Login   Register     FAQ    Members

View unanswered posts   View active topics


Board index .:|:. Slogging at Lessons :: Books .:|:. Lemon Biscuits & Liberty Bodices
It is currently 29 Jun 2017, 10:12



Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 13 posts ] 
Author Message
 Post subject: Sue Meadows and Leila Elstob
PostPosted: 18 Jan 2017, 10:47 
Offline
Rescuing a Junior from the lake
Rescuing a Junior from the lake
User avatar

Joined: 15 Oct 2004, 13:57
Posts: 7904
Location: Manchester
Following on from the discussion about the triplets being boarders, what about Sue Meadows, the only other day girl in the Swiss era? I think this had the potential to be one of the most interesting storylines in the Swiss era, but unfortunately it sort of faded into the background :( . The narrative voice is quite critical of the Elstobs, but surely there has to be some sympathy for Leila, who's stuck in hospital, and Mrs Elstob, who's lost her husband and is terrified that she's going to lose her only child as well. But then there's poor Sue, who's in this rather Victorian situation of being a "companion" to her sick cousin, and is forced to miss out on all the extra-curricular activities and even some lesson time so that she can "amuse" Leila. It's a rare instance of the CS's attempts to intervene hitting a brick wall: Hilda speaks to Mrs Elstob on Sue's behalf, but it doesn't seem to have any effect.

We aren't told anything about Sue's parents. Have they agreed to this set-up because Mrs Elstob has agreed to pay for Sue to attend the CS and they don't want to deny her an opportunity they wouldn't be able to afford themselves? Has Mrs Elstob guilt-tripped them into it? Or are they just genuinely sorry for Leila and feeling that her needs must come first? And we never get to hear Sue's voice either: other people clearly feel that she's getting a raw deal, but Sue doesn't get to express her own views.

Con Maynard's also brought into this situation when Leila, who's refusing treatment, insists on seeing her, against the better judgement of Jack and Joey who are concerned that it will be too upsetting (Con is only 11 at the time). Con doesn't get many storylines and I'd love to have seen her be the one, later on, to persuade Mrs Elstob to show more consideration for Sue ... but the Con-Leila friendship also vanishes into the ether :( .

I think it's a really interesting situation because there isn't clear right or wrong: like most things in life, it's complicated and there's no way of resolving it in a way that will really suit everyone. Maybe that's why it gets left: it's too awkward.

_________________
We really must stop eating like this ...

Minds are like parachutes - they only function when open.

http://setinthepast.wordpress.com/




Top | End
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Sue Meadows and Leila Elstob
PostPosted: 18 Jan 2017, 12:24 
Offline
Blushing when a friend mentions a doctor
Blushing when a friend mentions a doctor
User avatar

Joined: 19 Jan 2004, 22:16
Posts: 4078
Location: Allhallows, Kent
It would have been simple for EBD to arrange to have Leila Elstob taken on as a ward of the school so she received visits and present from everyone and allowed Sue to take part in the normal events of the School without neglecting Leila. I wonder why EBD didn't go down that route? Alternatively have Joey take it on as a project.

_________________
Lime Green Musing http://www.annersley.co.uk
New RCS started on Lime Green Musing


Top | End
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Sue Meadows and Leila Elstob
PostPosted: 18 Jan 2017, 14:04 
Offline
Winning the dolls' house
Winning the dolls' house
User avatar

Joined: 26 Nov 2004, 15:48
Posts: 1036
Location: Peterborough
Alison H wrote:

Con Maynard's also brought into this situation when Leila, who's refusing treatment, insists on seeing her, against the better judgement of Jack and Joey who are concerned that it will be too upsetting (Con is only 11 at the time). Con doesn't get many storylines and I'd love to have seen her be the one, later on, to persuade Mrs Elstob to show more consideration for Sue ... but the Con-Leila friendship also vanishes into the ether :( .



Leila wasn't refusing treatment, she had had her operation and wasn't recovering as well as they liked, and asked for Con to visit her (I read this book the other day!)

_________________
You're scared of mice and spiders, but oh-so-much greater is your fear that one day the two species will cross-breed to form an all-powerful race of mice-spiders, who will immobilize human beings in giant webs in order to steal cheese.


Top | End
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Sue Meadows and Leila Elstob
PostPosted: 18 Jan 2017, 14:30 
Offline
Meeting the escort mistress
User avatar

Joined: 20 Dec 2016, 13:46
Posts: 33
Location: West Midlands
I always felt like Sue had a bit of a poor deal. The powers that be fell all over themselves to accommodate a series of ever more difficult girls with implausibly complicated back stories while Sue plods on alone and isolated through her school years.

The girls are all meant to think of others, but their attention to Leila is limited to sending her things and practising skiing outside her window. Don't see why OOAO and the Gang couldn't have popped round occasionally to give Sue a break from cheering up the invalid.


Top | End
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Sue Meadows and Leila Elstob
PostPosted: 18 Jan 2017, 16:43 
Offline
Promising to do better
Promising to do better
User avatar

Joined: 27 May 2006, 13:28
Posts: 762
Location: SE England
Yes, I think Sue is hard done by. Mrs Elstob may have presented it to her parents as a wonderful opportunity to go to school in Switzerland, but Sue isn't really getting any of the benefits, and actually misses school sometimes.

Doing lessons in French and German isn't really any compensation for not being able to make friends or join in any out of school activities. She's worse off than if she'd been going to her local grammar school and able to meet up with her friends out of school. (She's said to be good at maths, so I assume it would have been a grammar school.)

What happened to Sue in the holidays? Did she go home, or was she stuck with Leila all day, every day? And didn't Leila recover enough to leave the Platz eventually? What happened to Sue then? She's one of those girls who just disappears, isn't she?


Top | End
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Sue Meadows and Leila Elstob
PostPosted: 18 Jan 2017, 17:41 
Offline
Rescuing a Junior from the lake
Rescuing a Junior from the lake
User avatar

Joined: 15 Oct 2004, 13:57
Posts: 7904
Location: Manchester
IIRC, Leila and Mrs Elstob went off on a cruise. EBD was very keen on the idea of cruises as being a good way to convalesce. That or the French Riviera :lol:. And I think Sue just disappeared.

_________________
We really must stop eating like this ...

Minds are like parachutes - they only function when open.

http://setinthepast.wordpress.com/




Top | End
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Sue Meadows and Leila Elstob
PostPosted: 19 Jan 2017, 04:44 
Offline
End of term hi-jinks
End of term hi-jinks
User avatar

Joined: 25 Feb 2007, 15:45
Posts: 391
Location: Australia
I wrote a drabble about Sue that had to address all the questions Alison raised. In it I made Sue's parents very poor after the grandparent's money goes to the Leila's father who then dies leaving Mrs Elstob very wealthy. Mrs Elstob then bribes her parents with Sue's school fees to the CS and even though she hates the idea, Sue goes.

She is very unhappy at home though she likes the school, Miss Annersley catches her crying with tiredness after spending the night looking after Leila, has an argument with Mrs Elstob about her treatment of her niece but gets nowhere. But then Joey is seen at her best as she sends Anna over to give Sue a break occasionally from looking after her cousin.

One day Sue finds a letter from her dead uncle asking his wife to look after his brother's family financially as it was a 'mistake' all the money had been left to him. And it all unravels from there.

But in the books, Sue literally seems to have no voice. Do we even hear her speak? She's supposed to be very clever. But then she just vanishes and presumably she goes on the voyage with her aunt and cousin.

Cheers,
Joyce

_________________
It's fun to have fun, but you have to know how - Dr Seuss


Top | End
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Sue Meadows and Leila Elstob
PostPosted: 19 Jan 2017, 14:23 
Offline
Meeting the escort mistress
User avatar

Joined: 20 Dec 2016, 13:46
Posts: 33
Location: West Midlands
Joyce wrote:
I wrote a drabble about Sue that had to address all the questions Alison raised.


Do you have a link to it? I love reading fanfic, but I haven't really got the hang of where it all lives on here.


Top | End
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Sue Meadows and Leila Elstob
PostPosted: 19 Jan 2017, 18:52 
Offline
Getting into trouble with Mlle Berne
Getting into trouble with Mlle Berne
User avatar

Joined: 07 Jul 2006, 19:11
Posts: 280
Location: Glasgow
I read the early Swiss books (through to theodora with the exception of Problem which I don't have) quite recently and was pleasantly surprised by them. I tend to avoid all the Swiss books like the plague apart from Theodora which I'm really rather fond of.

I found Sue's story really interesting. It kept me invested through several books and, I think, shows EBD was still writing quite powerfully in this period. It's such a shame it does drop off because I could really have seen some interesting storylines coming from it and it could have given Con a much stronger role.

In this period there is also Odette who really struggles to settle into the school; Rikki and Ted who have poor home lifes out of school- Ted particularly; plus the whole blackmailing storyline with Margot.

I think EBD is still creating storylines that don't just follow along set lines and there is no magical CS fix for a number of situations. However, to get strictly back on topic, I feel like Sue and Leila's storyline was one of one's where EBD had written a separate book and then chosen to include them in the CS. I really feel like they could have had their own book.

Is your drabble on SDL Joyce or is it in the index drabbleorum (sp??)?

ETA: Ailidh the drabbles are mostly in three locations! On the CBB you can access archived drabbles by Author, in the index drabbleorum. There is a link to this in Stacey Benson's reading notes.

You can also access more up to date drabbles on the sallydennylibrary which this site links to and on lime green musing which Lesley runs. It's located at annersley.co.uk

I hope that helps!

_________________
She is too fond of books and it has turned her brain - Louisa May Alcott


Top | End
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Sue Meadows and Leila Elstob
PostPosted: 19 Jan 2017, 22:49 
Offline
Rescuing a Junior from the lake
Rescuing a Junior from the lake
User avatar

Joined: 15 Oct 2004, 13:57
Posts: 7904
Location: Manchester
Odette's another interesting one - the original idea seemed to be that Len would "butt in" and thus prove that she was all set to inherit Mary-Lou's mantle, but it never really happened. Con makes more of an effort, but it's only ever mentioned in passing. And I don't think there's ever any mention of Odette being invited to Freudesheim, which is strange given that she's at the school on the recommendation of Simone. There's even a comment somewhere about how they might send Odette home - i.e. ask Mme Mercier to remove her from the school - if she doesn't start settling in better, which is quite upsetting really :( .

The Encyclopaedia hasn't got any references to Sue after Richenda. It's not clear whether or not she stays on at the school after the Elstobs leave the San.

Joyce, I'd like to read the drabble as well, please :D .

_________________
We really must stop eating like this ...

Minds are like parachutes - they only function when open.

http://setinthepast.wordpress.com/




Top | End
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Sue Meadows and Leila Elstob
PostPosted: 20 Jan 2017, 03:04 
Offline
Coming top in the form
Coming top in the form
User avatar

Joined: 21 May 2006, 16:51
Posts: 513
Location: Geelong, Australia
Alison H wrote:
Joyce, I'd like to read the drabble as well, please :D .


So would I and I couldn't find it in the archived drabble on the Board. Though I did have an enjoyable time rereading the ones I did find :D

_________________
You should live each day as though you are going to live forever and as though you will die tomorrow.


Top | End
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Sue Meadows and Leila Elstob
PostPosted: 20 Jan 2017, 10:51 
Offline
End of term hi-jinks
End of term hi-jinks
User avatar

Joined: 25 Feb 2007, 15:45
Posts: 391
Location: Australia
I'll dig the drabble out and finish it off. I wrote it a while ago and probably never quite finished it which is why it was never submitted here.

I think I had problems with what to eventually do with Sue given that she all but vanishes after Leila gets well. I like to think she was able to go home to her parents.

Doesn't Odette become friends with Con but continues to say very little and gets homesick regularly? And then eventually goes off on yet another sea voyage with her mother when she leaves the san?

Cheers,
Joyce

_________________
It's fun to have fun, but you have to know how - Dr Seuss


Top | End
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Sue Meadows and Leila Elstob
PostPosted: 26 Jan 2017, 15:00 
Offline
Castor Oil!
Castor Oil!
User avatar

Joined: 12 May 2006, 17:54
Posts: 544
I really like this storyline, and along with everyone else wish EBD had given it more attention. Although I wonder if it isn't the very background, unfinished nature of the story that intrigues us so much...

I wonder if EBD ever meant to write more and it didn't fit in with what she was then planning, or if she forgot, or if that was all she ever planned on writing?

I like the sound of your drabble, Joyce.


Top | End
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 13 posts ] 

Board index .:|:. Slogging at Lessons :: Books .:|:. Lemon Biscuits & Liberty Bodices
It is currently 29 Jun 2017, 10:12

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Yahoo [Bot] and 1 guest


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum

Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB © 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007 phpBB Group