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 Post subject: Re: EBD writing out the Russells
PostPosted: 04 Sep 2017, 10:59 
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Learning the difference - can and may
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I think it was a shame Madge was sidelined when the school went to Switzerland. I seem to remember though that in the first year or so of the Swiss school she did make a couple of appearances.

If Madge had stayed in the books, a better balance might have been achieved with Joey.

Jem definitely did visit the Swiss san regularly although his visits are not documented in any of the books. It does say in one book though that he always flew when he visited.

Of course, once EBD shunted the Russells off to Australia no chance of any visits.


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 Post subject: Re: EBD writing out the Russells
PostPosted: 04 Sep 2017, 13:38 
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Terrygo wrote:
Vintagejazz wrote:
By the time the school moved to Switzerland Madge had become quite a remote character and, realistically, there wouldn't have been that many pupils left in the school who really knew her or would have been delighted to see her make an unexpected appearance in the dining hall.


I've never quite seen the delight supposedly shown by the girls on Madge's rare appearances at the Swiss school.Hardly any of the school would know her personally and to them would, if recognised, be just the schools owner. Indeed I can see the younger girls nudging each other and whispering 'who's that?'
The series lost something when it moved,and like others I think its a shame Madge was sidelined.It allowed Joey to become too involved in the school but you could see that starting I think in the later Island/welsh books.



I've posted about it before, but I could never understand the whole school whooping and cheering when Simone had her 3rd child, and Simone asking that the school be given an extra half holiday to celebrate.

No one, apart from the very oldest pupils, would have remembered Simone being there as a teacher - and even they would have been tiny at the time so probably only saw her in the distance and were never actually taught by her.

The vast, vast majority of pupils wouldn't have a clue who she was, or the slightest interest in her new baby.


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 Post subject: Re: EBD writing out the Russells
PostPosted: 04 Sep 2017, 16:58 
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What would happen if all the OG's asked for an extra holiday whenever they gave birth?


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 Post subject: Re: EBD writing out the Russells
PostPosted: 04 Sep 2017, 22:12 
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It was one of those ridiculously over-complicated plot devices - wasn't it so that half-term would be extended, giving Joan chance to run away? Why not just make half term the required number of days in the first place :lol:?

Hilda, Nell and I think Rosalie all go to stay at Madge's after Peggy's wedding, to discuss school affairs. It would be nice to think of them all getting together once a year - maybe at a posh spa hotel :lol: - for a school-related conference. They probably did (without the spa hotel!), at some point during the summer holidays, but we don't get to see it :( .

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 Post subject: Re: EBD writing out the Russells
PostPosted: 05 Sep 2017, 00:52 
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That's a good point about Madge and Joey balancing each other. Joey tends to be impulsive - she blurts out stuff without thinking, is tactless, is slangy - and is a high energy, bouncing around, sometimes overwhelming person. Madge is much calmer, more tactful, and tends to take a more thoughtful look at situations. Joey prides herself on being an overgrown schoolgirl, while Madge has been the responsible adult from a young age.

So Madge can rein in Joey when she gets out of hand, and handle situations that require diplomacy and grace, while Joey can bond with the girls more on their own level, and inject energy when needed.

I think some of the general Madame adulation and things like Simone's kid's birth, were an attempt to capture the atmosphere of the Tyrol days, when Madge *was* beloved by all the students, and the old girls were well known and a regular part of school live. It works in the Tyrol days, and is one of the things that makes those books so charming, but it doesn't make sense later. By the end of the series, most of the students wouldn't have any connection with Madge or the school as it was in England, let alone Tyrol.

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 Post subject: Re: EBD writing out the Russells
PostPosted: 05 Sep 2017, 02:43 
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Terrygo wrote:
I've never quite seen the delight supposedly shown by the girls on Madge's rare appearances at the Swiss school.Hardly any of the school would know her personally and to them would, if recognised, be just the schools owner. Indeed I can see the younger girls nudging each other and whispering 'who's that?


Yeah, the scene where she shows up at breakfast and the girls cheer her seems a bit forced. Except for her own daughters/nieces would anyone recognise her on sight?

And definitely towards the end it would be like a VIP visiting as she strolls round with Joey. It's quite sad when compared to early days when she was a mother figure to all the girls.

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 Post subject: Re: EBD writing out the Russells
PostPosted: 05 Sep 2017, 07:03 
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Quite probably Madge's face would be on the school walls, in various portraits and school pictures from previous years, and also in the Chaletian, photographs of her opening sales or attending prize givings or whatever, so I can believe that a fair number of the girls (maybe the majority of the middles and seniors) would recognise her - but so few of them would have had a personal relationship with her by the later Swiss years, that the excitment part of it seems OTT.

Although, maybe she's mythologised - Madame and her wonderful literature lessons - and successive years of girls have bought into that mythology?

Or maybe she visited the school far more than EBD tells us she does :D


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 Post subject: Re: EBD writing out the Russells
PostPosted: 05 Sep 2017, 07:41 
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I think they'd all have known who Madge was, and she probably was mythologised, as the founder of the school. But I think EBD sometimes forgot or overlooked that not everyone knew each other as they'd done in Tyrol days. Grizel buys a wedding present for Verity, whom she can only have known for a few terms when she was a teacher and Verity was a junior pupil. Barbara Chester starts a collection to buy a wedding present for Peggy Bettany, even though most of the people at the school by then, including Barbara herself, hadn't been at the school in Peggy's day. IIRC, Len says somewhere that Tom Gay owes her a letter - why on earth would Tom be writing to Len?! And Mary-Lou is upset that no-one told her that Robin was in Arles, even though she can only have met Robin briefly when they were both based in Howells.

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