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 Post subject: Re: Books: Three Go to the Chalet School
PostPosted: 21 Jun 2017, 09:13 
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Polly and Lala are taught by their mother's friend, who doesn't have much idea. Some people seem to have shared a governess with friends - Rosalie Way and the Herberts, and the Raphael and Shakespeare girls in Heather Leaves School. It does all seem quite dated by the late 1940s, though. Having said which, if there was no private prep school, the sort that Gran would have deemed suitable, nearby, and the family didn't own a car and were in a remote-ish area with no regular buses or trains, maybe there was no choice.

I'm sure Mary-Lou would have been sent to boarding school at 7 had she been a boy, though.

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 Post subject: Re: Books: Three Go to the Chalet School
PostPosted: 21 Jun 2017, 10:11 
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I was wondering more about what real people of that sort of social class and time would do. Would attending the village school really have been that horrible, and if so, what would people do if boarding school from age seven or so wasn't a financial option?

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 Post subject: Re: Books: Three Go to the Chalet School
PostPosted: 21 Jun 2017, 10:40 
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Possibly moved to somewhere within reasonable daily travelling distance of a suitable school, which is what the Trelawneys do in the end.

A lot of the families in Lorna Hill books live in rural Northumberland, but not so far from Newcastle or smaller towns that the children can't attend day schools. And most upper-middle-class dads, unless they worked in agriculture, would work in towns/cities, so, if there was a dad at home, they'd probably live somewhere less remote.

I'd forgotten about Verity's governess. It does seem very old-fashioned for Mary-Lou to be taught at home by her grandmother, who presumably has no teaching experience, and whose ideas of a suitable curriculum are probably two generations out of date. And Clem and Tony don't seem to be getting any education at all whilst they're in Polquenel - which, apart from anything else, is illegal!

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 Post subject: Re: Books: Three Go to the Chalet School
PostPosted: 21 Jun 2017, 10:49 
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I can think of at least two examples of children I've come across who were born into such families in the late 1940s/ early 1950s whose parents sent the children to the local state primary schools (one a village school) but private schools after the age of eleven, and that seems to have been not uncommon. I suspect that Gran Trelawney would always have had in mind that Mary-Lou would go away to school sooner or later, in much the same way.

In contrast, the aristocracy and uppermost middle classes often didn't think the girls' education mattered at all - not even the traditional 'running a home' stuff.


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 Post subject: Re: Books: Three Go to the Chalet School
PostPosted: 21 Jun 2017, 10:57 
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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.


When I was studying nursing, the organ donation group spoke with us. They spoke about this very topic and said they have found it is better for someone other than the parents, to break the news of a parents death. The reason they gave is children tend to be angry with the person who breaks the news and blame the person for their parents death. And the other point they said is the child doesn't always verbalize this anger.

I always thought it was nice Joey broke the news. Mainly because Mary Lou wasn't as upset about her Father's death and had questions that could have upset Doris more in her grief. As a nurse, there have been situations where I've been asked to break the news as parents have found it extremely distressing to break the news to other family members, especially when they are in the throes of grief.

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 Post subject: Re: Books: Three Go to the Chalet School
PostPosted: 22 Jun 2017, 10:06 
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Alison H wrote:
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.


I love that moment when ML tells her grandma what Mr Barras says. And yes, the running round unsupervised harks back to a far more innocent time.

And Tony's letter about Mr Young and how he likes him because he gets taken out to the cinema and tea. Very easy to please is Tony :D

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 Post subject: Re: Books: Three Go to the Chalet School
PostPosted: 22 Jun 2017, 10:15 
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I don't think EBD meant it to be funny, but the image of the two Mrs Trelawneys going round to introduce themselves to their new neighbours, probably very properly dressed in hats and coats etc, and finding the place an absolute tip and Mrs Barrass in a pair of scruffy overalls, would make a brilliant sitcom scene. So would Mrs Trelawney's reaction - in a Hyacinth Bucket or Audrey fforbes-Hamilton voice - to Mr Barras swearing his head off at the butcher.

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 Post subject: Re: Books: Three Go to the Chalet School
PostPosted: 22 Jun 2017, 13:29 
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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. 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.


If Doris had a husband living at home and did not have Gran she might have been quite like the quiet, rather lonely wife, Laura, in Brief Encounter.

What were married women with children at school, but who also had maids so did not need to do much housework, expected to do all day?

I know they could entertain friends or go visiting themselves, do charity/Church work, play bridge etc, join stuff like the WI and Guild and this was fine for the sociable people. What about the quiet people though? I suppose they lived like Doris or did similar (not the love affair!) as Laura Jessop.

Regarding the schooling, in the latish 1930s when my mother and her sister were not long started school, they went to live in quite a remote spot. It was too difficult for them to go to school so a schoolteacher went each day to teach only the two of them. They were a separate part of the main school. I forget what it is called .

Regarding Joyce's post about Tony's day out being lunch and the cinema - changed days to now. Also the freedom kids had then to go off and do their own thing.

I was about 15 years younger than Tony and M-L but it was still like that in my day. When she had time away from housework in the summer holidays, my mother would take us for a picnic and paddling in the local river or on the bus to a little seaside town 15 miles away to build sandcastles on the beach or on the local ferry for a walk and picnic in the village on the other side. All simple stuff not costing a lot of money.


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 Post subject: Re: Books: Three Go to the Chalet School
PostPosted: 22 Jun 2017, 13:49 
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I think a lot of children today would still think of being taken to the cinema and out for tea with food they wouldn't get at home such as cream cakes to be a treat.


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 Post subject: Re: Books: Three Go to the Chalet School
PostPosted: 22 Jun 2017, 17:36 
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Audrey25 wrote:
What were married women with children at school, but who also had maids so did not need to do much housework, expected to do all day?
Just exactly the sort of stuff you mention, Audrey - some of the more extrovert might have joined an Am-Dram group, I guess. I know of one who had always wanted to be a concert pianist, who kept up her music (and went on tour when the youngest child was old enough to leave). My mother-in-law (definitely without servants) who had given up a career as a draughtsman's tracer, took up art instead, and spent all her free time painting etc.

One exception to that, EMBD to the contrary, was probably medicine. I knew three women doctors of Daisy's generation who married and had children, and they kept right on with being doctors - only part-time while the children were young, but nevertheless they kept working in their chosen career.


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 Post subject: Re: Books: Three Go to the Chalet School
PostPosted: 23 Jun 2017, 03:45 
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Alison H wrote:
I don't think EBD meant it to be funny, but the image of the two Mrs Trelawneys going round to introduce themselves to their new neighbours, probably very properly dressed in hats and coats etc, and finding the place an absolute tip and Mrs Barrass in a pair of scruffy overalls, would make a brilliant sitcom scene. So would Mrs Trelawney's reaction - in a Hyacinth Bucket or Audrey fforbes-Hamilton voice - to Mr Barras swearing his head off at the butcher.


Oh I LOVE that scene. It is, as you say, so Hyacinth Bucket. And you depict it so well. :D

Audrey25 wrote:
I was about 15 years younger than Tony and M-L but it was still like that in my day. When she had time away from housework in the summer holidays, my mother would take us for a picnic and paddling in the local river or on the bus to a little seaside town 15 miles away to build sandcastles on the beach or on the local ferry for a walk and picnic in the village on the other side. All simple stuff not costing a lot of money.


Sorry, didn't mean to imply the simple pleasures aren't the best, just that Tony was so easily won over. His description of the day out is so delightfully kid like - the food and the entertainment but not much on what Mr Young is actually like :D

I also have lovely memories of mum packing a basic lunch of fruit and sandwiches and taking us to the park to play. If we were very lucky and timed it properly (and of course we made sure to!), the ice cream truck would go by just as we wanted one.

Cheers,
Joyce

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 Post subject: Re: Books: Three Go to the Chalet School
PostPosted: 23 Jun 2017, 10:00 
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Noreen wrote:
Audrey25 wrote:
What were married women with children at school, but who also had maids so did not need to do much housework, expected to do all day?
Just exactly the sort of stuff you mention, Audrey - some of the more extrovert might have joined an Am-Dram group, I guess. I know of one who had always wanted to be a concert pianist, who kept up her music (and went on tour when the youngest child was old enough to leave). My mother-in-law (definitely without servants) who had given up a career as a draughtsman's tracer, took up art instead, and spent all her free time painting etc.

One exception to that, EMBD to the contrary, was probably medicine. I knew three women doctors of Daisy's generation who married and had children, and they kept right on with being doctors - only part-time while the children were young, but nevertheless they kept working in their chosen career.


Yes, I agree. Medicine, along with teaching, was one of the few careers that women could pursue after marriage when I was a child. Most other women I knew (Mum's friends, friiends' mums) had worked in office type jobs or department stores before they got married and automatically gave up either on marriage or as soon as they had children.

One thing I remember from childhood was that people like my mother had far more friends around during the day than a SAHM would nowadays. All of the neighbouring women would have been at home all day, married sisters would have been around etc. Nowadays, a lot of newer estates are like ghost towns Mon - Fri with all the adults out at work, and children at school or crèche.

So I suppose women of the CS class in the 40s and 50s would have found it easier in some ways to occupy themselves, as society was more geared towards women in the home. There would have been lots of local activities and committees to get involved in, friends available to meet up with for coffee or lunch, and your children's friends popping in and out all day.


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 Post subject: Re: Books: Three Go to the Chalet School
PostPosted: 23 Jun 2017, 11:08 
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Joyce wrote:
Alison H wrote:
I don't think EBD meant it to be funny, but the image of the two Mrs Trelawneys going round to introduce themselves to their new neighbours, probably very properly dressed in hats and coats etc, and finding the place an absolute tip and Mrs Barrass in a pair of scruffy overalls, would make a brilliant sitcom scene. So would Mrs Trelawney's reaction - in a Hyacinth Bucket or Audrey fforbes-Hamilton voice - to Mr Barras swearing his head off at the butcher.


Oh I LOVE that scene. It is, as you say, so Hyacinth Bucket. And you depict it so well. :D

Audrey25 wrote:
I was about 15 years younger than Tony and M-L but it was still like that in my day. When she had time away from housework in the summer holidays, my mother would take us for a picnic and paddling in the local river or on the bus to a little seaside town 15 miles away to build sandcastles on the beach or on the local ferry for a walk and picnic in the village on the other side. All simple stuff not costing a lot of money.


Sorry, didn't mean to imply the simple pleasures aren't the best, just that Tony was so easily won over. His description of the day out is so delightfully kid like - the food and the entertainment but not much on what Mr Young is actually like :D

I also have lovely memories of mum packing a basic lunch of fruit and sandwiches and taking us to the park to play. If we were very lucky and timed it properly (and of course we made sure to!), the ice cream truck would go by just as we wanted one.

Cheers,
Joyce


Sounds really good, Joyce.


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 Post subject: Re: Books: Three Go to the Chalet School
PostPosted: 23 Jun 2017, 13:08 
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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.

I don't think EBD suggests that marriage means Gillian and Joyce no longer care for each other, merely that their own husbands and families will now, rightly, be their priority. In Gillian's case this is seen as a good thing as Joyce can no longer expect her to drop everything and run whenever Joyce calls. Joyce has been very fortunate that Gill has been able to do it up to that point - it means everyone else at the school has to shuffle round to cover while Gill is away. If she worked anywhere but the CS she wouldn't have been able to do it.

I think in this particular case it was right that someone other than Doris or Gran should tell Mary Lou about her father's death. If Doris or Gran had broken the news, especially if they had been distressed, ML wouldn't have been able to have the conversation about not feeling grief stricken, and would probably have gone on feeling guilty about it but unable to say anything.

If it hadn't been Jo, I suppose the alternative would have been Miss Linton, who was the other adult who ML knew best, but Jo was 'Auntie Jo' and ML could probably speak more freely to her.

I do wonder if EBD was thinking of moving Jo into the background from this book. She's in a lot of scenes, but few if any of them are about her. And as a pp said, the pov is all that of a ten year old, and someone who is new to the school and the series, and wouldn't be interested in endless talk of the doings of 'grown ups'.

I do agree Peter Young's picture sounds awful - the sort of thing that was becoming dated in the 1920s. The artist father of a family that features in a couple of Angela Brazil books paints in a similar style.

And surely if Peter Young was a true artist, he wouldn't be interested in Gillian just because she was pretty in a fairytale princess style?


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 Post subject: Re: Books: Three Go to the Chalet School
PostPosted: 23 Jun 2017, 13:18 
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I was surprised to see the bit about Miss Linton/Mr Young as the paperback I have doesn't mention it. In fact when in a later book it is mentioned that 'Mr Young married to the person who used to be Miss Linton' was doing lightning portraits for the 'Sale' I just assumed that I had missed reading the book in which Miss Linton goes off to get married!
However, I did enjoy this book and felt that the portrayal of ML as a ten year old dealing with lots of new experiences was quite true to life. She is certainly a very likeable character at this point - the staff (particularly Miss Wilson) recognise her potential and she is still capable of being 'naughty'. Verity is different again and some way off being the "mooner"she later becomes. I like the friendship between Clem and ML too, it is natural despite their age difference.

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 Post subject: Re: Books: Three Go to the Chalet School
PostPosted: 23 Jun 2017, 17:27 
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I think that EBD saw this book partly as a study on friendship. Even Gran, despite her original worries about Clem & Tony, ends up with one of the more serious reflections on the topic:
Quote:
Gran considered. 'What I mean is this. Learn to share your friends with other people. If they're worth having, they and you will be all the closer for it. It's the people who demand everything and won't share who are to be doubted. They're jealous, and jealousy breeds lack of faith, and that, sooner or later, means a bad break in the friendship. Never ask too much from your friends. No one can give everything to one person. A good deal - probably the best they have to give - yes; but not all. Friendship should mean complete trust; otherwise it becomes an insult. Remember that! No; you don't understand more than half of what I'm saying, but if you remember, you will later. Never be jealous or exacting or selfish in your friendships. And never give in to that sort of thing either, or you'll only end by making yourself and the other person miserable.'


Other areas are not so clear, at least to me. At one point Jo's slang baffles me completely. Right in the middle of a talk on honesty, kindness and doing one's best, there's this:
Quote:
You've got to try your hardest always - for goodness' sake, Mary-Lou, don't turn into a spiv or a slacker! There's nothing sloppier or more despicable in this world, I think.'
'I loathe sloppy things!' Mary-Lou told her with fervour.

The slacker part fits with the trying, assuming slacker means someone who does as little work as possible, especially in the context of increasing the burden on others. However, for me, "spiv" refers to the Vic Coles type (drinks, gambles, gets girls in trouble, and spends a lot of time arranging his hair gel). "Sloppy" involves mainly table manners of the poor-depth-perception type: knocked over glasses, etc., or maybe getting spaghetti sauce on one's clothes: nothing close to despicable! So the pieces of the sentence seem totally disparate.

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 Post subject: Re: Books: Three Go to the Chalet School
PostPosted: 23 Jun 2017, 18:23 
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Gran sums up what is EBD's philosophy of friendship right from the beginning of the series, doesn't she?

A spiv, at the time Jo was speaking, was a man who engaged in dodgy dealings on the black market, selling rationed goods obtained by questionable means. So it was generally understood to mean someone who was dishonest and dishonourable.

If you've ever seen an episode of Dad's Army, Private Walker was the spiv.

(Most neighbourhoods had someone who was able to get a bit of something or other 'off the ration', and many people probably indulged in black market trading in a small way, but it was illegal and the penalties were quite severe if the magistrates chose to make an example of someone.)


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 Post subject: Re: Books: Three Go to the Chalet School
PostPosted: 23 Jun 2017, 19:55 
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That's my idea of a spiv too, but it seems an odd thing for Jo to say to ML.


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 Post subject: Re: Books: Three Go to the Chalet School
PostPosted: 23 Jun 2017, 20:14 
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Mel wrote:
That's my idea of a spiv too, but it seems an odd thing for Jo to say to ML.
Flagging up the dishonesty and lack of moral sense - the attitude behind being a spiv, rather than the details of what was handled. I agree that it reads oddly to us, if only because the word has largely fallen out of use by now, but it would have had immediate resonance for many people at the time the book was published.


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 Post subject: Re: Books: Three Go to the Chalet School
PostPosted: 24 Jun 2017, 12:01 
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Haven't read this book in ages, why was Joey lecturing Mary-Lou, I presume they hadn't known each other very long?


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