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 Post subject: The Decades Gone By...
PostPosted: 16 Jul 2020, 08:55 
Since the CS was first published in the 1920's, obviously the girls lived in that period and partook in the activities and beliefs of that decade. However, as the years went by, EBD took longer to write the story than the tine that would ass in the story. Which means that by the end of the series, 40ish years had passed IRL, but only around 25 in the CS. EBD tried to keep the characters living in the 1940/50s but where there points where she clearly made the girls as if they were living in the 60s? (if im completely wrong about ebd keeping them living as their age just ignore this post)


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 Post subject: Re: The Decades Gone By...
PostPosted: 16 Jul 2020, 15:35 
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Promotion to Five A
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I'm not sure that EBD ever really moved in the 1960s.

There are mentions of beatniks (Summer Term), the "space" sub-plot regarding Professor Richardson was very much of its time as was the mention of drug addiction in Redheads. The name of public exams change. Len's problem over wanting a ponytail might also be regarded as a "current affair". When the change of uniform is considered in Switerland, one of the options has "patch pockets" and the overall shape of the dress seems quite 1960s - but they opt for something else. People are wearing jeans and trousers for things other than gardening.


There are more girls who are looking to make careers rather than just being "needed at home" and Biddy does actually manage to work after she marries (which we've really only seen happen during the war years). There's a conversation in which marrying young is considered to be a bad thing (Sorry, can't remember the book) which is significantly different to the attitude of the earlier books.


Many of the changes appear cosmetic. The exams might have stopped being called "School Certificate" but there's no change in how people go to University which is stuck in a 1920s/30s mindset throughout the books.
"Home remedies" used by the CS might no longer be specified as "brimstone-and-treacle" or senna pods but the "dose" mentioned so often as the treatment for everything is still a laxative.

Overall, I don't feel EBD moved on from the 1940s. When the CS visit Oberammergau, Evadne is insulted by Grizel saying that Americans are "too sophisticated" to be able to perform something like the Passion Play. As the CS series continues, the pupils increasingly lack sophistication when measured against real life.


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 Post subject: Re: The Decades Gone By...
PostPosted: 18 Jul 2020, 07:23 
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Rescuing a Junior from the lake
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Joined: 15 Oct 2004, 13:57
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Victoria wrote:

There's a conversation in which marrying young is considered to be a bad thing (Sorry, can't remember the book) which is significantly different to the attitude of the earlier books.



I think it's Adrienne - it's Ailie, Janice and Judy talking.

The main change is that nearly all the girls go on to further education and plan to get jobs. The problem is that there's still hardly any mention of exams, everyone just gets a place at the university of their choice without any mention of an application process, and lessons are still abandoned every time the weather's nice or they want to rehearse the nativity play!

A problem for authors is that books do date badly if specific references are made to particular things of the time, e.g. pop groups or actors who were particularly popular.

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 Post subject: Re: The Decades Gone By...
PostPosted: 23 Apr 2021, 22:28 
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Being rescued by Dr Ackles
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Joined: 05 Feb 2005, 15:55
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I feel she just about got the fifties into the books well but the sixties and all the social changes were just too much for her.

Has anyone read the book No Talking after Lights? It’s the first of a trilogy about two sisters. I feel it really shows the differences between a fifties child and a sixties child. Another interesting one is Lapsing by Jill Paton Walsh.

I find this period really fascinating.


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