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 Post subject: Books: Lavender Laughs in the Chalet School
PostPosted: 06 May 2017, 22:33 
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I’m off on holiday tomorrow morning for a week, so putting this discussion up before I go in case I don’t get the chance to do so on Monday. This week it’s the seventeenth book in the series, Lavender Laughs in the Chalet School (Lavender Leigh at the Chalet School in paperback), first published in 1943. Covering the Easter term immediately after Highland Twins, this book centres on Lavender Leigh, a new girl at the Chalet School whose globetrotting lifestyle with her authoress Aunt Sylvia has been curtailed due to the war, and her struggles to fit in. Notable events:

The book opens in the consulting room of the great children’s specialist Dr Marilliar. Miss Leigh, author of the famous Lavender Laughs series of children’s books, has brought her thirteen year old niece Lavender, the star of the books, to him for a consultation, as she has been suffering from insomnia, irritability and a poor appetite.
Dr Marilliar diagnoses that Lavender’s nerves are all on edge due to the upheaval involved in travelling about so much, and as Miss Leigh has been called up in any case, he advises that she send Lavender to the Chalet School for a more settled lifestyle. After some persuasion and testimonies from Dr Marilliar’s daughter Monica and niece Mollie McNab, Miss Leigh agrees to visit the school and see if they will take Lavender for the Easter term beginning at the end of January.
Miss Leigh arrives at the school for her interview just after the New Year, when it is empty save for the maids and Miss Wilson, who is enjoying a cosy afternoon by the fire with a novel and a box of chocolates. After hearing about Lavender and Miss Leigh’s predicament, Miss Wilson agrees to consult with Miss Annersley when she returns on whether they can take Lavender, but is privately dubious, especially when she learns how sheltered Miss Leigh has kept Lavender with regards to the war news.
Lavender is duly entered for the school, and after sitting the entrance papers is placed in Lower Third, to which Bride Bettany has been newly promoted away from her friends, much to her disgust (note the corking EBDism about Mollie McNab here, who goes from Lower Third to Lower Fourth in less than a page!). Madge asks Bride to look after Lavender, and Bride reluctantly agrees to sheepdog her, but points out that she can’t force a friendship if they don’t like each other.
Jem takes the Round House crowd up to the school, where they meet Robin, who informs them that Jo has not been well the past week or so.
Bride goes to the library to pick up Lavender, and shows her up to the Green dormitory. Lavender is stunned to learn that she will only be allowed to have four frocks instead of her usual nine, and is only just talked out of storming off to the Head about it by Bride, Julie and Nancy.
After taking Lavender to see Matron about an unpacking time slot, the girls head down to the common room, and Lavender cheers up when Bride reveals she is the star of the Lavender Laughs series, causing a sensation among the girls and putting her at the centre of attention.
Meanwhile, Sybil Russell is deeply indignant when Bride passes on a message from Matron about being on time for unpacking, and fumes to Betsy Lucy about how she wishes the Bettanys would go and live in their own home.
After tea, Lavender is sent to unpack under the supervision of Enid Sothern, who is quick to point out the four frocks rule. Lavender refuses to back down from her assertion that she needs nine of them, forcing Enid to fetch Matron, who gives Lavender short shrift and makes her choose four. Lavender also mentions that she is not a Guide as her aunt doesn’t approve of them, much to the shock of the other girls who overhear.
The first assembly of term is held, and after saying the Peace League prayer, Miss Wilson explains about the League and how it was begun, and reads out the vow. Lavender begins to object at the idea of being nice to Germans, but is silenced by Bride who claps her hand over her mouth to shut her up. A furious Lavender vows to write to her aunt to complain, and Bride calls her a sneak.
On the first morning of lessons proper, Miss Slater arrives in the Lower Third form room to find Lavender and Bride scrapping, the latter having tried to stop the former from taking a desk that was already occupied by someone. An irate Miss Slater drags the story out of them and rebukes them sharply.
After a morning of lessons in which Lavender puts on a superior air about her knowledge – despite there being some major gaps in it – Lower Third are determined to take her down several pegs, and the mistresses taking the classes struggle to control their tempers at her rudeness.
Meanwhile, two new Seniors have joined the Sixth form: Jesanne Gellibrand and Lois Bennett, who have come from the Dragon House estate further up the Valley. They have an exciting story about a lost staircase which they discovered at the Dragon House some years before, and, having heard that Josephine M. Bettany is affiliated with the school, are keen to get acquainted with her and ask her to publish the story as a book. Jo herself arrives then with the invitation to the new girls’ tea party at Plas Gwyn, and after being introduced to the girls is very intrigued by their idea.
Elizabeth Arnett, who is now Head Girl, tells Lavender about Jo’s invitation and asks which friend she wants to bring, assuming it will be Bride because she has been sheepdogging her. Lavender, still smarting over the Peace League incident, doesn’t want to go at all, but when told that she has to, insists she won’t ask Bride and instead asks Julie Lucy, the Ozanne twins, Nancy Chester and Norah Bird in succession. All of them refuse and tell her she should be asking Bride to go instead. In the end Elizabeth goes to the Head to report that Lavender will be going to the tea unaccompanied.
The two Thirds have a hockey lesson, and Lavender, already in a bad mood after a Latin lesson with Mlle Berné, ends up in a foul temper after falling foul of the rules several times. Finally, when Anne Montague runs in to tackle her, she hits her hard on the knuckles with her stick, causing Anne to cry and Lavender to taunt her for being a baby.
The girls decide to send Lavender to Coventry for her behaviour towards Anne, and when Lavender is sent to the library for a Head’s interview regarding the incident, she refuses to apologise or acknowledge that she was wrong, and insists that she doesn’t care what the girls think of her and that she will write to her aunt to complain. Miss Annersley, knowing her words are more bravado than truth, decides to leave her to the girls themselves to handle, and sends her off to prep without further comment.
For the rest of that week, Lavender remains in Coventry, and doesn’t like it at all. Peggy Bettany tries to explain to her that if she will only say she is sorry for taunting Anne, everything will be all right again, but Lavender is too proud to do so.
By the Saturday morning, the prefects decide things have gone on long enough, and ask Biddy O’Ryan, who will be on duty, to try and resolve the issue. Biddy helps the struggling Lavender with her mending, and when the rest of the form reproach her for it, she tells them they are getting close to bullying, which pulls them up at once, although they are rather unsure how to go about patching things up.
Bride is the first girl to begin to make friendly overtures towards Lavender again, and the latter begins to warm to her in spite of herself. Bride also ends up accompanying Lavender to the new girls’ tea at Plas Gwyn after all, as Jo specifically invites her.
At Plas Gwyn, the girls are delighted to see Polly Heriot, whose guardian has recently died and who is staying with Jo briefly before signing up for war work. Jo gives Lavender some advice on living as part of the school community and not telling tales, and Lavender tries to take it on board.
A week of snow keeps the girls pent up in school, culminating in an outsize row between Lavender and Joy Bird of Upper Third. The entire Lower Third and those of Upper who are friends with Peggy Bettany take Lavender’s side, while the rest of Upper take Joy’s side, and a tense atmosphere reigns for the next few days, much to the astonishment of the rest of the school. Joy’s attitude is not improved when she overhears some scathing remarks by Gwensi Howell about the fact that she is still only in Upper Third at nearly fifteen.
After ten days, the snow finally ceases, and the entire school goes out for various walks. The two Thirds, with Miss Edwards and Miss Stevens, stop to have a snowball fight at the top of a plateau, and Joy, in a blind rage after one of Lavender’s snowballs hits her, lunges at her and knocks her off the edge of a plateau into a snowdrift. After a mighty effort, the two mistresses manage to dig her out and carry her to the road, where they flag down a passing Dr Prosser and get him to take her back to the school.
A week later, Joy, terrified that Lavender is going to report that she was pushed rather than fell into the snowdrift, goes to visit her in the San to find out what she intends to do. To her astonishment, Lavender states she will say nothing, but refuses to say why, and a suspicious Joy wonders if she intends to use the information to blackmail her. An infuriated Lavender denies it and dismisses her, and on later reflecting why she had resolved to say nothing, realises it is a result of Joey’s words at the Plas Gwyn tea party about standing on her own feet and making allowances.
Lavender continues to recover in the San, and, inspired by Jo’s books, makes a beginning on a story of her own, based on her travels in the Seychelles. Bride comes to visit her with the news that a new girl will be starting in Lower Third the next day, and that there is something unusual about her.
Jack Maynard comes up to the school and tells the staff that Jo, attempting to dye a frock green, contrived to spill the dye all over herself and is consequently seeing no one but himself and Anna until it wears off. The next day, the news comes that Jo has given birth to a son, Stephen, and Jack jokes that his second name should be ‘Green’.
Bride visits Lavender again with the news that the new girl hasn’t arrived yet, and they discuss that day’s geography lesson. Lavender tells Bride about monsoons, which sets her to remembering her travels in Kashmir, and a girl she had befriended there, Lilamani.
On the Monday, Lavender is allowed back into school again, and is delighted when the new girl arrives and turns out to be none other than Lilamani herself, whose mother is seriously ill in the San. She takes Lilamani under her wing and helps her to settle in.
Lavender, Bride, Lilamani and several others cause a sensation when they put snowballs on the lid of a boiling hot radiator, causing the lid to blow off and hit the art cupboard, smashing all the models inside and covering the floor in plaster and scorch marks. They are sent to bed for the weekend as punishment and made to pay for the damage out of their pocket money.
That evening, Daisy goes to Robin to ask if anything is wrong with Jo, as it has been ten days since Stephen’s arrival and they still haven’t been allowed to go down to Plas Gwyn. Daisy is worried that Jo has changed since Jack went missing and is growing away from them, and she is afraid they may have to go back to the Round House, which she doesn’t want because she knows Sybil doesn’t want them there and was one of the reasons they moved in with Jo in the first place.
Robin reassures Daisy, and soon after is sent for by the Head to be told about Jo’s mishap with the dye, and that they will be going down to Plas Gwyn that very evening in Jack’s Monster, a contraption made from a bath-chair, tricycle and rope.
Lavender’s next exploit is to leave the hot tap of one of the baths running while she gets caught up in dormitory gossip. The waste pipe doesn’t drain the water properly as it has frozen outside, causing the bathroom and stairs to flood with boiling water and the ceiling of the butler’s pantry to come down. Lavender is sent back to the San to prevent any fear of pneumonia, much to her sorrow.
Half-term arrives, and the staff discuss the arrangements, and also the improvement in Lavender’s attitude since the arrival of Lilamani. Matey reports that Lavender came to her and asked if she could give three of her spare frocks to Lilamani who has only one, and was very upset when she was told she wasn’t allowed to give her things away without permission.
Elizabeth Arnett then comes in to report that Lavender has slipped into the office and phoned a wire to her aunt to ask permission to give the frocks to Lilamani. Half-amused, half-indignant, Miss Annersley scolds Lavender for taking such a liberty, but agrees that Lilamani can have the frocks.
Lavender and Lilamani join the Plas Gwyn party for half-term, and Jo welcomes Lilamani warmly, knowing that her mother has relapsed and is unlikely to live to Easter. The girls are thrilled to meet baby Stephen, who is to be baptised the next day in Armiford.
At the baptism, Len causes a sensation when Stephen is splashed with the water by rushing at Father Edmund, telling him not to hurt the baby, and is hustled out by Anna. Jo is mortified, but Father Edmund takes it in his stride and soothes Len and her sisters with chocolates afterwards.
After a quiet Sunday, the girls go for a walk on the Monday morning to buy ingredients for a session of cooking, then set to work in an empty Plas Gwyn to bake a fruit cake and waffles. Unfortunately they make a mess of both by undercooking the cake and missing out two pages of the waffles recipe, meaning they turn out far too bitter.
A week after half-term, Lilamani’s mother dies up at the San, and she goes to Plas Gwyn, initially for the rest of the term. She soon grows restless, however, and goes back to the school for the last ten days. Lavender comforts her, even sneaking into her cubicle at night to stay with her until she goes to sleep, and the rest of the form chips in with sundry acts of kindness to try and help her through her grief.
The last night of term arrives, and the staff discuss Lavender’s improvement once more. She had initially been going to the Marilliars’ for the Easter holidays, but on hearing that Lilamani was going to the Dragon House with Jesanne and Lois, asked to go there instead to keep Lilamani company.
Meanwhile, during a game of Tag, Lavender gets her ringlets caught so many times that she impulsively gets a pair of scissors and cuts them off, much to the awe and horror of the rest of the form. She is well scolded by Miss Stephens, Miss Annerlsey and Matron in succession, but is quite unrepentant about it, and the general feeling in the school is that it is probably better for her to be rid of them anyway.
On the last morning, Lavender bumps into Joy Bird and reassures her she won’t say anything about the snow fight incident, and reveals why. Joy in turn apologises and reveals that as a result of the incident she has worked hard and contrived to gain a remove to Lower Fourth next term, ending any fear of her parents threatening to take her away from the school.

So, thoughts on this book? Is Lavender’s reformation from Spoilt Brat to Real Chalet School Girl believable? What did you think of Bride and the rest of Lower Third’s handling of her? What about the feud with Joy Bird and the snow fight? Thoughts on the more incidental events like Stephen’s birth and Jo’s mishap with the dye, and Len’s behaviour at the baptism? What about the cookery session?

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 Post subject: Re: Books: Lavender Laughs in the Chalet School
PostPosted: 07 May 2017, 07:14 
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Thank you for doing on all this - that was a lovely long synopsis :D.

I do find it very unrealistic that either Miss Leigh or Shiena MacDonald would have been called up into the Armed Forces when they were the primary carers for children, but, OK, it was needed for plot purposes. However, the "Goes To It" mood seems to have gone by this point. Bride talks about Miss Leigh not being able to "get off" war work now that Lavender's 14. And, when Lavender objects to the Peace League - and, whilst EBD's ideas about not blaming all Germans etc seem very meritorious now, Lavender's feelings were much more the mood of the time - Bride won't even let her speak. I'm not keen on that scene: as happens later with Naomi being an agnostic, it seems that people's views are not respected unless they agree with official Chalet School policy. And then Lavender's told that she's got to go to Jo's tea party, like it or not, and she's got to take Bride with her, like it or not! Is this the point at which things move from the freer atmosphere of the Tyrol years to the much more constrained atmosphere of the later books?

I wish we'd seen more of Lilamani. She's the only pupil from a non-Western background ever to attend the CS.

The general school stuff is entertaining - the scrapping over who gets which desk, etc. The storyline about Jo and the green dye is just silly, though. I think EBD was tiring of war storylines and wanted to get back to writing about standard school stuff.

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 Post subject: Re: Books: Lavender Laughs in the Chalet School
PostPosted: 07 May 2017, 09:37 
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Thanks aquabird! I don't have Lavender here but I thought Bride's attempts to stop her from saying something about the Peace League was in a public context and it was a (maybe misguided) attempt to stop her from saying something hugely unpopular in front of everyone without context.

I agree that I like Lilamani. It's such a shame we don't see more of her!


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 Post subject: Re: Books: Lavender Laughs in the Chalet School
PostPosted: 07 May 2017, 09:49 
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roversgirl wrote:
Thanks aquabird! I don't have Lavender here but I thought Bride's attempts to stop her from saying something about the Peace League was in a public context and it was a (maybe misguided) attempt to stop her from saying something hugely unpopular in front of everyone without context.

I agree that I like Lilamani. It's such a shame we don't see more of her!

Yes I am fairly sure (though without checking) that was Bride's motive. Not misguided at all, I'd say...

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 Post subject: Re: Books: Lavender Laughs in the Chalet School
PostPosted: 07 May 2017, 09:52 
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Without re-reading, I think she was trying to do the right thing too! My book jsut happens to be half a world away :(


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 Post subject: Re: Books: Lavender Laughs in the Chalet School
PostPosted: 07 May 2017, 10:00 
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Yes, she was worried that the other girls would take against Lavender if she said she didn't agree with the Peace League ... so Bride was trying to be helpful, but it bothers me that she so obviously felt that any opposing view would be frowned on. Maybe it's just the way I read it.
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 Post subject: Re: Books: Lavender Laughs in the Chalet School
PostPosted: 07 May 2017, 10:43 
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I don't think it was opposing so much as being unaware of what she was saying. All Lavender knows - via Miss Leigh - is very little (like she told Bill) and it was potentially something that would follow her.

I too wish there had been more of Lilamani.

Also - Jo had a baby when she was still "green". Was she trying to dye clothes for the baby?

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 Post subject: Re: Books: Lavender Laughs in the Chalet School
PostPosted: 07 May 2017, 11:14 
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tartan-belle wrote:
Jo had a baby when she was still "green". Was she trying to dye clothes for the baby?
She was dyeing a frock that had faded unevenly - very much in keeping with the UK government's Make Do and Mend campaign to encourage people to re-use what they'd got instead of buying new.


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 Post subject: Re: Books: Lavender Laughs in the Chalet School
PostPosted: 07 May 2017, 11:25 
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tartan-belle wrote:
I don't think it was opposing so much as being unaware of what she was saying. All Lavender knows - via Miss Leigh - is very little (like she told Bill) and it was potentially something that would follow her.

I too wish there had been more of Lilamani.

Also - Jo had a baby when she was still "green". Was she trying to dye clothes for the baby?


Jo was trying to dye a dress for herself.

I thought the "Lavender Laughs" series a good idea and quite novel.

Enjoyed seeing Miss Wilson with her novel and box of chocolates at the beginning of this book. I have re-read the books since Exile especially for this and didn't realise before that Hilda eased herself into her role. Quite realistically she is not the great authority at the beginning that she later becomes and I have seen from my re-read what a good character Bill was still to have around and the part she played.

Although I have read the hardback a couple of times my main version of this book is the Armada paperback which has omitted quite a lot of the interesting bits such as Daisy being distressed at not being invited to Jo's for such a length of time after Stephen being born and thinking Jo did not care about them the same.

I wonder was this prompted by the fact she and Primula were sent to Madge's for Christmas or even something in Jo's manner? It makes the reader realise how vulnerable Daisy and Primula were - and Robin too - in having to depend on other people to be their "family"

Robin and Daisy being with Jo is obviously a plot device so the storyline can still centre around Jo to some extent. They were also companions for Jo and each other. If Sybil was such a tyrant in the Round House though I would have thought it should have been the Bettany girls who would have been most affected and not the older Daisy. I sometimes think that no matter what the circumstances it was unrealistic Jem's nieces living with Jo. If Jo had to have anybody it should have been the Bettanys.

EBD also killed off Robin's father so Robin could eventually go and live with Jo. However the second Robin leaves the school and ceases to be a plot device she is almost completely dropped.

I loved the cooking incident but thought that in the latter
part of the book Lavender was involved in too many amusing storylines such as the phone call, hair chopping, bathroom incident for someone who had started off as quite a serious person. Maybe this is more obvious in the paperback though.


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 Post subject: Re: Books: Lavender Laughs in the Chalet School
PostPosted: 08 May 2017, 05:40 
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Audrey25 wrote:
I wonder was this prompted by the fact she and Primula were sent to Madge's for Christmas or even something in Jo's manner? It makes the reader realise how vulnerable Daisy and Primula were - and Robin too - in having to depend on other people to be their "family"

If Sybil was such a tyrant in the Round House though I would have thought it should have been the Bettany girls who would have been most affected and not the older Daisy. I sometimes think that no matter what the circumstances it was unrealistic Jem's nieces living with Jo. If Jo had to have anybody it should have been the Bettanys.


Perhaps Madge felt more of a responsibility to the Bettanys because Dick is her twin and she promised him personally that she would look after the Bettany kids? But then you would think the same could be said of Margot.

And it wouldn't have just been the girls - there are the Bettany boys to look after in the holidays as well. Maybe Jo couldn't handle all of them along with her own four children?

And aren't Robin and Daisy a bit older so they could help look after the triplets? And be company for one another?

I would also imagine that it would be a bit of a relief to get away from Sybil who sounds like a holy terror. And while Madge does try to snub Sybil a bit but she doesn't really seem to do anything about her jealousy and the way she treats her cousins.

We get to see more of the Marillar family who are in Monica Turns up Trumps, but did EBD have to kill off yet another set of parents? Can't she just have the McNab girls come to England for school?

I really liked Lavender as a character and then she just disappears! Even more than the Highland twins do - they are at least mentioned now and again. Lavender barely appears again and Lilamani vanishes completely.

I also wish that the Lavender Laughs series was real because it sounds very interesting. Didn't EBD write a series of geography books? Maybe that's what she was going for?

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 Post subject: Re: Books: Lavender Laughs in the Chalet School
PostPosted: 08 May 2017, 10:43 
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This is my least favourite of the Armishire books. The story is very focussed on the school and Lavender and I miss the lovely domestic detail that makes the other war time books so special.

I do feel very sorry for Daisy in this book. She's obviously very insecure about her position and this comes out when she thinks Joey doesn't want to see her after Stephen is born. It really highlights her uncertain situation. Her mother has died and then she's moved out of her home with Madge and Jem and sent to stay with Joey.

Another thing I found sad was the way Joey was all over Lilamani when she first arrived at the school, but then seems to just ignore her and Lilamani ends up staying with the Marillers during the holiday. It's the first instance of Joey blowing hot and cold with some waif or stray, but not the last.


Last edited by Vintagejazz on 08 May 2017, 14:13, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Books: Lavender Laughs in the Chalet School
PostPosted: 08 May 2017, 13:39 
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I have to say I love this book!


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 Post subject: Re: Books: Lavender Laughs in the Chalet School
PostPosted: 08 May 2017, 21:35 
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Quote:
And aren't Robin and Daisy a bit older so they could help look after the triplets? And be company for one another?

And company for Jo, when Jack was away. Jo quite often did have friends such as Frieda or Veta living with her, but she didn't always. From Exile onwards, Robin is old enough, and mature enough, to be a real companion, rather than a schoolgirl who needs to be looked after.

Jo is still very young herself at this time, I think it would be a bit much to ask her to take on the Bettany children. And a bit much to ask of Jack; he signed up to take on the Robin along with Jo, but not the four Bettanys.

Lavender is possibly my least favourite of the wartime books; Lavender isn't a favourite character, and it doesn't have much of a plot, being more a series of incidents. I do like the scene with Nell tucking into chocolates and enjoying having the place to herself.


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 Post subject: Re: Books: Lavender Laughs in the Chalet School
PostPosted: 08 May 2017, 23:16 
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I had no problem with Robin staying with Jo to keep her company after Jack had joined up. My problem is that Robin was going to make her home with Jo when Jo married. That is what I find unrealistic. Robin's home was with Madge and Madge and Jem were her guardians. Robin was the equivalent of Jo's sister and when a sister marries the other sisters stay put.

The storyline would not have altered at all if EBD had stated Robin had gone to keep Jo company after Jack left.

Daisy, I honestly don't know about. She was Jem's niece. I just don't see him giving her up or Madge letting her go when most of the wards etc came from Madge's side and Daisy and Primula were the only two from Jem. It is inconceivable that Jem would let the frail Primula out of his care. Look how he worried about Jo and Robin.

The storyline that Daisy left Madge's to live with Jo because Sybil was so unbearable is actually horrible. If Sybil was so ghastly that at least five adults and all the older children at the Round House could not put her in her place then she had problems that the scalding of Josette would not have sorted.

Jem and Madge could not have changed so much in the few years since they had left Tirol. They were also used to huge households with lots of children and other adults.

I cannot see why Daisy would not have been happy at boarding school and seeing her sister, Beth and Gwensi and sometimes staying with Jo and Robin in the holidays.

EBD was trying to keep Jo as a main character and to maybe recreate some of the early CS atmosphere but her storybook people were not chocolates or chickens who could be bunged anywhere.


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 Post subject: Re: Books: Lavender Laughs in the Chalet School
PostPosted: 08 May 2017, 23:26 
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I think it would have been totally unreasonable for the Bettanys to be passed over to Jo. Peggy and Rix had been with Madge and Jem ever since they were babies, one cannot just pass children around as if they are parcels.

I see Robin and Daisy as being somewhat different. Robin has always been deeply attached to Jo and I suspect if offered the choice would have chosen to be with her if possible. Daisy and Primula are relative newcomers to the family; their position is more precarious. One could argue therefore that they should have stayed with their uncle but maybe Daisy had a close relationship with Robin so was happy to be with her. But did Primula go along too?

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 Post subject: Re: Books: Lavender Laughs in the Chalet School
PostPosted: 09 May 2017, 01:02 
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cestina wrote:
I think it would have been totally unreasonable for the Bettanys to be passed over to Jo. Peggy and Rix had been with Madge and Jem ever since they were babies, one cannot just pass children around as if they are parcels.

I see Robin and Daisy as being somewhat different. Robin has always been deeply attached to Jo and I suspect if offered the choice would have chosen to be with her if possible. Daisy and Primula are relative newcomers to the family; their position is more precarious. One could argue therefore that they should have stayed with their uncle but maybe Daisy had a close relationship with Robin so was happy to be with her. But did Primula go along too?


Primula is definitely staying with Jo by Highland Twins although not in Goes to It.

Regarding Primula and Daisy, I think of taking on my brother-in-law's nieces over my sister and it is just not right. If it had been Jack's nieces it would have been different.

In Highland Twins it is even mentioned at least twice in the hardback copy that Bride and possibly Peggy too (there are others mentioned apart from Bride) will be joining the Maynard household after school starts. This is absolute rubbish and never happens.

Equally though Robin's father entrusted her to Jem and Madge. I find it totally unrealistic Madge and Jem violating that trust and giving her up to the newly married Joey and Jack. Why, for goodness sake? Robin already has a home and I doubt if she would have wanted to turn her back on the woman who had taken her in at a moment's notice and had always been so kind. It is totally different a year or so later with Jack away, Robin going to live with Joey to support her and keep her company. Why could EBD not have left it like that?

Edited to add - On P17 of the hardback copy of Highland Twins Jo says she "shall have to have Peg, and Bride, and Sybil at any rate for the term". She repeats it again on P34.

EBD really did get a bit carried away.


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 Post subject: Re: Books: Lavender Laughs in the Chalet School
PostPosted: 09 May 2017, 03:43 
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Audrey25 wrote:
Edited to add - On P17 of the hardback copy of Highland Twins Jo says she "shall have to have Peg, and Bride, and Sybil at any rate for the term". She repeats it again on P34.


Why would she have Sybil? That gives her Robin, Daisy, Prim, Peg, Bride, Sybil all under one roof. Plus her own four children and the twins.

And in the holidays would she also have the Bettany boys? That's 14 (!) children. Though perhaps Daisy and Robin are no longer regarded as 'children' by that stage.

But that leaves Madge with only Josette and David. It must be a mistake.

Audrey25 wrote:
The storyline that Daisy left Madge's to live with Jo because Sybil was so unbearable is actually horrible. If Sybil was so ghastly that at least five adults and all the older children at the Round House could not put her in her place then she had problems that the scalding of Josette would not have sorted.


Is it possible that EBD regarded the two households as so close that she thought they would be thought of as one and the same.

But the conversation Daisy has with Robin is quite sad and I wonder how the news was broken to her that she and Primula were going to go live with Jo?

Sybil's issues are quite bad. I think we have all known children who have trouble adjusting to having more kids around and having less of their parent's attention, but why would any parents send a child away to another house unless it was for their own safety?

It basically screams bad parenting and Jem's instant obedience training seems to have gone by the wayside.

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Last edited by Joyce on 09 May 2017, 12:00, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Books: Lavender Laughs in the Chalet School
PostPosted: 09 May 2017, 07:20 
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Audrey25 wrote:

In Highland Twins it is even mentioned at least twice in the hardback copy that Bride and possibly Peggy too (there are others mentioned apart from Bride) will be joining the Maynard household after school starts. This is absolute rubbish and never happens.

........
- On P17 of the hardback copy of Highland Twins Jo says she "shall have to have Peg, and Bride, and Sybil at any rate for the term". She repeats it again on P34.

EBD really did get a bit carried away.


I think at one point it is mentioned that Joey lives near enough so that they can cycle to school, so they begin staying with her, so that they do not have to board, and also at some point help to Jo is mentioned.

I always liked the whole set of books from Goes to it, through to Gay, as i had read them once when i was quite young, and took ages to find them again.

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 Post subject: Re: Books: Lavender Laughs in the Chalet School
PostPosted: 09 May 2017, 07:36 
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That's how I understood it. It was better for safety reasons, especially as, in winter, they'd be coming home during the blackout, and also just for companionship, for Daisy and Robin to be able to cycle to school together. And, although Primula was there, it can't have been much fun for Daisy, who was 12 when the school reopened, to be at Madge's with a load of little kids aged 6 or under.

My hardback's got the same thing about Peggy, Bride and Sybil staying with Jo. That makes no sense at all, as Audrey said. And what about Primula? The business with cycling to school was in Guernsey: this is in Armishire.

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 Post subject: Re: Books: Lavender Laughs in the Chalet School
PostPosted: 09 May 2017, 11:37 
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I quite like this book. I did feel sorry for Bride at the beginning of the term when she is promoted ahead of her friends at the end of the Christmas term and complains she wouldn't have worked so hard had she known that was going to happen. I thought it was hard on her being promoted so early in the school year, when none of her friends are. I also like the scene where she has the discussion with Primula about it. It shows a lovely friendship between the two girls and i wish EBD had shown more.

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