When Victor proposed to her fourteen years ago, Rosemary had no idea what being the wife of a college lecturer would entail, but she had imagined it would involve wearing what her mother called "day dresses" and going to garden parties on the Backs and strolling elegantly across the plush green of the courts while people murmured, "That's the famous Victor Land's wife. He would be nothing without her, you know."Kate Atkinson, Case Histories (New York: Little, Brown & Co., 2004), p. 34.
And, of course, the life of a lecturer's wife had turned out to be nothing like she had imagined. There were no garden parties on the Backs, and there was certainly no elegant strolling across the college courts, where the grass was afforded the kind of veneration usually associated with religious artifacts. Not long after she was first married she had been invited to join Victor in the Master's garden, where it soon grew apparent that Victor's colleagues were of the opinion that he had married (horribly) beneath him . . . . But one thing was true—Victor would be nothing without her, but he was also nothing with her.