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What if ...?
http://www.the-cbb.co.uk/viewtopic.php?f=8&t=7407

Author:  julieanne1811 [ Sat Feb 27, 2010 8:03 pm ]
Post subject:  What if ...?

OK. I know that if you married it was expected, at that time, that you would give up outside work to concentrate on family and so on, but what if that wasn't the case? What if Bill Wilson or Hilda Annersley got married and continued teaching at the School? What if they got married as older women and so didn't have children?
I think it could be fun - their romance (older doctors? old friends from the past?) would be interesting, and then what if, for some reason, it was decided that they carried on teaching at the school? Perhaps the husband (?? doctor!!!) joins the San, or they decide that it's better if the wife carries on (or is all this just too modern?).
So you'd have a collection of married teachers at the School. What if, say, Hilda was already married - perhaps her huusband gets relocated to Austria and she joins the School married?
How would the books change if lots of the staff were married? I'm probably thinking rubbish, of course, because we all know what was reality for women at the time, but it's fun to play with ideas like 'What if?'.

Author:  Sunglass [ Sat Feb 27, 2010 8:25 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: What if ...?

julieanne1811 wrote:
How would the books change if lots of the staff were married? I'm probably thinking rubbish, of course, because we all know what was reality for women at the time, but it's fun to play with ideas like 'What if?'.


You'd have a lot less obsessing about Old Girls' distant babies, and the Freudesheim household would be less glamorous and central, for one thing, because there would be evidence of family life coming into the school from all over the place, with visibly pregnant women teaching and dealing with childcare, presumably some kind of CS creche - maybe married mistresses living in houses in the CS grounds, so their husbands and children would be in evidence a lot...? It would be a lot less like some kind of Either/Or decision between a career and marriage/children, which would be lovely and progressive. Maybe there could be more male teachers, if some husbands taught - it would be nice if there were some male 'poppets' too, not just wacky Mr Denny and shouty Herr Anserl and Laubach? And good for the girls to have some non-familial male role models.

I like the idea of Hilda having a really cool husband - if we killed off (to borrow from another thread) Michael Christie's wife, could she marry him? They always seemed to have a spark when the school was on St Briavel's, and they were running about looking at maps and solving puzzles involving lost treasure together. Plus I have always imagined Bill as gay, so - to take this scenario further into the realm of the unlikely - it would be lovely if she had a brilliant medic partner who worked at the San, vroomed around the platz on a motorbike, and took over some of the inevitable rescuing of CS girls...

Author:  julieanne1811 [ Sat Feb 27, 2010 8:34 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: What if ...?

Sunglass
Quote:
Maybe there could be more male teachers, if some husbands taught - it would be nice if there were some male 'poppets' too, not just wacky Mr Denny and shouty Herr Anserl and Laubach? And good for the girls to have some non-familial male role models.


Oooh ... I like this idea. Yes, male teachers. Then the staff could marry either doctors or teachers - it opens up the choice.

Quote:
I like the idea of Hilda having a really cool husband - if we killed off (to borrow from another thread) Michael Christie's wife, could she marry him? They always seemed to have a spark when the school was on St Briavel's, and they were running about looking at maps and solving puzzles involving lost treasure together.


Yes - I'd forgotton about this. There certainly was a spark between those two ...

And how about Daisy returning to be near the School after her training and being the MO for the School? She said she was going to do Paediatrics so she'd be well-suited to that role. And I do think it rather egregious that she does all that training, depriving someone else of that particular place at Medical School, only to get married and give it up almost at once. Putting her back as the designated School MO, perhaps employed at the San to care for children with TB, would mean that she's able to actually use her training. Instead it just becomes a nice qualification and lets her put some letters after her name. Shame.

Quote:
It also occurred to me it might be interesting to think about who you wouldn't kill in the CS. If EBD had kept Mary-Lou's father alive, and killed off Verity's instead, then Mary-Lou wouldn't have been guilt-tripped into trying to live up to her heroic father's reputation and might have been able to relax, be ordinary, and not be Joey's substitute butter-in as much.


This is a nice question for 'What if ...s', too. I'll have a think about it ...

Author:  JB [ Sat Feb 27, 2010 8:38 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: What if ...?

We needn't kill off Mrs Christie (just can't bring myself to feel blood thirsty today). She was his second wife so in our alternate reality, she and Michael Christie never meet because he's already married to Hilda.

Author:  MaryR [ Sat Feb 27, 2010 9:20 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: What if ...?

julianne1811 wrote:
What if, say, Hilda was already married - perhaps her huusband gets relocated to Austria and she joins the School married?

Well, I did give her a fiancé in my very first short drabble - but then killed him off so she could come to the CS! :D Perhaps I could resurrect him (all a dream in the shower, my dear! :mrgreen: ) and send him across to the Platz.

Trouble is, that's how life was for women teachers in those days. One was expected to give up teaching.

Author:  ChubbyMonkey [ Sat Feb 27, 2010 9:28 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: What if ...?

Presumably Madge would still be teaching, though, so she would have come to Switzerland with Jem, and Jack and Joey and Hilda and Michael would have been left in England to run those branches. Then where would the series have been?

Author:  Rob [ Sat Feb 27, 2010 10:51 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: What if ...?

I suppose you do vaguely get a hint of having married teachers in school and attending to childcare issues etc during Gay when Joey and Simone help out whilst Stephen and Tessa are little. Also, Frau Meiders and Mrs Redmond (Miss Durrant) are widowed - an interesting alternate reality therefore might be one where Mr Redmond was seriously injured during the air raid but not killed and Mrs Redmond had had to return to teaching to support him as he was unable to work? Or, how about having Marie Pfeiffen applying for the dommy sci mistress position in the first place? Marie would have been expected to continue working even after she married Andreas.

Some young male masters would be good too - both as a male role model and as some eye candy for the girls/mistresses. I'd have him teaching something generally unpopular like Maths or German, and then have Bill and Mlle lamenting the fact that the number of girls taking Science and Latin was rapidly decreasing. The mistresses could get in on the action too, all trying to bribe Rosalie into arranging for them to get to be the one who goes on the half term expedition with him!

Author:  clair [ Sat Feb 27, 2010 11:31 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: What if ...?

Oh dear Mary - don't give me ideas of a CS/Dallas crossover! I'm still struggling with Len's story. The idea of Lucy at the CS is quite appealing though................................

Author:  Alison H [ Sat Feb 27, 2010 11:43 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: What if ...?

Biddy carried on teaching for a while after she's married, although in true CS style she soon had to pack it in and then gave birth to twins! Madge returned to teaching for a while when the school moves to the Sonnalpe, and said that she might have taken over as Head again after Nell and Hilda's accident had she not been expecting (Ailie). Childcare rather than husbands seemed to be the main problem - assuming that private schools didn't have to follow the rules about not having married teachers, which AFAIK only applied to state schools (and I've no idea what the law was in either Austria or Switzerland anyway).

Gaudenz was married and his wife Lisa also worked at the school, although she was rarely mentioned; and seeing as Gaudenz had to be up with the lark to light the boilers I assume that they must have lived on site, so there must have been some sort of married quarters there. There'd have to've been a certain number of teachers in the building overnight, so they couldn't all've lived in their own homes. There'd also've been the issue of jobs for the husbands, given how isolated the Platz was, but if they were doctors then that would've been OK :lol: . I think it could've worked quite well if the wife of one of the doctors'd applied for a job at the school, saying that she'd been a teacher before she got married and that now her kids were old enough to go to school she was keen to return to work. I like to think that both Hilary and Biddy would've done that eventually, although I doubt EBD would've agreed!

I think having a married couple both teaching at the school might've been a bit icky ... although someone recently suggested the idea of a CS mistress's husband opening a boys' school, like in EJO's Swiss books :D .

BTW, what do people think EBD intended Len to do when she got married, assuming that Reg would've marched her down the aisle the day after she'd done her university finals? Give up on the idea of teaching completely, teach at the CS (which, of course, would have had a vacancy for her) for a short while, until, like Biddy, she went off to have twins, or combine teaching with marriage and (as, of course, she would've had a big family) motherhood, maybe with Anna and Rosli helping to look after the kids?

Clair, I love the idea of Lucy Ewing at the CS, seducing all the doctors and the male teachers :lol: . & I think Miss Ellie and Hilda would get on like a house on fire. & that's just reminded me that Fallon Carrington in Dynasty was supposed to've gone to a boarding school in Europe before the series started. Er, OK, I shall shut up now ...

Author:  Mrs Redboots [ Sun Feb 28, 2010 12:09 am ]
Post subject:  Re: What if ...?

Alison H wrote:
BTW, what do people think EBD intended Len to do when she got married, assuming that Reg would've marched her down the aisle the day after she'd done her university finals? Give up on the idea of teaching completely, teach at the CS (which, of course, would have had a vacancy for her) for a short while, until, like Biddy, she went off to have twins, or combine teaching with marriage and (as, of course, she would've had a big family) motherhood, maybe with Anna and Rosli helping to look after the kids?


In my own future history, Reg and Len discover that neither of them really wants to stay on the Platz, and they were only staying on for the other's sake, so once they've sorted that out, they go off to Birmingham where Len works as a modern languages mistress - later head of department - in an inner-city grammar school, later to become a comprehensive. Reg enters general practice in the same area, and ends up running a big health centre. They don't have kids, because they can't (Reg turns out to be firing blanks), and are very happy. When Reg retires, Len does, too, and they buy a camper van and spend several very happy years touring Europe as Old Age Travellers (my own dream for when we retire!).

Author:  Sunglass [ Sun Feb 28, 2010 8:31 am ]
Post subject:  Re: What if ...?

JB wrote:
We needn't kill off Mrs Christie (just can't bring myself to feel blood thirsty today). She was his second wife so in our alternate reality, she and Michael Christie never meet because he's already married to Hilda.


Good thought - Mrs Christie always seemed nice, and I'm not that bloodthirsty.

One other consequence of the CS having a lot of married mistresses with families would be that it couldn't pick up and move around so easily, expecting to keep virtually all of its staff. Husbands who weren't on the staff of the CS would presumably have jobs that tied them to the locality, they might have houses of their own to deal with, and their younger children would be in school etc - or they might have local servants who didn't fancy a sudden departure!

I know some of the moves aren't voluntary - quite the reverse! - but in the case of the drains at Plas Howell, you'd expect a mass outcry from staff to try to find somewhere closer to move to, or at least somewhere less inconvenient than St Briavel's. (I know the reason Jesanne Gellibrand's Dragon House is said to be unsuitable for a school is because it's isolated and has no space for playing fields, but if the alternative was the CS losing half its staff because they couldn't up and move to a small island off the other side of the country, surely it would have been worth at least considering?)

I have to say, as something of a sympathiser with Miss Slater, because of the rude way she's treated by her colleagues when she says she's not moving to Switzerland with the CS, it would be quite nice to see the school having to take into account a staff with ties and responsibilities other than to the school, who might be less interested in the 'adventure' of an international move than in how it's going to affect their own lives! Can you imagine a married Nancy Wilmot jogging a fretful baby on her hip and saying 'Look, Hilda, Tom and I have talked about this, and we're prepared to move to Switzerland - but just tell me this is a permanent move, and not some halfway house on an eventual move back to Austria!'

Plus it would be fun to have mistresses' bad-temperedness blamed on something other than toothache - I like the idea of a married Joan Bertram saying 'Girls, could you just shut up? I've got one teething and another breast-feeding every hour through the night, I got ten minutes sleep and if anyone tilts their chair again, I will commit murder.'

Author:  Fiona Mc [ Sun Feb 28, 2010 11:22 am ]
Post subject:  Re: What if ...?

Sunglass wrote:
Plus it would be fun to have mistresses' bad-temperedness blamed on something other than toothache - I like the idea of a married Joan Bertram saying 'Girls, could you just shut up? I've got one teething and another breast-feeding every hour through the night, I got ten minutes sleep and if anyone tilts their chair again, I will commit murder.'



:lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

Though can I also say, I think some staff wouldn't return to work after having children until the kids were of school age. I know Daisy and Biddy both gave up work due to marriage and children but somehow I could see both wanting to do that anyway. Neither really had a consistent home and I could see them both wanting to raise their own children rather than leave their children to be cared for by someone else as they had. I could see both wanting that mother-care for their own and having been old enough to miss it would say " not for my kids". You can actually see Daisy in the books trying to provide that for Primula.

Author:  ChubbyMonkey [ Sun Feb 28, 2010 3:14 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: What if ...?

My Len - as I like to think of her! :lol: - returns to the Platz and teaches once the children are a little older. When they're baby babies she looks after them, but certainly once her eldest has left the toddler stage she does the special language coaching two or three days a week while Joey has the children (which also give Joey the chance to be proud grandmother a lot!)

Sorry, just thought that I'd throw that in after the mini discussion above :oops: Personally, there are some characters, like Nancy, who I can never really see getting married. After all, can you imagine Hilda having to dump even more on Rosalie so that she can darn her husband's socks?

Author:  Alison H [ Sun Feb 28, 2010 7:22 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: What if ...?

I suppose that some women of Hilda and Nell's generation would have seen teaching or nursing as a vocation perhaps akin to that of entering a convent, i.e. something you did instead of marriage rather than before marriage, or as well as marriage if that option was open to you. &, if Hilda's conversation with Len about marriage being about darning socks and doing the cooking was anything to go by, it sounds as if she didn't much like the idea of marriage anyway!

That never comes across very clearly in the books. Joey, in her usual rude and arrogant way, has a conversation with Rosalie in one of the later books in which she more or less suggests that the reason Rosalie's never married is purely because she's never managed to catch herself a man: she doesn't seem to consider the possibility that Rosalie didn't want to marry. It may well be that Joey was right: it's just her tone that annoys me! I'd love to've seen Hilda, Nell, Matey or maybe Helen Graves inform Joey that their lives were very fulfilling and they were quite happy as they were - although I don't think she'd've dared make those comments to any of them!

It would be very interesting to see a mixture of single staff and married-with-kids staff, with the single staff getting annoyed about the way they were always the ones who had to do escort duty, give up weekends and half-terms to supervise expeditions, give up evenings to supervise dancing or play rehearsals, get up in the middle of the night when the entire school panicked because of a bit of bad weather and provide cover at short notice when staff with kids took time off because the kids'd got measles or been sent home from school for getting into fights. It could make for quite a split in the staffroom. I sometimes wonder if Mlle Lepattre ever secretly got the needle about everyone's hero-worship of "our dear Madame" when she was the one having to cope with all the day-to-day work whilst Madge swanned about at Die Rosen :lol: .

Author:  emma t [ Sun Feb 28, 2010 8:03 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: What if ...?

This is fun thinking about it! I could see the school being run by married teachers later on; especially more so in modern times, the idea of Miss Annersley married would be sweet in it's own right; she deserves a good doctor husband. How does she feel when she sees people enjoying their romances around her, her friends outside the school? She must have devoted her heart to the school, and therfore be not in a mind to fall in love...what if that said doctor did come along? it would certainly throw her array :lol: I would love to see a drabble about it!
Also I think that Len if she did marry Reg, would continue to teach at the school; also she may eventually become Head, and have children to boot.

Rosalie was asked by Joey why she had never married,and she shrugged it off by saying that she had lots of brothers and sisters in the back ground, and so had ties. But as Joey pointed out she is an attractive creature....I would like to see Rosalie married too. I don't think she should be allowed to become a maiden aunt as Joey wanted to do when she was growing up, maybe not with children, but she could marry someone who's wife had sadly died and who had abotu ten children :mrgreen: Again, a handsome doctor whom rescues her from a sticky situation.... :halo:

Author:  julieanne1811 [ Sun Feb 28, 2010 8:10 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: What if ...?

Alison H wrote:
if Hilda's conversation with Len about marriage being about darning socks and doing the cooking was anything to go by, it sounds as if she didn't much like the idea of marriage anyway!


Where is this please? In which book?

Quote:
Alison H wrote:
It would be very interesting to see a mixture of single staff and married-with-kids staff, with the single staff getting annoyed about the way they were always the ones who had to do escort duty, give up weekends and half-terms to supervise expeditions, give up evenings to supervise dancing or play rehearsals, get up in the middle of the night when the entire school panicked because of a bit of bad weather and provide cover at short notice when staff with kids took time off because the kids'd got measles or been sent home from school for getting into fights.


This happened quite a lot when I was nursing - it was always 'Oh, but they've got familychildren', when it came to (especially Christmas duties). It was often as if 'if you're single you have no lfe', and so you'd be expected to be the first to have to do those duties. WHile I do understand the problem for people with children at Christmas, the whole thing was compounded by being single, and having no family and children. Christmas can be challenging enough without having to give up the little you have so that those who have more than you can have even more ...
I would sometimes offer to do nights over New Year so that I could get a better off-duty over Christmas.

Author:  Lesley [ Sun Feb 28, 2010 8:22 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: What if ...?

Perhaps Hilda, Nell and the others actually preferred their lives as they were? Perhaps they made a conscious decision and did not look upon it as 'settling for second best' did not see it as being unlucky they had not caught a husband. Perhaps they looked at the lives of Madge, Joey, Hilary, Biddy and saw how professional and intelligent women were relegated to being 'so and so's wife'. How they could no longer consider themselves responsible for their own lives. How, even if they had business ventures or interests, had qualifications and talents, these were automatically placed under their husband's control. it wasn't until the 1970's or 80's that married women were given control over their own finances.

Perhaps they made a decision to remain independent people.

Not everyone considers it to be the epitome of their life to 'catch' a husband. In fact Hilda, Nell and the others may have viewed all those that had married and placed their own wants to one side with some pity.

Author:  Nightwing [ Sun Feb 28, 2010 8:34 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: What if ...?

Alison H wrote:
Joey, in her usual rude and arrogant way, has a conversation with Rosalie in one of the later books in which she more or less suggests that the reason Rosalie's never married is purely because she's never managed to catch herself a man: she doesn't seem to consider the possibility that Rosalie didn't want to marry. It may well be that Joey was right: it's just her tone that annoys me! I'd love to've seen Hilda, Nell, Matey or maybe Helen Graves inform Joey that their lives were very fulfilling and they were quite happy as they were - although I don't think she'd've dared make those comments to any of them!


Er, what? There's a scene in Reunion (I think?) where Joey suddenly asks Rosalie why she never married, and Rosalie just laughs. I've never found Joey to come across as either rude or arrogant, because Rosalie is so clearly amused by it. She's certainly blunt and it could have been a tactless question if Rosalie had loved and lost, or if she was saddened by her single status; but she tells Jo that she's happy with her life, and Joey accepts that.

Sorry - I didn't mean to go off on you! But people have brought this up a couple of times and it really annoys me.

Author:  Llywela [ Sun Feb 28, 2010 8:55 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: What if ...?

One eligible bachelor we saw a fair bit of at one time was the ornithologist Kester Bellever, during the St Briavel's years. Granted he spent his life on an isolated little island and therefore wouldn't be considered a catch for deserving females, but he stands out because there aren't that many eligible men introduced during the series that aren't merely there to carry off one of the mistresses or former students!

...now I'm picturing one of the Carnbach mistresses marrying him and continuing to teach, the two of them blissfully enjoying a wildly unconventional lifestyle, her at the school and him on his island, commuting back and forth to see one another during term time... :D

Author:  Alison H [ Sun Feb 28, 2010 9:57 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: What if ...?

Sorry Nightwing, didn't mean to annoy you :oops: . Blame it on me being ugly and unwantable and oversensitive.

Julieanne, the conversation with Hilda is when Len is talking to Hilda about Josette's engagement, but for some annoying reason I can't put my hands on it at the moment. I think it's in either Feud or Redheads , or possibly Adrienne. Len asks Hilda if she thinks 18 is too young to get engaged, and Hilda seems very keen to give her an unromantic view of marriage. Sadly, it wasn't enough to put Len off Reg!

Author:  Nightwing [ Sun Feb 28, 2010 11:32 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: What if ...?

Alison H wrote:
Sorry Nightwing, didn't mean to annoy you :oops: . Blame it on me being ugly and unwantable and oversensitive.


No, it's totally a legitimate viewpoint and I was probably overly harsh when I replied! I seem to be extra defensive of Joey recently :D . It's more that I don't think Joey is asking Rosalie to justify her choices in life - and I know, as a single lady, that we often are supposed to justify our singledom to people! - I think it's more just an idle question, of the type that is possible between to friends who have known each other as long as they have. As tactless as Jo is, I can't see her asking a relative stranger why she's never married.

Author:  Kathy_S [ Mon Mar 01, 2010 5:59 am ]
Post subject:  Re: What if ...?

Thank you for speaking up, Nightwing.

I think of the conversation between Rosalie and Joey as similar to one of the many between "Miss Read" and her matchmaking friend Amy: above all, sharing between friends. Plus, it's an opportunity for us to hear more about Rosalie's life: she's not just a cardboard cut-out of a secretary. It's likewise one of the few times we get to see an EBD character professing a happy, fulfilled single life.

Yes, sometimes EBD does seem to be one more voice ranking marriage with children as central to a truly complete life -- As a long time "maiden aunt," I sometimes feel besieged by images of worthlessness, between the church, Hollywood, and my own field, in which I rank as an "evolutionary dead end." However, this passage, for me, is EBD's acknowledgment that everyone doesn't feel the same way.

(Also, of course, I would never characterize Joey as chronically rude and arrogant, or interfering in the school "every five minutes," or neglectful of her children, or any of the other pejoratives that get regularly tossed around here. She's sometimes thoughtless and maddening, yes, but overall someone I'd much enjoy having as a friend. If I didn't feel that way, I would never have continued reading the CS!)

Author:  Fiona Mc [ Mon Mar 01, 2010 7:16 am ]
Post subject:  Re: What if ...?

I never found the conversation between Joey and Rosalie to be harsh but one usually had between friends. I often put a lot of Rosalie's singleness down to her age group fought in WWII so the availability of males wouldn't be there and who knows she may have had a crush or started to fall for an Austrian which feel through due to the anchluss.

Author:  Alison H [ Mon Mar 01, 2010 8:49 am ]
Post subject:  Re: What if ...?

Fiona Mc wrote:
who knows she may have had a crush or started to fall for an Austrian which feel through due to the anschluss.


*Sends plot bunnies* - what a brilliant idea for a drabble! There are very few mixed-nationality romances, and in 1938 that would've been really interesting.

Author:  Sunglass [ Mon Mar 01, 2010 9:29 am ]
Post subject:  Re: What if ...?

I don't have my copy to hand, but the only thing I remember finding vaguely annoying about that Joey-Rosalie conversation (and this is entirely down to EBD's own theories on female beauty/marriage/men, and not to Joey as a character) is the the implication that Rosalie is attractive, therefore it's surprising she hasn't married. The assumption is that Rosalie's good looks have been somehow overlooked by men, leading to her singleness, rather than the equally warrantable assumption (especially given that the CS is peopled by apparently happy single professional women) that she has chosen not to marry of her own accord, possibly after having offers.

(I do think there's no intention of rudeness, but I notice Joey doesn't ask Bill or Hilda this - does she not think their good looks made them likely marriage candidates, or does she retain some slight leftover awe from her schooldays? The 'good looks= marriage' thing seems like a slightly off assumption from Joey, anyway, given that she progresses from being 'goblin-like' to being merely 'distinctive'-looking, but still bags Jack (and the heart of the unsuitable San doctor!) Are we to imagine that other characters would have found it basically unsurprising if Joey had remained unmarried, because she isn't conventionally beautiful?)

And of course this idea that it's odd to see a good-looking woman who is unmarried after extreme youth isn't unique to Joey - Rosalie herself thinks more or less the same thing of 24-year-old Beth in Barbara:

Quote:
"What a lovely creature Beth Chester has grown into - really, something quite choice! I'm amazed that she isn't married yet; or engaged, anyhow. What can the men be thinking of?"


Again, one feels like pointing out that maybe Beth has been fending off proposals right left and centre, because she hasn't felt like getting married - one would have expected another contentedly single woman to understand that.

Author:  ChubbyMonkey [ Mon Mar 01, 2010 12:33 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: What if ...?

How I wish that you weren't supposed to be good looking/interesting/intelligent to find a husband... then I might not be chronically lonely.

I do think that people like Bill and Hilda must have made a conscious decision not to marry; perhaps when they got into their late twenties and early thirties, had been teaching for some time and still hadn't found the right man. I imagine that it must have been much easier to think "I'll throw myself into the school and really make a career for myself, instead of wondering what might have been in marriage". Of course they might equally have known all along that they didn't want to get married - but I certainly think that by the end of the series they are perfectly happy without a husband. And of course we see Hilda, especially, being recognised for her brilliant work in 'Challenge' when she gets asked to join in the study... or something... the details are a little hazy :oops:

Author:  Loryat [ Mon Mar 01, 2010 3:41 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: What if ...?

Llywela wrote:
One eligible bachelor we saw a fair bit of at one time was the ornithologist Kester Bellever, during the St Briavel's years. Granted he spent his life on an isolated little island and therefore wouldn't be considered a catch for deserving females, but he stands out because there aren't that many eligible men introduced during the series that aren't merely there to carry off one of the mistresses or former students!

...now I'm picturing one of the Carnbach mistresses marrying him and continuing to teach, the two of them blissfully enjoying a wildly unconventional lifestyle, her at the school and him on his island, commuting back and forth to see one another during term time... :D

Yes, I am surprised that Kester was never snapped up by someone. Maybe EBD just considered his way of life a bit too unconventional. :)

Author:  Alison H [ Mon Mar 01, 2010 3:49 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: What if ...?

What about Mr Flower? He was absolutely rolling in money: why did no-one go after him :wink: :lol: ?

In fact, seeing as we're told that Mlle Lepattre was like a mother to Cornelia, maybe she could've married Mr Flower and gone off to live in the lap of luxury :D ?

Author:  ChubbyMonkey [ Mon Mar 01, 2010 10:26 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: What if ...?

Perhaps she didn't quite want to marry Mr Flower, because she liked being attached to the school, but there was a good reason for her being "like a mother" to Cornelia? :wink: :oops: :lol:

Author:  Nightwing [ Mon Mar 01, 2010 10:27 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: What if ...?

Perhaps she was Cornelia's mother?

OK, so she was probably too old, but still. :twisted:

Author:  janetbrown23 [ Mon Mar 01, 2010 10:33 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: What if ...?

Looks over half moon glasses at Ariel and mutters "the youth of today" then bursts into hysterical laughter.

Author:  Alison H [ Mon Mar 01, 2010 10:57 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: What if ...?

You've just reminded me about Roisin's wonderful drabble in which it turned out that there was a very good reason why EBD kept telling us that Madge, whom we know saw a lot of Ted when she was younger, looked very like Robin's mother and that one of the neighbours in Howells said that Con looked very like "both her aunties" (Robin as well as Madge) ...

Author:  MJKB [ Tue Mar 02, 2010 12:22 am ]
Post subject:  Re: What if ...?

Loryat wrote:
One eligible bachelor we saw a fair bit of at one time was the ornithologist Kester Bellever, during the St Briavel's years. Granted he spent his life on an isolated little island and therefore wouldn't be considered a catch for deserving females, but he stands out because there aren't that many eligible men introduced during the series that aren't merely there to carry off one of the mistresses or former students!

...now I'm picturing one of the Carnbach mistresses marrying him and continuing to teach, the two of them blissfully enjoying a wildly unconventional lifestyle, her at the school and him on his island, commuting back and forth to see one another during term time...

That sounds quite idyllic! I'd love it myself, but I'm married in surburbia (but hope to move).Who would he have suited, do you think? How about Bill?

Author:  Llywela [ Tue Mar 02, 2010 8:30 am ]
Post subject:  Re: What if ...?

MJKB wrote:
Loryat wrote:
One eligible bachelor we saw a fair bit of at one time was the ornithologist Kester Bellever, during the St Briavel's years. Granted he spent his life on an isolated little island and therefore wouldn't be considered a catch for deserving females, but he stands out because there aren't that many eligible men introduced during the series that aren't merely there to carry off one of the mistresses or former students!

...now I'm picturing one of the Carnbach mistresses marrying him and continuing to teach, the two of them blissfully enjoying a wildly unconventional lifestyle, her at the school and him on his island, commuting back and forth to see one another during term time...

That sounds quite idyllic! I'd love it myself, but I'm married in surburbia (but hope to move).Who would he have suited, do you think? How about Bill?

It was me who proposed that, btw. ;) I didn't have a mistress in mind, however, other than assuming someone who stayed on at Carnbach...but then again if we are 'what if'ing, we could make it anyone we want, really!

...okay, now I'm struggling to remember who exactly was on staff during the St Briavel's years...

Author:  JellySheep [ Tue Mar 02, 2010 12:14 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: What if ...?

Or perhaps Miss Slater was in love with him and couldn't bear to go as far away as Switzerland, so getting a job elsewhere was a camouflage...?

Author:  Loryat [ Tue Mar 02, 2010 2:57 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: What if ...?

Alison H wrote:
You've just reminded me about Roisin's wonderful drabble in which it turned out that there was a very good reason why EBD kept telling us that Madge, whom we know saw a lot of Ted when she was younger, looked very like Robin's mother and that one of the neighbours in Howells said that Con looked very like "both her aunties" (Robin as well as Madge) ...

OMG! Blasphemy! :D

I'm not sure who Kester could end up with. Maybe one of the mistresses on the trip in Changes? How about Mademoiselle?

The description of Kester in that book is quite the sexiest CS description ever, IMO.

Edited for very stupid typos.

Author:  Sunglass [ Tue Mar 02, 2010 8:26 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: What if ...?

Loryat wrote:

I'm not sure who Kester could end up with. Maybe one of the mistresses on the trip in Changes? How about Mademoiselle?

The description of Kester in that book is quite the sexiest CS description ever, IMO.


Er, more blasphemy to come - Annis Lovell. :shock:
I was going to suggest an alternative scenario where Cherry Christie and the other ornithologist aren't there to chaperone the night on Ventnor in Island, but it occurred to me later that Annis is only fourteen or so, so scrub that thought. :oops:

But. given other CS marriages that arise out of dramatic rescues, and other CS older men who fall for much younger schoolgirls - perhaps they got together later, after some suitable interval?

Author:  Nightwing [ Tue Mar 02, 2010 9:01 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: What if ...?

When I was a kid I always sort of assumed that Annis/Kester was going to happen, since to my young mind girls always married the guys who rescued them, and the age gap didn't seem massive since 15 to me was practically grown-up!

Author:  Rob [ Tue Mar 02, 2010 9:53 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: What if ...?

Sunglass wrote:
Er, more blasphemy to come - Annis Lovell. :shock:


So glad it wasn't just me who thought of that Sunglass! :oops:

Author:  Loryat [ Thu Mar 04, 2010 3:14 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: What if ...?

Sunglass wrote:
Er, more blasphemy to come - Annis Lovell. :shock:

Ew ew ew! :shock: No he is for Mademoiselle! :wink:

Author:  Tor [ Thu Mar 04, 2010 4:20 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: What if ...?

Quote:
As a long time "maiden aunt," I sometimes feel besieged by images of worthlessness, between the church, Hollywood, and my own field, in which I rank as an "evolutionary dead end."


Kathy-S, if you are a maiden *aunt* you are not an evolutionary dead-end. And to all of you posters saying such rubbish about being to ugly/stupid/whatever to be married - and you know who are - stop it now! I will not have a bunch of intelligent women doing themselves down - marriage is not the be all and end all of the world. Sure everyone wants to be loved and find happiness, but just look at our shining examples in the CS as proof that this is not the sole province of the married ... Hilda, Bill, Rosalie. One of the best things about the CS is it wealth of wonderful female characters who aren't married, or looking for love. Talk about the antidote to a lot of other the froth I was reading at the same teenage period (Sweet Valley High etc).

I think Bill and Kester could have had fun twitching and botanising together (which sounds a tad dirty), but I am rather taken by Sunglass' image of Bill and a lady San doctor. Perhaps a late blooming romance with the San's first female doctor, after Hilda and Michael Christie started going away for weekends together. I don't think either of them would have given up their freedom for marriage.

Author:  RubyGates [ Thu Mar 04, 2010 4:31 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: What if ...?

WOOHOO!! Well said Tor! and speaking from the point of view of someone coming up for 20 years married, marriage really, really isn't all that it's cracked up to be :roll: . I'm sure there are plenty of not-smug-but-happily-marrieds on this board but there are days when I'd give anything to be single.

Author:  julieanne1811 [ Thu Mar 04, 2010 4:53 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: What if ...?

RubyGates wrote:
there are days when I'd give anything to be single.

I would love to be married (and yes, it's highly unlikely that I ever will be if statistics are to be believed!), but, what I love about being single is going to bed and reading and reading and reading and ... well, you get the idea. If I wake in the night I can put on the light to read without having to consider another person and maybe having to get out of bed to go into the sitting room where it's cold, to read.
No. There are some advantages to singleness!

Author:  LauraMcC [ Thu Mar 04, 2010 5:14 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: What if ...?

I suppose that it's a case of the grass always being greener...

Personally, I long to be a maiden aunt, and wish that my brothers were a bit older so that they can get married and have lots of children, whom I can see occasionally, and then send back home.

Author:  julieanne1811 [ Thu Mar 04, 2010 5:26 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: What if ...?

LauraMcC wrote:
then send back home.


Yes - that's another thing. Working on a paediatric ward the phone rang. I picked it up and said the usual greeting: 'Buxton Ward, Staff Nurse. How can I help you?' Silence. Then: 'What's going on? What's happening there?'
It was my mother and the babies were all yowling away in the background - a noise I had become used to 'tuning out'. There was nothing wrong, but it was rather a din.
I have worked with children most of my working life - I absolutely love it, but the best thing is that at the end of the day I can hand them back and retire to my silent home ...!

Author:  LauraMcC [ Thu Mar 04, 2010 5:28 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: What if ...?

I felt like that with my brother - of course, I had to live with him, but it was great when he was a baby being able to play with him, and then yell for my mother when he was hungry/needed his nappy changed etc.

Author:  mohini [ Fri Mar 05, 2010 7:37 am ]
Post subject:  Re: What if ...?

I would have liked it if some of the mistresses of CS had married and then continued teaching in the school.
They would have thier own haouses in the near by premises and would ahve adopted children like JO giving us more characters.
ANd in England when the school shifted due to war, would they get so many unmarried girls to teach?
All the girls would be busy with other war activities.

Author:  julieanne1811 [ Fri Mar 05, 2010 11:20 am ]
Post subject:  Re: What if ...?

mohini wrote:
ANd in England when the school shifted due to war, would they get so many unmarried girls to teach?
All the girls would be busy with other war activities.


Yes, this is interesting ... at what age did girls have to start war work? Were girls who were at school until the age of 18 exempt? If you weren't at school, what age would you have to start factory work and so on?

Author:  Alison H [ Fri Mar 05, 2010 11:48 am ]
Post subject:  Re: What if ...?

From the spring of 1941, women aged between 19 and 40 were supposed to register for some sort of work, unless they were married or responsible for children aged under 14. The age limit was increased to 50 in 1943, and at some point the rules were changed to include married women. So anyone who left school at 14 wouldn't immediately have had to register for work.

In December 1941, conscription was introduced for younger women, but it included working in munitions factories or civil defence as well as actually going into the forces.

I'm not sure what the rules were about people in further education. I'm pretty sure that medical students were exempt, but I doubt that people like Robin who were doing degrees in anything which wasn't of relevance to the war effort would have been exempt. Teaching was a reserved occupation, although I'm not 100% sure if that covered people going into teaching as well as existing teachers: I certainly find it very odd that Hilary Burn, who'd been involved in the escape from Spartz, joined the CS as a teacher in the middle of the War, rather than going into a war-related occupation.

Madge and Joey would have been exempt as they both had young children, but - sorry, I know I keep harping on about this! - I find it totally contrary to Madge's character that she didn't, as far as we know, get involved in doing something like organising a sewing or knitting circle. I think the WVS would've been right up Madge's street: I would think that it was more active in urban areas, but there'd still've been plenty that she could've done - making bandages (IIRC Enid Sothern mentions this), collecting stuff for recycling, organising second-hand clothes schemes, that sort of thing.

Author:  Loryat [ Fri Mar 05, 2010 1:12 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: What if ...?

Maybe Madge and Joey were actually spending 90% of their time doing such things and EBD just assumed that the reader would realise that! :D

I always read the 'long grey scarf' that Madge is knitting in Goes to It was war knitting and it was only when I reread it recently that I wondered what service a long grey scarf would actually go to, and if it wasn't for a serviceman, what is the significance???

Author:  shesings [ Fri Mar 05, 2010 2:50 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: What if ...?

She could have been knitting it for someone bombed out of their home - or for some dashing young pilot at the airbase to keep him warm in his unheated Spitfire cockpit (WW2 pilots wore scarves of any colour someone would knit)!

It is highly likely that both Jo and Madge were involved in the war economy even if it was just knitting, saving paper, following Lord Wootton's recipes and doing the occasional turn at the harvest. EDB might well assume that this would be understood by her readers of the time.

Author:  Alison H [ Fri Mar 05, 2010 3:22 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: What if ...?

Robin and someone else (Daisy, or would she have been too young?) go hop-picking in one of the books. Armada cut it out of the pb :evil: .

Author:  RubyGates [ Fri Mar 05, 2010 3:32 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: What if ...?

So Robin isn't too delicate to go hop-picking? That's not like EBD to have such an inconsistency in her books. :)

Author:  Loryat [ Fri Mar 05, 2010 5:31 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: What if ...?

Hop picking?!?

I suppose the lower orders needed their beer... :D

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