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Antonia Forest fans: your favourite parts or lines?

(114 Posts)
TheOriginalSteamingNit Mon 21-Jan-13 09:54:36

Inspired by posting near MirandaWest....

I often think of Nick's pondering in End of Term that 'it was queer and difficult being friends with someone who disliked one so much; at least, she supposed they were friends, and she supposed it was dislike, though neither seemed quite the right word.'

And for some reason, the description of Edwin Dodd in The Ready Made Family as 'an old, old man with three tiny, tiny tots'.


jeee Tue 29-Jan-13 12:27:15

I keep checking Amazon, in the folorn hope that her books will one day be available as e-books. Frankly, I think their out-of-print status is a a conspiracy to keep the resale value of tatty paperbacks spectacularly high.

RussiansOnTheSpree Tue 29-Jan-13 12:30:47

Of course it's daft! Many of them are! That's the charm. grin

Everything I know about pigeon fancying I learned from the Thuggery Affair (I know nothing about pigeon fancying)

RussiansOnTheSpree Tue 29-Jan-13 12:32:27

@Vivienne Many of them aren't very nice. Even the stars aren't very nice, some of the time. And actually - I don't think hardly any of the kids felt guilty about Marie. sad

TheOriginalSteamingNit Tue 29-Jan-13 12:32:52

Can you imagine the AIBU?

Hi all, am new to MN being from a non-specific but definitely pre-internet era and need advice but don't want to start a whole private/state debate.

We are very hard up as a result of me buying a horse and giving our large Hampstead house to some Tory mates we'd forgotten about the credit crunch and can no longer afford to send dds 3,4, 5 and 6 to boarding school. WIBU to remove dd6, who is 13 and very bright, but leave the others there? DD is undiagnosed but definitely on some sort of spectrum (does not believe other people have emotions etc), but has been put on the G&T register for performing arts, so think she would be best where she is. DD3 very well-behaved and likely to choose hard life for self, while dd4 a bit of a flibbertigibbet so also best at boarding school. WIBU to take dd6 out, and also should I tell her before or after this is a fait accompli?

Response 1: OP, do you work outside the home? My advice is to get a part-time job and see if you can cover fees that way

2, OP, I can't understand why you have so many children if you can't afford them? I would have loved three children, but had to cut my coat according to my cloth.

3, It is certainly best for a child to be in private school and my advice is to choose a career now which will allow them all to remain in one, but not boarding as it will mess them up. Have you looked at Habs or CLC? Pick a career which will enable you to send them there, perhaps.

Viviennemary Tue 29-Jan-13 12:36:12

You're right only a couple of them did. And they had to write to her parents. I thought that was really sad and not nice at all. Reminder - Must not take schoolgirl fiction too seriously!

RussiansOnTheSpree Tue 29-Jan-13 12:36:30

DD5 surely? Nick is the older twin....

Imagine the AIBU for when Karen came home from Oxford to tell them about Edwin.....grin

SilentMammoth Tue 29-Jan-13 12:40:37

Ace aibu!

Vivienne, you are right, many are not very nice! But that is life isn't it, not everyone is nice and however not nice some characters are, they are very true to life!

Another who loves the time frame.

TheOriginalSteamingNit Tue 29-Jan-13 12:41:03

You're right - she says she's the 7th child in RMF, doesn't she?

Another dodgy bit of parenting, I remember, when daddy says about sorting the Guides thing, that they shouldn't rake it up now 'and anyway, the twins wouldn't want you to, would you Nicky?'.

No wonder Lawrie has problems!

womblingalong Tue 29-Jan-13 12:42:25

MirandaWest, wow, <excited>, I'd love your spare Attic Term, will PM you, thank you so much!

MirandaWest Tue 29-Jan-13 12:57:49

Am hoping I do definitely have it now - am pretty sure I've seen it lurking somewhere....

DeWe Tue 29-Jan-13 13:13:07

I think that some aren't very nice (Ginty, Lois, Lawrie, Tim) and don't get reformed by one term at said school actually adds to the realism.

I don't think Marie is very nice actually, and don't think she had the right over the desk. If I remember rightly, they had their own set desks and Marie came down early to swap the desks round so Nick didn't have that one. Not that she specifically wanted it, but more she didn't want Nick to have it. Add to that how she lied over the guides thing, which certainly added to Nick and Lawrie being in a lot of trouble-and it could have been considerably worse. She was written as a weak character, but not a nice weak one really.

The form chose to write to her parents, not that they were told to, and Nick says that she's not sure they should, but it would have been a good idea if they'd liked her. And I get exactly what she means there.

seeker Tue 29-Jan-13 13:48:22

I do have to work very hard at ignoring the undercurrent of classism in the books- not to mention the private/state school debate!

SilentMammoth Tue 29-Jan-13 16:21:30

Yes, but it's just a product if it's time isn't it?

I try very hard to model myself on Rowan, but probably more of a Lawrie!! And I need a mrs bertie!

SilentMammoth Tue 29-Jan-13 16:22:41

Would quite like to marry Commander Marlow, so deliciously decisive, well dressed, well paid and absent!

notcitrus Tue 29-Jan-13 16:49:21

I got the 4 school stories in paperback just as I went to boarding school in the 80s. I loved the way the characters weren't all good or all bad, some of the teachers were partisan or nasty, and the endings weren't all neat and tidy. And you could be a main character (Lawrie) while still being scared of stuff. (I can't light gas. It bangs at me....Oh Lawrie, said someone exasperatedly, but did it for her, which was what Ann or Redmond or ... did too.)

I know quite a few cases where one sister ended up leaving the boarding school, often involuntarily, though the twins I knew wanted to be separated for 6th form. Was most entertaining when identical twin 2 came to visit. But certain oil companies would pay full boarding fees for all children but if parent was sent back to the UK, they wouldn't even pay up to the end of that year.

Ebay often has the other school stories - it's the holiday ones that are hard to find. What year does Peter's Room take part in? I remember being surprised by the lack of comparison with Dungeons and Dragons. Maybe if DnD had been based on Gondal rather than Lord of the Rings, it wouldn't have been linked to Satanism etc. Though given how Gondal ended in PR, might not have helped!

Viviennemary Tue 29-Jan-13 16:52:40

No I don't agree about the desks. It was sneaky to get the desk early I thought. That annoyed me quite a bit. Doesn't take much. grin

But as for the Edwin business. What mother wouldn't hit the roof if their daughter announced she was getting married to someone with three children and leaving Oxford. Was it not her first term and she was only 18. And then all moving back in with her parents. Imagine the AIBU. I'd have liked a sister like Anne doing everything for me. But alas I am an only one.

RussiansOnTheSpree Tue 29-Jan-13 18:43:27

It was her first year. Not her first term. It happened around Easter, or just before....the girls were all at home because the school had closed early due to plague. Peter wasn't back yet though. He arrived a few days later.

It was ever so well done though. When Nick realises that Edwin didn't actually WANT to marry Karen, or love her, even, was just so very sad.

TheOriginalSteamingNit Tue 29-Jan-13 19:01:30

Yes, the train journey is beautifully done. Lacrimae sunt rerum?

SilentMammoth Tue 29-Jan-13 19:06:23

For there are tears of things?

To be asked sarcastically what that meant?

Whats your favourite? Yes to our being so ssssss when nick realises about edwin and kay (prob not so sad as when kay twigged though). Also very adult theme for children s book.

Anyone read the players boy and sequel? Re read it recently and, blimey, can't believe that was set reading at age 11!

RussiansOnTheSpree Tue 29-Jan-13 19:23:09

Nit - indeed. sad

Silent - Kay knew and didn't care. That was why she was forcing the wedding through. Kay, Gin and Lawrie - three of a kind. Although Lawrie has some redeeming features and wasn't a lost cause I don't think.....

mrsfox Tue 29-Jan-13 20:02:58

Love this thread! I had the four school stories as a teenager and read them into rags. I never managed to find any of the holiday ones at sensible prices and am now hugely tantalised by all the snippets talked about on here. Which is the one where Edwin appears? I may have to splash out...

In answer to the OP, I have masses of favourite bits, but for some reason one that stays with me is Janice's reference to not being 'an unpaid spy' despite being a prefect (when Lois wants to report Nick and Lawrie for swapping in the netball match) - so much more realistic than the Chalet School, although I did also love those books. <has spent far too much of life reading school stories>

SilentMammoth Tue 29-Jan-13 20:05:31

Oooh, chalet school! Me too! Af far better written though.

notcitrus Tue 29-Jan-13 21:01:36

Have finally read some uncut Chalet School, and the first 30 odd really are fairly good, if you think of them as the travel programmes of the day. And then there's the move to Switzerland and she loses it and everyone ends up related to someone else and gets moulded into a proper CS Girl within one book.

Fun, but Forest could do complex and convincing characters so much better.

SilentMammoth Tue 29-Jan-13 21:28:16

Agreed. Ooh, someone on chalet school bulletin board did THE most amazing fanfic crossover with af and cs. it had Ann and the twins in it and was brilliant!

mrsfox Tue 29-Jan-13 22:09:27

Love the idea of an AF and CS crossover! And definitely agree that the AF books are far better written and characterised.

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