Joanna Godden eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 448 pages of information about Joanna Godden.

She had been obliged to leave the table just when it was becoming most characteristic and convivial, and to retire forlorn and chilly in her silken gown to the Woolpack parlour, where she and the landlady drank innumerable cups of tea.  It was an unwelcome reminder of the fact that she was a woman, and that no matter how she might shine and impress the company for an hour, she did not really belong to it.  She was a guest, not a member, of the Farmers’ Club, and though a guest has more honour, he has less fellowship and fun.  It was for fellowship and fun that she hungrily longed as she sat under the green lamp-shade of the Woolpack’s parlour, and discoursed on servants and the price of turkeys with Mrs. Jupp, who was rather constrained and absent-minded owing to her simultaneous efforts to price Miss Godden’s gown.  Now and then a dull roar of laughter came to her from the Club room.  What were they talking about, Joanna wondered.  Had there been much debate over her remarks on breaking pasture?...


On the whole, the Farmers’ Club Dinner left behind it a rankling trail—­for one thing, it was not followed as she had hoped and half expected by an invitation to join the Farmers’ Club.  No, they would never have a woman privileged among them—­she realized that, in spite of her success, certain doors would always be shut on her.  The men would far rather open those doors ceremonially now and then than allow her to go freely in and out.  After all, perhaps they were right—­hadn’t she got her own rooms that they were shut out of?...  Women were always different from men, even if they did the same things ... she had heard people talk of “woman’s sphere.”  What did that mean?  A husband and children, of course—­any fool could tell you that.  When you had a husband and children you didn’t go round knocking at the men’s doors, but shut yourself up snugly inside your own ... you were warm and cosy, and the firelight played on the ceiling....  But if you were alone inside your room—­with no husband or child to keep you company ... then it was terrible, worse than being outside ... and no wonder you went round to the men’s doors, and knocked on them and begged them to give you a little company, or something to do to help you to forget your empty room....

“Well, I could marry Arthur Alce any day I liked,” she thought to herself.

But somehow that did not seem any solution to the problem.

She thought of one or two other men who had approached her, but had been scared off before they had reached any definite position of courtship.  They were no good either—­young Cobb of Slinches had married six months ago, and Jack Abbot of Stock Bridge belonged to the Christian Believers, who kept Sunday on Saturday, and in other ways fathered confusion.  Besides, she didn’t want to marry just anyone who would have her—­some dull yeoman who would take her away from Ansdore, or else come with

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Joanna Godden from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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