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 Post subject: Re: Books: The Head Girl of the Chalet School
PostPosted: 02 Feb 2017, 23:12 
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Maybe EBD didn't know in the early days when they were going to pull the plug on the series or it could even have been she didn't know if she was capable of keeping creating new characters and ideas.

I seem to remember reading that the series could have ended with Jo Returns. Also, that maybe the war gave it a new lease of life.

In EBD's original Chalet Club newsletters it is obvious that she was deeply worried about the impact on readers of the departure of M-L from the school. Quite rightly as it turns out because the books were very rarely as good after M-L did depart.


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 Post subject: Re: Books: The Head Girl of the Chalet School
PostPosted: 03 Feb 2017, 02:54 
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thefrau46 wrote:
KB wrote:
Lottie wrote:
KB wrote:
There is a whole storyline there that is so disappointingly excluded. Head Girl really should have been two books - the second term only gets a sparse few chapters.

Is that going to be your next fill-in, then, KB? :lol:


*whistles innocently and sidles away*

:) :) :)


Please, Yes!!! I really loved how you developed Grizel's character in the book and the scene you had with Mademoiselle and Grizel.

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 Post subject: Re: Books: The Head Girl of the Chalet School
PostPosted: 03 Feb 2017, 12:51 
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Loryat wrote:
I actually think Deira's behaviour is much more serious than Margot's in the Bookend incident. I like that we get to see a different side of Deira in Eustacia.

:


I don't think I agree with that! Wasn't it during a snow-ball fight and Deira just thought that she had got a particularly good snowball? She'd been hit by Grizel throwing one at her, and simply retaliated. Unfortunately, there was a stone embedded in the snowball - not Deira's fault - whereas Margot knew she had picked up a bookend.


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 Post subject: Re: Books: The Head Girl of the Chalet School
PostPosted: 03 Feb 2017, 14:32 
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Deira behaves malevolently towards Grizel, burns her personal property, refuses to talk to Grizel and refuses to listen to anyone who tries to intervene. Then during the snowfight Grizel aims a snowball at someone, misses and hits Deira. Deira takes this personally, snatches up the first thing that comes to hand (I don't think there's any suggestion that she thinks it's a snowball) and throws it at Grizel.

The bookend incident is awful and the way it's written is awful. But Deira's behaviour is targeted at Grizel the whole time.


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 Post subject: Re: Books: The Head Girl of the Chalet School
PostPosted: 03 Feb 2017, 18:54 
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I, too, think there's a difference between the Deira snowball and the Margot bookend, and I feel the editorial voice is different in each cases.

Deira does behave childishly towatds Grizel but the burning of the letter is accidental - it's an incident that goes further than the perpetrator intended (not that that makes it "right") and the rest of her behaviour is all of a piece for someone in a sulk. She does not intend to injure Grizel - she intends to throw a snowball. The atmosphere is excited - people are doing things they would not normally do and Deira is caught up in that excitement. It should be noted that, during snowfights, other people take revenge for snow received. Also, and very importantly in the EBDverse, she is sincerely regretful afterward and does, sincerely, attempt to reform. Also Deira has no history of malice and bad behaviour - what happens in HG is aberrant. EBD is very careful to show the stone-throwing as a lack of care in an over-excited condition.



Now, Margot is in a different situation. She has a history of poor behaviour and she's been allowed to get away with it (which Deira is not). She's not in a situation or position where throwing something is normal. The situation is not, in itself, excited. She throws something that other people are not throwing. What we have is, once again, Margot having a temper tantrum. Margot gets let off again, and is about as repentant as she is every time. Betty, the innocent injured party, appears to get more blame than Margot.


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 Post subject: Re: Books: The Head Girl of the Chalet School
PostPosted: 03 Feb 2017, 20:17 
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I know it's a trope in books that girls who've been involved end up becoming best friends, but I'm not sure I find it convincing. Would you want to open a business (especially if it meant moving to the other side of the world) with someone who'd burnt your treasured letter and thrown a stone at your head? Or who'd bullied you, like Jack bullied Jane? It does happen quite often in books, though.

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 Post subject: Re: Books: The Head Girl of the Chalet School
PostPosted: 04 Feb 2017, 02:15 
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I think it might be more likely if it's a mutual conflict - two strong willed people who get crosswise at first, but later learn to appreciate either. I don't buy it when one person has been bullied or attacked by the other, though. I was bullied as an adolescent, and the last thing I would want, even now, is to be friends with my tormenters.

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 Post subject: Re: Books: The Head Girl of the Chalet School
PostPosted: 04 Feb 2017, 07:19 
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Mabel wrote:
Loryat wrote:
I actually think Deira's behaviour is much more serious than Margot's in the Bookend incident. I like that we get to see a different side of Deira in Eustacia.

:


I don't think I agree with that! Wasn't it during a snow-ball fight and Deira just thought that she had got a particularly good snowball? She'd been hit by Grizel throwing one at her, and simply retaliated. Unfortunately, there was a stone embedded in the snowball - not Deira's fault - whereas Margot knew she had picked up a bookend.


No, there's no suggestion that it was ever a snowball:

Quote:
She stooped, and grabbed at something which was lying on the ground and had been turned up in the scrimmage... By Grizel's side lay what had caused the accident – a sharp piece of stone, which Deira in her blind fury had flung without noticing what it was.


It's interesting that the words used in that and the bookend incident are quite similar:

Quote:
Almost blind with fury, Margot snatched up the first thing that came to hand - a heavy bookend - and flung it straight at her head.


In both cases, the girls are pardoned for not really noticing that what they are using is potentially deadly because of 'blind fury', suggesting that EBD sees the problem as temper and lack of self-control.

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 Post subject: Re: Books: The Head Girl of the Chalet School
PostPosted: 04 Feb 2017, 12:59 
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I think the Margot incident was worse, because as Victoria says, she is not involved in a 'throwing' activity but in a rage and completely out of control.


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 Post subject: Re: Books: The Head Girl of the Chalet School
PostPosted: 04 Feb 2017, 20:21 
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Mel wrote:
I think the Margot incident was worse, because as Victoria says, she is not involved in a 'throwing' activity but in a rage and completely out of control.

And you really have to wonder, had Margot not been a Maynard, would the consequences for her have been worse?

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 Post subject: Re: Books: The Head Girl of the Chalet School
PostPosted: 04 Feb 2017, 21:25 
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Interestingly, the heroine of the hour is Robin, who comforts Deira and persuades her to own up. She's also the heroine of the hour in Rivals, although I can't take the storyline about Jo being saved from the jaws of death by Robin's singing very seriously! She's already had a big part to play in this book, and she was also very involved in both Jo of and Princess. Then after Rivals, she unfortunately gets relegated just to being the cause of Jo either getting stressed or taking a dislike to people, before (hooray!!) emerging as a teenage heroine in Exile. But she's the one taking the part that someone like Mary-Lou would have taken later on ... although presumably Mary-Lou would not have sat on someone's knee :lol: .

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 Post subject: Re: Books: The Head Girl of the Chalet School
PostPosted: 05 Feb 2017, 01:26 
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Alison H wrote:
I know it's a trope in books that girls who've been involved end up becoming best friends, but I'm not sure I find it convincing. Would you want to open a business (especially if it meant moving to the other side of the world) with someone who'd burnt your treasured letter and thrown a stone at your head? Or who'd bullied you, like Jack bullied Jane? It does happen quite often in books, though.


This was the only time we are told Grizel and Deira clashed badly though they had had minor skirmishes before. And Grizel says they became good friends AFTER after they left school when presumably they are more mature. But yes, I would consider whether the friendship is strong enough to handle running a business together and moving to the other end of the world.

I never believed the Jack/Jane friendship though. I suppose it shows EBD's waning writing powers but we are meant to believe Jack acted very out of character and therefore her 'real' self could be friends with Jane. I dunno though - Jack is never shown as a particularly nice person.

Cheers,
Joyce

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 Post subject: Re: Books: The Head Girl of the Chalet School
PostPosted: 05 Feb 2017, 09:33 
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Alison H wrote:
Interestingly, the heroine of the hour is Robin, who comforts Deira and persuades her to own up. She's also the heroine of the hour in Rivals, although I can't take the storyline about Jo being saved from the jaws of death by Robin's singing very seriously! She's already had a big part to play in this book, and she was also very involved in both Jo of and Princess. Then after Rivals, she unfortunately gets relegated just to being the cause of Jo either getting stressed or taking a dislike to people, before (hooray!!) emerging as a teenage heroine in Exile. But she's the one taking the part that someone like Mary-Lou would have taken later on ... although presumably Mary-Lou would not have sat on someone's knee :lol: .


Interesting - I'd not thought of Robin's role like that. Makes me wonder if EBD was really so wise to have Madge create the Annexe - on one hand its a reason to bring Juliet and Grizel back, but on the other it means we lose previous popular younger characters like Amy and Rob, and they only properly come back into the mix when the war changes all of their lives, and the direction of the books.


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 Post subject: Re: Books: The Head Girl of the Chalet School
PostPosted: 05 Feb 2017, 09:45 
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I think the Annexe was in part to bring Juliet and Grizel back. Having them join the staff at the main school would be difficult - Juliet is only nineteen and Grizel eighteen, and two and one years from being students themselves. Later old girl as mistresses generally have a longer gap between leaving school and starting as mistresses - most leave the school for at least four years, and are at least 22 or 23 by the time they start teaching, so enough of a gap in time and age to be seen as authority figures rather than peers.

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 Post subject: Re: Books: The Head Girl of the Chalet School
PostPosted: 05 Feb 2017, 17:48 
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Just been thinking about this a bit more (as you do :lol:). For the first four books in which she features, Robin is right in the thick of the action:

Jo of - realises that Jo has gone off with Eigen (to rescue Rufus), falls into a ditch, is involved in the Christmas storyline and forms a friendship with Grossmutter
Princess - gets locked up by Matron, is with Joey and Elisaveta when they first meet Ternikai
Head Girl - a member of the party involved in the Schaffhausen incident, gets kidnapped by a madman, one of the group caught up in the hotel fire in Salzburg, comforts Deira after the snowball fight
Rivals - has a confrontation with Elaine over the church collection money, saves Joey by singing (hmm)

But then it all becomes about her health and other people stressing about it :( .

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 Post subject: Re: Books: The Head Girl of the Chalet School
PostPosted: 05 Feb 2017, 19:19 
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One of the real delights of this book for me was reading the uncut version for the first time. Not only did it provide information on just who exactly 'the Stuffer' and 'Maria' were, but it also provided background details about Mademoiselle's life as a governess and why she was prepared to take her chances with Madge. There is also that lovely conversation between Madge and Mademoiselle where the former shows true gratitude to her friend for taking the reins so that Madge could marry.

As a Grizel fan, I like the fact that she makes good and proves herself worthy of Madge and Mademoiselle's trust. And although Joey herself has a few regressions still to come, she shows her first bit of maturity when Madge is so ill after David's birth.


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 Post subject: Re: Books: The Head Girl of the Chalet School
PostPosted: 05 Feb 2017, 23:21 
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jennifer wrote:
Juliet is only nineteen and Grizel eighteen, and two and one years from being students themselves.


I'm sorry, I don't understand your quoted ages here.

Juliet had been through university and Grizel had studied at the Conservatoire. Were they not in their twenties when they started at the Annex?


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 Post subject: Re: Books: The Head Girl of the Chalet School
PostPosted: 06 Feb 2017, 08:51 
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hac61 wrote:
jennifer wrote:
Juliet is only nineteen and Grizel eighteen, and two and one years from being students themselves.


I'm sorry, I don't understand your quoted ages here.


In School At, Juliet is 15. She is 17 in Princess, her last term at school. Her university course is two years, so she's nineteen when she returns as a mistress (maybe just turning twenty).

Grizel is 14 when she joins the school, and 17 when she graduates. She spends one year in Florence before returning, so she's 18 when she returns as a mistress.

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 Post subject: Re: Books: The Head Girl of the Chalet School
PostPosted: 06 Feb 2017, 16:35 
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For me, this is the book where Grizel becomes a real person and goes her own way, not the way the EBD necessarily chooses. You can see the roots of both her 'bad' side, which is uppermost when she is a discontented music teacher, feared by all, and her 'good' side, which is uppermost in Reunion. I wouldn't like her as a friend myself, but she is rounded and credible.
Oh, but the madman nonsense, and coming to his senses at the last, and Rufus carrying Robin home....tish pish!


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 Post subject: Re: Books: The Head Girl of the Chalet School
PostPosted: 06 Feb 2017, 16:52 
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jennifer wrote:
hac61 wrote:
jennifer wrote:
Juliet is only nineteen and Grizel eighteen, and two and one years from being students themselves.


I'm sorry, I don't understand your quoted ages here.


In School At, Juliet is 15. She is 17 in Princess, her last term at school. Her university course is two years, so she's nineteen when she returns as a mistress (maybe just turning twenty).

Grizel is 14 when she joins the school, and 17 when she graduates. She spends one year in Florence before returning, so she's 18 when she returns as a mistress.


For me, the odd thing about Juliet is why her maths degree at a prestigious London university is apparently only 2 years long, of which she misses a few months with scarlet fever. I would have expected her to have a three year degree at least.

The Annexe opens in Exploits, right? I do make Juliet just over 20 at that point (birthday late in the summer holidays, in Princess she is said to be nearly 18).

I make Grizel 18 when she graduates (her birthday is in the May of Head Girl - although this does contradict her age in School at, when she is supposed to be 14 and a half). But yes, she's only in Florence for one year. So, she's 19 and a half when the Annexe starts.


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