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Author: nanakath Big gold star, 5000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 390843  
Subject: Re: Little Dorrit Date: 12/12/2008 16:42
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I am afraid some of us have not been paying full attention ;-))

I hasten to add that I have only managed to keep abreast by watching each episode in the evening, recording it and then watching it again the next morning while I eat my breakfast........

Amy/Little Dorrit was the product of Clennam senior (Arthur's father, or not as it turned out) and a dancer. I didn't get whether the dancer was Mr Dorrit's wife or whether he just took baby Amy in after her mother, the dancer, died. Amy was supposed to inherit the Clennam fortune but Mrs Clennam hid the will which named Amy as heir. This was the secret which was hinted at throughout the serial.

No, Amy was the natural daughter of Mr Dorrit and she was born in the Marshalsea. Her mother (Mr Dorrit's wife) died either at her birth or in her infancy so she had never known her.

Arthur was actually not a Clennam at all but was brought up by Mrs Clennam as her son - taken from his real parents. So no, Amy and Arthur were not related.

Correct, they were not related but Arthur was a Clennam - the natural son of Mr Clennam but not of Mrs Clennam. It was he who was in fact the illegitimate child born to a dancer as the result of an illicit affair which appears to have been his father's (Mr Clennam) one act of defiance against the domineering Mrs Clennam in the loveless marriage they had entered into. Hence her frequent reminders to Arthur that his father had been a weak man.
Earlier in the series there had been a brief conversation in which Frederick Dorrit (Mr Dorrit's brother) had told Arthur that he had once known his father (Mr. Clennam) when he used to visit the boarding house for theatricals that he had once owned .........but of course the significance was not apparent at the time, although there was a tacit hint there that Mr Clennam senior had a bit of a naughty mystery in his past.

Mrs Clennam had taken the child away from the mother to bring up as her own. This appears to have been an act of vengeance and the mother was left to die in penury. The plot now thickens... before she died she told her story to the paternal grandfather and he was so overcome with sorrow at what his son had done that he made a will leaving a large fortune to whichever child was born into penniless circumstances at the very moment that Arthur's real mother died. By some amazing chance (and please do not ask me how this child was traced, M.Rigaux did not tell me) this child was Amy Dorrit.
Got that ? The suppressed inheritance was actually from Arthur Clennam's grandfather to an unknown and unrelated child he had arbitrarily chosen to endow in order to atone for the sins of his son and his wife.

All of this was in the narrative that unfolded as Rigaud was taunting Mrs Clennam and asking for money for his silence.

The will, a letter to Arthur from his birth mother and the baby shoes (obviously his) were in the box of which the story has been reported in another post on this thread.

What was not clear was whether there was actually any money still left in the House of Clennam for Amy (or Arthur for that matter ) to inherit when Mrs Clennam died........

I should stress that I am speaking from what unfolded in the TV version. I have not read the book and so do not know how true to the original story the adaptation was. Clearly much will have needed to be pruned to get it down to size, but one assumes the pertinent facts would not be too badly distorted.

I still have all the recorded episodes if anyone has any further questions.....;-))

Cheers Kath
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