Author:  Meg14 [ Wed Feb 04, 2009 10:59 pm ]
Post subject:  Men

Which men do people think EBD portrayed best? (As in the ones that she married her charcters off to?) I was trying to work out which I found to be attractive characters throughout the books and I ended up feeling I quite liked Jack Maynard when he was young and fun and teases the girls. I also liked Mr Young (who marries Gillian) partly because he is a bit out of the ordinary (not being a doctor) and also because you see quite a bit of him trying to woo her (sorry could think of no other way of putting it! :) ) which makes him seem quite human.

Author:  Mia [ Wed Feb 04, 2009 11:38 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Men

I have a soft spot for Neil Shepperd, carting a book of baby names all the way from the Antipodes and across Europe - he so obviously wanted to find a nice woman and settle down! lol.

Author:  Selena [ Thu Feb 05, 2009 12:15 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Men

I think Jack was the nicest one too :oops: :D I think if he hadn't have had his temper at intervals in the books he would have been too nice and not as realistic.

Most of the male characters seem very peripheral though.

Author:  ChubbyMonkey [ Thu Feb 05, 2009 12:19 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Men

I always loved Jem - I think just because if you ever have a crisis he seems to pop up, until Jack steals his hero's cape.

Author:  Alison H [ Thu Feb 05, 2009 12:38 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Men

Jem and Jack both have their moments, at least in their younger days. I particularly like Jem in New House when he's so desperate to see Margot again that he practically runs through the streets of Innsbruck. That's so sweet :D .

I like Michael Christy and Kester Bellever as well - two people who both have the merit of being a bit different. As does Mr Young, as Meg said. Eugen Courvoisier makes me laugh when he goes to the Gornetz Platz to look at the San and then says that he'd like to see the school as well (we get this "second hand" from Jack), and he's obviously not very subtle because Jack realises straight off that he's just hoping to bump into Biddy.

Dick Bettany always strikes me as being a bit of a wuss who does whatever his female relations tell him, and Reg Entwistle just comes across as a control freak in Prefects. As for Donal O'Hara, I half-wish that Juliet had told him exactly where to shove his apology and then said that she wanted to find a real man who wouldn't dump his girlfriend just because his sister told him to!

Author:  JB [ Thu Feb 05, 2009 10:07 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Men

Agree with Alison that the younger Jem and Jack "have their moments". One of my favourite Jem moments is his distress when he hears Jack has been drowned which he has to put aside to look after Madge and Joey. I like Joey and Jack together on the escape from Austria when he's so caring.

Neil Sheppard is lovely (although I could live without the proposal scene), and I like Laurie Rosomon, particularly in Oberland.

Author:  Sunglass [ Thu Feb 05, 2009 12:57 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Men

I like best EBD's less obviously masterful men, so I like beta males like Kester Bellever and scatty Laurie Rosomon, or even Jack in his younger, sillier days, before he started being a bit of a Victorian patriarch. Not keen on bossy old Jem, who I blame for Madge becoming increasingly beige. Michael Christy can be nice, and I have always had a niggling suspicion that he and Hilda Annersley had a chaste romantic friendship in between looking for secret outflows, buried treasure and scarecrows, and parted sadly when the school left in the unspoken recognition that they might have married had circumstances been different... I have moments of liking Frank Peters, chiefly because I always imagine him looking fanciably like Kenneth Branagh (short with almost no lips), but I really can't approve of him perving his patient midway through her treatment!

As regards the younger generation, I quite like Joey's boys as children, but get much less keen on them as they become teenagers, ditto the Richardson boys - in A Future, the previously innocuous Stephen keeps grunting 'Girls!' and banging on rather unconvincingly about engines along with Roger, and at one point gives poor Melanie a violent shove which nearly knocks her to the ground. (Potential spousal abuser?) Roger Richardson is growing to grow up to be a huge rugger bugger bore.

Author:  Jennie [ Thu Feb 05, 2009 1:41 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Men

I get much more irritated with the doctors barking out orders, as Jack did with Marie in 'Rescue' and with all of them being so curt and rude sometimes as if being a doctor is an excuse for it.

Author:  Alison H [ Thu Feb 05, 2009 1:54 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Men

The one that really annoys me is when Jack tells Miss Bubb that she can't make Gay - who was being punished for bad behaviour - stay in. It was none of his business what Miss Bubb did - it was Madge's school, not his! - and even if it had been his business he certainly shouldn't have spoken to the acting head like that in front of a pupil.

Laurie is lovely, I agree. It's so kind of him to say that he wants Primula to come back to Devon with him and Daisy for a few weeks, rather than staying at Freudesheim with the Maynards, because he wants her to feel that his and Daisy's home is her home. I'm sure that he'd have preferred to be alone with Daisy given that they'd only just got married :wink: .

Author:  Emma A [ Thu Feb 05, 2009 2:05 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Men

I quite like Jack in the early days, too, while he was still a young doctor and only trying to court Joey. His relationship with her then is very well drawn - fond and jokey, but not trying to coerce her into feeling for him what he wants her to feel.

My favourite is actually Kester Bellever. He seems to have an interesting life, and is lovely with Cherry Christy, and very kind to Annis. I like that he shows barely any curiosity about how she arrived on the island, and merely lets her recover. I also find it realistic that he appears only occasionally in the other St Briavels books.

I also like the idea of Mr Denny, though suspect I would have found him a bit fey in real life. And why bobbed hair? Do you suppose EBD was modelling his appearance on Oscar Wilde?

Author:  Maeve [ Thu Feb 05, 2009 3:09 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Men

Young Jem and Jack as others have said. But really, like Emma A, just said, Kester Belliver has always been a favourite. As Emma said, he is so nicely non-inquisitive and so kind to Cherry and Annis.

Copper's dad always seemed rather nice as well.

Author:  MJKB [ Thu Feb 05, 2009 5:55 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Men

Three Go is my favourite middle book, you get quite alot of character observation, particularly in the case of Gillian Linton. Gillian is one of the few whose character develops naturally.
Mr, Young is the most attractive 'courting' male imho, low key, but very successful at the same time. Well done Gillian! (Interesting that the vain younger and more beautiful sister ends up with the Vicar while her quiet, demure older sister snaffles a noted artist.)
I like everything about Mr. Young apart from his name and that's only because of the mincing Mr. Young in Malory Towers. There is no embarrassing 'lovery' scene between the two as you get sometimes between Joey and Jack ('[though most of the times I like the Joey, Jack domestic scenes) and certainly between Grizel and Neill Shepherd.( Neill comes across as a bit depressive, even a bit deperate for a wife, and that trip around England in a side car! Very George and Mildred).
Apart from Marie's young Baron, most of the young Austrian husbands were a bit drippy. The older Tyrolean ones were lovely, especially Herr Mensch. (He always reminded me of Jo's Professor Bhaer in LW). Both Jem and Jack were better as young, unmarried men than Alpha husbands. I still think Rodger R is what we used to call a 'fine thing' rugger bugger not to the contary.

Author:  Abi [ Thu Feb 05, 2009 6:41 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Men

I thought I was the only fan of Kester!! He is just so *nice*. He's really caring to Annis and Cherry, and he's all shy! He just seems like such a kind, genuine, sensitive person.

Author:  jennifer [ Fri Feb 06, 2009 10:48 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Men

I like Michael Christy as well - again, a nice personable man, but not as autocratic and overprotective as the doctors can be.

I'm not all that keen on the male teachers - you have Herrs Anserl and Laubach, who are brilliant at their own subject, but short tempered and impatient and not all that good at teaching. And Mr Denny, who would probably be more than a bit weird in real life.

The Austrian men blend together for me. They're all kind but very strict, and mainly show up when Madge needs male support.

Author:  snowmaiden [ Fri Feb 06, 2009 1:42 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Men

I am another one who thought that Michael Christy and Miss Annersley might had had a wee secret romance going on - always liked the interaction between them, especially in 'Shocks' when they are dealing with Emerence.

Jem, however, drives me mental. He is so autocratic it makes me want to slap him. :evil:

Author:  Katherine [ Fri Feb 06, 2009 2:15 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Men

Please will someone write Miss Annersley and Commander Christie in a Remains of the Day-style tragic romance that never was.

Author:  blue1 [ Fri Feb 06, 2009 3:10 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Men

Katherine wrote:
Please will someone write Miss Annersley and Commander Christie in a Remains of the Day-style tragic romance that never was.

Please someone do.

I like him too. I also like early Jack and early Jem. I like Herr Anserl aswell but I think thats only because of certain drabbles. :)

Author:  snowmaiden [ Fri Feb 06, 2009 3:37 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Men

Katherine wrote:
Please will someone write Miss Annersley and Commander Christie in a Remains of the Day-style tragic romance that never was.

Ohhhhhh, that's a lovely idea! I would but I have the imagination of a bar of soap.

Author:  JayB [ Fri Feb 06, 2009 3:56 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Men

I'm another who always thought there was a certain frisson between Michael Christy and Hilda. I don't think she'd give up her career to marry him, but if he was single I can imagine the occasional quiet dinner during term time and maybe discreet holidays somewhere, perhaps with Nell or Matey along for appearances.

Author:  Alison H [ Fri Feb 06, 2009 4:44 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Men

I'm so glad that I'm not the only person who thought that Michael Christy spent an awful lot of time in Hilda's study ... I thought it was just my over-active imagination :lol: . Doesn't he actually jump out through the window at one point :roll: ?

Author:  Sunglass [ Fri Feb 06, 2009 5:24 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Men

Oh, there's loads of perfectly good textual evidence! like the way they call one another 'Commander Christy' and 'Miss Annersley' in public, even in front of Rosalie Dene and Griffiths, and are quite informal, slangy and on first-name terms when they're sloping off to investigate overflows together (and they do spend an awful lot of time together looking at the sunk path and the various overflows etc).

Then it's half term, and we're supposed to think Hilda is only interested in finding out about the overflow, but look at the language!

Many times during the week-end... did Miss Annersley's thoughts stray to Big House and the surprising developments of the present term. She enjoyed herself in Gloucester, but it was with a very youthful thrill of excitement that she waved good-bye to Edgar Mordaunt as the train left Gloucester station.

Then Emerence blocks the outflow, and, lo and behold, Hilda and Michael Christy have to go on a long, muddy walk to investigate together again, arm-in-arm:
the Head slipped once and was only saved from going headlong by Commander Christy grabbing her arm to steady her.

And then it gets all manly and screwball comedy-ish, with taking off his coat and shoes and socks and Hilda holding them while he slides around in the water, and she's begging him not to get his death and he's showing off :
He looked up, grinning. 'And how often do you imagine I've been drenched in even colder water than this, during my career?' he demanded. 'Have a little sense! I'm not a landsman to catch cold with a little rain water! Bags of sugar or salt aren't much loved in the Service, let me tell you.'
The Head subsided, but she still watched him anxiously as he tugged and pulled.

And then, she lends him her hanky to dry off, and he gets all remorseful because she's cold, and makes her run home alongside him, and Matron makes them both drink whiskey (and this is the time she puts four aspirin in Hilda's!) and Hilda is sitting about in her slippers, and they're both drinking and he says
'Thanks, Matron; that should have done the trick. I'm all in a glow now.'

and then Matron won't let Hilda take her classes, so she's in the study when he comes back, all cold and wet again (more booze needed, perhaps?) and they interrogate Emerence together.

And, although we will never really know whether their tongues were loosened by the combination of pills and whiskey, or whether he ever gave Hilda back her hanky, the morning ends when
Rosalie escorted the Commander off the premises

Author:  MJKB [ Fri Feb 06, 2009 8:27 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Men

I haven't read Island or Shocks for years, but you're absolutely right, Sunglass. Maybe your post has given me a false memory, but I'm fairly certain I picked up the vibes on my first reading of Shocks. They'd have made a lovely couple indeed. Being ex Navy, Commander Christy's bass voice would have harmonised beautifully with Hilda's famous dulcet tones. A match made in heaven.

Author:  Alison H [ Wed Feb 11, 2009 12:18 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Men

Just going a bit OT, Michael Christy always seemed to have a reason to call round at the school, but I wonder how the various doctors (and other men) who were genuinely "courting" mistresses managed.

I'm fine with the idea that if an Old Girl was living at home with her parents/guardians then a "suitor" would call round, escort her to a dance (or whatever), bring her home afterwards and possibly be invited in for a drink (with her parents supervising), but what happened with people who were living at the school? Did Phil Graves, Eugen Courvoisier, Mr Young and indeed Jem have to collect the lady of their choice from the school with everyone gawping at them and Matey telling them to be back no later than eleven o'clock? There wasn't even anywhere to go in the Swiss books, but I can't imagine that they spent their time together - they must have had some time to get to know each other! - sitting in the staff room. Or maybe they did :roll: . The discussion in FD about attitudes towards boyfriends in Triplets just got me wondering about it :lol: .

Author:  Sunglass [ Wed Feb 11, 2009 10:23 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Men

Alison H wrote:
Just going a bit OT, Michael Christy always seemed to have a reason to call round at the school, but I wonder how the various doctors (and other men) who were genuinely "courting" mistresses managed.

I have difficulty imagining them being received in the staffroom, which is always presented as such an intensely female space, involving compulsory School Legends/Old Girls' Babies gossip, Mdlle's 'nectar', info swapping about Demon Middles, and the odd distraught girl rushing in in her dressing gown to report someone sleep-walking or ill. But God knows where that leaves courting mistress/doctor couples, given that the mistresses only had individual bed-sitting rooms as private space - long walks in summer weather to the Auberge? A lovers' lane where courting doctors parked their cars? A lively hotel on a nearby resort shelf EBD never mentions?

Author:  Emma A [ Wed Feb 11, 2009 10:37 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Men

I have a feeling that Biddy and Eugen are the only doctor-teacher couple to get together in the Swiss books. Hilary meets Phil Graves in England, and I think they're already married by the time the school and San move to the Platz. There would have been more opportunities to meet and spend time together, even when the school was at St Briavel's.

ChubbyMonkey's drabble, The Best Encounter, suggested the intense interest on the part of the other mistresses when a handsome doctor comes courting Kathie Ferrars. They picnic in the woods (and shelter from a snowstorm!), and manage to visit places: Kathie even dines at his house (though his housekeeper is always in attendance).

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