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 Post subject: Re: Books: Mary-Lou of the Chalet School
PostPosted: 24 Sep 2017, 12:30 
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Stumped by Lower Four's quiz
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I have read a few of the earlier Swiss books recently and on the excursions covered, Biddy seems to be on nearly all of them and I find her the kind of character that a little can go a long way. She is a very distinctive!

Later on it always seems to be Kathy and maybe I would find her grating too after a number of books but she does seem to be a more even personality.

I much prefer Kathie to Biddy, at least Biddy as she is when she first comes back from Australia. She's far too bumptious and sure of herself, for a very new mistress whose only teaching experience is a bit of governessing for younger children. Kathie is far more realistic.

But I wonder if Biddy's return was when EBD first had the idea of a book focusing on a new young mistress? It didn't work out then because Biddy wasn't the right character and she had other story ideas to work on, but perhaps that was when she had the germ of the idea.


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 Post subject: Re: Books: Mary-Lou of the Chalet School
PostPosted: 24 Sep 2017, 13:05 
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Moaning about Mlle Berne
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Victoria wrote:
lapwing wrote:
I never figured out what could be a possible reason for Amanda books to rename the title from “Mary Lou of the Chalet School” to “Mary Lou at the Chalet School”.


"Of" just means she belongs to the School. The book could have been any kind of story (holiday, adventure, mystery) with ML as the main character.
"At" makes the book definitely a school story

(Not that I think most 10-year-olds would have thought about it for a minute...)


There are other titles with a name and "of" - Jo of the Chalet school and Peggy of the CS. All the other "ofs" are not personal - Head Girl of, Rivals of, Exploits of, Prefects of. Wonder if it was a conscious change when Armada did it, or just accidental?


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 Post subject: Re: Books: Mary-Lou of the Chalet School
PostPosted: 27 Sep 2017, 18:50 
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I like the praise for Sybil in this book.

Rosamund's medical condition doesn't make a lot of sense, but that's not unusual in CS-land! I think Mary-Lou does handle things very well, but this is the start of her being given confidential information about other people, and it's not fair either to them or to her.

The accident is a bit of a throwback to the obsession with instant obedience in the Tyrol years - a lot of emphasis is put on the fact that it happened because Emerence disobeyed Mlle's orders. But it's interesting how things have moved on from when it was the thing for the early heroine (Joey) to have delicate health and nearly die umpteen times to a point where making an extra-speedy recovery from an accident is seen to reflect Mary-Lou's character as heroine. I hope that makes sense: I am jet-lagged and haven't slept for 49 hours!

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 Post subject: Re: Books: Mary-Lou of the Chalet School
PostPosted: 28 Sep 2017, 00:01 
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That's a good point. There's definitely a shift in the frequency and treatment of near death experiences over the series. The Tyrol books get downright Victorian - Joey's multiple potentially fatal illnesses, Robin's delicacy, Eustacia's reformation by back injury (and her long recovery), various other cases of rheumatic fever, Mrs Linton almost dying because she heard a rumour about her daughter, having a special branch of the school for extra-delicate girls.

In the Swiss books, I can only think of two near-death experiences - Mary-Lou's accident, and Naomi's. And the delicate girls who come to school, like Barbara or Althea, settle in just fine with no health problems.

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 Post subject: Re: Books: Mary-Lou of the Chalet School
PostPosted: 28 Sep 2017, 07:35 
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Rescuing a Junior from the lake
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I think it reflects a general shift from the Victorian heroine who nearly dies after stepping in a puddle or getting caught in a shower of rain :lol: to the jolly hockey sticks type heroine of the 20th century, but it does come quite late bearing in mind that Joey's numerous near death experiences were in the '20s/'30s.

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 Post subject: Re: Books: Mary-Lou of the Chalet School
PostPosted: 28 Sep 2017, 09:28 
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jennifer wrote:
That's a good point. There's definitely a shift in the frequency and treatment of near death experiences over the series. The Tyrol books get downright Victorian - Joey's multiple potentially fatal illnesses, Robin's delicacy, Eustacia's reformation by back injury (and her long recovery), various other cases of rheumatic fever, Mrs Linton almost dying because she heard a rumour about her daughter, having a special branch of the school for extra-delicate girls.
Yes - the toboggan incident in this book appears to have been borrowed from the Victorian Tom and Some Other Girls by Mrs George de Horne Vaizey, but is treated very differently.

In Mrs Vaizey's story, Rhoda is the disobedient girl on the toboggan, and this is the second bad event that contributes to the reform of her character (the first was working for an exam out of hours and making herself ill - sound familiar?]). By the time EMBD was writing, in GO fiction this was generally brought about by osmosis - the atmosphere of a good school achieved the desired result. And in Mrs Vaizey's book, the teacher who was injured by Rhoda is lamed for life, but she'll be all right because she marries Rhoda's brother. :roll:

In Mary-Lou, it's become much more about healthy minds in healthy bodies. As Alison H implied, it's interesting that Mary-Lou's ability to heal super-fast is one of the virtues of her personality - she seems to me to be the most prominent role-model that EMBD created for her readers, whether we like that or not.


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 Post subject: Re: Books: Mary-Lou of the Chalet School
PostPosted: 29 Sep 2017, 00:34 
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Stumped by Lower Four's quiz
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I'd like to think that Doris did vist ML as soon as she was medically fit to do so, EBD just didn't bother to tell us about it, as the story had moved on...

In Genius, ML says
"Verity and I spent Christmas at Freudesheim as Mother and Dad didn't come out here till the New Year. Mother was rocky after the 'flu and couldn't risk travelling until then."


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 Post subject: Re: Books: Mary-Lou of the Chalet School
PostPosted: 29 Sep 2017, 02:46 
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Donating it to the Childrens' Ward
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Noreen wrote:
jennifer wrote:
That's a good point. There's definitely a shift in the frequency and treatment of near death experiences over the series. The Tyrol books get downright Victorian - Joey's multiple potentially fatal illnesses, Robin's delicacy, Eustacia's reformation by back injury (and her long recovery), various other cases of rheumatic fever, Mrs Linton almost dying because she heard a rumour about her daughter, having a special branch of the school for extra-delicate girls.
Yes - the toboggan incident in this book appears to have been borrowed from the Victorian Tom and Some Other Girls by Mrs George de Horne Vaizey, but is treated very differently.

In Mrs Vaizey's story, Rhoda is the disobedient girl on the toboggan, and this is the second bad event that contributes to the reform of her character (the first was working for an exam out of hours and making herself ill - sound familiar?]). By the time EMBD was writing, in GO fiction this was generally brought about by osmosis - the atmosphere of a good school achieved the desired result. And in Mrs Vaizey's book, the teacher who was injured by Rhoda is lamed for life, but she'll be all right because she marries Rhoda's brother. :roll:

In Mary-Lou, it's become much more about healthy minds in healthy bodies. As Alison H implied, it's interesting that Mary-Lou's ability to heal super-fast is one of the virtues of her personality - she seems to me to be the most prominent role-model that EMBD created for her readers, whether we like that or not.


I think ML is EBD's most vocal character and she is also probably my favourite. She was kind and understanding - a combination which I thought unbeatable.


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 Post subject: Re: Books: Mary-Lou of the Chalet School
PostPosted: 01 Oct 2017, 15:33 
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Discovering that JMB lives next door
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And although Jo has a number of serious illnesses, a point is always made that once she does start to get well, she recovers at amazing speed.


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 Post subject: Re: Books: Mary-Lou of the Chalet School
PostPosted: 01 Oct 2017, 16:50 
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Mabel wrote:
And although Jo has a number of serious illnesses, a point is always made that once she does start to get well, she recovers at amazing speed.
I can't help wondering if that's a projection of what EMBD wished had happened with her brother Henzell, who died young - or maybe he too had been a quick recoverer until then...I know Helen McClelland suggests that that's why Joey will always get well.


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 Post subject: Re: Books: Mary-Lou of the Chalet School
PostPosted: 01 Oct 2017, 17:22 
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Admiring Tom's latest effort
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Noreen wrote:
Mabel wrote:
And although Jo has a number of serious illnesses, a point is always made that once she does start to get well, she recovers at amazing speed.
I can't help wondering if that's a projection of what EMBD wished had happened with her brother Henzell, who died young - or maybe he too had been a quick recoverer until then...I know Helen McClelland suggests that that's why Joey will always get well.


As a slight aside, she does kill off Cecil Trevennor in "A Head Girl's Difficulty". I can't remember how old he's supposed to be.


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