Jean in the Dark

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Title: Jean in the Dark
Author(s): greerwatson
Date(s): 04 May 2013
Length: 2852 words
Genre: backstory
Fandom: Jane Duncan
External Links: Archived at AO3

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Jean in the Dark[1] is a short story by greerwatson based on Janet Sandison's Jean in the Morning and its sequels. It was written for Rarewomen 2013 in fulfilment of a request made by fawatson: "I would really like something set during the first or third books.... I would prefer some kind of ensemble piece which shows the interrelationships between characters, if you feel up to writing that kind of thing. I don’t care whose perspective the story is written from."

The story is written from Maisie’s perspective, starting from her childhood and continuing to the point she moves up to the Crescent to work with Jean. Various other characters from the novels are worked into the plot, with Jean herself seen at the beginning and end, although Maisie remains the central character throughout.

Comments on the story include:

  • And at long last I have my sought after 'Jean Robertson' story - though you seem to have spanned all four novels within this piece, in a wonderfully clever way. I like the 'voice'; I think you have the working class perspective and the cadence of speech down pat. I also like seeing childhood events from the viewpoint of the slightly older Maisie. No surprises she saw her family as much richer than the Robertson household, for all the airs and graces Jean's mother assumed. Thank you very much for my treat.[2] — fawatson

Which led to the story author’s response:

  • The 'voice' worried me a bit; I'm glad you feel I caught it okay. As for the scope—well, Maisie turns up in the first and last books, having only a smallish role in either. It seemed to me that one needed the first to make sense of the last. Why, after all, did she stay in Lochfoot to care for her old mother? Duty is one answer; but I thought there might be more to it. Memories of a loving childhood can carry one through a lot. [3]— greerwatson


  1. "Jean in the Dark" by greerwatson, as archived on A03 as part of the rarewomen 2013 fanfic exchange.] Accessed 07 May 2013.
  2. Comment by fawatson, 05 May 2013. Accessed 07 May 2013.
  3. Response by greerwatson, 05 May 2013. Accessed 07 May 2013.