It’s been a long while since my last update. I’ve been a bit stressed out at work lately, so I really appreciate your understanding. I’m glad that Alex came to my rescue. 😀 🙂 Some of you might have already known Alex, who has actively participated in some of my recent posts. As a professor and previously a lawyer, she is incredibly knowledgeable in many areas. Not to mention that she’s fluent in quite a handful of languages, including English, Japanese, Italian, Greek, etc.! 👍👏 Therefore, it’s my great pleasure to announce that Alex has provided plenty of concrete resources and details for me to tackle the mysteries in Candy Candy Final Story (CCFS). I’m honoured to have the privilege to present her discoveries and insights here on my blog. 💕 Before I start, Alex wants to clarify that she has studied CCFS as a separate text without considering any of the previous Candy Candy versions. Her insights are not based on her own interpretation but solely based on
- historical facts,
- legal facts, and
- narrative/textual evidence (i.e. the literary devices the author, Keiko Nagita, has deployed, no one else).
Ever since Keiko Nagita (Mizuki) published CCFS in late 2010, there are myths circling around the internet. I’ll add references from CCFS Japanese version and discuss one myth or two at a time in order to keep each post focused. Please bear with me, and your patience is much appreciated. Although I myself believe Candy was married to Anohito (as already explained in my previous post and my subsequent comments), I’ll refer to him as Candy’s partner. Interestingly, Alex said that Nagita was not ambiguous at all about who Candy’s partner is in CCFS. On the contrary, Nagita has painted a crystal-clear picture. 🤔 My sincere hope is that by the end of this series, you will see for yourself who Anohito really is. ☺️
So let’s begin! First and foremost, there’s no doubt that the setting is in the mid-1930s, which is the period of the Great Depression as well as the Interbellum (the time period between the great wars), circa 1935-circa 1938/1939, prior to World War II. Candy in her own words indicated that it had been more than 20 years since the day Anthony died. CCFS readers were told that he was only 15 then.
How about the geographical location? Alex has valid reasons to believe that it should be the Southern rural England within the vicinity of the River Avon in South-West British country-side (CCFS Volume 1 P. 231). Yes, there are more than a few rivers of the same name in England, Wales, and Scotland, but Alex investigated and ruled out the three River ‘Avons’ in Scotland simply due to their locations. One is up North in the Highlands, the other one is too close to Glasgow, and the last one is in Falkirk, which some readers have brought up in their comments in my previous post. In CCFS, we read that the villas of both the Ardlays and the Granchesters are within walking distance (CCFS Volume 2 P. 61) to the summer school campus in South-East Scotland (the outskirts of Edinburgh), where there is a lake, not a river (CCFS Volume 2 P. 60). Alex, who knows Scotland well, indicated that there is only one significant lake on the outskirts of Edinburgh, and that’s the one behind Arthur’s Seat being Duddingston Loch (it’s a beautiful lake btw). Besides, based on Google Map, Falkirk is roughly 45 minutes away from Edinburgh by driving nowadays.
Thus, it is too far away from the existing estates of the Ardlays and the Granchesters in Scotland. In fact, during the 1930s, Scotland suffered a massive financial recession (especially Glasgow, Edinburgh, and Aberdeen) due to Great Depression, and unemployment was sky-rocket high in these areas. On the other hand, only the southern regions of England prospered. Ironically, these were the rural regions of England, and in particular, the South West rural regions within close proximity to Bristol, Bath, Warwickshire, and Cambridgeshire. Alex has more to say about these areas, and I’ll discuss further in my future post.
People might argue “what about Granchester’s second estate?” Some fans out there even claimed that this second estate is in the south of England, but that is wrong. In CCFS, Terry mentioned to Candy that his father owned another estate in Windermere (CCFS Volume 2 P. 85). As a matter of fact, Windermere is near the Lake District at the North West of England. In other words, this place has nothing to do with any of the aforementioned River ‘Avons’ in either England or Scotland.
In summary, the residence Candy and her partner were dwelling in the 1930s had nothing to do with any previous references in CCFS which could be directly attributed to either Terry or Albert.
Furthermore, Terry was no longer a Granchester by then because he had long renounced his father’s surname, severing all ties with the Granchesters. Not to mention that the Duke had legitimate kids of his own with his legal spouse, so what was the likelihood that Terry would get the lion’s share in his father’s inheritance as a filius nullius (an illegitimate child)? Therefore, Terry had no reason to be in the UK in the 1930s as his self-made success and fame were both in the USA. Alex has more to add on top of this, but I’ll stop here for now.
To conclude for this post, we know that Candy resided in the above-mentioned South-West rural British region within close proximity to the River Avon, based on her descriptions in CCFS. She made it clear that she personally took full care of some roses (she mentioned rose buds) and did not leave this tender care to the gardener (CCFS Volume 1 P. 231). You might think this snippet of information is not very significant, but those who understand what it means by taking care of roses or rose buds (my friend Antlay should know; some years ago she kindly sent me a picture of the last rose in her backyard before autumn) might see why this indicates that Candy did NOT travel about but permanently resided in South-West rural England. Remember that Candy mentioned that her partner wanted her to be always by his side? It means that this guy also resided with her in this rural place in England, not traveling worldwide. Note that London is too far away to travel to work every day even in today’s standard, let alone back in the mid-1930s. I recently realized that some readers might have assumed that Anohito had returned from a trip at the end of CCFS because Candy welcomed him home with joy and excitement. However, the phrase she used, おかえりなさい, can be a daily regular greeting (stock phrase), which doesn’t necessarily mean that he had been away for a long time. 😛 To me, Candy’s strong reaction to his return implies that they were deeply in love. 💕
Finally, Alex pointed out that when some Terry fans first discovered Nagita’s reference to the River Avon, they were bouncing up and down for joy, assuming that this clue was in Terry’s favour. Unfortunately for them, it has the opposite effect. This reference to the River Avon actually benefits Albert for historical as well as economic reasons. Please stay tuned. 🙂