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 Post subject: Re: Richenda - the one where the bigger story stops?
PostPosted: 15 Jun 2019, 21:11 
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I don't doubt that Len was a favourite character of EMBD's anyway - it's always telling when you give one of your characters the pet name by which you are known yourself, after all - but wasn't some of the emphasis on Len because the readers were supposed to have expressed an opinion in that direction?


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 Post subject: Re: Richenda - the one where the bigger story stops?
PostPosted: 15 Jun 2019, 21:29 
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Noreen wrote:
I don't doubt that Len was a favourite character of EMBD's anyway - it's always telling when you give one of your characters the pet name by which you are known yourself, after all - but wasn't some of the emphasis on Len because the readers were supposed to have expressed an opinion in that direction?


We are TOLD that's the opinion of the readers. Whether it was or not, we don't know.

(In other fields, it often seems that we are told people want things that just happen to fit in with the preference of the person doing the telling! Remember the DWP ads in which claimants were saying how helpful they had found it being sanctioned? Turned out the quotes were made up by the DWP.)


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 Post subject: Re: Richenda - the one where the bigger story stops?
PostPosted: 15 Jun 2019, 22:01 
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Another feature of the later books is the Maynards acquiring extra children. I'm never quite sure what the point of it was. First it's the three Richardsons, with a storyline that's literally off the planet :lol:. Ruey's in the same social group as the triplets, so it's not as if having her there opens any new avenues, and the boys barely feature later on. Then I assume they took on responsibility for Adrienne, but she never appears much after one book. Then there's the bizarre story of Joey being appointed Erica's guardian, on the basis of a holiday friendship with Erica's mum 20 years earlier. It makes no sense at all! And then there's Marie-Claire, whom she just picks up in a rail accident, as you do, and then seems to forget about.

It's just really weird! Why not bring in the daughters of some of the Old Girls or old mistresses, or some of Joey's long-lost cousins, and just say that Joey had been asked to keep an eye on them, if Joey had to be involved?

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 Post subject: Re: Richenda - the one where the bigger story stops?
PostPosted: 16 Jun 2019, 08:22 
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Agreed. But then it's so much easier to introduce new, random people - you don't have to get all the background details correct. Even leaving out the mega-complicated Durrant/ Carthew/ Redmond storyline or Mollie Maynard's multiple husbands, there are more than a few EBD-isms when old girls or mistresses are re-introduced or mentioned. Juliet, for example, has (as well as her son Donal) a younger child, Meg, who is mentioned in Highland Twins as having been born, but seems never to have existed by the next book: yes the child may have died, but I think Elinor was too Victorian not to mention it if so. Let's face it, she wasn't very methodical, and she loved telling stories and inventing back-stories to explain new characters - and perhaps even more revealingly, she does seem to have had sudden enthusiastic friendships which sometimes petered out in the face of a new and different friend or group of friends - maybe it was the same with the characters?


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 Post subject: Re: Richenda - the one where the bigger story stops?
PostPosted: 17 Jun 2019, 23:55 
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Noreen wrote:
I don't doubt that Len was a favourite character of EMBD's anyway - it's always telling when you give one of your characters the pet name by which you are known yourself, after all - but wasn't some of the emphasis on Len because the readers were supposed to have expressed an opinion in that direction?


I am another who has doubts about this. I never had the impression that Len was loved by readers. EBD certainly loved her though. Maybe the reason she didn't try to also keep Mary Lou near at hand.

I did think from the newsletters that EBD was very apprehensive about life after ML!

Regarding all the new characters, as others have said it was easier to keep introducing new people than keeping the same characters and developing them.

The Richardsons worked well because they merged into the Maynard household and EBD had an escape route in that they could visit the Rosomons and their relatives in the UK.

I don't understand why EBD had to bring in Erica and Claire instead of concentrating on Adrienne and her friends. We never hear of Adrienne at Freudesheim in later books. I always think of Adrienne at the Bettanys or even as a holiday guest for Simone's daughter, Therese, as they were all French.

Erica's entrance is bizarre and EBD then frequently forgets about Claire. I hope the Maynard adoption of her never went through and that her grandparents turned good and she ended up with them.

It was also inappropriate for Jo to be in England at the beginning of the book when her boys were home on holiday and Phil still recovering from her first illness. By the end of the book Phil surely should have had polio but Joey is still running after Erica.

EBD probably wrote as she lived her life though - getting involved in close friendships which did not last and passing on to the next thing.


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 Post subject: Re: Richenda - the one where the bigger story stops?
PostPosted: 22 Jun 2019, 16:15 
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I can see OOAO being popular with readers, but not Len, to be honest. If anything, I thought Margot would be the most popular triplet. But then Con is my fave, so I'm biased.


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 Post subject: Re: Richenda - the one where the bigger story stops?
PostPosted: 23 Jun 2019, 00:47 
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I think ML was popular and it's obvious from EBD'S newsletters at the time she was scared what was going to happen after ML left. That is when she spoke about writing another book based on the finishing school.

When I used to read the books 'long ago'when there were no forums etc or even internet, I never thought about actually liking the characters. They were just 'there'.

I knew I should have a favourite triplet but didn't really. I didn't like Margot , was not keen on Len and to be honest was not mad about Con either.

It was only years later when I joined my first forum that I started trying to work out who I did like.


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 Post subject: Re: Richenda - the one where the bigger story stops?
PostPosted: 27 Jun 2019, 03:39 
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Alison H wrote:
Another feature of the later books is the Maynards acquiring extra children. I'm never quite sure what the point of it was.


Organ donation at the San?


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 Post subject: Re: Richenda - the one where the bigger story stops?
PostPosted: 27 Jun 2019, 19:38 
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Housemate wrote:
Alison H wrote:
Another feature of the later books is the Maynards acquiring extra children. I'm never quite sure what the point of it was.


Organ donation at the San?

A Chalet School/Never Let Me Go crossover? :twisted:


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 Post subject: Re: Richenda - the one where the bigger story stops?
PostPosted: 28 Jun 2019, 22:06 
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Claire just gets forgotten, and we never see Roger and Roddy! Even Erica doesn't serve any purpose that any other new girl couldn't have done.

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