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 Post subject: Re: Books: The Highland Twins at the Chalet School
PostPosted: 17 May 2017, 17:52 
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I dont know what type of Christianity EBD followed before she became a Catholic, but could she have believed in predestination, like the Calvinists, so identified some children as born to be trouble?


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 Post subject: Re: Books: The Highland Twins at the Chalet School
PostPosted: 17 May 2017, 19:38 
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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.

It does actually say in the book that staff and other girls have tried hard with Betty since she joined the school, and it seems to me Hilda would have kept her even after her betrayal, but, as she says, the other girls would never accept or forgive her at such a time. The only one who wishes her farewell is Elizabeth, which rather makes Hilda's point.

Poor Betty seems to have been unlucky in life. Left an orphan at the age of 5, only one of her two named guardian was in the country at the time and immediately sent her to boarding school - aged 5! He seems to have been a hard man, with no love for children, so no surprise at how difficult she became. Perhaps expelling her, and persuading her other guardian to take her in, will be the saving of her, in the end. I can't recall if she's ever mentioned in later books.

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 Post subject: Re: Books: The Highland Twins at the Chalet School
PostPosted: 18 May 2017, 13:02 
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MaryR wrote:
Perhaps expelling her, and persuading her other guardian to take her in, will be the saving of her, in the end. I can't recall if she's ever mentioned in later books.


I like to think it was, and that she got all the mothering she missed out on earlier in life. I think someone (Liss?) wrote a drabble about Betty sending her daughter to the school many years later, and I like the idea that she's moved on, settled down and is happy.


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 Post subject: Re: Books: The Highland Twins at the Chalet School
PostPosted: 18 May 2017, 14:54 
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I think I read somewhere (written by EBD) that Elizabeth and Betty never see each other again after Betty leaves the school.


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 Post subject: Re: Books: The Highland Twins at the Chalet School
PostPosted: 18 May 2017, 22:57 
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Audrey25 wrote:
I think I read somewhere (written by EBD) that Elizabeth and Betty never see each other again after Betty leaves the school.


Yes, in the Chalet Club Newsletters EBD confirms that this is the last time they meet.


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 Post subject: Re: Books: The Highland Twins at the Chalet School
PostPosted: 19 May 2017, 07:49 
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There's no real reason why they should have kept in touch. The friendship had run its course long before Betty was expelled. If she'd left because of illness or problems at home, maybe Elizabeth would have written to her out of sympathy, but not under these circumstances. IIRC, we do see Florence/Floppy, who was Betty's acknowledged best friend at the time, going round slagging Betty off and making it clear that she's disowned her, whereas Elizabeth does try to be kind ... are we meant to think that Florence, if she'd been a nicer person, would have stood by Betty? Or were Betty's crimes so bad that no friend could be expected to stand by her?

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 Post subject: Re: Books: The Highland Twins at the Chalet School
PostPosted: 19 May 2017, 09:52 
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I'm surprised that Elizabeth didn't keep in touch with Betty. At the end she repents that she didn't try harder with Betty which suggests that at least she would remain in contact now and try to help her. Perhaps she did, but Betty was feeling so ashamed that she did not want to be reminded of those times.


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 Post subject: Re: Books: The Highland Twins at the Chalet School
PostPosted: 19 May 2017, 09:54 
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Never seeing each other again does not preclude keeping in touch by letter ...

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 Post subject: Re: Books: The Highland Twins at the Chalet School
PostPosted: 19 May 2017, 12:41 
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Alison H wrote:
IIRC, we do see Florence/Floppy, who was Betty's acknowledged best friend at the time, going round slagging Betty off and making it clear that she's disowned her, whereas Elizabeth does try to be kind ... are we meant to think that Florence, if she'd been a nicer person, would have stood by Betty? Or were Betty's crimes so bad that no friend could be expected to stand by her?
I can't find any indication that Florence goes round bad-mouthing Betty. Indeed, it's more that she seems to wish to avoid talking of her at all - as when Monica spots Betty quietly leaving the school and says "There goes Betty", Florence "turned her back on the window, and went on talking hockey feverishly with Hilda Hope".

I do feel irritated at the Dickensian tactic of shoving a character's deficiencies in one's face by way of her name, or rather nickname - and Florence is referred to by the author more or less throughout as 'Floppy Bill' or just 'Floppy'. A 'flop' is early 20th century slang for a fool, and EMBD was aware of that, as young Joey uses it at one point in the early books.

ETA: We are definitely not supposed to kick a friend when they're down, as Miss Annersley points out to Florence - but then we are told that Florence is a shallow young person, and that she has had a shock. I suspect that she admired Betty very much, perhaps even in a sentimental way, and no-one likes finding out that the object of their admiration has faults after all. I also think that it's hard for us to recapture just how appalled most people would be at the time by anything remotely to do with betraying secrets to the other side. As somebody said before, if Florence has lost a family member from bombing or in the fighting, or has a relative serving in the forces, she has some reason to be unwilling to forgive. We don't actually know much about it all, apart from her saying that she had never done the things Betty has done, and would rather die than do them. A bit too easily said, perhaps?


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 Post subject: Re: Books: The Highland Twins at the Chalet School
PostPosted: 20 May 2017, 02:59 
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This is also pre-Facebook days, so I can see them dropping out of touch and simply not knowing where the other was.

Betty leaves school in disgrace, and doesn't want to talk to anyone at all from the CS. Elizabeth knows she's with a guardian, but doesn't have contact information. Betty turns 18, is called up for war work, moves. She doesn't keep in touch with the old girl network.

Elizabeth graduates, goes to university, heads off in a completely different direction. If they don't have any acquaintances in common, it would be hard to even find Betty if she wanted to write to her.

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 Post subject: Re: Books: The Highland Twins at the Chalet School
PostPosted: 14 Jun 2017, 12:01 
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I skimmed through this recently and a few things occurred to me.

I think the Juniors were wrong in taking the 'schoolgirl code' as far as they did, when they went to such lengths to try to hide the fact that Betty had slapped Fiona. There are times when something should be reported, or at least not concealed, and I think this was one of them.

This wasn't just a schoolgirl prank, and Fiona did need proper treatment. They were very young, so I think it's understandable, but I think a sensible older girl, such as Gill or Jacynth, for example, would have said that Fiona must go to Matron, and let Betty take her chances.

And on the subject of Matrons, I see that EBD gets them confused again. In Exile, 'Matey' is definitely Matron Lloyd. In this book, it's 'Matey' and her assistant, Matron Lloyd.

I do like the WAAFs who befriend the Macdonalds on the train. Really nice, kind girls. If Jo had had people billeted on her, it might not have been child evacuees, but girls like these, who might be stationed at the big airfield that's mentioned. Or Land Girls, working on the farms.


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 Post subject: Re: Books: The Highland Twins at the Chalet School
PostPosted: 15 Jun 2017, 02:23 
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It's also a fairly believable thing for them to do - it's pretty normal for kids to not understand the difference between tattling (which is discouraged) or reporting something serious (which is sometimes very necessary), and that there's a difference between not tattling and covering up someone's bad behaviour to keep them out of trouble (which is frequently problematic).

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 Post subject: Re: Books: The Highland Twins at the Chalet School
PostPosted: 15 Jun 2017, 06:21 
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jennifer wrote:
It's also a fairly believable thing for them to do - it's pretty normal for kids to not understand the difference between tattling (which is discouraged) or reporting something serious (which is sometimes very necessary), and that there's a difference between not tattling and covering up someone's bad behaviour to keep them out of trouble (which is frequently problematic).


There is a really good example of this in Lavender when Mollie reports Lavender for striking Bride or throwing her glasses off or something of that nature. She recognises the importance of it and is a year or two older than this group of girls who won't necessarily.

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 Post subject: Re: Books: The Highland Twins at the Chalet School
PostPosted: 16 Jun 2017, 00:49 
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And then in Jane, some of the mistresses help conspire to keep Jack out of trouble when she full out attacks another girl and attempts to beat her to a pulp, so it's not just an age thing.

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 Post subject: Re: Books: The Highland Twins at the Chalet School
PostPosted: 20 Jun 2017, 00:01 
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Noreen wrote:

I haven't seen (though admittedly I didn't look in depth) anyone selling the GGBP reprint from 2003. What did stagger me was an Armada three-titles-in-one volume (Exile, At War, Highland Twins) priced at a modest £3,054.62 - and the seller had the nerve to be asking for postage on top of that!

Perhaps this indicates that GGBP might do well out of a second reprint...


Wow, that's the version I have, bought with my own pocket money in the mid nineties, it may now be my go to item to sell if I ever need to. I won't charge p&p.


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 Post subject: Re: Books: The Highland Twins at the Chalet School
PostPosted: 20 Jun 2017, 08:16 
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Not a realistic price, though, by any means! Though you may have some more valuable than you think anyway...


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 Post subject: Re: Books: The Highland Twins at the Chalet School
PostPosted: 25 Jun 2017, 07:49 
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I went strawberry picking, and it reminded me of the reference (it's in one of the wartime books: I think it's this one!) to Robin, Daisy and some of the younger mistresses helping with the hop harvest. Presumably a call had gone out for volunteers to take the places of men who'd gone into the Armed Forces. It's only mentioned in passing, but it shows people pulling together in wartime, and it also shows how the war had changed attitudes: it's hard to imagine CS women working in the fields before the war. It'd make a nice drabble if anyone knows anything about hop picking!

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 Post subject: Re: Books: The Highland Twins at the Chalet School
PostPosted: 25 Jun 2017, 12:43 
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Quote:
Presumably a call had gone out for volunteers to take the places of men who'd gone into the Armed Forces.

Hop-picking was always women's (and children's) work. Whole extended families used to go down to Kent for the hop-picking from the East End and parts of SE London. It was a holiday for them - up to four weeks in the country, doing not very strenuous work, and earning money. Gypsies used to come too. "Going 'opping" died out in the 1960s when the process was mechanised.

I suppose in Armishire the pickers would have come from Birmingham, if they employed outside labour.

Ladies as far back as the late Victorian/Edwardian period did sometimes go hop picking to raise money for local hospitals and other good causes.


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 Post subject: Re: Books: The Highland Twins at the Chalet School
PostPosted: 26 Jun 2017, 07:06 
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Dot Cotton used to talk about it in EastEnders :D .

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 Post subject: Re: Books: The Highland Twins at the Chalet School
PostPosted: 26 Jun 2017, 12:03 
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JayB wrote:
Quote:
Presumably a call had gone out for volunteers to take the places of men who'd gone into the Armed Forces.

Hop-picking was always women's (and children's) work. Whole extended families used to go down to Kent for the hop-picking from the East End and parts of SE London. It was a holiday for them - up to four weeks in the country, doing not very strenuous work, and earning money. Gypsies used to come too. "Going 'opping" died out in the 1960s when the process was mechanised.


The diocese of Stepney used to have a house in Kent which you could hire for away weekends etc which was the old Hoppers' Hospital. It had lots of winding staircases and rooms which the roof held up by pillars in the middle of the room, but it was still very comfortable for that purpose if you didn't mind sharing rooms for a couple of nights.


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