I know that EJO vs EBD is an oft discussed topic, but as I can't find any recent threads I thought I'd reignite it
Thanks to the lovely CBBer who recommended FadedPage.com on another thread, I have finally discovered the wonderful EJO and have been going through the Abbey
books faster than I can eat a tin of Roses...
Naturally, I can't help comparing EJO and EBD- these are my character parallels Please feel free to disagree, as I haven't read all that many Abbey
books (sadly my bank balance is preventing me from reading as much of the series as I would like. I'm already way over my budget for the month):
Jen Robins (Marchwood): Joey Bettany (Maynard): mischievous, deeply affected by history, musical, empathetic, wise, popular.
Joan Shirley (Raymond): Madge Bettany (Russell)
Joy Shirley (Marchwood/Quellyn): Grizel/Margot
Jack: (superficially) Grizel: only in the sense that she is sporty, tomboyish and tends to be left out of things
Jandy-Mac: Juliet Carrick
I was also intrigued by the different representations of romance though both were writing for a similar audience. EJO seems more modern, at least to me. There is none of EBD's notion that discussing romance is "vulgar" (e.g. when Joey teases Juliet): the majority of the Abbey romances are discussed by all and sundry, even when they have just met the person! (e.g. Karen Wilson).
EJO disagrees with the idea that the woman should give up her career for her husband (Gudren is encouraged not to get engaged unless her husband-to-be is happy for her to pursue her own career): this is very different from EBD's Daisy and Julie who give up highly successful careers to get married.
EBD seems to think it's engagement or nothing, whilst I think Len and Reg (for one) would have been better off having an "understanding" like that of Angus & Selma rather than a formal engagement.
With both writers we have difficulties in romances (Juliet & Donal, Rob & Robin, Joy & Andrew) but I feel that the sense that not all romances are plain-sailing is more prevalent in EJO than EBD.
There is also the reaction to the death of the partner: Joy and Andrew, and Joey when Jack is feared dead.
Would love to hear your thoughts, will stop rambling: am so excited about the Abbey books but there doesn't seem to be a CBB equivalent for me express it