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 Post subject: Books: Trials for the Chalet School
PostPosted: 07 Nov 2017, 00:31 
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The feature book this week is Trials for the Chalet School, first published in 1959 and covering the Easter term following Richenda. Sixteen year old Naomi Elton, left disabled after a house fire that killed her parents, is enrolled at the CS on the advice of Peter Chester, who is her doctor. Her prickly attitude makes the girls uncomfortable, but Mary-Lou makes an effort to befriend her, and a serious accident after the St Mildred’s pantomime changes her life. Meanwhile, the school faces a scarlet fever epidemic, an avalanche and a flood.

Miss Annersley, Miss Wilson and Miss Dene are busy sorting through correspondence for the coming Easter term, and discuss a letter which has just arrived from the guardian aunt of a new girl, Naomi Elton, who has been enrolled at the school at the behest of Peter Chester. Naomi’s aunt states in her letter that as well as being left physically disabled following an accident, Naomi’s mind is also ‘slightly warped’. The vagueness of the wording leaves the Heads uneasy and wishing they hadn’t agreed to take her.
Jo arrives, and they tell her about Naomi. She advises them to turn Mary-Lou onto her, and also reveals that she is pregnant, probably with twins, due in July.
The girls travel back to the Platz, and the prefects discuss the coming term, noting that the Pertwees have still not returned. Barbara Chester informs them that Cornelia (van Brandt here) wrote to Beth with the news that Mrs Pertwee is improving in health but wants to keep the girls close for now, and also that Yseult has cut her hair.
The coaches arrive at the school, and Mary-Lou is summoned to the study to pick up Naomi. She is struck by the slight hardness in the new girl’s voice, and as they head to the Speisesaal, she is further struck by a slightly nasty undercurrent to Naomi’s replies as she tells her about some of the rules.
At Abendessen, Mary-Lou introduces Naomi to the two Sixth forms, and although the girls speak pleasantly to her, she makes constant references to her disabilities that make them uncomfortable and unsure what to say.
After the meal, Mary-Lou asks if Naomi is Catholic or Protestant, and is stunned to learn that she is, in fact, agnostic and has never been baptised. Miss Dene passes them and tells them that Naomi will go to Protestant Prayers for the time being. During Prayers, Naomi is struck by the devoutness of the girls, but tells herself that she doesn’t believe in it and can’t think of anything that ever could make her believe in it.
On the Sunday, Mary-Lou notices during church that Naomi is struck by Verity Carey’s beautiful singing, and makes a note of it for the future. Later that day, most of them go out for a walk, but Mary-Lou and Vi decide to stay in and write letters when they see Naomi going off to the common room by herself. However, Naomi rebuffs their attempts at friendliness, and they end up sitting writing in silence.
That evening, all of the Sixths go to the evening church services, leaving Naomi to go to the Fifth form common room, where her prickly replies soon drive everyone off. When Jocelyn Fawcett and Joan Baker come to talk to her and ask her questions about herself, she eventually gives a crushing snub and leaves the room, leaving them stunned.
The next day, lessons begin, and Naomi proves herself well up to standard in everything. After Mittagessen, VIb has an art lesson with Herr Laubach out in the meadow, sketching the rest of the school who are skiing and tobogganing. Mary-Lou offers to tow Naomi there on the toboggan she shares with Vi, and after she departs, Naomi makes a sneering comment about her helpfulness to some of the others that deeply annoys them, and in their indignation, nobody notices that she takes the wrong walking stick out with her.
As Mary-Lou and Vi tow her to the meadow in their toboggan, Naomi bitterly envies their free movements. She is in a bad mood by the time they reach Herr Laubach, who sets her up next to a bush to begin sketching and then patrols around the class. When he returns to see how she is getting on, he rages at her poor work and orders her to begin again. Naomi loses her temper, grabs her stick and gets to her feet, but because it has a rubber ferroule instead of a steel one, it slips and she falls and knocks herself out.
Herr Laubach blames himself so much for losing his temper with Naomi that he hands in his resignation, despite the protests of Miss Annersley, Miss Dene and Jo. They persuade him to wait until the end of the summer term before leaving, but after that he is adamant about retiring. Naomi, after she is discharged from the San, receives a lecture from the Head on carelessness for taking the wrong stick that makes her furious, although she says nothing.
Margot Maynard wakes up one morning in a bad mood, and snaps at everyone that day, including Emerence Hope. That night, Emerence knocks on Matron’s door with the news that Margot is running a very high temperature and is delirious. Matron bans everyone who has been in contact with Margot from leaving their dormitory, and gets her to the San. Dr Graves is summoned, and diagnoses her with scarlet fever, having just come from seeing to a Platz child who has started with it as well.
By the end of the week, the Platz is gripped by an epidemic, and the school is turned into an isolation hospital, with any outside cases sent there as well as the girls. By the final week, only a few of the two Sixths are left standing, including Mary-Lou, Naomi, Vi and Hilary.
When Miss Dene retires to bed with a headache, the Head sends for the Sixths to come to the office to help sort the mail, and Naomi, who has undergone a slight change in attitude due to the epidemic, is motivated to back up Hilary’s offer to help with the typing. Miss Annersley is delighted to accept the help, as she confides to them that the staff have begun to fall ill as well, and so the school will be short on lessons for a while.
After another three weeks, the epidemic is over, with only the staff, including Rosalie Dene who was very ill with it, still in the San. Half-term immediately follows, and Evadne Lannis turns up to take Rosalie away to the Riviera to recuperate for the rest of the term. Most of the rest of the girls go home or to stay with friends. Ten girls from the Sixths and Va – including Mary-Lou and Naomi – go to spend the holiday at a farmhouse in St Moritz, in charge of Mlle de Lachenais and Miss Ferrars.
The party settles in at the farmhouse and go to view the village, and learn something of the history of St Moritz. The snow comes on just as they return, and they settle down to various pursuits in the farmhouse for the afternoon.
Naomi asks Mary-Lou if they can speak alone, and they go up to one of the bedrooms. Mary-Lou, guessing from Naomi’s face that her back is aching, helps her lie down, and Naomi asks how she knew. Mary-Lou explains about the tobogganing accident, and goes on to tell her what wonderful things can be done with medicine nowadays, including grafting. Naomi tells her it won’t work for her as she has been to all sorts of specialists, but Mary-Lou vows to speak to Jack Maynard about it as soon as possible. Naomi says that if she could be cured, or if she ever sees Mary-Lou in as bad a situation as she herself is without losing her faith, then she too would believe in God as much as Mary-Lou does.
The party spends the next two days skating and skiing, and on their last full day, set off to a nearby slope for tobogganing. As the sun is unusually warm, their host, Herr Tratschin, warns them not to shout in case there is any loose snow about.
The morning passes without incident, but just as they reach the top of the slope to restart after having Mittagessen, there is a sudden avalanche above them as loose snow begins to fall, and they only just make it to the safety of a nearby hut before the toboggan run is buried under snow, stone and pine trunks, blocking their way down. Naomi falls in the rush to get to the hut, and Mary-Lou dashes back out and drags her inside just in time.
With the door blocked by a boulder, the party spends the night in the hut, and Naomi confesses to Mary-Lou how frightened she is. Mary-Lou comforts her that they will soon be rescued as the Tratschins know exactly where they are, and when Naomi asks if the avalanche was a punishment from God, Mary-Lou points out that it would be unfair, as it would be punishing all the others, too, and God isn’t unfair. Naomi goes to sleep comforted, and the rest of the night passes peacefully.
The next morning, the party makes a meal of what food they have on them, and Verity manages to squeeze outside over the boulder to get some snow that they can melt to make a hot drink. While doing so, she spots a rescue party and signals to them. By mid-afternoon the men have arrived to begin pulling the logs off the roof, as the snow at the door is too soft to be safe, and by that evening everyone is rescued.
Back at school, the next event begins when Mary-Lou, coming from a history coaching, asks the other prefects if they have seen her fountain pen or biro, as she can’t find either and had to use a blunt pencil to take notes. Nobody has seen it or handed it in, and eventually Josette suggests she try Lost Property. Mary-Lou asks Vi, who keeps the key, to open it, and when they do, they are engulfed in an avalanche of goods purloined primarily from the two Sixths and even the staff, including Matey.
Furious at the idea that someone has been messing with their things and even stolen Vi’s key to cram it all into the cupboard, Mary-Lou and Vi load everything onto one of the packing trays and haul it off to the prefects’ room. The scenario is explained to the rest of the prefects, and they spend Abendessen observing the Middles, looking for guilty suspects. They narrow it down to several of the Lower Fourths, led by Ailie Russell, Judy Willoughby and Janice Chester.
After Abendessen, the full two Sixths convene to discuss what to do, and Naomi proposes the idea that they make the perpetrators take every item back to its owner themselves and apologise, so that everyone who has had something taken can tell them exactly what they think of them. Everyone applauds her idea, and she goes to bed that night feeling more like one of the others than ever.
The next day, the two Sixths keep the Lower Fourths back, and Mary-Lou demands to know who was responsible. Ailie, Judy, Janice and four others own up, including Tessa de Bersac. Mary-Lou passes the sentence Naomi proposed, and also docks their pocket money for the rest of the term in order to pay for the fines the victims would have had to pay.
Torrential rain begins to come down just after the Lost Property stunt, and three days later, the Platz is in chaos as the Görnetz, which becomes blocked, bursts its banks and begins to floor the chalets, while the phone lines are out of order and the rain and wind makes going out impossible. Miss Annersley orders everything possible moved from the ground floor, and for a day or two the girls squeeze together in the dormitories and upper floors. The flooding reaches the school, but goes down again before any major damage occurs.
The St Mildred’s pantomime (Puss In Boots) arrives, and the girls are agog to know how the Millies have managed to fill all the parts without them, thanks to the scarlet fever outbreak. Jo, arriving with Cecil and the twins to take her seat, delightedly greets Carla von Flügen, and also Evadne, who has brought Rosalie back much better for the rest. Evadne shyly tells Jo that she is engaged to Sir Edgar Watson.
The pantomime is held, and it transpires that various Old Girls – including Nancy Canton, Peggy and Bride Bettany, Tom Gay and Clem Barrass – have been drafted in to take part. However, the pantomime comes to an early end when there is a power failure and the entire Platz is plunged into darkness. Naomi is packed into a motorcycle combo belonging to one of the doctors to be driven back to school, but he skids on a bend and she is flung out against a boulder. Jack and Jo, driving just behind, stop to help, and Jack takes Naomi straight to the San for an emergency operation.
The girls are told the news, and the Seniors know that it will be touch and go whether Naomi pulls through. When the Head sends for the prefects to say that they will be having Spot Supper as usual, they initially protest at the idea, until she points out that the Juniors don’t know the worst, and that Naomi wouldn’t want their fun spoilt on her account. They agree to back her up, and as they leave, Mary-Lou observes to Vi and Hilary that she noticed the Head is beginning to grow white hairs.
A subdued Spot Supper is held, and that night the news comes that the operation was successful, but Naomi is still in danger. By the next day, however, she is stronger, and by the time the power is back on and the girls are getting ready to leave on the reinstated railway, Jo comes to the school to announce that so far Naomi is still progressing slowly, but should be well enough for visits by the summer term, and also that when her long convalescence is over, she will be straighter than she was, as the doctors were able to put something right that had been wrong before while they were operating.
Mary-Lou asks Jo on behalf of the Seniors, who have had a money collection, if she can put weekly updates on Naomi’s progress in one of the big daily newspapers, so that the whole school can keep up. Jo readily agrees, and the school departs happy.

So, thoughts on the hoodoo’d term, as Clare Kennedy put it? What do you think of Naomi, her attitude, and the religious theme which is very prevalent in this book? Thoughts on the row between her and Herr Laubach which leads to his resignation? What about the various incidents that occur: the scarlet fever epidemic, the avalanche, the flood, the pantomime and the accident?

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 Post subject: Re: Books: Trials for the Chalet School
PostPosted: 07 Nov 2017, 03:12 
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This is one I rarely re-read; it's a little too religious for my tastes. I think it's an interesting take on the "difficult new girl" theme though. The most recent troublesome new girls -- Richenda, Yseult and Joan -- are difficult for fairly superficial or at least more easily resolved reasons. Naomi's bitterness runs deeper in comparison.

It's nice to see Verity save the day and show some of the obstinacy she displayed in Three Go rather than be relegated to helpless mooner.

Why was Naomi put in a motorcycle sidecar as opposed to a sturdier four-wheel vehicle to drive through ice and snow? Would a sidecar be easier to get in and out of?

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 Post subject: Re: Books: Trials for the Chalet School
PostPosted: 07 Nov 2017, 04:02 
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The religious stuff is undoubtedly a bit hard for some people to take but in those days religous school assemblies even in the most ordinary schools were the norm. I went to a 1600 pupil comprehensive and the only people allowed off the assemblies were RCs. Any one else had to have a very good reason for getting off and I don"t know if anybody ever did.

Generally though religion was very much more a part of life than it is today. All funerals were religious, most children were christened and weddings usually held in churches.

EBD was very religious even for those times though and she used Mary Lou as her mouthpiece. Despite her maturity and confidence, ML could sometimes be a little naive in dealing with someone who did not share her values.

Naomi was bitter and who can blame her? She had lost her parents and physically - and mentally - been greatly damaged. Good on EBD for tackling this problem head-on. In a lot of similar books we would have the injured person coping cheerfully with their disabilities which is not realistic.

Good to see Verity displaying her earlier grit.

Once again we have EBD hauling Joey into the storyline. I have not looked at the book before writing this but once again confidentiality would seem to be an issue and we have Joey unnecessarily supporting Naomi to the detriment of her own health and Hilda appearing weak because of it.

This book was also a bit sad in that we only had one more book left with Mary Lou at the CS. Maybe at the time readers might have thought they would get a chance to see other characters now and other people shining but it was mainly downhill after Theodora, with a few exceptions and no-one to shine.

Just to add on, a few other exceptional characters also left at same time as ML especially Vi who was a great loss.


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 Post subject: Re: Books: Trials for the Chalet School
PostPosted: 07 Nov 2017, 08:43 
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I think Naomi's aunt made an error by choosing the Chalet School - although admittedly she was advised by Peter Chester, and doctors are always right! A school which placed so much emphasis on Christianity and physical exercise seems a very poor choice for an agnostic with limited mobility. I do accept that attendance at religious services was compulsory in many boarding schools at the time, and that Naomi's aunt had agreed to that (without bothering to discuss it with Naomi) but I'm still uncomfortable with the attitude towards agnosticism. Mary-Lou was shocked because she'd never previously met anyone who hadn't been baptised? I don't get that. Did she ask everyone she ever met if they'd been baptised?! Did a supposedly intelligent and well-educated girl think that everyone on the planet was a practising Christian? And maybe it's just the way I read it, but I get the sense that the idea is that Naomi will be miraculously cured if she comes to believe in God, and I really am not comfortable with that at all.

The pranks and mishaps are standard CS stuff, but they're quite good. I really like Ailie's gang and wish that EBD had focused more on them instead of introducing Jack Lambert. But I do feel sorry for Josette when she worries about scarlet fever affecting her chances in the exams (hooray, public exams actually get a mention!), and is told that she should be ready for them already :roll:. And it's a minor plotline, but it's lovely to see Evvy get her happy ending. I also love the way Rosalie is allowed time off work to go on holiday with Evvy to get over scarlet fever - would that all workplaces were so generous :lol: .

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 Post subject: Re: Books: Trials for the Chalet School
PostPosted: 07 Nov 2017, 11:58 
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Alison H wrote:
Mary-Lou was shocked because she'd never previously met anyone who hadn't been baptised? I don't get that. Did she ask everyone she ever met if they'd been baptised?! Did a supposedly intelligent and well-educated girl think that everyone on the planet was a practising Christian?

The answer is probably yes, Alison. :roll: I was brought up in a Catholic home, went to Catholic schools, all my relatives were Catholic - or church-going Christians - so it seemed to me that faith was the norm, just as ML did. And since the school is deemed Christian and says so in the brochure, that would have increased her astonishment. I do think EBD went too far when she had ML - a young teenager, not a theologian - make the comment that if Naomi believes she will be cured, but I suspect that EBD was actually quite naïve about faith, as most of us were then, and claims were made that would not be made now. Praying and believing may help us cope better with problems, but they don't necessarily cure them, alas.

I have to add that I like the faith expressed in the books, which is mostly NOT heavy-handed, and since the school brochure states it's a Christian school, it's likely to be included in the stories, as it was from the very beginning.

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 Post subject: Re: Books: Trials for the Chalet School
PostPosted: 07 Nov 2017, 12:27 
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I know all of the CS books are of their time, and usually I have little trouble getting past that and just rolling with it, but this one is too much so for my taste. EBD really seems to be on a moral crusade, not just with all the religious talk, but all that stuff about how Swiss girls are raised to run a home practically from birth because that's a woman's 'real' place - especially grating coming from Mlle, a successful teacher and hardy Lara Croft-esque mountaineer/explorer/sportswoman of awesomeness.

I tend to skim most of the plays/pantomimes/Sales, but I do have quite a fondness for Puss In Boots. I'm just disappointed that all the Old Girl business sort of fizzles out after it. Understandable, what with Naomi's accident, but it would have been nice to catch up with Peggy, Bride, Tom, Clem et al.

As for Naomi herself, I think she would have come out of her shell and lost some of her bitterness if she had just continued on at the CS as normal for another term or so, without any accident or religious epiphany. She's already starting to thaw by the scarlet fever epidemic, and I think it would all have fallen away by degrees once she grasped that the CS air of friendliness and inclusion is genuine, and not just because the girls feel sorry for her.

Also, I think Herr Laubach's time was up, and he was right to hand in his notice. It's the same thing as with Grizel; the girls are terrified of them and work out of fear, not enjoyment, but the authorities want to keep them close because they're 'foundation stones'. Not good for either them or the school.

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 Post subject: Re: Books: Trials for the Chalet School
PostPosted: 07 Nov 2017, 12:52 
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I find all the Herr Laubach stuff a bit OTT. I do appreciate that he lost his savings during the war, but over 15 years have passed since then. Many people lose everything, especially in wartime, and have to start again. It's made to sound as if he's some sort of Dickensian figure without a penny to his name - and then we're told that the school is going to buy/rent and furnish a flat for him, like some Victorian servant being given an almshouse on the estate by the aristocratic family they've worked for all their life. And it says something quite worrying about how much the school pays its staff :roll: .

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 Post subject: Re: Books: Trials for the Chalet School
PostPosted: 07 Nov 2017, 12:57 
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Despite the strong religious element running through this book (and I am not religious in the slightest) I retain affection for Trials because this - along with Theodora - was the first CS I read (in a 2in1)

That said, the part that introduces Naomi right at the start of the book via Rosalie, is so clunky it's as obvious as a boy band ballad song key change.

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 Post subject: Re: Books: Trials for the Chalet School
PostPosted: 07 Nov 2017, 14:39 
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Just a question. Would there have been any boarding schools at that time for people who were not religious or where the girls did not have to attend religous assemblies or classes?


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 Post subject: Re: Books: Trials for the Chalet School
PostPosted: 07 Nov 2017, 15:16 
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Audrey25 wrote:
Just a question. Would there have been any boarding schools at that time for people who were not religious or where the girls did not have to attend religous assemblies or classes?


Possibly not very many - Summerhill and Bedales spring to mind as the most likely, and both are mixed, so not direct comparisons - but both shocked contemporaries in their day for the freedoms of choice they allowed their pupils.

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 Post subject: Re: Books: Trials for the Chalet School
PostPosted: 07 Nov 2017, 15:35 
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I agree with MaryR that meeting a fellow pupil who was not baptised would come as a surprise to ML. I was at boarding school from 1953-59, we just accepted everything that was fed to us which included daily morning prayers at the school, daily evening prayers in the house (both called "prayers" not "assembly"), church on Sundays, often twice if you had been confirmed.

And I can well recall the amazement when it came to the time that most of us were due to be confirmed, when one of my friends revealed that she would not be going to confirmation classes as she had never been christened and her parents were atheists. It was probably the first time I had absorbed the meaning of the word.

Unlike Mary, I didn't grow up in a religious family, and it horrified my mother when I got a place to read Theology at King's College London, entirely as a result of the influences I had been exposed to at school. So I don't find EBD's take on it in the least odd.

(My mother was hugely relieved when I decided it was not my metier after all....)

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 Post subject: Re: Books: Trials for the Chalet School
PostPosted: 07 Nov 2017, 16:27 
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Trials is not one of my favourites. As a Christian myself I find the fact that Naomi says she will believe in God if the San can cure her to be distasteful, to say the least. I would much have preferred the influence of the CS and the Christians she was living with to have mellowed her and allowed her to come to faith in a gradual manner.
I have strong reservations too about how those brilliant doctors at the San could make her back straight again while treating her for serious road accident injuries! I suppose it's the same magic that makes Joey pregnant with twins so soon after displacing her organs....
Herr Laubach should have been sacked long before this. I don't think we ever see any evidence that he was even a good teacher.
And if I was a parent, I'd want to know what rights prefects had to dock my child's pocket money! Though I do love the Lost Property storyline otherwise, we see so little of Judy et al.


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 Post subject: Re: Books: Trials for the Chalet School
PostPosted: 07 Nov 2017, 17:57 
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I too think the choice of school very odd for a girl with mobility problems. Would Matey really allow the girls to sit out in the snow for a sketching lesson? Never before or after, but presumably it's a plot device for Naomi to fall and Herr L to resign. I hate the story-line that they all have to rally round to find him a home etc. He teaches the whole school so would be on a full timetable so therefore not paid enough. Also Naomi joining a half-term skiing party of all things seems silly. Not a book I read often because of the melodramatic elements including her recovery due to San doctors.


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 Post subject: Re: Books: Trials for the Chalet School
PostPosted: 07 Nov 2017, 18:12 
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I've just reread the bit about Herr Laubach, and in actual fact it's Miss Annersley and Jo who go on about him being penniless. He actually states himself that he's saved enough to live in quiet comfort, but the other two just seem to assume he's skint and jump in with plans to find him a chalet and furnish it. Presumably they told him about it and he just thought; 'Well, I was going to buy all that myself with my savings, but hey, be my guest!' :lol:

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 Post subject: Re: Books: Trials for the Chalet School
PostPosted: 07 Nov 2017, 18:29 
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abbeybufo wrote:
Audrey25 wrote:
Just a question. Would there have been any boarding schools at that time for people who were not religious or where the girls did not have to attend religous assemblies or classes?


Possibly not very many - Summerhill and Bedales spring to mind as the most likely, and both are mixed, so not direct comparisons - but both shocked contemporaries in their day for the freedoms of choice they allowed their pupils.


Thanks abbeybufo. Wasn't Bedales the school Princess Margaret's two children attended? I will have to look it up. As far as we are aware Princess Margaret's children both turned out alright maybe in part due to their school.

I agree with those saying it would have been better if Naomi had changed through absorbing the atmosphere of the school. Both believers and non believers can get terrible blows in life. It was almost as if Naomi was trying to do a deal.


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 Post subject: Re: Books: Trials for the Chalet School
PostPosted: 07 Nov 2017, 18:33 
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LucyP wrote:
And if I was a parent, I'd want to know what rights prefects had to dock my child's pocket money! Though I do love the Lost Property storyline otherwise, we see so little of Judy et al.


The school asserts quite a lot of control over the girls' money; I assume that's in the prospectus or parents are otherwise informed (but maybe not?). Pupils have to give to church collections; they are fined for slang; I think in one book they are told they may not withdraw extra money for a Sale/excursion, which I think is a bit harsh. I'm not surprised that a school with a strong prefects system, in which prefects are considered the representatives of the head, allows prefects to dock pocket money as punishment. Prefects already are allowed to fine for slang or grant leniency as they see fit; using monetary punishment in other ways doesn't strike me as much of a stretch.

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 Post subject: Re: Books: Trials for the Chalet School
PostPosted: 07 Nov 2017, 18:49 
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Audrey25 wrote:
I agree with those saying it would have been better if Naomi had changed through absorbing the atmosphere of the school. Both believers and non believers can get terrible blows in life. It was almost as if Naomi was trying to do a deal.


I can think of a couple of Enid Blyton books that include children making deals with God -- Julian in one of the Naughtiest Girl books and Patrick from Those Dreadful Children. In each case the boy promises to try hard in school if God will let his mum get well. In Those Dreadful Children, which has a stronger Christian theme, someone has to explain to Patrick that that's not how religion works and he should do his best regardless. It didn't faze me as a child that Naomi also tried to bargain faith for health. Does this not pop up in other books for young people?

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 Post subject: Re: Books: Trials for the Chalet School
PostPosted: 07 Nov 2017, 22:14 
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Just remembered another minor point which I find interesting :D. The school is not supposed to be taking new girls aged over 16 after the recent problems with Yseult, but Peter Chester has taken advantage of his personal friendship with the Russells to ask Madge to make an exception for Naomi. It's annoying when someone plays on a personal friendship over something work-related, and it must have put Madge in an awkward position, but it's a nice little reminder that Madge is still the one in ultimate charge. Hilda and Nell were probably spitting feathers about it, but had no choice but to agree.

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 Post subject: Re: Books: Trials for the Chalet School
PostPosted: 08 Nov 2017, 00:20 
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mynameisdumbnuts wrote:
Audrey25 wrote:
I agree with those saying it would have been better if Naomi had changed through absorbing the atmosphere of the school. Both believers and non believers can get terrible blows in life. It was almost as if Naomi was trying to do a deal.


I can think of a couple of Enid Blyton books that include children making deals with God -- Julian in one of the Naughtiest Girl books and Patrick from Those Dreadful Children. In each case the boy promises to try hard in school if God will let his mum get well. In Those Dreadful Children, which has a stronger Christian theme, someone has to explain to Patrick that that's not how religion works and he should do his best regardless. It didn't faze me as a child that Naomi also tried to bargain faith for health. Does this not pop up in other books for young people?


Slightly different, but in Run Away Home by Antonia Forest Patrick prays most of the night and lights candles in the family's private chapel in order that Giles and Peter may return safely.


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 Post subject: Re: Books: Trials for the Chalet School
PostPosted: 08 Nov 2017, 08:48 
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Audrey25 wrote:
[
Slightly different, but in Run Away Home by Antonia Forest Patrick prays most of the night and lights candles in the family's private chapel in order that Giles and Peter may return safely.


I always rather liked the way Antonia Forest dealt with that acknowledging that piety of that kind was actually more unusual than usual.


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