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 Post subject: Re: Books: A Leader in the Chalet School
PostPosted: 14 Dec 2017, 18:33 
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Mel wrote:
I also don't know why Anne Lambert has to be depicted as such a drippy girly type. She was probably a nice hard-working well-behaved girl - not unlike Len or Ros.

Because if Anne was a stronger character, Jack wouldn't need to keep running to Len. Seems to be a thing that girls called Ann(e) in fiction are drippy, girly types, whereas girls called Susan always seem to be the sensible ones. Anne Shirley excepted, of course.

But I agree that Len isn't that strong a character, either, and doesn't cope well with Jack. And, as I recall, doesn't think to ask for advice, either. She could have consulted Joey, or Mary Lou, or one of her older cousins. Or Tom Gay, who we know she writes to. That's an encounter I'd like to have seen - Tom giving Jack her opinion of her ungentlemanly behaviour.

I don't know if EBD intended 'boyish' Jack to be the new Tom, but they are worlds apart, in my opinion.

I agree that this is the point when the decline in EBD's abilities begins to become apparent. In all the previous friendship groups, while there might have been a recognised leader, all the various group members had their distinct personalities. Jack's Gang remain an undifferentiated mass.

One thing EBD does (surprisingly) get right, though; while the Russell girls' ages are EBD'ed all over the place, Jack, by my calculations, is the age she should be, given that Ruth was expecting her in Gay. Jack and Ailie should be exactly the same age.


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 Post subject: Re: Books: A Leader in the Chalet School
PostPosted: 19 Dec 2017, 01:10 
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JayB wrote:
I agree that this is the point when the decline in EBD's abilities begins to become apparent. In all the previous friendship groups, while there might have been a recognised leader, all the various group members had their distinct personalities. Jack's Gang remain an undifferentiated mass.


Yes, and I think that that's the difference.

In the other gangs and friendship groups, we see more than one voice being heard. Some members of the gang even stand up to ML occasionally. The reason I like the Tom, Bride gang is precisely because we hear from Bride, Tom, Julie, Nancy equally.

Jack is a strong personality but she leads her gang in the wrong direction. Can anyone imagine ML or Vi or Joey leaving Jane standing by the doorway embarrassed and humiliated? Can anyone see Bride or Tom bullying her or telling the other girls not to talk to her?

Only Gillie really stands up to Jack and she's not there long enough to have a real impact.

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 Post subject: Re: Books: A Leader in the Chalet School
PostPosted: 19 Dec 2017, 16:25 
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Before this thread disappears (and so many thanks to Aquabird, I am so enjoying these discussions), I want to add my utter dislike of Jack Lambert. I cannot believe she is lovely Ruth's daughter. I think EBD meant her to be the Leader of the title, and a sort of modified Tom figure, but failed dismally. I would have hated Jack if I'd been at school with her, or rather, I would have been scared of her and her influence.


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 Post subject: Re: Books: A Leader in the Chalet School
PostPosted: 20 Dec 2017, 13:18 
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LucyP wrote:
Before this thread disappears (and so many thanks to Aquabird, I am so enjoying these discussions), I want to add my utter dislike of Jack Lambert.


Agreed on both counts :)

I am thoroughly enjoying revisiting each book in turn, particularly those I read as a child.
I didn't read any of the other Jack books until I was an adult, so assumed Jack was just your average pestilent Middle, who would embroil herself in various Cornelia-esque scrapes before redeeming herself as a prefect a few books later.
I was horrified to discover she turns into a bully, and agree, she is absolutely the sort of girl I would have been frightened of as a teen.


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 Post subject: Re: Books: A Leader in the Chalet School
PostPosted: 21 Dec 2017, 09:38 
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This was one of the first Swiss books that I ever read and therefore I still retain quite a soft spot for it. Armada published the books completely out of order and my school only had the Tyrol books. It was my first meeting of the triplets and so developed a soft spot for Margot who was described as not as close as the other two and a bit of a loner. Given I was one of three sisters and not as close as the other two and a bit of a loner, I definitely felt an affinity with Margot. There was no mention of her behavior etc in the book at all, so had no idea of what she was really like. It was only after I read so many more Swiss books that I realised Con is probably more of a loner than Margot and it was her I probably had more of an affinity for. Despite it, I've never completely lost my soft spot for Margot.

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