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Miss Dora Baggins' Book of Manners  by Dreamflower 188 Review(s)
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*)

PIppinfan1988Reviewed Chapter: 1 on 6/27/2006
This is wonderful! Now I can see how Bilbo was able to give Pippin and Merry lots of advice while in Rivendell on their return trip to the Shire! I enjoyed the "hobbit touch", in that all hobbits must be predictable and that kindness overcomes a multitude of adentures. :-)


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!

Nienor NinielReviewed Chapter: 1 on 6/27/2006
Oh, that is fantastic! So in character for the hobbits. But she really shows those adventurous Tooks their place!

The style of writing is so very fitting for such an advice book, and the advice given is just what a proper hobbit would want others to do.

So I hope you are going to write the whole book!

Thanks for sharing! Nienor

Author Reply: Yes, well, she acknowledges their pre-eminence at the top of the Roll and as one of the Great Families, but, yes--as JRRT himself observed in The Hobbit, the Tooks were not quite so respectable as the Bagginses!

I'm glad you find the style appropriate--I'm having a lot of fun trying to imitate that old style!

That's the plan. Chapter 2 is up now!

Thank you for stopping by to read and review!

KittyReviewed Chapter: 1 on 6/27/2006
Great idea, Dreamflower! Can't wait what will come - this promises to be very entertaining!

The first and foremost Principal of Respectability is Kindness. Well, she should have sent this to Lobelia ...

Hobbits who have indulged themselves in Adventure have spent the rest of their lives attempting to recover their lost Reputation, and are never wholly successful, as Talk will follow them to the end of their days and beyond. *rofl* That means Bilbo, of course. Dora didn't live to see the Travellers vanish and return or the embassy from Gondor and the journey of Freddy and the others back with them, didn't she? According to her the Shire had a *very* disreputable Thain, Master and Mayor for some decades *grin*

Hmmm ... maybe Dora should work together with the Gaffer about being 'proper' ;-)

Author Reply: I am quite sure that Miss Dora had the Sackville-Baggins firmly in mind when she wrote certain parts.

And yes, of course you are right, it *does* mean Bilbo. While Dora was a kind-hearted hobbitess, she was also very Proper, and she never quite fully forgave Bilbo for the damage he did to the Family Reputation. So naturally, he gets a little swat in her etiquette guide! LOL!

Well, the Gaffer is the "working class" side of Propriety, and Aunt Dora shows the more gentile side of it, but really it's two sides of the same hobbity coin...

French PonyReviewed Chapter: 1 on 6/26/2006
Oh, awesome! I love old etiquette guides, and you have that style down cold, right down to the Properly Capitalized Letters. This is going to be so much fun. I'll keep an eye out for it.

Author Reply: I hope that you will continue to enjoy it! I'm having a good deal of fun writing it--it's so different from my other fics!

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