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 Post subject: Re: Books: The Chalet School Goes To It
PostPosted: 27 Apr 2017, 16:07 
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JoJo89 wrote:
Well, Mary-Lou herself (surely EBD's favourite character after Joey!) is still single at the series end... And what about Kathie Ferrars, the only mistress to have an actual book of her own? There's never any sign of a certain doctor for her.


I wonder at the very end of the series more from one or two comments in EBD's Chalet Club letters rather than the actual books, if Len was taking over as EBD's favourite character after Joey. In fact, one comment made me wonder if in time EBD actually was heading towards preferring Len to even Joey.

In a sense Len is actually EBD's own creation much more than Mary-Lou or even Joey who at least had the personality to match the role she was given.

I think that Mary-Lou, much more so than any other Brent-Dyer character, wrote herself. She was stronger than her author.

I do think she was being reserved for David or Rix (and Vi would have got the other) but unless her husband let her follow her own path and go on digs and maybe lecture, I don't see it working. I also never see her with children.

I see her later on in her thirties marrying another archaelogist, maybe older than she.

Joyce - Thought your post about EBD's conflicting ideas very true.


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 Post subject: Re: Books: The Chalet School Goes To It
PostPosted: 27 Apr 2017, 16:38 
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I think Goes To It heralds the strongest section of the CS books. I love the Austrian section but feel the books are hit and miss (mostly hit but there are a few weak ones in there).

The Armishire section is just wonderful, though. The drama of the war time back drop, Joey as a young (but still likeable) mother, the original characters remaining in the story in ways that are mostly believable, Miss Annersley who is a much better Headmistress than Mademoiselle Le Pattre, Robin developing into a really nice young woman who acts her age, and Madge still a strong influence on the school.

There's also a nice sense of the school and characters like Joey being connected to a community and a world beyond the school gates.


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 Post subject: Re: Books: The Chalet School Goes To It
PostPosted: 27 Apr 2017, 17:22 
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With a few add-ons, my favourite books are those set in Armishire/Island. Actually cannot believe, because of the two or so gaps, there are so few Armishire books.

Interesting, too, how Rosalie becomes a bigger part of the series during this time. At first she hardly warrants a mention.

I didn't realise it before but I think Hilda also grows into her role. Does anyone know when and why she became the Abbess? I can only think the explanation has maybe been missed out of an abridged paperback...?


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 Post subject: Re: Books: The Chalet School Goes To It
PostPosted: 27 Apr 2017, 19:16 
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Jo Bettany refers to Hilda as 'the Abbess' for the first time in Exploits, p 120 in the Chambers edition.

Edited to add: I really enjoy all these discussions, even though I don't join in very much. Thank you, Aquabird for posting each summary, and thank you also to everyone who takes part.


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 Post subject: Re: Books: The Chalet School Goes To It
PostPosted: 27 Apr 2017, 20:50 
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I agree that it's significant that it's Frieda who makes the remark about Simone. Frieda is fairly newly married herself and has never had any ambition to be or do anything else - never lived away from home, no further education, no job. I think she might genuinely not comprehend that there were women who might prefer to remain single and follow a career.

I don't think we need to assume that EBD necessarily agreed with everything she had any of her characters say. My characters quite often say or do things I wouldn't say or do myself, because they exist in their own right, and are not there just to reflect my thoughts and beliefs. Sometimes I don't know what they're going to say until they've said it!

I suppose EBD put it in just to make an exciting incident, but it really wasn't necessary for Jo et al to make the crossing from Guernsey with Nigel Willoughby and nearly get sunk and have to be rescued by the Navy. They'd have been a lot safer crossing by the ferry in the normal way. I looked it up once, and apparently the ferries kept running right up to the last possible moment, and everyone who wanted to leave Guernsey was able to. Although I suppose EBD might not have known that when she wrote the book.


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 Post subject: Re: Books: The Chalet School Goes To It
PostPosted: 27 Apr 2017, 21:01 
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It doesn't really make much sense. They could easily have gone by ferry a few days later, with all the CS girls and staff. And Anna, who had to cart the prams and other stuff that Nigel's yacht couldn't carry! But, as you say, EBD wanted an exciting incident.

ETA - poor Nigel was like a one-man mini-Dunkirk operation! Didn't he also take Madge, Daisy, Primula and the Russell and Bettany kids to England in another run, and Janie and her kids in yet another? And probably the Chesters and Ozannes too?!

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 Post subject: Re: Books: The Chalet School Goes To It
PostPosted: 27 Apr 2017, 21:43 
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Elder in Ontario wrote:
Jo Bettany refers to Hilda as 'the Abbess' for the first time in Exploits, p 120 in the Chambers edition.

Edited to add: I really enjoy all these discussions, even though I don't join in very much. Thank you, Aquabird for posting each summary, and thank you also to everyone who takes part.


Thank you very much, Elder. I have only the Armada copy of Exploits so there were maybe bits missed out from the hardback which I doubt if I have ever read.


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 Post subject: Re: Books: The Chalet School Goes To It
PostPosted: 27 Apr 2017, 22:02 
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Audrey25 wrote:
Elder in Ontario wrote:
Jo Bettany refers to Hilda as 'the Abbess' for the first time in Exploits, p 120 in the Chambers edition.

Edited to add: I really enjoy all these discussions, even though I don't join in very much. Thank you, Aquabird for posting each summary, and thank you also to everyone who takes part.


Thank you very much, Elder. I have only the Armada copy of Exploits so there were maybe bits missed out from the hardback which I doubt if I have ever read.


I should have added that I started out by going to the Alison McCallum's article on Hilda Annersley in volume 1 of The Chalet School Encyclopaedia. :) I wouldn't have known where to find the reference otherwise. :oops:


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 Post subject: Re: Books: The Chalet School Goes To It
PostPosted: 27 Apr 2017, 22:07 
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Quote:
poor Nigel was like a one-man mini-Dunkirk operation!

I suppose Dunkirk must have been fresh in EBD's mind, maybe still in progress, when she was writing. Perhaps she was wishing she could have had some CS characters involved somehow!

France was invaded on 13 May, Dunkirk was late May/early June, France signed an armistice on 22 June and the Channel Islands were occupied on 30 June.

EBD must have realised some time in that six weeks, if not before, that she would have to move the school again. I suppose she thought Herefordshire was as safe as anywhere was likely to be in the summer of 1940.


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 Post subject: Re: Books: The Chalet School Goes To It
PostPosted: 28 Apr 2017, 05:10 
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JayB wrote:
EBD must have realised some time in that six weeks, if not before, that she would have to move the school again. I suppose she thought Herefordshire was as safe as anywhere was likely to be in the summer of 1940.


That must have been extraordinarily difficult because she would have no way of knowing whether the Channel Islands would be liberated any time soon and then she has to move the school again.

But one assumes that if the worse had happened and the UK mainland was overrun she would have had much bigger problems then where to move a fictional school.

Cheers,
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 Post subject: Re: Books: The Chalet School Goes To It
PostPosted: 28 Apr 2017, 07:53 
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The choice of Herefordshire is interesting. I appreciate that it was where EBD herself was living at the time, so it was an area she knew and loved, but, at all other points in the series, being in a location that lends itself to drama is a key factor. OK, she wasn't going to put the school on the coast in wartime, but she could have gone for the Lake District, the Peak District, the Highlands, somewhere like Bala Lake in Wales, or the Yorkshire Dales.

It's quite nice that we get a few years when people aren't always falling in lakes or getting stranded on mountains, because that all gets a bit samey in the Swiss years!

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 Post subject: Re: Books: The Chalet School Goes To It
PostPosted: 28 Apr 2017, 09:59 
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Elder in Ontario wrote:
Audrey25 wrote:
Elder in Ontario wrote:
Jo Bettany refers to Hilda as 'the Abbess' for the first time in Exploits, p 120 in the Chambers edition.

Edited to add: I really enjoy all these discussions, even though I don't join in very much. Thank you, Aquabird for posting each summary, and thank you also to everyone who takes part.


Thank you very much, Elder. I have only the Armada copy of Exploits so there were maybe bits missed out from the hardback which I doubt if I have ever read.


I should have added that I started out by going to the Alison McCallum's article on Hilda Annersley in volume 1 of The Chalet School Encyclopaedia. :) I wouldn't have known where to find the reference otherwise. :oops:


I am pretty sure I have this book. Will have a proper look. Thank you so much for looking this up.

I was on holiday at Hay-On-Wye a couple of years ago. We went to Hereford ( Armiford) and also to Peterchurch near where I think the school was situated. We didn't get to any of the actual buildings upon which the school and Round House were supposedly based.

When we were travelling about near Peterchurch though I kept imagining I was just about to see Robin and Daisy cycling to the school. The roads were quite narrow and possibly even narrower back in the 1940s.

EBD seems to enjoy locations of which she has personal experience - her Austrian holiday, living in Herefordshire and I believe she also visited Guernsey.

This is maybe partly where the Swiss books fell down. She had no personal experience of the area but because it mainly did exist she had to be careful. Some of the half term visits sound straight out of guide books.

The school was also such a long time in Switzerland - about half the books. The first half of the series, although mainly in Austria also had Armishire and the island and a little bit of Guernsey.


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 Post subject: Re: Books: The Chalet School Goes To It
PostPosted: 28 Apr 2017, 10:18 
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Sorry for spreeing but when I was reading Goes to It a few days ago I seem to remember the reason for Joey and maybe the school too not going to Jack's old home, Pretty Maids, was because "the old people are gone now" and it was Bob and Lydia who had the house.

Yet years later in Switzerland, Jo talks about the money the triplets and Stephen inherited from Grannie Maynard.

Bob dies at the end of Jo to the Rescue when Stephen is only a baby. Could EBD have possibly got Bob's death mixed up with the deaths of the Maynard parents?! (or other way round)


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 Post subject: Re: Books: The Chalet School Goes To It
PostPosted: 28 Apr 2017, 10:46 
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JayB wrote:

I don't think we need to assume that EBD necessarily agreed with everything she had any of her characters say. My characters quite often say or do things I wouldn't say or do myself, because they exist in their own right, and are not there just to reflect my thoughts and beliefs. Sometimes I don't know what they're going to say until they've said it!



Characters that feature in a drabble, such as "A Grey Walled Paradise" over on LGM?

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 Post subject: Re: Books: The Chalet School Goes To It
PostPosted: 28 Apr 2017, 15:15 
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Alison H wrote:
The choice of Herefordshire is interesting. I appreciate that it was where EBD herself was living at the time, so it was an area she knew and loved, but, at all other points in the series, being in a location that lends itself to drama is a key factor. OK, she wasn't going to put the school on the coast in wartime, but she could have gone for the Lake District, the Peak District, the Highlands, somewhere like Bala Lake in Wales, or the Yorkshire Dales.

It's quite nice that we get a few years when people aren't always falling in lakes or getting stranded on mountains, because that all gets a bit samey in the Swiss years!
Yes, and even in Tyrol - the end of Jo of is really quite damp! :D.

I suspect that the problem with all those enticing-sounding locations is that EMBD wasn't familiar with them, and visiting them could have been quite hard in wartime. The potential for committing howlers was therefore pretty high...


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 Post subject: Re: Books: The Chalet School Goes To It
PostPosted: 28 Apr 2017, 15:36 
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I suspect I may be a fairly lone voice here, because while I recognise that this is one of EBD's best-written books, the characters are well-drawn and likeable, and the atmosphere of wartime evoked so well, I don't actually enjoy it much when I reread. I don't enjoy reading books set in wartime - I suppose I can't bear too much reality.


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 Post subject: Re: Books: The Chalet School Goes To It
PostPosted: 28 Apr 2017, 15:54 
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Alison H wrote:
It's quite nice that we get a few years when people aren't always falling in lakes or getting stranded on mountains, because that all gets a bit samey in the Swiss years!


I totally agree. Even in the Tyrol books I got a bit fed up of the long descriptions of hikes up mountains etc and found myself skimming over a lot of it.

In the Armishire books you don't get all these outings and accidents, and it allows more time for character development and interesting story lines.


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 Post subject: Re: Books: The Chalet School Goes To It
PostPosted: 28 Apr 2017, 19:58 
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I find that the hiking/half-term expeditions in the Tyrol books have a real sense of place, and a sort of sparkle to the descriptions that keep them from being repetitive. The Swiss ones though, I think really were pulled directly from guide books or histories, modified a bit to turn them into conversations. And while I can build up a nice mental picture of the environs of the school in the Tyrol, the Platz is sort of a blur to me.

From what I've read, the blackout conditions in the war were pretty dangerous on their own - in the first few months, more people were killed in England due to traffic accidents due to lack of light than enemy action.

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 Post subject: Re: Books: The Chalet School Goes To It
PostPosted: 29 Apr 2017, 03:38 
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Audrey25 wrote:
Sorry for spreeing but when I was reading Goes to It a few days ago I seem to remember the reason for Joey and maybe the school too not going to Jack's old home, Pretty Maids, was because "the old people are gone now" and it was Bob and Lydia who had the house.

Yet years later in Switzerland, Jo talks about the money the triplets and Stephen inherited from Grannie Maynard.

Bob dies at the end of Jo to the Rescue when Stephen is only a baby. Could EBD have possibly got Bob's death mixed up with the deaths of the Maynard parents?! (or other way round)


Did Bob die before or after Rolf? He might have revised his will after his son died.

Could Bob have left the money he inherited from his mother for Stephen? Therefore technically it came from Grannie Maynard.

Cheers,
Joyce

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 Post subject: Re: Books: The Chalet School Goes To It
PostPosted: 29 Apr 2017, 05:20 
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Joyce wrote:
Audrey25 wrote:
Sorry for spreeing but when I was reading Goes to It a few days ago I seem to remember the reason for Joey and maybe the school too not going to Jack's old home, Pretty Maids, was because "the old people are gone now" and it was Bob and Lydia who had the house.

Yet years later in Switzerland, Jo talks about the money the triplets and Stephen inherited from Grannie Maynard.

Bob dies at the end of Jo to the Rescue when Stephen is only a baby. Could EBD have possibly got Bob's death mixed up with the deaths of the Maynard parents?! (or other way round)


Did Bob die before or after Rolf? He might have revised his will after his son died.

Could Bob have left the money he inherited from his mother for Stephen? Therefore technically it came from Grannie Maynard.

Cheers,
Joyce


Bob died some years after Rolf. I have a hazy idea Rolf died about 6 years before the triplets were born and then Jack became his brother's heir - although the parents would still have been alive.

Bob dies at the end of Rescue when Stephen is a few months old and the triplets coming up 4. This is when Jack inherits Pretty Maids. I had always thought Mrs Maynard died at much the same time but because of the remarks at the beginning of Goes to It, she must recently have died as I think Joey and Jack spend a month with his parents not long before the war starts.


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