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 Post subject: Worst written scenes in the CS?
PostPosted: 24 Jun 2017, 20:47 
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The one that comes to mind for me is the postwar return to the St Scholastika's building. I do think it's badly lacking in atmosphere. EBD should have kept the entire building intact instead of a huge part being removed so they could explore all the former classrooms, dormitories, and so on. But I think the room where Joey was taken after her terrible accident on the ice still existed, you might have expected a reference to that but there is none. Don't think there's too much reference to the past there in general.

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 Post subject: Re: Worst written scenes in the CS?
PostPosted: 24 Jun 2017, 21:21 
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Probably lots albeit more well written ones. The one that springs to mind for me is when Margot throws the bookend at Betty. Moments before she has snapped at Len but Len does not retaliate and so, EBD says, does not have to blame herself for what followed. Why could Len not, for once, have retaliated and acted like a human being. It would also have been interesting if Len was then blamed in any way for what followed. Len was too perfect.


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 Post subject: Re: Worst written scenes in the CS?
PostPosted: 25 Jun 2017, 02:33 
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Grizel and Neil Sheppard proposal. I. Can't. Even.

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 Post subject: Re: Worst written scenes in the CS?
PostPosted: 25 Jun 2017, 07:46 
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It's better than the Len and Reg proposal. Just about! "I take it we're engaged. Like it, darling?" Ugh!

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 Post subject: Re: Worst written scenes in the CS?
PostPosted: 25 Jun 2017, 15:49 
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Alison H wrote:
It's better than the Len and Reg proposal. Just about! "I take it we're engaged. Like it, darling?" Ugh!


:)


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 Post subject: Re: Worst written scenes in the CS?
PostPosted: 25 Jun 2017, 22:01 
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Audrey25 wrote:
Alison H wrote:
It's better than the Len and Reg proposal. Just about! "I take it we're engaged. Like it, darling?" Ugh!


:)


It could have been worse, "Darling you are the one I want to darn my socks for the rest of my life" pace Miss Annersley!


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 Post subject: Re: Worst written scenes in the CS?
PostPosted: 26 Jun 2017, 03:07 
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Alison H wrote:
It's better than the Len and Reg proposal. Just about! "I take it we're engaged. Like it, darling?" Ugh!


If that had happened on tv we'd all be screaming at the screen - "say No! He's crazy."

Neil, I suppose, does at least ask Grizel properly. But then he promptly goes all master and commander on her.

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Last edited by Joyce on 27 Jun 2017, 03:17, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Worst written scenes in the CS?
PostPosted: 26 Jun 2017, 07:03 
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Any of the scenes in which EBD goes overboard in praise of her heroines. They make me cringe. Joey is a "blessing" to the school because she brought in some of Anna's homemade jam. And every single girl and mistress voted for Mary-Lou to win the Josephine Bettany Prize. Seriously?! If that happened anywhere else, there'd be an immediate investigation into vote-rigging! Or the scenes in which the heroines have to be EBD's mouthpieces, notably Joey's comments about Mods.

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 Post subject: Re: Worst written scenes in the CS?
PostPosted: 26 Jun 2017, 08:31 
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I find that in general, EBD's portrayal of romance and courting is fairly weak. In most cases, it goes from a handsome doctor/pretty mistress meet-cute to being engaged two months later, or everything occurring off screen. There are actually very few cases where we see the woman interacting with or thinking about the man before marrying him.

Of the relationships we see the most of, we get Joey and Jack who go from buddies to engaged without any actual courting in between, some brief getting-to-know each other scenes with Grizel and Neil, Dr Peters falling in love with his bed-ridden patient, and Reg's creepy determination to acquire Len. Madge and Jem and Gillian and Robert seem the most natural, but even then, we only see them interact when there are CS students present, and they're still engaged within two months.

Also, the three proposal scenes were see are solid-lump-of-comfort, I-take-it-we're-engaged, and Is-it-yes-Grizel.

The other scenes that pops to mind is when Verity is defying Plato, and a couple of her ten year old classmates splutter in shock. In punishment they get a dressing down that brings them to tears, an evening hemming, written apologies to Plato, and two conduct marks. Verity has to apologize, but the rest of her punishment is rescinded when she agrees to sing the German songs.

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 Post subject: Re: Worst written scenes in the CS?
PostPosted: 26 Jun 2017, 10:14 
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Jack's return home after all the trauma of him being assumed dead was very disappointing. Too low key.

So many of the scenes with Robin as a child - being carried around the place and referred to as 'the baby' until she was about 12 years old. 'Head Girl' was the worst and Robin almost ruined that book for me.


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 Post subject: Re: Worst written scenes in the CS?
PostPosted: 26 Jun 2017, 15:01 
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Rix and Peggy Bettany talking to the King of Belsornia in Camp. 'Where's ve c'own, ven?' Or somesuch. In fact, any of EBD's reproductions of small children talk make me squirm.


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 Post subject: Re: Worst written scenes in the CS?
PostPosted: 26 Jun 2017, 18:13 
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LucyP wrote:
Rix and Peggy Bettany talking to the King of Belsornia in Camp. 'Where's ve c'own, ven?' Or somesuch. In fact, any of EBD's reproductions of small children talk make me squirm.

I agree. I squirm and cringe.


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 Post subject: Re: Worst written scenes in the CS?
PostPosted: 26 Jun 2017, 18:26 
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thefrau46 wrote:
LucyP wrote:
Rix and Peggy Bettany talking to the King of Belsornia in Camp. 'Where's ve c'own, ven?' Or somesuch. In fact, any of EBD's reproductions of small children talk make me squirm.

I agree. I squirm and cringe.

Well at least it's better than the appalling children in The Archers... :shock:

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 Post subject: Re: Worst written scenes in the CS?
PostPosted: 26 Jun 2017, 19:12 
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I think the 'Adventure for the Middles' in Barbara reads as though EBD was listening to the radio or making the sandwiches while she was writing. I became so annoyed at the number of times Clare and Ghislaine were mentioned as stragglers and told to keep up that I abandoned the book.


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 Post subject: Re: Worst written scenes in the CS?
PostPosted: 27 Jun 2017, 03:05 
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Alison H wrote:
They make me cringe. Joey is a "blessing" to the school because she brought in some of Anna's homemade jam. And every single girl and mistress voted for Mary-Lou to win the Josephine Bettany Prize. Seriously?!


I know! she didn't even make the blessed jam. :D EBD had seriously lost the plot by that stage.

And doesn't the vote rigging imply ML voted for herself :shock:

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 Post subject: Re: Worst written scenes in the CS?
PostPosted: 27 Jun 2017, 10:36 
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LucyP wrote:
Rix and Peggy Bettany talking to the King of Belsornia in Camp. 'Where's ve c'own, ven?' Or somesuch. In fact, any of EBD's reproductions of small children talk make me squirm.


I think the triplets' baby speak is the worst. There's a really cringey scene in Lavender where Len interrupts the priest during Stephen's christening. No child ever spoke like that.


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 Post subject: Re: Worst written scenes in the CS?
PostPosted: 27 Jun 2017, 22:54 
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Description of that lacrosse match in Ruey Richardson Chaletian is the most boring bit for me! Not knowing how to play, I don't know how good a description it is, but pages of description like that is not good writing!


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 Post subject: Re: Worst written scenes in the CS?
PostPosted: 28 Jun 2017, 03:50 
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Oh yes, for badly written in a boring way, the info-dump history and geography lessons in the Swiss books, when the girls are on an expedition, and we get a couple of pages of a mistress reciting something that sounds like it comes straight out of a travel guide, interspersed with eager questions and comments from the girls to break it up.

For the sports sections, I really don't know enough about sports to tell if they are badly or well written - I tend to skip them. I tend to skip the pantomime summaries on re-reading as well, but they at least have personality to them.

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 Post subject: Re: Worst written scenes in the CS?
PostPosted: 28 Jun 2017, 07:02 
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The descriptions of Tyrol in the early books are some of the best-written in the series, by contrast. But the Swiss ones are very obviously copied out of a guidebook. I quite like the Swiss history, personally :D, but the books aren't meant to be text books! And some of the attempts to liven up the expeditions in the Swiss books don't work that well. Nancy Wilmot rides a pig. The coach breaks down because of a large pink worm in the engine. Oh dear :roll:. The descriptions of picnics are much better :lol: .

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 Post subject: Re: Worst written scenes in the CS?
PostPosted: 28 Jun 2017, 09:14 
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A couple of years ago, when I joined the CBB, I posted a query about which of the later books to re-read, as I was only up to about Rivals at the time and was unlikely to buy the lot. I was warned by several people that the Austria books, the war/island books and the Armishire books were lovely but that the Swiss books weren't a patch on the earlier ones. Thank you to all concerned, you were right, imho. Every time I read a chapter of one of the Tiernsee books, I want to be there right now. My limited experience of the Swiss novels has persuaded me to stop the re-read and cherish my little collection of earlier books. EBD was clearly on auto-pilot by the 1950s!


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