of it.”
Tom Cruise in this famous scene from the movie Risky Business
* (37:20) – Risky Business! Join us on another mini-tour of the ditch; Millennials, give this movie a go!

* (38:25) – Diana has been drawing life force from living things. Jean wonders if this is preparation to become the mother in the goddess sense, Valerie wonders if it’s just because she’s drawn life from the tree, it’s just unleashed this new magic. Also the white animals!
A few hours ago, I had laced my fingers through the branches to tug the roses and medlars to the forefront of the vase, wondering about the garden all the while. I was pleased with the results for about fifteen seconds, until the flowers and fruit withered before my eyes.
* (39:53) – Diana is not witch enough to produce a beard.
“There’s a barber in Oxford who is a wizard. Your husband’s hair grows slowly, as with all of his kind, and he’s clean shaven.” When I still looked blank, Kit continued with exaggerated patience. “Matt will be noticed, looking as he does. He needs a beard. Apparently you are not witch enough to provide him with one, so we will have to find someone else to do it."
* (41:38) – Kit (in real life) got into a street fight with his tailor!

* (43:29) – The bell, book and candle ritual (Catholic vs. Pagan version). Angela, Valerie and Jean discuss the ritual and what it means in Catholicism. Jean brings up the series, The Borgias and an excommunication spell scene to cast someone into the pits of Hell. The juxtoposition forces us to think that one tradition is a result of the other.
“Then the priest took up a holy book—a Bible—and closed it to show that the witch was denied access to God.” The Elements of Geometrie snapped shut. George and Tom jumped. The members of the School of Night were surprisingly susceptible for men who considered themselves immune to superstition.“Finally the priest snuffed out a candle, to signify that the witch had no soul.” Widow Beaton’s fingers reached into the flame and pinched the wick. The light went out, and a thin plume of gray smoke rose into the air. The men were mesmerized. Even Matthew looked unsettled. The only sound in the room was the crackle of the fire and the constant, tinny ringing of the bell.“A true witch can relight the fire, open the pages of the book, and stop the bell from ringing. She is a wonderful creature in the eyes of God.” Widow Beaton paused for dramatic effect, and her milky eye rolled in my direction. “Can you perform these acts, girl?”
* (46:40) – Was Widow Beaton baiting Diana to use her magic in order to separate herself from the creature world? If so, she conveniently would be able to point a finger at a "real witch," diverting attention away from herself. Hmmm...
Other witches had made the same proclamation as Widow Beaton, and with similar satisfaction. I had a sudden, intense need to prove her wrong and wipe the knowing look from Kit’s face.
* (47:38) – Diana is confessing the changing of her magic in front of all of them.
“I can taste sunlight, Matthew.” My voice was sharp with panic. “I can see time, waiting in the corners.”“That woman has bewitched a wearh. This is the devil’s work,” Widow Beaton hissed. She was backing carefully away, her fingers forked to ward off danger
* (48:01) – We discuss Beaton’s attempted assimilation into society by being part of a Christian congregation.

* (49:34) – Widow Beaton: Look people, I don’t want trouble. I don’t have fancy dudes protecting my ass. Keep me out of this mess!
“You are not like me, and I want no trouble. None will give me pity when the village is baying for blood. I have no wearh to protect me, and no lords and court gentlemen will step forward to defend my honor.”
* (50:29) – A warning from the hag . . .
“But mark my words, Matthew Roydon. Every creature within a day’s journey suspects that you are a foul beast who feeds on blood. When they discover you are harboring a witch with these dark powers, God will be merciless on those who have turned against Him.”
* (50:55) – Kit’s reaction after Beaton leaves . . .
“I enjoyed myself immensely!” Kit shouted, flinging open another window with so much force the panes rattled. “That hag is the perfect witch. I shall put Widow Beaton in one of my plays. Did you ever imagine she could do that with an old bell?”
* (52:26) – We discuss the School of Night’s living situation. We came to the conclusion that they all have places to rest their heads, however they hang out with Matthew because there is always food, wine and brew.

* (54:23) – Explain yourself. Walter questions Diana. Matthew shuts that down.
“Explain yourself,” Walter said curtly.“Diana owes you no explanation,” Matthew shot back.
* (55:10) – Hal on this situation:
“If she speaks out against you, Matt, is there a reason for concern?” Henry inquired gently.
* (56:02) – We end with this quote:
“We’re creatures, Hal, in a human world. There’s always reason for concern,” Matthew said grimly.
* (56:35) Housekeeping: Thank you Fern! She wonders what the fandom thinks about the Ysabeau pick for the TV show. We are in a “wait and see” mode . . . we are wondering how this will play out. We acknowledge that people are just mourning their young, glamourous, version of Ysabeau + the canon that was previously established. Also, we received a couple of Apple Podcast reviews from Mesquite235, and MovetheScale! Thanks for the praise! We deeply appreciate it, and hope to be able to live up to it in future.

* (1:00:44) Save It For the Show … Topic: New fandom entities cropping up with sometimes indistinguishable features . . . we’ve noticed a huge crop of new outlets flooding the fandom, but only a couple of sites have really stood out to us, especially with the some of the chosen naming conventions. Valerie notes a Twitter account that just tweets, and retweets what's already out there (which is fine; do what you want!), but her point is actually missed in this conversation – she states that she's going to be "that asshole" by saying this, however the particular entity she was talking about purports to represent an entire country, yet it appears to serve as yet another echo chamber of all of the other places. P.S. we'd understand this if there was a language barrier, and they were translating for fans from non-English speaking countries, but there isn't one in this case. Please note that we realize many of these fandom groups are just starting out, and can eventually evolve into go-to fandom spots.

An exception (re: the above)! We recommend that you check out this podcast:
 * (1:04:52) Promo break – scroll down, or click here to get a hold of us and/or become a Discusser -- information on joining our Facebook group also located on that page.

* (1:06:03) – Jean’s last thought was on Colleen Madden (aka @thenewredplaid on Twitter and the illustrator of The World of All Souls), and some dress studies she did (see Tweet above). Jean reminds us that we still have that fashion episode to do. Valerie is glad is things are calming down re: TV news and there is some “anticipation fatigue” settling in. Valerie is also pleased that people aren’t too put off by some of our less-than-amped comments about some of choices made by the A Discovery of Witches production team. We aren’t perpetual cheerleaders for everything (example, Ysabeau's casting). Surprise! We have opinions! Jean reminds us to please remember that the opposite of love is indifference. We also discuss racist remarks that had been made about some of the casting choices (bleh. People suck, sometimes! BOO!). We remain very excited to watch our favorite story play out on the small screen! Angela brings up the release of The World of All Souls in 6 months (May 8th, 2018). Yay!
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  • NOTE: Please keep in mind that this group is only a supplement to our podcast. We recommend that you join only if you truly enjoy the podcast and want to discuss things further. Listening just to gain entry will be a waste of our time, and frankly yours! The screening process has been intensified to keep membership intimate, and to try to keep out folks who don’t have the best intentions for the group and its dynamic. It's an imperfect process, but we are determined to keep it a healthy place for speculation and more detailed discussion for all members, including us. When we opened the group, we decided to require listener-only membership because podcasting is a very personal medium. People who listen tend to know how we are and think. Those who like what we have to say (and don't find us too abrasive/foul-mouthed/opinionated 😈), will most likely enjoy the group to its fullest, and utilize it as a sounding board with other like-minded members who have the ability to peacefully discuss divergent or opposing ideas. We don't have time to worry about mal-intent, because it breeds drama and discourse. If we're not comfortable, then the rest of the members won't be comfortable. None of this is negotiable. It's simply how it is. This is why the Facebook group is not public and we don't advertise it on Deb's website, social media, or other venues. 

* (1:13:25) – RECORD SCRATCH! 2 Things!

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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.
*  Outro music: Rimsky-Korsakov - "Scheherazade Symphonic Suite for Orchestra Op.35 - IV. Allegro molto," Public       

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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?"
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