Flowers in the Attic Timeline


April 26, 1957 – Friday  Chris Sr. dies in a car accident. (Chris Sr. died on his 36th birthday. In the chapter “Goodbye, Daddy” we are told it is a Friday. In Garden of Shadows, we find out that Chris is born in the fourth week of his mother’s ninth month of pregnancy, which was April. There are four Fridays in April 1957—the 5th, 12th, 19th, and 26th.)

June 25, 1957 – Tuesday  Corrine informs the children they are going to move in with her parents. She also tells them that their real surname is Foxworth, not Dollanganger. At 11:15pm, they flee their house and begin their over-night travel to Foxworth Hall.

June 26, 1957 – Wednesday  • At 12:15am, the family leaves Pennsylvania by train.  • At 3:00am, they arrive at a train depot, an hour’s ride from Charlottesville and they begin their walk through the woods toward Foxworth Hall.  • Pre-dawn, they arrive at Foxworth Hall and meet the Grandmother. The children are taken to their bedroom. Corrine leaves Foxworth Hall to collect her belongings from Charlottesville Station. She will return to Foxworth Hall later, alone, to be reunited with her father, as the humbled (and childless) daughter.  • Corrine is whipped, as commanded by her father. She receives 33 lashes for each year of her life, and 15 more for each year she lived in sin with Chris Sr.  • Later, Corrine visits the children in their bedroom. The Grandmother forces her to reveal her lashed back, her parents’ punishment. • The children are told their father is also their half-uncle.

July 13, 1957 – Saturday  Corrine’s visits to the children become shorter, only a few moments at a time. Cathy is already taking on the mother role to the twins.

July 21, 1957 – Sunday  Three weeks after the children have entered their prison, Corrine does not show up until much, much later than usual. When she does, it emerges she has been sailing with her friends and is off to the movies later. She has little time to spend with her children. This is when the children learn the truth—they are to stay hidden until the Grandfather dies.

August 1957  • The children begin to make a garden in the attic, with help from Corrine.  • Corrine is attending secretarial school, but she is also beginning to accumulate new pieces of jewel-ry.

August 30, 1957 – Friday  This is the second time the children have to hide from the maids, who clean their bedroom every last Friday of the month. (Date discrepancy: In the book, Cathy states they had been there seven weeks,

which would make the date August 23rd. However, the Grandmother states the maids will clean the room that day, which would make it the last Friday of the month, August 30th.)

September 1957  • The Grandmother gives the children a “gift”—a clay pot filled with yellow chrysanthemums.  • Cory gets locked in a trunk in the attic.

November 28, 1957 – Thursday  The children’s first Thanksgiving in the attic. Corrine is two hours late for her visit.

November 29, 1957 – Friday  Cory begins to get ill.

December 1, 1957 – Sunday  Carrie becomes ill.

December 20, 1957 – Friday  Cory and Carrie finally recover from their illness.

December 25, 1957 – Wednesday  • The Grandmother snubs the children’s gift.  • The dollhouse is given to the twins and Corrine gives the children a TV.  • Cathy and Chris are allowed out of the bedroom to watch the Christmas party and discover their mother’s relationship with Bart Winslow. They also see the Grandfather for the first time.  • Chris decides to explore the house after they return to the bedroom.

December 26, 1957 – Thursday  Corrine threatens to whip the children and never let them out after her discovery of Chris leaving the bedroom to explore.

January 1, 1958 – Wednesday  Corrine is written back into her father’s will. (Corrine had announced on Christmas day that “next week I am being written back into his will.”)

March 1958  Cathy and Corrine share intimate girl talk about puberty.

April 1958  Cathy’s birthday. (We know from page 225 that Cathy’s birthday was on a Sunday, and there are four Sundays in 1958—the 6th, 13th, 20th and 27th.)

May 5, 1958 – Monday  • The Twins’ birthday.  • Corrine tells the children about her older brothers and their tragic accidents.

July 1958  • Corrine stays away for a whole week.  • The Grandfather has a heart attack and is expected to die, but he recovers.

August 1959  • Corrine marries Bart Winslow. (This is a guess based on the fact Corrine went on honeymoon in the Summer of 1959.)  • The Grandmother catches Chris staring at Cathy naked.  • The Grandmother drugs Cathy in her sleep and puts tar in her hair.  • The children are starved for two weeks. When food finally arrives, there is a new addition—four sug-ar coated doughnuts.

August 26, 1959 – Wednesday  Chris and Cathy climb down from the attic and swim in the lake. (This date was based on the descrip-tion of the moon and the lunar calendar for 1959.)

October 1959  • Chris and Cathy are whipped by the Grandmother.  • Chris and Cathy share their first intimate kiss.

November 1959  The Grandfather dies. (This is based on Chris’s discovery in November 1960—”Our grandfather is dead! He’s been dead for almost a year!”)

November 24, 1959 – Tuesday  Corrine finally returns to visit the children. She turns against them when they question why she left them so long and allowed them to suffer.

December 4, 1959 – Friday  Corrine returns after being away for ten days (the children viewed this as a form of punishment). She announces that she has married Bart Winslow.

December 1959  • Cathy mentions that the children are constantly ill, with headaches, stomach upsets and sickness.  • Corrine only visits two or three times a month now. On one of her visits, Chris steals her key to make an imprint of it in a bar of soap. He fashions a duplicate key out of wood.  • Chris begins to sneak out of the bedroom to find money for their escape.

January 1960  Chris continues to steal from Corrine and Bart.

February 1960  The Grandfather’s will is read. (Again, this is based on Chris’s discovery of the Grandfather’s death and that “months later his will was read…. Nine months ago we would all have been nine months healthier!”)

March 1960  Chris is sick, which leaves Cathy to go stealing in his place. Cathy sees Bart asleep in her mother’s rooms and kisses him.

September 5, 1960 – Monday  Chris finds out about Cathy kissing Bart and confronts her in a rage. Chris rapes Cathy. (This date is based on the lunar calendar of 1960—in this scene, Cathy refers to the full moon as God’s eye look-ing at them.)

October 29, 1960 – Saturday  Cory dies.

November 10, 1960 – Thursday  At 10:00pm, Chris goes out to steal one last time. He discovers that Corrine has left Foxworth Hall. This is also when he discovers that the Grandfather has been dead for over a year and the will was read nine months ago. He overhears the butler (John Amos) telling a maid that the “old bitch is killin’ all the little mice in the attic.” He returns to the bedroom after dawn on Friday, November 11th.

November 12, 1960 – Sunday  After “three years and almost five months,” Chris, Cathy and Carrie flee Foxworth Hall out a back door. They catch the 5:45am train to Charlottesville. Once they arrive, and are waiting for a bus to Sarasota, Chris tells Cathy about the codicil that was added to the will, and how he suspects Corrine was the one poisoning them. Finally, they board the bus to Florida.


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