[Vwoolf] checks cheques and bills

Jeremy Hawthorn jeremy.hawthorn at ntnu.no
Thu Jul 20 03:18:02 EDT 2017

This is from Joseph Conrad and Ford Madox Ford's /The Inheritors/ (1901).

One day, indeed, the matter was brought home to me by the receipt from 
Polehampton of bills instead of my usual cheques. I had a good deal of 
trouble in cashing the things; indeed, people seemed to look askance at 

 From the SOED I gather that a "bill" in this context is the equivalent 
of a promissory note. But how did such a bill work? Incidentally, the 
writer/narrator is in Paris, so the assumption seems to be that a cheque 
or bill written in England could be cashed in France. It was not so when 
I grew up.

I write this two days after telling a US publisher that it's not much 
use sending me a check, as no-one uses them in Norway any more. The last 
one I wrote here was about a decade ago I think, and my local bank 
charges 400 kroner (about 60 US dollars) to cash a US check.

Jeremy H

On 17.07.2017 13:07, Stuart N. Clarke wrote:
> When I went to open a bank a/c in 1966 with the Westminster, I was 
> asked whether anyone could give me a reference.  I replied: “I believe 
> my [half-]brother works for your bank.”
> (I’ve suddenly remembered something irrelevant but comparable.  A 
> friend of mine did Art History under Quentin Bell at Leeds.  He 
> applied for a job at the “Daily Mail”. “What school did you go to?”  
> My friend emigrated to Australia.)
> Back to cheques.  In “Zuleika Dobson”, when the Duke of Dorset gives 
> his landlady a cheque (presumably made out to CASH), he encourages her 
> to go that day to the bank to cash it, for she wouldn’t be able to 
> cash it the following day in view of his imminent suicide.
> Stuart

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