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 Post subject: Best of the rest
PostPosted: 27 Nov 2013, 13:40 
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Following up the thread in The Rose Garden about the number of EBD's books, which of the non-CS/La Rochelle books do people prefer? I think that the Lorna books and Monica Turns Up Trumps are great, and that The School by the River (accepting that it's now very dated!) and The Lost Staircase are both very good reads in their own way. The one I really can't stand is Beechy of the Harbour School!

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 Post subject: Re: Best of the rest
PostPosted: 27 Nov 2013, 13:56 
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I remember enjoying Chudleigh Hold [and possibly others in that series], but it's so long ago I can't recall a lot about them!
Also hated Beechy - far too Preachy!

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 Post subject: Re: Best of the rest
PostPosted: 27 Nov 2013, 14:07 
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Have never read Beechy but always thought it would be a bit preachy! My favourite is School By The River.


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 Post subject: Re: Best of the rest
PostPosted: 27 Nov 2013, 14:32 
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I like Monica, the Lorna Books and I quite like the two books, of which Caroline the Second is the second one. It's all the silly P names and the melodrama. Beechy I dislike.


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 Post subject: Re: Best of the rest
PostPosted: 27 Nov 2013, 15:10 
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Like the rest of you, Monica, Lorna, Lost Staircase are my favourites. Also like They both liked dogs, and Carnation. Don't like Feud in the fifth remove,


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 Post subject: Re: Best of the rest
PostPosted: 27 Nov 2013, 15:27 
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I love Lorna (hate her mother) and find those books perfect comfort reading.

I don't like to two "thrillers" in the Chudleigh Hold series, Beechy, Leader in Spite of Herself and whatever the other Sunday School title is (I just don't understand how EBD who writes so naturally about religion in the CS comes over so heavy handed in these books). I'm not mad about Judy the Guide or the Janeways books. The historical ones leave me cold too.

I like all the others but have no memory of the Fardingales books (although I was sure I'd ready everything).


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 Post subject: Re: Best of the rest
PostPosted: 27 Nov 2013, 16:05 
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I don't care for the adventure stories, e g Top Secret (about which I could tell you exactly nothing even though I've got a copy).

ivohenry wrote:
Don't like Feud in the fifth remove,
That's the ridiculously class-ridden one, isn't it? I can normally say 'Oh well, it's the period in which it was written', but I'll make an exception for that one - gets right up both nostrils!

I do like the La Rochelle books, and find them to be good comfort reading. EMBD seems to depict the children a lot more bearably in those than in some of the Swiss books. The Lost Staircase is another favourite, although it's a bit silly in places - just get sucked into the family history and rituals, never mind the impossible amounts of money it would all have cost to keep up, even then, or the Olde Englysshe documents :D


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 Post subject: Re: Best of the rest
PostPosted: 27 Nov 2013, 22:37 
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abbeybufo wrote:
I remember enjoying Chudleigh Hold [and possibly others in that series], but it's so long ago I can't recall a lot about them!
Also hated Beechy - far too Preachy!


I'm afraid 'Chudleigh' just makes me think of Jacqui Lawson online cards!!! :lol:


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 Post subject: Re: Best of the rest
PostPosted: 28 Nov 2013, 18:00 
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"A Thrilling Term at Janeways" is my favourite non-CS book. It seems to me to have all the traditional EBD elements to it without being formalistic.


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 Post subject: Re: Best of the rest
PostPosted: 28 Nov 2013, 18:15 
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Victoria wrote:
"A Thrilling Term at Janeways" is my favourite non-CS book. It seems to me to have all the traditional EBD elements to it without being formalistic.
Yes, I like Janeways, too - it does often seem to be one people really like or really don't.


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 Post subject: Re: Best of the rest
PostPosted: 02 Dec 2013, 21:40 
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The School by the River is head and shoulders above the rest, as far as I'm concerned! And the one I really can't bear is A Quintette in Queensland, which is basically a geography reader! But The School by the River is my ideal comfort read!

ETA I can never make my mind up about Jean of Storms - some of it's lovely, and the rest is atrocious! Plus it ends all in a rush.


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 Post subject: Re: Best of the rest
PostPosted: 03 Dec 2013, 14:57 
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I love The Lost Staircase and will be re-reading it shortly as part of my Christmas reads. Also really like School by the River, the first Lorna book (although I find both slightly uncomfortable). The Skelton Halls were dull, I don't much like the Sunday School ones and I haven't read the geography readers. Chudleigh Hold ones are okay, and I like Monica.

I do have a soft spot for Kennelmaid Nan because it's sort of like a career novel, and I collect these.

The lovely thing is that even in the ones I really don't much like there are still lovely passages which are really EBD - like the description of the head girl's study in Caroline the Second and Christmas in They Both Liked Dogs.


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 Post subject: Re: Best of the rest
PostPosted: 17 Dec 2013, 23:11 
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Noreen wrote:
Victoria wrote:
"A Thrilling Term at Janeways" is my favourite non-CS book. It seems to me to have all the traditional EBD elements to it without being formalistic.
Yes, I like Janeways, too - it does often seem to be one people really like or really don't.


I really like bits of it but it does feel a little disjointed especially when Melody is exonerated for ringing the bell at night in a 3 sentence scene. After all the trouble and melee over it, it did seem to be a little anti-climatic. The book feels like it should be filled out more. Loved the sequel better.

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 Post subject: Re: Best of the rest
PostPosted: 11 Mar 2014, 19:11 
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Only just spotted this thread, sorry.
I love the Lost Staircase and like others, it's a favourite Christmas read, I wish we had learned more about Jessanne after the War but it was nice to meet her at the CS. I've only read the first Chudleigh Hold book and got very confused when Gill Culver turned up at the CS with a name change.

A friend recently gave me The Maids of La Rochelle and sadly, I'm afraid it's one I should have read when I was about twelve, not as a grown-up, far too soppy. As for the only other Rochelle book, where Janie gets married, I found that rather touching, ie as written by a wistful EBD about (possibly?) her ideal wedding dress (all frills and flounces) and honeymoon?

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 Post subject: Re: Best of the rest
PostPosted: 05 Jan 2020, 16:33 
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Noreen wrote:
I don't care for the adventure stories, e g Top Secret (about which I could tell you exactly nothing even though I've got a copy).

ivohenry wrote:
Don't like Feud in the fifth remove,
That's the ridiculously class-ridden one, isn't it? I can normally say 'Oh well, it's the period in which it was written', but I'll make an exception for that one - gets right up both nostrils!

I do like the La Rochelle books, and find them to be good comfort reading. EMBD seems to depict the children a lot more bearably in those than in some of the Swiss books. The Lost Staircase is another favourite, although it's a bit silly in places - just get sucked into the family history and rituals, never mind the impossible amounts of money it would all have cost to keep up, even then, or the Olde Englysshe documents :D


I've just finished re-reading The Feud in the Fifth Remove and the class-conciousness in this makes me laugh. EBD tries so (too?) hard to have the characters not being snobs yet they all are really. She's very anxious for us to understand that the Marriotts are, technically, in trade but they're also well connected and have a family history of which they are very proud. If EBD wasn't such a snob herself she'd have had the Marriotts just owning a bookshop and that's it. Also Mr Marriott only ever works in the shop in the rare and antiquarian section. :roll:
The school takes girls from all walks of life and they might not look down on anyone but they don't really mix. There's mention of a Minna Wesley, daughter of a fruiterer, but you never see her again in the book. Philathea Marriott isn't friends with any of the other shopkeeper's daughters, just hangs around with Dorcas, the bishop's daughter. The tradespeople characters are mentioned but they're not ones EBD writes about.
I also don't get the introduction of Beatrice Lowe. Completely superfluous as far as I can see. When I first read the book I thought the feud would be between the rich B Lowe and the poor B Lowe but the poor one is pretty much ignored throughout the book.

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 Post subject: Re: Best of the rest
PostPosted: 05 Jan 2020, 17:39 
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Like MaryNew and Mrs Redboots, my favourite is also 'School by the River.' Though 'The Lost Staircase' is a close second.

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