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Miss Dora Baggins' Book of Manners  by Dreamflower 16 Review(s)
Kaylee ArafinwielReviewed Chapter: 3 on 8/20/2016
My dear Miss Dora,

I am very Grateful for your explanation of the Childhood and Teen Years. It will help me immensely, I am sure, as I am currently hoping to Continue Chronicling the tale of your young Cousin, Angelica Baggins. I Note that Teens are usually sent to the Family Tutor at sixteen. My Chronicle has Angelica under Bilbo's tutelage at Fifteen - I am not sure whether the Tale I have been Told is in error, or perhaps Ponto simply could not be Bothered with her.

(Begging your pardon, Miss Dora, of course, but it would Seem Ponto is having Difficulties and has not, as he Ought To Have Done, sought Help from the Family, rather Seeking Comfort in copious amounts of Old Winyards. Bilbo only found out by Happenstance, due to Angelica's Woolgathering and Rambling in her Essay, and I do not think he is Certain what to Do. His Scribe certainly has No Idea...Perhaps reading Further On will clear Matters somewhat.)

A very distressed



I'm attempting to continue "About Balbo Baggins...and Others", with a letter written by Bilbo to one of Angelica's family. I'm not sure whether he ought to write to a Baggins, or a Took, since in my-verse Lily is Isembold's great-granddaughter. It seems to me that he'd have lost a lot of credibility as Family Head, what with the "Old Mad Baggins" thing, so I don't know if Ponto would even listen to him. I asked a psychologist friend of mine what she would do if presented with a neglected child whose widowed father had taken to drink, and she said she'd contact the police and/or CPS before involving the family. Well...of course that's not going to work. *sighs* She tried to be helpful, lol. What do you think?


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

I write once again to you and your esteemed scribe Dreamflower. This chapter was one of my favorites, as it covers the period now being written into the elfling's Tale. I find it very useful, and so does our elfling's Great-grandfather (He has, in fact, written a quite Similar Volume!)

Indeed, children at this stage of life ought to be quite old enough to play alone.I must inquire, however, what to do if such a child is Teased. (I know, of course, you have covered this, but I had a particular Question.)

The particular Elfling in question is a child of the Sindar, whilst his Tormentors are children of the Noldor. Their fathers and his are both Advisors of their King. (Let us say for comparison, if the Thain's Heir and the Master's Heir were not in Accord with one Another.)

The elflings' Fathers also do not get along well, and so there is no one who can solve the Problem Amicably. What would you suggest, Miss Dora?

Your faithful reader,

Kaylee Arafinwiel

Author Reply: Miss Kaylee,

What a sad situation! It would be Unthinkable to find such a sitation among Hobbits! Indeed, while they are still very Young, the Thain's Heir and the Master's Heir are very Close, more like Brothers than Cousins and Friends!

It is Quite Inconscionable of the Fathers of these lads to allow their own Personal Animonisities affect their children! If neither of the Adults can be made to see the Sense in Putting Aside their own Prejudices in order to bring their children To Heel, perhaps a third Person could be found who can Shame them into taking their responsibilties to their children Seriously.

Is there an older Female Relative who can bring her Authority to bear upon them? I know not how such things are Reckoned among Elves, but an Aunt or Grandmother, or perhaps even a distant Cousin who is Reckoned as Wise might be able to make them Understand Their Duty! Perhaps even this King of theirs or his Queen might intercede on the children's Behalf!

Miss Dora

Kaylee, Miss Dora was quite incensed at your question, and it was all I could do to keep her from rushing off to deal with the matter herself! However, I reminded her she would have to go Outside the Bounds of the Shire, which would make it an Adventure. This horrified her enough to calm down.

InklingReviewed Chapter: 3 on 6/3/2007
For of course, the first thing that anyone wants to know when introduced to a new Acquaintance is to Whom that Acquaintance is Related.

LOL! Yes indeed, Miss Dora has her finger on the pulse of hobbit society! I love the shrewd insight and dry humor in comments like this:

…even if their Natural Affection and Protectiveness does not serve as a deterrent, the knowledge that Little Brother or Sister is a witness often will.

This is one spinster who knows how children think!

Author Reply: Well, she's simply stating in black-and-white for everyone to see those things which most hobbits know and take for granted, just as the best ettiquette mavens do. I'm a huge fan of Judith Martin (Miss Manners) so Miss Dora is quite influenced by her...

She does. I don't think among hobbits that not being a parent would be a deterrent to understanding children that it is in our shattered society. Aunts and cousins had very nearly as much say in bringing up young relatives as did their parents. And I've always thought that Miss Dora would be keenly observant.

LarnerReviewed Chapter: 3 on 8/18/2006
A wonderful chapter, and wonderful also to realize the individuals alluded to as Cautions. And lovely advice, again, for the rest of us.

Author Reply: *grin* Well, she's far too Proper to give out Names, but she would, of course know all the family anecdotes, LOL!

I'm glad you like her advice!

KittyReviewed Chapter: 3 on 7/2/2006
It is the Normal State of things for children to want this cuddling--and many Parents find that separate rooms make no Difference to a younger child, who when faced with the Dark, or with a frightening Nightmare will automatically seek out the bed of an older sibling. Frodo, Merry and Pippin would agree wholeheartedly with that, I'm sure! And the anecdote of the four cousins was so sweet. Hm, hobbit children beds seem to be rather large, contrary to the children beds of men. Even in my bed I suppose four children would be quite crowded.

The poor children have to learn their genealogy quite early. Sometimes I wonder how many sheets of paper would be needed to draw a complete genealogy of all the Tooks or Brandybucks. I myself have sometimes even problems with the bit in the Appendices!

Oh, and I had to giggle about the question of adventures. *Of course* this had to come up! Too bad Dora didn't life until the time so many hobbits *did* go on an adventure - I'd liked to know what she would say about that *grin*

Author Reply: I'm glad you liked the little anecdote.

As to beds, I have childhood memories of my own cousin's beds. In rural areas, it seemed that the children's beds were no smaller than those of adults--since siblings did share beds, as the older ones grew out of the nest, the younger ones had large beds of their own, which they gladly shared with company. The first bed *I* remember having was what is called a "double bed", and I shared with my sister.

I figure genealogy is right up there with cooking, when it comes to hobbit learning--one of the most important things!

I think she might have been very Shocked! LOL!

PIppinfan1988Reviewed Chapter: 3 on 7/1/2006
Lads, however, seem to like a Challenge. From their teens through their tweens, they are not to be Trusted when it comes to the Larder or Garden.

That line is too cute! You'll never guess who I thought of when I read that! ;-)


Author Reply: I couldn't *possibly* imagine...*grin*rolls eyes*

I'm glad you liked that line, actually...

Pearl TookReviewed Chapter: 3 on 7/1/2006
Are hobbit children really this easily raised? LOL If that's the case then a lot of hobbit stories I've read are terribly amiss. ;)

Author Reply: I am sure that they are more easily raised than the children of Men--really, JRRTs description of them as by nature peaceful and law-abiding, means that they must have been mostly amiable and biddable.

Well, you know, sometimes it's our tendency to make hobbits too human. It's only natural, since we *are* human, LOL!

Sweet Pea Reviewed Chapter: 3 on 6/30/2006
I love this! It has the feel of the old advice books. Great job! :-)

BodkinReviewed Chapter: 3 on 6/29/2006
Aunt Dora's reflections are wonderful. And particularly accurate, of course, coming as they do from an elderly spinster!

I found a wonderful 'how to bring up baby' book when my children were small. There's nothing funnier than old-fashioned didactic writing.

Author Reply: Well, she may be an elderly spinster, but she's very observant, and has a good store of hobbit-sense.

I know--they are *so* much fun. I have a reproduction of a cookbook from the early nineteenth century, and there is as much advice in there as there are recipes, LOL! It's so funny--especially how apt much of it is, even today!

MaidenofValinorReviewed Chapter: 3 on 6/29/2006
Who is this "Notable Exception", I wonder...
This is simply wonderful.
A pleasure to read.
You are brilliant....are you sure you're not a hobbit in disguise?

Author Reply: *whistles innocently* I've no idea...;)

Aren't we *all* hobbits at heart around here?

I am so glad you are enjoying it!

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