[LMB] LQ #77: Changing characters

Paula Lieberman paal at gis.net
Mon Nov 16 21:57:27 GMT 2009

You ignored the fact that I wrote that I was basing what I was saying on my 
memory, which I also indication might be unreliable on the 

The "honor" component did NOT stick in my head, assuming that it is there in 
the first place.... which also speaks to what people -remember- and -notice- 
in books.  Ekaterin in the book was not someone who excited my reading 
interest as a character on her own behalf.  I saw that it looked like she 
was being set up as the future Lady Vorkosigan, the True Vor 
in-the-Role-of-Barrayaran-Society-Matriarch  (in the sense of a woman who is 
of and a leader in the society she lives in, starting in a 
wife/mother/supporting distaff role, as a married woman... I admit to all 
sorts of triggers points about such things.  Reading Regency romance novels 
it doesn't bother me so much, because that did not belong to a Nexus 
Universe where there were options for women to go out into the Nexus and 
achieve in areas other than the domestic front in their own right, as 
opposed to marrying up and taking on prestige based on their husbands' 
social place.... for that matter, there were women in Regency England and 
Georgian England who achieved position and/or wealth through their own 
efforts and whose families benefitted commensurately.... there were for 
example the likes of the elder Lady Jersey and Lady Hertford, who by being 
mistresses of the future George IV enhanced their social position and 
wealth--though that was not the politest thing to discuss....

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Tel" <teluekh at yahoo.com>
To: "Discussion of the works of Lois McMaster Bujold." 
<lois-bujold at lists.herald.co.uk>
Sent: Monday, November 16, 2009 12:50 PM
Subject: Re: [LMB] LQ #77: Changing characters
/--- On Mon, 11/16/09, Paula Lieberman <paal at gis.net> wrote:

> It's the same book, read and viewed by different people,
> with different
> experience, and outlook, nd values.
> From my memory* and interpretation of the first book
> Ekaterin appeared in:
> Ekaterin when met had internalized stock old-line
> Barrayaran views of proper
> roles and life paths for women, of being
> wife/mother/nurturer.


> Her decision to leave
> Tien was based on Tien's
> intransigance regarding treatment for Nikki, it was on
> behalf of her son...

Um, no, it wasn't.

Nikki actually had nothing to do with that decision, It was all Ekaterin and 
personal honor. If Tien had lost only his own money on trade shares, his 
wife would have stood by him, the same way she stood by him as he failed to 
save up over the rest of their marriage. If he'd won with the bribe money 
and she knew about the bribes, she'd have left him.

Her plan upon leaving Tien seems to have been to sleep on park benches until 
her husband got arrested. There's no indication she's going to seek care for 
Nikki independently. Since her honor demanded she keep Tien's secrets, she 
was likely not intending to do so until she managed to get guardianship of 

Judy said in another thread that her impression was that Ekaterin was 
prepared to give ground on anything and everything except her core values of 
Nikki and personal honor. I would agree with that but cross out Nikki, 
because Ekaterin lets Tien make all the decisions involving Nikki even when 
his health and future welfare is on the line. We learn in A Civil Campaign 
that she crossed Tien over Nikki a sum total of zero times over the course 
of their entire marriage.

I'm not going to get into the neglect discussion again, but she could 
certainly get help for Nikki at any time over the course of her marriage, 
and especially in the last years of her marriage after her uncle is 
appointed Auditor. She just refuses to do so because it would not be in 
keeping with her definition of honor.

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