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 Post subject: Books: Ruey Richardson - Chaletian
PostPosted: 05 Dec 2017, 00:55 
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This week, the feature book is Ruey Richardson – Chaletian (Ruey Richardson at the Chalet School in paperback), first published in 1960 and covering the winter term following Joey and Co., of which you could say this book is a direct sequel. Ruey Richardson, now a ward of Jo and Jack’s along with her brothers, starts at the Chalet School as part of the triplets’ group. Francie Wilford, who had hoped to take Emerence Hope’s place as Margot’s best friend, feels her nose put out of joint by Ruey’s appearance. Meanwhile, Ruey is instrumental in reintroducing lacrosse to the school, and the staff decide it’s time to change the uniform. Notable events:

The book opens the night before term starts, with Ruey feeling uncertain as to whether she will like boarding school, with all its restrictions on what she can do and when. A brief talk with Jo dispels her worries.
The next day, the triplets and Ruey go over to the school, and Len learns that she is dormitory prefect of Gentian. She shows Ruey where to put everything as they unpack, and then they help Miss Dene with the stationery until the rest of the school arrives.
At Abendessen, Margot introduces Ruey, sitting on one side of her, to Francie Wilford, sitting on the other. Ruey is about to greet Francie pleasantly when she receives such a look of bitter resentment from her that she stops.
Francie, who had returned to school hoping to become Margot’s new best friend following Emerence Hope’s departure the previous term, spends the evening brooding over her bad luck that Ruey has queered her pitch, and is unable to sleep. One of her pillows falls to the floor as she tosses and turns, and it wakes up Margot herself, who comes to investigate. She helps Francie remake her bed and asks if she is all right. Francie assures her she’s fine, and Margot departs. Francie goes to sleep feeling a little more hopeful after the friendly interlude.
Ruey, who is in Vb with Margot and Francie, spends her first morning settling into the form, and after morning school they join Len, Con and their friends for the rest period. When the talk turns to games and Ruey asks if hockey and netball are the games played, Francie jumps in with a sneer that stuns everyone. Ruey then reveals that although she plays hockey, she was a member of a private lacrosse club and loved it.
The group discuss the possibility of the school starting up lacrosse again – it having died a death after Mary-Lou’s tobogganing accident – and when they go to put their chairs away, Con asks Games prefect Gwen Parry about it. At the same moment, Francie bangs into Ruey and causes her to drop her chair, much to the annoyance of Catriona Watson, the other prefect on chair duty. Con’s question goes unanswered for the time being, but Gwen and Catriona later resolve on bringing it up at the prefects’ meeting that evening.
Vb and Inter V go on a ramble to the Auberge and introduce the new girls to the echoes. The prefects come up behind them, and Barbara Chester gives a disgruntled exclamation when they see the Fifths already there. Clare Kennedy notices Francie looking particularly annoyed at Barbara’s remark and wonders about it.
The prefects hold their meeting that evening, and after settling the usual duties, the lacrosse idea is proposed along with the idea of starting a debating society. Both are met with acclaim.
Josette and Gwen take the lacrosse idea to Miss Annersley, who agrees to raise it with the Staff at a meeting on the Monday, then shoos them out and has the bell rung for an early Break. Miss Dene arrives in the middle of it to tell the girls that they will be spending the afternoon cleaning the two chapels in preparation for their consecration the next day.
Bishop Herbert, father of Bess, Madge, Nan and Ruth, consecrates the Protestant chapel, and Bishop Mensch, uncle of Frieda, Bernhilda and Gottfried, consecrates the Catholic one. Besides the girls and Staff, various friends of the school and Platz residents attend.
The next morning, Miss Wilmot heads to Vb for a maths lesson and finds Francie and Primrose Trevoase clearly in the middle of a row, with most of the rest of the form taking sides. She catechises them sharply, and her grim mood causes the girls to make a mess of the lesson, prompting her to dock their free time that afternoon to redo it. Ruey then bends her finger right back when she attempts to save her inkwell, which she had knocked over with her ruler.
Miss Wilmot takes Ruey to Matron, who puts her to bed for an hour or two to rest, then agrees that she can return to class and she will tell the rest of the staff to let her take things easy with her hand. However, she is prevented from doing so by Gretchen von Ahlen having a violent attack of sickness, having gorged on some contraband with Renata van Buren and Arda Peik.
Ruey rejoins Vb for their after-Break geography lesson, to find Miss Moore in a bad temper. She sets them to drawing a map, but Ruey has to stop when her hand hurts, and Miss Moore, not knowing about the injury, pulls her up sharply. Ruey, with her hatred of causing a fuss, doesn’t explain about her hand and accepts the rebuke. When she goes back to her seat and Miss Moore begins doing the rounds of the class, Ruey grips her pen suddenly with her poor hand, and the pain causes her to faint.
That evening the staff meeting is held, and it is revealed that Madge has ordained a change in uniform, dropping the gym tunics in favour of a dress. Any girl needing a new tunic over the next two terms is to get the new dress instead, and everyone is to have it by the following winter term.
The staff view the various designs that have been shortlisted, and the winning design is gentian blue with scarlet honeycombing at the waist and shoulders, and the V-neck finished with white revers, and pockets fastened on with buttons.
The lacrosse idea is then posited, and the staff agree that it is a good idea. Enough of them are keen on it for them to decide to form a staff team as well as volunteering for coaching.
The next morning, it is announced at Prayers that lacrosse will be starting up again, much to the excitement of the girls. Upper and Lower Fourth petition for the age limit to be lowered from fifteen to fourteen, and partly get their wish when the Head agree to lower it to fourteen and six months. At Break, Ruey finds herself surrounded by a crowd all eager to know everything she can tell them about lacrosse, and she launches into an explanation about it.
Vb has a cookery lesson with Frau Mieders, where they make Apfel-studel. Margot causes a sensation when her flour-sifter’s lid comes off and coats half the class in flour, irritating Frau Mieders and holding up the lesson while everyone goes to clean up. Ruey takes off the bandage on her finger, with the result that it soon begins to ache badly. Margot sees her face, notices the missing bandage and exclaims aloud about it, attracting Frau Mieders’ attention. She makes Ruey sit down and rest her hand for most of the remainder of the lesson, much to her disgust.
Some lacrosse sticks arrive, donated by various Old Girls, and lacrosse becomes an obsession in the school. Ruey is coerced into an unofficial coaching in the form room which results in a smashed light bulb, vase and picture, before they are all sent to the gym. The staff and St Mildred’s also hold a proper match to show the new people what the game looks like when actually played.
Half-term approaches, and grave news comes of Naomi Elton, who has had another operation and now suffered a serious setback. Miss Annersley interrupts the Saturday evening dancing to inform the girls about it, and asks them to pray for her to pull through. Even new girls like Ruey, who have never met Naomi, are suitably impressed enough to pray earnestly.
The next morning, one of the nurses from the San comes to the chapel service at the school and tells Josette that Naomi is slightly better, but not yet out of danger. Jo brings a further positive update at Mittagessen, and Ruey asks the triplets why exactly everyone cares so much. The triplets take her out for a walk to explain and meet Mary-Lou en route. Mary-Lou tells Ruey that at the CS, the ethos is to help people and understand them as far as possible, with Naomi being a prime example.
News of Naomi continues to be good, but the oldest girls know enough about it to be aware that she may slip back again at any moment. To take their mind off it, Miss Annersley summons several staff, prefects and St Mildred’s girls to coffee and cakes, and proposes a practice lacrosse match with teams made up of a mixture of Millie’s and the best players from the main school. She also tells Josette that she will not be going to St Mildred’s, but refuses to elaborate and tells her to ask Madge, much to Josette’s astonishment.
The practice match, attended by both schools and staffs, as well as various outside families and San staff, is held and ends in a one-all draw. It is followed up with a celebratory Kaffee und Kuchen for the school, and over at Freudesheim for the other guests.
Half-term arrives and the Maynards, Ruey, the two Heads, Mlle de Lachenais and Rosalie head to England for Peggy’s wedding. En route they bump into Evadne, now Evadne Watson, who invites them back to her Paris home and shyly confides in Joey that she is expecting a baby in April.
The parts for the Christmas play are given out, and Francie dislikes hers, wishing instead that she had got Ruey’s smaller but important part. Later, Vb and Inter V go out for a walk, and Margot declines Francie’s request to be her partner in favour of Ruey, which does not improve Francie’s temper.
On the walk, Francie spots Con, Margot and Ruey together in deep discussion, and tries to join on with them. She demands to know what they were talking about, but as it involved Professor Richardon’s lack of communication recently, the girls decline to tell her. The situation quickly becomes a blazing row between the four girls, and Francie lets out that she wants to be friends with Margot. Margot is scornful, but before the argument goes any further the girls are forced to jump out of the way of a San ambulance which rounds the corner and nearly runs them over. Con and Margot fall into a thorn bush and are badly scratched, while Ruey pulls Francie out of the way, and they fall into a water-filled ditch and are soaked from head to foot. Dr Graves, who was in the ambulance with a patient, escorts the four of them back to the school.
The next day, Margot writes to Emmy, telling her the story, then goes along to the library to pick a book. She is dismayed to find Francie there doing the same thing, and they awkwardly each grab the first book they see and go to enter it in the register at the same time, leading to a deadlock which is only broken when Clare Kennedy arrives.
Back at the common room, Ruey notices how unhappy Francie looks, and tries to apologise for pulling her into the ditch, but Francie rebuffs her. Ruey gives up and joins Len, who also notices how unhappy Francie is, and sees her looking at Margot. Mindful of the events of Theodora and not wanting to be a busybody, however, she doesn’t know what to do.
Miss Ferrars holds a rehearsal for the Christmas play, but Margot and Francie are so poor due to their own affairs that she scolds them all sharply and ends the rehearsal. She confides in Miss Wilmot that she believes there is some private feud going on in Vb, but doesn’t know what it is.
Ruey receives a letter from Roger with the news that he has heard from their father, who has confirmed he is going into space early the following month. Ruey, knowing very well that in all likelihood he will never return, hides in the summerhouse to digest the news properly. The triplets follow her there and she tells them the news, and Margot at once fetches Jo, who comforts Ruey and helps her to put a brave face on.
The staff host an Evening for the Seniors, beginning with breaking the news about the change of uniform, and showing them examples of the new one. They then provide every girl with rolls of crepe paper and an instruction to make a fancy dress from it, then provide Abendessen, and afterwards, quiet games. During a round of Subject and Object, Ruey and Francie find themselves paired up, and after a few moments of awkwardness, they suddenly begin to laugh. Ruey asks why Francie took such a dislike to her, and Francie explains that she felt she had taken over as Margot’s best friend. Ruey reassures her that she isn’t Margot’s special friend, and asks her to partner her for the walk the next day so that they can talk things over properly.
The next day, Ruey and Francie have their talk, and Ruey helps Francie to realise that Margot will probably never have another friend as close as Emerence for the rest of her schooldays. When she hears how both Francie’s parents are dead and she lives with her stepmother and her stepmother’s second husband, she realises that bad as her father is, at least she has her brothers, while Francie has no blood relatives left. The talk starts both girls off on a warm friendship and Francie lets go of her obsession with Margot.
The Christmas Play is held, followed by Spot Supper, and then the school breaks up. When Ruey and the triplets reach Freudesheim, Jo takes Ruey aside and quietly tells her that her father departed for the moon that morning, and that’s all they know. Ruey is glad of her comfort, but assures her that she doesn’t want to spoil Christmas for the small children and intends to be brave.

So, thoughts on Ruey? What do you think of Ruey herself, and the storyline with Francie and Margot? What about the reintroduction of lacrosse? Thoughts on the change of uniform? What about Professor Richardson’s departure for the moon?

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 Post subject: Re: Books: Ruey Richardson - Chaletian
PostPosted: 05 Dec 2017, 02:13 
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I just have to roll my eyes with the whole spaceflight/astronomy part. It's not an EBD thing though - fictional treatment of this sort of thing is frequently done really terribly, and it's a subject I have a fair amount of expertise in. In reality, an attempt at home-made space flight would have resulted in Professor Richardson and his friend incinerated on attempted launch, or crashing into the ocean about 1 minute after attempted launch.

I like Ruey. She's a nice girl who has been through a lot and coped surprisingly well, and she's got a lot of courage and adaptability.

I do like the Francie storyline. She's never the central character of a book, but we see her being a snotty teenager for a number of books, with glimpses of how unhappy she is underneath, and her maturation is relatively gradual. Of course her step-parents are another case of "Let's exile our unhappy daughter to boarding school in another country - that will solve our problems!"

The lacrosse just bores me to tears, but that's true of pretty much all sports sections in all fiction, even on first read.

The one part that is really jarring is Miss Annersley's behaviour to Josette, which is just plain gratuitously mean. As far as Josette knows, she's going to St Mildred's for a year and then to university. Miss Annersley taunts her with the fact that she won't be going, but refuses to say why. Why on earth couldn't she keep her mouth shut until Madge had discussed things with Josette and Sybil?! And why didn't Madge talk to her daughters about this before telling other people and making school arrangements?

The new uniform is a bit odd - it's only a few years since everyone bought a completely brand-new kit for the Swiss branch, and having to do so again would be a real pain for parents, particularly if they were counting on recycling uniforms for younger siblings. And the logic seems a bit off. If they want to teach the girls good dress sense, let them wear their own dresses in the evenings (which they seem to do anyways). School tunics are hideously unfashionable, but in a consistent way that wouldn't date quickly. The dress design may have been the latest in middle-class daintiness right then, but a few years later they wouldn't be, and it would stand out more than tunics would.

One thing I do appreciate about this book, though, is that it's the last pre-Jack Lambert story. :D

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 Post subject: Re: Books: Ruey Richardson - Chaletian
PostPosted: 05 Dec 2017, 03:00 
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I haven't read this book for a while but thought it OKish in the days when I did read it more frequently.

Yes, last pre-Jack Lambert and first post Mary-Lou. I wonder if EBD was nervous of the reaction to the first book without ML? I suppose the lacrosse although boring was a good way to bring St Mildred's in and was Hilary's accident a way to bring in Vi whom EBD really seems to have liked?

Frankie was a bit of a poor soul in this book but better that she ended up on an equal basis rather than hanging onto Margot's coat tails. Ruey had enough problems though and could have done without this. There is also no denying that she benefited from the mothering of Joey who was so kind to her.

I liked the wedding and that the Richardson boys were included.

I thought it was interesting the influence Madge must still have had in the running of the school, the fact it was she and she alone who decided there should be a new uniform and that she chose all the possibles with no help from anyone else.

Really , not much to say although others, like Jennifer, will have lots of points.


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 Post subject: Re: Books: Ruey Richardson - Chaletian
PostPosted: 05 Dec 2017, 03:43 
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jennifer wrote:
The new uniform is a bit odd - it's only a few years since everyone bought a completely brand-new kit for the Swiss branch, and having to do so again would be a real pain for parents, particularly if they were counting on recycling uniforms for younger siblings.


There is some leeway though. The girls are told to wear out their old uniform first and only get the new uniform when and as required.

But if you have plenty of older sisters or cousins to give you hand me downs, you'll never get to the new uniform. Like the Marlows in Kingscote who thought it a joke that they would be the only ones wearing navy till sixth form.

I like Ruey in this book and the fact that she has the compassion to understand and feel sorry for Francie's home situation. Technically, Francie has no blood relatives left while and she at least has two brothers.

However, EBD doesn't really seem to know what language to use when describing Francie's obvious crush on Margot. And it is a crush no matter what else she says about the girls not having GPs.

But again, I like the way she has Ruey explaining to Francie that there's no point in hankering to be Margot's BFF and to just accept whatever level of friendship Margot is willing to provide.

It's like being kindly and gently told by a friend that the guy you like still has a thing for his ex, so you really need to stop stalking him :D

Aquabird wrote:
During a round of Subject and Object, Ruey and Francie find themselves paired up, and after a few moments of awkwardness, they suddenly begin to laugh.


Can someone please explain how this game is played? Is it like charades and you act it out?

Or do you provide clues? So if the answer is the "Queen's handbag" the clue would be "this object is constantly held onto by the subject".

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 Post subject: Re: Books: Ruey Richardson - Chaletian
PostPosted: 05 Dec 2017, 07:38 
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Joyce wrote:
Aquabird wrote:
During a round of Subject and Object, Ruey and Francie find themselves paired up, and after a few moments of awkwardness, they suddenly begin to laugh.


Can someone please explain how this game is played? Is it like charades and you act it out?

Or do you provide clues? So if the answer is the "Queen's handbag" the clue would be "this object is constantly held onto by the subject".


As described in the books, the players ask questions which are answered with "yes" or "no" only - like playing "Animal, Vegetable and Mineral".


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 Post subject: Re: Books: Ruey Richardson - Chaletian
PostPosted: 05 Dec 2017, 08:27 
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This isn't one of my favourites. The lacrosse goes on and on, and the spaceship storyline is just silly, but what really gets me is the way EBD has Madge and Jem behaving in a way I'm sure they never would. I get the impression that EBD wanted the Russells out of the picture so that the Maynards could dominate even more than they already did, but why make out that Madge and Jem had made all the decisions without even discussing them with Sybil and Josette? Madge discussed big things with Joey when she was only 12. I just don't get it. If she really wanted to lose Josette, why not say that it had all been discussed and that Josette was wildly excited about the idea of going to Australia? It really does upset me!!

It's lovely to see Evvy so happy, though. And I like Peggy's wedding - it's just a nice, normal family occasion, with all the bridesmaids, and older relatives doing that cringe-making "Which of you's going to be next?" thing to Rix, David, Bride and Sybil.

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 Post subject: Re: Books: Ruey Richardson - Chaletian
PostPosted: 05 Dec 2017, 10:13 
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The reason given for lacrosse being dropped is daft anyway. ML can only have started playing the term she had her accident. She can't possibly have been such a key player that it all fell apart without her.


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 Post subject: Re: Books: Ruey Richardson - Chaletian
PostPosted: 05 Dec 2017, 11:53 
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Joyce wrote:
jennifer wrote:
The new uniform is a bit odd - it's only a few years since everyone bought a completely brand-new kit for the Swiss branch, and having to do so again would be a real pain for parents, particularly if they were counting on recycling uniforms for younger siblings.


There is some leeway though. The girls are told to wear out their old uniform first and only get the new uniform when and as required.


They say that and thats what they said when they changed our uniform in school. I think all of us who only had one year left said we'd stick with the old uniform - but when it came to it, noone wanted to be the one in the old uniform, and I don't think anyone did, maybe for the first day or so only

I'd be annoyed as a parent if they did it twice so quickly - what is it, 2 and a bit years?


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 Post subject: Re: Books: Ruey Richardson - Chaletian
PostPosted: 05 Dec 2017, 14:48 
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jennifer wrote:
The new uniform is a bit odd - it's only a few years since everyone bought a completely brand-new kit for the Swiss branch, and having to do so again would be a real pain for parents, particularly if they were counting on recycling uniforms for younger siblings.


This book was the one that finally completed my chalet collection, so I coveted it for years before I finally found an armada copy in a secondhand shop. I found the uniform change very strange, so soon after changing the uniform to go to Switzerland too, until I bought the GGBP reprint of the original, which had an article about the history of uniforms in girls schools. This suggested that there was a cultural move away from gym tunics. It's possible EBD had to change the uniform or the chalet school would have seemed antiquated to the readers of the time.


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 Post subject: Re: Books: Ruey Richardson - Chaletian
PostPosted: 05 Dec 2017, 15:27 
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In 1962, my school changed from tunics to skirts and other girls' schools did the same. A dress seems like a backward step. Also not very practical, blouses can be changed and washed more easily than a dress.


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 Post subject: Re: Books: Ruey Richardson - Chaletian
PostPosted: 05 Dec 2017, 15:52 
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I don't think the chalet tunics were the old-style bunchy pleated affairs by that stage anyway. They are gentian blue and described as 'well-cut' - of course. In the hardback there is quite a long description of all the different styles on offer. The prize for the fancy-dress was a new uniform dress! Much more than the usual trinkets, blotters etc.


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 Post subject: Re: Books: Ruey Richardson - Chaletian
PostPosted: 05 Dec 2017, 18:05 
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Mel wrote:
The prize for the fancy-dress was a new uniform dress! Much more than the usual trinkets, blotters etc.


And the expense point is reinforced when Connie Winter, who is at the school on the Thérèse Lepâttre scholarship, is delighted to be one of the winners, as she knows it will save her people having to fork out money they can't afford for a new dress, especially if she can look after it enough to hand it down to her younger sister afterwards.

And we get another brilliant contradiction on one's appearance here, with Ruey getting the same spiel Peggy gave Edna about other people having to put up with looking at one's hideous visage if one doesn't have gleaming hair and perfectly-kept nails and a complexion of roses and lilies. Then several chapters later, we're treated to the moral tale of Felicity King sending away to a cosmetics company for skin cream, only to receive a lecture on vanity and how she should be grateful for the looks God gave her! :roll:

The lacrosse stuff bored me stiff, but I did like the Ruey-Francie conflict, it struck me as quite a realistic scenario; Francie all pleased at having the chance to pal up with the girl she's admired for ages, only for the said girl to take no notice of her and go about with someone else instead. And I like how instead of it ending happily ever after with Margot suddenly realising she wants Francie's friendship after all, Francie comes to the realisation that it isn't going to happen, and pals up with Ruey instead and gets something better out of it. I find the idea of her and Ruey becoming friends after an initial conflict much more likely than the Margot and Ted or Jack and Jane scenarios which involved outright bullying.

Overall, not a bad book, and as others have noted, the last one without the odious Jack Lambert.

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 Post subject: Re: Books: Ruey Richardson - Chaletian
PostPosted: 06 Dec 2017, 00:59 
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Victoria wrote:
Joyce wrote:
Aquabird wrote:
During a round of Subject and Object, Ruey and Francie find themselves paired up, and after a few moments of awkwardness, they suddenly begin to laugh.


Can someone please explain how this game is played? Is it like charades and you act it out?

Or do you provide clues? So if the answer is the "Queen's handbag" the clue would be "this object is constantly held onto by the subject".


As described in the books, the players ask questions which are answered with "yes" or "no" only - like playing "Animal, Vegetable and Mineral".


But do they drop clues? And is there a limit to the number of questions asked?

Aquabird wrote:
And we get another brilliant contradiction on one's appearance here, with Ruey getting the same spiel Peggy gave Edna about other people having to put up with looking at one's hideous visage if one doesn't have gleaming hair and perfectly-kept nails and a complexion of roses and lilies. Then several chapters later, we're treated to the moral tale of Felicity King sending away to a cosmetics company for skin cream, only to receive a lecture on vanity and how she should be grateful for the looks God gave her! :roll:


Maybe because Felicity's actions are prompted by her vanity over her good looks? Whereas Edna is on the other end of the spectrum and doesn't care enough about how she looks. So you have to keep yourself well groomed enough so people aren't physically ill when they see you, but don't become vain about it.

claire wrote:
They say that and thats what they said when they changed our uniform in school. I think all of us who only had one year left said we'd stick with the old uniform - but when it came to it, noone wanted to be the one in the old uniform.


Yeah, of course. Noone wants to be the one left out. Not to mention it looks strange when they are out in public to have some girls wearing different uniforms. The CS at least kept the same colour scheme. Kingscote would have had some girls in navy and some in scarlet.

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 Post subject: Re: Books: Ruey Richardson - Chaletian
PostPosted: 06 Dec 2017, 14:02 
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For Subject and Object I have played similar where you are allowed to ask questions, no clues, unlimited 'yes' answers but only 20 'no' answers.


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 Post subject: Re: Books: Ruey Richardson - Chaletian
PostPosted: 06 Dec 2017, 16:36 
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Joyce wrote:
Aquabird wrote:
And we get another brilliant contradiction on one's appearance here, with Ruey getting the same spiel Peggy gave Edna about other people having to put up with looking at one's hideous visage if one doesn't have gleaming hair and perfectly-kept nails and a complexion of roses and lilies. Then several chapters later, we're treated to the moral tale of Felicity King sending away to a cosmetics company for skin cream, only to receive a lecture on vanity and how she should be grateful for the looks God gave her! :roll:


Maybe because Felicity's actions are prompted by her vanity over her good looks? Whereas Edna is on the other end of the spectrum and doesn't care enough about how she looks. So you have to keep yourself well groomed enough so people aren't physically ill when they see you, but don't become vain about it.


Perhaps the standard is to make the best of your beauty and not use anything artificial to enhance it? So keeping your face clean to bring out its natural glow is OK, but not skin creams that would make you look better than that. School authorities might have worried skin creams/makeup/etc. would take up too much time in the morning, too.

Makes me wonder about leg-shaving. Were the girls allowed, or maybe just the seniors? When would they have time?

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 Post subject: Re: Books: Ruey Richardson - Chaletian
PostPosted: 06 Dec 2017, 17:03 
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We weren't really supposed to wear make up for school, mainly because (although this was the late '80s/early '90s, when people did tend to wear way too much make up anyway!) teenage girls do tend to go a bit OTT and the school didn't want us all rolling up with bright red nail varnish and bright purple eyeshadow. And, yes, it would have taken time in the morning, and the CS girls always seem to be in a mad rush anyway.

There's a lot of confusion over this! There's the puritanical idea that vanity is a sin, and that paying any sort of attention to enhancing your looks classes as vanity - like in one of the Little House books when Laura Ingalls is horrified with herself for thinking that her new hairstyle looks nice. Then there's the idea that you should look immaculate as a kind of extension of the idea that cleanliness is next to godliness, because looking untidy is a sign of sloth and slovenliness and other sins :lol:. It's all a bit hypocritical. And it's all very well for people like Peggy and Len, who are naturally beautiful and seem to be two of those people who always look neat and tidy!

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 Post subject: Re: Books: Ruey Richardson - Chaletian
PostPosted: 06 Dec 2017, 18:42 
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Yes, it's the hypocrisy of it that I don't like. Felicity is supposed to be happy with her natural God-given looks, but Edna (who is clean and tidy to the point of primness) is apparently being selfish by inflicting her God-given shiny nose and pale lips on everyone. As for the expectations upon someone like poor Ted Grantley:

Quote:
Has anyone done anything about her appearance yet? No girl would be expected to give her mind to lessons who is allowed to go about looking like a little freak! If she were mine, I’d have that awful mop of hair cropped and I’d do something about her complexion, too!”
“Good gracious, Joey! It isn’t like you to make a fuss over looks.”
“If that idiot mother of Ted’s had only set her mind to it, I’m sure she could have done something about it. I know the poor kid has the oddest set of features—that tiny nose and huge mouth and those heavy eyebrows! Really, between them and her hair the only times I’ve ever seen her, I thought she looked a most hairy specimen altogether and it can’t be necessary!”
Rosalie laughed. “Hilda has done something about her hair, anyhow. She’s made her take it all back from her face and wear a snood round it and it certainly has made an improvement. She’s to go to Herr Drucker at the first opportunity and have it thinned out. I don’t know what you can do about her eyebrows. I suppose you don’t advise us to have them plucked—at her age?”
“Don’t suppose she’ll need it now. Good for Hilda!”


Yet if Ted had turned up at the CS with a jar of face cream and a pair of tweezers in her night case, Matey would have confiscated them on the spot and accused her of vanity and trying to be far too old for her age.

I dread to think what would have been said about my appearance if I'd rolled up to the CS, I had the works when I was a teenager: oily hair, acne, thick specs, crooked teeth, Groucho Marx eyebrows and, later, psoriasis. Funny how we never hear about the CS girls struggling with things like acne, they've all got peaches-and-cream or roses-and-lilies complexions right through their teens. /envy

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 Post subject: Re: Books: Ruey Richardson - Chaletian
PostPosted: 06 Dec 2017, 19:31 
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Yes even bubble bath is considered too frivolous (Peggy Burnett/Jack) but Jo splashes out the bath salts in Highland Twins.


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 Post subject: Re: Books: Ruey Richardson - Chaletian
PostPosted: 06 Dec 2017, 20:21 
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We didn't shave our legs in the late '50s, we used the appallingly smelly Veet cream....

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 Post subject: Re: Books: Ruey Richardson - Chaletian
PostPosted: 06 Dec 2017, 21:20 
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I remember Veet - it was disgusting.


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