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Monica Edwards! books

(35 Posts)
JPinkertonSnoopington Wed 24-Jan-18 20:39:30

Having seen threads on here devoted to the Chalet School, I feel I will be understood when I say that I love Monica Edwards' books even though I am nearly 64 years old. Most of all, I love the depiction of happy, harmonious family life because mine was anything but. I had half a dozen of the books already and the remainder came to the forefront of my mind recently. I thought of those that I had lost and not been able to track down the last time I tried (some time ago).

Recently I posted about my mother deciding that I was "too old" for them any more, and throwing them away. It had taken me ages to track down some of them and I was bitterly upset and extremely angry. It made me feel that I didn't have any right to own anything or to make any kind of decision about my own life.

This week I went on to Amazon and found that the majority of the books were now available at fairly reasonable prices ( I hadn't known about girls gone by publishers before). So I ordered the bloody lot except for one which was eye-wateringly expensive and I now have a nice row of Monica Edwards books on my bookcase. (I have started reading Punchbowl Midnight). It is great to know that nobody is going to be coming into my home shouting the odds and chucking my belongings away. (I do read books other than Monica Edwards'!)

Witchend Wed 24-Jan-18 22:35:21

I love Monica Edwards books. they're what started me on book collecting when I read one of dm's (White Riders) and asked if there were more. She couldn't answer so I wrote to a children's book specialist and he sent me a full list.
I now have them all except Joan goes farming.
Dd2 and ds love them too.
Some of the armada versions are cut though, and the modernised Goodchild versions are quite disappointing compared with the originals.

I've been to Wrestling (Rye Harbour) and admired the Martello Tower, and looked at the outside of her vicarage, which is quite recognisable from some of the pictures in Summer of the great Secret, and visited the Punchbowl too (and peered over the gate at her farm).

UnRavellingFast Thu 25-Jan-18 00:24:42

I love them too. Black Hunting Whip is my favourite- very spooky! I am going to have to dig my old books out now smile

JPinkertonSnoopington Thu 25-Jan-18 01:00:26

Hi Witchend and unravelling - nice to meet some kindred spirits! I too have visited Rye Harbour and recognised the vicarage, the Martello tower and the William the Conqueror pub. I couldn't find Castle farm though, much to my disappointment. I heard that some of the Armada's were abridged, so avoided those and the Goodchild reprints which were "brought up to date" (quite unnecessary). My favourites is The Summer of the Great Secret both for the adventures with the fisherman turned smugglers and Tamzin participating in a film. "If it's mackerel it'll stink by London" was her one line and it has stuck in my mind as mackerel certainly is not a fish that keeps well.

I had to wait until I was 25 for my "wish for a pony " to be fulfilled and that brought me my wonderful old Ben who was seven when I got him and 24 when he had to be put down because he had metatastic cancer and there was nothing to be done for him. I still miss him although that was over 20 years ago. Just have to to hope he is waiting for me at the rainbow bridge!

SquirrelWatcher Thu 25-Jan-18 01:03:05

Ah I've got Joan Goes Farming somewhere at my parents house!

Witchend Thu 25-Jan-18 08:17:48

I love the line "...stink by London". I have been known to say it frequently when we're choosing fish.
My favourite probably is The White Riders-partially that was the first one I had, but I would be hard put to choose a second favourite. Possibly Storm Ahead-did you see the memorial for the lifeboat men?

Ds was put out that Jim and the ferry hut was no longer there.

We also went to look at The Gay Dolphin in Rye (Mermaid Inn) which is his favourite Lone Pine book. I (and ds had a lovely time) There's a Meryon Street/Road/Something in Rye too.

UnRavellingFast Fri 26-Jan-18 00:13:19

Ah Malcolm Saville! Is that right? I loved those. The Roman one was extremely spooky- loved that. My mum lives on the borders of Shropshire and I always think of Peter and her old father at a sign that says something like witchend. I'm so glad I grew up without internet because I spent my life reading everything - I used to sit in a disused chicken shed to escape everyone else and just read.

Witchend Fri 26-Jan-18 08:14:28

Yes Malcolm Saville (where my username comes from "Witchend"). Roman one was Treasure at Amorys-set near Rye.

Black Hunting Whip is very spooky. Spirit of Punchbowl Farm is also spooky, but not quite as haunting.

Squirrel envy

Bowerbird5 Sat 27-Jan-18 05:21:15

I've just cleaned and tidied all my books last week and have now started on my daughter's bookcase where I found a Monica Edwards and I put it in my pile of books to read. That was awful of your mother. I asked DD 26 to go through the books she has left at home and cull what she didn't want. I admit I then went and put some of the culled books back!
I am going to look for black Hunting Whip and read it. I listen to Yr 5 readers and they love me to recommend books. Some of them love spooky books so I'll read it and then take it for them to read. I have thenm reading some of the classics and they love them often reading the whole series. I go to the charity shops and buy them and found a shop recently in the next town selling them for 50 p there was Monica Edwards but that day I bought Michael Morpurgo x3 for £1:50!
Thanks for starting this thread😀 I am going to read the recommendations on here and pass them onto year five if suitable.

JPinkertonSnoopington Sat 27-Jan-18 22:26:26

Yes, I saw the memorial to the fisherman. My mum was awful, she insisted on controlling every aspect of my life and I could not argue with her because she would hit me. When I got a bit older, I ran around with the hippies and dressed accordingly, sometimes making a garment from a charity shop find such as a little jacket and a velvet maxi skirt made out of an old curtain. Anything she particularly hated, she would cut it up. She would buy me the most horrible ghastly clothes from the market – think floral A line skirts and pastel coloured cardigans and a neat little blouse underneath. Oddly enough, in about 2003 this suddenly became the height of fashion and I was looking into teenage clothes shop windows and giggling.

My next favourite to the summer of the great secret is "No Going Back" which I originally borrowed from the inter library loan service, for which I worked. I also borrowed "the wild one" at a time when there was only one copy in the entire country. I was terrified of damaging or losing it and I was required by the agreement from the British Library only to read it at work.

I somehow missed out on Malcolm Saville as a child but I think I will get a couple as they sound like the kind of books I like.

Great to hear that today's children are enjoying Monica Edwards books as much as we do.

JPinkertonSnoopington Sat 27-Jan-18 22:38:59

I should add for clarity that my hippy days were when I was 17. By then she couldn't control me completely but she did split me up from a lovely boy because she didn't like his clothes and long hair. That was a source of great pain to me for a long time as we really loved each other.

reallyanotherone Sat 27-Jan-18 22:57:45

Are you my sister? My mum was the same. She had a habit of “disappearing” things she thought i was too old for, she disapproved of or didn’t like. Then when i noticed and asked for it she’d say i obviously didn’t want it that much so she’d binned it.

I also went through a hippy/goth phase at 17/18. I’d put my clothes in the wash and they wouldn’t reappear. I’d go looking and “that old thing, you never wore it, so i binned it”. Leather jacket and doc martins also went. I also had a boyfriend with lovely long hair who didn’t last long.

I definitely read a couple of monica edwards books, can’t remember which ones.will have to google!

Witchend Sun 28-Jan-18 11:20:07

I read a couple of Malcolm Saville from the library growing up, my dsis wouldn't touch them as one described Dickie and Mary as Identical twins. grin
During my GCSEs I was scouring the second hand shops for Monica Edwards when I came across a pile of Lone Pine books at 45p. I opened one up and realised from the map in the front that it was set in roughly the same place-before I hadn't realised it was really places. SO I bought the lot gradually over a number of weeks.

Monica Edwards books were harder to find though and I only had about 3 or 4 for some years.

JPinkertonSnoopington Sun 28-Jan-18 18:32:47

If your mum said "Do as you're told, when you're told how you're told" and "You can make me a cup of tea" and "I don't have to be polite to you, you're only my daughter" and worst of all "I didn't want you. You were your father's idea – I didn't want a second child at all and if I had to have one I wanted a boy. I don't like girls." all of these repeated ad nauseam. If your mum said the same or similar, we must be related! What an old cow she was. She continued to bully me once I was married (to a man that she chose for me, by dint of telling me nobody else would want me because I was such a bitch). I was too scared to stand up to her and my ex too passive to stand up to or for on my behalf anybody who was rude and unpleasant. I only disengaged from her when my ex husband left me and she was completely foul about it. When I got the message that she had died, I felt nothing. Absolutely nothing.

UnRavellingFast Sun 28-Jan-18 19:41:39

Sorry to hear about that Pinkington. Books become a haven and thank god we had them eh. My parents were often loving but unbelievably dysfunctional and put us. Through stuff. Books saved me.

UnRavellingFast Sun 28-Jan-18 19:57:50

*pinkerton sorry!

JPinkertonSnoopington Sat 03-Feb-18 21:09:20

Books saved me, even if I lost my beloved Monica Edwards books. I feel much less bitter now that I have acquired another set and I am enjoying reading them. One thing that struck me last time I read Storm Ahead was how unkind Mrs Lillicrop was towards her myriad children – even telling her daughter who was crying with fright in the flood that if she didn't stop it, they would all drown. What a hateful old cow! If this were real life, I would expect the vicar to have a word with her about being more loving to her brood.

Witchend Sun 04-Feb-18 03:47:51

I think I'd disagree about Mrs Lillicrop. I think Tamzin says at one point that she shouts at them but loves them all "even Ur who is bloodthirsty" or something along that lines. I think that's in The Hoodwinkers when Jim's touting for business for his undertaking business.

JPinkertonSnoopington Fri 09-Feb-18 00:36:54

Yes, it is in "the Hoodwinkers". That book was somewhat dark, especially Hooky threatening to kill Diccon's bullfrog if he didn't tell him the bearings for the ruined church in the sea. The description of the expressions on Hooky's face were spine chilling. Later Hooky told everyone that Diccon had spilled the beans, and even Tamzin was cold towards her little brother as a result. Then he told her tearfully about his bullfrog being threatened, and she was more sympathetic – then the canny little lad told her he'd given Hooky the wrong bearings! Later Hooky's brush with death and resuscitation by Meryon (is there anything that boy can't do?) were pretty suspenseful.

Witchend Fri 09-Feb-18 12:20:57

I just read the Hoodwinkers to ds, who's 10yo. He found it not as exciting as some of the others, so I don't think he picked up on some of the suspense, but also I don't think he found Hookey's brush with death as nerve-racking as the nicer characters. It always struck me that the sympathy in that scene is mostly because of Mrs Galley's reaction and how she clearly cares for him.

Meryon does resuscitation a few times, including on Tamsin in Dolphin Summer. There's also the popping back in of the dislocated jaw in the Hoodwinkers, plus the severed artery in The Outsider. Does he join in in Storm Ahead too, or is he just involved going in to rescue survivors?

JPinkertonSnoopington Sun 11-Feb-18 03:58:11

That's a bit further down my reading list, so I am relying on memory. I think Meryon went out on the ropes to pull half drowned sailors in and then worked on resuscitating them on the beach, along with others who had this skill, including the vicar.

And talking of Meryon, he was a bit of a crush of mine when I first read the books. I find to my amazement that this has come back, and the description of him in "The Hoodwinkers" as wearing nothing but the briefest of brief underpants made me go a bit pink and unnecessary!

Witchend Sun 11-Feb-18 23:40:09

I think I agree with Lindsey who finds Meryon a bit scary because he seems so perfect. He's fun, and I'd like him as a friend, but he wasn't one I had a crush on.

JPinkertonSnoopington Mon 12-Feb-18 00:14:07

@witchend
I have just seen some copies for sale on Amazon of Joan goes farming but they are £30 each! I thought I'd tell you so that you could decide if this is worth paying – I suspect you will want to!

Witchend Mon 12-Feb-18 17:42:18

Thank you flowers

TheWomanTheyCallJayne Sat 17-Feb-18 15:33:30

I have pretty well all the Monica Edwards Tamsin and Lindsay books as well as a couple of others such as the unsought farm.

Meryon was also my childhood crush. I just happened to marry a dark wavy haired man who could sale by coincidence. When I read them now, I adore Roger.
I used to belong to the Monica Edwards Society but it stopped.

I also have a huge quantity of the Malcolm Saville books.

I’m feeling very grateful to my lovely Um who not only encouraged my reading but would pick up another copy of any of those books if she saw it in a charity shop.

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