Sunday, July 12, 2009

Why Octopus?

I like historical novels in which there is an adventurous hero with whom I may enjoy identifying. I've gotten a useful feel for other times and places from such works. Many lesson of great use to us here and now may be found in them.

Even historical novels without heroes easy for me to identify with have been enlightening pleasures to read. One such novel which helped me to a better understanding of important aspects of the history of California with its lessons in economics and personal power from just after the advent of statehood to shortly after our Civil War, is The Octopus. In fact, this novel by Frank Norris does much to help one find lessons in our history during the period 1870 - 1900 in particular.

As you read the novel you may find it useful to remember that:
~ in 1848 gold was discovered near Sacramento,
~ the following year the 49ers came,
~ in 1850 California was admitted as a free state,
~ in 1853 the U.S. made the Gadsden Purchase to provide a southern route to California,
~ Wheat(a crop valuable enough for Rome to invade Egypt)was grown in Tulare county from about 1855,
~ in 1856 wheat was regularly quoted on the market reports in NY.
~ after 1860 California became one of the world's largest exporters of wheat,
~ in 1861 the Central Pacific R.R. was organized under the incorporation law of California(to learn more check names like Stanford, Huntington, and Crocker in your history book),
~ in 1862 the Union congress created the Union Pacific R.R,
~ in 1867 labor unions began to form in the state,
~ in 1869 the transcontinental R. R. became a fact.

I hope to continue this discussion in the future.
Your Librarian will find the novel for you.


  1. I have a number of interesting books The River That God Forgot Richard Collier Dulton. In a container that held the cuff links that my husband wore on our wedding day was a southern cross tie clip not from southern cross arcade as my husband believes also was an opal and a boomerang tie pin his dads name as a boy was bart and I have to look at his poetry book as both him and I enjoy poems and he wrote one for kylie about a frog and he also wrote one for me when I visited him one day he read me one I will go and read it now perhaps all were protecting people. Kylie also wrote her first poem in reception. She was gifted and wrote as words sounded and if you ever corrected her she would state well that is how it was supossed to be spelt. The teachers at school never corrected any of her errors as she was not supposed to know those words as her age and correcting would stifle her creativity I corrected their errors and returned the reports and kindly asked them to correct everything they could possibley do as if she was told once well that was right. By the way I really don't know if it is styfle or stifle sorry. At her kindy they had her work around the wet area and my sister that is a kindy director used to say well I hope they are spending time on the challenged ones I know they were. Matthew had help but I took my three boys to speech therapy, Andrew Henry's son told them on one occasion that he didn't need to go anymore and actually he was right. I have not done anything for Kylie though she has done everything on her own, Netball calesthenics and read to her three books a night and sung a song about an animal poster on her door. She was lucky to have four years two days between her and her next sibling.I lost a baby due on St. Valentines day 1989, the gap between my children is four years, three years, two years and I discovered that I had gone past my used by date when both Matthew gift from god and I nearly didn't make it. Henry did not want to mutilate his body so I did and he dropped me off out side the hospital because I was deciding that he was not able to have any more children. Don't get me wrong even though my children can't see it now apart from fathering issues with boys, and spoil the rod not the child, don't worry I pull them all in but how can you be a good father if you yourself did not have a good role model. By the way and I am sure you do not start a sentence with that word Kylie, Andrew and Matthew think I am a Bitch but I loved my female dog and have the ashes of both my undesexed male dog and desexed female dog on my fire place. Copper was on my dressing table because she slept at the end of my bed at the end. God Bless.

  2. I read the poem I always loved but will write one written by my father in law

    Sixty years wed
    T'was through her eyes I felt my role
    And knew she had a kindred soul
    Her clean and kindly gentle look
    At once my rebel nature took
    all worries then were rather less
    I sensed her majic, not a guess
    And knew that henceforth I would be
    A captive heart, but happy free.
    A life of love we've always had
    And kept away from all that's bad
    And from her eyes the truth still shines
    And helps us both stay on the lined
    For sixty years we've strode along Her eyes have made my life a song.

    Early days has always been my favourite and their is a mention of the word bell but I unlike Kylie do not have a written copy of the poem he read and I for the life of me can't find it but perhaps this is the one?

    I am quite scared now I have always thought I would die with glass crashing and piercing the back of my neck. I am probabley paranoid as I used to feaar drowning when we drove across the river at Glenelg. Our car which I still have much to my daughter's dislike only had front doors, a two door car. I was put off driving in the back of buses and now I am staying clear of my windows. Kylie is at work, I hope she is ok.
    paranoid.The possum whom lives in my roof is moving now so I think I am ok. He, yes everything that I find is a he the budgie that flew on to our garden seat, the kitten dumped at the hub and Monty the poor darling that is getting desexed tomorrow. Poss used to sleep inside, coming through the bathroom where there is a whole at the back of the bath, the same whole that Jasper got stuck in on the stormy night Monty arrived. The lovely English family across the road helped me out. Noel removed some bricks. The chissel I was going to use was for wood not brick. I had played with his favourite
    toy and tried to entise him with food but now I am raving So sorry

    1. Keep writing. Perhaps a bit less at a time. Our attention span may be a bit short.


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