I've recently read The Uncommon Reader by Alan Bennett. I'd be very grateful if someone can help me with the meaning of the following sentences / phrases.

  1. That she did her boxes with less assiduity is true, but this didn’t affect her husband or her children.

I understand all the words of the sentence, just the meaning, when taken as a whole sentence was a mystery to me. So I searched for any alternate meanings for boxes without much success and hence posting the question here.

  1. Tudor dispatch When I search for Tudor it gives me 'an English royal house' or 'a style of architecture', but I don't get how such a word was paired with dispatch.

Full sentence being, 'The speed and ruthlessness of his almost Tudor dispatch sent, as Sir Kevin would have put it, the right message and at least put paid to any further rumours of senile decay.'

  • 1
    Just for your information, questions that are too broad or don't show research tend to be closed. I'd suggest first that you write 2 different questions -- with 2 questions you might get more answers e.g. from people who can only answer one part -- secondly that you clarify what exactly you don't understand (perhaps 'did her boxes'?) and mention any online research (that was helpful or unhelpful). And finally I think more context is also necessary. That phrase 'did her boxes' must be connected with something in the story? – S Conroy Aug 12 at 13:42
  • The Queen of England receives boxes of official papers every day that she has to read and sign. This is what Bennett means by 'doing her boxes'. "The speed and ruthlessness of his almost Tudor dispatch sent..." The dispatch in question was almost Tudor in its nature (that is, ruthless and brief). – Michael Harvey Aug 12 at 15:00
  • A brief history of the ministerial red box is here: youtube.com/watch?v=a-9ZOAFpYrI – Owain Aug 12 at 21:48

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