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Malory Towers: what an unpleasant bunch

(293 Posts)
Hepzibar Mon 18-Feb-19 20:31:51

No idea what sparked this, I have started to read Malory Towers 40 years after the first time. I absolutely loved MT and read and re-read them. I loved Enid Blyton but MT closely followed by St Clare's were my favourites.

I so wanted to be Darrell Rivers with her 'posh' name (not a common sixties job like mine), how I envied her and longed to go to boarding school.

Reading it now what a thoroughly unpleasant, bullying, nasty bunch they were, including my idolised Darrell.

SecretLimonadeDrinker Mon 18-Feb-19 20:35:09

Oh no! 😔 also an avid MT and St Clare's fan and I was thinking of a reread for a reading challenge prompt.

ALadyofLetters Mon 18-Feb-19 20:35:26

I gave DD my old copies and she felt the same! Anyone who doesn’t love sport is weak and spineless, as are those who admit to missing their parents.

roisinagusniamh Mon 18-Feb-19 20:39:34

Was obsessed by these books as a kid.
Remember how they would gather to watch and make fun of Gwendolyn Mary De Lacy saying goodbye to her old Nanny ?

toffee1000 Mon 18-Feb-19 20:52:05

The St Clare’s girls were a bit nicer in that regard, they weren’t horrible to those who disliked sport etc. Still rather snobby and all, but I would have preferred St Clare’s to Malory Towers.
Alicia was the worst IMO. The way she quit the pantomime just because she had some petty issue with Moira... so selfish. I would have been so upset in Darrell’s position.

DorothyZbornak Mon 18-Feb-19 20:52:35

Even as a child I hated Alicia, the 'spunky cheeky girl'. She was a bullying bitch, nothing less.

AnneOfCleavage Mon 18-Feb-19 20:59:02

Yes, I too loved these books as a young girl and so bought the cds and books for DD and was shocked at the bullying behaviour. When Maureen wants the part of Cinderella and they ask her to make up some tunes and sing a song and draw some dress designs then totally rip into her and laugh - this was all planned out by all the girls - no one said "come on guys this is mean". I think our DC are brought up to be inclusive in schools this days as this would be stamped out.

I would never have coped at that boarding school and was very normal in terms of generally okay at sport / lessons but was shy at school so I think I would have hated it. Everyone in the books who was popular was always gifted at something be in music, writing, playing tricks etc. This is not real but it was weird that I didn't pick up on it when I was a child.

Desmondo2016 Mon 18-Feb-19 21:00:38

Oh I loved MT. I remember never being sure what prep actually was. Who was the girl with the amazing singing voice, was it Moira?

Grimbles Mon 18-Feb-19 21:02:05

I've said before on here that Gwendoline Mary was the victim of years of sustained bullying by Darrell and her crew... nothing G-M did deserved the treatment she got and Darrell, Alicia et al did far worse!

halfwitpicker Mon 18-Feb-19 21:03:24

Yeah Alicia was the worst

TBF though MT is a good representation of an English girls boarding school

Amara123 Mon 18-Feb-19 21:04:27

Agree, Darrell was a thoughtless bully, remember how she pushed Sally?
Alicia was also horrible too.

Hepzibar Mon 18-Feb-19 21:05:46

Alicia I thought she was fantastic. She is a bully. Amazed I didn't see this as a child. Likely I was envious of the life they lived and longed to get out of our council house in a northern town.

Grimbles Mon 18-Feb-19 21:06:11

blytonlyobvious.blogspot.com/2010/05/gwendoline-mary-heroine-of-our-time.html?m=1

This is a blog written by someone re-reading MT as an adult.

Hepzibar Mon 18-Feb-19 21:06:41

Darrell has got anger management issues

kelper Mon 18-Feb-19 21:09:14

Ha,how funny, I bought the Mallory towers and St clares books a couple of years ago, and have been re-reading recently.
I much prefer Mallory towers to St Clares so far, the twins are just dreadful!!

kelper Mon 18-Feb-19 21:10:51

Desmondo2016 the singing girl was Mavis, Moira was the girl who was kept down a form with Catherine (I got to "In the Fifth at Mallory towers" last night at work!

Honeyroar Mon 18-Feb-19 21:11:34

I can't remember any of the characters (I remember a few from St Claire's), all I can remember is the swimming pool. Between that and the private study rooms for older girls at St Claire's I really wanted to go to boarding school!

youarenotkiddingme Mon 18-Feb-19 21:11:40

I'm so glad others feel this way.

I had st Clare's on tape and loved listening to them and read all the MT books.

I re read them a few years ago and remember feeling the same way and viewing the characters differently.

However I was a quiet and shy child. I wonder if back then I admired the characters.
Now I'm a stronger woman I know you can be strong and take no shit without actually needing to resort to unkindness.

I read the Trebizon series by Anne digby. They are much more realistic. Although I'm now going to have to re teas them to see if I still feel the same way 😂

reallybadidea Mon 18-Feb-19 21:11:44

I disliked Moira Stewart for years just because she shared a name with Moira Linton blush

PlinkPlink Mon 18-Feb-19 21:14:03

God I loved these!!

So tempted to re-read them now!! Eek!

Hepzibar Mon 18-Feb-19 21:14:21

Poor Sally Hope, her parents sending her to boarding school because she wasn't happy with the new baby. That'll help- not.

Darrell thinks she's the cause of Sally's illness. Dr Rivers is st a nearby hotel and performs the operation for appendicitis.

Sally's Parents arrive (sans baby) and all is well

Crockof Mon 18-Feb-19 21:15:30

You probably knew but the swimming pool was based on a real life pool that was filled by the tide at a private girls school. I must re read them loved them as a child

Hepzibar Mon 18-Feb-19 21:16:16

Re-Reading them is ruining the lovely memories. But now I've started I can't stop

Crockof Mon 18-Feb-19 21:18:56

Can't remember much apart from when Wilthelma (sp?) on her first day says everyone must call her Bill and Gwendolyn was about to say that you didn't get to choose a nickname when Darrell says it's OK. I don't know why that has stuck

toffee1000 Mon 18-Feb-19 21:23:54

Mary Lou (Malory Towers) was quite decent, she was the only one who wasn’t entirely gung-ho about the being mean to Maureen plan. But she was rather timid and so didn’t have the gumption to say “hey this is unfair”. Plus most of the form wanted to be mean to Maureen so...

Rereading them also made me aware of the ridiculous stereotypes. ALL French girls hate sports and prefer needlework, they’re also afraid of spending too much time in the sun and getting a freckle. ALL American girls are rich, too mature for their age, “backward” in their schoolwork and obsessed with films and makeup. It would’ve confused the MT girls no end if a new girl from France had started who was obsessed with lacrosse/tennis/swimming and was crap at sewing, or an American girl who never wore makeup and was really hardworking and was uninterested in film stars.

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