Life After Life

Life After Life

by

Kate Atkinson

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Ursula’s older sister and the second oldest of the Todd children. Pamela is practical and confident; growing up Ursula looks up to her. Pamela and Maurice constantly get into arguments as children because he thinks that girls are stupid. Pamela seems determined to defy him: she is very intelligent and studies chemistry through school. After she marries a doctor named Harold, however, she becomes completely wrapped up in motherhood. She has several children—all boys—before finally having a girl named Sarah. After they grow and leave the house, Pamela returns to working life and becomes a chief magistrate. Throughout her life, Pamela is a close confidant of Ursula’s, and Ursula always relies on Pamela to see situations clearly.

Pamela Todd Quotes in Life After Life

The Life After Life quotes below are all either spoken by Pamela Todd or refer to Pamela Todd. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Life, Reincarnation, and Alternate Possibilities Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Hachette edition of Life After Life published in 2013.
Like a Fox in a Hole, Aug 1926 (I) Quotes

“But he forced himself on you,” she fumed, “how can you think it was your fault?”

“But the consequences...” Ursula murmured.

Sylvie blamed her entirely, of course. “You’ve thrown away your virtue, your character, everyone’s good opinion of you.”

Related Characters: Ursula Todd (speaker), Sylvie Todd (speaker), Pamela Todd (speaker), Hugh Todd, Howie
Page Number: 199
Explanation and Analysis:
The Land of Begin Again, Aug 1939 Quotes

Powerful men needed their women to be unchallenging, the home should not be an arena for intellectual debate. “My own husband told me this so it must be true!” she wrote to Pamela.

Page Number: 359
Explanation and Analysis:
A Long Hard War, Jun 1967 Quotes

“An awful lot of people would still be alive.”

“Well, yes, obviously. And the whole cultural face of Europe would be different because of the Jews. […] But perhaps Goering or Himmler would have stepped in. And everything would have happened in just the same way.”

Related Characters: Ursula Todd (speaker), Nigel (speaker), Pamela Todd
Page Number: 473
Explanation and Analysis:
Get the entire Life After Life LitChart as a printable PDF.
Life After Life PDF

Pamela Todd Character Timeline in Life After Life

The timeline below shows where the character Pamela Todd appears in Life After Life. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Four Seasons Fill the Measure of the Year, 11 February 1910
Family and Love Theme Icon
Back in Sylvie’s bedroom, Sylvie invites five-year-old Maurice and three-year-old Pamela in to meet their new sister. Maurice pokes Ursula, who wakes up and squawks in... (full context)
Four Seasons Fill the Measure of the Year, June 1914
Fate vs. Choice Theme Icon
Family and Love Theme Icon
Meanwhile, Pamela and Ursula stop by the water. Pamela jumps over the waves and tells Ursula to... (full context)
War (I), June 1914
Life, Reincarnation, and Alternate Possibilities Theme Icon
Fate vs. Choice Theme Icon
...that the two little girls down by the water would make good subjects. Ursula and Pamela tread out into the water and Ursula starts to panic. She tries to think of... (full context)
Life, Reincarnation, and Alternate Possibilities Theme Icon
Fate vs. Choice Theme Icon
Mr. Winton carries a sopping wet Pamela and Ursula back up the beach, explaining to Sylvie that they went  out a bit... (full context)
War (I), July 1914
Gender Roles and Expectations Theme Icon
...baby. Ursula and the family dog Bosun sit close by, while Maurice tries to teach Pamela how to play tennis—though he quickly throws his racquet onto the grass and yells that... (full context)
Gender Roles and Expectations Theme Icon
...says that it’s time to go home. As they are about to leave, George gives Pamela and Ursula two baby rabbits to take home. (full context)
Family and Love Theme Icon
War and Death Theme Icon
Gender Roles and Expectations Theme Icon
...are Jews, though Hugh had added that they do not practice.) Benjamin Cole, Ursula, and Pamela had found a blackbird’s nest with blue eggs in them, when Maurice had come upon... (full context)
Fate vs. Choice Theme Icon
...of the girls’ rabbits, commenting that they are not enough for a stew, which causes Pamela to scream. After Pamela is calmed down, she and Sylvie make a nest for the... (full context)
Gender Roles and Expectations Theme Icon
...light to go to bed. Hugh and Sylvie are woken early the next morning by Pamela and Ursula, who have discovered that the baby rabbits have been eaten by foxes. (full context)
War (I), January 1915
War and Death Theme Icon
Gender Roles and Expectations Theme Icon
...ways: they no longer eat in their dining room, as Sylvie deemed it too extravagant. Pamela helped to set the table in the morning room instead, and she has also taken... (full context)
War and Death Theme Icon
Gender Roles and Expectations Theme Icon
...upstairs that their tea is on the table. As she sits down at the table, Pamela tells Sylvie that she misses Hugh. Christmas had come and gone without him, though Izzie... (full context)
Family and Love Theme Icon
...a caged lion, still sick with the chicken pox. Maurice snatches up a figurine of Pamela’s and throws it into the air violently. Then he grabs Ursula’s doll and runs around... (full context)
War (II), 20 January 1915
War and Death Theme Icon
...eating Henrietta, a chicken of theirs that was very old. This question disconcerts Ursula and Pamela. Sylvie warns Maurice about his manners before assuring the girls that the chicken they are... (full context)
Armistice (I), June 1918
War and Death Theme Icon
Gender Roles and Expectations Theme Icon
...years later, it is Teddy’s fourth birthday, and Sylvie has prepared a surprise party. Bridget, Pamela, Ursula, and Teddy go to deliver jam to Mrs. Dodds while Sylvie gets the party... (full context)
Family and Love Theme Icon
...has gone off on his bicycle to spend the day with friends, completely uninterested in Pamela’s and Ursula’s lives. Teddy, on the other hand, is loyal and affectionate like a dog.... (full context)
Armistice (I), 11 November 1918
Family and Love Theme Icon
War and Death Theme Icon
...of their new neighbors, Major Shawcross and Mrs. Shawcross. They have five daughters, which excites Pamela, Ursula, and Teddy, as there are no other girls their age in the neighborhood. (full context)
Life, Reincarnation, and Alternate Possibilities Theme Icon
...the influenza epidemic. Later that night, Ursula is woken by Bridget’s return, and she wakes Pamela. Downstairs, Bridget and Clarence regale them with tales of the festivities, including an appearance of... (full context)
Fate vs. Choice Theme Icon
...and raspy, and she spits out the beef tea that Sylvie tries to feed her. Pamela stays with Ursula and reads to her. Dr. Fellowes is called, but Ursula’s condition only... (full context)
Armistice (II), 12 November 1918
Life, Reincarnation, and Alternate Possibilities Theme Icon
...woken by Bridget and Clarence’s noisy return from London. Ursula’s first instinct is to wake Pamela and to interrogate Bridget about the events, but a “great dread” washes over her—the same... (full context)
Gender Roles and Expectations Theme Icon
...table until the butcher’s boy, Fred Smith, arrives with a hare. The children all like Fred—Pamela had once declared that Maurice had a crush on Fred, and Mrs. Glover had slapped... (full context)
Armistice (III), 11 November 1918
Fate vs. Choice Theme Icon
...asks Ursula about the note, but Ursula denies having written it. Sylvie tells her that Pamela has gone to fetch Bridget back from Mrs. Dodds’s house. Ursula runs out in a... (full context)
Snow (VIII), 11 February 1910
Life, Reincarnation, and Alternate Possibilities Theme Icon
Fate vs. Choice Theme Icon
Mrs. Glover tells Maurice and Pamela that their younger sister’s name is “Ursula” as she gives them breakfast. Bridget asks if... (full context)
Armistice (V), 11 November 1918
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Pamela and Ursula spend the morning in the garden, surrounded by the rabbits (Ursula had convinced... (full context)
Peace, February 1947
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...back in for a few weeks, living without a roof. Ursula finds a gift from Pamela waiting for her: fresh vegetables, eggs, and a bottle of whiskey. She is cheered immensely,... (full context)
War and Death Theme Icon
Gender Roles and Expectations Theme Icon
...had not left a note, but to her family, her intentions had been quite clear. Pamela had told Ursula at the funeral that she used to argue with Sylvie because Sylvie... (full context)
War and Death Theme Icon
...the window, gray and ashy. Ursula thinks of Auschwitz. Ursula writes a thank-you postcard to Pamela and puts it on the mantlepiece next a clock that belonged to Sylvie, and Teddy’s... (full context)
Like a Fox in a Hole, September 1923
Gender Roles and Expectations Theme Icon
...he had forbidden the women in his family to cut their hair, and in response Pamela had gone immediately to shear it off. To Ursula, Izzie’s column seems to be nothing... (full context)
Gender Roles and Expectations Theme Icon
In bed that night, Pamela and Ursula discuss Ursula’s trip to London. Ursula does not mention, however, that she had... (full context)
Like a Fox in a Hole, December 1923
Fate vs. Choice Theme Icon
...the adults. Neither her identity nor that of her murderer is ever discovered. Ursula and Pamela eavesdrop to learn that no one in the village is a suspect, and that “terrible... (full context)
Like a Fox in a Hole, 11 February 1926 (I)
Fate vs. Choice Theme Icon
...is also behind her). They were supposed to have gone to tea in London, but Pamela has recently twisted her ankle, and so they decided to stay home. Millie Shawcross, Ursula’s... (full context)
Like a Fox in a Hole, May 1926
Gender Roles and Expectations Theme Icon
In May, Pamela learns that she failed her entrance exam to Cambridge, and she admits that she panicked... (full context)
Gender Roles and Expectations Theme Icon
The summer continues. Pamela is accepted at Leeds University to study chemistry. There are dances in the village hall... (full context)
Like a Fox in a Hole, August 1926 (I)
Family and Love Theme Icon
Gender Roles and Expectations Theme Icon
...typing and short-hand course rather than return to school. She only reveals the truth to Pamela, who is shocked that Ursula thinks what happened is her own fault. Sylvie, by contrast,... (full context)
Life, Reincarnation, and Alternate Possibilities Theme Icon
Pamela leaves for Leeds, hugging Ursula tightly before she goes. Ursula does not return to school... (full context)
Like a Fox in a Hole, June 1932
Gender Roles and Expectations Theme Icon
Six years later, Pamela happily marries a man named Harold. Ursula lives on her own, though no one knows... (full context)
Family and Love Theme Icon
The drinking started when Pamela came to stay for a weekend prior to her wedding. Ursula planned to make a... (full context)
Family and Love Theme Icon
Gender Roles and Expectations Theme Icon
A few months after Pamela’s wedding, Ursula trips (sober) on her way home from work, slamming her nose into the... (full context)
Gender Roles and Expectations Theme Icon
...and Derek marry in a registrar’s office, witnessed only by Hugh, Sylvie, and Derek’s mother. Pamela and Teddy are both upset not to have been invited, but Ursula is just happy... (full context)
Gender Roles and Expectations Theme Icon
...love, Ursula finds, he is rather indifferent to her. She wonders about other couples, like Pamela and Harold, noting the affection between them. Ursula senses that she and Derek may not... (full context)
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Another afternoon, Pamela visits Ursula at home. She is the first in Ursula’s family to visit, as Ursula... (full context)
A Lovely Day Tomorrow (I), 2 September 1939
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Ursula is visiting Pamela at her home in Finchley, London. Pamela is pregnant again, this time hoping for a... (full context)
War and Death Theme Icon
...the years. Since 1936 she’s been working in the Air Raid Precautions department. Back at Pamela’s house in Finchley, Ursula thinks that they’re very merry for people who are on the... (full context)
War and Death Theme Icon
Pamela has spent the morning organizing evacuees from London. Ursula wonders whether Pamela will stay in... (full context)
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Gender Roles and Expectations Theme Icon
Pamela asks how “The Man from the Admiralty” is. Ursula has been involved with Crighton for... (full context)
War and Death Theme Icon
Pamela worries that Harold will have to remain in London—that he’ll probably be called up to... (full context)
A Lovely Day Tomorrow (I), November 1940
War and Death Theme Icon
Recently Ursula had visited Pamela, who gave birth to another boy, Gerald. Pamela had been terribly bored to be shut... (full context)
A Lovely Day Tomorrow (II), 2 September 1939
Life, Reincarnation, and Alternate Possibilities Theme Icon
War and Death Theme Icon
Ursula leaves Pamela and Harold’s house, and when she returns home she tries on the yellow dress that... (full context)
A Lovely Day Tomorrow (II), April 1940
Life, Reincarnation, and Alternate Possibilities Theme Icon
The whole family has gathered for Hugh’s birthday except for Pamela, for whom the journey was too challenging. Jimmy has a few days’ leave and Teddy... (full context)
Family and Love Theme Icon
...just as Hugh is about to blow out the candles, a commotion erupts outside—it is Pamela, who has brought her four boys with her. (full context)
The Land of Begin Again, August 1933
Fate vs. Choice Theme Icon
War and Death Theme Icon
...explaining that he’s very keen on “the Party”—the only political party they’re allowed to have. Pamela writes in a letter to Ursula that Germany had passed a law that essentially represents... (full context)
Fate vs. Choice Theme Icon
...mean “fox”). She wonders if fate is intervening. After the introduction, Ursula writes to Millie, Pamela, and Sylvie that she’s in love with Jürgen. (full context)
The Land of Begin Again, August 1939
Fate vs. Choice Theme Icon
War and Death Theme Icon
...Berghof, Hitler himself had greeted them and invited them to stay until Frieda felt better. Pamela noted in a letter that he likes women, children, and dogs—he just has no respect... (full context)
The Land of Begin Again, April 1945
Family and Love Theme Icon
War and Death Theme Icon
...would mean that he is alive. Two years earlier she had received a letter from Pamela informing her that Hugh had died in 1940 of a heart attack. Ursula had been... (full context)
A Long Hard War, September 1940
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That Saturday, Ursula goes to Fox Corner and shares a nice dinner with Pamela and Sylvie. For most of the dinner, Hugh is investigating an unexploded bomb in a... (full context)
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War and Death Theme Icon
...and when Sylvie and Hugh leave the table to do other activities, Ursula confesses to Pamela that she likes him a great deal—though they haven’t had sex. (full context)
A Long Hard War, October 1940 (II)
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Ursula, Pamela, and Sylvie stand over the open grave, Sylvie so consumed by grief that she can... (full context)
A Long Hard War, November 1943
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...of her and Hugh’s money amongst her children equally, but had left Fox Corner to Pamela. (full context)
Family and Love Theme Icon
...at Sylvie’s will. Jimmy is indifferent, and Ursula is somewhat upset but is glad that Pamela is the one keeping the house. The contents of the house are to be divided,... (full context)
A Long Hard War, February 1947
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Fate vs. Choice Theme Icon
Family and Love Theme Icon
War and Death Theme Icon
Ursula writes a postcard to Pamela, thanking her for the food from Fox Corner. She sets it next to Sylvie’s clock... (full context)
A Long Hard War, June 1967
Gender Roles and Expectations Theme Icon
Ursula feels old, though Pamela insists that she’s not old yet—she’s not even sixty. Once Pamela’s children  had grown, Pamela... (full context)
Life, Reincarnation, and Alternate Possibilities Theme Icon
...only now that she cannot be, that she realizes what she has missed out on. Pamela’s life would live on in her descendants, but Ursula’s life would simply end. (full context)
The End of the Beginning
Family and Love Theme Icon
...children had. Hugh is fond of him, though: Roland is calm, not like Maurice and Pamela. Ursula is completely different, watching everything around her. (full context)
Fate vs. Choice Theme Icon
Time jumps forward. Mr. Winton’s easel is set up to face the sea. He watches Pamela and Ursula making a sand castle on the beach. Roland is sent to scour the... (full context)
Family and Love Theme Icon
...but his body was already limp. As a variety of strangers try to revive Roland, Pamela comes over and holds Ursula’s hand. (full context)
Life, Reincarnation, and Alternate Possibilities Theme Icon
...approaching her bedroom, she had placed her doll beneath her pillow. Maurice had then taken Pamela’s figurine and thrown it out the window, smashing it to pieces. The next day, Sylvie... (full context)