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Hobson's Choice

posted 14 Nov 2010, 11:51 by Richard Holyoak   [ updated 30 Jan 2011, 09:16 by Unknown user ]

Hobson’s Choice is the gently comic story of a time in one family, that of a boot shop owner and his 3 daughters, it is set in the 1880’s. Henry Hobson is a blustering, rather mean, Victorian man and father. His wife is dead and he is starting to have problems dealing with his daughters. Maggie is the eldest at 30 and very valuable to Hobson being a wonder at selling the boots made in his workshop; she is strong minded and clever. Vicky and Alice are in their early twenties, pretty and as Hobson says “mostly window dressing in the shop”. Alice and Vicky have beaux and hope to go up in the world by marriage, to Albert Prosser the son of an established solicitor and Freddie a smart young man and the son of a respectable tradesman.

At first Hobson thinks that marrying the two youngest off would be the best idea, but then he talks to his friend Jim. Jim tells him about marriage “settlements” and Hobson quickly changes his mind about weddings and decides he is much better off keeping the girls at home, working for nothing in his shop, and as he says “none of them are big eaters”.

We find out that Willie one of the boot makers in the shop is a treasure, a valued customer, Mrs Hepworth, tells him that if he ever moves to let her know. Maggie, who is no fool, has also noticed this and although Willie is very shy and uneducated she sees his potential and decides that he is the man for her. She tells him, in no uncertain terms, that they are to wed. When his girlfriend Ada, to whom he is “tokened”, comes in with his dinner, she outwits her and Willie into changing their minds.

The story continues with Maggie also outwitting her Father and getting him to change his mind about allowing the younger daughters to be married. There is a twist in the tale at the end and we see Maggie and Willie become partners with Henry in the business Mossop and Hobson.


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