Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Henry John Kirrin and Georgina a k a George

HJK was ancestor of Georgina. Let us refer to the proper place in the proper book:

"They are the initials of my great-great-great-grandfather!" said George. Her eyes were shining. "I've heard all about him. His name was Henry John Kirrin. This was his ship, you know ..."

This is from Five on a Treasure Island*, from chapter 6 (?)** Exploring the Wreck. So, Georgina's last name is Kirrin then?

One does not usually carry the names of all one's great-great-great-grandfathers, since one has 16 of them and it would be unpractical to carry around 16 surnames. Let's find out if we can if anyone in the family was ever called Kirrin.

"It's like this," she said. Years ago my mother's family owned nearly all the land round here. ..."

That was chapter 3** "A queer story - and a new friend". So, Quentin and his brother were presumably never called Kirrin. The one person who was once called that was Aunt Fanny. Henry John Kirrin was her great-great-grandfather. On three times the paternal side. He was Georgina's great-great-great-grandfather but once on the maternal side, since Fanny is her mother and not her father.

So, unless someone else finds out that Quentin also descends from Henry John Kirrin on another side, we must be content that we do not know Quentin's and his brother's family name any more than his brother's first name, and so we do not know the last name of Julian, Dick, Anne or George either.

May I modestly suggest Dorsel, and that Quentin had two cousins one of whom was his colleague in Bretagne? You see, in the French translation Georgina becomes Claudine "Claude" Dorsel with an island in Bretagne. And Five on a Treasure Island was not the first but the last book translated to French. The first book translated to French was the second English book, which was translated in 1955.

Reconstructing plausibilities, the original family stopped having their adventures in 1948 or 1949, then Enid Blyton continued to write, drawing on previously unpublished material about their adventurous years, and then some time like 1955 - when England sees Five Have Fun Again - it is really the turn of the Dorsel family, but their adventure in 1955 is not yet published in French, only in English translation by Enid Blyton, while France is reading the adventures of the English/Cornish family back in 1942. Just to protect the privacy of the French/Breton Dorsels (unless of course Dorsel does not come into play earlier in French Club de Cinq books than the translation of Five on a Treasure Island, as a family name).

Which also explains the "fluid timeline" phenomenon about the novels. 1942 - 1962 = 20 years. By 1962 the original Julian, Dick and Anne, as well as Georgina a k a George, were obviously 32, 31, 30 and 31. But if the French Dorsels started adventuring in 1955, about as young as the English family in 1942, they were not that old in 1962.

I am writing a novel in which Susan Pevensie and Georgina are good friends, Susan marrying a character from an unfinished novel by John Ronald Reuel Tolkien, Audoin Errol of The Lost Road, whereas Georgina marries a character of mine, who is really named George (which is whenabouts she starts to get used to being called Georgina) who is not Indian, nor father of any Jyoti called Jo, so I'd like to imagine that the father of Jyoti actually married Claudine Dorsel rather than Georgina. Which might also better suit the timeline of the new Famous Five that went on TV in 2008 and which include aforementioned Jo.

So resuming this scenario I reconstruct: Georgina is daughter of one Fanny née Kirrin but married NN - I reconstruct as Dorsel - and she goes on adventures with her dog Tim and her cousins between 1942 and 48 or 49, when Timothy dies. Enid Blyton goes on writing thitherto unpublished adventures of them up to 1955. In 1955 their cousins in France/Bretagne, with Claudine Dorsel take over, and to protect their privacy their names are used in the translations of the originally English adventures, so they can truthfully say they are not the novel characters, while England reads about their adventures between 55 and 62 but translated as the names of the English/Cornish family around Kirrin Island. Very neat if it was relations of them that took over in 1955, which would explain how Enid Blyton already used to writing about Georgina and her dog and cousins came to hear of Claudine Dorsel and her dog Dagobert and her cousins. That is why I would like Quentin and his brother to be named Dorsel.

Also, the mother of Jyoti is clearly more secularised than my Georgina in the end, in my novel. To which I here link:

Chronicle of Susan Pevensie
List of Extant Chapters

Hans-Georg Lundahl
St George

* If you liked the essay "What Chaucer really did to Il Filostrato" you might consider writing another one called "What Enid Blyton really did to Treasure Island (by Robert Louis Stevenson)". Unless I do so before you. But even if I do, if you disagree you can write another one in order to refute me.

** I am holding an abridged edition, I suppose all the chapters are there and the shortenings are within the chapters. [I was wrong, see update:]

Update, Ascension Day, 9-V-2013

In the French Translation some relationsships are different. The Ancestor is one generation closer. The tomboy's father is not brother of the fathr but of the mother of her three cousins. In the full version, the chapter is actually 8, not 6, where we get to the ancestor's initials and name and relation.

English French
Kirrin Kernach
Henry John Kirrin Henri Kernach
Aunt Fanny Cécile Dorsel
Uncle Quentin Henri Dorsel
Georgina Claudine
= "George" = "Claude"
Timothy Dagobert
= "Timmy" = "Dago"
= "Tim" = "Dag"
Julian François Gauthier
Dick Mick Gauthier
Ann Annie Gauthier

No comments: