to think that Amy March is one of the most irritating literary characters ever.

(324 Posts)
squoosh Sun 21-Apr-13 17:22:03

God she annoys me, throwing Jo's book in the fire, being a general brat and then sin of sins marrying Laurie when she had no business do any such thing.

I don't care what the subsequent books may say the Amy/Laurie union was a stupid idea.

They should have left her to drown in the icy river.

SorrelForbes Thu 25-Apr-13 15:54:49
MrsFrederickWentworth Thu 25-Apr-13 18:51:18

Red, I loved that, and feeding the pig the candy.

I loved the fossils in California. Not read the

Cooroo Fri 26-Apr-13 07:38:58

thank you Sorrel - I never realised Noel Streatfeild wrote any adult novels. I've bought Saplings for my Kindle. Looks dark - I loved her treatment of the effects of war towards the end of A Vicarage Family, and look forward to reading this very much!

SorrelForbes Fri 26-Apr-13 07:42:14

Saplings is dark indeed. I have a brand new spare copy of The Whicharts which is be happy to part with for a reasonable contribution to my book fund!

MrsFrederickWentworth Fri 26-Apr-13 11:56:43

Not read the short stories nor later ones.
Ok, irritating children's people, Gemma. Clara in Heidi, Tom Brown, Diana in Anne of Green Gables, Susan in Swallows and Amazon, Susan in Narnia ( but she was deliberately irritating) and Lucy in the film version, Awful Laurie and Tim and Patrick in The Marlows.

MooncupGoddess Fri 26-Apr-13 12:09:17

I'll grant you Laurie and Tim, and indeed Ginty - though they're all very convincingly portrayed - but Patrick is fab!

seeker Fri 26-Apr-13 12:11:52

All of the Famous Five in different ways.

And Patrick is insufferable! Such an intellectual snob.

HumphreyCobbler Fri 26-Apr-13 12:12:11

Lawrie, Tim and Patrick are all fantastic characters shock

Anne from FF is the anti-feminist. The Comic Strip took her and George off perfectly.

MooncupGoddess Fri 26-Apr-13 12:50:25

I was a dreadful intellectual snob when I was a teenager, possibly that is why I like Patrick grin

Anyway, though, all the annoying characters in Antonia Forest are very thoughtfully and deliberately depicted... whereas Amy March, Dora in David Copperfield etc are not supposed to be annoying. There is a gulf between the author's intentions and the actual result which doesn't exist in AF.

Sorrel - what sort of a contribution would you be thinking of? I have a limited budget, but might be interested in buying your copy of The Wicharts. I hope you don't mind me asking.

MooncupGoddess Fri 26-Apr-13 13:41:26

Saplings is terribly upsetting, is Whicharts as painful? Lovely to see you, Sorrel - Curtain's Up is my favourite Streatfeild, I always feel it's unfairly neglected.

Though on the subject of annoying characters, I can't bear the housekeeper/nanny types in NS's books, like Hannah in Curtain's Up. They're always irritatingly cheery and utterly lacking depth. I guess they date back to Noel's childhood before WW1, and they're increasingly unconvincing by the 1940s/50s. Most baffling of all is Peaseblossom in The Painted Garden - a childhood friend of the mother's who realises when the oldest child is born that the mother is too useless to cope, so moves in to help, and is still there 13 years later, by which time the children are aged 9-13 and all at school. Neither the mother or Peaseblossom has done a day's paid work in that time and presumably Peaseblossom is supported entirely by the father. What on earth?

SorrelForbes Fri 26-Apr-13 13:56:28

The Whicharts isn't quite as painful as Saplings but thbe story and characters are painted as quite tawdry and grubby. GUM is a Colonel and is actually the biological father of all three girls.

Curtain Up is my favourite (after Ballet Shoes). I love the section where Sorrell understudies her cousin as Ariel in The Tempest.

Oh yes, the annoyingly similar nannies! Peaseblossom is very odd, forceful but a bit pathetic too (the seasickness). All the genteel poverty is quite amusing today.

SDTGisAnEvilWolefGenius It's on Amazon for £10.20 (inc P&P) so £6? Agggh, I'm rubbish at selling things!

HumphreyCobbler Fri 26-Apr-13 14:25:27

"Anyway, though, all the annoying characters in Antonia Forest are very thoughtfully and deliberately depicted... whereas Amy March, Dora in David Copperfield etc are not supposed to be annoying. There is a gulf between the author's intentions and the actual result which doesn't exist in AF."

This is very true MooncupGoddess

I've sent you a pm, Sorrell.

MrsFrederickWentworth Fri 26-Apr-13 14:43:08

While I agree about Laurie and Tim and of course Ginty, I don't think she intended Patrick to be so annoying.
He was the romantic intellectual moral catholic who stuck to his guns even if unwillingly.

I always thought it was a bit like Jo and Laurie, Nick and Patrick were destined for each other.

RedHelenB Fri 26-Apr-13 15:55:52

I didn't find any of AF characters annoying because they weren't 2 dimensional. Would have loved to be part of the Marlow family when I was a kid!! Loved their alternative Christmas when their parents were away!

MrsFrederickWentworth Fri 26-Apr-13 16:06:09

Red, which one is that in?

seeker Fri 26-Apr-13 17:37:44

The picnic in the cave! I so wanted to do that. We have a tradition of winter picnics in our family because of that book. Was it Run Away Home?

RedHelenB Fri 26-Apr-13 17:51:23

That's right Seeker - runaway home. Wish they would reprint them all!!

RedHelenB Fri 26-Apr-13 17:53:32

www.maulu.demon.co.uk

Gives chapter summaries - very useful for jogging your memory!

KingscoteStaff Fri 26-Apr-13 22:37:21

Yes, yes, the picnic, and Ann staying at home just in case the parents phoned.

And I desperately wanted to be Nicola riding into town and being seen by Esther!

Won't hear a word against Patrick. Tim and Laurie were the first ambiguous characters I remember reading - until then everyone was a goodie or baddie. That moment when Tim is snippy with Nick took me to a completely new level of reading.

BalloonSlayer Sat 27-Apr-13 07:38:56

I think Dora is supposed to be annoying, just not quite as annoying as she actually is.

She is David Copperfield's "child-wife" signifying his lack of maturity. She isn't mature enough to be a proper wife, and he isn't grown up enough to realise this and they get into a real mess domestically, with her unable to do the accounts etc, wailing that the numbers "just won't add up." God, she' s PATHETIC urgh!

I think DC's possibly unexpressed homosexual obsession with Steerforth is one of the reasons why DC can't find himself a "real woman" to have a full relationship with until after Steerforth has died.
(Although Dora has been pregnant so there has at least been a sexual relationship, because without that reference you'd wonder, you'd imagine that stupid dog getting in the way or something.)

I wonder whether Dora was based on Dickens own wife whom he seemed embarrassed by.

MrsFrederickWentworth Sat 27-Apr-13 20:08:42

Wasn't she based on someone he fell in love with whom he then turned into Flora Finching. Who was extremely silly. But it is a cruel portrait.

I don't think Catherine ever had that lightness of touch.

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