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 Post subject: Books: The Chalet School Does It Again
PostPosted: 04 Sep 2017, 23:16 
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This week’s discussion book is The Chalet School Does It Again, first published in 1955 and covering the Easter term following Barbara. Fourteen year old Prunella Davidson joins the school, and soon sets everyone on edge with her prim and proper way of speaking and insistence on using everyone’s full name. Meanwhile, Margot Maynard causes a sensation when a spurt of mischief on an expedition to Lucerne nearly ends in tragedy. Notable events:

Len Maynard joins the Junior Middles in their common room on the first day of term, and informs them that they have acquired a very unusual new girl, Prunella Davidson, who speaks very prim and proper English. Matron soon brings Prunella to the common room, and Len goes up to welcome her. Prunella startles her by calling her Helena, and opines that everyone should be called by their full name, not nicknames. Len introduces the girls present, and makes a point of using shorts and nicknames wherever possible.
Emerence takes Prunella along to see Miss Dene in the office, and Prunella is sufficiently overawed to drop her prim manner. She finds herself placed in Upper IVB, and Clare Kennedy is send for to sheepdog her.
Clare takes Prunella along to the Senior Middles common room and introduces her to her own gang, which includes Barbara Chester, Maeve Bettany and Ruth Barnes. They welcome Prunella and try to make her feel at home, but her prim and proper replies leave them struggling to keep the conversation going. Even Mary-Lou, newly promoted to Head of the Middle school, finds herself robbed of breath when introduced.
At Kaffee, Prunella finds herself sitting between Francie Wilford and Caroline Sanders, who do their best to keep her involved in the conversation and pass on various pieces of information. Afterwards in the common room, Prunella is left to herself briefly while the others go upstairs to change for the evening, and she thinks to herself that the school is better than she thought, but that she still means to show them all.
Betsy Lucy, who has struck up something of a friendship recently with Mary-Lou, asks her about Prunella, as rumours about her stilted language have reached the Seniors. Mary-Lou enlightens her, and adds that she isn’t as bad in form as she is out of it, and that she suspects it may be put on, and for a reason.
The two Upper Fourths go for a walk, and Barbara, partnering Prunella, once again tries to make conversation but finds it hard going. They join up with the rest of the Gang once allowed to break ranks, and Prunella drops her prim speech momentarily when she discovers that Jo is Josephine M. Bettany the author. This confirms to Mary-Lou that she is putting it on for some reason, and she vows to get to the bottom of it.
The staff discuss Prunella, and ruminate that although in class she is very quiet and reserved, they have overheard the way she speaks to the other girls, but they are unable to find anything out about her background as Rosalie Dene is away for the weekend staying with Frieda.
The next morning, Len has a blazing row with Prunella when the latter asks her a question using her full name. She storms down to Frühstuck in a rage, and by mid-morning the staff have spotted the storm signals. When Biddy remarks that Prunella paid her no heed when she spoke to her, Matey overhears and wonders aloud if she is feeling off-colour. She then informs the staff that Jack Maynard has just alerted her to a forty-eight hour flu epidemic which has broken out on the Platz, and decrees that she had better do the rounds to find out if it has spread to the girls. By the end of the morning, thirty four girls including Len and Margot are pronounced to have it.
Four days later, there are sixty girls and only four mistresses left still standing, including the Head and Rosalie. Len is running a very high temperature, and Jo rings up begging to be allowed to see the triplets, but the Head forbids her from coming in to the school in case she ends up spreading it to her other children.
Rosalie is dispatched to meet prospective parents who have chosen this most inconvenient time to view the school, and the Head sets tests for the girls for the first half of the morning, then takes the Fourths for “stand up” class. Con, who is in a daydream thanks to her latest epic poem, creates a sensation when, in reply to Miss Annersley’s question on what happened to Daniel when he was thrown into the lions’ den, she replies that Daniel bit the lions.
By the end of February the flu has run its course, and Len is sent home for a week or two to recover properly. While there, she confesses to Jo about her row with Prunella, and Jo tells her she must apologise for being rude. Len reluctantly agrees, and when she is back in school, she seeks Prunella out and apologises. Prunella acknowledges that she too was rude and apologises, and they shake hands on it.
After rest period, the girls go out for a session of skiing at the back of the Elisehütte where Leila Elstob can watch the fun. Len spots Prunella struggling and takes time out to give her some coaching, startling some of the other girls who see it, as the last they had heard of the pair was of their row several weeks before.
The prefects hold a meeting to discuss that year’s Sale theme, and after viewing Matron’s list of available costumes and sets brought from St Briavel’s, they decide on a Willow Pattern theme. Jo drops in and contributes some necklaces she and Beth Chester have made using instructions from an old crafts book of Madge’s. She also gives them one or two ideas for other entertainments besides the stalls, and is talked into singing herself for it.
The prefects put their ideas to the Head the next day and she agrees, and calls in Jo to ask if she can make jigsaws for the lucky dip. Jo agrees, and after the prefects leave, the Head asks her for advice on Prunella. She explains that Prunella’s parents went out to Africa when she was ten, leaving her with a grandmother who spoilt her outrageously. When the grandmother died six months ago and Prunella’s parent came home, they were shocked at how rude and naughty she was and tried to pull her up. Eventually she was sent to the CS for reformation, and Mrs Davidson wrote to the Head explaining matters.
Jo suspects that Prunella somehow found out what her mother said about her, and resolved to go to the other extreme to get her own back, hence her prim and proper attitude. She advises the Head to leave her alone and let her make friends with someone, as that will be the best way of getting the real Prunella to come through. The Head then stuns Jo by revealing that Len is the person Prunella seems to be palling up with the most, despite there being three years of an age difference between them.
The school goes on a trip to Lucerne, and the triplets, Prunella and Mary-Lou’s Gang form one group with Julie Lucy, Clem Barrass, Miss O’Ryan and Miss Wilmot. After viewing several sights and having Mittagessen, they walk along the National Quai, where Lesley Malcolm falls and damages both knees. While the mistresses are mopping her up, Margot dabs at Emerence and then runs off. Emerence chases her, and Margot climbs up onto the railings to sit, but falls backwards into the lake when Emerence stumbles and bangs into her. Prunella, who is nearby, whips off her outer garments and dives in after her.
A passing boatman starts rowing towards them, but a doctor with a Newfoundland dog are also passing and the dog jumps in to help the girls keep up until they are pulled into the boat. When they are brought ashore, the doctor examines Margot, who is unconscious, and proclaims that she is all right and she only fainted from the shock. He takes Margot, Prunella, Lesley and Miss O’Ryan off to his car to take them to the Burgerspital to be treated.
Miss Wilmot marches the rest of the part off to meet the Head, who dashes off at once to the Burgerspital. Miss O’Ryan meets her there and reports that they believe Margot and Prunella will both be all right, and that Lesley has had to be given an anaesthetic so that she can have stitches put in her knee. The doctor – Herr Doktor Courvoisier – meets them and confirms this. When the Head mentions Margot’s name, he tells them that he knows Jack and has sent two patients to the San already, and will be sending a third shortly. Said patient has two daughters and he intends to recommend the school to them.
Jo and Jack come down the next day, and Jo thanks Prunella heartily for saving Margot. Prunella breaks down in tears, and Jo talks over her behaviour that term with her. Prunella resolves to drop her prim attitude and behave like a normal schoolgirl from now on.
Herr Doktor Courvoisier agrees that Margot and Prunella can go home that day, but Lesley will have to stay on for a day or two until her knee has healed. Jack invites him to bring his patient up personally so that he can see the San, and he agrees and asks to see the school as well. Jack tells Jo afterwards that he suspects the doctor wants to see the school because Biddy O’Ryan has caught his attention, but Jo pours scorn on the idea.
The triplets spend the night at Freudesheim, and Margot tells Jo about how she struggles against her temper. Jo tells her that the more she listens to her guardian angel instead of her devil, the easier she will find it each time, and that she herself had to learn self-control as a girl. Margot resolves to improve, and the girls go to sleep. Jo goes back downstairs to relax with Jack, and Beth goes out to the kitchen to make them some coffee, only to find a white rat sitting there. She and Jo scream and mount chairs while Jack picks it up and looks for somewhere to put it for the night, suspecting it belongs to the boy at the nearby chalet.
Margot goes into school the next day and she and Emerence go to the study to face Miss Annersley, who tells them that as they cannot be trusted, they are not to leave the school grounds unless in charge of a mistress or prefect. Margot is so horrified at being told she can’t be trusted that it is several days before she recovers her equilibrium.
The Sale is held, opened by Madge who has come to visit. The school presents Jo with a new St Bernard puppy as thanks for all her help with the preparations. Mrs Elstob buys a picture which was initially reserved by Mary-Lou, but she agrees to let her have it for Leila, and Prunella offers to do her an illumination of a prayer to make up for it, to Mary-Lou’s delight. Con wins Tom Gay’s model chalet and promptly gives it to Mrs Elstob for Leila also.
The Welsen girls perform their pantomime to end the Sale with, and by a remarkable coincidence hit upon the idea of doing The Story of the Willow Pattern. Miss Annersley winds up the proceedings with the news that they have raised 1404 francs, or £140 4s.

So, what did you think of the school's first Easter term in Switzerland? Did you like Prunella's story and her novel way of shocking the girls? What about Margot's dip in Lucerne and the aftermath?

I had to actually read this from cover to cover to make sure I hadn't missed anything for the summary, it's been so long since I last read it. Literally all I remembered was that this was the book with the 'Daniel bit the lions' incident and Margot falling into the lake, and where Biddy meets Eugen Courvoisier. I'd completely forgotten about the flu epidemic and I remembered almost nothing about Prunella. Which just about sums up my feeling on this book, really: meh. Largely forgettable.

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 Post subject: Re: Books: The Chalet School Does It Again
PostPosted: 05 Sep 2017, 00:23 
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I was disappointed in this book as the ' Daniel bit the lions ' was such a fleeting part, I read references to this in so many other books that finally reading the story was such an anti climax !


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 Post subject: Re: Books: The Chalet School Does It Again
PostPosted: 05 Sep 2017, 01:03 
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This was about the last book in the series that I read and I only have the paperback, but I dislike it. If I had been reading the books as they were published it would have joined Head Girl and New CS as books I did not like.

The main storyline is very weak and because she was not being "herself" I didn't find Prunella a likeable character although she is fine in other books.

The triplets were also badly written. Instead of mature 11 year olds, they were more like babyish 7/8 year olds. When EBD wrote Bride and her friends and Mary-Lou, Vi etc so brilliantly, I don't understand why she could not have written the triplets more realistically at the same age.

Why were they screaming so much when they were reunited with Margot? I could understand it a little but not when it went on. No other girls in Chalet land ever acted like that.

Why, too, did Joey not give Margot a real dressing-down after she fell in the lake? It was not just a school matter. Margot's behaviour needed addressing by all who had responsibility for her. Jo does not seem to be part of any disciplining which the older Margot requires. She is not even told about Ted and I don't know how much she was told about the bookend incident.

A disappointing book, especially after Barbara and the good Swiss start.


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 Post subject: Re: Books: The Chalet School Does It Again
PostPosted: 05 Sep 2017, 03:21 
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Honey&nuts wrote:
I was disappointed in this book as the ' Daniel bit the lions ' was such a fleeting part, I read references to this in so many other books that finally reading the story was such an anti climax !


I find it distinctly unfunny. And when the tale is repeated later on the people hearing it giggle hysterically.

Audrey25 wrote:
Why, too, did Joey not give Margot a real dressing-down after she fell in the lake? It was not just a school matter. Margot's behaviour needed addressing by all who had responsibility for her. Jo does not seem to be part of any disciplining which the older Margot requires. She is not even told about Ted and I don't know how much she was told about the bookend incident.


Apparently she considers Margot's punishment a 'school matter' presumably because the incident happened on a school trip. So does that mean she doesn't feel the need to discipline her own daughter?

I am a little wary of posing this question because the last time I questioned a parental technique on this forum (Doris Trelawney asking Joey to tell ML her father had died), I was shouted down.

So I will just say, I am not a mother so I have no idea whether what Joey did with Margot is normal behaviour. But I would be interested to know from parents if you would leave discipline to the school or tend to it yourself? Or is Joey's/Margot's situation unique because of the special relationship Joey has with both the school and Miss Annersley?

cheers,
Joyce

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 Post subject: Re: Books: The Chalet School Does It Again
PostPosted: 05 Sep 2017, 06:51 
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Not a mother either, but Margot is at boarding school, and this was a school trip. So, IMO its the school's job to address her behaviour.

I'm sure lots of us have been told off at school only to be told off again when we got home, but in a boarding school scenario, I wouldn't have said this applied. Of course, it underlines again the odd nether world the triplets occupy, where, unlike the other CS girls, their hom is next door, so they could in fact be discplined by their parents for school acts.

I think Margot is a bit of a depaeture for EBD compared to girls who have gone before - she's trying to write a naughty girl who is yet still One of Us (so, a long running core character, not a candidate for expulsion) but who doesn't readily reform, and who's naughtiness is just that step or so on from Nice Naughtiness, whatever that is :D .

I can't think of another character in that bracket by this point in the series - certainly none in the ML or Bride groups. And she (EBD) never seems to get to quite right. Or maybe she tries to reform Margot and Margot persistently resists...

So her naughty acts are just a bit too naughty and a bit too regular and have not enough justification behind them to not be addressed more firmly in a CS context. So when that addressing doesn't come, it really jars.

I find this book a bit meh, compared to Barbara and Kenya. A very "middle term of the year" book.


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 Post subject: Re: Books: The Chalet School Does It Again
PostPosted: 05 Sep 2017, 07:50 
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Yes, it's a bit of a let-down after Barbara. The Prunella storyline is rather silly. I think the Elstobs and Sue Meadows are the most interesting characters in this book: I wish we'd heard more about them, especially the friendship which develops in the next book between Leila and Con, and about Sue and how she coped with the situation.

IIRC, Joey tells Prunella that Len needs to focus on making friends closer to her own age. I can see her point, because it's a lot easier if you've got friends in your own form and you can sit next to them in lessons and be partners for walks etc, but the CS adults usually say that they shouldn't get involved in the girls' friendships. And the friendship seems to fade away anyway.


ETA - one bit which always makes me smile is when, just after the Lake Lucerne incident, Eugen Courvoisier comes to look round the San, and asks if Jack can arrange for him to see round the School as well. When Jack tells Joey about it, he's grinning and aye aye, Eugen's obviously taken a shine to Biddy O'Ryan, why else would he be so interested in the school. And, of course, he's right. It seems really nice and normal, like when Joey and Janie clock that there's a spark between Gillian Linton and Peter Young.

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Last edited by Alison H on 05 Sep 2017, 09:32, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Books: The Chalet School Does It Again
PostPosted: 05 Sep 2017, 08:42 
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And Len's in a form with older girls, not girls her own age, so what's she supposed to do? Those are the girls she's sitting next to and going on walks with...?


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 Post subject: Re: Books: The Chalet School Does It Again
PostPosted: 05 Sep 2017, 12:48 
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Joyce wrote:
Apparently she considers Margot's punishment a 'school matter' presumably because the incident happened on a school trip. So does that mean she doesn't feel the need to discipline her own daughter?

So I will just say, I am not a mother so I have no idea whether what Joey did with Margot is normal behaviour. But I would be interested to know from parents if you would leave discipline to the school or tend to it yourself? Or is Joey's/Margot's situation unique because of the special relationship Joey has with both the school and Miss Annersley?

cheers,
Joyce


I am a parent and it's a very fine line to walk. At the moment small son is 4 and goes to creche. I tend to take the view what happens at creche, should be dealt with by creche and what happens at home is dealt with at home. If it's something major then I would like to know, but I don't step in unless I think I need to and it's usually along the lines: "how are we going to address this as its more serious."

To me Margot's behaviour of playing tag with a friend isn't really bad behaviour, more along the lines of an immature 11 and 14 year old being bored and doing something they shouldn't which ended worse than what they had intended. As a parent I would expect Miss Annersley to be able to handle the situation and nip the behaviour in the bud. It is certainly not in the same league as the Margot/Ted instance or the Betty/Margot instances which had an element of nastiness to it that as a parent I would expect the school to raise with me so it can be reinforced at home that that behaviour is unacceptable.

Also if you are wondering if it's due to the special relationship between Joey and Hilda, then compare the incident with Val and her mother in Redheads. Mrs Gardiner and Miss Annersley discuss Val's kidnapping as a result of her absconding from school and Mrs Gardiner agrees to allow Hilda to do the disciplining and not say too much until Miss Annersley deals with it. She doesn't say much and Miss Annersley does the disciplining. It should also be mentioned that what she does say, hits pretty hard.

I think boarding school is different to day school as the school is responsible for the children 24/7 and therefore should discipline as per their rules. When it's a day school, it's different as the children see their parents each night, so parents are more involved in the discipline of the children.

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 Post subject: Re: Books: The Chalet School Does It Again
PostPosted: 05 Sep 2017, 13:46 
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I too am a parent, albeit of now adult children, and I was also at boarding school. It would have to have been a very serious offence indeed for the school to have involved our parents. I can't actually think of a single instance in my time there where it happened.

If there were health concerns, then obviously it was a different matter and parents would be involved, but again only if it was serious.

As a parent, I always took the view that bad behaviour at school should be dealt with there. Very occasionally, in the case of my son, I would be asked to keep an eye on his homework.

If there were any truanting at a day school, then obviously the parent would have to be involved to resolve it. Otherwise I really think it is down to the school....

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 Post subject: Re: Books: The Chalet School Does It Again
PostPosted: 05 Sep 2017, 16:33 
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To me Margot's behaviour of playing tag with a friend isn't really bad behaviour, more along the lines of an immature 11 and 14 year old being bored and doing something they shouldn't which ended worse than what they had intended. As a parent I would expect Miss Annersley to be able to handle the situation and nip the behaviour in the bud.

I agree, I've never felt this was particularly bad behaviour, just two youngsters playing, not necessarily in the best place but I don't imagine that Emerence intended pushing Margot into the lake.To me that is up to Hilda to address, not Joey.
I agree about the Daniel story as well, it never was worth those fits of giggles nor the continual bringing up.


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 Post subject: Re: Books: The Chalet School Does It Again
PostPosted: 05 Sep 2017, 16:39 
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I am in two minds about this. Surely falling into a lake and another girl risking her life and them ending up in hospital was serious? It wasn't meant to have been bad but at least two lives could have been lost.

Surely too knocking someone unconscious was also serious? I know as a parent I would want to know about it and, yes, I would also have disciplined my daughter on both occasions as I did when she misbehaved at a brownie camp.

I do agree though that Joey should not have been involved in the usual small everyday misdemenours just because she lived near the school and was friends with many of the staff.

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 Post subject: Re: Books: The Chalet School Does It Again
PostPosted: 05 Sep 2017, 17:40 
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If Margot's parents had lived in UK or wherever, Hilda would have been the one to do the disciplining, so I feel Jo is quite right to stand back and allow Hilda to do her job. I taught only in day schools, but what my pupils did wrong in school, stayed in school. I never felt that the child should be punished twice. I would never have got parents involved, unless I saw a pattern evolving, in which case I might have contacted them. Even then, the parents invariably asked me for hints and tips. Since Jo already knew about Margot's continual wrong-doing, and it had been well-discussed with Hilda, there was nothing else she could do but leave it with Hilda, who I'm quite sure must sometimes have felt like telling Jack and Jo to take her away.

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 Post subject: Re: Books: The Chalet School Does It Again
PostPosted: 05 Sep 2017, 17:51 
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My mother taught in my school, which wasn't an issue for me, as I was very well-behaved, but my brothers weren't so much. She was constantly being told about their misdemeanours by certain teachers, and eventually had to put her foot down and say that she didn't want to know about their behaviour unless in a similar situation with another child, the teacher would have called their parents. Her point being that her accessibility would have made it very easy for my brothers to be in trouble in school AND at home for every little thing whereas that wasn't the same for other children.

The situation is similar for Joey, and I reckon the above was how she approached matters - if she was officially contacted and asked to deal with a matter, she would, the same as any other parent. If not, and if she just knew because of her proximity, she should not have to be involved. Whether or not this incident should have qualified is another thing!

I'm not a parent yet, but I am a child psychologist, and we do tend to tell parents to leave school matters in school, unless it's a serious incident that needs tackling as a team. Little children don't understand deferred punishments anyway, and for bigger ones, it just creates more of an attitude problem if they're being punished several times for one incident! Schools need parents to be supportive and not to undermine discipline, but children usually don't need duplicate punishments/talking-tos for one incident.

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 Post subject: Re: Books: The Chalet School Does It Again
PostPosted: 05 Sep 2017, 22:28 
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I think they had to notify Joey and Jack, because Margot was taken to hospital and kept in overnight, but I'd say that the actual misbehaviour was a school issue. It was carelessness rather than badness, and, at this stage, Margot didn't really have a track record for anything worse than general mischief.

I'd be interested to know what they told the parents, though. Most parents weren't even in the same country as the school, so they could hardly call people in for a quick chat. Would they have written to tell the Hopes about the tobogganing incident? There aren't many incidents that are really bad, though: you wouldn't expect them to contact parents about things like hiding lost property or using a lot of slang.

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 Post subject: Re: Books: The Chalet School Does It Again
PostPosted: 06 Sep 2017, 01:35 
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I think the "Daniel bit the lions" line is rather cute, but it isn't worth the attention it gets throughout later books.

I feel sorry for the triplets in this book. They are expected to be mature, but not too elderly; enjoy the fun of school, but not act their age. That's a lot for 11-year-olds to have to figure out.

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 Post subject: Re: Books: The Chalet School Does It Again
PostPosted: 06 Sep 2017, 02:21 
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Hi,

Thanks for the answers to my question and the very interesting perspectives provided.

Terrygo wrote:
I don't imagine that Emerence intended pushing Margot into the lake.


I always wondered though how Margot managed to fall into the lake. She's sitting on the fence and Emerence bumps her and she falls in which means the fence is right NEXT to the water.

Wouldn't there be a grass area or another kind of barrier between fence and water? I suppose she could have fallen to the ground and rolled in but EBD writes it as if the water is smack bang against the fence.

Quote:
Margot swung herself up on to the top railing and sat there. Emerence, going full tilt, was unable to stop herself at once. She stumbled and floundered up against Margot who overbalanced and fell into the lake


Prunella then climbs over the railing and dives into the water. How? Does she dive from the top of the fence? Or does she dive from the side of the water which indicates there must be some kind of barrier separating the water and the railing. Yes, I put waaaay too much thought into these things :D

Am I the only person here who really likes Prunella? I love the way she talks and the shock and awe she causes. :shock:

Cheers,
Joyce

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 Post subject: Re: Books: The Chalet School Does It Again
PostPosted: 06 Sep 2017, 03:10 
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There's definitely a psychological thing by which the results of an action affect people's judgement of the action. So Margot and Emerence fooling around on a field trip would generally be a minor issue - they'd probably be forced to walk on either side of the mistress or something like that - and one that would be low risk. But because Margot fell in the lake, it's seen as a Major Thing. On the other hand, Margot throwing a bookend at someone is a Major Thing by default, because of the high likelihood of injury. Val getting kidnapped is in the middle - running off to see her brother is definitely well outside the rules, and should be cracked down on hard, but being mistaken for a classmate who is under an assumed identity, kidnapped and drugged by international criminals is a pretty unlikely consequence.

Len's reprimand for losing her temper with Prunella is also over the top. Having someone repeatedly and deliberately call you by the wrong name is incredibly annoying, and I don't blame her at all for blowing up at Prunella. And this is Len the perfect - I would regard it as a good sign that she was willing to stand up for herself, and not worthy of a formal apology weeks after the fact.

I do feel sorry for Margot in this book, because she's being put into a situation which is setting her up for failure. She's an impulsive, immature eleven, and put with thirteen and fourteen year olds and expected to behave with the same level of maturity. A half-term expedition with a bunch of 10 and 11 year olds would have much firmer oversight, and a schedule planned with younger girls in mind. Getting bored and fooling around is not that unexpected a result, particularly when she's paired with Emerence.

I kind of like Prunella's story-line, even if it's a bit improbable. It's definitely a different one than the usual spoiled child line, and I can see the stubborn pride and humiliation that drives her behaviour.

The Daniel incident is one that I could see being hysterically funny if you were actually there, but where you had to be there to get the full effect. And Con isn't allowed to live it down for years, kind of like Grizel and the Holy Water incident.

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 Post subject: Re: Books: The Chalet School Does It Again
PostPosted: 06 Sep 2017, 08:19 
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I wonder if it might have been better that the triplets just did not start in the Swiss school at the beginning. They were younger than everyone else and it does seem to have caused problems.

It was very awkward with Jo living next to the school but Stephen was sent to school in England so why could they not have been also, even for a year or two?

Alternatively, Beth Chester had just come from tutoring Barbara. Why could she not have also tutored the triplets for a year? They could even have gone into the school for art or some other subjects but I don't think it was particularly good them being with older girls all the time.


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 Post subject: Re: Books: The Chalet School Does It Again
PostPosted: 06 Sep 2017, 08:34 
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I think thats a very fair point, Audrey. You can see the impact on them years later. Staying at Glendower House or being home tutored for a hear, might well have been the better choice.

Really, if you think about it, their education was thoroughly messed up by that trip to Canada - it seemed to be handled OK while they were actually there, but when they came back, the various decisions made about them were crazy. You would have thought that an experienced set of teachers would have known what to do with three precocious 10 year olds, one of whom is too old for her years, and another, quite immature.

But of course EBD (and Joey :D ) wanted them in Switzerland...

Makes me wonder why EBD had an over 12 only rule in the first place, if she was then going to tie herself in knots, breaking that rule for rhe triplets...


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 Post subject: Re: Books: The Chalet School Does It Again
PostPosted: 06 Sep 2017, 09:15 
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I can never understand that. OK, it's reasonable to think that parents might have been reluctant to send younger girls abroad, but the whole idea of a school suddenly relocating to another country is so unlikely that "reasonable" doesn't really come into it :lol:. And there were British and French girls much younger than 12 at the school in Tyrol. Why not just set the age limit at 10? It gets changed soon enough anyway!

I really wish we'd seen more of Leila Elstob and Sue Meadows. Theirs is a very interesting story. Did Sue's parents agree to her going along because they felt guilty that their daughter was healthy and their niece wasn't? Were they unable to afford a private boarding school themselves and felt that they couldn't pass up the chance for Sue to go to the Chalet School? Or did they just genuinely feel sad for their niece and wanted to do anything they could to help, even if it meant Sue's needs coming very much in second place? The story of the widow with the delicate child seems more like something out of What Katy Did or Little Women that the 1950s, but it's very sad. We hear a lot about Robin and various others being "delicate", but they don't have to spend years in hospital like poor Leila does. Apart from Stacie, we don't see much of the children who actually are ill. We hear about Alix Rutherford, and Lilias Carr, and Leonard Redfield, but we don't see as much of them as we do of Leila.

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