What does being invisible mean? Who can’t be seen? Or who is inconspicuous?
Today’s post delves into this very aspect as part of the Hercule Poirot challenge. The theme is invisibility.
- The Queen of Crime, Agatha Christie uses the technique of ‘Invisibility’ in many of her books. Below are a few examples.
- Hiding in plain sight is employed in the story the Case of the Missing Will
- Being inconspicuous is referenced in the Broken Bird, the Harley Quinn mystery.
- The Nemean Lion is a fine example of Invisibility with two Pekes, instead of one.
- It is also similarly used in the Unbreakable Alibi, in the Tommy and Tuppence story
- Aunt Jane Marple is a character who practically symbolizes Invisibility- she is frail, stereotypically Victorian and hardly synonymous with anything more heinous than gossiping. Yet, from the first story of Tuesday Club Murders where she first murmurs, ‘you have forgotten me’ , one is spell bound at her deft unmasking of a plethora of crimes.
My fan girl monologue and gushing done with, we come to the actual book I want to talk about.
For today’s Hercules challenge, I want to reference the book ‘Romancing Mr. Bridgerton‘ by Julia Quinn.
Colin’s discovery of Penelope Bridgerton as Lady Whistledown is excellent. Because along with Colin, the reader can positively recall so many examples where clearly the “author” of the famed gossip sheet could have been none other than Miss Featherington.
Assembling the various snippets in the three books that come before pieces by piece, one realizes that with all the hints taken together, we really ought to have known by then and yet didn’t. We are all as naive as the Regency members! Sigh!
And amazingly, all those little hints and snatches of prose help to savor the previous books more the second time we dive in. I refuse to believe that no one went back to recheck the relevant passages of only to scratch their heads and think – how did I miss that? I sure did. Not to mention, it heightened my appreciation when I did that.
Which brings me to the other aspect of Invisibility that Penelope had. She was inconspicuous but yet not. She was a wallflower, shy and thus, overlooked. That gave the mantle of Invisibility and allowed her easy access to so many bits of gossip and intrigue. But she was also the one who was most picked on, a favorite of bullies and snobs. A fascinating study in ‘now you see me and now you don’t‘ and definitely a treat for readers and students of literature.
What is your opinion of my assessment? Agree or not? Share your thoughts in the comments.
Also, what story have you read that follows the ‘Invisibility’ theme? Let me know.
I have to state here that I have not watched Bridgerton – the TV series. I was excited when it was announced in the author’s blog (with Julie Andrews possibly voicing Lady Whistledown). But frankly the reviews have only underlined my belief that ‘the book is better than the movie version’ . Can we please leave the books alone in future? Stop ruining it! Agree or not?