Login   Register     FAQ    Members

View unanswered posts   View active topics


Board index .:|:. Slogging at Lessons :: Books .:|:. Special Sixth
It is currently 20 Sep 2017, 12:13

Forum rules


Please ensure that all posts are kept impersonal. Any posts involving an ad hominem attack will be edited or deleted. Please feel free to express your views, but expect that others may disagree with them. Please limit the use of the :oops: smiley as far as possible. Please do not PM another user to argue with them; if this happens, please can the recipient contact a mod. Language of gentlemen, chaps!



Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 70 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2, 3, 4  Next
Author Message
 Post subject: Books: Peggy of the Chalet School
PostPosted: 04 Jul 2017, 00:16 
Offline
Having Miss Ferrars as Form Mistress
Having Miss Ferrars as Form Mistress
User avatar

Joined: 01 Jul 2006, 15:44
Posts: 446
Location: North Lanarkshire, Scotland
This week’s discussion is on Peggy of the Chalet School, first published in 1950 and covering the winter term following Island. Peggy Bettany, now in the Sixth form, is made Head Girl, and she comes up against the jealousy of a fellow classmate, Eilunedd Vaughn as a consequence. Meanwhile, Polly and Lala Winterton, two new girls whose family has recently become acquainted with the Bettanys, join the school.

Fifteen year old Polly and thirteen year old Lala Winterton are playing an imaginary game involving the Lady Acetylene Lampe and her faithful attendant when they are interrupted by a visit from Peggy Bettany, who has come to call on the Wintertons with her mother Mollie.
Peggy and the two Wintertons tell each other about their families, and when Peggy hears that the Wintertons, who have recently moved to the area from Yorkshire, have no schooling lined up, she tells them about the Chalet School and suggests they ask their mother to send them there.
After the Bettanys leave, Mrs Winterton, Polly and Lala go for a walk to the seashore. We learn that Mr Winterton, a journalist, had been sent out to the Far East and been away for ten years, leaving Mrs Winterton to bring up Polly, Lala and their younger brother Freddy. Her erratic discipline meant Polly and Lala grew up disobedient, impudent and lazy, and she had disobeyed Mr Winterton’s instruction to send them to boarding school as soon as Lala was old enough, due to her own very unhappy experience as a girl. When Mr Winteron arrived back and found the girls’ behaviour not to his liking, he moved the family to Channing St Mary and resolved that the girls be sent to school as soon as possible.
Thinking about Mollie and Peggy, and how Peggy seems quite happy at the Chalet School, Mrs Winterton eventually decides to talk things over with her husband and Mollie Bettany, and if the latter can assure her of the CS being all right, she will agree to send the girls there.
The Wintertons are enrolled at the CS for the winter term, and it is arranged that they join Peggy, Bride and Maeve for the train journey to Cardiff, where they are to meet up with the escort mistress. However, things go wrong when first Mrs Winterton forgets to give Polly and Lala their purses and tickets before departing, and then when the party, turned out at Bristol instead of going right through to Cardiff, get on the wrong train.
When the girls realise they are on the Gloucester-Cheltenham-Hereford (shouldn’t it have been Armiford?) train instead of the Cardiff one, the girl nearby who initially alerted them to it, one Nell Randolph, suggests they get out at Gloucester, as her uncle is going to meet the train there to hand over her young cousin, and he should be able to help them.
Nell hands the Chalet party over to her uncle, Flight-Commander Mordaunt, at Gloucester, and he takes them back to his flat for tea. When he and Peggy ring up the school to explain matters, Peggy discovers that he is in fact a long-lost cousin of Miss Annersley’s. The girls spend the night at the flat, then travel on to the school the next day.
Peggy arrives in the Sixth, and during a free period the girls wonder who will be Head Girl, as almost all of last year’s Sixths have either left or gone into Special Sixth, and no girl in the latter will be chosen due to Marilyn Evans, who had been Head Girl and in Special Sixth two years previously, making a mess of the job. Miss Annersley interrupts their discussion to invite them to tea with her and Miss Wilson.
At the tea, the Heads reveal that Upper and Lower Sixth will be amalgamated that year as there has been such a clear-out from the previous year. They also reveal that due to trouble recruiting staff following the departure of Miss Linton, Miss Burnett and Miss Carey, Jo will be taking Senior history that term. The Maynards have had to evacuate Plas Gwyn due to subsiding foundations, and Jo has taken a house in Carnbach owned by Commander Christy for the duration of the repair works, so she will be in the area. When the bell rings, the list of new prefects is read out as a parting shot, and Peggy is stunned to learn that she is the new Head Girl.
Miss Annersley asks Peggy to remain behind when the others leave, and Peggy asks why she was chosen, pointing out that she wasn’t a prefect the previous year, or even a Sixth former. Miss Annerlsey explains that no one else would be successful in the job, and when Peggy continues to look doubtful, she relates how initially reluctant Jo was to be Head Girl, to the point that Madge very nearly appointed Frieda or Marie instead, and that it was only the intervention of Gisela Mensch that brought Jo round to the idea. Peggy agrees to do her best.
Peggy has just rejoined the rest of her form for prep when she is called away to see a visitor, who turns out to be none other than Jo, who has crossed from Carnbach specially to see her and congratulate her.
That evening, Miss Annersley announces to the school at large during Assembly who the new prefects and Head Girl are, and afterwards, Eilunedd Vaughn, one of the previous year’s Sixths, remarks that Peggy has so much to help her, having been brought up in the tradition of the school since birth. Peggy notices nothing unusual in the comments, but Dicky Christy and Daphne Russell wonder what Eilunedd is getting at.
Early the next morning, Joan Sandys invites Peggy to come and look at the playing fields with her, and she takes the opportunity to warn Peggy that Eilunedd has got her knife into her, but an incredulous Peggy is disbelieving.
The prefects hold their first meeting that afternoon to dole out the jobs, and Peggy asks Frances specifically if she wants to be the Juniors prefect, as the Head has recommended her for it. Eilunedd, who is at the meeting as the Special Sixth representative, sarcastically asks if the new idea is for the Head Girl to propose jobs for everyone and people have to agree regardless. Everyone rushes to Peggy’s defence, and Eilunedd is forced to back down. She continues to make jabbing remarks throughout the meeting, however, much to the annoyance of the others.
It transpires that Eilunedd had expected to be Head Girl that year, but as she is specialising in languages with a view to going on to a secretarial course, she is in Special Sixth instead, much to her fury. Jealous that Peggy has got the job she was expecting for herself, she is determined to make life as awkward as possible for her, as she had done to Gwensi Howell some years previously after rowing with her.
Meanwhile, the Winterton girls are busy settling in. Easy-going Lala soon fits into Lower Fourth, but Polly, who ends up in Lower Fifth, has a tougher time. She considers games another kind of lesson, much to the astonishment of the others, and struggles with her prep, being well below standard for her age. She also rows with Primrose over not tidying her hair for the evening until Jo, whom she happens across in the corridor, takes her back to the dormitory and persuades her. However, the encounter with Jo and the help she receives from Dickie Christy with her geography prep later that evening begin to reconcile her to the school.
The Bettany girls and Sybil go to tea with Jo, and she shows them over her new house, and reveals that the Russells will not be returning from Canada until the following summer now, as Jem wants to join a group who are experimenting with new TB drugs. She dreads breaking the news to Sybil, who is initially terrified that Josette has had a relapse, but after being reassured on that point, she takes the news well and promises not to fret, to Jo’s relief. She gives Peggy the letter from Madge to read in her free time.
The next afternoon Peggy, soon joined by Bride, settles down to read Madge’s letter. Madge reports that everyone is in blooming health, and that she bumped into Corney Flower, who is now engaged and has invited her to be matron-of-honour unless Jo can be persuaded to fly over for it. She breaks the news about the extended stay, and asks Jo to break the news to Sybil herself. She also reports that Jem visited New York and stayed with Bernhilda and Kurt, who now have five children.
The next day, a storm has blown up, and the Sixths spend the morning in the outbuildings containing the art, geography and Domestic Science rooms, as well as the gym where Upper Fourth and Lower Fifth are having a lesson. During Break, Nina Williams makes a remark about how hard it is having to remember to talk like a Jane Austen heroine. The other prefects squash her, but Blossom Willoughby is standing close enough to hear, and she pricks up her ears.
Halfway through the next lesson, Miss Annersley sends a message for everyone in the outhouses to return to Big House at once, as the gale is getting worse. Peggy, Dickie and Herr Laubach are the last three to leave, and they catch the sound of rockets firing, meaning a ship in distress. Herr Laubach orders the girls to the house and dashes off to see if he can help, and Dickie follows him, dragging Peggy with her.
Peggy tries to persuade Dickie to turn back, but Dickie stubbornly runs on until Peggy trips in a rut and drags them both to the ground. Just as they get up, a tree falls along their path, blown over by the gale. This brings Dickie back to her senses, and they go back to the school, walking straight into Miss Wilson who is just about to come looking for them. She hauls them off to the study for a grave telling off, which is interrupted by the arrival of Jo, who had crossed in the ferry, which had got into trouble on the way over and only just made it across to St Briavel’s, heeling over on arrival.
During Hobbies one evening, the two Fifth forms are discussing what sort of competition to hold for Tom’s dolls’ house when Polly comes in, in a fuming temper due to the bad day she has been having. Nella Ozanne presses her for ideas, and after hearing about the dolls’ house, she forgets her temper and agrees to Primrose Day’s suggestion that she paint some proper pictures for the house, being gifted at art.
One day, Peggy overhears Sybil and Blossom speaking slang in the corridor and pulls them up for it. Her remarks infuriate Sybil, who gives her unvarnished opinion of her to the rest of Upper Fourth, only to be caught by Miss Stephens. Blossom tries to stick up for her, but both girls end up in detention, and have to go in to late tea, along with Mary-Lou. Eilunedd, coming from a late lesson in shorthand, supervises, and suddenly wonders if she can get at Peggy through Sybil. She offers the three Juniors a bun even though it isn’t allowed for people who have been in detention, and Blossom and a reluctant Sybil take one each, though Mary-Lou refuses.
Back in the common room, the two Fourths discuss how strict the prefects have been about slang that term, and Blossom remembers the remark about Jane Austen that she overheard in the Dommy Sci kitchen during the storm. She suggests to the others that they try and copy it, but they point out that Jane Austen is beyond them. Eilunedd comes in then, and when they tell her they want to know about Regency language, she recommends Georgette Heyer’s books as more suited to their age.
The two Fourths brush up on the Regency language, and put their plan into action a week later during Saturday morning mending, which is being supervised by Frances Coleman. Frances, at a loss on how to deal with them, reports the matter to the other prefects, and Peggy devises a plan to deal with them.
That afternoon after Mittagessen, Peggy tells the horrified Fourths that for the weekend they will live as schoolgirls of the Regency did. They are taken for prim walks and separated from their friends, forbidden from conversing unless in Regency language, forced write down as much as they can remember of the church sermon on Sunday, and made to bring their needlework to the prefects’ room on the Saturday evening to be read aloud to rather than being allowed to dance in Hall. Everyone, including the prefects, is deadly bored by the end of the weekend, but the Middles do try to reform where slang is concerned for the rest of the term.
Jo, taking a history lesson with the Sixth, is interrupted with the message that Jack is waiting for her in the study. She goes along to see him, and he breaks the news that Madge has had twin sons, to be named Kevin and Kester, which was the main reason they decided to stay in Canada.
Eilunedd, in the San with a cold, reads Cecily Holds the Fort, which contains a plotline about a whispering campaign against Cecily, and she decides to use the idea herself in her campaign against Peggy. Supervising a group of Juniors and Middles which contains Blossom Willoughby one day, she plants the idea that Peggy missed the train at the beginning of term on purpose just to see what would happen.
The next day, Peggy pulls Blossom up for sliding down the bannisters, and Blossom cheeks her so hard that she sends her to Matron, sure that she can’t be well. Matron, looking in her mouth, discovers teeth needing attention from the dentist, and the fuming Blossom blames Peggy for it.
Eilunedd’s remarks resurface for Blossom, and she discusses things with several other Middles who have fallen foul of the prefects that week. Judy Willoughby overhears them and spreads it to her own friends, and within a day it is all over the school that Peggy missed the train on purpose and got away with it because she is Madame’s niece. The school is divided down the middle on whether they believe it or not.
The prefects find a massive increase in cheek and disobedience from the Juniors and Middles as a result, and eventually discover it has something to do with Peggy. Joan and Dickie discover from Blossom that Eilunedd is behind the campaign, and the prefects tell the whole story to Jo, who suggests they call a meeting to tell everyone what really happened with the train, and tells them to leave Eilunedd to her.
Dickie calls a meeting of the school, and the timely arrival of Nell Randolph, who has come to see Peggy, means that the girls are given a first-hand account of what really happened on the train, much to the glee of people like Mary-Lou and her gang, who had stood up for Peggy from the start.
Eilunedd goes to tea with Jo, who gives her a chicken to pluck, warning her not to let the wind blow the feathers away. Eilunedd starts out carefully, but soon forgets and the feathers blow everywhere. She is unable to retrieve more than a handful, to her dismay, and Jo makes some pointed remarks about words and gossip being like feathers. Eilunedd understands what she is getting at, and when she returns to the school, she apologises to Peggy.
The term ends with a Carol Concert, and when Mrs Winterton greets Polly and Lala on their return for the holidays, she is delighted at the positive change in them.

So, thoughts on Peggy’s first term in the top job? Did you think the whispering campaign was an interesting plot? What did you think of Polly and Lala? What about the storm escapade and the Regency prank? Thoughts on the subplot of the Russells staying in Canada and the arrival of their twins?

_________________
'We command the power of the elements. Storm, Earth and Fire! I'd never dress like an oversized chicken and shoot moon beams from the sky' - Stormcaller Jalara


Top | End
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Books: Peggy of the Chalet School
PostPosted: 04 Jul 2017, 06:44 
Offline
Rescuing a Junior from the lake
Rescuing a Junior from the lake
User avatar

Joined: 15 Oct 2004, 13:57
Posts: 7178
Location: Manchester
I first read this book when I was very young, and the Lady Acetylene Lampe thing confused me completely :lol:. I quite like Polly and Lala, but I really dislike the sound of Mr Winterton - going off abroad for years on end and then coming home and doing nothing but criticise.

I don't find it very plausible that Madge wouldn't tell Joey that she was having another baby (or babies!) because she didn't want to worry her. Jo is nearly 30 and has 6 children of her own by this point. But, OK, it would have spoilt the surprise! I tend to assume that Kevin and Kester were a happy accident, so Madge really couldn't avoid staying in Canada, but I don't like the way EBD makes it sound as if Madge was more interested in shopping for new clothes than in taking the time to write to David and Sybil personally. I know it was so that Joey could have the sole responsibility of telling Sybil, but I don't think it comes across well.

The Eilunedd storyline's very good. It's amazing that, with girls coming by public transport from all over the country, no-one had missed a train or got on the wrong train sooner, so I think that works well :lol:. And this is the only time that anyone sulks because she thinks she should have been HG rather than the person who was chosen, and also the only time that anyone (except Matron Besly?) says that they think favouritism is being shown towards the MBR clan. Eilunedd is a nasty piece of work, but you get people like that at all schools. It's realistic that not everyone would be supportive of the Head Girl. It's far more convincing than what happens later on, when no-one says a word about the job being dominated by the two big clans!

_________________
We really must stop eating like this ...

Minds are like parachutes - they only function when open.

http://setinthepast.wordpress.com/




Top | End
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Books: Peggy of the Chalet School
PostPosted: 04 Jul 2017, 09:36 
Offline
Remove to Inter V
Remove to Inter V
User avatar

Joined: 21 Oct 2014, 13:26
Posts: 407
Yes, I find the Eilunedd storyline very realistic. There must surely have been many girls who resented the Maynard/Russell/Bettany clan and would have perceived favouritism in various ways - more likely to be chosen as Head Girl, prominent roles in school plays, going off to tea regularly at Auntie Joey's, calling the Headmistress Auntie Hilda out of school etc. I can't see that having gone down well in my school. There would have been massive grumbling and bitching and parents probably getting a bit annoyed by it all as well.

I like Polly and Lalla and think it's a shame we didn't see more of them in later books. I think they really highlight how sedate and rather bland Peggy is when she comes to visit, all dainty and pristine while they've been having an inventive and lively time and are slightly dishevelled as a result.

I find the scene with Joey cackling behind various windows as Eilunedd chases feathers around the garden a bit daft. In fact Joey seems a bit unhinged in this scene.

I do love the scene where her nieces are coming for a visit and she's seen buying some groceries and storing them under the pram and giving sweets to a young boy who picks up some escaped potatoes for her. That kind of domestic scene had really started to disappear by this stage, so it was nice to see this one.

Overall though, I find this book a little dull. There's so much at the start about the journey to school and then Peggy's reaction to being made Head girl, that you're nearly half way through the book before you get into any proper storylines.

I also hate the scene where Blossom and Sybil are made to walk around with parasols making sedate conversation. It looks really stupid.


Top | End
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Books: Peggy of the Chalet School
PostPosted: 04 Jul 2017, 10:05 
Offline
Spending time in the san
Spending time in the san
User avatar

Joined: 25 Feb 2007, 15:45
Posts: 499
Location: Australia
Vintagejazz wrote:
Yes, I find the Eilunedd storyline very realistic. There must surely have been many girls who resented the Maynard/Russell/Bettany clan and would have perceived favouritism in various ways


In one of the much earlier books, it says something about Robin and Joey going off with Madge all the time and how this had been explained carefully to the girls so there was no jealousy. Which sounded a bit optimistic - Grizel, for one, was certainly jealous.

But it is now a much larger school and even though you might understand that doesn't mean you wouldn't resent it when the favouritism affects school things like prefectships and roles in school plays.

When does Special Sixth actually start up? Or is it in one of the missing books?

Quote:
I find the scene with Joey cackling behind various windows as Eilunedd chases feathers around the garden a bit daft. In fact Joey seems a bit unhinged in this scene.


So glad someone else thinks that too :D

I actually love the travelling scene and given it was 5-6 girls travelling half way across the country along with all the stuff they had to carry, it was only amazing Peggy didn't lose half their luggage as well.

Cheers,
Joyce

_________________
It's fun to have fun, but you have to know how - Dr Seuss


Top | End
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Books: Peggy of the Chalet School
PostPosted: 04 Jul 2017, 12:13 
Offline
Arranging your timetable with Miss Dene
User avatar

Joined: 13 May 2015, 20:15
Posts: 99
Location: Cumbria
Not one of my favourites, I never really felt Peggy was a good fit as head girl.However I travel on trains a lot so I find the train journey believable and not her fault. We, of course, have the coincidence of the rescuer being related to Miss Annersley which is a little far fetched but nice for Hilda to discover family.
I agree with the others that it does not surprise me that other girls are jealous or resentful of it always being the M/R/B clan that get to be head girl etc and getting what might be perceived as preferential treatment.


Top | End
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Books: Peggy of the Chalet School
PostPosted: 04 Jul 2017, 14:20 
Offline
Finding out about the Sale
Finding out about the Sale
User avatar

Joined: 27 May 2006, 13:28
Posts: 844
Location: SE England
I've said before that I don't think Peggy is a strong enough character to be the lead character in a book, and to be HG. She's very passive - things happen to her or around her, and other people sort them out. Most notably Nell Randolph and Dickie Christie. Now they'd have been a great combination.

The one time Peggy does take the initiative, it's over the Regency English and it's really heavy handed, imo. I don't know what rules were being broken to justify that level of response. Surely if the prefects had just ignored it the Middles would have dropped it quite quickly? They couldn't do it on French and German days anyway.

I always thought Jo's 'feathers' lesson rather missed the point. The moral of that was all about how gossip or careless talk can get out of hand, but Eilunedd's campaign was deliberate - she intended it to be spread through the school.

It's an interesting plot, though something a bit different from what EBD had done before. Interesting that Eilunedd got it from Cecily, too. Back in Jo Returns, Jo went through the ms taking out anything she thought any readers might be inspired to copy. I always thought what was left must have been pretty dull!

I think Polly and Lala are really no worse than many teenagers. If they'd lived somewhere they could go to a high school and be educated and have a bit of discipline and have friends their own age and out of school interests they'd have been fine.

Jo teaching Senior history - I know there was a shortage of teachers at the time, and I suppose they knew that Biddy was coming back and it would only be for a term. But Jo left school at seventeen, she's never taken a public exam and her entire teaching experience amounts I think to less than two terms.

She's going to be preparing girls for School Cert/Higher Cert or O and A levels (this is just in the transitional period between the two). She'll need to be teaching to a syllabus, be aware of the recent debates and issues in historical scholarship, plus how to construct an essay and exam techniques. When and how did she get up to speed on all of that? I suppose the one thing in her favour is that she was able to teach in all three languages, which a temporary teacher from outside wouldn't have been able to.

I'd have no problem with Jo teaching Junior subjects, but I don't think she's up to teaching exam classes.


Top | End
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Books: Peggy of the Chalet School
PostPosted: 04 Jul 2017, 17:29 
Offline
Having Miss Ferrars as Form Mistress
Having Miss Ferrars as Form Mistress
User avatar

Joined: 01 Jul 2006, 15:44
Posts: 446
Location: North Lanarkshire, Scotland
The basis of Eilunedd's campaign flummoxed me - why on earth would anyone do such a daft thing as miss a train on purpose? :? It would have been just have effective if she'd simply kept her hinting to the "Peggy was made HG through favouritism" line, probably more so in fact, as it would have been a lot harder for the prefects to disprove short of appealing directly to the Heads.

And Eilunedd does have a bit of a point when she thinks to herself that Peggy has two years left at the school and could easily have given way to someone else that year, and still had her turn the following year. Peggy is sixteen and a half and has just come up from Upper Fifth, so she should have been in Lower Sixth that year, if the two Sixths hadn't been amalgamated into one. She - and Bride's year after her - are technically done out of a year of schooling in that regard, as they would each have left a year later than they did if there had been proper Upper and Lower Sixths during the Island years.

I'm a bit mystified as to why people are so down on Peggy in the opening chapter. She's paying a formal visit to a new family acquaintance with her mother, so of course she's not going to roll up in a dirty torn frock with her hair all over the place. Polly and Lala are at home and not expecting any company, so naturally they're dossing around in the Chalet equivalent of old trackie bottoms and faded T-shirts. And I don't see anything in Peggy's manner or speech to indicate she's looking down her nose at them for it - all she does is talk about her family and the school. :dontknow:

_________________
'We command the power of the elements. Storm, Earth and Fire! I'd never dress like an oversized chicken and shoot moon beams from the sky' - Stormcaller Jalara


Top | End
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Books: Peggy of the Chalet School
PostPosted: 04 Jul 2017, 18:23 
Offline
Finding out about the Sale
Finding out about the Sale
User avatar

Joined: 27 May 2006, 13:28
Posts: 844
Location: SE England
Quote:
She - and Bride's year after her - are technically done out of a year of schooling in that regard, as they would each have left a year later than they did if there had been proper Upper and Lower Sixths during the Island years.

A lot of them went on to St Mildred's, so they got their extra year that way. But they couldn't have done their A Levels there, and those who were going on to further education needed them. Are we supposed to think they covered the A Level syllabus in one year instead of two?


Top | End
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Books: Peggy of the Chalet School
PostPosted: 04 Jul 2017, 18:32 
Offline
Having Miss Ferrars as Form Mistress
Having Miss Ferrars as Form Mistress
User avatar

Joined: 01 Jul 2006, 15:44
Posts: 446
Location: North Lanarkshire, Scotland
JayB wrote:
A lot of them went on to St Mildred's, so they got their extra year that way. But they couldn't have done their A Levels there, and those who were going on to further education needed them. Are we supposed to think they covered the A Level syllabus in one year instead of two?


Let's face it, EBD didn't let such details bother her. :wink: A reference from Miss Annersley was all the average CS girl needed to walk straight into Oxford....

_________________
'We command the power of the elements. Storm, Earth and Fire! I'd never dress like an oversized chicken and shoot moon beams from the sky' - Stormcaller Jalara


Top | End
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Books: Peggy of the Chalet School
PostPosted: 04 Jul 2017, 22:33 
Offline
Rescued by doctors
Rescued by doctors

Joined: 19 Sep 2011, 22:32
Posts: 791
I don't read this book so often now but loved it when I was younger. I agree with other posters that a lot of the story especially the jealousy, missing the trains etc true to life.

I agree with Alison that Mr Winterton is a horror. Maybe if he had stayed at home his daughters would have been perfect! I think Giles was brought into the story from the beginning as a future husband for Peggy. There was no other reason for him to be there.

I DO think Kester and Kevin were planned. A year earlier in Three Go it states that Madge was looking over some old baby clothes of David's. Okay, either EBD got mixed up with future books and dates or Madge was looking in anticipation but I would say definitely planned!

I wasn't much interested in the Lamp but my sister and I used to do similar. Our favourite was "going to Australia".

Love how Bride and Peggy work together and Bride's anger when she first does not think Peggy is going to be made a prefect and her delight when she realises Peggy is possibly the new head girl.

I like Bride best but like Peggy too. She really adored and looked out for her mother and tried to spare her. I also like Dickie and Daphne.

Loved Jo's shopping scene and where Peggy hints to try and find out if the Russells coming home when intended. Very family-like.

A "nice" book which fitted in with Peggy who was a very "nice" girl.


Top | End
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Books: Peggy of the Chalet School
PostPosted: 05 Jul 2017, 12:57 
Offline
Remove to Inter V
Remove to Inter V
User avatar

Joined: 21 Oct 2014, 13:26
Posts: 407
Aquabird wrote:
The basis of Eilunedd's campaign flummoxed me - why on earth would anyone do such a daft thing as miss a train on purpose? :? It would have been just have effective if she'd simply kept her hinting to the "Peggy was made HG through favouritism" line, probably more so in fact, as it would have been a lot harder for the prefects to disprove short of appealing directly to the Heads.

And Eilunedd does have a bit of a point when she thinks to herself that Peggy has two years left at the school and could easily have given way to someone else that year, and still had her turn the following year. Peggy is sixteen and a half and has just come up from Upper Fifth, so she should have been in Lower Sixth that year, if the two Sixths hadn't been amalgamated into one. She - and Bride's year after her - are technically done out of a year of schooling in that regard, as they would each have left a year later than they did if there had been proper Upper and Lower Sixths during the Island years.

I'm a bit mystified as to why people are so down on Peggy in the opening chapter. She's paying a formal visit to a new family acquaintance with her mother, so of course she's not going to roll up in a dirty torn frock with her hair all over the place. Polly and Lala are at home and not expecting any company, so naturally they're dossing around in the Chalet equivalent of old trackie bottoms and faded T-shirts. And I don't see anything in Peggy's manner or speech to indicate she's looking down her nose at them for it - all she does is talk about her family and the school. :dontknow:


I just remember reading it as a child and really empathising with Polly and Lalla. Peggy just came across as the girl your mother was always nagging you to be like; the kind who would join the tennis club and keep her bedroom pristine and always look lovely in an uber feminine way. And you just couldn't help finding her a mix of intimidating and bloody annoying.


Top | End
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Books: Peggy of the Chalet School
PostPosted: 06 Jul 2017, 02:09 
Offline
Rescued by doctors
Rescued by doctors

Joined: 30 Jan 2004, 00:07
Posts: 793
Location: Taiwan
Vintagejazz wrote:
I just remember reading it as a child and really empathising with Polly and Lalla. Peggy just came across as the girl your mother was always nagging you to be like; the kind who would join the tennis club and keep her bedroom pristine and always look lovely in an uber feminine way. And you just couldn't help finding her a mix of intimidating and bloody annoying.


That puts in beautifully. Peggy's the girl who is always sweet and ladylike and right there being helpful, and the adults all think she's totally wonderful, while her peers and juniors resent the "why can't you be more like..." comparisons and her tendency to be really bossy and sure of herself (albeit in a soft spoken, ladylike way).

This was the first book I bought off of eBay, and when I started reading it, I thought I had made a mistake!

I quite like Polly and Lala, particularly Polly's totally natural prickly resentment over her father. Really, her father is basically like the step-father who joins the family, thinks "they're decent kids but need a firm hand over them" and starts trying to exert discipline. And approximately 99% of the time, the kids resent this badly, and it can sour the relationship for years, if not permanently, even when it's true that they need firmer discipline. He doesn't have the emotional relationship and level of trust that the parent they've know since birth gets. I also like Polly's view that Games practice isn't actually free time or play (and totally agree).

The Marilyn Evans justification is a bit odd. They have one girl who is ambitious, and puts her own work above Head Girl duties, so instead of realizing that they need to consider a potential Head Girl's priorities, they give a blanket ban on all Special Sixth, to the point that they'll appoint a 16 year old who doesn't have any prior prefect experience. And Eilunedd wasn't all that ambitious - she's concentrating on secretarial work because her father wants her to.

_________________


Ring the bells that still can ring; Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack in everything; That's how the light gets in
Anthem: Leonard Cohen



Top | End
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Books: Peggy of the Chalet School
PostPosted: 06 Jul 2017, 07:53 
Offline
Rescuing a Junior from the lake
Rescuing a Junior from the lake
User avatar

Joined: 15 Oct 2004, 13:57
Posts: 7178
Location: Manchester
I do really wish we'd seen the term when Marilyn was Head Girl. It'd be interesting from a social history viewpoint, as well as anything else. The days when girls from well-to-do families just "went home" were coming to an end, and, also, changes to the education system meant that more school leavers were applying for university and, therefore, there was competition for places. They couldn't keep burying their heads in the sand and saying that it didn't matter if girls all failed their exams, which was what Matey said about Miss Bubb. The Marilyn storyline could have shown all that coming to a head ... but we don't get to see it. Then, in the Swiss years, it's all bypassed by explaining that Mary-Lou, for example, "hasn't got any exams" during her year as Head Girl, even though she's at the right age and stage for A-levels. They never really get to grips with the issue in a realistic way.

Peggy's year, the group who are prefects in this book, are really the last lot where a lot of the girls are just "going home". Bride, Nancy etc, in the year below, are nearly all going on to further education or training.

_________________
We really must stop eating like this ...

Minds are like parachutes - they only function when open.

http://setinthepast.wordpress.com/




Top | End
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Books: Peggy of the Chalet School
PostPosted: 06 Jul 2017, 10:44 
Offline
Spending time in the san
Spending time in the san
User avatar

Joined: 25 Feb 2007, 15:45
Posts: 499
Location: Australia
Alison H wrote:
Peggy's year, the group who are prefects in this book, are really the last lot where a lot of the girls are just "going home". Bride, Nancy etc, in the year below, are nearly all going on to further education or training.


We get a lovely conversation in Island where Joey is talking to the sixth form girls about their future plans but it seems to go backwards only a year later with Peggy's year. Maybe it was because Peggy was planning to stay home and EBD didn't want her to look out of place.

I would love to have seen what happened with Marilyn. And I really wish there had been one book which concentrated on the Special Sixth and exactly what the heck they did all day, how they fitted in with the rest of the school and how on earth the staff managed to fit in their specialised teaching for them on top of everything else they needed to do.

And poor Natalie Mensch. The school's first grand daughter and the daughter of the first head girl and we hardly hear about her.

cheers,
Joyce

_________________
It's fun to have fun, but you have to know how - Dr Seuss


Last edited by Joyce on 07 Jul 2017, 01:40, edited 1 time in total.

Top | End
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Books: Peggy of the Chalet School
PostPosted: 06 Jul 2017, 11:50 
Offline
Rescued by doctors
Rescued by doctors

Joined: 19 Sep 2011, 22:32
Posts: 791
Maybe Marilyn Evans would have been along the lines of one of Elsie Oxenham's Abbey Girl Queens, Phil, who was so into music she wanted to go to concerts with famous names rather than host the odd Hamlet Club dance/party which had been planned for the same evenings as her concerts.

Marilyn could have done stuff like when on prep duty she ignored the younger pupils as she was so engrossed with her work. Put off calling prefects meetings as they would interfere with same work. Did not think far enough ahead in planning stuff like the sale or special evenings as she was not interested. Not willing to give up time to help with sports or encourage the girls to garden. Did the basics for hobbies and again not really interested. Maybe shoved it on to the other prefects evenings when the staff were too busy to help take prep and maybe even left it to the rest to do rotas. Turned up late for duties or got others to take her place as she was too busy.

Maybe the reality of a book would not have been so good as only hearing about it and it might have got boring. Of course, it was all only a plot device to give a good reason for Peggy to have been appointed head girl.

I can see Marilyn's point but did she actually want the job or was she forced into it to be a "good CS girl". Maybe it would have been a good book!


Top | End
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Books: Peggy of the Chalet School
PostPosted: 06 Jul 2017, 18:44 
Offline
Spending time in the san
Spending time in the san
User avatar

Joined: 21 Oct 2004, 08:41
Posts: 492
Location: Manchester
Probably in an actual book, Marilyn's failings could only have been endured for a few weeks before drastic action had to be taken for The Good of The School and she's replaced by Peggy Burnett (pr whoever).

A bit like Matron Webb, where it seems like she has been at the school for ages, and then you work it out and its only about three weeks before she's sacked.

Special Sixth I always envisaged being more like proper A Level students, where they are only taking 3-4 subjects. EBD never seems to permit her actual sixth formers to drop any subjects, which surely they would have done, even in the Higher School Cert days?


Top | End
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Books: Peggy of the Chalet School
PostPosted: 06 Jul 2017, 19:02 
Offline
Finding out about the Sale
Finding out about the Sale
User avatar

Joined: 27 May 2006, 13:28
Posts: 844
Location: SE England
Dimsie, Head Girl comes nearest the Marilyn situation. Jean was appointed HG because she was the eldest, or had been at school longest, I forget which, but neglected her duties in favour of poetry - she was supposed to be a talented poet. I can't recall now exactly what she did or didn't do. (Think I've got the book somewhere, must have a look.)

Jean got booted and Dimsie was appointed instead. At the CS, Dimsie would almost certainly have been appointed in the first place, instead of Jean.

Wasn't Special Sixth for people like Natalie Mensch, who was specialising in music, rather than for general Sixth Form work? Natalie's timetable would have been mostly music, with outside masters, so wouldn't have impinged on the school staff much.

I suppose it makes sense if the girl in question was working for a scholarship, rather than ordinary exams.

The triplets were essentially a Special Sixth all on their own in their last year, but they weren't doing exams, so they could still be prefects! But they probably were a nuisance for the staff, with their special coaching.


Top | End
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Books: Peggy of the Chalet School
PostPosted: 06 Jul 2017, 19:04 
Offline
Having Miss Ferrars as Form Mistress
Having Miss Ferrars as Form Mistress
User avatar

Joined: 01 Jul 2006, 15:44
Posts: 446
Location: North Lanarkshire, Scotland
A bit of specialising does seem to go on in the Sixth - Gay Lambert talks about dropping all science and maths once she's through the School Cert. IIRC. And in Island when Jo turns up, half of the Sixths are having chemistry with Miss Wilson and the other half are doing extra French. Same in this book; some of them do art and others extra geography, or something to that effect, so it seems certain things like science could be dropped after School Cert. I think the idea is supposed to be that Eilunedd ended up in Special Sixth because she didn't just drop subjects, she was doing extra secretarial stuff like the lesson in shorthand with Rosalie Dene that has her attending the late tea. But to be honest, I think EBD just created Special Sixth out of thin air because she needed a reason for Eilunedd to be passed over for HG and start the jealous-of-Peggy plotline.

_________________
'We command the power of the elements. Storm, Earth and Fire! I'd never dress like an oversized chicken and shoot moon beams from the sky' - Stormcaller Jalara


Top | End
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Books: Peggy of the Chalet School
PostPosted: 06 Jul 2017, 21:13 
Offline
Remove to Inter V
Remove to Inter V

Joined: 29 Dec 2009, 15:11
Posts: 402
I have a certain sympathy for Peggy and her not understanding of Eilunedd's mischief-making. I have a friend who is far from stupid (and not at all dainty!) but she always believes the best of everybody to the extent she sometimes incredibly naïve and she is in her sixties! Some ten years ago, she accepted a new job as office manager much to the resentment of someone in the office who had expected to get the job - a parallel with Peggy and Eilunedd - and found it very difficult to first accept the situation and then cope with it. Having worked in a large organisation for many years, it seemed nothing out of the norm for me but it was quite hard to convince her that her colleague was jealous and that's why she was so difficult and then advise her how to cope.


Top | End
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Books: Peggy of the Chalet School
PostPosted: 07 Jul 2017, 00:02 
Offline
Meeting the escort mistress
User avatar

Joined: 17 Jan 2009, 20:33
Posts: 20
Vintagejazz wrote:
Aquabird wrote:
The basis of Eilunedd's campaign flummoxed me - why on earth would anyone do such a daft thing as miss a train on purpose? :? It would have been just have effective if she'd simply kept her hinting to the "Peggy was made HG through favouritism" line, probably more so in fact, as it would have been a lot harder for the prefects to disprove short of appealing directly to the Heads.

And Eilunedd does have a bit of a point when she thinks to herself that Peggy has two years left at the school and could easily have given way to someone else that year, and still had her turn the following year. Peggy is sixteen and a half and has just come up from Upper Fifth, so she should have been in Lower Sixth that year, if the two Sixths hadn't been amalgamated into one. She - and Bride's year after her - are technically done out of a year of schooling in that regard, as they would each have left a year later than they did if there had been proper Upper and Lower Sixths during the Island years.

I'm a bit mystified as to why people are so down on Peggy in the opening chapter. She's paying a formal visit to a new family acquaintance with her mother, so of course she's not going to roll up in a dirty torn frock with her hair all over the place. Polly and Lala are at home and not expecting any company, so naturally they're dossing around in the Chalet equivalent of old trackie bottoms and faded T-shirts. And I don't see anything in Peggy's manner or speech to indicate she's looking down her nose at them for it - all she does is talk about her family and the school. :dontknow:


I just remember reading it as a child and really empathising with Polly and Lalla. Peggy just came across as the girl your mother was always nagging you to be like; the kind who would join the tennis club and keep her bedroom pristine and always look lovely in an uber feminine way. And you just couldn't help finding her a mix of intimidating and bloody annoying.


Yes I agree with you there - I think that although Peggy is nice and friendly in that scene she also comes across as being just a little too perfect. Her hair is not just brushed well but has a sheen to it, she jumps up instantly when called for tea, her dress is just a tiny bit too fresh and dainty. That can be irritating! :lol:

jennifer wrote:
I also like Polly's view that Games practice isn't actually free time or play (and totally agree).


Me too! :D


Top | End
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 70 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2, 3, 4  Next

Board index .:|:. Slogging at Lessons :: Books .:|:. Special Sixth
It is currently 20 Sep 2017, 12:13

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: violawood and 4 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum

Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB © 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007 phpBB Group