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 Post subject: Re: Books: Tom Tackles the Chalet School
PostPosted: 30 Mar 2020, 14:13 
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Rescuing a Junior from the lake
Rescuing a Junior from the lake
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Lou :D ?

Canon Gay had serious issues. It's amazing that Tom turned into such a nice person. Did he give his congregation sermons about how stupid all women were?!

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 Post subject: Re: Books: Tom Tackles the Chalet School
PostPosted: 12 Apr 2020, 11:39 
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Castor Oil!
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It would have been interesting to hear Canon Gay’s version of Tom’s upbringing, given we only ever hear Tom’s edit.

And also Mrs Gay’s version :D

Given that Tom is quite the tom-boy when we meet her, how much of that is nature, how much nurture?


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 Post subject: Re: Books: Tom Tackles the Chalet School
PostPosted: 12 Apr 2020, 14:19 
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Being told to stand on your own two feet
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That's a tough one given that EBD is heavily invested in both a God-given natural order and in the way that a 'problem pupil' with issues usually has lax or misguided parenting as the cause. I'm only at the start of Tom's time at the school, but there seems to be no desire to cure her tomboyism (as opposed to her misconceptions about school life) so Perhaps EBD saw nature's hand in this one.


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 Post subject: Re: Books: Tom Tackles the Chalet School
PostPosted: 12 Apr 2020, 14:46 
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Rescuing a Junior from the lake
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I'm amazed that there isn't more criticism of Canon Gay. There's criticism of a lot of parents during the series, but apparently it's fine for Canon Gay to teach his daughter that girls are sneaky and dishonourable!

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 Post subject: Re: Books: Tom Tackles the Chalet School
PostPosted: 12 Apr 2020, 16:34 
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Castor Oil!
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I don’t know... Its a while since I last read the book, but I seem to remember there are several instances of Tom pondering that maybe her father had “got it wrong” about girls being sneaky etc. But, the authorial voice still isn’t attaching any significant blame to him, unlike e.g. the Bensons or Prof Fry, where it’s clear we are supposed to think them in the wrong.

Having created the scenario, EBD seems to be sitting on the fence about this one :)

Maybe we are supposed to think him an Agatha Christie-style vicar with no common sense / his mind above real life. But, in Agatha Christie, Mrs Gay would have been there to take charge...


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 Post subject: Re: Books: Tom Tackles the Chalet School
PostPosted: 13 Apr 2020, 10:54 
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Having Miss Annersley for Civics
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I have wondered before now whether Tom's father was based to some extent on somebody Elinor knew or met, or even on a character she'd created earlier and not used - any of which might make her a little reluctant to be critical.


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 Post subject: Re: Books: Tom Tackles the Chalet School
PostPosted: 13 Apr 2020, 11:17 
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I also wonder if quite a few of the characters are based on people she knew. I have just been rereading the Newsletters and she says none of her characters are anything but fictional, but I am not sure that is correct. Canon Gay always felt to me like a Biggles type character, very unused to women and having no real idea about them. His wife is very forgiving!


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 Post subject: Re: Books: Tom Tackles the Chalet School
PostPosted: 14 Apr 2020, 20:43 
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Being taken down a peg or two
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I think EBD once said that Matron Webb was based on a real character - a landlady IIRC. She could have unconsciously used real people for many of her characters though


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