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#105907 - 06/17/03 11:43 AM Re: Nicked his stowe, and choused
wwh Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 01/18/01
Posts: 13858
I wonder if "stowe" could be a corruption of "stope":
5< MLowG stope, akin to STEP6 a steplike excavation formed by the removal of ore from around a mine shaft
vt., vi.
stoped, stop4ing to mine in stopes

#105908 - 06/17/03 11:48 AM Re: Nicked his stowe, and choused
dxb Offline

Registered: 03/06/02
Posts: 1692
Loc: UK
The OED doesn't identify any connection with stope. Both being mining terms I suppose there may be some common roots.

#105909 - 06/17/03 11:13 PM Re: Nicked his stowe, and choused
Bingley Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 04/09/00
Posts: 3065
Loc: Jakarta
I saw a fascinating documentary on Discovery about the great plague of 1666 and Eyam just before Christmas. Eyam is still fairly isolated and there are a lot of people living there now who are descended from the survivors of the plague outbreak. Geneticists and immunologists have studied their genes and found a particular gene which may be responsible for their ancestors' survival. Those with one copy of the gene from a parent caught the plague but recovered, while those with two copies, one from each parent, were immune and did not catch the plague at all. This gene apparently is present in about 14% of people of European descent because of the repeated plague outbreaks but very rare in people originating from elsewhere. The same gene also gives immunity from AIDS in the same way. If you have one copy you get HIV but survive much longer than other people, if you have two copies you don't get HIV.


#105910 - 06/18/03 08:55 AM Re: Nicked his stowe, and choused
of troy Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 10/17/00
Posts: 5400
Loc: rego park
the book is a fictionalize account, paying attention to some details, and changing others.. for instance the pastor who suggest the quarrenteen, in truth, had two daughters, that he sent away before it started, in the fictionalized story, he and his wife are childless.

likewise, the pastors wife dies of plague, but in the fiction, she gets it, surrives, and its later killed in an accident.

the bit about the man who was burried alive is a true, but there is no record of who the gravedigger was, or what was done to him, in the fiction, the gravedigger is the miner who has his hand impalled with a knife an a stowe.

since all the 'thoughts and emotions' are made up anyway, (most of the town was illiterate, and there are very few written records of the goings ons.) the author made the whole thing a work of fiction. Still its very good.

at times, the characters seem to modern, but then again, they did live in times were even in small village, they would know what was happening in the greater part of brittin, (Cromwell would have been hard to miss!) so for many, things were changing, and as the auther has said, in time of change, great characters can emerge.

the narrator is the rectors part time housemaid (who according to the pastors records, survived) who is a new widow, (Sam, was her husband and killed in his mine) who is forced to do new things just to survive (like go out to work as a housemaid, and take in borders) the book is as much a record of her journey from frightened young girl, to capably woman as it is the story of the town.

my other obsession

#214495 - 03/20/14 05:55 PM Re: Nicked his stowe, and choused [Re: of troy]
JTaz Offline

Registered: 03/20/14
Posts: 1
Loc: United States
I know this is very late, but I just read the book. Check this link: http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/Citations:stowe Essentially, and I'm paraphrasing, a "stowe" is used to claim possession of a mine/seam. A "stowe" preserves a miner's possession for three weeks. The barmaster sets his "nick" on the spindle of the "stowe", thereby formally granting ownership for three weeks. If the barmaster nicks it 3 times (3, 6, or 9 weeks) the claim can be removed from the miner. If the claim remains for a certain period unwrought, unless by wind or water, the claim can also be removed from the miner and granted to another. Hence the author's sentence "I told them they did not need to wait again, for three weeks, six weeks, or nine" and "those who cannot pull a dish of lead within three nicks may not keep it" - three nicks being the equivalent of nine weeks.

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