a comfortable <family job> in the government


Senior Member
Here are some words from the novel Lady Chatterley's Lover(page 8, Chapter One) by DH Lawrence (planetebook, here):
(background: Connie and her sister Hilda had both had had sexual experience when in Germany.Then War One broke out. Later, they lived in with their father .…)

Hilda, however, suddenly married a man ten years older than herself, an elder member of the same Cambridge group, a man with a fair amount of money, and a comfortable family job in the government: he also wrote philosophical essays. She lived with him in a smallish house in Westminster, and moved in that good sort of society of people in the government who are not tip-toppers, but who are, or would be, the real intelligent power in the nation: people who know what they're talking about, or talk as if they did.

I suspect family job is the one a son gets after his father retires.

Is that right please?
Thank you in advance
  • PaulQ

    Senior Member
    English - England
    Direct nepotism was rare in the Civil Service of the 1920s, but what was not rare (and to my knowledge this existed in the 1980s) was for a father to use the connections of his extended family when it came to finding his sons and nephews a suitable position (such as the one described) in the Civil Service.


    Senior Member
    English - England
    Had the father retired? Or were the father and son both working in the government at the same time?
    It is not possible to say and it does not really matter to the explanation of "a family job" - a job that is obtained because of family connections.
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