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 Post subject: Re: Books: The Chalet School and the Island
PostPosted: 30 Jun 2017, 22:41 
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Alison H wrote:
On a completely different note, the book starts with Margot being sent to Canada with Madge and Jem. I wonder how far ahead EBD was thinking in terms of storylines about the triplets. They were 7 ( I think), so way off being major characters. There hadn't been that much talk about Margot's health previously. She seemed as healthy as Len and Con in Three Go.
Yes, while I've always enjoyed Island (and it's one of the ones I wasn't able to read as a child, so it's still quite fresh to me), it always strikes me as a bit more serious than it seems on the surface.

It's primarily a school story, and Annis is a satisfying heroine, but there's a fair amount of family disruption and difficulty for some of the characters to work through:
The Christy family have to move out of their family home, and Cherry, particularly, grieves over losing (as she sees it) both home and eldest sister to the CS.
Jem and Madge leave David and Sybil behind when they go to Canada.
Jo lets Margot go to Canada for her health's sake, and Len and Con go to school on St Briavel's (and as Alison points out, the three of them are still very young).
Annis is still coping with both her father's death and the very unsympathetic (and unscrupulous) relative who is now her guardian.

And though we really only hear one side of these stories, they're quite complex enough as it is.


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 Post subject: Re: Books: The Chalet School and the Island
PostPosted: 01 Jul 2017, 08:18 
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There's a dispute between Jo and Jack about Stephen, who can only be 4, or 5 at the most, at this point. Jack wants to send him to boarding school because the alternative is, horror of horrors, the village school. Jo objects, and it's agreed that Stephen will attend the village school, presumably until he's 7.

I know it was common for well-to-do families to send boys away when they were 7, but poor Stephen was much younger than that. When the Russell and Bettany boys started prep school, they at least went to one nearby, and they were at least 7 by then. Jack gives in with rather bad grace, going on about how Stephen'll probably pick up all sorts of bad language. It seems so harsh. The kid is 4 years old. When we see them all out together in Peggy, he's holding Sybil's hand because he's not allowed to walk near the road on his own: that's how young he is. It's quite an insight into Jack's views on bringing up boys.

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 Post subject: Re: Books: The Chalet School and the Island
PostPosted: 01 Jul 2017, 09:13 
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And in the end, Stephen and Charles gets sent to boarding school in a different country at just eight, while Mike gets sent to the Embury's during the week from 6 (and doesn't make it home in weekends when the weather's bad), and Felix is just barely seven (September birthday) when he's shipped off to boarding school.

I can't imaging shipping a five year old off to boarding school without there being dire circumstances involved. Much is made of how young Robin is when she comes to the CS, and she's a year older than that, and has no mother and a father going abroad, and gets extra special family treatment that I suspect would not be provided at a boy's boarding school.

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 Post subject: Re: Books: The Chalet School and the Island
PostPosted: 01 Jul 2017, 10:42 
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JayB wrote:
But she's going to have David, Sybil and Primula in the holidays. And Daisy is there sometimes, as we see in Carola.


Sorry! Completely forgot about the Russell kids and Primula. Unless they go to the Bettanys - after all, Madge looked after their children for so many years so maybe it's quid pro quo time.

So yes, Joey probably does need a large place to fit everyone in.

Caroline wrote:
You know, now matter how everyone else seems to want to see the worst in Joey and everything EBD has her do, I can't help but like her.


I only dislike her when she reaches sainthood status and is practically deified within the school and EBD simply loses all objectivity regarding her.

The more human young/teenage Joey gives way to a woman who is praised as being an everlasting blessing for giving the school jam!

Cheers,
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 Post subject: Re: Books: The Chalet School and the Island
PostPosted: 01 Jul 2017, 12:29 
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Alison H wrote:
There's a dispute between Jo and Jack about Stephen, who can only be 4, or 5 at the most, at this point. Jack wants to send him to boarding school because the alternative is, horror of horrors, the village school. Jo objects, and it's agreed that Stephen will attend the village school, presumably until he's 7.

I know it was common for well-to-do families to send boys away when they were 7, but poor Stephen was much younger than that. When the Russell and Bettany boys started prep school, they at least went to one nearby, and they were at least 7 by then. Jack gives in with rather bad grace, going on about how Stephen'll probably pick up all sorts of bad language. It seems so harsh. The kid is 4 years old. When we see them all out together in Peggy, he's holding Sybil's hand because he's not allowed to walk near the road on his own: that's how young he is. It's quite an insight into Jack's views on bringing up boys.


I think that's a bit unfair to Jack! He agrees very quickly to Stephen going to the village school (which at the time would have been the one in Howells village, so in the end he never went there!). The suggestion of weekly boarding at Fairfields is only made as that - an alternative suggestion, not something he was actively pushing. I accept that he does make the comment about the language, but again I think it is just a casual warning and he doesn't push the point.


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 Post subject: Re: Books: The Chalet School and the Island
PostPosted: 01 Jul 2017, 13:34 
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I cannot imagine people sending their children to boarding school at 5 years old (although it might be tempting at times :wink: ) but I suppose that is the difference between then, as EBD saw it, and now.
I went to a village school and it was very good, although the female teacher was a bully, but we did learn a lot there.


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 Post subject: Re: Books: The Chalet School and the Island
PostPosted: 01 Jul 2017, 14:49 
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I know it's splitting hairs but isn't Stephen five when he goes to the school in Carnbach? The triplets are eight when Margot goes to Canada and they are 10 when they all return and nearly 11 when they start in Switzerland.

Stephen was three years younger (although EBD occasionally messes that up and sometimes only makes it two) and he was actually still only seven when he went to prep school.

Charles is also seven when he first goes but four months younger than Stephen was when he first went.

The triplets must have their eighth birthday during Three Go as EBD says at the beginning they look seven or eight and also going by the other dates.


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 Post subject: Re: Books: The Chalet School and the Island
PostPosted: 01 Jul 2017, 15:09 
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Caroline wrote:
You know, now matter how everyone else seems to want to see the worst in Joey and everything EBD has her do, I can't help but like her. So there it is. I think I'm entitled to my opinion, rare as it seems to be on th CBB these days.


But I wasn't getting at Jo per se, but at her behaviour at that point in time - and other times when she also usurps Hilda's place. I've always enjoyed Jo's presence, for she livens up the text and has a good heart, but she's not the only character we want to see being pro-active. :wink:

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 Post subject: Re: Books: The Chalet School and the Island
PostPosted: 01 Jul 2017, 15:31 
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He's 5 in Peggy, the following term, but I'm not sure when his birthday is. He might have been just 5 in Island. 4 or 5, it still seems horrendously young to be sent to boarding school. Some kids aren't out of night nappies at 5. And didn't Amy have to be bathed by someone else when she was 8 - although that seems a bit extreme!

Of course, the sensible thing would have been to have looked for a house near Armiford, where there might have been more choice of schools and Jack wouldn't have had the problem of not being able to commute to the San.

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 Post subject: Re: Books: The Chalet School and the Island
PostPosted: 01 Jul 2017, 22:22 
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Alison H wrote:
He's 5 in Peggy, the following term, but I'm not sure when his birthday is. He might have been just 5 in Island. 4 or 5, it still seems horrendously young to be sent to boarding school. Some kids aren't out of night nappies at 5. And didn't Amy have to be bathed by someone else when she was 8 - although that seems a bit extreme!

Of course, the sensible thing would have been to have looked for a house near Armiford, where there might have been more choice of schools and Jack wouldn't have had the problem of not being able to commute to the San.


Think Stephen's birthday is February. It's about midway through Spring term when he is born.


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 Post subject: Re: Books: The Chalet School and the Island
PostPosted: 01 Jul 2017, 23:23 
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ivohenry wrote:
Alison H wrote:
He's 5 in Peggy, the following term, but I'm not sure when his birthday is. He might have been just 5 in Island. 4 or 5, it still seems horrendously young to be sent to boarding school. Some kids aren't out of night nappies at 5. And didn't Amy have to be bathed by someone else when she was 8 - although that seems a bit extreme!

Of course, the sensible thing would have been to have looked for a house near Armiford, where there might have been more choice of schools and Jack wouldn't have had the problem of not being able to commute to the San.


Think Stephen's birthday is February. It's about midway through Spring term when he is born.


I always thought he was February too. Charles is June. Michael's birthday starts off at the beginning of the year about 4 years after Stephen but in later books I think his birthday slips to July. Occasionally EBD seems to forget there are theee years between Charles and Michael. Because of this Michael is packed off to boarding school really young unless it is years he spends at the Emburys being tutored.


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 Post subject: Re: Books: The Chalet School and the Island
PostPosted: 02 Jul 2017, 03:37 
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MaryR wrote:
But I wasn't getting at Jo per se, but at her behaviour at that point in time - and other times when she also usurps Hilda's place. I've always enjoyed Jo's presence, for she livens up the text and has a good heart, but she's not the only character we want to see being pro-active. :wink:


Exactly! Not to mention it makes Miss Annersley etc look weak when they are seen as running to her every single time they have a problem. Talking over issues with a friend and asking advice is one thing but when it reaches the point it looks as if they are simply can't cope without her help in dealing with a student, then it's gone too far.

I like the far more human Joey who makes mistakes and cries over her inability to help Phil get better.

Back to Island, exactly where is the island supposed to be based? and how far would Jack have had to commute back to the San?

cheers,
Joyce

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 Post subject: Re: Books: The Chalet School and the Island
PostPosted: 02 Jul 2017, 07:33 
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It's thought to be based on Caldey Island:

Wiki entry here!

From Peterchurch (Howells village) to Tenby (Carnbach) is 100 miles by road, according to Google directions. Because it means driving through mountainous areas, Google reckons that it'd take 2 1/4 hours now - and neither the roads nor the cars would have been as good in the late 1940s. The San was further into the Black Mountains than Howells was, so it would have been a little bit closer to Carnbach, but there's no way Jack could have commuted daily. Also, I think petrol was still on ration at this point, and, whilst a doctor might have been allowed extra petrol so that they could visit patients, they certainly wouldn't have been allowed extra petrol so that they could move 100 miles from their place of work as their spouse wanted to be near their old school :lol: .

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 Post subject: Re: Books: The Chalet School and the Island
PostPosted: 02 Jul 2017, 14:31 
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Jack was, quite clearly, the only male in the entire GO oeuvre, who could survive by himself for more than 48 hours....


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 Post subject: Re: Books: The Chalet School and the Island
PostPosted: 02 Jul 2017, 15:11 
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Well, he had all those nurses and no doubt a fearsome hospital matron to look after him when he was away from Jo...

I had thought he commuted weekly, coming "home" for the weekends. But maybe I am misremebering, and EBD doesn't make it clear.


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 Post subject: Re: Books: The Chalet School and the Island
PostPosted: 02 Jul 2017, 15:26 
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Maybe he camped out at the Round House? Marie and Andreas were specifically stated in Island to be remaining there while the rest went off to Canada, so Jack wouldn't even, horror of horrors, have had to manage on his own!

Stephen is born shortly before half-term in Lavender when the triplets are three, so his birthday *should* be in February. Charles is born in June of the following year during Rosalie, and Mike is five months old at the opening of Three Go which would be late August/early September, so his birthday should be around March or April. Len gives the triplets' age as nearly eight in Three Go, so Stephen should be four and a half and Charles three, and by the opening of Island the triplets should be eight, Stephen should be five, Charles almost four, and Mike more or less exactly a year. EBD slips up, of course, but that's what they ought to be if you take the age of the triplets, which *is* pretty consistent right through the series, as the benchmark.

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 Post subject: Re: Books: The Chalet School and the Island
PostPosted: 02 Jul 2017, 15:51 
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It is indeed interesting that while Jo and family are living in Carnbach, we never hear where Jack lives while on duty at the San. I wonder if in fact he had rooms within the hospital which he could use. He certainly couldn't commute daily from Carnbach - indeed, do we even see him home when he's off-duty? It's a while since I read Island, but I think not.

I know I'm not commenting very much on these threads, but I do enjoy reading everyone else's comments. I also really appreciate the time you are taking to post the synopses of each book, Aquabird - that is a true labour of love. Thank you so much.


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 Post subject: Re: Books: The Chalet School and the Island
PostPosted: 02 Jul 2017, 16:53 
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I second the remarks about Aquabird. It is all brilliant and so much work! :)


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 Post subject: Re: Books: The Chalet School and the Island
PostPosted: 02 Jul 2017, 17:58 
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Probably EBD never gave where Jack stayed a thought poor man and just left him in limbo.He is at the school for the Regatta though as a judge.


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 Post subject: Re: Books: The Chalet School and the Island
PostPosted: 02 Jul 2017, 22:25 
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I like the new venue on the island with the possibilities of interesting activities such as the boating and swimming but as usual the move is so rushed. I wonder how on earth they managed to get the Big House ready for the start of term I suppose screwing in a few poles for cubicles would be easy enough but what about the bath cubicles? There wouldn't have been more than two or three at that period surely? In Carola she is down for Bathroom 10 with another bathroom next door. However did they provide for 200 girls to take a morning bath in 30 minutes?


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