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 Post subject: The Later Staff
PostPosted: 13 Jan 2020, 21:14 
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Giving a Junior an order mark
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I think we've commented before that, with the obvious exception of Miss Ferrars, and to a lesser extent Miss Yolland, we don't get told much about new members of staff in the later books. Why was EMBD so less keen than she had been to tell us about them, especially given her love of creating a back-story? In fairness, I suppose that even some of the earlier staff are just lightly sketched in - I think we never hear much about Miss Edwards, for example, and there are people like Miss Bell who are almost invisible; at least one of the matrons, Barbara Henschell, is a former pupil, but we still know very little about her.


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 Post subject: Re: The Later Staff
PostPosted: 13 Jan 2020, 22:14 
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We're told that Miss Moore is helping to pay her brother's kids' school fees, but that's about it. We know virtually nothing about Miss Stone, for example. Having said which, we know very little about Miss Derwent, who's there for years, and I don't even feel that I know that much about Sharlie Andrews. I suppose it's because the school was so small in the early days that we got to know Miss Annersley, Miss Wilson, Miss Maynard, Miss Stewart and Miss Norman very well, and then a lot of the next batch of teachers were Old Girls - Juliet, Grizel, Simone, Mary, Gillian, Hilary. But a big part of the Chalet School is that the mistresses are major characters in their own right, rather than just existing in relation to the girls, and I do think we lose that later on.

I think it's just part of the general dropping off in the standard of writing. We don't really get to know "The Crew" and the other characters who appear from nowhere later on, either.

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 Post subject: Re: The Later Staff
PostPosted: 14 Jan 2020, 08:19 
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Alison H wrote:
But a big part of the Chalet School is that the mistresses are major characters in their own right, rather than just existing in relation to the girls, and I do think we lose that later on.


Maybe EBD felt that herself and that's why she wrote New Mistress

Jeanne de Lachenais is an early mistress yet we never hear much about her despite being at the school for so long

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 Post subject: Re: The Later Staff
PostPosted: 14 Jan 2020, 11:38 
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Yes, Jeanne de Lachenais was in my mind as I was thinking about that post, but then I thought "Isn't she the one who's a member of The Alpine Club?" - even little details like that help you get an idea of the person. Miss Moore I remember as being famed for her sarcasm, and she travels out to the school from Canada. Miss Yolland is a former pupil, and she was near-invisible then, too - but we do at least get to see her in action in Summer Term. The complete opposite to Herr Laubach, fortunately...

Is there any member of the teaching staff you would like to have known more about?


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 Post subject: Re: The Later Staff
PostPosted: 14 Jan 2020, 11:48 
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I think we 'meet' Miss Smith for the first time in Summer Term. I'm not even sure what she's supposed to teach. And then there's Miss Carey and I'm never sure how long she's been around for.


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 Post subject: Re: The Later Staff
PostPosted: 14 Jan 2020, 18:05 
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There's Beth Carey, who starts off teaching the juniors in Jo Returns, and goes on to teach handicrafts, but she leaves to teach in a college in Island, so is this another Miss Carey?


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 Post subject: Re: The Later Staff
PostPosted: 14 Jan 2020, 20:25 
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i think by this time EBD had got into the writing habit of introducing a new girl a book and then dropping them, and so didn't have scope to expand on the teachers.Also by then Joey was very much to the fore.
It is a shame, there was a lot of potential in the staff backgrounds, New Mistress was one of her better later books and it was good to see it from a different point of view.


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 Post subject: Re: The Later Staff
PostPosted: 14 Jan 2020, 21:17 
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Noreen wrote:
There's Beth Carey, who starts off teaching the juniors in Jo Returns, and goes on to teach handicrafts, but she leaves to teach in a college in Island, so is this another Miss Carey?


Didn't she mention Miss Armitage after forgetting that she'd left, and then, after someone pointed it out, say that Miss Armitage II was a cousin of Miss Armitage I :lol: ?

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 Post subject: Re: The Later Staff
PostPosted: 14 Jan 2020, 22:53 
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She got confused with Grace Nalder too - she turned into Phyll Nalder


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 Post subject: Re: The Later Staff
PostPosted: 14 Jan 2020, 23:30 
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And un-married her husband, I seem to remember from when she comes back in CS in the Oberland.


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 Post subject: Re: The Later Staff
PostPosted: 16 Jan 2020, 00:40 
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There's a lot more change in mistresses in the earlier books. I counted, and we have 32 mistresses who join the school in Tyrol, 22 join in the UK, and 17 in Switzerland. Meanwhile, 20 mistresses leave from Tyrol, 23 leave from England (including those left behind when the school goes to Switzerland) and 1 from the Swiss period (Biddy O'Ryan).*

*(Excluding visiting music masters, and counting people who moved to St Mildred's as still at the school).

So in the later books, we don't have the situation where one mistress is leaving to get married or take another job, and her replacement is discussed and introduced.

Also, the Tyrol books had fewer mistresses and characters over all, and so could devote more time to each. In the UK days, we had a whole bunch of old girls as mistresses, who had back-stories and personalities already established.

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