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Has anyone ever read Malory towers?

558 replies

Orangejelly1 · 02/10/2022 00:04

I used to love the books as a child! I read them cover to cover so many times and my favourite character was Darrell. I recently found my old collection and re read parts of them just for old times sake and I was actually really disappointed to see, as an adult, how awful some of the popular characters were. I know it was a product of its time and a different era, but Darrell, Alicia and some of the most popular girls would be called nasty bullies nowadays. I also felt so sorry for Gwen, which surprised me because as a child rearing the books she was my least favourite character.

just wondered if anyone else re read the books and thought this too!

OP posts:

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Feelinglow27 · 02/10/2022 00:07

I read them recently, my parents bought them for my daughter (7) who liked them. I agree though, the girls can sometimes be horrible. I did point this out repeatedly to my daughter that this was not his people should behave. And yes I did feel sorry for gwen in the end!!

Georgeandzippyzoo · 02/10/2022 00:09

Totally agree!
I read the famous five/secret seven and Mallory towers, as a kid and loved them but as an adult I can see how bloody rude those kids were and how stories of gypsies/circus folk/foreigners are so badly 'stereotyped' from views back then.
(Although I do love the name Darrel from those books)

Strokethefurrywall · 02/10/2022 00:09

I read these as a kid and I barely remember Gwen but remember loathing Alicia and how she brushed her hair with 100 strokes a night (I think!) this was because I have 3b curly hair and if I could barely run a brush through it let alone 100 times!

I remember Darrell being some stalwart champion of the boarders, but generally remember any of it other than it made me want to go to boarding school as a kid.

murasaki · 02/10/2022 00:09

Yes, with the benefit of hindsight the popular girls were mean...although Gwem was awful. Never like Alicia though, even as a kid.

On another note, have you seen the TV series on iplayer? I enjoyed them, mild bullying notwithstanding.

AsAnyFuleKno · 02/10/2022 00:10

Gwen was my favourite character as a child, and still is. A fellow hater of sports - enough said, I would say I'd have been her friend at MT but as I'm neither rich nor destined for greatness in life, I doubt she'd have me as a friend Grin

murasaki · 02/10/2022 00:10

I wanted to go to a boarding school with a sea water pool. Sadly it never happened for me...

MossGrowsFat · 02/10/2022 00:11

Stroke it was Gwen who brushed her hair every night.

PimmsOfCourse · 02/10/2022 00:11

Yes as just said, I read them as a child and then dd saw the TV series which is very good but she read St Clare's. Similar vein and we discussed the many torrid characters

Luredbyapomegranate · 02/10/2022 00:12

I read and adored them aged about 7. Never reread, but you don’t surprise me. I did reread a couple of Famous Fives though, and while the characters are pretty ghastly cutouts, they are page turners…

MurderAtTheBeautyPageant · 02/10/2022 00:13

I saw your titles and immediately thought of their pool near the cliff. So even the words Mallory Tower are very evocative for me.

I devoured those books as a kid, but I find with Blyton that she doesn't really stand up to re-reading as an adult. You very much bring the magic when you're 7 years old and project far more on to the page than actually exists.

MurderAtTheBeautyPageant · 02/10/2022 00:14

She was an awful snob about any character whose family were self-made.

MurderAtTheBeautyPageant · 02/10/2022 00:14

even as a child that struck me.

GroggyLegs · 02/10/2022 00:15

I loved these books, but I can only remember one storyline where a girl ran across a causeway to an island, then the tide came in & she got stuck.

Everything else 🤷‍♀️

I think Alicia was my favourite.

FamSender · 02/10/2022 00:15

I think the recent CBBC dramatisation of it evened things out a bit, so Darre was less forthright and Gwen more understandable and their behaviours were explained by motivations and fhey all got long a bit better despite their differences.

BigOldGalaxy · 02/10/2022 00:16

Yes loved them as a child!

LittleMousewithcloggson · 02/10/2022 00:16

As an adult I can definitely relate to Gwen!
she hated sports and was treated badly because of this. Ok she wasn’t a very nice person but I definitely have sympathy for her - not even the teachers tried to help her
on rereading both Darrell and Alicia annoyed me
Funny how we change

dane8 · 02/10/2022 00:26

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MrsMoastyToasty · 02/10/2022 00:31

Yes I did, although I preferred the Twins at St Claires.
FWIW - I were to a boarding school. No salt water pool, but midnight feasts usually involved vodka rather than ginger beer.

TakemedowntoPotatoCity · 02/10/2022 00:33

Was Gwendoline the one with the 'drawl' who went to Finishing School?

It's been nearly 40 years since I read them so my memory is very off I'm sure.

Eeksteek · 02/10/2022 00:36

It’s astonishing how much old kids books don’t stand up to rereading. Full of sneaking out, casual violence and horrible kids. Or (in some cases) crashingly dull. I’m sure I loved Winnie the Pooh, but DD thought it was boring as hell. Same with The Borrowers.

I have remind myself I read every Blyton adventure I could get my hands on, and never even once thought of sneaking out. They aren’t the influence I credit them with (although DD is more literal than I was. Mind you, she doesn’t voluntarily read anyway, so it hardly matters)

TastesLikeFlavourlessFizz · 02/10/2022 00:37

Yes! Cannot remember a thing about them but I bloody loved them.

I became obsessed with the concept of midnight feasts and went to great lengths to have them when my friends stayed over. 😂

Ozgirl75 · 02/10/2022 00:39

I loved them as well, and the St Claire’s books too. I loved a good boarding school series. My favourite was Sally. Even I could see that Darrel was kind of annoying and how mean a lot of the girls were but that’s part of the attraction surely? Who wants to read stories about kids being nice to each other?! 😁 Surely this is why we read horror stories and things as an adult!

Trees6 · 02/10/2022 00:45

I can remember many of the illustrations. One was of Felicity playing tennis - “lamming the ball”

One thing I liked about Blyton is that she valued intelligence and achievement. Prettiness wasn’t something she revered. She liked brains, athleticism, musicality etc and these qualities were positive attributes in her books.

Her portrayal of foreigners and the working classes though …..

PyongyangKipperbang · 02/10/2022 00:50

Re-read them a few years ago and it has contributed to me realising that younger me was a bitch and a whiny idiot!

Mallory Towers? All the popular girls were utter bitches, apart from Mary....cant remember her hyphonated second name, who was so cowed by them that they let her in the mean girl group as she was their gopher.

Famous Five/Secret Seven/Five Find Outers? Utter snobs. If you didnt have money, pprivate schooling and household staff you were not only scum but probably criminal scum. At best you were "simple".

My personal worst moment of adulthood.... The Breakfast Club. As a teen it ws the perfect timing for me. At least a film that got how it was for me! Even American kids had parents that hated them and didnt understand them....then I watched it again when I was 40. What a whiny bunch of self obsessed little arseholes they were and by association....probably so was I!

Occitane · 02/10/2022 00:51

I loved these books, and the St Clare’s ones, and the famous five. I get them out now and again and reread them. I agree the girls weren’t very nice though, and Enid Blyton was a snob, but the books are of their time and we think differently these days.

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