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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:

Am I being unreasonable?

283 votes. Final results.

You are being unreasonable
You are NOT being unreasonable
LostInTheColonies · 02/10/2022 05:35

@HuntingoftheSnark Alicia's best friend was called Betty I think! And she was in a different tower.

I was also very keen on the Chalet School books, with girls & teachers having to escape over the mountains. They had to speak different languages on different days at school which seemed incredibly sophisticated 🤣

Spicycurry · 02/10/2022 05:36

Blyton has to be read with caution, I think. As PP have alluded to, it’s possible to absorb the attitudes without meaning to.

HuntingoftheSnark · 02/10/2022 05:39

@LostInTheColonies Betty! Thank you.

Everyone "scowled" as well. These days I imagine they would pout.

MrsLargeEmbodied · 02/10/2022 06:38

love the books when i was a child,
wanted to go to boarding school due to mallory towers

Pufferpuffin · 02/10/2022 06:49

I wasn’t allowed to read EB for a long time as my mum thought her a racist. I was banned from choosing any of her books at the school library. Of course I found a way to end up reading loads of them eventually. Loved the famous five due to the sheer adventure and Malory Towers. Interesting looking back as remember thinking what a feeble person Gwen was and she deserved it but I bet if I read it now I’d see her character more clearly and feel sympathy. Also liked a tennis boarding school series which wasn’t EB.

Seashor · 02/10/2022 06:52

Absolutely loved it as a child but sadly the stereotyping is shocking. I really enjoyed watching it on the tv though. It was secret pleasure.

I too was desperate to go to boarding school and swim in a sea pool!

Zonder · 02/10/2022 06:52

Absolutely loved EB as a child. I used to buy a book a week at the local book shop and it cost 25p.

Loved MT, Famous 5 and 5 find outers. Not so much St Claire's or Secret 7.

Not sure I would dare re read them now as I think it might be a bit iconoclastic! DD never got past the first chapter of any of them.

Having said all that, the Chalet School books were my absolute favourite and I did try to re read following a thread on here about them. Sadly I found the one I tried really dull.

AtomicBlondeRose · 02/10/2022 07:11

I’m reading them to my 8yo at the moment and she adores them! I’ll say, in a child’s eyes, the meaness etc all reads as totally reasonable and completely in keeping with a child’s idea of justice. Certainly she hasn’t blinked an eyelid at people being slapped and so on! I also think the messages the teachers and Miss Grayling in particular give the girls are very good ones and she’s enjoyed seeing the hardworking, trustworthy and kind girls thrive.

StrictlyAFemaleFemale · 02/10/2022 07:13

I haven't reread MT but I did see Grease for the first time in about 25 years and realised that it is AWFUL. Slut shaming, virginity shaming - awful.

Tomorrowisalatterday · 02/10/2022 07:22

I reread them recently - the originals, not the edited versions - the thing that I was really shocked by was the number of times they call Gwen fat in the later books, it's actually pretty nasty.

But though they are an uncomfortable read at times, I think Blyton really does capture adolescent girls well.

jeanne16 · 02/10/2022 07:23

In the Secret Seven, poor Susie was treated dreadfully. She wanted to be included in the Club, but was totally isolated by the others.

FrontRowSeat · 02/10/2022 07:28

I’m so pleased someone has mentioned Trebizon - nobody else I know has read them. It was a bit ‘grittier’ than MT if I recall.

To the PP who has ordered the MT books in order of preference ….. brilliant. Totally agree the pantomime was North Tower heavy. The whole series was actually, apart from Betty. Alicia, Betty and Darrell were awful in hindsight. Loved Bill and Zerelda.

Galarunner · 02/10/2022 07:29

Miss Grayling was fantastic, imagine if the country was run by such a wise and fair leader. I suspect Enid Blyton was inspired by some of those indomitable women who either lost the chance of marriage through the carnage of WW1

Novum · 02/10/2022 07:38

Ozgirl75 · 02/10/2022 04:45

I also really liked the Trebizon books and there was another series where they did a play about the two princes (I think?) and I vaguely remember they were in like a girl guides group? Very hazy memories but I really liked them at the time!

The one with the play etc was the Antonia Forest Marlow series - which included both school and non-school books. Still way ahead of the competition.

Tumbleweed101 · 02/10/2022 07:38

I think I read most of her books
as a child. My overall favourite was the valley of adventure. I quite liked the secret of - castle too (can’t remember full title).

FrodisCapering · 02/10/2022 07:39

@HuntingoftheSnark believe it or not, brown and orange was the colour scheme of my school! It was utterly vile.

HuntingoftheSnark · 02/10/2022 07:41

@Tumbleweed101 The Secret of Moon Castle with Prince Paul of Baronia? His parents casually wanted to rent a castle I believe ....

HuntingoftheSnark · 02/10/2022 07:42

FrodisCapering · 02/10/2022 07:39

@HuntingoftheSnark believe it or not, brown and orange was the colour scheme of my school! It was utterly vile.

Haha! Brilliant!

SudocremOnEverything · 02/10/2022 07:45

I tried to read the noddy books to DS2 when he was little. Awful. Everything about them. The way they were structured and written. The really strong moral messages that I vehemently disagreed with. I gave up with them and read something better instead.

I don’t think I could bring myself to look at Mallory towers. I read them as a child. I think I’d be horrified now.

Some things are just too much of their own time.

SudocremOnEverything · 02/10/2022 07:48

HuntingoftheSnark · 02/10/2022 07:42

Haha! Brilliant!

Brown, cream and orange was the colour scheme of my 70s build school too. Dark brown skirting boards and scuff boards, cream paint with orange and brown flecks. It was hideous.

They repainted when I was there. The brown and orange were replaced with either pink or blue depending on which corridor you were in. The recreated the little flecks of paint on the white (maybe cream) background too.

J0y · 02/10/2022 07:48

I loved them but I agree, I skim read a few when my DD was younger to say if they ''held up'' and I realised they were awful Beez, they felt entitled to sneer at anybody who didn't fit.

I hated sport too, I kind of rooted for Gwen when she refused point blank to do sport.

ForfuckssakeEXHstopbeingatwat · 02/10/2022 07:49

I read Trebizon too ..there was even a boyfriend called Robbie at one point I think!!! Very racy.🤣 As others have said, loved all of EB as a child but when I tried to either read them with or gave them to my kids they had mixed reactions and certainly aren't their favourites. Prompted some interesting conversation though about how things have changed ..not unlike Friends actually.


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ChocolateSpreadOnToast · 02/10/2022 07:50

I loved MT.

Alicia is one of my favourite girls names, and it came from those books.

cushioncovers · 02/10/2022 07:53

Yes I read them. I didn't like them much because of the mean girls. I adored famous five though.

SydneyCarton · 02/10/2022 07:54

I bought a set of the MT books which had been updated to include references to modern currency etc, so they have ten pound notes for pocket money rather than ten shillings and so on, and the scene where Darrell slaps Gwen for ducking Mary-Lou was also rewritten to make it a shaking.

I think the character of Darrell’s wonderful doctor father was probably based on EB’s second husband, who was a surgeon called Darrell Waters (also the inspo for “Darrell Rivers”).

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