Can someone who has a copy of Connie Willis’ Doomsday Book look up for me how many times a church bell tolled for the death of a woman? I know she goes into that system, but I can’t recall (or find on the Internet) the specifics.

Answer needed ASAP, por favor.

0 Responses to “question”

  1. utsi

    flitting through quickly-so i might miss something. but p174″‘father roche rings the bell when someone dies,”Agnes said. “if he does not, the devil will come and take their soul, and they cannot go to heaven,” which, i suppose, is more of the superstitious prate that irritates lady imeyne

  2. sartorias

    Jane Austen just talks about the passing bell, after a woman died in childbirth–my guess is it rang for a certain amount of time.

  3. utsi

    p360 “the courcy bells are tolling. nine strokes.” – men refered to though

  4. diatryma

    I do not have the book on me, but I think it’s one for a child, three for a woman, nine for a man.

  5. utsi

    p369″it’s impossible to make out whether it is nine strokes or three. courcy’s double bells tolled a single stroke this morning. i wonder if it is the baby. or one of the chattering girls.”
    okay- p407
    ‘the bell tolled once, and then was silent, and kivrin stopped, the girth strap in her hand, and listened, waiting for it to ring again. three strokes for a woman, she thought, and knew why he had sopped. one for a child. oh, rosemund.’

    okay- hope this helps- i gotta run and avoid being late. almost at the end of the book so that has got to be the right quote. good luck 🙂

  6. benbenberi

    “nine tailors make a man” – for a woman 6, for a chid 3.

    (I haven’t read Doomsday Book since I threw it at a wall many years ago, so I don’t know what Willis says about it there.)

  7. intertext

    “Nine Tailors make a man” is in Dorothy L Sayers. Three for a child, 6 for a woman. In The Nine Tailors the “tell” is followed by a pause and then one peal for each year of the deceased’s life.

    • Marie Brennan

      Huh! That’s not the same numbers Willis used. I wonder if it changed over time, or what?

      • shui_long

        The tradition appears to be as DLS described. Nine “tellers” for a man (three sets of three strokes of the tenor) and six for a woman (three sets of two strokes), followed by tolling the tenor bell for the number of years of the person’s life. To be rung within 12 hours of death, and repeated at the funeral.
        For the death of a child, the tradition at some churches was to ring a lighter bell rather than the tenor.

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