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mod

Sheffield, UK

#1 Dec 11, 2008
How is Amy Dorrit involved with the mystery of the will and the house of Clenham? I understand that Arthur Clenham is not Mrs Clenham's real son, but a son of a dancer who was born in the Marshalsea, and taken away and raised by the Clenhams. How is Amy involved? What did Mrs Clenham do to her and her family? I don't quite understand how the two are intertwined? Thanks.
ali

London, UK

#2 Dec 11, 2008
I think it is Amy that is the daughter of the dancer and born in the Marshalsea,that is why the legacy was left to her.I am confused though about Arthur I think they must have taken him from someone else to be their son.I am glad it is not only me that struggled to find the connection.

Since: Jul 08

Brownsburg, VA

#3 Dec 11, 2008
The answer:
Arthur is the son of a singer or professional performer from which he was taken by Mrs.Clennam, she believing the earlier marriage between Arthur's father and this girl was illicit, because Arthur's father had been promised to Mrs.Clennam by his uncle. The connection to Little Dorrit is that the uncle of Arthur's father had left a certain amount of money in his will to Arthur's real mother and the man who had looked after her, which was Frederick Dorrit, and a connection of a similar amount of money to the youngest daughter of either Frederick Dorrit (if he had any) or his brother. Since Little Dorrit was this youngest daughter, she was thus entitled to this legacy.
mod

Sheffield, UK

#4 Dec 12, 2008
thanks alot, that makes it all come together. it was hard to understand from the tv adpation, its probably better explained in the book.
msa

Shippensburg, PA

#5 Apr 27, 2009
I was so confused too! I think I understand now.
mia

AOL

#6 Apr 27, 2009
I saw the last episode of Little Dorrit last night. Really enjoyed the series but could not understand the legacy part at all. To me, it seemed to say that Arthur and Amy were actually brother and sister. Obviously incorrect. I just spent twenty minutes reading plot summaries, none of which clarified the ending. I'm so glad I found this forum and the answer to the mystery.
Susan

Springfield, MO

#7 Apr 27, 2009
Yes, I was equally confused about the whole legacy / relationship - VERY unclear in the last episode.
carol

Hopewell, NJ

#8 Apr 27, 2009
I also watched the last episode of Masterpiece theatre last night and even after someone explained I still don't understand. In the first episode a woman gives birth to little dorrit and we assume that this is william Dorrit's wife. If she is the dancer who was involved with Mr Clennam then what happened to Mrs Dorrit and why did Willam Dorrit raise amy as his own?Did the uncle know all along that Amy was the dancers wife?

My other question is about Mrs Wade. How did she find out about Arthur and why did she take the adopted girl away from the Meggles? Thanks
col

Monroe, MI

#9 Apr 27, 2009
I, too, am confused by the last episode of MPC. I thought that Amy was the daughter of Arthurs father and the dancer, who I thought was Mrs Dorrit. Then it appeared that Arthur was taken from his mother and raised by Mrs. Clemmons. I didn't get the connection between the two. Maybe the book explains it better?
Billyspeed

Brookings, OR

#10 Apr 27, 2009
What is the connection between Tattycorum and Arthur? She had a box she delivered to him at the prison (that Ms. Wade saw her take). What was in the box? Why did she bring it to Arthur?
Billyspeed

Brookings, OR

#11 Apr 27, 2009
lady arthur wrote:
The answer:
Arthur is the son of a singer or professional performer from which he was taken by Mrs.Clennam, she believing the earlier marriage between Arthur's father and this girl was illicit, because Arthur's father had been promised to Mrs.Clennam by his uncle. The connection to Little Dorrit is that the uncle of Arthur's father had left a certain amount of money in his will to Arthur's real mother and the man who had looked after her, which was Frederick Dorrit, and a connection of a similar amount of money to the youngest daughter of either Frederick Dorrit (if he had any) or his brother. Since Little Dorrit was this youngest daughter, she was thus entitled to this legacy.
Additional Questions (see also below): How did Ms. Wade know Rigaud? Did they meet in France previously? What was Tattycorum's connection (if any) to the Marshalsea?
Wil

Miami, FL

#12 Apr 27, 2009
I usually love Masterpiece Classic but although I watched all the Little Dorritt episodes I just couldn't get into this one....
John

Middleton, WI

#13 Apr 27, 2009
Ok, I think I have this figured out. I read the book not too long ago and understood it less well than now.

Arthur's father was raised by a very nasty uncle. He raised Arthur's father with an iron fist and controlled every aspect of his life, even his choice for a wife. Arthur's Uncle chose Ms. Clennam for his son's wife and promised Arthur to her.

But, there was a slight problem. Arthur's father had married a woman he loved -- a dancer in Frederick Dorrit's theatre (Frederick is William's never-good-enough-for-the-fami ly brother who gets along so well with Amy.) The woman was pregnant with Arthur. Most women would have left Arthur's father, but not Mrs. Clennam. She wasn't about to be jilted, and she forced Arthur's father to disavow the marriage, marry her, and to bring the child (Arthur) with him. Thus, she became Arthur's adoptive mother.

(This is a sort of direct opposite of the jilted Miss Haversham from Dicken's Great Expectations.)

In his dying days, Arthur's uncle grew to regret his decision to force the marriage. He repented and rewrote his will, which (I believe) he dictated to Mrs. Clennam. That will left a certain amount of money to Arthur's real mother and the man who had looked after her (Frederick Dorrit) and a connection of a similar amount of money to the youngest daughter of either Frederick Dorrit (if he had any) or his brother. Frederick had no children, and the youngest daughter of his brother, William, was Amy. Thus, Amy stood to inherit from this unknown benefactor.

Mrs. Clennam, unsurprisingly, kept the will hidden in the box that wound up passing through Mr. Flitwich's Brother's hands, Rigaud's hands, Ms. Wade's hands, Tatty-corem's hands, and then back to Arthur in the end.

Apparently Mrs. Clennam wound up with the money the uncle intended to leave to Arthur's mother, Frederick Dorrit and Amy. In her arguments with Rigaud she makes it very clear supressing the will was not about money but about her love of Arthur.
John

Middleton, WI

#14 Apr 27, 2009
>How did Ms. Wade know Rigaud? Did they meet <br>
>in France previously?

When the story begins, Rigaud is in prison in Marsailles, and Arther and the Meagles' are held in quarentine there. It isn't clear exactly where Ms. Wade first meets Rigaud, but their meeting in Marsailles is a possibility.

> What was Tattycorum's connection (if any) <br>
>to the Marshalsea?

Harriet was an orphan and was rescued from the Corem orphanage by the Meagles and raised with their spoiled daughter, Pet.("Pet," in 17th-18th centuries was a familiar term used not for an animal companion but for a child. It had connotations of a spoiled child (sort of like "teacher's pet" has today.) Mr. Meagles, with all the empathy of a boor, didn't like Harriet's real name, so he called her Hatty, then Tatty, and then Tatty-corem (imprisoning Harriet with a moniker that would never let her escape her humble roots).

Little Dorrit is all about imprisonment. Mr. Dorritt is imprisoned in the Marshalsea. Mrs. Clennam is imprisoned in a paralyzed body (in the book, she doesn't die when the house collapses, she has another stroke and can do nothing but nod as she lives for another 3 years). Doyce's invention is imprisoned by bureaucracy.

At least that's what I get out of it.

Since: Jul 08

Grottoes, VA

#15 Apr 27, 2009
A few notes. First, the box with the will also included letters from Arthur's real mother, asking for forgiveness and to see her son, all which was ignored. This was kept from Arthur to protect the said relationship between Arthur and Mrs.Clennam- she thought near the end that Arthur would turn against her if he found out. Amy saw these letters, but there is nothing in the book that Arthur saw them- at least at the time in the book.
Billyspeed

Brookings, OR

#16 Apr 27, 2009
So, let me see if I have this right: Flintwynch didn't burn the papers but gave them to his brother (for safekeeping?). Rigaud took the papers and box when he killed Flintwynch's brother, read them, knew he had a means to blackmail Mrs. Clenham and then gave them later to Ms. Wade? Why? Tattycorum found them and brought them to the Marshalsea for Mr. Clenham? Was Harriet/Tattycorum pulling away from Ms. Wade when the truth of her (Wade's) relationship came out with Mr. Gowan? Was Harriet concerned about Rigaud possibly killing Gowan and thus hurting Pet? Was Ms. Wade seeking retribution against Gowan for being jilted?
Cloudmaker

Miami, FL

#17 Apr 28, 2009
There was lots of confusing aspects of this series, but I thought Rigaud had
murdered Flintwynch since it looked just like him. Was it a twin brother?
And what was in the box that Tattycorem was looking at in the last episode?
mia

AOL

#18 Apr 28, 2009
This is worse than trying to figure out Syriana. The BBC or whoever produced this could have simplified and clarified the plot a little more without disrespect to the book. I understand the legacy now but still don't know if Mrs. Clennam spent it, or Amy eventually got it or Amy disavowed it so that Arthur would feel free to marry her. What a great kiss, by the way. British shows do that so much better than American movies. I remember Poldark and Demelza's first kiss . . .
Billyspeed

Brookings, OR

#19 Apr 28, 2009
Cloudmaker wrote:
There was lots of confusing aspects of this series, but I thought Rigaud had
murdered Flintwynch since it looked just like him. Was it a twin brother?
And what was in the box that Tattycorem was looking at in the last episode?
I still have questions but one thing I DO know is that Rigaud killed Flintwynch's twin brother (did you notice the look on Rigaud's face when he first met Flintwynch?). Still do not know how or why Rigaud gave the box to Ms. Wade and why Tatty would give it to Arthur. Or, in fact, how Ms. Wade met Rigaud (in France?).
zookeeper

Compton, CA

#20 Apr 28, 2009
I still don't understand why Mrs. Wade saved the slippers --- whose were they? and what did it have to do with Harriet/Tattycorum. And what was her connection to Rigaud.
I understood most things and loved the series....I know sometimes we have to tolerant not knowing!! But I want to know as much as I can!

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