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 Post subject: Re: Worst written scenes in the CS?
PostPosted: 28 Jun 2017, 09:58 
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Having Miss Ferrars as Form Mistress
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There's a particularly boring drawn out scene in New Mistress where Kathy Ferrars is giving a geography lesson. EBD goes into it in great detail and it is very very boring. A good editor would have put a pen through 80% of it.


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 Post subject: Re: Worst written scenes in the CS?
PostPosted: 28 Jun 2017, 11:16 
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I'd say the Swiss books were perfect for the young audience for whom they were written, at the time. They give so much detail that you can go for a visit to the school and the other locations in your mind. It may help to remember that we had no computers, mobile phones or DVDs, and limited amounts of television and cinema.

Apart from a selection of the Tyrol books, they were also the ones most easily available to me from the library as a kid. I read them compulsively and repeatedly, and got a lot out of them, even the guide-book bits.


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 Post subject: Re: Worst written scenes in the CS?
PostPosted: 28 Jun 2017, 12:26 
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Noreen wrote:
I'd say the Swiss books were perfect for the young audience for whom they were written, at the time. They give so much detail that you can go for a visit to the school and the other locations in your mind. It may help to remember that we had no computers, mobile phones or DVDs, and limited amounts of television.


You're quite right, Noreen, and I loved them all unconditionally as a youngster. I should remember what I've said so many times - there was nothing like these books aimed at boys and for a lad in a northern town, a CS book was like a holiday.


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 Post subject: Re: Worst written scenes in the CS?
PostPosted: 28 Jun 2017, 12:54 
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Having Miss Ferrars as Form Mistress
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Yes, as a child I really liked the Swiss books. It was only when re-reading them as an adult that I could clearly see the drop in quality and the repetitive nature of some of the books. But of course, adults were not EBD's target market, even if we have become her main readers nowadays.


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 Post subject: Re: Worst written scenes in the CS?
PostPosted: 28 Jun 2017, 14:55 
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Quote:
There's a particularly boring drawn out scene in New Mistress where Kathy Ferrars is giving a geography lesson.

Is that the lesson with the Sixth, which leads up to the (entirely deserved, in my opinion) squashing of Mary Lou? I suppose some build up was necessary, to show how the mood of the lesson changed.

I read most of the Swiss books when I was around the age of, or a bit older than, the intended readership. I did get a bit bored with the dormitory descriptions, but I liked all the business of settling in the form room, getting your timetable and books and so on, at the beginning of each term.

Any of the books might be the first CS book that somebody read, so some introduction and explanation was necessary each time.


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 Post subject: Re: Worst written scenes in the CS?
PostPosted: 28 Jun 2017, 16:08 
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JayB wrote:
Quote:
There's a particularly boring drawn out scene in New Mistress where Kathy Ferrars is giving a geography lesson.

Is that the lesson with the Sixth, which leads up to the (entirely deserved, in my opinion) squashing of Mary Lou? I suppose some build up was necessary, to show how the mood of the lesson changed.

I read most of the Swiss books when I was around the age of, or a bit older than, the intended readership. I did get a bit bored with the dormitory descriptions, but I liked all the business of settling in the form room, getting your timetable and books and so on, at the beginning of each term.

Any of the books might be the first CS book that somebody read, so some introduction and explanation was necessary each time.


Yes, that's the one. There was an incredible amount of detail regarding whatever river or mountain they were supposed to be studying and drawing. It was almost like reading a text book and I think she could have built up the tension in a more entertaining or interesting way.


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 Post subject: Re: Worst written scenes in the CS?
PostPosted: 29 Jun 2017, 00:17 
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Joyce wrote:
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:

Cheers,
Joyce


I don't think I have ever come across the jam episode. It either went right over my head or more probably it was cut out of the book when the book was reprinted in paperback. Does anyone know if this actually happened and where did it appear?

As for Mary-Lou winning the Josephine Bettany prize, didn't she deserve it? She was a bossy boots but out of all the girls ever in the CS, she was surely the one who most tried to help others.


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 Post subject: Re: Worst written scenes in the CS?
PostPosted: 29 Jun 2017, 03:16 
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Audrey25 wrote:
I don't think I have ever come across the jam episode. It either went right over my head or more probably it was cut out of the book when the book was reprinted in paperback. Does anyone know if this actually happened and where did it appear?

As for Mary-Lou winning the Josephine Bettany prize, didn't she deserve it? She was a bossy boots but out of all the girls ever in the CS, she was surely the one who most tried to help others.


The jam thing is in Feud and it helps to bring the two schools together because they all cheer when they hear about it except for Gillie Garstin who is in a bad mood.

Then after tasting the jam, which clearly contained some kind of hallucinogenic, Gillie proposes three cheers for Joey (who didn't even make the damn stuff - it was Anna) and Jack Lambert admires her so much for doing that, it's the first step towards becoming friends.

Then to really rub it in, Wanda says in the entire history of the school ONLY Joey and ML would ever think of doing something like sending them jam. It's a silly episode and one of the few times when the editor was right to cut it out.

I agree ML was bound to win the JB prize eventually but, like the jam episode, it's completely overdone. I just don't think EBD thought it through properly because if everyone voted for her then she must have as well! :D

Cheers,
Joyce

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Last edited by Joyce on 29 Jun 2017, 05:43, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Worst written scenes in the CS?
PostPosted: 29 Jun 2017, 04:07 
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ML is definitely the obvious choice for the prize, but with an open vote there would definitely be someone who voted for their best friend, or who thought ML was kind of bossy and didn't vote for her as a result.

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 Post subject: Re: Worst written scenes in the CS?
PostPosted: 29 Jun 2017, 07:54 
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I'm not saying she didn't deserve the prize, but would every single girl in the school vote for the same person? As Jennifer said, someone would've voted for their best friend, or just disliked Mary-Lou. Nobody's that popular!

Joey brings some of Anna's homemade jam into school. Someone - I think Nancy Wilmot - goes on and on about what a blessing Joey is to the school. Then Wanda von Eschenau says that only Joey and Mary-Lou in the entire history of the school would have been kind enough to think of it. Leaving aside the fact that it's only jam :roll:, it's rather insulting to the many other kind girls who've been at the school over the years and done all sorts of very kind deeds. As for renaming the Margot Venables Prize after Joey ...

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 Post subject: Re: Worst written scenes in the CS?
PostPosted: 29 Jun 2017, 08:24 
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Thanks very much everyone for the jam info! I don't like Jack Lambert and that whole lot so hardly ever read Feud. It is quite likely it is in the Feud paperback. I will have to look. The statement does seem ridiculous. I am sure the CS had lots of kind girls but sometimes it takes a certain confidence to do something. Also how many had Annas?

Regarding M-L, I am very biased! It's only in recent years I started to like her. She is anything but perfect but I do like her so much because in a world where so many people are a bit nasty or b--chy, she is not and despite her youth goes out to help people. I agree though it is doubtful if everyone would have voted for her.

The re-naming of the Margot Venables prize was terrible and shows how far EBD's obsession had taken her. I am sure Joey gave other prizes in her own name and Margot Venables was such a lovely name and such a lovely memorial. It was also not up to anyone to change tbe name but Jo.

Thanks all for comnents.


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 Post subject: Re: Worst written scenes in the CS?
PostPosted: 27 Oct 2018, 22:42 
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The scene in Future when Jack has Len and Melanie in the study... “come clean...” is not a phrase I can imagine a father saying. And the girls’ conversation is very stilted.


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 Post subject: Re: Worst written scenes in the CS?
PostPosted: 28 Oct 2018, 00:23 
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Fraus Marani and Mensch do nothing but send cakes and goodies to the school in the early days... no cheers for them :lol:


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 Post subject: Re: Worst written scenes in the CS?
PostPosted: 29 Oct 2018, 09:34 
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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.

Never, ever read any scenes in Seven Scamps with Tim. He's five, but he talks like a toddler.

EBD is good at writing tweens (9-12 year olds) though.
Alison H wrote:
I'm not saying she didn't deserve the prize, but would every single girl in the school vote for the same person? As Jennifer said, someone would've voted for their best friend, or just disliked Mary-Lou. Nobody's that popular!

Joey brings some of Anna's homemade jam into school. Someone - I think Nancy Wilmot - goes on and on about what a blessing Joey is to the school. Then Wanda von Eschenau says that only Joey and Mary-Lou in the entire history of the school would have been kind enough to think of it. Leaving aside the fact that it's only jam :roll:, it's rather insulting to the many other kind girls who've been at the school over the years and done all sorts of very kind deeds. As for renaming the Margot Venables Prize after Joey ...

One of my first thoughts on reading that was, "What about Tom? You know, the girl who makes beautiful dolls' houses even after she leaves school, and works so hard on them and makes them a real labour of love, and they always raise loads of money?" I am biased though cos Tom is one of my faves.


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 Post subject: Re: Worst written scenes in the CS?
PostPosted: 29 Oct 2018, 18:47 
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Not a scene exactly, but several - all that nonsense about speed boats in the last book or so.


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 Post subject: Re: Worst written scenes in the CS?
PostPosted: 01 Nov 2018, 20:46 
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I hated that scene in Three Go as well. Those girls only spluttered, it was an involuntary reaction, and a simple apology to Mr Denny would have been enough. Girls who've done worse get off with far lighter punishments.


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 Post subject: Re: Worst written scenes in the CS?
PostPosted: 05 Nov 2018, 22:30 
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I know it's some folks favourite scene but on re reads of Gay I skip past Aunties letter , I find it too heavy handed and ' preachy ' also in Trials when M.L. talks too Naomi regarding faith :roll:


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 Post subject: Re: Worst written scenes in the CS?
PostPosted: 07 Nov 2018, 15:41 
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I pick Len and Reg's engagement as the worst because it's so stilted, but the jam scene in Feud is a close second

Miss Ferrars rolling onto a moving speedboat a la James Bond is also silly, but it is at least more interesting than jam.

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 Post subject: Re: Worst written scenes in the CS?
PostPosted: 07 Nov 2018, 18:29 
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I've never liked the scene where Thekla jumps over lit candles. Who in their right mind would have let them do that in the first place, regardless of the forbidden petticoat which she was meant to take off?

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 Post subject: Re: Worst written scenes in the CS?
PostPosted: 07 Nov 2018, 22:18 
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Quote:
Her splendid eyes grew misty at the thought ... But the Robin was only twelve now. There were eight or nine years to go before they could decide that she was safe. At present, any danger of disease was to be warded off most carefully, for they all dreaded any strain on her little strength.

With the memory of the exquisite little face, framed in its short thick crop of black curls, floating before her mind, Jo felt suddenly sick at the thought of how nearly the Robin had been exposed to infection


I feel "suddenly sick" every time I read that. "Splendid eyes"?! And why isn't Jo worried about poor Peggy, who has caught measles and is quite ill!

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