Mr Boothby’s caring and naïve but closed-minded wife. She does most of the work maintaining the Mashopi Hotel and initially develops a close relationship to the socialists before retaliating against them for their kindness toward her black cook, Jackson. The socialists, especially Willi Rodde and Paul Blackenhurst, enjoy berating, mocking, and embarrassing her before winning back her sympathies by feigning kindness. She repeatedly kicks Paul and Anna out of the kitchen when she finds them talking to Jackson and is disgusted by Jimmy’s love for Paul; when she finds Jimmy drunkenly kissing Jackson, she fires her cook after 15 years. She represents the prototypical British settler in Africa, who is not wealthy or educated by European standards but ends up enforcing a regime of racial terror and exploitation in an attempt to advance her own economic condition.
Mrs Boothby Character Timeline in The Golden Notebook
The timeline below shows where the character Mrs Boothby appears in The Golden Notebook. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
The Notebooks: 1
...managed to further alienate Ted, who is already frustrated with him. The “full-bodied” and polite Mrs Boothby brings them to dinner; they eat hearty “English pub food, cooked with care.” Willi and... (full context)
...daughter June, whose sexual frustration is apparent to the women but invisible to the men—to Mrs Boothby ’s relief, June soon meets someone. Just as he had once shocked and subdued Maryrose’s... (full context)
...stride into the kitchen, where Paul Blackenhurst asks the cook about his family life, to Mrs Boothby ’s disdain—she kicks them out. Anna feels a momentary attraction to Paul, who calls her... (full context)
...and of course Paul starts chatting with Jackson, which leads to an explosive argument with Mrs Boothby —June storms out, and Paul and Anna calmly leave for the big room. Anna wonders... (full context)
...Hounslow is solemn, and Jackson has already disappeared with his family, leaving his chickens behind. Mrs Boothby apologizes to Jimmy, who has no recollection of the night before, but she has no... (full context)
The Notebooks: 3
...that it reminds her of a story from Africa, one weekend at the Mashopi Hotel. Mrs Boothby brings a .22 rifle to breakfast, asking if anyone can shoot—which Paul Blackenhurst can—because Mr... (full context)
The Golden Notebook
...the same films, which now seem “realistic,” crude, with a new attention to details, like Mrs Boothby ’s curves and sweat, Willi’s humming, Mr Boothby’s “envious, but un-bitter” gaze at the man... (full context)