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 Post subject: Re: Joan Baker/Rosamund/Triplets/Problem
PostPosted: 23 Mar 2017, 03:41 
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Interestingly, both Joan and Rosamund end up in pretty much the same position after leaving school as they would have if they had stayed at the local high school. Joan leaves school before finishing sixth form and goes to business college to train as a secretary, and is likely heading towards an early marriage. Rosamund wants to go into horticulture and gardening like her father. Financially, it's likely that neither family could pay for university, and it's not clear whether Rosamund would be able to make up for her previous deficiencies in education and advance to the point that she could get a good scholarship afterwards.

That's another big difference between the Gays and Lilleys - Tom is confident she can go to Oxford and Theological college, even before her father gets his promotion. So their version of "poor" is "can afford a good boarding school and a good university, but not an upscale finishing school abroad", while the Lilley's is "have to attend the local school".

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 Post subject: Re: Joan Baker/Rosamund/Triplets/Problem
PostPosted: 23 Mar 2017, 13:35 
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I agree that Joan could have done a commercial course of some kind, but from a Secondary Modern school at that time she would have left school at 15 and during her time at the CS she picked up French and German and later Spanish I think, so could have got a better job. Ros would surely have got into Agricultural College and would have qualified for a grant for fees and living expenses. I think she did catch up academically.


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 Post subject: Re: Joan Baker/Rosamund/Triplets/Problem
PostPosted: 23 Mar 2017, 13:53 
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We're definitely told that Joan's learning Spanish, along with Maeve Bettany and some others who are thinking towards jobs specifically involving languages. She's savvy enough to know that she needs to make the most of her opportunities - as opposed to, say, Blossom Willoughby, who just shrugs and says that if she ever needed to earn her own living then she'd become a mannequin or a charlady :roll:. Blossom treats it all as a big joke, but, as Madge (and Dimsie, Gwendoline Mary, and umpteen other GO characters could have told her), family circumstances can change very quickly! Joan, once she's settled in, does learn to try to make the most of it.

Charmian, Rosamund's sister, passes the 11 plus and goes to the local grammar/high school, which she says probably provides a better academic education than the Chalet School, and then gets a place as a trainee nurse. That would have been on the job training, though, so presumably she got paid rather than having to pay. Just looked up when free university places came in, but it was 1962 so too late for Rosamund.

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 Post subject: Re: Joan Baker/Rosamund/Triplets/Problem
PostPosted: 23 Mar 2017, 14:36 
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I'm sure Roasamund would have been able to get into university had she wanted to. I think she's definitely supposed to have 'caught up' by the time she leaves school and would have been able to get a scholarship, maybe even one of the obscure variety offered by the CS.

In Problem Joan is a nasty piece of work, even before she gets to the CS. It would have been interesting to have a character with Joan's rougher characteristics, but basically good hearted - like an extreme version of Corney I suppose.

I would have liked to have seen more of Rosamund's difficulties settling in - being friends with Len makes it easier for her (Joey is right about that) but I think EBD should have shown Rosamund having to deal with snobbishness even if only from a minority.

It annoys me that we're later told Margot is jealous of Rosamund - the opposite appears to be the case in Problem, and Margot's later jealousy was just EBD pitching on her 'bad' character yet again.


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 Post subject: Re: Joan Baker/Rosamund/Triplets/Problem
PostPosted: 24 Mar 2017, 06:28 
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Just a thought, would the school authorities given the post of head girl to someone who was struggling with her academic work? I certainly don't think so. HG's & prefects need to be able to balance work and duties.

Ros must have caught up fairly quickly. Wasn't there extra coaching to bring girls up to the level of the others in their form?


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 Post subject: Re: Joan Baker/Rosamund/Triplets/Problem
PostPosted: 24 Mar 2017, 09:22 
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scrabble wrote:
Ros must have caught up fairly quickly. Wasn't there extra coaching to bring girls up to the level of the others in their form?


Given she has to learn two new languages from scratch, I hope she got some extra coaching! It makes my heart quail at the thought.

Coaching is definitely arranged for Iseult to help her catch up, so the CS does organise it if necessary.

But Ros does find it hard because ages later she tells Len she wanted to learn the violin but wanted to be up to date with the basic schooling first. This was several years later so it took her that long to feel she was even on par with her classmates.

Alison H wrote:
Part of the problem with all of this is that the rules are not made clear.
...There's an ongoing attitude at the CS that people should know all these things automatically, which is fine if you join the school at 10 and are not used to anything else, but not if you join the school at 14.


I think Joan is given a raw deal on her very FIRST night when the girls look at her sideways for her dress and hair and for wearing makeup. As you say, she had no idea what the dress code was so she wore what she was used to wearing in the evening.

But we then see the contrast with Rosamund who understood instinctively what was right or wrong. While Ros does get a few things wrong including her speech and using incorrect grammar, these are seen as small things which can be fixed.

Whereas Joan's faults are regarded as much more deep seated and therefore a 'part' of her. And more over, she doesn't see a need for or want to change as we are told that her classmates like Jo Scott still feel she is an outsider even years later.

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 Post subject: Re: Joan Baker/Rosamund/Triplets/Problem
PostPosted: 24 Mar 2017, 11:34 
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I think the difference between Ros and Joan comes down to the fact that Mrs L was a maid so learned correct values from 'the gentry' - a theme EBD uses again with Biddy whose mother was lady's maid and therefore 'eats daintily.' Joan of course 'wolfs' shop-bought cake! Joan does learn not to cheat and bully at the CS but there is no reason why she should enjoy paper games.


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 Post subject: Re: Joan Baker/Rosamund/Triplets/Problem
PostPosted: 24 Mar 2017, 21:18 
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I'm sure Ros could have gone to university. My aunt went in the 1950s from a council estate in Manchester to Cambridge. She had won a scholarship to pay fees, but my grandparents had to pay for her living expenses. Quite how they managed this, I don't know - my grandfather was a milkman and my grandmother worked in the same company's dairy. They still had a school child at this time. I do know my aunt had to pay them back for every penny once she started earning - a far cry from the student loans of today!


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 Post subject: Re: Joan Baker/Rosamund/Triplets/Problem
PostPosted: 24 Mar 2017, 21:36 
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Why didn't she go to agricultural college? I seem to remember she had to leave because her father was ill but that might have been in a fanfic. How sad if that was the case and how mean of EBD to deprive her of her ambitions just so that Len could be HG for five terms.


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 Post subject: Re: Joan Baker/Rosamund/Triplets/Problem
PostPosted: 24 Mar 2017, 22:09 
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Mel wrote:
Why didn't she go to agricultural college? I seem to remember she had to leave because her father was ill but that might have been in a fanfic. How sad if that was the case and how mean of EBD to deprive her of her ambitions just so that Len could be HG for five terms.


EBD never says why, though countless CBBers have speculated and even written fanfic about it including outling the reason you've given.

Interestingly enough, EBD kind of ignores that group of girls as Prefects for the whole year and I don't think there is a single chapter focused on them as a group. We don't even find out Heather Clayton is Games Pre until after the year is over

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 Post subject: Re: Joan Baker/Rosamund/Triplets/Problem
PostPosted: 24 Mar 2017, 22:13 
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I agree that it's a pity that Ros was 'rushed' out of being Head Girl, but I don't know of any suggestion in canon that she was unable to go to college or had her time there cut short. It won't go away, though! :(


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 Post subject: Re: Joan Baker/Rosamund/Triplets/Problem
PostPosted: 24 Mar 2017, 22:14 
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I don't think we're ever told where she goes. She just vanishes! Mary Burnett and Loveday Perowne also vanish so that MBR clan members can become Head Girl, but their disappearances are explained. I think her dad being ill was mentioned in a newsletter after a puzzled reader asked where she'd gone, but it's not in the books. I can't see that the Lilleys would have pulled Ros out of school when they had two other daughters living nearby to lend a hand.

It's a shame, I agree. She at least deserved a proper exit storyline. No-one else just vanished, never mind a Head Girl!

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 Post subject: Re: Joan Baker/Rosamund/Triplets/Problem
PostPosted: 24 Mar 2017, 22:53 
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I think Ros should have got a book to herself when she became Head Girl.

I loathe the idea that her father became ill. I cannot remember reading anything about him in the newsletters. I like to think she got a job offer with a college course thrown in.


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 Post subject: Re: Joan Baker/Rosamund/Triplets/Problem
PostPosted: 27 Mar 2017, 13:30 
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Is it possible her scholarship was up? She starts in the summer term so technically she would have had so many years by the time summer term rolls around again when she has mysteriously disappeared. Although it would be horrible to make her miss her last term at school and seems out of character for the Gays.

I suspect EBD in the later books forgot what she had written and what she hadn't. That would explain why we get so many linkups to future storylines that never happen...

I think she must have caught up academically, since she is made Head Girl.


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 Post subject: Re: Joan Baker/Rosamund/Triplets/Problem
PostPosted: 27 Mar 2017, 15:16 
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Ros doesn't return after Christmas after her first term as HG. Do we ever hear of Len writing to her? Very odd as she writes to Tom Gay!


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 Post subject: Re: Joan Baker/Rosamund/Triplets/Problem
PostPosted: 27 Mar 2017, 15:31 
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I could be wrong but I don't think we ever hear of Ros again after Redheads. Len, as far as I can remember, is suddenly head girl at beginning of Adrienne with no explanation as to what happened to Ros, and no remarks about Len having been chosen as new head girl.

When Jo becomes head girl we hear all about why she does not want this job. When Mary-Lou becomes head girl she must be told at the end of the previous term as we hear of her writing to tell her friends at the beginning of the summer holidays.

Len is EBD's third great heroine but we only learn casually in the course of the story she has achieved the honour of becoming head girl. Just another example of the decline of EBD's writing powers through age.


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 Post subject: Re: Joan Baker/Rosamund/Triplets/Problem
PostPosted: 27 Mar 2017, 16:38 
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I (shameless plug here) wrote a brief article on this for FOCS magazine a few editions ago. My conclusion was that EBD suddenly got cold feet about her ability to keep the series going/Chambers willingness to publish it for long enough to give Len her year as head girl. Rosamund had been given her reward, because EBD always liked her, but if she did her full term, and if EBD expired/Chambers pulled the plug, then Len might never get to be head girl.


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 Post subject: Re: Joan Baker/Rosamund/Triplets/Problem
PostPosted: 27 Mar 2017, 17:15 
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EBD says in one of the Newsletters tht "Rosamund left at Christmas." No explanation.

I'm wondering if the Therese Lepâttre (or whatever spelling you prefer :D ) Scholarship was still being awarded. That entitled the winner to three years at Oxford etc. Rosamund could have won that (if EBD had remembered it).

Can anyone remember when last reference to it was?
A brief answer will do as I don't want to hijack this thread!


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 Post subject: Re: Joan Baker/Rosamund/Triplets/Problem
PostPosted: 27 Mar 2017, 17:44 
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It was mentioned in Feud, when someone told one of the St Hilda's girls about it.

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 Post subject: Re: Joan Baker/Rosamund/Triplets/Problem
PostPosted: 27 Mar 2017, 19:10 
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Alison H wrote:
It was mentioned in Feud, when someone told one of the St Hilda's girls about it.

Thanks, Alison. So EBD hadn't forgotten about it. :lol:


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