Login   Register     FAQ    Members

View unanswered posts   View active topics


Board index .:|:. Slogging at Lessons :: Books .:|:. Special Sixth
It is currently 23 Aug 2017, 01:23

Forum rules


Please ensure that all posts are kept impersonal. Any posts involving an ad hominem attack will be edited or deleted. Please feel free to express your views, but expect that others may disagree with them. Please limit the use of the :oops: smiley as far as possible. Please do not PM another user to argue with them; if this happens, please can the recipient contact a mod. Language of gentlemen, chaps!



Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 73 posts ]  Go to page Previous  1, 2, 3, 4  Next
Author Message
 Post subject: Re: Books: Gay from China at the Chalet School
PostPosted: 20 May 2017, 00:47 
Offline
Going to tea at Freudesheim
Going to tea at Freudesheim
User avatar

Joined: 17 Oct 2004, 02:39
Posts: 143
Location: Connecticut, USA
Put me down as someone who thought Gay might be Chinese (likewise I was disappointed to discover that "A Chalet Girl from Kenya" wasn't actually African - in both cases, I think I was looking for a reprise of the Lilimani type story. (Of course, having read the series out of order, I also thought that the "Three Go" would be the triplets, but that's another story.)

Jacynth does make remarkable progress on the cello given her limited practice schedule.

Even though Gay doesn't always take center stage in the plot, it is her behind-the-scenes actions (getting the cello, arranging for visits to Auntie) that allow Jacynth to flourish. So that merits title credits.

And how do you pronounce Jacynth anyway? Jay-sinth? Jack-inth? I've always gone with the former, but then Jack Lambert is named for Jacynth...


Top | End
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Books: Gay from China at the Chalet School
PostPosted: 20 May 2017, 01:07 
Offline
Lost!
Lost!

Joined: 19 Sep 2011, 22:32
Posts: 745
ivohenry wrote:
Yes she did mean to write Gay's backstory - in fact she got at least as far as a list of chapter headings if not more, there was an article in the New Chalet Club newsletter about it some years ago, can't remember when, perhaps someone else who keeps their magazines in an orderly fashion (not me, in spite of being a librarian!) can find it and tell us more.


Thank you, Ivohenry!

I have the book of the newsletters, so I will have to prowl through :)


Top | End
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Books: Gay from China at the Chalet School
PostPosted: 20 May 2017, 03:33 
Offline
Learning to play Lacrosse
Learning to play Lacrosse
User avatar

Joined: 25 Feb 2007, 15:45
Posts: 463
Location: Australia
jennifer wrote:
I see the Jacynth and her aunt (and the Gays) as being more a case of reduced circumstances than being actually poor. They were born into a class where they could expect things like a private income, live in help, good boarding schools, and girls not having to go out and work. And they don't have that.


I think that's what EBD was trying to say - they were poor according to their class and circumstances. Not poor as in don't have enough to buy food.

Oh well, I suppose we just have to take what EBD says sometimes with a pinch of salt. :D

Pado wrote:
Put me down as someone who thought Gay might be Chinese (likewise I was disappointed to discover that "A Chalet Girl from Kenya" wasn't actually African - in both cases, I think I was looking for a reprise of the Lilimani type story. (Of course, having read the series out of order, I also thought that the "Three Go" would be the triplets, but that's another story.)


Do you think EBD would be bemused by us thinking that Gay and Jo would be anything otherwise than white and British? That it would never even have occurred to her that anyone would think "oh, Gay is Chinese" or "Jo must be an African girl."

I also thought Three Go was about the triplet's first term of school. But after my disappointment, it became one of my favourite books.

Quote:
And how do you pronounce Jacynth anyway? Jay-sinth? Jack-inth? I've always gone with the former, but then Jack Lambert is named for Jacynth...


I always thought it was Jack-inth mainly because years later it is shortened to Jack for Jack Lambert.

But I think in one of the books one of her friends calls her "Jass" so it could also be Jas-inth.

Cheers,
Joyce

_________________
It's fun to have fun, but you have to know how - Dr Seuss


Top | End
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Books: Gay from China at the Chalet School
PostPosted: 20 May 2017, 06:56 
Offline
Promising to do better
Promising to do better

Joined: 30 Jan 2004, 00:07
Posts: 766
Location: Taiwan
Jacynth appears to be an alternate spelling of Jacinth, pronounced with a short a or long a, short i sound, and a soft c. (I like the website behindthename.com for name stuff because it tends to be selective about posting actual name history rather than whatever random people on the internet think random combinations of syllables mean.)

I'm also amazed by Jacynth's cello prowess. She goes from bare beginner to famous enough to "already bringing laurels to the school both by her 'cello playing and her composition" in about six years, and two years after leaving the CS. At that stage of her career, even as a prodigy, I'd expect her to be studying hard and being identified as someone to watch in the future, not already established as a top performer.

Even with the CS specialization rules, I can't see taking a novice at an instrument, and putting them on a three hour a day practice schedule - it would take time to build up the muscles needed for sustained practice.

We have three musical geniuses at the school. Margia is already pretty advanced when she joins the school at age eleven, has lessons with Herr Anserl on a regular basis, specializes at fifteen, and leaves at 16 or 17 for advanced study. Nina is trained basically from birth, with the best of teachers and her life devoted to preparing for a performing career, spends two years at the CS specializing in music, then goes for specialized training at age 17. Jacynth starts music lessons at age 14, having no more background that probably some school or church singing, and manages to fit in time to be Head Girl before leaving at about age 18.

_________________


Ring the bells that still can ring; Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack in everything; That's how the light gets in
Anthem: Leonard Cohen



Top | End
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Books: Gay from China at the Chalet School
PostPosted: 20 May 2017, 11:32 
Offline
Having a say in the Sale theme
Having a say in the Sale theme
User avatar

Joined: 16 Jan 2004, 22:19
Posts: 3590
Location: Melbourne, Australia
I wonder if the help they had was rather different from the usual 'help' as I imagine Auntie would need help being cared for, moved in and out of bed and her wheelchair, bathe her and dress her, etc. Jacynth would likely not be strong enough lift and turn her, and would likely also struggle with washing the full bedding for both of them. Help might be less of a luxury than it might have been for other poor families in EBD's world.

_________________
The writer's credo: 'Sometimes you've got to sacrifice the things you like' (Delta Goodrem - Born To Try)


Top | End
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Books: Gay from China at the Chalet School
PostPosted: 20 May 2017, 11:36 
Offline
Checking the board for match fixtures
Checking the board for match fixtures
User avatar

Joined: 03 Jan 2010, 22:35
Posts: 1285
Location: Berkshire, England
Audrey25 wrote:
ivohenry wrote:
Yes she did mean to write Gay's backstory - in fact she got at least as far as a list of chapter headings if not more, there was an article in the New Chalet Club newsletter about it some years ago, can't remember when, perhaps someone else who keeps their magazines in an orderly fashion (not me, in spite of being a librarian!) can find it and tell us more.


Thank you, Ivohenry!

I have the book of the newsletters, so I will have to prowl through :)


Not EBD's Chalet Club newsletters - the New Chalet Club, a current fan club which produces regular magazines

see the website
http://ww2.newchaletclub.co.uk/

ETA - looking at index, think it's the article in NCC journal 25, 2001, More from Elinor's suitcase - a lost novel , or possibly the one before, no 24 about contents of the suitcase. Don't know where mine are, maybe someone else can track these issues down and check.


Top | End
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Books: Gay from China at the Chalet School
PostPosted: 20 May 2017, 16:16 
Offline
Lost!
Lost!

Joined: 19 Sep 2011, 22:32
Posts: 745
ivohenry wrote:
Audrey25 wrote:
ivohenry wrote:
Yes she did mean to write Gay's backstory - in fact she got at least as far as a list of chapter headings if not more, there was an article in the New Chalet Club newsletter about it some years ago, can't remember when, perhaps someone else who keeps their magazines in an orderly fashion (not me, in spite of being a librarian!) can find it and tell us more.


Thank you, Ivohenry!

I have the book of the newsletters, so I will have to prowl through :)


Not EBD's Chalet Club newsletters - the New Chalet Club, a current fan club which produces regular magazines

see the website
http://ww2.newchaletclub.co.uk/

ETA - looking at index, think it's the article in NCC journal 25, 2001, More from Elinor's suitcase - a lost novel , or possibly the one before, no 24 about contents of the suitcase. Don't know where mine are, maybe someone else can track these issues down and check.


Oh thank you! I am not a member of the New Chalet Club.

KBs point about the help which Jacynth's aunt had being more in a caring capacity is a good one. The aunt would certainly not have been able to do housework so in their case "help" was not a luxury.


Top | End
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Books: Gay from China at the Chalet School
PostPosted: 20 May 2017, 22:41 
Offline
Saying you only know three German words
User avatar

Joined: 13 Nov 2007, 16:52
Posts: 68
KB wrote:
I wonder if the help they had was rather different from the usual 'help' as I imagine Auntie would need help being cared for, moved in and out of bed and her wheelchair, bathe her and dress her, etc. Jacynth would likely not be strong enough lift and turn her, and would likely also struggle with washing the full bedding for both of them. Help might be less of a luxury than it might have been for other poor families in EBD's world.


This had never occurred to me, but has a good chance of being correct. My own mother is almost housebound (the sad result of a stroke) and while she is able to move about, if slowly and very carefully, and get inot and out of her wheelchair, I cannot lift her if she's had a fall. I'm small but fairly hefty. Jacynth, as a child, would not have been able to do any of that.


Top | End
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Books: Gay from China at the Chalet School
PostPosted: 21 May 2017, 03:03 
Offline
Learning to play Lacrosse
Learning to play Lacrosse
User avatar

Joined: 25 Feb 2007, 15:45
Posts: 463
Location: Australia
KB wrote:
I wonder if the help they had was rather different from the usual 'help' as I imagine Auntie would need help being cared for, moved in and out of bed and her wheelchair, bathe her and dress her, etc. Jacynth would likely not be strong enough lift and turn her, and would likely also struggle with washing the full bedding for both of them. Help might be less of a luxury than it might have been for other poor families in EBD's world.


I feel I am tempting fate by diving back into "poor but able to afford help" debate, but wouldn't that cost even more?

The line simply says "Mrs Herring came in daily to 'do' for them" so there's no real way of knowing whether she was a normal daily woman or one who was a necessity to provide more specialised help. And is Auntie in a wheelchair? We are told she hurt her back in a cycling accident but the extent of the injury is never laid out.

And doesn't EBD use this as a' 'sign' of their poverty? Readers should realise automatically that Auntie should be able to afford a live in housekeeper/helper rather than someone who just comes in daily. I remember when I lived in Hong Kong where domestic help is commonplace, the fact that I did not employ one was considered strange. Working professionals were simply expected to have one and not do the work themselves.

But in another section, when Jacynth goes through the book of "all the best schools", several are turned down because they are "cheap" supposedly in both senses of the word. Then why are they in the book?

Having that option is a luxury, and EBD make out that Jacynth and Auntie are poor because they can't afford Rhodean or Cheltenham College, and have to decide the school based on the CS's ability to offer a scholarship.

Again, I realise EBD had a very different conception of 'poor' and we shouldn't take her views too seriously but just enjoy her writing for what it is :D

Cheers,
Joyce

_________________
It's fun to have fun, but you have to know how - Dr Seuss


Last edited by Joyce on 21 May 2017, 10:56, edited 1 time in total.

Top | End
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Books: Gay from China at the Chalet School
PostPosted: 21 May 2017, 08:07 
Offline
Rescuing a Junior from the lake
Rescuing a Junior from the lake
User avatar

Joined: 15 Oct 2004, 13:57
Posts: 7104
Location: Manchester
The original question was about photos, and I think EBD was overdoing it by saying that Auntie couldn't afford to have her photo taken. By the 1940s, it was usual for everyone, except the very poorest, to have studio portraits taken on special occasions. If Jacynth had said she'd wanted a photo of Auntie, or of the two of them together, to take to school with her, I'm sure they could easily have afforded it, bearing in mind that they could afford private school fees. The comment that they couldn't seems to be overdoing it.

Interesting point about the music. EBD isn't the sort of author who makes out that someone can become a brilliant performer just like that - we hear all about how hard Nina and Margia have to work, and how a specialist music teacher comes in to teach Nina because the school doesn't have anyone who can cope with such a high level. Jacynth seems to become world class after a few coaching sessions with Gay. And there's no way that Margia or Nina would have been Head Girl, because they wouldn't have had the time. Even Natalie Mensch, who isn't in the same league, never becomes a prefect because she's specialising in music.

_________________
We really must stop eating like this ...

Minds are like parachutes - they only function when open.

http://setinthepast.wordpress.com/




Top | End
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Books: Gay from China at the Chalet School
PostPosted: 21 May 2017, 10:07 
Offline
Learning to play Lacrosse
Learning to play Lacrosse
User avatar

Joined: 25 Feb 2007, 15:45
Posts: 463
Location: Australia
Just one more question and I'll leave the 'poor' thing alone - but just how did people get a 'private income' in EBD's day.

I assume she did not mean trust fund, but was this money from an inheritance that is invested? So they are living off the dividends from the inheritance? Could it have been an insurance payout of some sort?

Cheers,
Joyce

_________________
It's fun to have fun, but you have to know how - Dr Seuss


Top | End
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Books: Gay from China at the Chalet School
PostPosted: 21 May 2017, 10:37 
Offline
Rescuing a Junior from the lake
Rescuing a Junior from the lake
User avatar

Joined: 15 Oct 2004, 13:57
Posts: 7104
Location: Manchester
Sometimes it would be rental income. With Auntie, it was probably interest and dividends from an inheritance that was invested, yes. You'd think that there would have been a death-in-service pension from Jacynth's dad - wasn't he lost at sea? - but I can't remember if there's any mention of that.

_________________
We really must stop eating like this ...

Minds are like parachutes - they only function when open.

http://setinthepast.wordpress.com/




Top | End
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Books: Gay from China at the Chalet School
PostPosted: 21 May 2017, 13:00 
Offline
Checking the board for match fixtures
Checking the board for match fixtures
User avatar

Joined: 03 Jan 2010, 22:35
Posts: 1285
Location: Berkshire, England
The question of Auntie and Jacynth being "poor" gets a mention in Mystery of the CS. Dorcas is talikng to Gay, Gill and Jacynth about going to the pictures and Jacynth says they couldn't afford it. Dorcas later asks the other two about this, saying the CS isn't a cheap school, so what did she mean? Gill says

"you mightn't want to waste money on movies but would do a lot to give your girl a decent education"


Top | End
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Books: Gay from China at the Chalet School
PostPosted: 21 May 2017, 15:40 
Offline
Taking the train home
Taking the train home
User avatar

Joined: 13 Aug 2009, 18:41
Posts: 2600
Location: Czech Republic and Herts UK
ivohenry wrote:
Gill says

"you mightn't want to waste money on movies but would do a lot to give your girl a decent education"

Precisely.

I think they wouldn't have taken Jacynth at Cheltenham College - that's where the male of the species went :D

I still don't agree on the poor front. They just had a daily in a time when a live-in maid was still relatively normal, certainly for anyone who regarded a private education as important.

Being poor is relative, not absolute. And from our modern perspective not easy to evaluate either.

_________________
Cestina's dolls houses - "But there's never a rose like you..."


Top | End
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Books: Gay from China at the Chalet School
PostPosted: 21 May 2017, 16:50 
Offline
Playing end of term games
Playing end of term games
User avatar

Joined: 21 Jul 2012, 16:53
Posts: 2508
Location: West London Alps
This is also why it was supposed to be so frightfully modern of schools in early 20th century girls' fiction to have Domestic Science on the curriculum. Yes, you were supposed to know how to do things in theory, so that you could instruct your staff and make sure they were working properly, but so many pupils' families would have had at least some domestic staff that it wasn't considered likely that you would have to actually, you know, really cook a main meal, sweep the floor, or clean/ polish the furniture for yourself. And this is the sort of circumstance in which Elinor herself grew up - Rosalie going to make cakes for afternoon tea or Simone dusting the furniture on holiday is about as strenuous as it got.


Top | End
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Books: Gay from China at the Chalet School
PostPosted: 21 May 2017, 17:17 
Offline
Going to tea at Freudesheim
Going to tea at Freudesheim
User avatar

Joined: 03 May 2008, 15:51
Posts: 141
Location: London
Alison H wrote:
Sometimes it would be rental income. With Auntie, it was probably interest and dividends from an inheritance that was invested, yes. You'd think that there would have been a death-in-service pension from Jacynth's dad - wasn't he lost at sea? - but I can't remember if there's any mention of that.


Do we know if he was RN or Merchant Service? My maternal grandfather was lost at sea sometime in the mid-1920s - before 1926 anyway. He was with an Australian line and there was a little money until my mother reached school-leaving age (14 in those days). because J's mother died when she was born, I'm not sure whether J would have had any cash or, indeed, if all companies had the same rules. Hope this is helpful.

_________________
"Lack of planning on your part does not necessarily mean an emergency on mine"

"Association does not infer causality"


Top | End
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Books: Gay from China at the Chalet School
PostPosted: 22 May 2017, 01:18 
Offline
Learning to play Lacrosse
Learning to play Lacrosse
User avatar

Joined: 25 Feb 2007, 15:45
Posts: 463
Location: Australia
cestina wrote:
I think they wouldn't have taken Jacynth at Cheltenham College - that's where the male of the species went :D


Well, the book has auntie saying she wishes Jacynth could be a Cheltenham College girl, and they are co-ed now, so maybe Auntie was very ahead of her times! :D

Interesting though - maybe it's a completely different school EBD had in mind?

cestina wrote:
ivohenry wrote:
Gill says

"you mightn't want to waste money on movies but would do a lot to give your girl a decent education"

Precisely.


I think we are just going to have to agree to disagree.

To me, this is simply another example of EBD overegging the pot, along with the 'we can't afford a photo' comment.

Gill's comment is probably more accurate of the situation when she says it was a CHOICE not to go to the movies rather than Auntie was unable to afford it (even just once!), and there is a very different connotation attached. But you get the feeling Jacynth was constantly told 'we can't afford it' till she imbibed that attitude herself.

Alison H wrote:
Jacynth seems to become world class after a few coaching sessions with Gay. And there's no way that Margia or Nina would have been Head Girl, because they wouldn't have had the time. Even Natalie Mensch, who isn't in the same league, never becomes a prefect because she's specialising in music.


What happens to Jacynth after school? Where does she continue her musical training?

cheers,
Joyce

_________________
It's fun to have fun, but you have to know how - Dr Seuss


Top | End
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Books: Gay from China at the Chalet School
PostPosted: 22 May 2017, 07:00 
Offline
Rescuing a Junior from the lake
Rescuing a Junior from the lake
User avatar

Joined: 15 Oct 2004, 13:57
Posts: 7104
Location: Manchester
I don't think we're ever told. After Gay and Jacynth leave school, the next we hear of them is when Jack and Anne arrive at the school, and Jack tells Len that Jacynth is a professional cellist. Was Herr Anserl's scholarship for music? The CS scholarships seem to change to suit the storylines :lol:, but I've an idea that Jacynth was awarded that.

Changing the subject, what about Miss Wilson in this book? There's that lovely scene in which she talks about how the accident's made her realise how much Hilda means to her. But it annoys me so much that Joey guilt-trips her into rushing back to work. It's so inconsiderate. Nell is not a malingerer: had she been ready to return to work, she'd have done so.

_________________
We really must stop eating like this ...

Minds are like parachutes - they only function when open.

http://setinthepast.wordpress.com/




Top | End
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Books: Gay from China at the Chalet School
PostPosted: 22 May 2017, 08:55 
Offline
Remove to Inter V
Remove to Inter V
User avatar

Joined: 21 Oct 2014, 13:26
Posts: 404
Joyce wrote:
KB wrote:
I wonder if the help they had was rather different from the usual 'help' as I imagine Auntie would need help being cared for, moved in and out of bed and her wheelchair, bathe her and dress her, etc. Jacynth would likely not be strong enough lift and turn her, and would likely also struggle with washing the full bedding for both of them. Help might be less of a luxury than it might have been for other poor families in EBD's world.


I feel I am tempting fate by diving back into "poor but able to afford help" debate, but wouldn't that cost even more?

The line simply says "Mrs Herring came in daily to 'do' for them" so there's no real way of knowing whether she was a normal daily woman or one who was a necessity to provide more specialised help. And is Auntie in a wheelchair? We are told she hurt her back in a cycling accident but the extent of the injury is never laid out.

And doesn't EBD use this as a' 'sign' of their poverty? Readers should realise automatically that Auntie should be able to afford a live in housekeeper/helper rather than someone who just comes in daily. I remember when I lived in Hong Kong where domestic help is commonplace, the fact that I did not employ one was considered strange. Working professionals were simply expected to have one and not do the work themselves.

But in another section, when Jacynth goes through the book of "all the best schools", several are turned down because they are "cheap" supposedly in both senses of the word. Then why are they in the book?

Having that option is a luxury, and EBD make out that Jacynth and Auntie are poor because they can't afford Rhodean or Cheltenham College, and have to decide the school based on the CS's ability to offer a scholarship.

Again, I realise EBD had a very different conception of 'poor' and we shouldn't take her views too seriously but just enjoy her writing for what it is :D

Cheers,
Joyce


This is how I understand it as well. Auntie would have grown up at a time when middle class families would have had a live in maid and possibly a cook as well. So for them, just having a daily coming in for a few hours a week would have been a come down.


Top | End
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Books: Gay from China at the Chalet School
PostPosted: 22 May 2017, 09:27 
Offline
Presenting your school report
Presenting your school report
User avatar

Joined: 06 Nov 2007, 17:50
Posts: 2672
Location: in a world of her own
Cheltenham College was indeed a boys only school but there was also Cheltenham Ladies' College, which was very prestigious and one of the earliest [along with North London Collegiate - so mid 19th-century] schools that promised a fully academic schooling for girls, as opposed to the 'a little music, a little French, deportment, and polite conversation' approach of many contemporary girls' schools. So EBD would expect people to understand that it was the Ladies' College she was referring to.

_________________
to be nobody but yourself - in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make you everybody else - means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight; and never stop fighting.
e.e.cummings
http://stitchwords.blogspot.co.uk


Top | End
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 73 posts ]  Go to page Previous  1, 2, 3, 4  Next

Board index .:|:. Slogging at Lessons :: Books .:|:. Special Sixth
It is currently 23 Aug 2017, 01:23

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum

Jump to:  
cron
Powered by phpBB © 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007 phpBB Group