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 Post subject: Re: The six headmistresses
PostPosted: 12 Oct 2018, 17:08 
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Having Miss Ferrars as Form Mistress
Having Miss Ferrars as Form Mistress
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I think Madge was the most charismatic Headmistress, and Miss Annersley the most efficient and professional one. Therese Lepattre was pretty useless really and dragged the middle section of the Tyrol books down a bit.
Miss Bubb would probably have been considered a good headmistress in a more traditional English boarding school.


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 Post subject: Re: The six headmistresses
PostPosted: 15 Oct 2018, 23:06 
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Swept off by Matey to pack
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By the end of the series the school should have had a deputy head, more secretarial/admin staff and probably lots more other staff.

I also think Claire Kennedy could have been about to be appointed Asst Secretary. I don't remember anything definite being mentioned apart from the fact that Claire could have been working/training in that area already. Maybe EBD could have had a new Biddy O'Ryan.

I don't understand why Rosalie/Gill Culver could not have worked as more of a team. Rosalie must have had about 10 times more pupils to deal with than Gill.

As for the headmistresses, Madge was the right person at that time. Most of the first parents did not want academic daughters but nice, well-brought up girls exactly like Miss Bettany. I wonder what effect the charming Madge had on the fathers? Was this the reason the school grew so quickly?

Mlle was almost a deputy head with Madge still in the driving seat and because of this I never saw her as being a bad Head. Now that I am older I absolutely loathe reading quite a lot of Jo Returns because of her illness.

I liked the way Hilda was so reluctant to take on the job because of the opinions of her colleagues. I was re-reading recently some of the books featuring Hilda in her earlier years as headteacher and, although I forget the exact details now, it seemed to me she definitely grew into the role. Of course, eventually, she was like Mary Poppins - practically perfect.

Nell developed slightly less slowly than Hilda but the war and its lead-up seemed to mature her. In a different way, she might have been just as good as Hilda. A finishing school was the last place I would have expected her to end up. A shame she did not remain Hilda's confidante but this role was given to Joey to keep her even more involved in the series.

Jo was the sister of the founder but she does not seem to have had any official role in the school so EBD should have by-passed her on quite a lot of occasions and had pupils/parents dealing directly with Hilda.

Miss Bubb might have seemed dreadful at that time but nowadays lots of people in temporary jobs would change as much as they could, and hope they would become indispensable.

Nancy? I don't rate her. Unlike Len I was flabbergasted when I read the book and saw she was the choice. A few years down the line, definitely Kathy but would Nancy still be there blocking the way? Maybe it would be best if Kathy did leave and then came back as Head with experience of other schools.


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 Post subject: Re: The six headmistresses
PostPosted: 16 Oct 2018, 07:40 
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Rescuing a Junior from the lake
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I agree that Mlle's illness is upsetting. I think she had to go, because she wasn't a strong enough character to be Head, but couldn't she have been given a nice exit storyline? Marriage to Mr Flower and living a life of luxury :D ? Some cousin/old friend inheriting a nice little house and inviting her to live there as their companion?

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 Post subject: Re: The six headmistresses
PostPosted: 16 Oct 2018, 12:48 
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...and Results
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From what we've seen of their characters, I really can't see Mlle marrying Mr Flower. As an older, plainer spinster, with no income apart from the school, I really don't think we are meant to see her as a candidate for marriage.

As for being invited to live with someone else as thair companion - could we even contemplate one of the founders of the Chalet School choosing to leave it? It would be worse than Pam Slater! Marriage is the only acceptable reason for choosing to leave, and then only if she would stay involved in the school.

Having said that, I don't think she would have been killed off so soon if it hadn't been for the war. I can see her being around the Sonnalpe as a semi-invalid, but able to talk to and advise the girls, and provide a level of personal support. A bit like the role that Jo assumes later on, but not so flamboyant.

While we don't know exactly what was wrong with her (though it sould be some kind of heart problem, posssibly in combination with diabetes), it is reasonable that the stresses of the journey from Tyrol, maybe with some interuption to her regular treatment would cause her condition to worsen, and difficult conditions in France during the war would be enough to cause her death. EBD didn't have a place for a sick Mlle when she was trying to revive the CS in Geurnsey, but she did at least pick a realistic way to write her out of the series.

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 Post subject: Re: The six headmistresses
PostPosted: 16 Oct 2018, 14:28 
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Learning to stand on your own two feet
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I think Mlle could have retired and lived with the Russells/Maynards - everyone else seems to - or even the Lecoutiers. EBD is too keen to kill off characters for plot purposes (ie ML's family) but Mlle could have become a cherished granny figure.


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 Post subject: Re: The six headmistresses
PostPosted: 16 Oct 2018, 15:25 
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Rescuing a Junior from the lake
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That's a nice idea :D . Maybe they could have said she was going to be a governess for the zillions of Die Rosen nursery kids until they were old enough for school.

Does anyone enjoy a happy retirement in CS-land :lol: ? Herr Laubach retires, but he's killed off five minutes later (despite being in perfect health when he leaves his job) just to make Miriam Ashley look like a cow!

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 Post subject: Re: The six headmistresses
PostPosted: 17 Oct 2018, 01:44 
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Dashing off for your part in the play
Dashing off for your part in the play

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In Challenge it says that she was 53 when she died, so she would have been just over 50 when she first fell ill. So younger than Miss Annersley at the end of the series. Not really retiring age, but I could see her as a grandmother figure at Die Rosen.

EBD does clear out a bunch of the extraneous adults in New CS and Exile. Captain Humphries falls off a mountain, Mlle Lepattre is ill, then invalid and then dies, Margot Venables fades away and dies, Juliet marries and leaves. The Die Rosen crowd is left with just Jem and Madge and the kids, and Joey and Jack nearby.

It's clear that being at the CS is only topped by marriage (preferably to a nice doctor). So it would be hard for EBD to show Mlle Lepattre voluntarily stepping down from being Head for anything other than bad health. Even in real life a lot of people would have trouble stepping down from being Head to a lower level position, particularly in something as public as this position. I think most people, on realizing that they just weren't good at and didn't enjoy management would probably look for a new job somewhere else rather than ask for a demotion.

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 Post subject: Re: The six headmistresses
PostPosted: 17 Oct 2018, 06:43 
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Rescuing a Junior from the lake
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Miss Browne receives an inheritance, abandons her school without even hanging around to say goodbye to the pupils and staff, and is never heard of again :lol: .

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 Post subject: Re: The six headmistresses
PostPosted: 17 Oct 2018, 08:06 
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Giving a Junior an order mark
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And sold the school to Madge for a knock-down price too, if I remember correctly...


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 Post subject: Re: The six headmistresses
PostPosted: 18 Oct 2018, 12:13 
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Joined: 21 May 2012, 14:59
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I had a headcanon that Mlle had cancer. We'll never know for sure.


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