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Miss Dora Baggins' Book of Manners  by Dreamflower 9 Review(s)
Kaylee ArafinwielReviewed Chapter: 12 on 8/20/2016
My dear Miss Dora (and Dreamflower),

This writing on Funerals comes to my attention in a Timely Manner, as my Healer has pressed me to Consider what may Happen to me after my Mother's Passing. I Hope it is not for a Long Time yet, but should she Depart Suddenly, or Fall Ill and be Taken from me, it is Best to Know what to Do. I hope with all my Heart this Advice will not be Needed for Some Time, but I thank you for it.

Your Reader and friend,

Kaylee

(Dear Dreamflower,

My counselor and I have begun talking about what's likely to happen to me if/when my mother passes. We've put serious discussion on hold until after my father's restraining order hearing, at least, but we have had to begin talking about it. As I have Asperger's, CP and epilepsy, but none on their own are debilitating enough for me to get services other than Social Security disability, and very little of that, it's very much in question. Mom and I have to talk about how she's planned to provide for me, at least. It's a very uncomfortable discussion, to put it mildly. :( )

Kaylee ArafinwielReviewed Chapter: 12 on 11/3/2009
Dear Miss Dora,

My dearest Friend suffered a Bereavement in her Family Recently. I too have Lost loved ones. Thank you for helping me know what to Write to others who may Suffer such Losses.

Your reader,

Kaylee Arafinwiel

Author Reply: My Dear Miss Kaylee,

My Condolences to you and to your friend in your Sad Loss. I am glad if my Words have provided any Help at a time like this to you.

Sincerely,
Miss Dora

(((hugs)))
Dreamflower

BodkinReviewed Chapter: 12 on 5/1/2007
Good thoughts. The sample letters of sympathy are a nice touch! As are the words about what not to say!

Miss Dora's words should be in every hobbit's collection of wisdom.

Author Reply: This particular chapter was a bit hard to write, knowing what to include and so forth. But remembering Aunt Dora's famous correspondence, it seemed to me that letters would rather be a forte of hers.

And really, when people are grieving, it really is as important to know what to avoid saying as to what to say.

I am sure that Miss Dora thought so! I could imagine her giving copies of her tome for her birthday and for Yule!

French PonyReviewed Chapter: 12 on 4/24/2007
While it is a Sad Fact that many more Scattered Family may only see one another at Funerals or Weddings, this is not an Appropriate time for merry-making, and any Socializing should be kept Discreet and Solemn.

Miss Dora has clearly never met my family. When Uncle Bernie died, we had an enormous, rich feast the night before the graveside service, at which a great deal of Socializing went on. This was Only Appropriate, because Bernie was a Known Party Animal, and this kind of thing was Just His Meat.

Author Reply: I think Miss Dora is usually writing about things as they *should* be, rather than as they *are*. After all, if hobbits were not in the habit of doing those inappropriate things, she would not have needed to tell them to *not* do it, LOL!

For example, in my story "Cousin Calla", Frodo had to give a rather glacial glare to a particular aunt, who tried to use the occasion of Rory and Menegilda's funeral to push a bit of matchmaking on poor grieving Merry!

And your Uncle Bernie sounds quite hobbity! I bet he would have got on famously with Bilbo, though Miss Dora herself might have sniffed at it!

Baggins BabeReviewed Chapter: 12 on 4/21/2007
This was a very thoughtful and moving chapter. Lots of little digs about the S-Bs - prompted by their behaviour at the funeral of Primula and Drogo, perhaps?
I do love Dora's sensible advice and her letters of condolence are beautiful.
You really do have Aunt Dora's character down perfectly.

Author Reply: Yes, she really did have it in for the S.-B.s, didn't she? LOL!

I'm so glad you think so; she rather writes herself, if you know what I mean.

shireboundReviewed Chapter: 12 on 4/20/2007
Dreamflower, this is a particularly moving and beautiful chapter. In fact, your letters of condolence are so simple and wonderful, I might use wordings such as these myself someday.

Author Reply: *blushes* Thank you, dear. That is quite a compliment.

It took me a while to write this chapter, as I wanted to make sure that it came across respectfully, and with an accurate take on what I felt hobbit beliefs might be. And it's rather a solemn subject, in contrast to those which have gone before.


harrowcatReviewed Chapter: 12 on 4/20/2007
A ream of good advice that I could have done with myself a few weeks ago.! Dora must have been scandalised by the gossip that went around after the death of Frodo's parents!

Author Reply: Yes, she was. In fact, I think you can easily see what motivated a good deal of her advice in this chapter--she is, of course, speaking of what's *proper* and not of what actually takes place. There are oblique slams against the S.-B.s and the other gossips all through this section.

LarnerReviewed Chapter: 12 on 4/19/2007
Having so recently written the (admittedly AU) death and funeral of Frodo Baggins, I was of course highly interested in seeing just how Aunt Dora figured such occasions should be planned. I've often thought on the idea of the Great Feast Lindelea has described in her stories, and agree with her that for many Hobbits such could indeed be a probable anticipated delight for a possible afterlife.

Considering Frodo's likely upbringing by Bilbo, I suspect he would anticipate some kind of afterlife, and I'm certain he would be aware that Elves anticipated a rehousing within a body sometime after their physical deaths, particularly in light of the probability that during his earlier stays in Rivendell Bilbo most likely encountered Glorfindel. Frodo would certainly have been aware of the belief that Beren and Luthien were allowed to live again in the Undying Lands, and that Idril and her husband were allowed to sail there and knew some kind of life together that was untold in the Mortal Lands. I strongly believe he would have expected some version of the Halls of Mandos, but that he looked to go beyond in some way, which, of course, is why I tend to write the anticipation of the Presence into many of my stories.

I'm glad you appear to share my belief that both shroud and coffin burials would be likely, and that the preference for one over the other might be dictated by familial or regional preferences as well as the possibility of massive damage to the body in case of accident, some illnesses, or the beginning of putrefaction if the death took place in hot weather.

The advice is very beautiful, touching, and full of Dora's great common sense and general appreciation of Seemliness of Behavior. (Heh!)

So glad to see this addition to the Good Lady's Book of Manners. Kudos to Miss Dora and yourself!

Author Reply: While I truly enjoy Lin's concept, and think that if hobbits did, in fact, believe in an afterlife that *would* be the kind they believed in, I try to go with JRRT's express statement that hobbits had no religion. It's difficult--it goes against *my* grain, and creates some interesting gaps in Shire society--but it's conceivable. Therefore, I have them more concerned with Family, and with their memories being preserved by their descendants. It might, for example, account for their obsession with genealogy. However, Frodo was an exceptional case, having been exposed both pre- and post-Quest to other ways of thinking. So my Frodo (and Bilbo) have the concept of a possible afterlife as filtered through Elvish writings, and it gives both of them a certain amount of comfort. I think that this exposure also affected Sam, Merry and Pippin post-Quest, at least personally.

Dora, on the other hand, is a very typical pre-Quest Hobbit. She's been educated, so she knows *other* races believe in such things--which is fine for them, but she doesn't believe that those have any bearing on hobbits.

Yes, I do think that the idea of shroud or coffin would be a variable--there would be a number of factors, region and family customs being foremost.

Queen GaladrielReviewed Chapter: 12 on 4/19/2007
I'm so glad to see another chapter of this!

This is good advice, and funerals are certainly not a light matter, but I still had to smile at it because it is so Dora. Yes, she must be *sure* everyone knows *just* how to write letters of condolence, going so far as to give examples. :) I wish I could take her examples, though, as a friend of mine just lost her grandfather and I still never know what to say. What words are there to comfort such loss? None that I heard when my own grandfather died a few years ago.

Every time I read one of these sections of this book of manners, I picture some of Miss Dora's tweenaged cousins being made to study it...:)
God bless,
Galadriel

Author Reply: Miss Dora is so glad that you appreciate the common sense of her advice! ;-)

It takes a lot of thought to figure out how these matters would have been dealt with in the Shire. But much of the advice, I think, could apply to humans as well.

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