At some point, I want to go with somebody (preferably with a specific friend in mind, you know who you are), I want to go to Colonial Williamsburg and do all the Felicity Merriman stuff.
Just note, please don’t judge me for sounding like a 10 year old in this post.
I want to find:
- the Merriman House
- Mr. Merriman’s Shop
- Miss Manderley’s House
- the Cole House (which I believe is on Nicholson St., or on one of the streets leading to the Governor’s Palace (I could so see Annabelle being so snobbish to Lissie because she lived on one of those streets I mentioned above instead of living on lowly (in her view) Duke of Gloucester Street))
- Jiggy Nye’s Place
Find out how:
- Lissie got over the Magazine Wall (Seriously, Lissie! How did you do it?!)
- The paths she took to go to the above mentioned places
Lastly, Felicity Merriman get off that roof RIGHT NOW! I used to think it wasn’t any problem because you lived out in the country, but now that I know you live on the busiest street in the busiest town/city in Virginia, you NEED TO GET OFF THAT ROOF! It wouldn’t do for everybody and their cousin to see you sitting on the roof picking apples!
Also, I forgot to mention a few things:
- The Merriman’s are unusual in the fact that they don’t live behind the store and instead live in a completely different house. I read a fanfiction story once where Ben and Felicity lived behind their store and now it makes total sense.
- By the end of 1775, Ben would’ve turned 16 which means that he would be in Williamsburg’s militia whether Mr. Merriman likes it or not. And Ben is on it whether he’s an apprentice or not. (And Mr. Merriman is on it too, now that I think about it.) By the age of 17 1/2, Mr. Merriman would have to provide Ben with a gun, and enough gunpowder and shot as the militia says he needed for starting out. (I forgot how much that would be; I think it’s 1 pound of shot and 4 pounds of gunpowder.) Men and boys would be on the militia roster from the day of their 16th birthday ‘till the day of the 61st birthday provided they weren’t disabled or dead before then. Oh, and when the time comes, William would be on this list too, I bet.
- Considering the fact that Ben started his apprenticeship at the age of 15, I wouldn’t be surprised if his apprenticeship only lasted 6 years instead of 7. The two reasons why I think this is because the wheelwright I talked to at Colonial Williamsburg said that his apprenticeship (and he wasn’t being in character for this part) took 6 years, and two, when he starts his apprenticeship at the age of 15, in 6 years he’d be 21, which is the age he was considered to be a legal adult at that time. I forgot to mention that the wheelwright I talked to said that during the first two years of his apprenticeship, all he was learning how to do was to use the tools of the trade correctly, and that he wasn’t actually making wheels ‘till his third year. Based on that, I believe that the first two years of Ben’s apprenticeship with Mr. Merriman would be to bring deliveries to customers and to stock the shelves. He wouldn’t even learn how to figure out the prices and that sort of stuff until his third year is my guess.
- As for the Christmas Ball that Lissie attends, we know that she was invited by the Governor’s wife, whom I know, thanks to Colonial Williamsburg, was Lady Dunmore. Her husband, Lord Dunmore, was hated by the people of Williamsburg, especially the Patriots. And we can figure out from the books, that whatever the Patriots believe, we know that Ben will have twice as much passion for whatever they believe in, love, or hate. So, in this case, the fact that he’s willing to put aside (or more likely, hold it in, although still raging inside of him) his hate (which I bet is twice as much as Mr. Merriman’s hate) of Lord Dunmore to be Felicity’s escort to the ball is quite admirable. Also, considering the fact that the ballroom could only hold room for 40 people, truthfully, from the historical perspective on things, I doubt Lissie would actually be invited to the ball. But I bet you that the author does it for the sake of the story.
- I don’t remember if this was mentioned in the Felicity series or if it was in Felicity: An American Girl Adventure, but I think there are two big reasons why Mr. Merriman tells Ben he can’t go off and fight until he’s 18 is because: 1. By the time he’s 18, Ben would’ve had 2 years of basic training, and 1 year under his belt of the more advanced training, like trying to figure out prices and stuff like that. (See #3 above for more information.) and 2. He wants to make sure that Ben knows EXACTLY what he’s getting into and knows EXACTLY why he wants to fight and not just go because he wants to be a part of the action.
- The only way Felicity was able to climb the Magazine wall that I can think of would be for there to be a bench next to the Magazine wall, one of the boys she’s with to stand on the bench, and for that boy to lift her up onto the wall. Or for her to stand on his shoulders, though I’m realizing that would probably be incredibly hard with her long skirts.
- Remember when they go check out the Magazine? I think if that did happen in “Happy Birthday, Felicity!” (though I don’t actually remember which book it was in), it would make complete sense because either Lord Dunmore did or he tried to (I don’t remember which) take all the guns, ammunition, and powder out of the magazine on the night of April 20-21, 1775 to make sure the Indians didn’t get to it and kill the people in Williamsburg (which is what he told the people), but it was really because he didn’t want the Patriots in town to get to it.
Hi! Um, a note on the Christmas Ball: if I’m remembering the books correctly, it’s not a Christmas Ball like in the movies, but a 12th Night (6th January) dance lesson for the society children in Williamsburg. The Peek into the Past blurb at the back talked about how this was fairly common in colonial times- dance masters would travel from town to town and these “lessons” would really be an opportunity to start putting into practice what they had learned in etiquette classes from their governness. Now, whether Felicity would have been in the top 40ish young gentlefolk in Williamsburg is debatable, but perhaps she got into the lesson on the reputation of her governness.
This does lead me to another question, though: was the circumstance of Felicity’s education- private lessons with what was apparently a very respected governness, given her connections and clientele- realistic for a family like hers at that point in time? They can’t have been cheap and her parents had three children younger than her to worry about as well as an apprentice to feed, clothe, etc. Or were the Merrimans already showing the “American Dream” ideal of actively trying to give your children a better life and range of opportunities than you had when you were young, regardless of the cost? (Annabelle would probably call it “social climbing”.)