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 Post subject: Pinning down the dates
PostPosted: 30 Oct 2015, 20:08 
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If you use the only historical date in the entire series as your starting point.... ie Sept 1939 start of WW2. In the second half of exile.

what's Joey's DOB
when do the Bettany's come back to the UK from India?
when do the school up sticks and go to Switzerland?

Can anyone figure it out? I know I should be able to work this out but my brain has gone mushy.

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 Post subject: Re: Pinning down the dates
PostPosted: 30 Oct 2015, 20:40 
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If you date the series by the war, and assume a year and a term's gap between New and Exile and a three year gap between Rosalie and Three Go:

Jo should have been born in either November 1917 or 1918, depending on whether you count her as being just shy of 22 (as in the original edition of Exile) or 21 (later editions) when the triplets are born.

The Bettanys coming back to the UK is a bit EBDism'd. Dick resigns from the Forestry and they arrive in England in Tom (March/April 1944), but in Three Go (September 1947) he's back with the Forestry department and he, Mollie and Second Twins are in Australia. But they're at the Quadrant in Island and in Peggy it says they arrived back 'three years ago', so I'd go with the Tom date (although technically it would have been four years by that point).

The school would move to Switzerland in the summer of 1950.

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 Post subject: Re: Pinning down the dates
PostPosted: 30 Oct 2015, 20:49 
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Ah I had meant the Bettany's coming back when Jo was a baby. I'd forgotten about Dick going out with Mollie.

Does anyone know what age Jo was meant to be in 1939 - is the 21 in the first edition a typo or is the typo in the later editions?

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 Post subject: Re: Pinning down the dates
PostPosted: 30 Oct 2015, 21:14 
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I think they came back when she was a small baby, which makes Nov 1918 for her birth a better fit than Nov 1917, if she was born Nov 1917 by the time any ship would have sailed from India she'd have been a toddler not a baby.

I think the change of date in Exile may have been deliberate on EBD's part though can't think of a good reason.


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 Post subject: Re: Pinning down the dates
PostPosted: 30 Oct 2015, 21:16 
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I think it was a deliberate change by EBD rather than a typo but that internal chronology works if she's 22. This gives her time for the visit to India.

No timeline will be 100% accurate as you'll have to make assumptions about how long the gaps are - and there's inconsistency among fill-in writers about this.


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 Post subject: Re: Pinning down the dates
PostPosted: 30 Oct 2015, 21:17 
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Ah, I just assumed by 'the Bettanys' you meant Dick and Mollie. :wink:

I think Jo was 22 in the original - in fact, reading my original post back I think I got it a year out; she'd have been 22-about-to-turn-23 in that, but for whatever reason it was changed in later editions to make Jo 21-about-to-turn-22.

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 Post subject: Re: Pinning down the dates
PostPosted: 31 Oct 2015, 01:45 
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The School at the Chalet tells us that Jo came home at the age of 7 months.

Her age is changed from being nearly 22 to being nearly 21 at the Triplets' birth in later books

As has already been said, this would suggest that Joey was born in 1917 or 1918.

The Anschluss was in March 1938, the occupation of the Channel Islands in June 1940 BUT the Triplets are "nearly 6 months old" when they flee Guernsey. Since this was after war had been declared in September 1939, leaving Guernsey must have been in 1940 so the Triplets were born in November 1939.

Logically, the Bettanys would have been unlikely, as civilian children, to be returning from India during the period of WWI so...that would make the return from India no earlier than November 1918.

The dates have been EBDed anyway. Madge is indicated as having experienced Zeppelin raids during WWI so she must have been in England before August 1918.

Edit to add: You could also consider that Joey was 12 when the CS starts. The "great loans" that Austrian girls mentioned had ground to a halt by 1930 as a result of the depression. The mention is consistent with the original publication date of "Chalet" - which would make Joey born in 1913.

Now that's also consistent with Madge being in England during WWI air attacks since they would have returned to the UK before July 1914.

This is why exact dating is such a chore. Neither the external nor the internal chronology fits.


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 Post subject: Re: Pinning down the dates
PostPosted: 31 Oct 2015, 15:15 
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Aquabird wrote:
The Bettanys coming back to the UK is a bit EBDism'd. Dick resigns from the Forestry and they arrive in England in Tom (March/April 1944), but in Three Go (September 1947) he's back with the Forestry department and he, Mollie and Second Twins are in Australia. But they're at the Quadrant in Island and in Peggy it says they arrived back 'three years ago', so I'd go with the Tom date (although technically it would have been four years by that point).


I would have thought that Dick and Mollie would have waited until the end of the War to return home due to the problems with U Boats. Also the Forestry were probably short of staff, due to young men fighting in the War, so would have been reluctant to let an experienced man go.


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 Post subject: Re: Pinning down the dates
PostPosted: 31 Oct 2015, 18:25 
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Victoria wrote:
The School at the Chalet tells us that Jo came home at the age of 7 months.

The dates have been EBDed anyway. Madge is indicated as having experienced Zeppelin raids during WWI so she must have been in England before August 1918.

Edit to add: You could also consider that Joey was 12 when the CS starts. The "great loans" that Austrian girls mentioned had ground to a halt by 1930 as a result of the depression. The mention is consistent with the original publication date of "Chalet" - which would make Joey born in 1913.

Now that's also consistent with Madge being in England during WWI air attacks since they would have returned to the UK before July 1914.

This is why exact dating is such a chore. Neither the external nor the internal chronology fits.


FOCS magazine received today gives details of new prequel - The Bettanys on the Home Front which starts in 1914 with Dick and Madge age 14 so Joey is about 2. This fits in more with publication date of School at the Chalet. I suspect that when EBD wrote the first book she envisaged their ages as real time then and when she wrote Exile she again envisaged real time. So it's not possible to fit the books chronologically into real time - she didn't write them fast enough!


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 Post subject: Re: Pinning down the dates
PostPosted: 31 Oct 2015, 18:36 
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The dates can drive you mad :lol: . That does work with School At having been published in 1925, but it would mean that the Bettanys took their holiday in Tyrol in 1920, which seems very soon after the war ... although that's slightly more likely than them travelling home from India during the war. And, if they went to Tyrol in 1922 or 1923, which would be more like it, School At was set in the future - *scratches head* :lol: .

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 Post subject: Re: Pinning down the dates
PostPosted: 31 Oct 2015, 19:03 
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I believe EBD's stance was basically that each book was set in whatever year it was written, not a specific timeline. To me that's why Mystery, Tom and Rosalie in particular feel a bit off with their lack of references to the war - because although they should technically be set during it, they were written later, and in EBD's mind are set at the time she was writing them, not the time they should technically be if you follow the series' internal chronology and correlate it with the definite dates given in Exile, which is what most people who drabble or write fill-ins have to do.

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 Post subject: Re: Pinning down the dates
PostPosted: 31 Oct 2015, 21:36 
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When I first read the books in the 50s I had no idea when they were written and I based the dates from Exile and the anschlus(?), therefore by my reckoning Joey was born in November 1918 and the school was started in the summer of 1930. This has always made perfect sense to me as I assumed that their guardean lost their money in the crash of 1929.

From Exile I also dated the books going forward and it worried me that the Dick Bettanies came home while the war was still on. Then I remembered that Mollie was Irish and they were neutral during the war and presumiably travelled in a neutral vessel to Eire and thence to the UK. It just goes to show you can find an explanation for anything if you try hard enough.


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 Post subject: Re: Pinning down the dates
PostPosted: 31 Oct 2015, 23:50 
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Thank you.. I think. EBD knew how to make even the simplest thing complicated. At least my dating for upping and moving to Switzerland was right - based on the triplet's age.

They left Guernsey in April 1940... that makes sense given the occupation by the Nazis in June 1940.

Joey being born in Nov 1918 makes sense in relation to exile.. but apparantly is not consistent with the new GGBP fill in. It'll be interesting to see how the author justifies Joey being born 1912/13...which ties in the School At.. but not with Exile.

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 Post subject: Re: Pinning down the dates
PostPosted: 01 Nov 2015, 00:11 
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When it comes to the date the School moves to Switzerland, there is another definite date that indicates the date of the move.

In "Carola", her date of birth is given as 1936 and she's going to be 15 "this year" so "Carola" takes place in the spring of 1951. This makes "Barbara", the first of the Swiss books, autumn 1952.


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 Post subject: Re: Pinning down the dates
PostPosted: 01 Nov 2015, 00:32 
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Victoria wrote:
When it comes to the date the School moves to Switzerland, there is another definite date that indicates the date of the move.

In "Carola", her date of birth is given as 1936 and she's going to be 15 "this year" so "Carola" takes place in the spring of 1951. This makes "Barbara", the first of the Swiss books, autumn 1952.


But that definite date and the other one (birth of the triplets) don't agree. Based on the above date, the triplets would be 13 in the November of the term covered by Barbara. According to EBD, they turn 13 two years later in New Mistress.


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 Post subject: Re: Pinning down the dates
PostPosted: 01 Nov 2015, 00:55 
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The triplets are 10 when they move to Switzerland, which if you date the series by their date of birth fixes it definitely in 1950, with them turning 11 during the term covered in Barbara. As I said above, though, I think EBD just dated each book as she wrote them, which would support the Carola quote, as that was published in 1951. Joey Goes was published in 1954, so...make of it what you will. :P

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 Post subject: Re: Pinning down the dates
PostPosted: 01 Nov 2015, 01:52 
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I think the books were basically set when they were written, and if it hadn't been for the war, there wouldn't have been strong markers for an external chronology. In Mystery-Rosalie, for example, there are no mentions of the war, which was going strong in Gay. So I think of the series as mainly having an internal chronology.

That internal chronology, though, has two main uncertainties. The gap between New and Exile can be one term or four, and the gap between Rosalie and Three Go is somewhere between 1 and 4 years (based on character ages). Personally, I take four terms for the first gap (based on Joey's India trip and character ages), and two years for the second (as a compromise between the varied agings).

EJO, for another example, has a strong, consistent internal chronology, where all the ages and timelines match (including all the connectors!), but no external chronology. The Girl Who Wouldn't Make Friends has horse drawn carriages and telegraphs, while New Girls at Wood End, five years later in internal chronology, has motor car accidents, telephones, and radios. And war references vanish in books published after the end of WWI, even when they had been integral parts of the storyline.

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 Post subject: Re: Pinning down the dates
PostPosted: 01 Nov 2015, 19:14 
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I usually take the pre-Exile books as happening in the year in which they were published. It's far from perfect, but the things EBD/Madge says abut Austria I think fit better with Austria in the 1920s than in the 1930s. It also allows for things such as Die Grossmutter's reminiscences to be set that much further back in time.

But from Exile onwards I track from the Triplets' birthdate in November 1939. EBD herself is pretty consistent with the triplets' ages, even while everyone else around them is being EBDed. (Quite remarkably, Jack Lambert is actually the age she should be when she joins the school, while Ailie, who is the same age as Jack, and if anything should be in the year below Jack, gets EBDed.)

But I have yet to work out how Coming of Age takes place twenty one years after School At, whatever chronology you're working from.

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 Post subject: Re: Pinning down the dates
PostPosted: 01 Nov 2015, 19:46 
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JayB wrote:
I usually take the pre-Exile books as happening in the year in which they were published. It's far from perfect, but the things EBD/Madge says abut Austria I think fit better with Austria in the 1920s than in the 1930s. It also allows for things such as Die Grossmutter's reminiscences to be set that much further back in time.

But from Exile onwards I track from the Triplets' birthdate in November 1939. EBD herself is pretty consistent with the triplets' ages, even while everyone else around them is being EBDed


Certainly, as the series progresses, there are fewer mentions of external events that might provide a chronology - nothing about accession of the Queen, or the Coronation, for example - and the occupation of Austria is is a vague comment that could have applied to any date in the 10 years after the war. The Carola date is a very rare example (if not the only one) of an exact date being mentioned in the entire series.

Dorothy L Sayers does make the comment in the Author' Note to "Gaudy Night" that "the novelist's only native country is Cloud-cuckooland". Sometimes, to look too closely is to spoil the magic.


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 Post subject: Re: Pinning down the dates
PostPosted: 01 Nov 2015, 22:13 
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And Jo's age is given as 31 in Bride!
Ah the joys of trying to be consistent. God love EBD's timeline. Someone has to!

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