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 Post subject: Why Did The Chalet School Books Not have an Editor?
PostPosted: 08 Sep 2014, 01:31 
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Finding out about the Sale
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I've just been reading "Excitements" and "Coming of Age" and, whilst I can understand EBDisms between books being let-go, it is hard to see why errors occurring within a few of lines of each other were not picked up and corrected by the publishers. In fact, it is hard to believe that some of the books were read at all before publication!

For example "It is now half-past eighteen. Supper tonight will be at twenty o'clock. and will only be milk or lemonade and biscuits. Prayers will come immediately afterwards, and then anyone under fifteen will go to bed at once. The rest will go at half-past nineteen" (Coming of Age)

There's a similar gaffe over the amount of money needed for the chapels where we are told that will cost at least £5000 each. Later, at the Sale, we are told both Evadne and Cornelia contribute $10,000 each plus there's been a big cheque from Mr Hope.
"Anyway we got the first twenty thousand pounds in one fell swoop"

Unfortunately, a page earlier we've been told Lady Russell announces that the "figures for the Chapels' Fund to date [are] seven thousand six hundred and fifty-seven pounds. fourteen shillings and ten pence" (Coming of Age)

Edited to remove pronunciation creeping into spelling...


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 Post subject: Re: Why Did The Chalet School Books Not have an Editor?
PostPosted: 08 Sep 2014, 07:37 
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I'm currently re-reading Challenge and that contains this one:-

“Now, IIIb, you go with Miss Burnett and Miss Moore, and your prefects are Primrose Trevoase and Jeanne Daudet. Your ramble is up to the toboggan path and down by the stream through the pinewoods.”
“And our escorts?” demanded a small voice.
“Miss Carey and Miss Lawrence, and Maria Zinkel and Con for prefects.”

Unless IIIb need a lot of supervision or Len is completely losing her marbles I'd say that counts as an error! One that the most basic of proofreading would have picked up as well!


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 Post subject: Re: Why Did The Chalet School Books Not have an Editor?
PostPosted: 08 Sep 2014, 08:03 
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I'm re-reading Kenya, in which Mollie Bettany's new baby is due in September on one page and October a few pages later, and the party going to pick moss consists entirely of Mary-Lou's Gang and a few other girls from their form on one page but has acquired Len and Con Maynard a few pages later :lol:. I don't know why no-one seems to've proofread the books, but it makes for some amusing moments :D .

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 Post subject: Re: Why Did The Chalet School Books Not have an Editor?
PostPosted: 08 Sep 2014, 08:19 
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The puzzling answer to the question is that apparently they did, at least by the latter part of the series - the dedication of Leader is
Quote:
Dedicated to My Friend and Editor Mr John L Blair With Thanks for Much Patience and Many Kindnesses


There is a (demonstrably false) myth that there were never typos in printed books before the post-war period. The CS books show few of those, and I'm guessing that they were proof-read for language only and not for sense or continuity, which is a bad idea with such a large series and so much detail.

The most recent one I noticed was in Richenda, when Vb go for a ramble to Ste Cecilie, said to be six miles along the coast road from the Platz...


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 Post subject: Re: Why Did The Chalet School Books Not have an Editor?
PostPosted: 08 Sep 2014, 15:45 
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Or in Reunion, where the first "expedition" to the Auberge has the triplets staying home to do some chores, but when discussing Bruno's behaviour later, Len and Margot are "shuddering at the recollection" and recalling how difficult it was to hold his chain!

And several instant changes of slacks to skirts in various books...


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 Post subject: Re: Why Did The Chalet School Books Not have an Editor?
PostPosted: 09 Sep 2014, 01:35 
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Having finished Challenge I now realise that there's a far worse mistake than the one I mentioned earlier. There's a scene where Jane Carew is being nice to new girl Evelyn Ross. This leads to some heavy foreshadowing about Evelyn's possessiveness causing Jane problems. They then don't speak to each other again throughout the entire book and the whole plotline just disappears. I'd guess that EBD was planning to write that plotline before getting stuck and switching to a story about Jocelyn Marvell instead but forgot to remove the foreshadowing. Leading to the reader getting utterly confused and waiting for a plotline to start that never happens!


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 Post subject: Re: Why Did The Chalet School Books Not have an Editor?
PostPosted: 09 Sep 2014, 07:16 
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I guess that's the problem with over-emphasis - hooks in the narrative are sooo useful for plot development, but only if they're written subtly enough for the reader not to wait for further development of all of them. In Summer Term I always wonder what was supposed to happen with Emilia Casabon: it's said that the prefects had had no reason to notice her, but were to make up for it on the ramble. What was that, then? It sounds fairly dramatic.

I get the impression that EMBD's way of writing was very intuitive, the sort of thing that she has Jo say in Joey Goes to the Oberland:
Quote:
'...Oh, I suppose a day will come when I just can't help myself. I'll have to sit down at my typewriter and be a loud-speaker again.'
'That's what you always say,' Robin returned thoughtfully. 'Do you really and truly feel that way about it, Jo?'
Jo nodded. 'Exactly that. The people in my stories are alive and kicking and longing to make friends in this world. They tell their own story. I'm just the - the instrument used for broadcasting it.'


This is why I take my hat off to anyone who writes fiction: not only relating the narrative but getting all the techniques like hooks and plotting straight, avoiding anachronisms and having no inconsistencies in your characters is no mean feat.


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 Post subject: Re: Why Did The Chalet School Books Not have an Editor?
PostPosted: 11 Sep 2014, 09:23 
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Even writing just one longish drabble I found continuity errors crept in.

Lorna Hill's books are full of inconsistencies too. Mariella's husband changes from Robin to Ian and back again within three books (a bit like Maynie). There's also a corking editing oversight where someone is told that three kilometres is about five miles :)

Does anyone else find themselves trying to make excuses and find a narrative so that the errors could somehow be 'right'? I know I used to do that as a child.


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 Post subject: Re: Why Did The Chalet School Books Not have an Editor?
PostPosted: 11 Sep 2014, 09:59 
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JS wrote:
Does anyone else find themselves trying to make excuses and find a narrative so that the errors could somehow be 'right'? I know I used to do that as a child.
No - I tended to slide over those things (if I noticed) as a child so that I could get on with the story, and every child knows the grown-ups say odd/ wrong/ puzzling things sometimes. As an adult I'm afraid that I enjoy failing to make sense of them - Maynie's (apparent) three husbands and fiancé being a case in point!

I doubt there are many authors who don't make mistakes, to be honest - even the ones that write Literature...


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 Post subject: Re: Why Did The Chalet School Books Not have an Editor?
PostPosted: 09 Nov 2014, 20:57 
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I found them v annoying as a child! I noticed loads and didn't make excuses, just got cross.

The one that did flummox me for a while was the very odd one in And Jo, where Plato's name is changed inexplicably to Cicero. At that point I only had Rivals and And Jo, and was convinced for quite some time that the two names denoted two different men and that the CS girls named all their singing teachers after Greek or Roman philosophers!

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 Post subject: Re: Why Did The Chalet School Books Not have an Editor?
PostPosted: 09 Nov 2014, 21:46 
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As a child I always tended to assume the mistake was in my own comprehension - I remember feeling very frustrated by the things I couldn't seem to understand! So, for example with the following passage -

Matthew wrote:
“Now, IIIb, you go with Miss Burnett and Miss Moore, and your prefects are Primrose Trevoase and Jeanne Daudet. Your ramble is up to the toboggan path and down by the stream through the pinewoods.”
“And our escorts?” demanded a small voice.
“Miss Carey and Miss Lawrence, and Maria Zinkel and Con for prefects.”


- I would decide that the 'small voice' was actually a girl from a form other than IIIb.

I'm amazed by how many EBDisms I never spot myself, though - especially the age-related ones, unless it's a really extreme case - so I feel quite tolerant of how many slip through the net, especially when it's a lack of consistency between books. Inconsistencies within the same book (which is the one where Grizel doesn't go on a walk because she's unwell, and yet on the very next page there she is, on the walk?) are somewhat harder to forgive - and they surely only need an attentive read-through by an editor, not an encyclopaedic knowledge of the series.


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 Post subject: Re: Why Did The Chalet School Books Not have an Editor?
PostPosted: 09 Nov 2014, 22:19 
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I'm sure I spotted one wthin a paragraph the other day. Must be somewhere in Coming of Age but I can't remember where. ETA: quite possibly the bedtime confusion mentioned above.

Personally I can cope with people's ages changing and minor characters changing identity. But the contradictions within a page or paragraph are very irritating.

Crm you may actually be right. Or does the book go on to have 3b go off with Miss Carey?


Last edited by exile on 09 Nov 2014, 22:56, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Why Did The Chalet School Books Not have an Editor?
PostPosted: 09 Nov 2014, 22:23 
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Crm wrote:
As a child I always tended to assume the mistake was in my own comprehension - I remember feeling very frustrated by the things I couldn't seem to understand! So, for example with the following passage -

Matthew wrote:
“Now, IIIb, you go with Miss Burnett and Miss Moore, and your prefects are Primrose Trevoase and Jeanne Daudet. Your ramble is up to the toboggan path and down by the stream through the pinewoods.”
“And our escorts?” demanded a small voice.
“Miss Carey and Miss Lawrence, and Maria Zinkel and Con for prefects.”

- I would decide that the 'small voice' was actually a girl from a form other than IIIb.


That is what I've always assumed - that it was a small girl from another form who asked the question, although I agree it the text could be far clearer.

Noreen wrote:
In Summer Term I always wonder what was supposed to happen with Emilia Casabon: it's said that the prefects had had no reason to notice her, but were to make up for it on the ramble. What was that, then? It sounds fairly dramatic.


I thought that but then I reached the conclusion that it was simply because she was Ted's partner on the ramble - doesn't entirely explain it but it was the best I could come up with! There are others that puzzle me though - like in Adrienne when Janice (I think) gets in trouble over untidy work - work which she says was fine when she handed it in. And then in Althea, there is a puzzling reference to a bad prep with Upper IVb, I think - almost as though an entire chapter has been cut.


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 Post subject: Re: Why Did The Chalet School Books Not have an Editor?
PostPosted: 09 Nov 2014, 22:42 
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Catherine wrote:
Noreen wrote:
In Summer Term I always wonder what was supposed to happen with Emilia Casabon: it's said that the prefects had had no reason to notice her, but were to make up for it on the ramble. What was that, then? It sounds fairly dramatic.


I thought that but then I reached the conclusion that it was simply because she was Ted's partner on the ramble - doesn't entirely explain it but it was the best I could come up with! There are others that puzzle me though - like in Adrienne when Janice (I think) gets in trouble over untidy work - work which she says was fine when she handed it in. And then in Althea, there is a puzzling reference to a bad prep with Upper IVb, I think - almost as though an entire chapter has been cut.
But how does being Ted's partner on the ramble take on the emphasis that's implied? Sorry, Catherine, there's no reason why you should have to try to explain the Emilia Casaubon bit, so I appreciate your efforts but remain unconvinced - phraseology like 'were to make up for it later' in CS books usually portends drama (or more likely melodrama) of some sort. Besides, it's only one of the many plot hooks that don't work in the Swiss books.


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 Post subject: Re: Why Did The Chalet School Books Not have an Editor?
PostPosted: 09 Nov 2014, 22:50 
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:lol: I have no idea. It was the only explanation I could come up with - that being Ted's partner meant that they now had a reason to notice her because they'd have to talk to her - so I stuck with it! I admit it's not all that plausible. Possibly a storyline cut from the books or one that EBD intended to follow up and then forgot about? I don't blame EBD as much as I do her editor!


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 Post subject: Re: Why Did The Chalet School Books Not have an Editor?
PostPosted: 09 Nov 2014, 23:35 
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That lovely mix-up about the money in Coming of Age gave me the idea from my Just the Secretary drabble.......


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 Post subject: Re: Why Did The Chalet School Books Not have an Editor?
PostPosted: 11 Dec 2014, 23:03 
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In some ways I blame the publisher but in other ways I don't. The fans of the Chalet school series were demanding books and they were publishing 2 or 3 books a year, with the other books they would be publishing at the time, the editor would be pushed for time.

37 - The New Mistress at the Chalet School 1957

38 - Excitements at the Chalet School 1957

39 - The Coming of Age of the Chalet School 1958

40 - The Chalet School and Richenda 1958

41 - Trials for the Chalet School 1958


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 Post subject: Re: Why Did The Chalet School Books Not have an Editor?
PostPosted: 11 Dec 2014, 23:21 
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Victoria wrote:
For example "It is now half-past eighteen. Supper tonight will be at twenty o'clock. and will only be milk or lemonade and biscuits. Prayers will come immediately afterwards, and then anyone under fifteen will go to bed at once. The rest will go at half-past nineteen" (Coming of Age)


"half-past nineteen" sounds clumsy. I wonder whether it was originally "half past nine" and was incorrectly converted. :-s


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 Post subject: Re: Why Did The Chalet School Books Not have an Editor?
PostPosted: 12 Dec 2014, 11:25 
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The mistakes started appearing very early on. I came across one the other day which I had never noticed before in Princess. Page 238 of my 1951 h/b edition 'the alpe ... was comparatively near the Aachen See'. Further in the paragraph there is a correct reference to the Tiern alps, so this one must just have slipped out. Perhaps the editor didn't even realise it was a slip.


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 Post subject: Re: Why Did The Chalet School Books Not have an Editor?
PostPosted: 13 Dec 2014, 10:43 
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Jayne wrote:
Victoria wrote:
For example "It is now half-past eighteen. Supper tonight will be at twenty o'clock. and will only be milk or lemonade and biscuits. Prayers will come immediately afterwards, and then anyone under fifteen will go to bed at once. The rest will go at half-past nineteen" (Coming of Age)


"half-past nineteen" sounds clumsy. I wonder whether it was originally "half past nine" and was incorrectly converted. :-s


Given her desire to use European time when the school is on the continent, I think it's far more likely that she meant "half-past nineteen" which is how a German speaker would say it - "neunzehn uhr dreizig" or "nineteen hours thirty" in English. Half-past nineteen is better than the direct translation.

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