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 Post subject: 2 books covering 1 term
PostPosted: 27 Apr 2020, 23:32 
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What do people think was the reason for splitting the hardbacks Lintons, New and Genius into 2? Was it because these were particularly long books? I know EBD was still alive at least when Genius was split as she wrote an extra chapter for 1 of the halves. EBDs last 2 books Althea and Prefects then cover 1 term between them. I think 2 books per term are excessive. Do people think it was the publishers idea to make more money?


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 Post subject: Re: 2 books covering 1 term
PostPosted: 28 Apr 2020, 07:37 
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It very possibly was to make more money, but the choices are odd because they're not even the longest books. The obvious one to split would be Exile, which falls naturally into two halves, yet they left that in one book. Princess is another one which falls naturally into two halves, one about Matron Webb and one about the kidnapping, but that wasn't split either, whereas making the Fete into a whole book on its own seems rather odd.

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 Post subject: Re: 2 books covering 1 term
PostPosted: 28 Apr 2020, 10:50 
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I don't think they even published the 2 halves at the same time, or even close, though
I'm not sure of that. I do wonder why the Armadas were published in such a strange order - can see why they initially left out all the "holiday" books, but it would have made much more sense to publish the school stories in order.


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 Post subject: Re: 2 books covering 1 term
PostPosted: 28 Apr 2020, 11:41 
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I think it says on the GGBP website that Clarissa (i believe!) used to work in children’s publishing and the reason why the holiday books were not published till late on was that it was believed they wouldn't be popular


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 Post subject: Re: 2 books covering 1 term
PostPosted: 28 Apr 2020, 14:33 
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In general the books that are split seem to have two fairly strong separate plots of equal length. (The exception is "United" which, although it is a "standalone" plot is very short. That's the only one that I felt was published to make money and it was published a long time after the its first half although, as it is quite significant in that the events are referred to elsewhere, I am glad they did choose to publish it.) Although they aren't the longest of the books by any means, they are the books that have sufficient plot to be able to be split like this. It's been talked about elsewhere about reducing the number of words to make the paperbacks fall into specific "pocket money" price ranges. By splitting the books, we did, at least, get the whole story .


Lintons/Rebel were published in consecutive years and Genuis/Fete were certainly planned as a pair.


Althea/Perfects are clearly two halves of the same book. There's a lot of padding that, if it were reduced to a single book, would have disappeared. I assume here that Chambers were desperate to get out their yearly CS book and chose to go with the material they had at the time.


Although Exile is very definitely a book of two halves, I wonder how practical splitting it would have been. The first half has very little "school" in it and also carries the (missing in paperback) chapter that's very adult in theme. At best it's an adventure story, not a school story and I can imagine the missing chapter was something that would not have been felt to be of much interest to the average 10 year old. The second half is a conventional wartime school story in many ways but somewhere along the line, you'ld have to explain the events of the first half because otherwise a lot of what goes on doesn't make much sense.


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 Post subject: Re: 2 books covering 1 term
PostPosted: 28 Apr 2020, 15:26 
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Head Girl could also have been split in half, with the second part starting with Cornelia’s arrival. I love the first part of Head Girl but even though Corney is one of my favourite characters, I just don’t enjoy the second half of the book.


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 Post subject: Re: 2 books covering 1 term
PostPosted: 28 Apr 2020, 18:25 
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I agree that having Althea and Prefects covering half a term each is excessive, and I know there's the suggestion that Prefects was finished by Phyllis Mathewman. If it were, then I wonder whether perhaps neither existed in totally finished form, and she could complete one in reasonable time but not both - or if they were one book, that the first half was complete (or almost so) and the second wasn't. I've always got the impression that EMBD wrote her chapters in random order at times... and perhaps sometimes worked on two books at once (Redheads and Adrienne, for example).


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 Post subject: Re: 2 books covering 1 term
PostPosted: 29 Apr 2020, 00:57 
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I agree that Exile is the obvious one to split into 2 halves. Thank goodness they didn’t as I think Exile is EBDs masterpiece. I actually hadn’t thought of Head Girl or Jo of as they both cover 2 terms. Again thank goodness they didn’t with either of these. I think the early books work much better with less books per school year in comparison to the later books with many more books per school year. I wonder if EBD hadn’t died when she did and had continued writing the CS whether her publishers would have wanted a book per half term.


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 Post subject: Re: 2 books covering 1 term
PostPosted: 29 Apr 2020, 11:33 
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I'd always assumed that Althea and Prefects being two books covering one term was because EBD did not have the faintest idea how she was going to carry on without the Triplets and so she was desperately spinning out their time at school. After all, they had already spent a whole year in the 3rd Year Sixth because "you three are needed here and you know it", to quote Miss Annersley at the beginning of Challenge. (How insulting to the no doubt perfectly capable people in the previous years Lower Sixth who were all deprived of their chance to lead the school because of it.) It is interesting that none of Josette or the Triplets went to St Mildreds. I wonder if she felt by then that it hadn't been such a good idea after all, since you have hardly any of the major characters after Mary Lou and co going on there.


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 Post subject: Re: 2 books covering 1 term
PostPosted: 29 Apr 2020, 12:53 
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It was a good idea when the main school was in the UK, especially for people like Peggy who weren't planning to go on to university or other further education, but it was a total waste of time for people like Mary-Lou. Maybe it would still have worked for people at the Carnbach branch, or other schools.

I'd have packed the triplets off there anyway, seeing as they were almost 19 by the end of Prefects and had been in the Seniors since they were 12 :roll: , and switched the focus on to Ailie's group.

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