A-level English/Wise Children/Understanding the complex family tree

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Nora and Dora Chance are the illegitimate daughters of Melchior Hazard officially known as the daughters of Peregrine (Perry) Hazard . Their mother is apparently Pretty Kitty who died in childbirth, there are implications to suggest that Grandma Chance is their actual mother, but it isn't said out right that she is. Dora says 'Nature over nurture, ducky' when talking about their similarities with Grandma Chance.

Melchior and Perry Hazard are the sons of Estella and Ranulph Hazard, although questions of whether Ranulph is their real father are raised, and whether Melchior and Perry are in fact the sons of Cassius Booth ('Horatio').

Saskia and Imogen Hazard are the daughter's of Melchior's first wife, Lady Atlanta Hazard, née Lynde (aka Lady A or Wheelchair). They are legally Melchior's daughter's but Biologically the result of an affair Lady A had with Perry.

Tristram and Gareth Hazard are the offspring of Melchior and his third wife Lady Margerine. Although Dora even suggests that these children may not be Melchiors. Gareth had an affair with an unknown woman and produced the two twins, one boy and one girl (descirbed as a first in the family, Nora and Dora adopt the twins at the at the end of the novel.

Tiffany is Nora and Dora's goddaughter. Her mother is Brenda, her grandmother is Mavis and her greatgrandmother is 'Our Cyn'. Grandma Chance took Our Cyn in when she was 14.

  • Note how the paternity of three sets of twins (Melchior and Peregine, Tristram and Gareth and Saskia and Imogen) is questioned. In Contrast, Dora refutes suggestions over who is her mother and she also knows who the mother of Tristram and Gareth's baby.
  • The line "a father is a hypothesis but a mother is a fact" sums up the above paragraph.
Solid lines indicate biological relationships; dotted lines indicate other relationships, e.g. non-married couple or adoptive children.