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 Post subject: Margot Venables Prize.
PostPosted: 18 Jul 2017, 10:49 
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I was reminded of this in Excitements (chap 4) when Joey has Nell, Hilda and two other teachers to tea to tell them about the Coming of Age.
She says she hopes they will award'my special prize' this year and they all go on to praise Mary-Lou.However Mlle does refer to it as the Margot Venables prize,Joey again refers to it as hers saying as it's her prize she should have a say in it.
When did it become her prize, why did it become her prize? Surely the reasons it was to be given where established when it was first presented?
And I seem to remember that for some reason all the girls wanted it renamed to the Joey Maynard prize? Am I remembering right, and really is that likely to happen, why would the girls care what the prize was called.
Changing the name to me takes away a bit of the tradition, the history of the school, seemingly perhaps just EBD wanting to bring Joey to the fore.


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 Post subject: Re: Margot Venables Prize.
PostPosted: 18 Jul 2017, 11:22 
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While it is understandable that none of the girls at the school by Coming Of Age would remember Margot, it would have been a good opportunity for Joey or the staff to tell them about her.

I think it's actually quite callous as there's no way that Daisy and Primula wouldn't find out and it would be like their mother was being forgotten all over again. If I was Daisy I would've established another prize in her mother's name. For another school! :D

As for why EBD did it - who knows? Maybe she wanted Joey front and centre, maybe she thought the readers would want it, maybe she simply wasn't thinking and didn't care about Margot anymore.

And Joey saying she wanted a say in the who the winner is - it's the only time we see her do that. All the other times, the school votes and away we go. Except the time when it's GIVEN to Jo Scott.

Who actually wins it - Gay is the first, and then Tom in Wrong, and Jo Scott (but frankly I never really count that one) but who else? And after ML wins it, do we hear of anyone else winning it? Len never wins it which is quite strange.

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Last edited by Joyce on 19 Jul 2017, 03:20, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Margot Venables Prize.
PostPosted: 18 Jul 2017, 11:31 
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Joey endowed the prize in memory of Margot. It does seem a bit odd that it should have been her who did that, rather than Madge and Jem, but I assume that it was because she was so close to Daisy and thought it would be a nice thing to do - which it was. I can't remember when it was changed, but it was in one of the later Swiss books.

We had various school prizes who were named after people. I've got no idea who most of them were - presumably former pupils or teachers. I got the Elaine P Prize for history, and to this day I haven't got a clue who Elaine P is or was - although it was very nice of her or her family to pay for a school prize :lol:. In this case, I assume that most of the girls, whilst they wouldn't have known her, were aware that Margot Venables was a former matron, Madge's sister-in-law, the mother of two former pupils and the aunt of a current pupil (although Ailie never knew her), who had tragically died in her early 40s. And, even if they didn't know that much, presumably they must have realised that she was someone who was important to Joey, or the prize wouldn't have been named after her in the first place. I think it was incredibly disrespectful that they wanted to change the name, and I'm surprised that Joey, Hilda and Madge agreed to it.

As with so many of the storylines in the later books, I think this is purely about EBD being so obsessed with Joey that she had to bring her to the fore at every possible opportunity :banghead: :banghead: :banghead:. Presumably her idea was to show that the girls all thought that Joey was so wonderful that the prize should have her name. It was totally unnecessary, and it really annoys me!

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 Post subject: Re: Margot Venables Prize.
PostPosted: 18 Jul 2017, 12:00 
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Anyone know where it says about the name change, I can't recall actually seeing it mentioned?
And, as Joyce says, Daisy and Primula must have been hurt by the change in name, doubly so perhaps because apparently Joey is so popular that all the girls wanted it.
(that's a bit like the vote for ML being unanimous, who did she vote for, herself?)
Another good point is the Coming of Age, an ideal time to talk about the history of the school, to explain who people were and what they did.

I think EBD was always aiming that Mary-Lou would win it, she was her darling after Joey, and anyone winning it after that would have had to be better than ML, would she have allowed that, lol.


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 Post subject: Re: Margot Venables Prize.
PostPosted: 18 Jul 2017, 12:13 
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Also, in Theodora, the staff decide that Mary-Lou should get a special leaving present just for being Mary-Lou :roll:. I think that the outgoing Head Girl should have received a special prize/gift, because Head Girls were expected to take on a lot of responsibility, but, as with renaming the Margot Venables Prize, I think EBD was getting carried away with her preference for her favourites there. It's rather insulting to the many other girls who've done their best over the years that Mary-Lou should have had a special prize created just for her.

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 Post subject: Re: Margot Venables Prize.
PostPosted: 18 Jul 2017, 12:19 
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[quote="Alison H"]In this case, I assume that most of the girls, whilst they wouldn't have known her, were aware that Margot Venables was a former matron, Madge's sister-in-law, the mother of two former pupils and the aunt of a current pupil (although Ailie never knew her), who had tragically died in her early 40s. And, even if they didn't know that much, presumably they must have realised that she was someone who was important to Joey, or the prize wouldn't have been named after her in the first place. I think it was incredibly disrespectful that they wanted to change the name, and I'm surprised that Joey, Hilda and Madge agreed to it.quote]

As Alison says, it is possible that the current pupils could have been made aware of all this back history. But maybe EBD decided that it was unreasonable to expect current readers to be aware of it. After all, Margot had died, off stage, in the middle of Exile and had only featured really in New House. Although EBD wasn't loth to include lots of references to the 'Dark Ages', she might have thought that having to spell out all this history every time she wanted to mention the prize was going a bit far.


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 Post subject: Re: Margot Venables Prize.
PostPosted: 18 Jul 2017, 13:42 
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Quote:
she might have thought that having to spell out all this history every time she wanted to mention the prize was going a bit far.


Although it's not mentioned all that often; only twice in the whole Swiss era and however many books that was.

I suppose Joey saying it was hers meant that she set it up and provided the prize/award, if there was one - was there a book token or something?

I think Tom and Mary Lou were the two genuinely deserving winners. Robin and Daisy might have been contenders in their day. Gay and Jo were kind helpful girls, but at the time they were awarded the prize they didn't have long enough track records.

I think it would have been a bit much, even for EBD, to give Len the prize. And I don't really think she's up there with Tom and ML.

Jo didn't suggest the prize should be awarded in the silver jubilee year; maybe that's Jo showing an unusual amount of tact and discretion, since she must have known that Len would be the chief contender if it was awarded then. Jack Lambert would have imposed a three-line whip on all her followers to get her chosen!


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 Post subject: Re: Margot Venables Prize.
PostPosted: 18 Jul 2017, 21:02 
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Len is one of my favourite characters but I would agree she did not deserve to win the prize.
Like Jayb says it wasn't mentioned that often, not really enough to warrant changing the name.I think its more likely that she just wanted to bring Joey to peoples attention as the one who donated the prize.
ML getting the special leaving present always struck me as wrong, why did she deserve one more than any other head girl, apart from, of course, she was a favourite of EBD.


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 Post subject: Re: Margot Venables Prize.
PostPosted: 19 Jul 2017, 03:34 
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Terrygo wrote:
Anyone know where it says about the name change, I can't recall actually seeing it mentioned?


It's in Coming of Age when the doctor presenting the prize says:

“I understand that there is still one more prize to be given,” he began. “Many years ago, Mrs. Maynard,” he turned and bowed to Joey, who gave him a wide grin, “established what is known as the Josephine Maynard Prize, which is given to the girl who most fulfils the ideal the pupils of the Chalet School always have held before them. I understand that it began as The Margot Venables Prize, but the girls themselves have insisted that the name of the donor be given to it."

So not only are we told the original name but that it was changed and why.

And why should the girls CARE what the prize is called? And if EBD was so desperate to have a JM prize, then why not establish another one and leave the MV prize alone?

And the favouritism is carried way too far when we are told every girl voted for ML. That's impossible. If, for nothing else, because it means ML voted for herself.

JayB wrote:
Gay and Jo were kind helpful girls, but at the time they were awarded the prize they didn't have long enough track records.


The prefects just deciding to give it to Jo was insane. It's basically because they feel sorry for her and "she's shown herself to be helpful at all times". Do we ever see any evidence of that?!

It's basically because she's named after Joey (favouritism by proxy) and one of ML's gang.

Cheers,
Joyce

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Last edited by Joyce on 19 Jul 2017, 11:02, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Margot Venables Prize.
PostPosted: 19 Jul 2017, 10:21 
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Do we see where the girls insist the prize should be renamed or is it just one of those things EBD puts in later to suit the story? Why would the girls insist, were they asked about it,it is really such a random thing to do.
And again, as mentioned, did no one consider Daisy and Primula,and would Hilda really have allowed it.
The whole thing just strikes me as once again EBD pushing Joey to the front, along with her second favourite of Mary-Lou.


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 Post subject: Re: Margot Venables Prize.
PostPosted: 19 Jul 2017, 10:47 
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Joyce wrote:
JayB wrote:
Gay and Jo were kind helpful girls, but at the time they were awarded the prize they didn't have long enough track records.


The prefects just deciding to give it to Jo was insane. It's basically because they feel sorry for her and "she's shown herself to be helpful at all times". Do we ever see any evidence of that?!

It's basically because she's named after Joey (favouritism by proxy) and one of ML's gang.

Cheers,
Joyce


Jo does save Emerence's life and injures herself in the process doing herself out of winning any of the garden prizes for the end of term festivities. And her track record in the books show she is helpful at all times. She is consistently form prefect in every form she is in until she leaves school.

I like Gay getting the prize, but also a few terms later someone said they'd actually voted for Gillian Culver instead as she had helped them with their prep, which I liked seeing as it showed a lot of girls were helpful and liked, not just one or two.

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 Post subject: Re: Margot Venables Prize.
PostPosted: 19 Jul 2017, 11:12 
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Terrygo wrote:
Do we see where the girls insist the prize should be renamed or is it just one of those things EBD puts in later to suit the story?


It's inserted in later on. And there's really no need. As a reader, the name of the prize is not really the point as all I need to know is that it's given to the girl who exemplifies the spirit of the school.

So it's just so random to rename it. Let alone say it's because the 'girls' wanted it. Let's say they really did ask for the name change - that's the perfect opportunity for Miss Annersley or Joey to say "let me tell you about Margot."

Fiona Mc wrote:
Jo does save Emerence's life and injures herself in the process doing herself out of winning any of the garden prizes for the end of term festivities. And her track record in the books show she is helpful at all times. She is consistently form prefect in every form she is in until she leaves school.

I like Gay getting the prize, but also a few terms later someone said they'd actually voted for Gillian Culver instead as she had helped them with their prep, which I liked seeing as it showed a lot of girls were helpful and liked, not just one or two.


Well, Prunella saves Margot's life and she didn't get the prize. Carola saves both Signa and Len and doesn't get it either.

And Jo shouldn't get the MV just because the prefects feel sorry for her which is the reason provided. It actually diminishes the reason for the MV.

And Jo was only in her first term at that stage so whatever she may have been later on, she had no track record of helpfulness at that stage. There's not a single incident of helpfulness by her in that term that stands out.

And where does the Gillian Culver comment come in? Was it cut from the paperbacks? That's really interesting.

Cheers,
Joyce

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 Post subject: Re: Margot Venables Prize.
PostPosted: 19 Jul 2017, 12:10 
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It doesn't actually say much for the school that there was only one person out of over 200 whom people thought deserved the prize :lol: :lol: :lol: .

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 Post subject: Re: Margot Venables Prize.
PostPosted: 19 Jul 2017, 12:33 
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I've a very vague feeling that someone says although Prunella saved Margot she didn't qualify for the prize for some other reason.Can anyone else point any light on this?


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 Post subject: Re: Margot Venables Prize.
PostPosted: 19 Jul 2017, 16:18 
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This prize wasn't just for an act of bravery - but there is another prize that is, can't remember what it's called, whenever it is first awarded it's also retrospective - Mary-Lou gets it for saving Miss Ferrars from the glacier, and she says Hilary helped just as much as she did, so Miss Annersley says Hilary shall have a prize too. Prunella is another winner, maybe also Jo, but it doesn't go back as far as Carola (in fact I think one of the conditions is things that have happened sinced they've been in Switzerland. .


Last edited by ivohenry on 19 Jul 2017, 20:22, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Margot Venables Prize.
PostPosted: 19 Jul 2017, 16:44 
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I'm not sure that it's called anything in particular: yes, it's a school medal for acts of bravery since coming to the Oberland, and it was Nan Herbert's idea in Excitements for the School's Coming-of-Age celebrations. And yes, it's retrospectively awarded to Prunella (Does It Again), Jo Scott (Kenya), and Mary-Lou and Hilary (New Mistress) - and then I rather think we never hear of it again...


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 Post subject: Re: Margot Venables Prize.
PostPosted: 19 Jul 2017, 17:12 
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That sounds like the one I was thinking off, thanks, :wink:


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 Post subject: Re: Margot Venables Prize.
PostPosted: 19 Jul 2017, 17:46 
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Medal not prize, yes that's the one I was thnking of!


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 Post subject: Re: Margot Venables Prize.
PostPosted: 19 Jul 2017, 19:59 
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It seems a bit unfair to me that it's awarded for heroics only since coming to Switzerland, but (a) there were a great many more valorous deeds in the early books (and a fair number of them were down to Joey) and (b) it would perhaps seem a bit odd to be awarding school medals for something that happened thirty years and more ago...


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 Post subject: Re: Margot Venables Prize.
PostPosted: 20 Jul 2017, 02:27 
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Terrygo wrote:
I've a very vague feeling that someone says although Prunella saved Margot she didn't qualify for the prize for some other reason.Can anyone else point any light on this?


Yeah, it's in Kenya when Jo is 'awarded' the MV prize.

Basically it is EBD plugging up a plot hole by having Miss Annersley say that even though Prunella saved Margot's life she didn't fulfil other conditions i.e. she wasn't helpful. Wow! that's a lovely thing to tell the girl in front of the whole school.

Noreen wrote:
I'm not sure that it's called anything in particular: yes, it's a school medal for acts of bravery since coming to the Oberland, and it was Nan Herbert's idea in Excitements for the School's Coming-of-Age celebrations. And yes, it's retrospectively awarded to Prunella (Does It Again), Jo Scott (Kenya), and Mary-Lou and Hilary (New Mistress) - and then I rather think we never hear of it again...


When Grizel saves Len's life there is talk about giving it to her even though she left school years ago, but then we never heard it again.

A medal like that is just asking for trouble though - what kind of school has so many dangerous situations that there is a special prize for saving another girl's life!

Cheers,
Joyce

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