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Miss Dora Baggins' Book of Manners  by Dreamflower 19 Review(s)
MaidenofValinorReviewed Chapter: 2 on 6/27/2006
Oh, this is simply wonderful! It really should be published. Haha.
though if the child wishes to give something truly loathsome or noxious, he or she can be distracted and steered to a more attractive alternative.
That made me laugh, and this:
If a child pleads no Hunger at all, then it is time to call a Healer.
I'd be very worried...teehee!
Can't wait to read more. A simply brilliant idea.

Author Reply: Well, it *is* being published, sort of. On the 'net.

I could just imagine some big brother taking his little brother out on his third birthday, and thinking it would be really funny to let him take some bugs or something in for the parents...the parents would not be amused.

Well, yes, we are told that normally hobbit children have voracious appetites, so one with no appetite at all would definitely be a problem.

AspenJulesReviewed Chapter: 2 on 6/27/2006
LOL... this should be published. While not *all* of the advice applies to Men, so many such parents could benefit from Miss Dora's sound counsel. There's almost too much to mention that I loved! The responsibility of Fathers with regard to less pleasant tasks, sleeping with siblings(and those rare occasions when parents may wish a bit of Privacy, upon which she chooses not to go into detail *snickers*, how older siblings should discourage inappropriate gifts for the Faunt to give parents "for the faunt will not be the one to bear the blame."

I also love the discussion of the tricky task of teaching faunts to be kind without lying. Very good, very good. For some reason, I just kept thinking of young Pippin Took through many of these bits. Wee!Pip did such a good job trying to behave, and you could see the influence of many of the practices Miss Dora espouses in his life. She really was quite practical, wasn't she? "For some Unfathomable Reason, they learn how to undress themselves more quickly. This can be a problem." Oh man... *giggles madly*.

I loved this - can't wait for more - like comments on "Tween-hood"!

Author Reply: I'm so glad you picked those bits out--those were some of my favorite things to come up with! Thank you!

Yes, I did have little Pippin in mind, as well as wee Merry, not to mention little Folco Boffin.

Next chapter is childhood to teens, and then will come Tweens...

ElemmírëReviewed Chapter: 2 on 6/27/2006
A DORA STORY!!!!!! I thought I was the only one! I'm in the process of writing and editing the last few chapters of my Dora story. Don't worry, it's quite different from yours. :D

All this child-rearing advice is very amusing coming from a life-long spinster aunt, who only has one niece and one nephew. I like how she's the Emily Post & Dear Abby of your Shire, however!

Can't wait for more, Dreamflower!

Author Reply: Oh I do so look forward to seeing your Dora!

Well, she's had a lifetime of observation. I think she is very sharp and observant, and has probably kept her ears open, for over a century, so she does have a lot of wisdom to draw on, even if no personal experience.

More is coming soon.

Pearl TookReviewed Chapter: 2 on 6/27/2006
Though this all sounds so nice and tidy, it leaves me wondering if Dear Dora actually had any children of her own. LOL (I do see in the Baggins family tree that she doen't have a husband listed ;) )

Mealtimes and Manners is next :) (that should be interesting, hehehe)

Author Reply: No, Dear Dora, LOL! seems to have been a spinster, or at least at the age of 99, in "A Long-Expected Party" she is referred to as Dora Baggins, and I don't believe she could have married at that age, much less have children. *grin* But she did help to raise her neice Daisy (at least in my Shire) and probably had a good deal of babysitting experience. I think she was probably also very observant.

Well, not quite next--we still have a couple of stages of child-rearing to go. But I can tell you now, I intend to have good fun with Mealtimes and Manners!

DrummerWenchReviewed Chapter: 2 on 6/27/2006
Dreamflower, what a fab idea! And the Dear Abby bits are great!
It looks the sort of thing you can turn to for a change of writing pace, too.

Author Reply: I'm having a blast with it! It's so much easier in one way, than a normal story, because there's no need for plot, and the only character I need to worry about is Aunt Dora herself. Yet in other ways it's a little harder, as I am combing through the books and Letters, looking for canon hints about Hobbit customs and manners, that I can then take and expand upon.

French PonyReviewed Chapter: 2 on 6/27/2006
So this is not just an etiquette manual? It looks like it really is "reams" of good advice. Good for Dora. I wonder if she ever had any children. I particularly enjoy the observation at the beginning that good common Hobbit sense is not nearly as common as it ought to be. That is charming and so true. For the most part, the advice seems sound, but I hope that we'll get more into manners soon. That has the potential to be truly side-splittingly funny, especially given the poker-faced way you write it.

Author Reply: It really is. The old-fashioned books did ramble on with all sorts of advice and not just manners alone.

Dora never wed. She remained a spinster. But she helped to raise her neice Daisy, and she was very observant and sharp. I imagine she was often called upon to take care of various young cousins as well.

I'm looking forward to the "manners" part myself. *grin* You will see, though, that a good deal of the child-rearing advice also concerned the Rudiments of Manners.

shireboundReviewed Chapter: 2 on 6/27/2006
After the gathering of the Gift, the child will then return home and give the Present to the parents at second breakfast. It is wise for the parents to make much of this Gift, and to praise the child lavishly. Thus he or she will learn early that it is better to Give than to Receive. It is usual for the Mother to keep some of the blooms, and press them, and preserve them in a Keepsake Book or Box. In later years, she can show them to the child and recount how happy the Gift made her, and how proud she was of her child.

Awww, I love that part the best! :D

Author Reply: I thought I would expand on that lovely little hint we are given in Letter #214:

"It may be noted that Hobbits, as soon as they became 'faunts' (that is talkers and walkers: formally taken to be on their third birthday-anniversary) gave presents to their parents. These were supposed to be things 'produced' by the giver (that is found, grown, or made by the 'byrding'), beginning in small children with bunches of wild flowers." (JRRT, Letter to A.C. Nunn, sometime in 1958 or 59)

I think this is an adorable custom, and wanted to make it a bit more formalized, as I think Hobbits would have done.

This "story" owes a lot to Letter #214.

PIppinfan1988Reviewed Chapter: 2 on 6/27/2006
I could get on quite well with Miss Dora Baggins and her lovely advice. :-) I couldn't agree with her more on rearing hobbit-children. LOL, did anyone ever tell her that rearing children is an adventure in and of itself? ;-) Shhh! Don't tell her, lol.


Author Reply: Miss Dora really was a very observant hobbit. I hope that most of her advice seemed sound.

Adventure? *horrified tones* Surely Not! It is a perfectly Practical Thing to do! (*grin*)

SurgicalSteelReviewed Chapter: 2 on 6/27/2006
I really am enjoying this - it reads so much like an old etiquette book! Fun!

Author Reply: That's definitely the effect I was aiming for--very old-fashioned!

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