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Literature / Iremonger Series

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The Iremonger series is a trilogy of young adult novels written and illustrated by Edward Carey. The series takes place in an alternate-history version of London, where trash has been allowed to pile up for years, forming "The Heaps," a dangerous wasteland of trash and discarded objects. The heaps are managed by the Iremonger family. Each member of the Iremonger family has a "birth object," a significant object chosen for them at birth, that they keep with them at all times. The story follows Clodius "Clod" Iremonger, a boy who can hear objects speaking, and Lucy Pennant, who comes to Heap House to work as a servant.

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The three books are:

  • Heap House (2013)
  • Foulsham (2014)
  • Lungdon (2015)

Provides examples of:

  • Aerith and Bob: The Iremonger family have "slanted" versions of real names, like Clodius instead of Claudius, Tummis instead of Thomas, and Rosamud instead of Rosamund. The objects Clod hears speaking have "normal" names like James Henry and Alice (names which Clod finds strange), as does Lucy Pennant, who did not grow up with the Iremonger family.
  • Animate Inanimate Object: of the transformed human variety. At first, only Clod can hear objects talking, later some of them begin to move on their own as well.
  • Arranged Marriage: a custom of the Iremonger family. Clod is supposed to marry his cousin Pinalippy.
  • Chekhov's Gun: Clod's cousin Tummis once ordered an ostrich egg and tried to hatch it, but one day came back to his room to find nothing but a broken shell. They assume the household bully Cousin Moorcus smashed it, but toward the end of the book, the full-grown ostrich shows up.
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  • Fiery Redhead: Lucy Pennant has red hair and a tendency to disobey orders and talk back.
  • Gaslamp Fantasy
  • Heroes Want Redheads: Clod falls in love with Lucy, despite her being a servant and him being engaged to Pinalippy Iremonger.
  • Kissing Cousins: the "Upstairs" Iremongers all marry their cousins, although not necessarily their first cousins.
  • Multigenerational Household
  • Parental Abandonment: both Clod and Lucy are orphans.
  • Perfectly Arranged Marriage: Tummis and Ormily Iremonger almost had one. They were meant to be married to each other, and they really liked each other.
  • Significant Green-Eyed Redhead: Lucy Pennant.
  • The Bully: Cousin Moorcus.
  • Victorian London: The setting of the series, albeit an alternate-history version of it.
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