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 Post subject: Holiday Books
PostPosted: 16 Sep 2014, 18:48 
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I've been thinking about the holidays books recently. I think of:
Camp
Rescue
Joey Goes To The Oberland
Joey & Co
Reunion
Future
as falling into this category.

Now, in the earliest books, holiday times are just subsumed into the books (for example the lovely Christmas episode) and even later on, we do get scenes such as Mary-Lou meeting the Maynards in "Three". It is only later that the few glimpses we get of not-in-school are there to "explain" a new girl's background.

"Camp" feels very close to the school stories in that it uses the same people in the same relationships and the camp, itself, is very structured but we do see people in a different way.

"Rescue" is a delightful portrayal of the friendship between Joey, Simone, Marie and Frieda and we see intra-family relationships too. The new people who appear do not dominate the story

Personally, I like both "Oberland" and "Reunion" for the presence of original School members, and some indication of their histories.

When we get to "Joey & Co" and "Future", both stories are spoilt by the unnecessary and unlikely presence of outsiders. Both stories read like the "one term - one new girl who then disappears" that many of the books had become. I find this really disappointing. As I have said before (and I realise that I am in a minority on this one) I actually like the didactic expedition stuff. What I think is missing from these books is much sense of connection with the early years of the Chalet School and the almost complete lack of characters from those early years.

So...what do you think?


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 Post subject: Re: Holiday Books
PostPosted: 16 Sep 2014, 20:40 
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The only thing I like about Joey Goes and Future is that they give us a chance to see the Tiernsee again. Whilst I like Ruey, I don't see why the Maynards have to collect another three kids; and Melanie, as you say, pretty much disappears afterwards. I think both books are a missed opportunity: we could have seen Joey visiting Marie, who is back in Tyrol by then and not far from Briesau, and Gisela and Gottfried, who as far as we know are in Innsbruck ... and maybe Wanda and Bernhilda could have chosen that week to come and visit as well. Gertrud presumably still lives in the area too, and we know that Sophie Hamel is still in Innsbruck. Instead, all we get is Irma Ancockzy. I've got nothing against her (apart from the fact that I'm not sure how to spell her name :lol: ), but why bring back such a minor character and miss such a great chance to bring back old friends?

I suspect the answer is that the Maynards were Taking Over The World by then :evil: . I'd rather have seen some of the long-serving mistresses going to Tyrol and meeting up with some of the old crowd! Or Madge and Jo going off on a nostalgic girls' holiday .... now that would have been good.

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 Post subject: Re: Holiday Books
PostPosted: 16 Sep 2014, 21:17 
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Well, we've seen plenty of girls who didn't want to come to the CS in the first place, such as Eustacia, Thekla, Gwensi, Evelyn Ross, Jocelyn Marvell, and presumably Emerence. I guess Future is unusual in having in Melanie a girl who is shortly to become a CS pupil and who is not only not keen, but still hankering after her last school - and we do actually get to hear a certain amount about that school and her loyalty to it.

Melanie strikes me as quite realistically drawn in that sense, even if it makes her a rather negative character. But then I have a sense of her having been pulled out of the air to provide an 'end-of-story' for Jeanne le Cadoulec - and I do find the body-count in that episode a bit excessively high (five), especially in a holiday book! So EMBD is doing her best with a link to the early days, it's just a bit manufactured.

(Oh and isn't it teejus the way her uncle's new boss is Winnie Embury's husband Martin, and they were at school together? I know it's the link to Melanie meeting Joey, but I'm sure this could have been coped with another way...)


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 Post subject: Re: Holiday Books
PostPosted: 16 Sep 2014, 21:24 
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Alison H wrote:
I'd rather have seen some of the long-serving mistresses going to Tyrol and meeting up with some of the old crowd! Or Madge and Jo going off on a nostalgic girls' holiday .... now that would have been good.


Two wonderful suggestions! :) I think I could even have stood another telling of how Joey fell in the lake if Madge had been there to remind her that it was all her own fault...


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 Post subject: Re: Holiday Books
PostPosted: 17 Sep 2014, 04:27 
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Dawn09 wrote:
Alison H wrote:
I'd rather have seen some of the long-serving mistresses going to Tyrol and meeting up with some of the old crowd! Or Madge and Jo going off on a nostalgic girls' holiday .... now that would have been good.


Two wonderful suggestions! :) I think I could even have stood another telling of how Joey fell in the lake if Madge had been there to remind her that it was all her own fault...


Chiming in to say this would really have been quite delightful - a drabble, perhaps?? The one thing that has struck me on this re-read is how lovely the early relationship between Madge and Jo is: that motherly, sisterly mix of deep love and cheeky teasing. A holiday book centred on them (or primarily on Madge) would really have been quite marvellous.

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 Post subject: Re: Holiday Books
PostPosted: 17 Sep 2014, 07:52 
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gaityr wrote:
Chiming in to say this would really have been quite delightful - a drabble, perhaps?? The one thing that has struck me on this re-read is how lovely the early relationship between Madge and Jo is: that motherly, sisterly mix of deep love and cheeky teasing. A holiday book centred on them (or primarily on Madge) would really have been quite marvellous.
Mmmm. There's always their holiday together in the Dolomites, at the end of School at, when they go to Botzen/ Bolzano and Meran/Merano before moving on to Paneirimo, though it's only a week because Madge has to go alone to Rome to deal with the aftermath of the death of Juliet's parents...Of course, when they went, South Tirol wasn't in Italy.


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 Post subject: Re: Holiday Books
PostPosted: 17 Sep 2014, 09:32 
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It struck me, a wandering thought, on the 'see once-rarely again' scenario of the later books. Are the named girls so subsumed into the CS ethos that they become a perfect Chalet girl? And therefore cease to be individuals? Is that the reason we loose them?

A holiday book with Madge at its centre would be lovely....


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 Post subject: Re: Holiday Books
PostPosted: 17 Sep 2014, 12:46 
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I think EBD missed out what could have been a great story - Margot's trip to Australia.


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 Post subject: Re: Holiday Books
PostPosted: 17 Sep 2014, 14:06 
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I know this doesn't fit into the remit of series but I would have loved a book about the Russell trip to Australia and how Sybil and Josette faired. I like to think they had a fabulous time.


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 Post subject: Re: Holiday Books
PostPosted: 17 Sep 2014, 19:48 
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Somebody wrote a brilliant drabble about Len spending part of the summer holidays with the Lilleys.

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 Post subject: Re: Holiday Books
PostPosted: 17 Sep 2014, 22:06 
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Noreen wrote:
Of course, when they went, South Tirol wasn't in Italy.


Sorry, I thought South Tyrol became Italian very soon after WW1. Camp was excellent, so evocative of prewar Austria.

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Last edited by Katharine on 18 Sep 2014, 16:05, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Holiday Books
PostPosted: 17 Sep 2014, 22:19 
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South Tyrol did become part of Italy at the end of the First World War, so it would have been in Italy when Madge and Joey went there. I'm not sure whether or not EBD was subtly showing her support for it being given back to Austria when she referred to Bozen and Meran (the Austrian names for the towns) rather than Bolzano and Merano :D . AFAIK, there isn't a village called Paneirimo: I don't know if EBD made the name up or just got it wrong :? .

I do wish that someone had reminded Joey how chuffed she was that the Maranis had asked Grizel and Juliet to stay with them, so that she and Madge could have some family time alone, when she guilt-tripped the triplets into agreeing that Melanie, a complete stranger, could come to Tyrol with the Maynards!

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 Post subject: Re: Holiday Books
PostPosted: 18 Sep 2014, 02:36 
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Alison H wrote:
I do wish that someone had reminded Joey how chuffed she was that the Maranis had asked Grizel and Juliet to stay with them, so that she and Madge could have some family time alone, when she guilt-tripped the triplets into agreeing that Melanie, a complete stranger, could come to Tyrol with the Maynards!


It's the boys I feel particularly sorry for on the holiday books. They're at boarding school in another country and only see their family on holidays. Given the size of the family, there's a limited amount of personal attention to go around in the first place.

In Joey & Co, they're are sent off to stay with family friends for a good chunk of the vacation, because their mother is unwell, only to show up and find that she's racing around at full tilt and has adopted three other kids during their absence. Mike at this point is only eight years old, and just finished his first year away from home!

I do like those holiday bits with Joey and Madge in the early books, and the relationship between them. It must have been tricky for Madge sister vs guardian vs Headmistress, particularly with as forceful a personality as Joey.

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 Post subject: Re: Holiday Books
PostPosted: 18 Sep 2014, 03:54 
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scrabble wrote:
It struck me, a wandering thought, on the 'see once-rarely again' scenario of the later books. Are the named girls so subsumed into the CS ethos that they become a perfect Chalet girl? And therefore cease to be individuals? Is that the reason we loose them?


Sometimes the new girl is more of a catalyst for a book than the point of the book, if you know what I mean. Having a new girl means the reader can get all the Chalet info-dump in the form of training the new girl, and it provides convenient plot lines.

Some of the new girls are interesting enough to continue to be major characters, and keep popping up, others aren't and fade to the background.

It's a real mix - of the focal new girls, Elisaveta, Cornelia, Eustacia, Thekla, Gillian, Betty and Elizabeth, Tom, Mary-Lou, Verity and Jack Lambert become major characters.

Jacynth, Clem, Barbara, Barbara, Jo, Nina, Joan and Rosamund, Yseult, Nina, Ruey, Naomi, Ted, Val become important secondary characters - they don't carry a plot, but they are there supporting things.

Polly, Gwensi, Flora and Fiona, Lavender, Rosalie, Polly and Lala, Carola, Katharine, Prunella, Jessica, Solange, Celia, Audrey, Jane, Flavia, Melanie, Adrienne, Erica, the two Sams, Althea and Jocelyn become background characters - they are there and get a mention or two, but that's about all we can say.

Dorcas Brownlow is only in the three fill-in books, and otherwise never referred to, and Evelyn Ross never appears again.

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 Post subject: Re: Holiday Books
PostPosted: 18 Sep 2014, 15:51 
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I think I agree - although the "problem new girl" is a different category again - yes, there for the info dump, but also there to be healed by the school in some way, and once healed therefore less interesting?

I'd actually put Carola and Katt Gordon at least into the second group of girls rather than the third - I think they are more than just background. Possibly Lalla, too - she's around for quite a few years and crops up a lot as a prefect. Not so much her sister.

Polly Heriot, Gwensi, Lavender and F&F suffer a bit from being in the War time books, which are so disjointed and term-skippy - I think in any other part of the series they would be much more significant, as all have strongly defined characters.

Noticeable how many of the "just background" girls are the newbies in the Swiss period.


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 Post subject: Re: Holiday Books
PostPosted: 18 Sep 2014, 22:17 
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Alison H wrote:
South Tyrol did become part of Italy at the end of the First World War, so it would have been in Italy when Madge and Joey went there. I'm not sure whether or not EBD was subtly showing her support for it being given back to Austria when she referred to Bozen and Meran (the Austrian names for the towns) rather than Bolzano and Merano :D . AFAIK, there isn't a village called Paneirimo: I don't know if EBD made the name up or just got it wrong :? .
Thanks for the correction, Alison - getting my dates muddled there! I was intrigued about the apparent non-existence of Paneirimo, and had assumed that it was made up, since we know that some of the other places in CS-land are.


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 Post subject: Re: Holiday Books
PostPosted: 18 Sep 2014, 23:29 
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Noreen wrote:
Alison H wrote:
South Tyrol did become part of Italy at the end of the First World War, so it would have been in Italy when Madge and Joey went there. I'm not sure whether or not EBD was subtly showing her support for it being given back to Austria when she referred to Bozen and Meran (the Austrian names for the towns) rather than Bolzano and Merano :D . AFAIK, there isn't a village called Paneirimo: I don't know if EBD made the name up or just got it wrong :? .
Thanks for the correction, Alison - getting my dates muddled there! I was intrigued about the apparent non-existence of Paneirimo, and had assumed that it was made up, since we know that some of the other places in CS-land are.


It's particularly interesting given that EBD seems to give it two names: she refers to them staying in Paneirimo, but when Jo mentions places they could visit, she talks about Primeiro (and given that she's just mentioned the other two places they end up going, it's likely they are supposed to be the same).

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 Post subject: Re: Holiday Books
PostPosted: 19 Sep 2014, 00:46 
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Alison H wrote:
Somebody wrote a brilliant drabble about Len spending part of the summer holidays with the Lilleys.


You don't know where this is do you, Alison? I would love to read it.


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 Post subject: Re: Holiday Books
PostPosted: 19 Sep 2014, 02:11 
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Victoria wrote:
When we get to "Joey & Co" and "Future", both stories are spoilt by the unnecessary and unlikely presence of outsiders. Both stories read like the "one term - one new girl who then disappears" that many of the books had become. I find this really disappointing. As I have said before (and I realise that I am in a minority on this one) I actually like the didactic expedition stuff. What I think is missing from these books is much sense of connection with the early years of the Chalet School and the almost complete lack of characters from those early years.

So...what do you think?


I didn't think until recently that Marie, for instance, lived so near where Jo had her holiday home. I always think of Marie as living near Vienna but that is not where "her castle" was. It's a real shame she was not brought into Joey & Co. Also Gottfried and Gisela if they lived in Innsbruck as somebody said. We could even have heard of Anna being back at her home and getting some time off to visit family - haha. We were at the stage by that time though that nobody had to overshadow the Maynards.
I actually liked Joey & Co and thought that the Richardsons worked well with the Maynards, partly because they did have their own little unit. There were also excuses for any Richardson absences in later books as they had other relatives. Joey being given three wards though when she already had 11 children was quite ridiculous especially in view of the fact she was minus half her family as she could not cope. I feel sorry for the boys but I also wonder about Margot and her behaviour in the previous book. She was the "bad" one but she could also already have felt neglected.
I didn't think Future CS girl a bad book but it was a not so good rehash and I didn't find Melanie particularly likeable.
To go back to earlier books Jo to the Rescue was a lovely book with Joey and her three friends and the so nice Phoebe surely one of the nicest characters ever.
For some peculiar reason I absolutely loved Joey Goes to the Oberland which is definitely in my Top Ten. All the favourite characters are there and what I like too is that it is split into definite sections.
I know Coming of Age is not a holiday book but it does have the part back in the Tirol where Joey & Co escort the Prefects. I wonder how realistic this was. I even wonder if the prefects might have preferred to have staff with them? After all they might have got time to themselves apart from the staff whereas they had to be with Joey & Co the whole time. Also, although they knew Joey they could not have known the other three very well. It is in this book that Joey must get what is her only criticism in the second part of the series when Mary-Lou says she could be "overpowering". Would Joey, Simone etc not have preferred to escort their own children to the place where they had such a happy time?


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 Post subject: Re: Holiday Books
PostPosted: 19 Sep 2014, 03:59 
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Audrey25 wrote:

I know Coming of Age is not a holiday book but it does have the part back in the Tirol where Joey & Co escort the Prefects. I wonder how realistic this was. I even wonder if the prefects might have preferred to have staff with them? After all they might have got time to themselves apart from the staff whereas they had to be with Joey & Co the whole time. Also, although they knew Joey they could not have known the other three very well. It is in this book that Joey must get what is her only criticism in the second part of the series when Mary-Lou says she could be "overpowering". Would Joey, Simone etc not have preferred to escort their own children to the place where they had such a happy time?


In "Excitements", Len (I think) says something along the lines of "Mamma says she's going to try and go when we do and show us the things she knew when she was a girl".

That would make more sense. Certainly, in modern terms (and I'm going back to my first school trip abroad in...er....1970...plus much more modern trips out with my children) the "parent helpers" are people related to the children going. I can't imagine being over-happy about a child going away for a weekend supervised by people of whom I'd never heard, and who were not employed by the school.

And what a let-down for Jo's children too

(Corrected for grammar)


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