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 Post subject: Sale themes
PostPosted: 24 Aug 2018, 09:55 
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Following on from the comments in another thread about EBD being into Kate Greenaway. The Kate Greenaway Sale completely threw me as a kid, because I'd never heard of her, and I hadn't got a clue what The Crown of Success was - I thought ALOE was something you got in cosmetics! I'm not sure I knew what the Willow Pattern was either - I'd have known if I'd seen a picture, because both my grandmas had a load of willow pattern crockery (it was very "in" at one time), but I don't think I knew the name. Part of that's a generational thing, but I'm wondering how well-known The Crown of Success was even in the 1950s.

Was this just me :lol: ?

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 Post subject: Re: Sale themes
PostPosted: 24 Aug 2018, 10:44 
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I think even at the CS it was an obscure book belonging to the school san so only a few of the girls would have read it and visitors to the Sale might have been completely baffled. Perhaps EBD herself had recently read it and wanted to share it with her readers.


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 Post subject: Re: Sale themes
PostPosted: 24 Aug 2018, 13:07 
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As an adult, by chance I did acquire a copy of The Crown of Success, whereupon the sale in Bride made a lot more sense, but it was a completely unknown book to me as a young reader - and I did have a few old-fashioned books even as a kid. These days you can read it online, though I'd never call it a light read, exactly... and I still think it's a pretty unlikely choice for a sale theme.

I think we're only told the themes of about twelve actual sales in the course of the books, and some are much more fully described than others:
Fairy Tales (Lintons)
Alice (Tom)
Willow Pattern I (was at Plas Howell ?)
Many Nations (Carola)
The Crown of Success (Bride)
Willow Pattern II (Does it Again)
Old English (Genius)
Shakespeare (Coming of Age)
Arabian Nights (Wins the Trick)
Spanish (Jane)
Kate Greenaway (Summer Term)
The Seasons (Prefects)


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 Post subject: Re: Sale themes
PostPosted: 24 Aug 2018, 16:56 
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Odd that there were so few mentioned and I think the Spanish Sale is probably the least inventive. Did Gaudenz rig up a bull-ring?


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 Post subject: Re: Sale themes
PostPosted: 24 Aug 2018, 17:30 
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Noreen wrote:
As an adult, by chance I did acquire a copy of The Crown of Success, whereupon the sale in Bride made a lot more sense, but it was a completely unknown book to me as a young reader - and I did have a few old-fashioned books even as a kid. These days you can read it online, though I'd never call it a light read, exactly...


No, having read it fairly recently, I agree Noreen. It was a bit of a slog! I did, however, know the Willow Pattern story, even as a young child in the fifties. It didn't really matter to me as a young reader. I just skipped over what I didn't know, and still managed to make sense of it all, in the same way as we all absorbed words we didn't know the meaning, making a stab at their meaning from the context.

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 Post subject: Re: Sale themes
PostPosted: 24 Aug 2018, 18:18 
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MaryR wrote:
No, having read it fairly recently, I agree Noreen. It was a bit of a slog! I did, however, know the Willow Pattern story, even as a young child in the fifties. It didn't really matter to me as a young reader. I just skipped over what I didn't know, and still managed to make sense of it all, in the same way as we all absorbed words we didn't know the meaning, making a stab at their meaning from the context.
Exactly. I knew the Willow Pattern story, too, from a 1920s book that I had, Stories for Reading and Telling, but I don't think there were so many compilations of short stories (other than fairy tales) like that in the 1960s and 70s as there had been when we were children.

Mel wrote:
Odd that there were so few mentioned and I think the Spanish Sale is probably the least inventive.
It's still better than the Nursery Rhymes theme which seems to be regarded on several occasions as the fall-back solution if they can't think of anything else :D. OK for a primary or prep school, perhaps, but a bit tame for the CS, somehow.


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 Post subject: Re: Sale themes
PostPosted: 25 Aug 2018, 00:55 
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I think we get to hear about the Sale in all the summer term books in Switzerland, she was getting to the point where she was far more formulaic than the earlier books and probably needed to pad the story out a bit with a couple of easy chapters, whereas in earlier books there was far more "story" so she didn't need to include all the sale details.


Last edited by ivohenry on 25 Aug 2018, 12:12, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Sale themes
PostPosted: 25 Aug 2018, 09:19 
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Though she gives one away, so to speak, in Theodora - there’s a Sale upcoming that term, and that fact is mentioned, but it's not described at all, not even the theme, if I remember rightly. While there's plenty else going on in that particular book, I'm honestly surprised that we don't have a theme, especially something that would be quite difficult to do, like 18th century (or poudré, as EMBD would probably have said)...


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 Post subject: Re: Sale themes
PostPosted: 27 Aug 2018, 14:11 
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Alison H wrote:
Following on from the comments in another thread about EBD being into Kate Greenaway. The Kate Greenaway Sale completely threw me as a kid, because I'd never heard of her, and I hadn't got a clue what The Crown of Success was - I thought ALOE was something you got in cosmetics! I'm not sure I knew what the Willow Pattern was either - I'd have known if I'd seen a picture, because both my grandmas had a load of willow pattern crockery (it was very "in" at one time), but I don't think I knew the name. Part of that's a generational thing, but I'm wondering how well-known The Crown of Success was even in the 1950s.

Was this just me :lol: ?

When I google The Crown Of Success, most comments seem to be from people who heard about it through Bride Leads. It seems to be pretty obscure.

What was the Kate Greenaway sale? Regency clothes? I've never heard of the Willow Pattern, but apparently it's a Chinese thing.


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 Post subject: Re: Sale themes
PostPosted: 27 Aug 2018, 14:37 
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Lotte wrote:

What was the Kate Greenaway sale? Regency clothes? I've never heard of the Willow Pattern, but apparently it's a Chinese thing.


Willow pattern is sort of Chinese Lotte - hugely popular design, especially for crockery but later for wallpaper and other things.

Kate Greenaway, I imagine, was delicately coloured children's clothes rather than Regency as such. There is a lovely book "The April Baby's Book of Tunes" by Elizabeth von Arnim, illustrated by Kate Greenaway. I proudly own a copy....

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 Post subject: Re: Sale themes
PostPosted: 27 Aug 2018, 16:47 
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'Kate Greenaway' is a bit of an odd one to pick, really, as there wasn't a single style, even in the version that was fashionable for real children in the 1880s and 90s. For the most part she depicted people in either broadly 18th century styles (up to about 1780), or yes, an approximation to those of the Regency. The April Baby's Book of Tunes is a bit unusual in showing quite a lot of children in contemporary aesthetic clothing like smocks, cestina - makes me think of E Nesbit's taste in children's clothes (evidently not shared by her own children!).

EMBD does seem to have interpreted it as being KG's 'Regency' style, though: high-waisted gowns, mittens, stoles/ shawls, mob caps (they're both centuries, fair enough) for the females; peaked caps, neck frills and short jackets (for the young) or tailcoats and pantaloons for the elder males (finished off with wellies, which may have looked a little odd...).


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 Post subject: Re: Sale themes
PostPosted: 27 Aug 2018, 17:12 
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One of the St Mildred's pantomimes - in Does It Again - is The Story of the Willow Pattern too (coinciding with that year's theme), so EBD must have really liked that tale.

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 Post subject: Re: Sale themes
PostPosted: 27 Aug 2018, 19:22 
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I'd heard of The Willow Pattern, but not Kate Greenaway. Never really thought about it until this thread, so might just have to have a look for a blurb of The Crown Of Success, and see what it's actually about.

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 Post subject: Re: Sale themes
PostPosted: 27 Aug 2018, 20:13 
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I had never heard of Kate Greenaway, A.L.O.E. or the Willow Pattern before the Chalet School. At least the latter two are somewhat explained in the books. I wonder why there was no Mary Poppins or Peter Pan sale? They seem like stories young people would suggest.

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 Post subject: Re: Sale themes
PostPosted: 28 Aug 2018, 06:38 
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The Willow pattern is actually pretty interesting - it's not at all Chinese, but was developed in England, and the story was completely made up as a marketing tool.

The willow pattern is also one of the more boring of the sales, mainly because we get the story twice in a single book - once recited in the prefects meeting, then again in the blow-by-blow of the pantomime.

By the end of the series the prefect have a pretty difficult time trying to think of new Sale themes, after 20 or so previous sales! I'm impressed they can think of new ideas that allow for easily made costumes for 400+ girls and themed stalls.

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 Post subject: Re: Sale themes
PostPosted: 28 Aug 2018, 10:08 
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mynameisdumbnuts wrote:
I had never heard of Kate Greenaway, A.L.O.E. or the Willow Pattern before the Chalet School. At least the latter two are somewhat explained in the books. I wonder why there was no Mary Poppins or Peter Pan sale? They seem like stories young people would suggest.


Although Mary Poppins was first publshed 1934, EBD may not have known it. It's not really the sort of book an adult with no children and probably very little contact with any would come across. She does mention Angela Brazil, Elsie Oxenham and Dorita Fairlie Bruce which isn't surprising, also a couple of mentions of Violet Needham, but most other children's book mentions are those she'd have read in her childhood.


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 Post subject: Re: Sale themes
PostPosted: 28 Aug 2018, 10:41 
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She did have at least two god-daughters, but this was after her conversion, so she may have taken it rather seriously and limited any book-buying to related subjects - I don't mean heavy-handedly, just not secular.


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 Post subject: Re: Sale themes
PostPosted: 28 Aug 2018, 12:07 
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I think the Spanish Sale was a genius idea - after that, I'd just have said, OK, French Sale, Italian Sale, German Sale, etc etc :lol: . They could have done different historical periods, or books like Little Women which are fairly well-known, but, as Jennifer said, I don't know how you'd find costumes for everyone and ideas for all the stalls.

And I'm not sure how well any of it would have worked for people from non-English speaking countries.

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 Post subject: Re: Sale themes
PostPosted: 28 Aug 2018, 13:38 
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I love the idea of a Peter Pan Sale and they could do Fairy Tales again, but themed such as Grimms' or Hans Christian Andersen. Or what about a Sea Sale
( pirates/mermaids/fish/sailors). My favourite choice of Sale is in Coming of Age when Josette's last-minute idea of a Shakespeare Sale is chosen ahead Of Len/Joey's Chaucer Sale.


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 Post subject: Re: Sale themes
PostPosted: 28 Aug 2018, 14:58 
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What did they mean by Old English?

As far as I'm concerned, Old English means that you speak one of the Anglo-Saxon languages, e.g. Late West Saxon, Kentish, Mercian, and wear Anglo-Saxon style clothes.

Anyone able to help me with another definition?

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