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M Braithwaite point

Cook reacts to the skull and crossbones poster in the Beckfoot guest room (PM1)

M Braithwaite crowd

Cook in the crowd welcoming Miss Turner on to the beckfoot lawn (PM29)

Mrs M Braithwaite, usually addressed as Cook or cook but sometimes cooky dear is the Blackett family's doting cook at Beckfoot.

Name and marital status[]

When Mrs Braithwaite leaves food for the Ds at The Dog's Home (PM16) she writes:

Hope your makin do. If owts wanting you can tell Jacky.
M. Braithwaite.

The note above signed M. Braithwaite suggests that her first name starts with 'M' so could be Mary.

It is unknown if there is (or was) a husband. She is called the old Cook (PM20).

After the burglary Jacky says I asked Mrs. Braithwaite at Beckfoot .... and Dick asks Who is Mrs. Braithwaite? Dorothy says That's Cook .... (PM20). Has Dick forgotten her name? He read the note (above) from her.

An interesting case study[]

In Arthur Ransome's books, Mrs Braithwaite is sometimes addressed as Cook with an upper-case 'C' (eg PM1,22,23) and sometimes as cook with a lower-case 'c' (eg PP6). When she leaves a basket of goodies for the expedition to Kanchenjunga she left a note Love from Cook (giving herself a capital 'C').

Other domestic staff in the Swallows and Amazons series also get the lower case treatment, for example nurse (SA3). This might be an indicator of socioeconomic class: in Racundra's First Cruise, the Cook, warrants a big 'C', possibly indicating her status as engaged to the skipper at the time.

A (rather complicated) family connection[]

Mrs Braithwaite's second cousin is married to Tom, brother of Mary Swainson's boyfriend Jack the woodman (SD19).