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 Post subject: Books: Three Go to the Chalet School
PostPosted: 19 Jun 2017, 22:56 
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Back to full sized books this week with Three Go to the Chalet School, first published in 1949. There is an unspecified gap in the timeline between Rosalie and this book, which could be two, three or even four years depending on which events and character ages you consider. This is the last book set at Plas Howell, and follows the escapades of Mary-Lou Trelawney, Verity-Ann Carey and Clem Barrass as they join the ranks of the school and settle in to become long-standing characters. Notable events:

Mary-Lou Trelawney is living at Polquenel, a small village by the sea, with her mother and grandmother, and has befriended Clem and Tony Barrass, the children of two artists, who a year before moved in next door. Although approving of the friendship at first as Mary-Lou has no other friends, the two Mrs Trelawneys have come to disapprove of it due to Clem and Tony’s harum scarum ways which have turned Mary-Lou into a tomboy. They also disapprove of the Barrass parents, especially Mr Barrass and his bad language. They tell Mary-Lou to drop the friendship, and announce that due to various reasons they will be moving in six weeks’ time anyway to somewhere more inland where Mary-Lou can go to school.
A dismayed Mary-Lou tells Clem and Tony her news, but they accept it cheerfully and tell her they have moved plenty of times and enjoy new places. Clem reveals that they too will be moving shortly anyway.
Mr Barrass interrupts their conversation when he comes down to the beach in a rage, Tony having filled his paint box with crabs and jellyfish for a joke. Clem manages to calm him down, and he leaves the beach vowing they will be leaving as soon as possible. They depart for London at the end of the week, with plans to go to the Hebrides afterwards.
Meanwhile, at the home of her just-deceased grandfather, ten year old Verity-Ann Carey has an interview with her grandfather’s solicitor Mr James, who is now her guardian. She has been brought up by her elderly grandparents and governess, and Mr James is struck by her self-possession and quaint speech and manners. When he tells her that, as her father is on an expedition and cannot be contacted, she will be going to the Chalet School where his own daughters Joan and Pamela went, she is disgusted and vows to him that she will hate it and never become a modern schoolgirl.
Two days after moving into Carn Beg in Howells, Mary-Lou, left to herself for the afternoon, explores the back garden and orchard, and discovers a meadow beyond the hedge where the triplets, Steve and Charles are fishing in the pond with nets under the eye of Anna. Mary-Lou wriggles through the hedge and is introduced to them and invited to join them for the afternoon. We learn that a sixth Maynard, Michael, arrived five months ago, and that Charles has a lot of influence over his siblings with his ability to make them feel guilty just by looking at them.
Mary-Lou learns that she will be going to the Chalet School, and, having heard about it from the triplets, becomes reconciled to the idea. She goes to tea at Plas Gwyn and the Round House, and is introduced to the Russells and Bettanys.
The winter term begins, and Jo takes Mary-Lou, who is to be a day girl, up to the school and introduces her to Miss Wilson, who tells her that she will be in Upper Second A with Josette Russell. Sybil takes her along to the form room and hands her over to Vi Lucy, who is astonished at encountering another new girl with a double name, as Verity-Ann, who has already arrived, has also joined their ranks.
Mary-Lou and Verity-Ann begin to talk, and discover that their fathers are both on the Murray-Cameron expedition up the Amazon. What they do not know is that there has been no news from the expedition for eighteen months, and there is grave anxiety over what has happened.
Miss Wilson takes the beginning of term assembly as Miss Annersley is in Armiford, and she announces that the school will be resuming its trilingual policy, much to the girls’ horror. Back in the form room, Verity-Ann causes a sensation by announcing to the form at large, as well as Miss Linton, that she doesn’t approve of German.
At Break, the girls ask Verity-Ann why she doesn’t want to learn German, and she says that the Germans are horrid. They point out that she will have to speak German when the school goes back to the Tyrol, but Verity-Ann snubs them so hard that they end up leaving her alone. At the end of the day, Mary-Lou is collected by her mother and concedes that she thinks she will like school all right.
Mary-Lou settles into school life after a few weeks, but Verity-Ann remains as quaint and on her dignity as ever. The staff and prefects discuss her and what to do about her, and Mollie Avery, during the prefects’ meeting, yawns repeatedly before being sent for by Matron.
By the end of the week Mollie, Gay Lambert, Jacynth Hardy and Frances Coleman are down with jaundice, and by the end of another week half of the Sixth forms and several of the Fifths have joined them, forcing Miss Annersley to impose a quarantine on the Seniors.
By the time half-term arrives, the weather has turned so bad that it is decided Mary-Lou and the triplets will be boarders for the rest of the term and the whole of the next. Mary-Lou is deeply dismayed at the idea of having no privacy at night, but gets no sympathy from anyone. She spends the half-term weekend at Plas Gwyn and the Round House, as Jo knows of the situation with the Murray-Cameron expedition and that the Trelawneys are losing hope fast of any more news, and wants to keep it from Mary-Lou for as long as possible.
While at the Round House, the Russells, Bettanys and Maynards have a game of Red Indians, and find some red ochre with which they douse themselves, much to Madge’s annoyance and Jo’s amusement.
Returning to school as a boarder after half-term, Mary-Lou resignedly goes up to her new dormitory, which she will be sharing with only one other girl, who is new. To her amazement and delight, the new girl is none other than Clem.
Clem explains that she has been put into Upper Third A, and she and Tony have been sent to school for the next year at least, as Tony played another trick on Mr Barrass which was the final straw for him. Tony has been sent to a prep school on the Lancashire moors, and Mr Barrass met Miss Annersley at Armiford on the first day of term and persuaded her to take Clem at half-term.
The girls go down to class, and Miss Linton informs Upper Second A – in French – that they will be having a carol concert that term instead of the usual Christmas play. Mary-Lou meets up with Clem at Break, and Clem admires how well Mary-Lou is picking up French, she having a natural talent for it.
Mary-Lou makes up her mind to gain her remove to Lower Third by the end of term, and persuades Clem to help her at night with her sums so that she can get up to the required level in arithmetic. The extra work soon takes its toll on her, however, and she begins sleeping badly and is irritable during the day.
Matey soon spots Mary-Lou’s symptoms, but is at a loss to understand what the problem is. One night while she is discussing the matter with the Heads, Miss Linton and Miss Edwards, Clem bursts in and announces that Mary-Lou has woken up delirious. Matey whisks the feverish Mary-Lou off to the San while a badly-frightened Clem confesses to the Head about the night-time studying. Miss Annersley explains that Mary-Lou has overworked herself, and makes Clem promise never to do lessons after eight o’clock again.
Mary-Lou remains in the San for several days, and wonders why her mother and Gran haven’t come to see her. After four days, Jo arrives and tells her that news has come of the Murray-Cameron expedition; all but two of the men were attacked and killed, including Professor Trelawney. Commander Carey, Verity-Ann’s father, was one of the survivors and will be coming home as soon as he has recovered from his injuries. Mary-Lou is at first worried that she feels no bitter grief at her father’s death because she was only three years old when he left and she has no memories of him, but Jo assures her it is natural to feel that way.
Clem receives a letter from her mother to say that a Mr Young, who is a friend of Mr Barrass – and also happens to be Clem’s godfather – has been to visit them and has promised to visit both Clem and Tony at their schools and take them out for the day. Tony sends a letter describing his own day out and gives a positive opinion of Mr Young.
Miss Linton, who is taking the Lucy girls into Armiford to spend the day at their home, drops Clem and Mary-Lou off with Mr Young, who takes an immediate interest in her. He takes Clem and Mary-Lou to visit the picture gallery at the City Library and then the Cathedral. After lunch they meet up again with the Lucys and Miss Linton at the cinema, and by the time the latter takes the girls back to school, she has arranged to meet up with Mr Young again on her day off.
Mary-Lou goes home for a weekend for the first time since the news of her father’s death arrived, and is struck at the change in her mother and especially Gran. Later, she learns that Commander Carey wrote to her mother and told her that Professor Trelawney had had the chance to escape the attack, but had instead rushed in to help his friends and been killed in the process. Mary-Lou is awed and proud at this revelation, and asks her mother to tell her all about her father.
A rainy day means all games are postponed one afternoon, and the entire school is sent to begin practising carols for the concert with Mr Denny instead. Upon seeing that one of the carols is a German one by Bach, Verity-Ann refuses to open her mouth when the other are singing. Mr Denny notices it, and hauls her up to the front and demands she sing it on her own. She repeatedly refuses, and neither he, Miss Cochrane nor Miss Burnett who is chaperoning can budge her. Eventually she is sent to bed, and told that as she refuses to sing in German, she will not take part in the concert at all. As she loves music, she finds this an awful punishment, but she still refuses to give in.
Verity-Ann continues to refuse to sing in German, and nobody, including Miss Annersley and even Jo, can make her change her mind. She becomes increasingly miserable as she finds herself out of all the fun, but is too stubborn to climb down and change her mind. Jo eventually hits upon the idea of writing to Commander Carey, who is now in England and in hospital. He finally comes up to the school, and Verity-Ann is ecstatic to see him. He succeeds where everyone else failed in getting her to relent in her hatred of all things German.
As the end of term approaches, Clem begins to grow restless that there has been no update on the situation between Miss Linton and Mr Young, as she fully expected them to be engaged by now. She confides in Mary-Lou one night when the latter is supposed to be asleep, and they are caught by none other than Miss Linton herself. Mary-Lou asks her straight out about it, and, although indignant, she grudgingly tells them to wait and see. On the last day of term, she summons them to the staffroom where she is alone, and shows them her engagement ring.
The carol concert is held, and various guests include Commander Carey, Mr Young and Tony.

So, thoughts on this book? What do you think of the Three of the book’s title? Did you like the storyline about Mary-Lou trying to catch up with Clem? Verity-Ann's battle with Plato? The Miss Linton/Mr Young subplot?

One thing I noticed while doing this summary: you know EBD goes through phases of using certain words obsessively throughout a book, like 'brats' in Joey Goes? 'Moke' is the one for this book. I'm sick of the sight of it now!

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 Post subject: Re: Books: Three Go to the Chalet School
PostPosted: 20 Jun 2017, 01:23 
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I remember buying this book, second-hand, in a school sale of work in June 1966. I thought it was going to be about the triplets.

Although it is called "Three Go to the Chalet School", it is very much the story of one person - Mary-Lou Trelawney - whom EBD wrote to perfection.

Exile, with its story of adventure, the war and a romance is possibly the most exciting to read in the whole series but surely Three Go, with its marvellously portrayed characters, is the best written?

EBD writes this book differently from her others. It is written from the point of view of the 10 year old Mary-Lou.

It is a book about friendship and heroism. It is also a book dedicated to the pupils of the Margaret Roper School as a farewell gift from their headmistress and surely in Mary-Lou, EBD saw her ideal pupil? It was also surely written as a guidebook for those pupils - and the Chalet School readers - on how the ideal girl should behave and Mary-Lou was the quintessential CS girl.

We see Mary-Lou, as the pupil, being taught life's lessons by Joey as her teacher. Joey is different in this book to any other book in the series. Each time she appears with Mary-Lou, she is the secondary character.

In a sense this was the passing of the torch from the first of the Chalet School's heroines to its second. I wonder if EBD set up Mary-Lou for such a huge part in the series or was it all just chance? Mary-Lou didn't take a great role for several years until the school went to Switzerland.

There are other characters who are also exquisitely written. The other two in the book's title, Clem and Verity-Anne, for instance.

Clem is a joy. Just as much the ideal schoolgirl as M-L. Why, oh why, did EBD not make her HG instead of Julie and why did she not write more about her?

Verity is also a real personality in this book. Did EBD change her to let Vi and Hilary in as friends of Mary-Lou?

I also loved Tony, a real little schoolboy. Gran and Mother were also well drawn, the Barrass parents, Miss Linton's romance.

The outstanding character though is Mary-Lou whom I am convinced really did live on the English/Welsh border as a 10 year old in the late 1940s and really did attend a school called the Chalet School!


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 Post subject: Re: Books: Three Go to the Chalet School
PostPosted: 20 Jun 2017, 01:36 
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I'm afraid that this was never one of my favourites, I only had the Armada reprint which cut the Miss Linton / Mr Young episode.

I'm not a huge MaryLou fan and in this introduction to her I can only feel that She's beyond precocious and deserves a good ' Squashing ' not encouraging !


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 Post subject: Re: Books: Three Go to the Chalet School
PostPosted: 20 Jun 2017, 03:00 
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The massive difference between the paperback and the hardback is ridiculous. It got to the point I couldn't figure out who the 'three' were meant to be the first time I read it because ML is so overly prominent.

So I actually thought the 'three' were ML, Verity and Ruth Barnes! Because they all join the same term in the same form, so I thought we were about to see all three of them making their way up the school.

And we find out both Wanda and Marie's girls are at the school and Josefa is in the same form as ML (along with Josette!) but we hear no more about them ever after.

Aquabird wrote:
Mary-Lou is at first worried that she feels no bitter grief at her father’s death because she was only three years old when he left and she has no memories of him, but Jo assures her it is natural to feel that way.


Why oh why, did mother and grandma leave it to Joey to tell Mary Lou?
Even if the grandmother was ill, why couldn't Joey stay to look after her and let Doris go and tell her own daughter about her father? It just seems like a massive abjuration of responsibilities.

Audrey25 wrote:
Verity is also a real personality in this book. Did EBD change her to let Vi and Hilary in as friends of Mary-Lou?


Verity's personality changes so much it's as if she has a transplant. She goes from being fairly self assertive to a total flake who can't even be trusted to make her own bed in the morning.

Feel very sad for Vi as well. She is clearly a leader of the whole group and the form and then ML comes along and takes over everything. She ends up being very backgrounded, doesn't even get to be a prefect first, wants to be Games prefect and ends up as Second prefect instead and we don't hear much about her after school, though ML pops by all the time.

I feel like I am one of the few who like the Miss Linton/Mr Young romance because it seems so relatively normal. He deliberately stays around to be with her, they go on real dates and Clem and ML actually discuss it.

Though we get the silly line yet again about how she is "too sweet and dear to be a teacher."

Cheers,
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Last edited by Joyce on 21 Jun 2017, 10:09, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Books: Three Go to the Chalet School
PostPosted: 20 Jun 2017, 04:53 
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What is so sad about the sweet and dear line is that here we have EBD, in her early fifties, giving up teaching, not to become a wife but to become a full-time writer. Did she therefore feel her own life was a waste because she never married? Did she maybe not think she was sweet and dear or was the sweet and dear line trotted out with no real feeling?

I wonder if Vi was backgrounded that much. I always think of her as being quite prominent and she is up there as my second favourite girl in the whole series.

When EBD makes her a prefect later on in the year, after making M-L and Hilary and maybe Lesley prefects at the beginning, I am sure it is because she wanted Vi in the Coming of Age book during the prefects trip to the Tirol.

It is interesting that she does make an appearance in the very last book of the series, along with M-L, at the school sale of work and she is an interior designer or training as such.

Also if EBD did mean M-L to marry either Rix Bettany or David Russell (huge mistake either) I am darned sure it is Vi Lucy who would have got the other.


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 Post subject: Re: Books: Three Go to the Chalet School
PostPosted: 20 Jun 2017, 07:53 
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I love the early bit in Polquenel. Mrs Trelawney senior is such a Hyacinth Bucket, tut-tutting over the Barrasses - what a mess their house is, Mr B swearing at the butcher, etc, and wanting Mary-Lou to be friends with the snooty vicarage kids instead! And I like seeing Mary-Lou, Clem and Tony running about enjoying themselves, like children in Enid Blyton and Lorna Hill books do.

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 Post subject: Re: Books: Three Go to the Chalet School
PostPosted: 20 Jun 2017, 11:09 
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I think EBD was breaking new ground with Mary-Lou as a CS or GO character. She is nice-looking but not beautiful or even striking, fair and straight-haired, not golden or curly, sturdy rather than slender/frail, bright but with no creative/artistic talents and with a bell-like voice rather than silvery/golden. I too like the early scenes on the beach, just kids playing alone and unsupervised. ML's mother seems not only weak but a bit of a dope - she wasn't going to tell ML about the move until the removal vans were at the door.
I also think that she is the daughter that EBD never had (Jo being the person she never was). The descriptions of 'shiny head' 'satiny cheeks' 'tan and rosy face' are extremely loving and Jo from the start is set up to be the mother figure by telling her of her father's death, though it's appalling that Doris didn't do it. (Later Jo is there when ML comes round from her accident.) From then on EBD takes out all ML's relatives (including the Barrasses who might offer her a home) so that she is closest to Joey.
The school is delightful in this book and I love Gillian's romance - probably the best in the series after Madge's. Though that painting sound dreadful.


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 Post subject: Re: Books: Three Go to the Chalet School
PostPosted: 20 Jun 2017, 11:32 
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This was my favourite CS book as a child. I was lucky enough to have a hardback copy, so has the full uncut story.

As an adult I enjoy it but not as much as the earlier Armishire books or the brilliant Exile. However, it's still a greatly interesting book, particularly as it's very much a transitional book, where many of the foundational characters such as Robin, Frieda, Simone and Giselle have moved on and will only appear fleetingly throughout the rest of the series and a new character, who will be central to the next phase of the series, is introduced.

It's also, of course, the last book that will be set in Armishire.

In general there's a huge feeling of change in Three Goes. The war is over, seminal characters are gone, and Madge is beginning to move into the background. In many ways I see this book as being the end of an era, before the series begins to diminish in quality. So it has a bitter sweet taste for me.


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 Post subject: Re: Books: Three Go to the Chalet School
PostPosted: 20 Jun 2017, 11:57 
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I believe that the feeling amongst publishers in the late 1940s was that it was time to move on from the war years. I also suspect that the German carol storyline didn't go down too well, as most of the Austrian girls have disappeared by the next book.

I think EBD was very much hoping at this point to be able to move the school back to Tyrol, hence the reintroduction of the trilingual system, but that she realised it wouldn't be possible just yet. But, with the war over, it was no longer necessary to be somewhere "safe", and lose out on the chance for location-based adventures, hence the decision to relocate to St Briavel's in the next book. This is the "reboot" book, though - a few years are missed, new characters are brought in, the second generation are growing up. I suppose it was the way it had to be. The war was a huge watershed in everyone's lives, and there was a huge sense of change across the board.

I would love to know if EBD always intended Mary-Lou to become The Second Great Heroine, or if she was originally just another new girl, like Lavender, Carola, Katharine, etc, destined to fade into the background after one book, but she just took over by herself :D .

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 Post subject: Re: Books: Three Go to the Chalet School
PostPosted: 20 Jun 2017, 12:25 
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I agree with a previous poster that Gillian Linton's romance is one of the nicest ones in the series. Even though the engagement comes quite quickly, there's still a sense of normality about the relationship.

They meet by chance, a friend realises that Peter has taken a fancy to Gillian and manoeuvres it so that they end up sitting beside each other in the cinema, and from there they have a series of dates before becoming engaged. There's no dramatic event that brings them together, Peter's only connection to the school is that his god daughter is a pupil, they take some time to get to know each other, and for a change he isn't a doctor!


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 Post subject: Re: Books: Three Go to the Chalet School
PostPosted: 20 Jun 2017, 15:38 
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Another fan here of the Gillian/Peter Young romance. It happens fairly quickly but just seems so natural. And Gillian deserves to be happy, and to eat white bread, as Jo puts it on hearing of the birth of their first son.

I'm a great fan of Mary-Lou, too, of course! :lol:

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 Post subject: Re: Books: Three Go to the Chalet School
PostPosted: 20 Jun 2017, 16:06 
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Joyce wrote:

Why oh why, did mother and grandma leave it to Joey to tell Mary Lou?
Even if the grandmother was ill, why couldn't Joey stay to look after her and let Doris go and tell her own daughter about her father? It just seems like a massive abjuration of responsibilities.



Mel wrote:
.... though it's appalling that Doris didn't do it.

I don't think it is either appalling or a massive abjuration of responsibilities.

There could be all sorts of reasons behind it. My mother did not tell me herself of my father's death when I was ten years old. Two trusted and much loved friends of the family took me out to lunch and told me and it was completely the correct thing to do under the circumstances.

I thought so then, and I still think so now, 65 years on.

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 Post subject: Re: Books: Three Go to the Chalet School
PostPosted: 20 Jun 2017, 16:19 
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I'm inclined to agree that Doris should have been the one to tell Mary-Lou. Joey, however well she and the Trelawneys may have got on, was someone whom Mary-Lou had only known for a few months. If the Trelawneys had been miles away, it would have been understandable, but they lived nearby. However, I think EBD's wish to have Joey involved in everything does quite often override what might seem like common sense, as when Bride wants to write to her in Canada to ask her advice about dealing with Diana :roll:.

Professor Trelawney and Commander Carey are yet another two of the absent dads who go off doing their own thing for years on end. I appreciate that they didn't expect their great expedition to get lost, but presumably they expected to be away for a few years at least. And, unlike the dads who are in the Armed Forces, Prof Trelawney could presumably have studied British insects or butterflies or whatever it was he was after. I appreciate that times have changed and it was not considered strange then for a man from a well-to-do background to be working away for years on end, but Verity is dumped on her elderly grandparents, and poor Doris doesn't exactly have much of a marriage. She's tied to a man she doesn't see for 7 years: she's neither single nor part of a couple. The same thing happens to Mrs Winterton. I do feel very sorry for them. If you marry someone in the Armed Forces, you sign up for long periods apart, but they didn't.

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 Post subject: Re: Books: Three Go to the Chalet School
PostPosted: 20 Jun 2017, 17:29 
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I agree with Alison, I think it was, that as time went on Mary-Lou was such a strong character she did take over from the author and almost wrote herself. It was probably because she was such a realistic character that some people seem to dislike her. She is my favourite character because she is not perfect and because she is kind and caring.

I don't see anything wrong with the younger Mrs Trelawney. We cannot all be bossy boots as M-L and Gran both were. I know Gran was also greatly responsible for M-L's upbringing but Mrs Trelawney must have had something to do with it too and I think M-L was a daughter of whom to be proud.

Regarding Joey telling Mary-Lou of Mary-Lou's father's death, I don't think Mary-Lou's mother can be blamed for that. It is only EBD bringing Joey to the foreground again.

Also maybe at times it is more appropriate for a child to be told of the death of a parent by someone less involved and less emotional. Maybe the child can vent their own feelings to a greater extent than they could if it was their other parent telling them.

As for men going off for years on end it makes me think of all the women there must have been who would have been even better at the jobs Professor Trelawney and ? Carey undertook. Although these women would have been more than happy to make sacrifices to achieve their life's ambition, they never get the chance because men ruled.


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 Post subject: Re: Books: Three Go to the Chalet School
PostPosted: 20 Jun 2017, 17:42 
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Audrey25 wrote:




Also maybe at times it is more appropriate for a child to be told of the death of a parent by someone less involved and less emotional. Maybe the child can vent their own feelings to a greater extent than they could if it was their other parent telling them.


Spot on Audrey. There can be lots of reasons for this and I don't think people should be judging quite so fiercely about it.

There can be other issues at play too.

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 Post subject: Re: Books: Three Go to the Chalet School
PostPosted: 20 Jun 2017, 18:06 
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cestina wrote:
Audrey25 wrote:




Also maybe at times it is more appropriate for a child to be told of the death of a parent by someone less involved and less emotional. Maybe the child can vent their own feelings to a greater extent than they could if it was their other parent telling them.


Spot on Audrey. There can be lots of reasons for this and I don't think people should be judging quite so fiercely about it.

There can be other issues at play too.


:)


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 Post subject: Re: Books: Three Go to the Chalet School
PostPosted: 21 Jun 2017, 05:56 
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Sorry if I started something about whether Doris was correct to or not to break the news about her father's death. But I also feel there's a bit of personal projection going on and we should remember that these people aren't actually real.

But the whole scene just feels strange as Joey has only known them for a few months and is not a dear or old friend. At that moment in time, whatever they might become later on, she's just someone who lives next door.

The relationship between the two is developed very rapidly to the point that Joey is clearly meant to be ML's 'spiritual' mother. She is even described as inheriting Joey's mantle and she ends up being a adopted member of the Maynard family.

Mel wrote:
From then on EBD takes out all ML's relatives (including the Barrasses who might offer her a home) so that she is closest to Joey.


Doris literally loses her voice - do we even hear her speak again after this book? She's very conveniently ill when ML almost dies so Joey again has to be surrogate mother. Does she even visit her daughter afterwards?

She and Ronald die, then Verity marries, leaving ML alone. Though I find it weird that EBD thinks because a family member marries, that means they suddenly no longer care for their siblings. She did the same thing to Joyce and Gillian Linton.

And she's dismissed as being a 'sweet woman' who Joey is fond of but thinks Madge is more than.

Mel wrote:
Though that painting sound dreadful.


:D

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Joyce

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Last edited by Joyce on 21 Jun 2017, 11:08, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Books: Three Go to the Chalet School
PostPosted: 21 Jun 2017, 06:07 
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You did good with your comments , Joyce. It was an interesting point and siblings do still care even if they are married.

Despite her own family when she had them all though, replacement mother Joey, the gang, Verity, Clem, Vi and all the rest, I actually think Mary-Lou is a loner in some respects. That she prefers keeping her own counsel. Don't know why I think this but just do. This is why I think that if marriage was for M-L at all, it would not have been for a long time.


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 Post subject: Re: Books: Three Go to the Chalet School
PostPosted: 21 Jun 2017, 07:18 
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I think Doris would have been quite happy as a late 1940s/1950s wife, having her husband's tea ready and his slippers warming by the fire when he got home from work, and reading women's magazines. That wouldn't have been unusual for someone at that time, and a lot of women were very happy like that. Unfortunately for Doris, her husband bu**ered off to chase butterflies up the Amazon, and she was left with her formidable mother-in-law. I feel rather sorry for Gran as well: Prof Trelawney's brother was killed in the war, so she lost both her sons young.

I find it interesting that both Mary-Lou and Verity were home-schooled until they were 10. Unless you were royalty, how common would that have been by the late 1940s? They don't even have governesses: they're taught by their respective grandmothers.

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 Post subject: Re: Books: Three Go to the Chalet School
PostPosted: 21 Jun 2017, 08:17 
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Alison H wrote:
I think Doris would have been quite happy as a late 1940s/1950s wife, having her husband's tea ready and his slippers warming by the fire when he got home from work, and reading women's magazines. That wouldn't have been unusual for someone at that time, and a lot of women were very happy like that.


That's very much how I see her - a sweet, gentle woman, who would manage the home and support an obsessed career man, but would be happiest with someone to look after her, and make the big decisions, and oversee the discipline of the kids. I think Gran took over Professor Trelawny's role for practical matters - it's made very clear that Mary-Lou would run the household if Gran wasn't keeping her in check.


Quote:
I find it interesting that both Mary-Lou and Verity were home-schooled until they were 10. Unless you were royalty, how common would that have been by the late 1940s? They don't even have governesses: they're taught by their respective grandmothers.


I think Verity had a governess - there's a mention of an elderly Miss Graham who taught her (I don't think her grandmother is mentioned).

What would have been the standard for someone in Mary-Lou's situation in those days - would they attend boarding school from a young age, or go to the local village school ( :shock: ) or have a governess?

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