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 Post subject: Re: Books: Eustacia Goes to the Chalet School
PostPosted: 09 May 2018, 02:05 
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Mel wrote:
I often wonder what Eustacia's behaviour had been in her own home. Where did she learn to be so disdainful?


I think her snobbishness and disdainful behaviour was partly because she was tossed into a new home and school environment and she had no idea how to deal with it.

She was being told that everything she believed and was taught was incorrect, so, in modern terms, she acted out.

Audrey25 wrote:
When Bessie looks after the three young Maynards, Len still feels the need to go over to check that Bessie is coping. Caring or interfering? I guess it could be interpreted either way.


I thought Bessie was just taking care of them in terms of playing with them and keeping them entertained, rather than what Rosa had to do in her day to day work of looking after them.

So what Len was doing was seeing if Bessie was sick of the kids yet and wanted to hand them back :D

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 Post subject: Re: Books: Eustacia Goes to the Chalet School
PostPosted: 10 May 2018, 00:21 
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Sorry I cannot quote, but it was evening and the children were sleeping in Stacie's quarters. Bessie was not having to entertain them.

If she was not thought capable of looking after the children, she should not have been given the job.

I am sure she would have been given instructions on what to do if she ran into difficulties.

If I had been in her position and 17 year old Len had appeared, I would not have been pleased.


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 Post subject: Re: Books: Eustacia Goes to the Chalet School
PostPosted: 10 May 2018, 10:13 
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The relevant bits from Adrienne:

Quote:
“Where are Cecil and the babies?” Heather Clayton asked Margot as that young woman replenished her glass with Anna’s delicious orange squash.

“Over in Aunt Stacie’s wing,” Margot replied. “She told Mum to park them there for the occasion and Bessie, her old maid, is keeping an eye on them. Bessie adores those three.”

“Then why isn’t Dr Benson here?” Heather demanded.

“Because she’s in London, giving a series of lectures on Aeschylus,” Len, who had finally filled her own glass and now came to sit down for a minute or two, told her. “She was mad when she found that she’d be missing this party, but it couldn’t be helped. As for the kids they’re all right. I popped in after I’d changed just to make sure and they were sleeping like logs, all three of them, bless them!”


Quote:
Ailie chuckled and made room for her little cousin. “Everyone OK?” she inquired. “When did you get the babies back?”

“After the party was over,” Felicity replied. “The girls went and carried them back and tucked them up in their own beds.” She gave a gurgle. “Were they surprised when they woke up this morning! ’Specially Cecil!”


It's hard to know if Bessie had to bathe and bed them, or just keep an eye on them in case they woke up.

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 Post subject: Re: Books: Eustacia Goes to the Chalet School
PostPosted: 10 May 2018, 15:55 
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That seems to me to be a perfectly legitimate act on Len's part for her own peace of mind. She isn't casting aspersions on Betty's ability to care for them at all. At least not as I read it.

Len seems to get bashed almost as much as Joey sometimes!

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 Post subject: Re: Books: Eustacia Goes to the Chalet School
PostPosted: 12 May 2018, 02:34 
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Cestina, I am just not a fan of Len and never have been. When I started reading the books there were still a few still to be published. I was in my teens and to some extent Len spoilt them for me because she was perfect and therefore totally unrealistic.

I love some of the other characters but not Len. On the other hand I appreciate others love her and that's fine too!


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 Post subject: Re: Books: Eustacia Goes to the Chalet School
PostPosted: 12 May 2018, 03:07 
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KB wrote:
It's hard to know if Bessie had to bathe and bed them, or just keep an eye on them in case they woke up.


It sounds as if Bessie is just baby sitting for a few hours while the party is on. The kids were probably fed and bathed beforehand and then they are taken back to their proper beds later on.

cestina wrote:
That seems to me to be a perfectly legitimate act on Len's part for her own peace of mind.


Yeah, she just pops in says "how are things going?" to Bessie, takes a look at the kids and leaves.

It's a bit weird that it's the eldest sister and not the mother who does it. But Joey is the party hostess so maybe she was too busy and Len decided to do it.

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 Post subject: Re: Books: Eustacia Goes to the Chalet School
PostPosted: 12 May 2018, 07:04 
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I think Len's just a more anxious person. Joey would probably have assumed that the kids were fine with Bessie, whereas Len would have been worrying that being with someone different might have unsettled them.

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 Post subject: Re: Books: Eustacia Goes to the Chalet School
PostPosted: 12 May 2018, 11:30 
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I got to the end of Eustacia nearly boiling with indignation at how badly Eustacia was treated - there's so much that it's hard to pick out what incidents I hated the most, though Con Stewart taking out her toothache on her students is certainly up there with the worst, and Margia Stevens was a worm to have told her what she did.
But I had the wonderful experience of finding in the archives here a novella which very nearly set things straight - The Senior Mistress, by Lesley ( http://www.the-cbb.co.uk/board/archive/files/ST_senior_mistress_080907.htm.

Are you still around, Lesley? It was like cold water on a hot day - thank you so much for writing it! Much admiration!
I loved that the terrible wrongdoings and blunders of the staff were addressed, and that there was recognition of how badly Eustacia was treated by everybody. Oh, and the stone that Miss Wilson turned her ankle on! I hated that in the whole rest of the book no-one mentioned this as a factor in the accident - come on, Miss Wilson, I was mentally saying for the last chapters, set the record straight!


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 Post subject: Re: Books: Eustacia Goes to the Chalet School
PostPosted: 12 May 2018, 16:29 
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That whole incident is a real House That Jack Built thing. Eustacia pulled away from Jo, so that makes her responsible for Miss Wilson's accident, the fact that the whole party then gets stranded (as if the bad weather was her fault), and, two years later, Robin's health problems! All she did was pull away when someone she disliked tried to touch her!

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 Post subject: Re: Books: Eustacia Goes to the Chalet School
PostPosted: 13 May 2018, 12:39 
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Quote:
Oh, and the stone that Miss Wilson turned her ankle on! I hated that in the whole rest of the book no-one mentioned this as a factor in the accident - come on, Miss Wilson, I was mentally saying for the last chapters, set the record straight!


I agree that that should have been mentioned, but in fairness to Miss Wilson she was probably overwhelmed with the immediate pain, and may not have had a very clear memory of exactly what had happened, especially since she fainted almost immediatly afterwards. She would probably remember losing her balance and falling, but not the details of what happened. No one else would have seen to stone in the snow, and we only know about it because of the authorial voice that tells us so.

One can actually wonder why EBD put the stone in. Maybe she felt that a jerk fom Eustacia would not have been enough for Miss Wilson to lose her balance if the stone had not already caused her to be unstable for the moment.

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 Post subject: Re: Books: Eustacia Goes to the Chalet School
PostPosted: 14 May 2018, 05:48 
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Alison H wrote:
That whole incident is a real House That Jack Built thing.


That's putting it mildly. It took ages for me to sort out in what possible way it is Stacie's fault. And the ties are nebulous at best.

And poor Stacie is given such a guilt complex over it, that years later in Reunion, she says she never forgave herself. And clearly still hadn't. Miss Wilson says to her "forgive yourself now and be done with it!"

But that basically made it sound like it's Stacie's issue that she still has a hang up over it.

Whereas she should have said "it was never your fault. I slipped on a stone in a snowstorm and you should never have been made to feel that what happened was your fault."

And say it loud and clear in FRONT of Joey who did more than her fair share of making Stacie feel terrible over it.

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Last edited by Joyce on 14 May 2018, 10:40, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Books: Eustacia Goes to the Chalet School
PostPosted: 14 May 2018, 09:23 
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Madge does point out - in And Jo - that Joey shouldn't be blaming Stacie, but the whole Robin storyline's rather melodramatic anyway. Everyone, including the doctors, insists that Robin's health has been "put back a year" by the worry over Joey and the others not returning to the guesthouse. OK, it must have been worrying, but it was one night, and surely Anne and Frau Whatever must have assured her that they'd have taken shelter. And no-one seemed to be worried about the possible effects on Robin's health of seeing Joey on her presumed deathbed, in Rivals.

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 Post subject: Re: Books: Eustacia Goes to the Chalet School
PostPosted: 14 May 2018, 10:50 
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Alison H wrote:
Madge does point out - in And Jo - that Joey shouldn't be blaming Stacie,


She does, but unfortunately Madge's words don't have much impact on Joey as she says quite bluntly and angrily to Marie that she will definitely blame Stacie if Robin dies.

I know once Robin is better, Joey comes to her senses and tells Stacie that Robin's illness was not her fault. But she still does not say "oh and by the way, the snowstorm and Miss Wilson's accident was not your fault either."

But Con Stewart also blamed Stacie right in front of the other girls before they knew the whole story. So I doubt that helped.

Quote:
OK, it must have been worrying, but it was one night, and surely Anne and Frau Whatever must have assured her that they'd have taken shelter.


Anne apparently freaked out and cried which would not have had a good impact on Robin.

And yes, you would think she and Robin would have the sense to realise the group would find shelter somewhere and they will turn up the following day.

And Robin should not even have been on the trip. The other juniors aren't there, she is too weak to go on any walks or trips and special arrangements to look after her need to be made.

Basically she is there because Joey wants her there, so Joey should have been there to take care of her.

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Last edited by Joyce on 15 May 2018, 02:01, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Books: Eustacia Goes to the Chalet School
PostPosted: 14 May 2018, 12:14 
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Poor Anne always gets it in the neck. She very kindly offered to stay with Robin so that Jo could see the glacier. Jo lives in Tyrol and could have gone another time. Also Robin doesn't know Anne very well. I agree that Robin should not have been on the trip. I don't know why EBD had to pile on Eustacia's disasters quite so thickly. Nearly causing the death of The Robin must be the most heinous crime of all.


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 Post subject: Re: Books: Eustacia Goes to the Chalet School
PostPosted: 14 May 2018, 14:49 
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As I've said before, I've got a soft spot for this book because it was the first CS book I ever read, but there's something very unsatisfactory about everyone's attitudes. Why should Anne have had to miss seeing the glacier? How on earth was it Eustacia's fault that the weather took a turn for the worse and Robin was stressed? Why did Miss Wilson think it was appropriate to tell Eustacia that she'd have been thrashed by a classmate if she'd been a boy?! And to blame Jo for Eustacia running away? How could anyone have thought it was OK to call a school council for everyone to slag off one person?

It was early days, and I think they were really struggling without Madge and Gisela to lead the way, but there was still something about this book. Maybe EBD had been reading a lot of older books just before she wrote it: Eustacia having to lie flat for months after her injury is definitely very Susan Coolidge, and older books do tend to be more melodramatic.

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 Post subject: Re: Books: Eustacia Goes to the Chalet School
PostPosted: 15 May 2018, 06:36 
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Housemate wrote:
I got to the end of Eustacia nearly boiling with indignation at how badly Eustacia was treated - there's so much that it's hard to pick out what incidents I hated the most, though Con Stewart taking out her toothache on her students is certainly up there with the worst, and Margia Stevens was a worm to have told her what she did.
But I had the wonderful experience of finding in the archives here a novella which very nearly set things straight - The Senior Mistress, by Lesley ( http://www.the-cbb.co.uk/board/archive/files/ST_senior_mistress_080907.htm.

Are you still around, Lesley? It was like cold water on a hot day - thank you so much for writing it! Much admiration!
I loved that the terrible wrongdoings and blunders of the staff were addressed, and that there was recognition of how badly Eustacia was treated by everybody. Oh, and the stone that Miss Wilson turned her ankle on! I hated that in the whole rest of the book no-one mentioned this as a factor in the accident - come on, Miss Wilson, I was mentally saying for the last chapters, set the record straight!


I'm still around :D Many thanks Housemate

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 Post subject: Re: Books: Eustacia Goes to the Chalet School
PostPosted: 15 May 2018, 18:58 
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I can give Joey some leeway because she was still relatively young and immature. Miss Stewart is worse, IMO. She's in a position of authority and she makes it very clear that she dislikes Eustacia and is downright horrible to her, and the other girls when she has a toothache and thinks they're laughing at her when they're not. She should have known better. And if Robin was so delicate, she shouldn't have gone on the trip.


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 Post subject: Re: Books: Eustacia Goes to the Chalet School
PostPosted: 16 May 2018, 02:56 
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Lotte wrote:
Miss Stewart is worse, IMO. She's in a position of authority and she makes it very clear that she dislikes Eustacia and is downright horrible to her,


Sadly, it does happen though because teachers are human and forget the influence their words have on their students. But her clear favouritism of Joey is pretty obvious and should have been clamped down on.

It's also very obvious when the group gets back to the school that the real story is never told to the greater school body and they are left a vague sense of 'it was all Eustacia's fault' and Miss Stewart contributed to that.

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 Post subject: Re: Books: Eustacia Goes to the Chalet School
PostPosted: 16 May 2018, 07:04 
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There is no point on Robin being on this trip,she is just there because Joey wanted it.So Joey should have been the one missing the trip to the glacier, not poor Anne.
The staff were at fault in their treatment of Eustacia, she needed help and understanding to fit in at school after her upbringing and sadly she did not get it.


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 Post subject: Re: Books: Eustacia Goes to the Chalet School
PostPosted: 16 May 2018, 22:12 
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Having finished the book, I pretty much agree with what everyone has said about how Eustacia is treated. There isn't much of an attempt from anyone to understand her, and at times the reactions of the CS people to Eustacia's behaviour seems rather out of proportion (Miss Wilson's accident being an obvious example, and the library incident). Even if Eustacia was partly responsible for Miss Wilson falling, I would have thought any of the girls could have caused something similar in a moment of carelessness. And I agree that it wasn't a good idea to take Robin along on the trip.

One thing I did wish had been expanded on was the singing lesson where Eustacia discovers a love of music. It was nice to have Eustacia find something she enjoys, in the midst of her misery, and I wish it had been picked up on later in the book.


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