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 Post subject: Re: Books: The Highland Twins at the Chalet School
PostPosted: 06 May 2017, 09:58 
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KB wrote:
I could see why Shiena doesn't trust a complete stranger (Jo) with a document like the Chart.


But she comes very close to telling her and and tells the twins that at a last resort, they can tell Jo the secret. So she clearly trusts Jo quite a lot.

JayB wrote:
I think this is a point that only adult readers would consider. The Chart is really only a plot device to enable a 'spy' story, and Betty's story, and isn't important in itself.


Yeah, growing up on a diet of adventure stories, as a child I simply accepted the fact that two small girls would be entrusted with such an important secret :D

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 Post subject: Re: Books: The Highland Twins at the Chalet School
PostPosted: 06 May 2017, 10:36 
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KB wrote:
Given that Shiena becomes mother of the family when she is only 12, and given that I could imagine there were attempts by the authorities to split them up after their father's death, I could see why Shiena doesn't trust a complete stranger (Jo) with a document like the Chart. The fact that the government has just thrown the family out of their homes - I could see why she wouldn't be too willing to trust anyone! Shiena has to grow up very quickly, even with her father still being alive (and the possibility of a step-mother, depending on whether the short-story is canon or not) and she seems to have imbibed a very strong feeling of 'family only' that would prohibit her entrusting a family secret to something like a bank. Besides, they would have had to leave Erisay to deposit the thing, and we know Shiena and the twins don't until they come to school.


Which short story is this?


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 Post subject: Re: Books: The Highland Twins at the Chalet School
PostPosted: 06 May 2017, 12:01 
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ivohenry wrote:
KB wrote:
Given that Shiena becomes mother of the family when she is only 12, and given that I could imagine there were attempts by the authorities to split them up after their father's death, I could see why Shiena doesn't trust a complete stranger (Jo) with a document like the Chart. The fact that the government has just thrown the family out of their homes - I could see why she wouldn't be too willing to trust anyone! Shiena has to grow up very quickly, even with her father still being alive (and the possibility of a step-mother, depending on whether the short-story is canon or not) and she seems to have imbibed a very strong feeling of 'family only' that would prohibit her entrusting a family secret to something like a bank. Besides, they would have had to leave Erisay to deposit the thing, and we know Shiena and the twins don't until they come to school.


Which short story is this?


It's New Flavouring For Pies (Third Chalet Book) but I was reading it wrong (I just skimmed it) and the Archie mentioned in it isn't the same Archie who is the elder brother of the twins, but rather an 18th century ancestor.

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 Post subject: Re: Books: The Highland Twins at the Chalet School
PostPosted: 06 May 2017, 15:35 
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Isn't it in this book that Robin is reading 'In the Steps of St Paul'? It strikes me as a book most unlikely to appeal to a teenager, though I know Morton was a hugely popular author at the time.
I love these odd mentions we get of what they read - Jo is said to have devoured George Borrow's books about gypsies, which I always find very unlikely, and as for 'Nat the Naturalist', well I think I'd have banned that rather than 'Forever Amber!'


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 Post subject: Re: Books: The Highland Twins at the Chalet School
PostPosted: 06 May 2017, 16:09 
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Isn't it in this book that Robin is reading 'In the Steps of St Paul'? It strikes me as a book most unlikely to appeal to a teenager.


Foreshadowing Robin's future career? When did EBD decide to send Robin off to a convent? I've always assumed it was because she couldn't think what else to do with Robin once she'd left school, but how far in advance did she plan it?


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 Post subject: Re: Books: The Highland Twins at the Chalet School
PostPosted: 06 May 2017, 17:29 
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LucyP wrote:
I love these odd mentions we get of what they read - Jo is said to have devoured George Borrow's books about gypsies, which I always find very unlikely...
Lavengro, at least, will surely have been for the bits of Romany language it contains. I read George Borrow a fair bit myself as a young teen, but then he used to live near where I grew up.


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 Post subject: Re: Books: The Highland Twins at the Chalet School
PostPosted: 07 May 2017, 03:03 
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LucyP wrote:
as for 'Nat the Naturalist', well I think I'd have banned that rather than 'Forever Amber!'


I only read the synopsis of Nat the Naturalist and it seems quite benign. Adventures and everything but nothing too bad. What's actually in it that would cause it to be banned?

Forever Amber has quite a lot of implied sex in it so I can see why it was banned to the CS girls. But in the hardback isn't it Gone with the Wind that is banned and then it's changed?

Maybe the publishers needed a book which was more explicit and Forever Amber was actually publicly banned and condemned by the Catholic church in the 1930s and 1940s, so readers would be more aware of it. But frankly, the reason I looked for Forever Amber in the library was because it was banned in Wrong!

Cheers,
Joyce

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 Post subject: Re: Books: The Highland Twins at the Chalet School
PostPosted: 07 May 2017, 08:00 
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The one they should have really banned is East of Eden but it was only published in the same year as Wrong. A must-read in my teenage years.

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 Post subject: Re: Books: The Highland Twins at the Chalet School
PostPosted: 07 May 2017, 15:37 
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Nat the Naturalist - it's available on PG, check it out! Or Goodreads (nice link to another thread here!), there's only one review, says it all....
H V Morton's books are really just travel writing rather than anything theological, I very much enjoyed them myself, but I would have expected Robin to be reading something more devotional.
Interesting your reasons for reading Borrow, Noreen, one of my reasons (apart from 'it's mentioned in the CS') is that there were family legends about him from my Welsh antecedents!


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 Post subject: Re: Books: The Highland Twins at the Chalet School
PostPosted: 07 May 2017, 18:41 
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I too enjoyed HV Morton and recently was almost weeping when I re read his beautiful descriptions of Damascus and Aleppo and thought of them now.
I know HV Morton was not Catholic but Isuspect his books would be the kind of approved ones for young Catholics to read. GK Chesterton, even Evelyn Waugh were acceptable because there was a religious aspect expectation from a Catholic author. Ronald Knox and CS Lewis( not Catholic) fall into this category too?

And Highland Twins is a most satisfying book that seems to go on forever...love those"thick" earlier books.


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 Post subject: Re: Books: The Highland Twins at the Chalet School
PostPosted: 08 May 2017, 07:25 
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Amid all the stuff about Jack, the loss of Flora and Fiona's brother, who really has been killed, seems to be glossed over: it's as if it's only there to prove that Fiona's second sight "works". The reader didn't know Hugh, but the reader didn't know Professor Trelawney or Matey's sister and their deaths seem to be treated much more sensitively. It's the same later on with Bob Maynard's death: although a major character (i.e. Jack) has suffered a bereavement, it's only mentioned in passing. It's quite a contrast to the "Sorrow comes to Jo" chapter.

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 Post subject: Re: Books: The Highland Twins at the Chalet School
PostPosted: 08 May 2017, 13:35 
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Joyce wrote:

Maybe the publishers needed a book which was more explicit and Forever Amber was actually publicly banned and condemned by the Catholic church in the 1930s and 1940s, so readers would be more aware of it. But frankly, the reason I looked for Forever Amber in the library was because it was banned in Wrong!

Cheers,
Joyce


Me too! (Although it was as an adult). And it was a great read, so I'm glad I did.

Alison H wrote:
Amid all the stuff about Jack, the loss of Flora and Fiona's brother, who really has been killed, seems to be glossed over: it's as if it's only there to prove that Fiona's second sight "works". The reader didn't know Hugh, but the reader didn't know Professor Trelawney or Matey's sister and their deaths seem to be treated much more sensitively. It's the same later on with Bob Maynard's death: although a major character (i.e. Jack) has suffered a bereavement, it's only mentioned in passing. It's quite a contrast to the "Sorrow comes to Jo" chapter.


I actually find Hugh's death really moving, although not much page is expended on it what there is is very powerful.


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 Post subject: Re: Books: The Highland Twins at the Chalet School
PostPosted: 08 May 2017, 21:24 
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Quote:
It's the same later on with Bob Maynard's death: although a major character (i.e. Jack) has suffered a bereavement, it's only mentioned in passing.

It's a long time since I've read Rescue, but I don't recall Jo seeming upset at all. I thought she and Bob were quite fond of each other, so she'd surely feel some personal loss, on top of empathising with Jack's grief. With both his parents gone and his sister on the other side of the world, Jack's got no-one left now who shares his childhood memories.


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 Post subject: Re: Books: The Highland Twins at the Chalet School
PostPosted: 10 May 2017, 13:32 
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I didn't know anything about Nat the Naturalist so that's very interesting. While I am usually happy to allow books to remain of their time, there are limits, especially for children. I seem to remember finding The Coral Island, which was still available in Armada paperback in the 70s and was apparently adapted for television in 2000(!) was similarly problematic: 'The major themes of the novel revolve around the influence of Christianity, the importance of social hierarchies, and the inherent superiority of civilised Europeans over the South Sea islanders.' (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Coral_Island) Stalky and Co. is another case in point - unacceptable levels of racism and a glorification of bullying which reads very disturbingly now.


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 Post subject: Re: Books: The Highland Twins at the Chalet School
PostPosted: 11 May 2017, 13:26 
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I had one of those Paragon Classic editions of The Coral Island in the 90s. I found it horrific. No idea if it was edited or not.

It did at least challenge me linguistically. :?

I also remember reading 'vintage' Beano/Dandy annuals that were published in the 90s but were reprinting stories from the 60s and 70s. I found them extremely racist too.


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 Post subject: Re: Books: The Highland Twins at the Chalet School
PostPosted: 14 May 2017, 10:11 
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Loryat wrote:
I also remember reading 'vintage' Beano/Dandy annuals that were published in the 90s but were reprinting stories from the 60s and 70s. I found them extremely racist too.


It's strange what you read as a child and not think twice about. But when I look back on the Enid Blyton books and how sexist and racist they are, I'm a tad horrified.

EB has a teenage boy threatening to to slap his 12yo female cousin with her hairbrush and another teenage boy telling his sister it's OK for him to hit her because she didn't obey him. As of the way she depicts anyone who's not British, is downright wrong.

In comparison, EBD's snobbish/racist/sexist comments are very mild. In fact, I don't think she gets all that racist. She definitely uses racial stereotypes but I don't think it tilts right over the racist line. Feel free to disagree with me!

Cheers,
Joyce

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 Post subject: Re: Books: The Highland Twins at the Chalet School
PostPosted: 15 May 2017, 06:30 
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Fiona Mc wrote:
Vintagejazz wrote:
I agree, the second sight story was a weak point in this book. We are also, apparently, supposed to just assume that Flora/Fiona was right and therefore EBD didn't need to explain Jack's low key return home towards the end of the book. I would have loved a really dramatic homecoming and a completely overcome Joey.


I remember being very disappointed with how the second sight was written, when I first read this book. I had read the Emily books by LM Montgomery and the way she wrote about Emily's second sight episodes was much more powerful and better written. My initial thought was EBD should have left it alone as it wasn't anywhere near as powerful or good as LM Montgomery's depiction. I think the unabridged version is much better than the abridged version and think they weakened the depiction of it when they published the Armada books


This is one of the books, that was most destroyed by the abridging

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 Post subject: Re: Books: The Highland Twins at the Chalet School
PostPosted: 15 May 2017, 07:29 
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I agree - it's horrendously abridged. The whole storyline with Elisaveta is taken out. Some of the others are also badly cut, but it's rare for an entire sub-plot to be taken out.

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 Post subject: Re: Books: The Highland Twins at the Chalet School
PostPosted: 16 May 2017, 13:34 
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I've only read the paperback version - I have the three in one version with Exile and Goes to It.

I reread it on the train up to Skye this weekend, and it was particularly interesting reading it with my Gaelic head on. It's always very noticeable when EBD attempts speech patterns for languages she's not familiar with!

I always feel very sorry for Betty in this book. Other 'bad girls' get a lot of help and support from sheepdogs, friends and stern but benevolent mistresses. Betty appears to have been labelled as a pain in the posterior from the moment the two schools combined, and no attempts made to help her adopt a more Chaletian approach to life, unlike other orphans such as Polly Heriot or indeed the Robin.


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 Post subject: Re: Books: The Highland Twins at the Chalet School
PostPosted: 17 May 2017, 07:10 
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AilidhNoor wrote:

I always feel very sorry for Betty in this book. Other 'bad girls' get a lot of help and support from sheepdogs, friends and stern but benevolent mistresses. Betty appears to have been labelled as a pain in the posterior from the moment the two schools combined, and no attempts made to help her adopt a more Chaletian approach to life, unlike other orphans such as Polly Heriot or indeed the Robin.



Possbily because they got her "ready made" from St Scholastika.

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