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 Post subject: Re: Worst written scenes in the CS?
PostPosted: 08 Nov 2018, 08:50 
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Taking Lower IV A for Prep
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Alison H wrote:
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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!


Perhaps she has been reassured by the assurance that Peggy's got "a tough little constitution... don't worry about her". It's only later that she learns how ill she's really been.

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 Post subject: Re: Worst written scenes in the CS?
PostPosted: 08 Nov 2018, 09:01 
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I know its been mentioned but I hate Len and Regs engagement....it should never have happened anyway but the way it was written was pretty dire!!


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 Post subject: Re: Worst written scenes in the CS?
PostPosted: 24 Nov 2018, 19:40 
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Lotte 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.

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

Although there is form - Kipling's small children all spoke like that! And, in fact, small children do speak like that, if my own grandsons are anything to go by. Their speech does normalise when they start attending school - they get speech therapy pretty fast if it doesn't - but many kids do start school sounding much younger than they are. My older grandson did - his vocabulary and intellect were at a level that is normal for his age, but he sounded like a child of two or three (he eventually caught up with himself, and it stopped being a problem)!

I do agree, though, it is irritating to read, but then, so is most dialect.


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 Post subject: Re: Worst written scenes in the CS?
PostPosted: 27 Nov 2018, 22:08 
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It's not up there with the Jam scene by any stretch of the imagination but I always think Tom trapping the "burglars" in Tom Tackles is such a strangely written bit- why would she not tell anyone about this at the time?? It just doesn't make sense to me.

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 Post subject: Re: Worst written scenes in the CS?
PostPosted: 06 Sep 2019, 13:50 
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The one in 'At War' where Miss Everett is giving a gardening lesson and everyone is gasping and sounding faint because a parsnip is a different genus to a potato, or something. It always makes me laugh!


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 Post subject: Re: Worst written scenes in the CS?
PostPosted: 08 Sep 2019, 09:07 
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Re the post above, it reminded me that they wanted to plant some rather impractical veg like asparagus or artichokes, not really the most useful of things in a war lol


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 Post subject: Re: Worst written scenes in the CS?
PostPosted: 08 Sep 2019, 10:49 
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Having Miss Annersley for Civics
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Yes, those are both in the conversation that Daisy, Gwensi and Beth have with each other and subsequently Evan Evans the gardener: Gwensi says that asparagus does very well at Plas Howell, and Beth does comment that it's a bit of a luxury (it had a very short growing season back then) but wonders if they could grow some in the form garden (which I always put down to Beth being a keen gardener rather than thinking practically).

It was Daisy that asked about artichokes - from the fact that Evan Evans talks about tubers, they're Jerusalem artichokes, not globe artichokes (the green ones);they're actually not that impractical, since they're quite like potatoes, and crop very well - and I've never heard of all this 'don't let it flower the first year' business (my MIL always grew them) and neither has the RHS webpage. I think that's Evan Evans being extra fussy!


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 Post subject: Re: Worst written scenes in the CS?
PostPosted: 08 Sep 2019, 15:19 
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Noreen wrote:
It was Daisy that asked about artichokes - from the fact that Evan Evans talks about tubers, they're Jerusalem artichokes, not globe artichokes (the green ones);they're actually not that impractical, since they're quite like potatoes, and crop very well - and I've never heard of all this 'don't let it flower the first year' business (my MIL always grew them) and neither has the RHS webpage. I think that's Evan Evans being extra fussy!


I think Evan Evans - or EBD! - is mixing his/her artichokes. The Jerusalems are indeed tubers, and come up like sunflowers - to which they are related. But globe artichokes, which are often grown from seed, shouldn't be allowed to flower the first year so that the plant can establish and come back the next year to produce the flowerheads which are the bit you eat.

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 Post subject: Re: Worst written scenes in the CS?
PostPosted: 08 Sep 2019, 16:35 
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Having Miss Annersley for Civics
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I think you may well be right about mixing up the artichokes, abbeybufo!


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 Post subject: Re: Worst written scenes in the CS?
PostPosted: 09 Sep 2019, 07:56 
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I've always disliked that Grizel was allowed to become head girl after she so clearly ran away to see the sights that she had been told there was no time to visit. It's absolutely ridiculous to believe that a school would make anyone that did that a head girl. I can't say I am a big fan of Grizel's in the first place so perhaps this incident confirmed it for me.


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 Post subject: Re: Worst written scenes in the CS?
PostPosted: 09 Sep 2019, 08:04 
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I do agree Mair. It was such an irresponsible action that it's hard to see how allowing her to be head girl following it could be justified. But EBD had a lot invested in the Grizel storyline...

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 Post subject: Re: Worst written scenes in the CS?
PostPosted: 09 Sep 2019, 09:07 
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The Grizel incident is a tricky one. I agree that it's a bad idea to have a Head Girl who could do something so defiant and disruptive, even if she was sorry afterwards. However, the incident occurred outside of school time. At that point, she was basically travelling with family friends on holiday - it wasn't an official journey to school. For any other girl, the Head wouldn't know about what happened, so it's difficult to say whether Madge should have taken official notice of it.

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 Post subject: Re: Worst written scenes in the CS?
PostPosted: 09 Sep 2019, 09:27 
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As Jennifer says, it's awkward - it wasn't actually during school time. Also, I think everyone already knew that Grizel had been appointed Head Girl - it's not 100% clear, but that's the impression I get - so it would have been very difficult to have announced that she'd effectively been sacked. It would have destroyed Grizel, put Gertrud (who would presumably have taken over) in an embarrassing position, and made Madge and Mlle look stupid for making a bad choice in the first place.

I'm very impressed that Jo and Robin presumably keep shtum about it. Jo was old enough to understand that, for once, she needed to keep her mouth shut, but a little kid like Robin must have been longing to tell her friends about all the drama. Even if she was trained to instant obedience :wink: .

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 Post subject: Re: Worst written scenes in the CS?
PostPosted: 09 Sep 2019, 21:03 
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:roll: Instant Obedience....I always wince inwardly when I read this in EBD's books. Makes me think of when I take the grand kids past the icecream place and they "instantly" "obediently" yell "stop, icecream"


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 Post subject: Re: Worst written scenes in the CS?
PostPosted: 10 Sep 2019, 09:14 
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One of the worst written scenes for me is Erica randomly spotting Joey in the street, immediately recognising this woman she had never seen before, and running over to announce that she'd been left to Joey's care by a girl she was at school with very briefly many years earlier, wasn't particular friends with, and hadn't kept in touch with. :dontknow:

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 Post subject: Re: Worst written scenes in the CS?
PostPosted: 10 Sep 2019, 09:24 
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Summer Term is just bonkers full stop! I suppose it's just about possible that Erica had seen a picture of Joey on the dustjacket of one of her books, but why on earth hadn't Daria or her solicitor contacted Joey through either her publishers or the Chalet School? And why would you name someone you'd known for a few weeks 20-odd years ago as your child's guardian anyway? And then Joey collects a baby in a train crash, as you do, and the baby turns out to be the offspring of an aristocrat and a dancer. Had EBD been drinking when she wrote this one?!

Poor Joey :lol: . Imagine some strange teenager accosting you in the street and announcing that you were now their guardian!

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 Post subject: Re: Worst written scenes in the CS?
PostPosted: 10 Sep 2019, 10:09 
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* Starts to wonder if Erica's actually an imposter, some random girl who wanted to live with Joey and the real Erica is safe at home with her family*


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 Post subject: Re: Worst written scenes in the CS?
PostPosted: 10 Sep 2019, 10:58 
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Having Miss Annersley for Civics
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Bonkers or not, I really enjoyed Summer Term as a young reader, perhaps because it was one of the few that I actually owned (no paperbacks in those far-off days!). I know I've said this before, but as an adult, it always strikes me as being like the screenplay for a Boulting brothers film, with Erica taking a Norman Wisdom role. The back-story about the silver tea service is nearly one too far, even for me, though! And yet I still wonder what happened to it and all the other stuff that couldn't be brought in from the storm.

Love the suggestion about the real Erica being elsewhere, exile!


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 Post subject: Re: Worst written scenes in the CS?
PostPosted: 10 Sep 2019, 12:53 
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Alison H wrote:
Summer Term is just bonkers full stop! I suppose it's just about possible that Erica had seen a picture of Joey on the dustjacket of one of her books, but why on earth hadn't Daria or her solicitor contacted Joey through either her publishers or the Chalet School? And why would you name someone you'd known for a few weeks 20-odd years ago as your child's guardian anyway? And then Joey collects a baby in a train crash, as you do, and the baby turns out to be the offspring of an aristocrat and a dancer. Had EBD been drinking when she wrote this one?!


Summer Term is one of the ones I've never read as I have never been able to find a copy. You may imagine my confusion when Erica and Marie-Claire popped up in other books!


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 Post subject: Re: Worst written scenes in the CS?
PostPosted: 10 Sep 2019, 20:01 
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As others have said, and of the 'baby talk' of Joeys kids - whether Felix and Felicity or Phil and Geoff in "Two Sams'. My niece and nephew are the age of Phil and Geoff in 'Two Sams' (4) and most definitely do not talk like that - and haven't since they were about two!

Also, any attempt by EBD to do 'regional' accents. So Biddy's "Oi" and "Tis meself" and so on, in her 'rich Irish brogue', or the twins 'soft lilting Scotch' Ochs and Ayes... or any 'sing song' Welsh with the whole "It iss lovely".
Ugh!!

Just tell us they're Welsh or Scottish or whatnot, don't attempt to (badly) do the whole accent.

Oh, and Joey and the 'Solid Lump of Comfort'.... just... no.

I think reading the books as a kid a lot of that passed me by or I didn't notice, but now as an adult, a lot if it is patronising or sickly sweet.


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