Raymond and Wife

Tommy_A_JonesTommy_A_Jones Gloucestershire, United Kingdom
Does anyone dislike The West's as much as me, I am re-reading The 13 Problems and from the start of The Tuesday Club it is obvious to me that he has one thing on his mind, that is to one day get possession of his Aunt's Cottage which he loves so much as it would obviously be a great bolt hole to escape to and write, he doesn't have Miss Marple's well-being in mind just the thought that if he utters her up and pays for her to go away he will inherit and his wife is the same they deserve each other, Joyce?Joan is as obnoxious as he is, no wonder he employed the Patronizing Miss Knight to look after her, luckily Miss Marple knows what Raymond is like, hopefully she leaves him just a Token amount of money realising he doesn't need much, I hope she leaves the House to Cherry and large amounts of money to Bunch and Dermot.


  • I have suspicions that Raymond is Agatha Christie's way of poking fun at Raymond Chandler.  He's generally not too likable, although he does seem to be a useful vehicle in explaining how she takes such expensive vacations as settings for some books.
  • Tommy_A_JonesTommy_A_Jones Gloucestershire, United Kingdom
    You would think she would do what she did with Amyas Crayle, Keep the Initials and Change the name.
  • I think probably MM would leave all her property to Raymond - she is very family minded, and very appreciative of his care for her. At the same time, I think she sees both him and Joyce/Joan very clearly. The Raymond Chandler association makes sense to me because she pokes fun at Raymond's writing, hinting that while his books are clever, he doesn't really know a lot about real life, but rather is writing to shock.
  • GKCfanGKCfan Wisconsin, United States
    Well, Raymond is pretty wealthy from the success of his books.  He really doesn't need an inheritance. It's made clear he helps Miss Marple with her bills, and he pays for her trips to the Caribbean and Bertram's Hotel, neither of which are cheap.
  • Tommy_A_JonesTommy_A_Jones Gloucestershire, United Kingdom
    I hope she leaves The Cottage to The Harmon's.
  • I think that in those times an inheritance might be left to a nephew or niece or godchild to give them a little independence. If Miss Marple were to think that Raymond were  comfortably off, she might decide to leave some money to one of his children (if he were to have some) or another cousin or relation. It was not deemed inappropriate to pick someone out for favour because you liked them; it was a bonus for them, and OK,  so long as everybody else had sufficient. I can't think of good examples, but, for instance, in A Pocket Full of Rye, the boring son's wife (who SPOILER is the daughter of the one cheated out of the mine) she asks the old man - is it Rex Fortescue - to give her some of her own money. I do remember people getting money from aunts, and in The Sittaford Mystery, that young wag is sucking up to his aunt or godmother or something hoping she will leave him some money. Remember, the same happened in Jane Austen's Sense and Sensibility, that one who seduces Marianne is staying in their part of the country in order to toady up to a relative to try to inherit, and she, aware of this, is placing conditions on how he must behave to get the money.

     I realise that I've picked up quite a bit of knowledge about English social history. Going back to the 1930s and 40s, I don't think properties in the 30s, 40s, and 50s, were worth a lot; not, relatively,  a big asset or investment as they are today. (Being left a capital sum, well-invested, would be a big deal, and earn you useful income - note Flora in The Murder of Roger Ackroyd with her £20,000, and Theresa in Dumb Witness with a similar sum) But village houses in Miss Marple's time were probably the equivalent of, say,  a primitive holiday cottage in a very rural French village in the middle of nowhere today: it would not be immensely valuable.This is probably why so many characters in Christie novels and those of her contemporaries don't bother to buy (isn't that the case in Elephants Can Remember, and certainly I think for Tommy and Tuppence in Postern of Fate. They rent late in life, as well as when young. They have no prospect of gaining a big increase on their investment).

    Certainly, some things were cheaper to afford in the middle years of the twentieth century: wages for servants being a case in point. There was a ready supply of cheap labour, especially female labour, although, more options were opening up for the working classes, eg, shop work, and they could hold out for more, as Lionel's serving girl is doing in Murder at the Vicarage. One journalist here in London recently wrote a newspaper article based on her mother's pocket book of her expenditure. In the 1960s, her mother bought a pair of shoes which cost half the total of her monthly wage from a part-time job; probably the equivalent of the shoes costing about £220 today: and this was just an ordinary, servicable pair.  So some things were costly, but others not relative to today's prices.  I think that most couples could in the 1950s, 60s and 70s get married and, in their twenties, buy a property with an affordable mortgage. They can't normally do that in today's Britain.  It is since the 1990s, I think, that house prices in Britain have risen massively, so that to inherit a house would be a big deal. 
  • Thank you Griselda, that is really informative.  
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