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Calling Antonia Forest fans - who is your favourite character and who are you most like?

(102 Posts)
MirandaWest Thu 29-Aug-13 20:03:04

Have been doing some re-reading of Antonia Forest books (including Spring Term which I had only read once before and couldn't remember much at all blush)

As is probably clear I do like Miranda very much smile And also like Rowan too. Ginty annoys me, as does Lawrie to a lesser extent.

I enjoy reading about Nicola but in real life I think I would find her a bit intimidating.

I do sometimes think I might be an Esther. But at least I am not a Lois....

HumphreyCobbler Tue 03-Sep-13 22:11:06

Why indeed? It is awful they way we can't get hold of these books. I only have Cricket Term, Autumn Term, End of Term and The Marlows and the Traitor (this is a lovely hardback copy). I would KILL for the others, esp Peter's Room.

MirandaWest Tue 03-Sep-13 22:14:59

I was lucky and managed to get nearly all of them when GGB first reprinted them. Although I never bought the Players ones - not sure why.

HumphreyCobbler Tue 03-Sep-13 22:20:27

I have not read the Players ones, never really knew about them as a child when I got all the others from the library and only discovered they existed when I realised there were other Antonia Forest fans in the world. I have still not met anyone in real life who has read AF.

HumphreyCobbler Tue 03-Sep-13 22:21:09

someone on here bought a complete set at a car boot sale the other day envy

ParkerTheThief Tue 03-Sep-13 22:46:00

Wow, I've got a full set and Id have still bought them if I'd seen them at a carboot - either as a backup set or to spread the AF love

CJCregg Tue 03-Sep-13 23:37:00

I hate the GGB reprints, anyway. I am constantly scouring secondhand bookshops for AF.

I have original End of Term, Autumn Term (hardback!), Peter's Room, The Attic Term and a fairly shitty Penguin paperback of The Cricket Term. I got The Ready Made Family from GGB.

The one I really, really want is Falconer's Lure. I only read it once - from the library, aged about 13 - and never saw it again.

Oh, and of course, now I have Spring Term as well grin hmm

QuidditchTonedThighs Wed 04-Sep-13 07:46:58

The Players titles are some of my favourites and I usually loathe historical fiction. The way she brings together Shakespeare, Marlow ancestors (Nicholas is a wonderfully likeable protagonist, and recognisably a Marlow), and her own original characters, is a tour de force. Just superbly enjoyable and (to me) wonderfully placed in the historical period.

tryingtoleave Wed 04-Sep-13 07:59:09

I like Miranda and Janice best.

I really dislike Patrick. I think I have said this on mn before but he is a very unreliable friend. He dumps Peter for Nicola and then Nicola for Ginty. It's like he can only concentrate on one person at once, which is probably what makes him attractive as a friend (I am only interested in YOU). I have met people like that.

I would like to be like Nicola, but I fear I am more like Lawrie...

kalidasa Wed 04-Sep-13 09:40:53

I admit I have all of them, in various editions - originals, some GGB reprints and also a fresh copy of Autumn Term in the Faber reprint they did because my old one has pretty much fallen apart. Most precious though is a copy of 'Cricket Term' which my little sister - who is massively massively shy and hates drawing attention to herself in any way - got out of her school library for me when I was a teenager, and then she managed to persuade them to sell it to her for my birthday (!) rather than take it back, on the basis that no-one else had taken it out for yonks. I have no idea where she found the nerve but I am still extremely grateful! (Though I feel a bit bad in retrospect about the library - at the time I didn't know anyone else who read them so assumed I was alone in my eccentric passion)

I do still always look for them in second hand bookshops and so on but it is so easy now to check the prices of things online that it must be getting harder and harder to find real bargains - only likely at a boot sale or something where they haven't bothered to check.

The Players books are almost the only historical fiction I have ever managed to finish (I have a huge block about it - can't even read the Mantel books even though I am a great fan of her novels). I actually work on that period and I think she has done a very good job.

HumphreyCobbler Wed 04-Sep-13 11:55:17

FrannyandZooey posted Falconer's Lure and Run Away Home to me so that I could read them. It was incredibly kind of her. I will always remember it.

CJCregg Wed 04-Sep-13 18:57:34

I have finished Spring Term, at ridiculous speed. I'm glad I read it, and in some ways it's a pretty impressive feat. But I agree with the poster who said there were just too many italics - yes, AF used italics quite liberally but just as often she didn't need to - they were implicit in the dialogue itself.

I also rather enjoyed the dissection of Ginty Marlow, even if the whole thing was a bit daft, really. And just eewwwww to the Patrick and Nicola stuff. But lovely Dr Herrick, fab Marlow/Dodd/Kingscote randoms cameos and thank goodness that business with Esther has finally been resolved.

All in all, thoroughly enjoyable, if a little ersatz grin

decaffwithcream Wed 04-Sep-13 19:13:22

I liked Spring Term. I heard the author is writing a further sequel which I will be getting ASAP.

The sections that Antonia Forest cut from the final edit of Run Away Home were printed a few years ago - has anyone read them? Buster was originally going to die after taking Edward and Nicola to the coast, Karen talks to Giles about Edwin and she had included a scene where Patrick kisses Nicola.

I think of those scenes as "canon" since they are written by Antonia Forest but obviously Buster was still alive and well in Spring Term!

MirandaWest Wed 04-Sep-13 19:23:27

I've read those alternative versions of Run Away Home but can't remember where. Also thought I had one AF book on my kindle but seemingly not.

My copy of Cricket Term is literally falling apart sad I bought it in Oxfam for 79p several years ago.

ravenAK Wed 04-Sep-13 19:41:25

Humphrey Cobbler - another Mary Renault obsessive here. I remember reading the 'Mask of Apollo' references in Cricket Term & rushing off to read that next when I was about 10!

decaffwithcream Wed 04-Sep-13 19:46:17

They were in the Celebrating Antonia Forest book from GGB, most of the book is papers from an AF conference.

You should go to one of those and pose your OP question over dinner wink

decaffwithcream Wed 04-Sep-13 19:48:34

American eBay sellers sometimes have cheaper copies of most of the books.

Cheaper than the UK eBay sellers that is.

Not sure about postage but worth keeping an eye on the American eBay site if people are looking.

CJCregg Wed 04-Sep-13 19:49:52

An AF conference????

<justified italics use>

ParkerTheThief Wed 04-Sep-13 19:54:30

I've had two copies of cricket term that fell apart.
I've still got one and I passed the other onto a mumsnetter who hadn't read it, she didn't seem to mind that it was literally loose pages.

My end oif term is also in a bit of a delicate state.

decaffwithcream Wed 04-Sep-13 19:58:27

Indeed CJ. 2006 in Bournemouth.

All that was needed was a West Wing conference to follow and my faith in the world would be utterly restored.

My copy of Cricket Term is also in a delicate state but it is possibly the most read.

CJCregg Wed 04-Sep-13 20:10:56

grin at decaff

HumphreyCobbler Wed 04-Sep-13 20:12:27

My copies of CT and EoT are also in bits.

RavenAK - it is great to meet another Renault fan. She is not read much at all now, which is a real shame. I have just re-read The Persian Boy and sobbed at the end each time I hope it will be different

HumphreyCobbler Wed 04-Sep-13 20:15:39

I just bought Spring Term. You have all persuaded me.

MirandaWest Wed 04-Sep-13 20:19:58

Thank you decaff smile I have that book smile and I know where it is so I will re read it smile

CJCregg Wed 04-Sep-13 21:34:43

My Cricket Term is also falling apart - cheap old Penguin paperback hmm

I have just bought both Celebrating Antonia Forest and The Marlows and Their Maker from Amazon. Huge expense, but I'm worth it grin

I need to step away from this thread, I think.

MooncupGoddess Wed 04-Sep-13 23:07:59

The Mask of Apollo is brilliant - and with a subtlety and complexity of characterisation that is not dissimilar to AF's.

I've just had a trawl through the internet fanfic - of varying quality, of course, and lots of Marlows meet Chalet School or whatever that is mildly traumatic for a purist like me, but I rather liked this one about Lois Sanger coming to Kingscote, which includes the classic scene in which Jan Scott demonstrates her Lack of Community Spirit.

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