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 Post subject: Re: The best/worst prefects across the series
PostPosted: 02 Jan 2021, 22:16 
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My collection so far mostly comprises the Tyrol books, with a handful of the War era, and then a smattering of the Swiss, so I find it difficult to keep up with who was HG after Goes To It. Having said that, I'm almost finished my first reading of Lintons (a long-coveted title), and Joey strikes me as a rather underwhelming Head Girl. She is excessively harsh dealing with misdemeanors (such as Joyce's note passing) but doesn't seem to bring much else to the role. In my opinion, a general rule of thumb is that if someone doesn't want to be HG, she shouldn't be. Grizel and Joey were both lacking and both objected strongly to filling the role. Marilyn Evans also seems to fall into this category. Although I've not yet read any book featuring her, Jennifer's quote seems to prove my point.

jennifer wrote:
Marilyn Evans is held up as the worst Head Girl, but we don't actually see in her in action. I have some sympathy for her - her sin is being ambitious and hard working and neglecting Head Girl duties for her studies. If she was pushed into the position against her will, that's an entirely reasonable response.


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 Post subject: Re: The best/worst prefects across the series
PostPosted: 02 Jan 2021, 22:57 
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Welcome, Cadastrah :D . Unfortunately, Marilyn doesn't feature in any of the books: she's only mentioned in hindsight. It's a shame, because her story's very interesting. But I quite agree - I know that the idea that being Head Girl is "character forming", but surely it'd be better to pick someone who's OK with the idea.

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 Post subject: Re: The best/worst prefects across the series
PostPosted: 03 Jan 2021, 02:59 
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The Head Girl list I have is (by year, the ones in brackets are mentioned but aren't shown directly in a book).

Gisela Marani
Juliet Carrick
(Bette Rincini)/Grizel Cochrane
Mary Burnett/Joey Bettany
Joey Bettany
Louise Redfield/mond
(Gillian Linton)
Hilary Burn
[school closed]
Maria Marani/Cornelia Flower
[unknown]
(Robin Humphries)
Mary Shand/Elizabeth Arnett
Jesanne Gellibrand/Beth Chester
(Peggy Burnett)
(Marilyn Evans)
Gillian Culver/Jacynth Hardy
Peggy Burnett
Loveday Perowne/Bride Bettany
Julie Lucy
Betsy Lucy
Elinor Pennell
Mary-Lou Trelawny
Josette Russell
Maeve Bettany
Rosamund Lilley/Len Maynard
Len Maynard

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 Post subject: Re: The best/worst prefects across the series
PostPosted: 03 Jan 2021, 12:30 
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jennifer wrote:
The Head Girl list I have is (by year, the ones in brackets are mentioned but aren't shown directly in a book).

Gisela Marani
Juliet Carrick
(Bette Rincini)/Grizel Cochrane
Mary Burnett/Joey Bettany
Joey Bettany
Louise Redfield/mond
(Gillian Linton)
Hilary Burn
[school closed]
Maria Marani/Cornelia Flower
[unknown]
(Robin Humphries)
Mary Shand/Elizabeth Arnett
Jesanne Gellibrand/Beth Chester
(Peggy Burnett)
(Marilyn Evans)
Gillian Culver/Jacynth Hardy
Peggy Burnett
Loveday Perowne/Bride Bettany
Julie Lucy
Betsy Lucy
Elinor Pennell
Mary-Lou Trelawny
Josette Russell
Maeve Bettany
Rosamund Lilley/Len Maynard
Len Maynard


I think you mena Peggy Bettany, not Peggy Burnett, the second time you list her...

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 Post subject: Re: The best/worst prefects across the series
PostPosted: 03 Jan 2021, 17:52 
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[quote="Cadastrah"and Joey strikes me as a rather underwhelming Head Girl. She is excessively harsh dealing with misdemeanors (such as Joyce's note passing) but doesn't seem to bring much else to the role [/quote]

Whilst I agree with this, the explanation that Madge gives to Joey as to why they are making her HG seems to me to show why it would have been difficult not to appoint her. Had Joey not been HG, there would have been every possibility that she would either have been the "power behind the throne" - HG in all but name and responsibility, or would have undermined the HG by going her own way and taking people with her by force of personality. Neither would have been good for the "prefect system" or the School as a whole.


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 Post subject: Re: The best/worst prefects across the series
PostPosted: 03 Jan 2021, 18:18 
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That would have been interesting. I always wish that Phil Craven had stayed on, to be Mary-Lou's nemesis! I suppose Eilunedd's the nearest we get to anyone undermining the Head Girl. Deira doesn't like Grizel and makes that quite clear, but she doesn't attract support from anyone else.

In Joey's case, the alternative option would have been one of her own close friends, which would have been a different scenario and possibly messed up the friendship. Frieda was far more sensible and responsible than Joey was, but she didn't have much charisma ... although I'm not sure that Loveday or Elinor did either. Marie had plenty of charisma, but probably not as much sense.

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 Post subject: Re: The best/worst prefects across the series
PostPosted: 03 Jan 2021, 22:41 
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Yes, in Frieda's case, I think she's better in a 'power behind the throne' role, as a lot of people are; Simone is perhaps too emotional at that stage in her life, and I agree about Marie - plenty of dash, but...

From observation of the Head Girls at my grammar school, they were often the bossiest person in the year, FWIW!


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 Post subject: Re: The best/worst prefects across the series
PostPosted: 04 Jan 2021, 02:43 
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Yeah, being Head Girl with Joey as a prefect would have been really stressful, between her strong personality and being Madge's sister. Joey would have had inside/advance information on things, and would have barged in and taken over when she felt like it, and then ducked when something distasteful or dull came up. And they'd have to have Joey's buy in before doing anything major, which would have taken fairly advanced diplomatic skills. Being Head Girl was probably good for Joey, at least in the short term*, and she did an okay job.

*in the long term, it fed into the Joey as the perfect schoolgirl myth that took over later, so it probably wasn't the best thing for adult/mother Joey.

I could see Marie as Head girl without the Joey complication. She's not academically strong, but she's steady, has a fair amount of charm, and lacks Joey's impulsiveness. She's also more adult in her outlook than some of the others. She's planning on taking up her adult role fairly soon after leaving school (marriage, managing the household, high level social duties), while Joey is fighting growing up, Frieda is going home and helping her mother, and Simone is headed to more years of school.

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 Post subject: Re: The best/worst prefects across the series
PostPosted: 04 Jan 2021, 14:50 
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I'm another who thinks Mary-Lou was a good prefect (although I suppose you were a good prefect by default if you get to be head girl otherwise you wouldn't be promoted!).

I like to think Frieda was a good prefect -- responsible, reliable and diplomatic. There are a few instances of her living up to her name's meaning and pouring oil on troubled waters.

I'd put up Vi Lucy as well. Mary-Lou overshadows her, but she possess strength of personality and is popular and charismatic in her own right. I bet she was an able second prefect.

Someone mentioned Ruth Wilson, the prefect who is inclined to bully the younger ones. She seems like an odd choice, especially given there must have been another more suitable candidate given the fairly large population of the school at this point. I wonder if the staff were unaware of Ruth's tendency or if they hoped the position would be the making of her, such as Grizel being head girl?

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 Post subject: Re: The best/worst prefects across the series
PostPosted: 22 Feb 2021, 00:32 
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The events of Exile would surely have destroyed quite a few girls' future prefect hopes? Equally, I feel sorry for the young people that have had their education interrupted by Covid. It (presumably), must also have upset anyone who had their experience of being a chosen prefect cut short by the virus.

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 Post subject: Re: The best/worst prefects across the series
PostPosted: 22 Feb 2021, 09:42 
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I don't suppose anyone was that fussed about being a prefect, but interesting point about the girls' education being disrupted in Exile. I think Robin might just about have been 14 by then, so she wasn't legally obliged to attend school, but did she just do no work from the summer term of 1938 to the autumn term of 1939? Madge and Joey could have home-schooled her, but, with everything else that was going on, they wouldn't have had much time. And presumably Enid and the others must have started at other schools once they got home, rather than just hang around in the hope that the Chalet School would eventually reopen, and then left after a year.

We're told that Matron had taken another job in the meantime, but did all the teaching staff just hang around hoping that the school would reopen? If so, how did they all manage for money?

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 Post subject: Re: The best/worst prefects across the series
PostPosted: 22 Feb 2021, 12:16 
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I did a quick check, and EBD actually explains them all. :shock:

Misses Stewart and Wilson have been relaxing and visiting relatives. Miss Annersley did a course at London University, and Mlle Lachenais at the Sorbonne. Miss Phipps wasn't happy in her position, and resigned, ditto Matey. Herrs Denny and Anserl were hanging out in the general vicinity, and Grizel and Rosalie were staying with the Russells and/or Maynards in Guernsey. Simone joins the school as the new maths mistress. The rest have all moved on to new things.

It also says that the children have been getting lessons from Jo, with Rosalie and Grizel to help.

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 Post subject: Re: The best/worst prefects across the series
PostPosted: 22 Feb 2021, 13:56 
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That makes more sense, thanks :D . People like Enid must have been at other schools, though ... I'm trying to think how many of the old pupils come back.

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 Post subject: Re: The best/worst prefects across the series
PostPosted: 22 Feb 2021, 22:23 
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I seem to remember they start with 52 pupils when the school reopens. That presumably includes a few of the La Rochelle children - from Beth Chester down to Edmund Eltingham? - plus some of the younger Russell / Bettany clan, who weren’t old enough for the annexe before they left Tyrol, plus a handful of other newbies.

Isn’t there also a comment about how small the classes are?

So, maybe 40 ish returning girls? Out of over 200?


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 Post subject: Re: The best/worst prefects across the series
PostPosted: 22 Feb 2021, 23:16 
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Thanks. It's one of those things that doesn't occur to you as a kid, but they must have sent out letters to all the British, Irish, French and American girls' families, and then waited with bated breath to see how many people would accept and how many would write back to say "Sorry, but X has settled happily into Such a School, and we'd be a little worried about her being so near the French coast in these uncertain times anyway".

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 Post subject: Re: The best/worst prefects across the series
PostPosted: 23 Feb 2021, 11:30 
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I think Cornelia was staying with someone as well, as she couldn't get back to America because of the war. Can't remember who though.


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 Post subject: Re: The best/worst prefects across the series
PostPosted: 23 Feb 2021, 14:15 
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We are told that there are 9 people in the fifth form.

I can't find any indication as to what Cornelia has been doing. After she leaves school we hear that she joins her father in Ireland. It's possible that's where she is during the closure.

In the chapter (The First Day of Term P201 hb), where we learned about the size of the fifth, it is said "...there were lots of old Saints, and they were all British. Why haven't they come?" Betty Wynne-Davis and Winnie Silk[worth?] are mentioned by name as not being there. Simone explains "A good many of them are already settled in English schools and one could not expect their parents to take them away again"

(Realistically, re-opening the CS makes little sense. Whether the School was closed for one or two years (it's not clear which) anyone of school age must have been sent to another school. Would parents really have pulled their daughters out of school again?

There are a number of "foreign" pupils at the school in Guernsey. I can see that there will be some refugees but the Americans, you would have thought, would have gone back to the USA and stayed there. They wouldn't be sending children TO Europe at such a critical juncture)


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 Post subject: Re: The best/worst prefects across the series
PostPosted: 23 Feb 2021, 15:41 
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It's not very realistic, but EBD probably wanted *some* continuity in the students, after having to move the school for real world reasons.

Realistically, they'd be practically starting from scratch as far as students went - they'd have Bride and Peggy, Daisy and Primula, Robin, Maria Marani and Biddy O'Ryan, and maybe a couple of people whose parents had moved to the new San.

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 Post subject: Re: The best/worst prefects across the series
PostPosted: 23 Feb 2021, 16:21 
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I wonder whether pupils would have settled quickly into other schools. The CS is pretty different to the average British boarding school and you'd potentially have trauma from the Anschluss experience too.


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 Post subject: Re: The best/worst prefects across the series
PostPosted: 23 Feb 2021, 16:35 
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The Anschluss was in March 1938, and the school closed in June, and then didn't reopen until right at the end of August 1939 ... 3 days before war was declared. Most girls must have started at a new school in September 1938, at the start of the new academic year.

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