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 Post subject: Re: Books: Gay from China at the Chalet School
PostPosted: 22 May 2017, 09:30 
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Just before they leave school, in Island, Jacynth says she's sitting for the Karl Anserl scholarship, which gives three years at the RCM and two at the Conservatoire in Paris - the way it's written it's pretty clear we're to assume that she got it). Gay is going to do the same.

The next we hear of her is in Barbara, two years later, where she's already making a name for herself as a performer and a composer.

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 Post subject: Re: Books: Gay from China at the Chalet School
PostPosted: 22 May 2017, 10:40 
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Alison H wrote:
I don't think we're ever told. After Gay and Jacynth leave school, the next we hear of them is when Jack and Anne arrive at the school, and Jack tells Len that Jacynth is a professional cellist. Was Herr Anserl's scholarship for music? The CS scholarships seem to change to suit the storylines :lol:, but I've an idea that Jacynth was awarded that.

Changing the subject, what about Miss Wilson in this book? There's that lovely scene in which she talks about how the accident's made her realise how much Hilda means to her. But it annoys me so much that Joey guilt-trips her into rushing back to work. It's so inconsiderate. Nell is not a malingerer: had she been ready to return to work, she'd have done so.


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 Post subject: Re: Books: Gay from China at the Chalet School
PostPosted: 22 May 2017, 12:20 
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Had done a reply to Alison about Miss Wilson but phone wiped it out. Will try again later!


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 Post subject: Re: Books: Gay from China at the Chalet School
PostPosted: 22 May 2017, 17:51 
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Alison H wrote:
Changing the subject, what about Miss Wilson in this book? There's that lovely scene in which she talks about how the accident's made her realise how much Hilda means to her. But it annoys me so much that Joey guilt-trips her into rushing back to work. It's so inconsiderate. Nell is not a malingerer: had she been ready to return to work, she'd have done so.
Yes, but they were all clearly feeling a bit wits-endish, and I think she might have been justifiably annoyed if she hadn't been called in at that point. I may not like Miss Bubb's manner, but I do credit her with commendable focus and energy, and it was always going to take someone with considerable authority to stop her. With Hilda and Madge not really available apart from Madge doing the actual hiring and firing, Nell was the obvious person to ask for help.


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 Post subject: Re: Books: Gay from China at the Chalet School
PostPosted: 22 May 2017, 18:57 
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Alison H wrote:
Changing the subject, what about Miss Wilson in this book? There's that lovely scene in which she talks about how the accident's made her realise how much Hilda means to her. But it annoys me so much that Joey guilt-trips her into rushing back to work. It's so inconsiderate. Nell is not a malingerer: had she been ready to return to work, she'd have done so


From New Chalet School I have been re-reading each of the books particularly for this thread and after reading the books for years, it has not been until now that I have realised the worth of Miss Wilson who was a strong, dedicated, honest and well-rounded character. Also, at times, an amusing and forthright character.

From Exile Nell would have been just as good a choice for the headship as Hilda. ( Apologies to Hilda fans). At the beginning of her headship Hilda is still finding her feet and is by no means the impressive figure of later books. She makes mistakes such as taking no notice of Polly when Polly/Robin suspect Gertrud(e) of spying and I think she makes a similar mistake in Goes to It. This is only natural though and goodness knows what mistakes Nell would have made.

Although Hilda and Nell became joint heads after Hilda's accident, Nell had been her main support at least from the time the school went to England.

It was a shame that this partnership was broken when Nell went to Switzerland. Even when the main school also moved, the partnership never resumed completely as EBD made Joey Hilda's main confidante.

I like the part where Nell tells Joey of her great friendship with and love for Hilda. Some people are quite happy to move through life alone but others do need another person or at least some kind of family. Married Jo was in a different position.

Nell is now definitely one of my top five CS characters, if not one of my top three.


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 Post subject: Re: Books: Gay from China at the Chalet School
PostPosted: 22 May 2017, 20:32 
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Audrey25 wrote:
From Exile Nell would have been just as good a choice for the headship as Hilda. ( Apologies to Hilda fans). At the beginning of her headship Hilda is still finding her feet and is by no means the impressive figure of later books. She makes mistakes such as taking no notice of Polly when Polly/Robin suspect Gertrud(e) of spying and I think she makes a similar mistake in Goes to It. This is only natural though and goodness knows what mistakes Nell would have made..

But Hilda becomes Head in New and Nell certainly wasn't ready to be Head then. She was still enjoying life too much! :wink: Hilda had a few more years teaching experience behind her than Nell, and had become deputy when Mollie left a couple of years earlier, so was the obvious choice, really. I agree that Hilda made mistakes, but so does any head when they start out. It takes years to grow into such a post, but we learn far more by our mistakes than our successes.

I also agree with your assessment of Nell's character, Audrey! :lol: But I'm afraid Hilda was always my favourite... :hiding:

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 Post subject: Re: Books: Gay from China at the Chalet School
PostPosted: 22 May 2017, 21:26 
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I knew you would be replying to this one, Mary!

You are right. Hilda was the obvious choice. Although I think Nell could also have been a good head eventually, she could not have done the job when it first became vacant; only from about Exile.

I did not particularly like or dislike her before but certainly in the last few books I thought she was a good character.


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 Post subject: Re: Books: Gay from China at the Chalet School
PostPosted: 23 May 2017, 12:19 
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I think I also remember reading somewhere, that EBD didn't choose Nell as Headmistress as she had a number of storylines she wanted to use Nell for and wouldn't be able to if she was Head. The escape to Switzerland for example. By that stage, the school is large enough, the Head would never have taken a group of girls shopping; she would remain at the school. In fact, we don't get a huge number of Head scenes with either Mademoiselle or Hilda in the Tyrol years or early War years. They do mainly seem to focus on the mistresses, with Nell as the main protagonist. Hilda seems much more front and centre in the Swiss and Island years. Once Nell becomes Head, she stops being such a focus in the books the way she was as a mistress

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 Post subject: Re: Books: Gay from China at the Chalet School
PostPosted: 23 May 2017, 14:17 
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Never thought of all those good points, Fiona. Hilda does cone into her own later on and Nell does not have such a big role after the school goes to Switzerland.

There is no doubt too that at the time Hilda was the best person for the job. Nell could probably have done it after Exile but not before.


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 Post subject: Re: Books: Gay from China at the Chalet School
PostPosted: 23 May 2017, 14:26 
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In many ways this book really marks the end of an era for the Chalet School. (I don't really count Tom Tackles, as it was written out of sequence and has a 'filler' feel about it while 'Rescue' is a holiday book, and the school doesn't feature).

For many of the Tyrol characters, it is their last appearance as central integral members of the 'cast'. By the time Three Go is written, Robin and Daisy have left school and Joey's house and are away at University. Simone, Frieda, Marie, Giselle and Wanda have returned to their home countries and the stage has been set for new characters like Mary Lou, the Luceys and some of the next generation Bettanys to take centre stage.

It is also the last time Madge appears as someone who is 'in charge' of things at the school. She's very much in the background in Three Go, and by the next book is effectively written out.


Last edited by Vintagejazz on 23 May 2017, 15:45, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Books: Gay from China at the Chalet School
PostPosted: 23 May 2017, 14:28 
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On the subject of Jacynth's musical prowess, i remember in my A-Level music class in 6th form college a lad who had only started learning the saxophone in year 10 but by the time he began A-Levels 2 years later he'd already passed the ABRSM Grade 8. He's now a professional musician and tours the world.....so it would be possible for Jacynth to achieve so much so quickly if he's anything to go by!


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 Post subject: Re: Books: Gay from China at the Chalet School
PostPosted: 24 May 2017, 03:16 
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Vintagejazz wrote:
In many ways this book really marks the end of an era for the Chalet School.


Yes, very much so especially as the last the original Chaletians who had been in Tyrol, leave school.

And the next 'real' book, not Tom and Rosalie which were written retrospectively, was Three Go when we meet the person who takes over from Joey as the school leader - Mary Lou.

Cheers,
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 Post subject: Re: Books: Gay from China at the Chalet School
PostPosted: 24 May 2017, 11:45 
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I think the family feel begins to disappear from the school after this one as well. It seems to be much larger and run on more typical school lines after it moves to the Island.


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