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AIBU?

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!

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PyongyangKipperbang · 10/10/2022 23:54

I find it interesting that her daughters have vastly opposing views on their childhood.

One thinks it was fantastic and joyful, the other thinks it was abusive and emotionally neglectful.

I cant help wondering what led to that. Was is a Golden child/scapegoat situation or that one bought into the fantasy that EB created around her children (I am sure she announced on the birth of her eldest that a new "creature" had come to live in her home) and the other didnt or.....as is probably more likely, that it was less than ideal and they both dealt with it in their own way. I remember seeing a documentary that suggested that she hadnt properly matured emotionally and tended to live in her fantasy world and wasnt able to be a fully capable mother.

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KimberleyClark · 11/10/2022 00:11

They were pretty nasty to the teachers though as well as each other. Poor Miss Kennedy, and they were pretty awful to Mamzelle in the second book too.

They were. Knowing Mamzelle was terrified of creepy crawlies they filled her glasses case with them. She thought she was hallucinating and virtually had a breakdown. Awful thing to do.

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AsAnyFuleKno · 11/10/2022 07:15

KimberleyClark · 11/10/2022 00:11

They were pretty nasty to the teachers though as well as each other. Poor Miss Kennedy, and they were pretty awful to Mamzelle in the second book too.

They were. Knowing Mamzelle was terrified of creepy crawlies they filled her glasses case with them. She thought she was hallucinating and virtually had a breakdown. Awful thing to do.

To be fair, they did realise how awful they'd been with the beetles in the glasses case, when Mamzelle broke down; they were full of remorse and spent all their pocket money on flowers for her, and Janet sneaked into the san and owned up to it being a trick.

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KimberleyClark · 11/10/2022 08:29

You’re right they did - they hadn’t known that Mamzelle had spent a lot of time in the holidays nursing her sick sister and was exhausted and not very well herself as a result. Hence thinking she was hallucinating.

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Needmorelego · 11/10/2022 10:07

I am loving this analysis of Enid Blyton books. If this had been what we'd studied for A-level English Lit instead of Shakespeare and boring old Jane Eyre I might have actually passed 🤣

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MurderAtTheBeautyPageant · 12/10/2022 10:25

FlosCampi · 02/10/2022 10:37

Ooh can I reccommend Bewitched by Kate Saunders? About a modern girl who gets off the train for her boarding school and finds herself in the 1930s, including a Malory Towers style school. It's much more interesting than not having her phone or GHDs, it questions a lot of modern cultural assumptions too, about how long childhood extends for instance, and of course there's the shadow of the war, sexuality, the treatment of a Jewish girl and so on. It's a really good story!

Beswitched is so good! A fantastic addition to the boarding school genre. Was so much better than I expected, clever and funny and The Bit At The End made me blub a little bit.

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StrawberrySquash · 15/10/2022 13:33

Just finished Claudine at St Clare's and yes, of course it's of its time, so are today's books. But the essential humanity and messages are no different. Yes, it's set in a particular level of society, but snobbery is constantly called out. Angela and her mother, Pauline pretending to be something she's not and her cruelty to her mother. The girls don't care that Eileen and Claudine aren't paying full fees and don't have money; they rather admire her honesty about it.

And yes, sometimes they behave badly. They are meant to be human! But there is kindness even towards those you don't like much, without being a doormat, forgiveness of Pauline and Eileen. All in all it's a decent portrait of learning to live with other people, if a bit optimistic about miraculous transformations. And Claudine is such an appealing character - we all know a Claudine who breakdown the rules but seems to get away with it.

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FlosCampi · 16/10/2022 13:37

@MurderAtTheBeautyPageant so glad you liked it too! I agree it has the charm of the originals but acknowledges the modern view and challenges it- and is just a really good story!

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