Discworld Wiki
Advertisement

Maisie Nobbs is the mother of Nobby Nobbs. The only other things known with any certainty about her are that she makes a remarkable Distressed Pudding and can do amazing things with cheese.

Although by some strange power known only to witches, at some point there must have been some personal contact between her and Nanny Ogg, otherwise Maisie's recipes for Distressed Pudding and Jammy Dodgers would not have been gifted to an appreciative world through the medium of Nanny Ogg's Cookbook. In fact, Nanny, no mean cook herself, is very appreciative of Maisie's talent with stodgy desserts:-

Mrs. Nobbs is a mistress of all those dishes that make you think of fog and coal smoke - like Wet Nellies, Tuppeny Uprights, Treacle Billy, Jammy Devils and Distressed Pudding. They fills you up and keeps the cold out. That's what they're made for. You've got to be posh to worry about healthy eating.

Nanny Ogg would not give a personal endorsement without sampling the fare, surely?

This contact between Nanny Ogg and Maisie Nobbs is perhaps one of those million-and-one stories from the Big City of Ankh-Morpork which is yet to be told.

Interestingly enough, the relevant recipe for Distressed Pudding on page 63 of Nanny Ogg's Cookbook is illustrated by a sketch of a slightly built, benign, elderly lady in shawl and mob-cap, proffering a steaming bowl of pudding. Paul Kidby's sketch shows her standing in front of a mantlepiece on which there are a row of framed iconographs. To her immediate right is one of a person recognisable as Sconner Nobbs. To her immediate left is the unmistakeable portrait of Nobby Nobbs. Now the number of women who might want an iconograph of Nobby, still less to go to the trouble of framing it, is vanishingly small. As the lady in the picture is clearly not Tawneee, we have to assume in context that it must be Maisie.

The other two pictures are baffling. To the right of the iconograph of Sconner, we see, or rather glimpse, an iconograph in which there are five indistinct faces. (But there are only four named people in the Nobbs family? Sconner, Maisie, Errol and Nobby. So who is the fifth Nobbs?)

And to the left of Nobby's iconograph is a portrait of an attractive young woman which is clearly out of place in the Nobbs family gallery. Who is she? She's too dressed to be Tawneee. Perhaps this young woman is from Maisie's side of the family, about which we know nothing except that one of her uncles, a sailor, was press-ganged by farmers and tied to a plow.

Advertisement