I can see Madge originally thinking of a school much like the Angela Brazil ones - 20 or 30 students, mostly between the ages of about 11 and 17, with basic academics, healthy exercise, and some genteel accomplishments. Then she lucks out by making a few good connections with local families who for some reason want their daughters to have an English education, and who then refer relatives and connections. Not to mention random vacationing people who decide to drop their kids off at a newly established school and leave the country.
I do always wonder why it is that the Carricks leaving Juliet behind is deadly suspicious, whereas the Stevenses leaving Amy and Margia isn't. Since Mr Stevens is a well known journalist, is it possible Madge is being just a wee bit snobby?
I just read Vanity Fair
, maybe that's colouring my interpretation.
Alison H wrote:
I think it was quite common at the time for people like Madge and Miss Browne, fairly genteel women who for whatever reason found themselves without means of financial support, to set up schools. The sort of school that EBD herself went to sounds like it was one of them. How Simone and Juliet got into university is a bit of a mystery
I don't find it too strange. By the time Simone is leaving she will have been taught by university educated teachers for much of her school career. Juliet is maybe more questionable, but didn't Vera Brittain get into university after only being homeschooled about ten years earlier?
I think I differ from everyone else in that School At isn't one of my absolute favourites. I do love it, but my favourite period is when the school is larger but still seems 'homey' - Head Girl