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 Post subject: Re: Books: Carola Storms the Chalet School
PostPosted: 17 May 2020, 11:24 
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jennifer wrote:
For students with parents stationed in India, having their kids in boarding school in Austria might not be all that practical. They'd likely head back to the UK on furlough, where the rest of their families were, and it would be easier for the kids to be in the same country. And non UK people wouldn't have that national connection with India.

Artists who travelled a lot around Europe, and business people with European interests would be more logical for the CS in its European locations.

There's an awful lot of guardian aunts around this period too - Lavender, Jacynth, Annis, Carola and Katherine all have single aunts as guardians. And the McDonald twins, Gay and Gillian all have elder siblings are either legal or local guardians.

What's the parent situation? Off the top of my head:
- McDonalds: dead
- Lavender: dead
- Jacynth: dead
- Annis: mum dead, dad MIA but comes back
- Carola: parents working in Nigeria
- Kat: parents working in China, temporarily imprisoned

Re parents abroad, you've also got the war making travel more difficult. Isn't that why Mollie and Dick are stuck in India for ages?

Maybe all the dead parents are a bit OTT but I get the working abroad part. My mum was a day pupil but she knew people at her school who were boarders because their parents were living and/or working abroad, Kenya and such. This was in the '60s. My maternal grandparents lived in Sierra Leone for a bit in the '50s - one of my aunties, my mum's older sister, was born there - because my grandad's firm sent him out there, though they moved back to England eventually cos my gran hated it and I think she and/or my auntie got ill.


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 Post subject: Re: Books: Carola Storms the Chalet School
PostPosted: 17 May 2020, 16:18 
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The dead parents are a bit OTT, especially the number of people orphaned as babies, and not even by the war. But a boarding school is bound to have a lot of pupils with parents working abroad, as you say.

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 Post subject: Re: Books: Carola Storms the Chalet School
PostPosted: 17 May 2020, 19:55 
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EBD really did like killing off people's parents in freak accidents and things like that, ie the McNabs' parents dying in a thunderstorm in South Africa or Clem's parents dying in a yacht accident. The Lost Staircase has a massive body count. At least Carola still has parents, even if her clueless dad doesn't know how old she is!


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 Post subject: Re: Books: Carola Storms the Chalet School
PostPosted: 18 May 2020, 12:57 
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I thought Clem's parents died in a plane crash and Gwensi's in a yachting accident? Still EMBD being a bit lethal, though! But she's not alone - ever tried totting up the deaths in Joan Aiken's 'Wolves' series?


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 Post subject: Re: Books: Carola Storms the Chalet School
PostPosted: 18 May 2020, 14:32 
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Noreen wrote:
I thought Clem's parents died in a plane crash and Gwensi's in a yachting accident? Still EMBD being a bit lethal, though! But she's not alone - ever tried totting up the deaths in Joan Aiken's 'Wolves' series?

Just checked the Encyclopedia - both sets of parents in yachting accidents. At least Nigel Willoughby doesn't get the same treatment. :D


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 Post subject: Re: Books: Carola Storms the Chalet School
PostPosted: 18 May 2020, 15:45 
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Interesting that EBD has so many parents dying, but none in the next generation, we see most of the main characters into their 40s/50s, with children up to early 20s, while most of the older generation had been orphaned in early childhood. I suppose she could kill off those we never get to know, but not those we do know (except Margot Venables)

EJO does the same, most of the Abbey folk are orphans fairly early on - though Jen's parents die when she's about 20 and Joan is about 25 when her mother dies.


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 Post subject: Re: Books: Carola Storms the Chalet School
PostPosted: 18 May 2020, 15:57 
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There's Elisaveta's husband, but he's more a School by the River character than a CS character.

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 Post subject: Re: Books: Carola Storms the Chalet School
PostPosted: 19 May 2020, 08:18 
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My father worked for the Foreign Office, and one of the reasons why he resigned was so his children wouldn't have to go to boarding school (my elder sister was of the 'right' age when he left). He'd had four overseas postings in the 1960's, the last one being Nigeria, at the time of the Biafran war.


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 Post subject: Re: Books: Carola Storms the Chalet School
PostPosted: 19 May 2020, 18:48 
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bythebrook wrote:
My father worked for the Foreign Office, and one of the reasons why he resigned was so his children wouldn't have to go to boarding school (my elder sister was of the 'right' age when he left). He'd had four overseas postings in the 1960's, the last one being Nigeria, at the time of the Biafran war.


"I've taken my children to the heart of the Biafran war, but I'm damned if they're going to suffer boarding school."


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 Post subject: Re: Books: Carola Storms the Chalet School
PostPosted: 20 May 2020, 01:22 
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Lotte wrote:
What's the parent situation? Off the top of my head:
- McDonalds: dead
- Lavender: dead
- Jacynth: dead
- Annis: mum dead, dad MIA but comes back
- Carola: parents working in Nigeria
- Kat: parents working in China, temporarily imprisoned


And it's not just the parents - there's an added layer of complication so that their legal/local guardians can't look after them.

- McDonalds: parents dead, older brothers in the military, home island commandeered by the military, sister called into service.
- Lavender: parents dead, aunt called into service.
- Jacynth: parents dead, aunt seriously ill
- Annis: mother dead, father lost at sea, aunt vetoed the family she used to live with, but doesn't want Annis herself.
- Carola: parents abroad, Carola runs away and then her aunt doesn't want her.
- Kat: parents abroad, aunt travels a lot, so Kat is being sent to boarding school for a more regular education (the most logical of the bunch, actually).

EJO is pretty extreme. I made a list for the Abbey series, and almost every major or minor character loses their parents (and often other guardians as well) by their early twenties, other than children of main characters. I think in part it was plot related - it lets a bunch of young women in their late teens or early twenties be completely independent from parental oversight, in an era where a well to do young women of 20 or so would be expected to live at home under parental authority without a good reason otherwise. Major characters who are still minors have a guardian who is not very parent-like; an older sibling, or staying with friends, while the parents who are still alive are either abroad, or ineffective (like Mrs Shirley).

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 Post subject: Re: Books: Carola Storms the Chalet School
PostPosted: 20 May 2020, 07:42 
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The service thing is ridiculous. I know it's a plot device, but Shiena McDonald and Sylvia Leigh, as sole carers for children, would never have been sent into the Armed Forces. What would have happened to the children if they hadn't been able to afford boarding school? As the twins were under 14, Shiena, in loco parentis, would have been exempt, although the majority of mothers volunteered to do war work anyway. Miss Leigh would have been directed to do local war work in a factory or office.

I know I always say this, but it annoys me :lol: . In Highland Twins, Robin starts muttering about Joey being directed to do war work. The War Office was not in the habit of conscripting women with three children under the age of 4!!

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 Post subject: Re: Books: Carola Storms the Chalet School
PostPosted: 20 May 2020, 13:38 
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Miles wrote:
"I've taken my children to the heart of the Biafran war, but I'm damned if they're going to suffer boarding school."


:D Not quite, we were evacuated back to the UK at the start of the war. But Dad was there for a while, until he became ill with appendicitis.

My parents were working-class, but grammar-school educated. Nobody on either side of the family had ever been to boarding school.


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 Post subject: Re: Books: Carola Storms the Chalet School
PostPosted: 24 May 2020, 22:54 
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Alison H wrote:
There's Elisaveta's husband, but he's more a School by the River character than a CS character.

And his father, if you remember, died saving a kitten in a flood.


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 Post subject: Re: Books: Carola Storms the Chalet School
PostPosted: 27 May 2020, 19:25 
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I find it hilarious how artists in EBD's books always get bitten by the travel bug. My mum's one (which is keeping her very busy during lockdown) - we haven't travelled all over the world, but she does get itchy feet and gets bored with being in the same house for too long. Must be that artistic temperament. :lol: The Barras kids, Adrienne and Kat Gordon all move around a lot because of their artist parents/aunts. Tim Keith in the Antonia Forest books did as well, I seem to remember. What was the reason, did they always want a change of scenery?


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 Post subject: Re: Books: Carola Storms the Chalet School
PostPosted: 27 May 2020, 21:05 
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Wanting something fresh to draw/ paint, I suppose - that's what Clem suggests at one point, anyway.

SLOC's closest friend was an artist who loved to travel - his kids went too when he and his wife visited the USSR (as it then was) and groused for ever after because they were too young to remember any of it, which I expect was the case with Clem and Tony, too.


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 Post subject: Re: Books: Carola Storms the Chalet School
PostPosted: 27 May 2020, 23:04 
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Tim says that as well, something about her dad always wanting something new to paint.


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