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 Post subject: EBD's enthusiasms
PostPosted: 13 Aug 2018, 08:49 
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Random observations -

EBD wrote three books with cello heavy plots (The Lost Staircase, Gay from China and Joey to the Rescue), which were published in 1946, 1944 and 1945. She also wrote three books which feature characters going to the movies - Mystery, Three Go and Monica Turns up Trumps, published in 1947, 1949 and 1949.

Something obviously happened to pique her interest in movies and the 'cello - I wonder what it was?

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 Post subject: Re: EBD's enthusiasms
PostPosted: 13 Aug 2018, 10:22 
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In a similar way, in the Swiss books she has a run of dredging up forgotten St Scholastika characters - Maisie Gomme, Nancy Wilmot and Winnie Embury. Was I the only one who thought each time -who's she?


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 Post subject: Re: EBD's enthusiasms
PostPosted: 13 Aug 2018, 10:55 
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I wonder if she brought Nancy back because she was Hilary Graves nee Burn's best friend, and she originally intended for Hilary, as the other Old Girl Doctor's Wife on the scene when the Swiss era started, to play a bigger role. The cinema storylines could just have been an attempt to seem more up to date, but I've no idea about the cello - was there a popular film or book featuring cellos around during the war years?

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 Post subject: Re: EBD's enthusiasms
PostPosted: 13 Aug 2018, 12:47 
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Wasn't EMBD a cellist herself? (hastily checks in Behind the Chalet School) - yes, she studied cello, voice and (of course) piano at the Newcastle Conservatoire. So it was the instrument (apart from the piano) that she knew most about from the learner/ practitioner's point of view.

Obviously music was always going to be a recurring theme for her, but I wonder whether it was boosted by the popularity of the pianist Eileen Joyce, who was a real celebrity in her day, especially during the years of WW2.


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 Post subject: Re: EBD's enthusiasms
PostPosted: 13 Aug 2018, 14:10 
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In the Twenties, she was very enthusiastic about Guiding and folk dancing. She goes into a lot of detail about both in Judy the Guide and some of the early Chalet books.


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 Post subject: Re: EBD's enthusiasms
PostPosted: 13 Aug 2018, 18:31 
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There is absolutely no question in my mind that she owned a dolls house. No one who didn't, could have written as she does about the world of miniatures. It might be that hers was a relatively simple one and her writing held a degree of wish-fulfilment but I am very sure that at some point in her life she had a very much loved one.

Of course it may be that, like me, her childhood dolls house was given away and all her writing, like my collection, is an attempt to recreate that original house.

(For anyone who hasn't come across it already, every house she ever mentions in the books can be found in this article I wrote for Dolls Houses Past and Present some years ago. I hope the link works - the website is having serious problems and we are desperately trying to raise money to fund a new site, which will be quite expensive because of the nature of the material held on it.)

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 Post subject: Re: EBD's enthusiasms
PostPosted: 13 Aug 2018, 19:20 
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Maybe she heard or went to see someone who played the cello at around the time she wrote the books, which is why she was inspired? It's said in Rescue, that Joey saw and heard Phoebe's father three times, and she was supposed to meet him- but she also had the luck to meet his daughter. Perhaps that stems from there, also?

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 Post subject: Re: EBD's enthusiasms
PostPosted: 13 Aug 2018, 19:54 
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Well, but she played the cello herself - why does it need external inspiration?


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 Post subject: Re: EBD's enthusiasms
PostPosted: 13 Aug 2018, 22:19 
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Yes, even if we didn't know for certain, we could make a good guess she had some experience of the cello etc.

I remember her saying in one of the original CS Club newsletters that she was watching/taking part in a performance in Hereford of the Three Choirs? I am sure someone will know the exact name for this.


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 Post subject: Re: EBD's enthusiasms
PostPosted: 14 Aug 2018, 01:18 
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Noreen wrote:
Well, but she played the cello herself - why does it need external inspiration?


It's the grouping that struck me - three books, written over a period of two years with cello-enthusiast plots. Outside of that, and a few reference to Gay and Jacynth's stories, the cello isn't mentioned any more often than flute or harp.

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 Post subject: Re: EBD's enthusiasms
PostPosted: 14 Aug 2018, 02:40 
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EBD did get enthusiasms about things though even in real life. Look too at the consecutive books Carola Storms and Wrong as they have quite similar plots. About the time the school moved to Switzerland she was very keen on the Guernsey people even writing another La Rochelle book.

Just EBD really!


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 Post subject: Re: EBD's enthusiasms
PostPosted: 14 Aug 2018, 08:03 
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Seconding that, Audrey - and she seems to have had enthusiasms for various friends that sometimes cooled in the face of the enthusiasm for another one, or thing.

She also seems to have been an entirely intuitive writer (she was a natural story-teller, after all) rather than a methodical one - it's very much 'go with the flow', even, I swear, to the extent of writing parts of the narrative in the wrong order ("I've just been struck with a great idea for further on, I must get it down now"). I can't talk, I write non-fiction that way!


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 Post subject: Re: EBD's enthusiasms
PostPosted: 14 Aug 2018, 11:28 
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Noreen wrote:
.... it's very much 'go with the flow', even, I swear, to the extent of writing parts of the narrative in the wrong order ("I've just been struck with a great idea for further on, I must get it down now"). I can't talk, I write non-fiction that way!


And I write fiction like that. Doesn't everyone? :?

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 Post subject: Re: EBD's enthusiasms
PostPosted: 14 Aug 2018, 11:57 
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I walk round with scrawled notes in my handbag, if I haven't got time to transfer my thoughts from my head to the computer just there and then :lol: . Must get it down, quick!

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 Post subject: Re: EBD's enthusiasms
PostPosted: 14 Aug 2018, 22:45 
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Notes, yes, episodes yes - I just think EMBD may then have gone on from there to the end and gone back to fill bits in, hence some of the more spectacular EBDisms.

cestina wrote:
Noreen wrote:
.... it's very much 'go with the flow', even, I swear, to the extent of writing parts of the narrative in the wrong order ("I've just been struck with a great idea for further on, I must get it down now"). I can't talk, I write non-fiction that way!


And I write fiction like that. Doesn't everyone? :?
:lol: I'm not sure - I think there are writers who sit down and write so many words a day, in the correct order, for the most part. Possibly very rare, of course!


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 Post subject: Re: EBD's enthusiasms
PostPosted: 16 Aug 2018, 13:57 
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She must have developed at least a mld enthusiasm for bird-watching during the Island years. Kester Bellever is quite a solid character, and this continues over a few books.

Either she didn't know enough about Swiss birds to continue, or her enthusiam for the subject died around the time the school moved. After the time they invested in it while on the Island, it would be quite natural for someone to ask a question about local birds in the Oberland, and have some kind of bird watching continue.

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 Post subject: Re: EBD's enthusiasms
PostPosted: 16 Aug 2018, 16:07 
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I recently read an article - tied in with the new Christopher Robin film - about how much interest there was in nature in Edwardian times, and how that increased in the 1920s as a sort of reaction against the difficulties of the war years. Apart from Kester Bellever, there isn't much mention of flora and fauna in the books (except in Highland Twins - sorry, but if I don't say it then someone else will :lol: ). There are dogs and cats, and the odd pig or goat, but I can't remember even squirrels and rabbits being mentioned as far as wild animals go, and flowers are only really mentioned in terms of picking them.

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 Post subject: Re: EBD's enthusiasms
PostPosted: 16 Aug 2018, 20:21 
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Haven't the books to hand but didn't someone in the early days press flowers and make an album in Hobbies Club?


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 Post subject: Re: EBD's enthusiasms
PostPosted: 16 Aug 2018, 21:32 
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I think so, and there were two girls who had a bird feather collection at some point.


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 Post subject: Re: EBD's enthusiasms
PostPosted: 16 Aug 2018, 22:21 
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They don't seem to go in for the nature rambles that many other GO schools do, and one would expect at least one of the Maynards to go in for insects or birds nests and have collections in their rooms going by other GO reading!


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