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 Post subject: Plas Howell/ Glendower House
PostPosted: 08 Aug 2020, 09:16 
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I just re-read Carola and it mentions that the Madge has bought Plas Howell outright from Ernest Howell. Yet when the school goes to Switzerland, I believe the remainder of the school is staying on at Carnbach. Have I missed something? Where is the English branch of the CS?

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 Post subject: Re: Plas Howell/ Glendower House
PostPosted: 08 Aug 2020, 10:49 
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I think EBD must have completely forgotten that Madge had bought Plas Howell because, later on, Ernest sells it to an order of nuns, to be used as a convent and a care home.

It was decided at some point - possibly in Peggy? - that the Juniors should be at Carnbach, the nearest mainland town to St Briavel's (actually Wales rather than England :D ), either because of space or so that they'd be nearer to the amenities in case of problems. I assume the Juniors must have gone back to Plas Howell with the others, when the school left St Briavel's, but maybe they decided to re-rent the property in Carnbach rather than have the hassle of looking for yet another new location.

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 Post subject: Re: Plas Howell/ Glendower House
PostPosted: 09 Aug 2020, 06:11 
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Ahh thank you. So really either Carnbach or Plas Howell could be the canon location... Hmmm.

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 Post subject: Re: Plas Howell/ Glendower House
PostPosted: 09 Aug 2020, 12:39 
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Did they ever go back to Plas Howell? Original intention was to do so, but my memory is that the English branch was at Carnbach, called Glendower Hose though at least once called Pelham House. Don't remember any reference to them going back to Plas Howell before settling at Carnbach.


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 Post subject: Re: Plas Howell/ Glendower House
PostPosted: 09 Aug 2020, 14:50 
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They do not return to Plas Howell.

The matter is covered in "Changes" where Ernest Howell is learnt to have sold Plas Howell so that the School cannot return there.

"What will happen to those of us who don't go to Switzerland?" [Tom] asked bluntly.
We are buying Glendower House where St Agnes' now is, and Miss Edwards will stay on Carnbach to take charge of it" (Changes, Chapter III "Future Destinations" p40 in hb)

so the "English" branch is definitely at Carnbach.


As to the discrepancy between Plas Howell being bought by Madge in Carola and it being sold elsewhere in Changes, I would suggest that Madge wanted to buy Plas Howell but was unable to get a mortgage because of the ongoing work on the drains. By the time the work was finished, the plan to go to Switzerland was firmly underway so acquiring Plas Howell no longer seemed such a good idea. As anyone who has ever tried to sell a house knows, there's a difference between "we've sold the house" and the sale actually being completed...


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 Post subject: Re: Plas Howell/ Glendower House
PostPosted: 10 Aug 2020, 16:56 
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Thanks! I think it's a shame in a way though. The British branch doesn't really feel real to me, in a way I think it would of if it went back to Plas Howell or stayed at the Big House--locations we are familiar with from a number of books.

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 Post subject: Re: Plas Howell/ Glendower House
PostPosted: 10 Aug 2020, 22:01 
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I'm never sure what the point of Glendower House was in the first place. It just complicated things for no reason. Why move the juniors off St Briavel's, to a new location which we never even saw?

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 Post subject: Re: Plas Howell/ Glendower House
PostPosted: 11 Aug 2020, 17:52 
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Alison H wrote:
I'm never sure what the point of Glendower House was in the first place. It just complicated things for no reason. Why move the juniors off St Briavel's, to a new location which we never even saw?



There's in-universe logic for Glendower House. The Big House is represented as being much smaller than Plas Howell and so very much more crowded. Moving a chunk of the School to another house would alleviate that over-crowding and the "Junior School" was likely to be relatively self-contained in terms of teaching staff. Even being on the mainland might be seen to be sensible if the CS was hoping, perhaps, to pick up day pupils for the kindergarten. The CS took boys at the bottom end of the school when they were on Guernsey, doing so again would have been a solution to Stephen attending the village school...


What makes less sense is taking a house that appears to have been excessively oversized for the number of pupils concerned although that turned out to be very fortunate in the end!


I wonder whether EBD did consider looking at Glendower as she did with a finishing branch? The Little Missus is clearly aimed at a younger-than-normal audience, and Three concentrated on younger pupils than the 12-14 year olds of the other books. Perhaps the books about the junior school were stillborn in the same way as the finishing school was abandoned.


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 Post subject: Re: Plas Howell/ Glendower House
PostPosted: 11 Aug 2020, 19:16 
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It might have been a good idea. The average reading age for school stories does seem to have been lower by the 1950s than when the CS started, and I think EBD did a great job of writing about Juniors in both Three Go and Bride.

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