[identity profile] sprog-63.livejournal.com
Inspired partly by the question from [livejournal.com profile] schwarmerei1 about sexting and partly by my boredom at my own incompetence technologically I am wondering which Marlows, indeed which characters in Forest overall, would embrace technology and social media and who would struggle ....

Ginty, of course I see as facebook (and similar) obsessed, on her phone all the time.
Lawrie perhaps following actors/actresses she admires on Twitter?
Ann competant and a surprisingly enthusiastic user of social media.
Karen, having left University before the web, found it hard to get back into academic work, as she lacked the necessary on-line research skills.
Anthony Merrick becomes an early adopter of all things web-based, one of the first MPs to tweet reguarly, and Chairing parliamentary committees about social media.  Some are surprised at this, but he explains that his theological position does not make him a Luddite.  He is also an anti-pornography campaigner, much to Helena's emabarrassment.
Patrick held out until not having an email address made functionning in the adult world very difficult, but has never read one of Anthony Merrick MP's tweets on principle.

At school ...
Jan didn't join the class of 19xx leavers facebook page set up by Val ...
The consquences of sexting are immediate expulsion, but it takes a while for the staff to believe that such a thing could happen, let alone at Kingscote.  That is as far as I care to go down that street - but others may be braver!
[identity profile] bookroom.livejournal.com
Hi all, am new here, but can't see that this has been discussed before.

I was reading End of Term recently, and got thinking about whether AF's account of who precisely can tell Niccola and Lawrie apart stands up to scrutiny (aside entirely from the implausibility of their mother not being able to find the merest freckle, mole or scar to distinguish the unconscious Lawrie from Nicola in The Marlows and the Traitor.) There are lots of indications, not surprisingly, that members of staff and other Kingscote girls who don't know them that well can't tell them apart throughout the series. What interested me more in End of Term was the extent to which their siblings and close friends and classmates can or can't distinguish them.

When Lawrie and Nicola switch for the netball match after Lawrie bruises her leg, they sleep in one another's beds, and Ginty and Ann don't spot the ruse in the morning when Lawrie (as Nicola) pretends to be ill, though Nick at least seems to have a moment of tension when she's afraid Ann will realise - but both twins seem to be able to presume that neither of their sisters will see through the switch, or presumably they would have known in advance it would never have worked. Nick walks in to the gym, and Miranda, her best friend, likewise thinks she's Lawrie until she's told otherwise. Yet when they go in to breakfast Tim knows immediately Nick isn't Lawrie, and we're told she 'had never had the least difficulty in telling them apart'. From Nicola remembering what Peter once told her about how Lawrie always hitched at her stockings and Nick put her hands in her pockets, presumably he can tell them apart too (despite seeing an awful lot less of them than their sisters)? It's unclear whether Jan Scott has guessed before Lois guesses 'Lawrie' is really Nick, while watching her play brilliantly in the netball match, but it emerges that the outcast Marie Dobson has guessed, based simply on the way in which Nick bumped into her and apologised in the gym doorway earlier that day.

Is it plausible that siblings who share a room with the twins would be taken in by an identical twin switch, basing their interpretation of who was who entirely on situation stuff like who was in which bed/wearing which games kit etc? Is Ann just too honest and straightforward to suspect, and Ginty too self-absorbed, and we are to assume that the redoubtable Rowan would have seen through it in a millisecond, even if all concerned were wearing identical school uniform?

Are there ever any indications that any of the other Marlows can't tell the twins apart? Why has Tim never had any difficulty telling them apart, yet observant, intelligent Miranda is fooled initially, when Marie Dobson isn't? (Just that Tim has known both twins since the start of their schooldays, and is Lawrie's best friend, while Miranda only becomes Nick's close friend at the start of End of Term? Or has Marie's outcast status sharpened her powers of observation when it comes to pranks she's being left out of? She's sharp and sly enough to check Nicola's hat name tag to confirm her suspicions.) Esther is a new girl at the start of End of Term, and very diffident, but there is never the slightest reference to her checking that she's talking to Nick, rather than Lawrie, in the way that, say, Jess Geddes does when they find the hawk carving in the Minster.

Anyway, just wondered what anyone else's thoughts were. Is it plausible that even siblings' recognition of identical twins might depend heavily on context (that is Nick's bed, therefore the person in it is Nick)..?
[identity profile] charverz.livejournal.com
I have been speculating.  What would be the results of Edwin finding a Marlow who died for the Protestant faith?  I suspect it would be under Queen Mary, but that would mean that there must have been a farm journal filed out of order, as I believe that in RAH Nick says that he's up to the 1670s.

Of course Nicola wants to know that her Protestant ancestors were sincere in their belief, if only to match Patrick's.  This would be the proof she needs.  But I don't see it affecting her interest in Catholicism.

The other person I can see it affecting is Ann, but I'm not sure in what way.  Perhaps a quiet pride, although deploring the bloodiness of the times?

(I'm off for France on a Battlefields Tour with my son's school for the next 10 days)


Feb. 17th, 2010 12:29 pm
[identity profile] charverz.livejournal.com

Patrick's romantic life provides a lot of scope for speculation.  The canon only provides Ginty, Claudie, and Nicola.  I'll state up front that, of the three, Nicola is obviously the best match, in my opinion.  Claudie is a non-starter, and unless Ginty gets a massive dose of maturity or Patrick goes off the deep end, we can rule Ginty out.

On the other hand, I see other possibilities.  First Rowan, for all that there's an age difference.  They certainly interact well together at the Nativity play in End of Term.  And I can see each providing the other with something each lacks - a romanticism that would be a nice break from Rowan's constant level-headedness, and a practicality that might help Patrick go somewhere in life.

The other, surprisingly enough, is Ann.  She is the only religious Marlow, and surely between low church Anglican and conservative Roman Catholic they could find some common ground. With the Anglican communion having its own turmoil, Ann might decide she doesn't want a woman vicar or blessings of same-sex unions.  One suspects that Antonia Forest would have found today's religious landscape very interesting (and would have been very happy with the new Pope).

Ann again

Aug. 16th, 2009 04:19 pm
[identity profile] res23.livejournal.com
I was just starting to re-read Falconers Lure, and noticed that Nicola tells Patrick that Ann keeps a diary (they are discussing rubbish presents, and there is the slight implication that diary-keeping is not something Nicola has much respect for).

I tend to think of diaries as being about one's hidden feelings, secrets, worries, speculations about other people, etc., rather than just daily records of 'what was done'.

Given that quite a lot of people didn't think Ann would even admit to herself that she had a family liking list, some of those subjects seem fairly off-topic for her.  What kinds of things do you think she'd put in it?  Just a record of what she did?  Or would she actually say what she thought about her family, things that went on, etc.?  Would she say anything critical about anyone?  Does she have a lot of worries about how the others are doing, and/or insecurities about herself - does she worry what people think of her? etc etc.

(fan fic anyone?)

If I'd had to pick one of them as being a diary keeper, I might have thought Nicola would - she seems the reflective sort as she gets older (though not, perhaps, in that first year when she's described as not being able to settle to a book or be calm about things, and I guess Falconer's Lure is still in that year).  Do you think she'd see more value in it as she gets older?  In some ways, the books feel a bit more like a diary from her because we see the internal workings of her mind already.
[identity profile] smellingbottle.livejournal.com

We hear quite a bit about what the other Marlows, especially Nicola,  think of Ann, but what does Ann, probably the most mysterious Marlow, really think of her siblings?

In Attic Term that she we're told she feels she should be with her sisters to offer sympathy and advice on all occasions, her over-helpfulness and willingness to sacrifice herself for her siblings is legendary (and largely unappreciated), but in what spirit? Duty? Christian charity? Genuine familial love, despite the lack of any signs of reciprocal affection? Why does she keep unpacking their trunks and taking their turns at washing up, even though it only seems to provoke irritation or be taken advantage of?

Would she have called the home if she had been in on the secret in Run Away Home, even if it was likely to land the others in trouble? Will she forgive them for not telling her? 

It sometimes strikes me she behaves in classic Eldest Daughter ways, although she isn't. (That thing she says about wondering about Charlotte Bronte suddenly finding herself the eldest after her elder sisters die always struck me as significant.)

Also, if Ann had a Family Liking List like Nicola does, how would she rank her siblings? Would the events of Run Away Home be likely to change anything? ETA assuming that Ann would allow herself do anything of the kind, of course...
[identity profile] tosomja.livejournal.com

I've just read RAH for the first time and whilst I enjoyed it, I also found it rather disconcerting.  I found myself unsure which side AF was expecting us to take in the Edward saga and wondered what others felt.    If I've got it right, Edward was snatched by his father as a baby and taken to Switzerland, and his mother refused to follow as she didn't want to live abroad.  When Edward came back to visit, his mother then refused to let him go back to his father (who had, after all, snatched him).  As far as all the Marlows except Ann are concerned, Judith is then the demonised one, with comments about how stupid she was not to just follow him to Switzerland, and particularly how dreadful to have put him into care and all efforts are obviously put into reuniting Edward with his father.  Edward is seemingly quite disturbed by the whole thing and is fairly unpleasant throughout the whole thing.

Several things disturbed me about this book.  One was that no one seemed to communicate at all with Edward - I kept waiting for some sort of denoucement involving Edward, Judith and Felix, where there would be lots of weeping and resolving of misunderstandings, and finally an arriving at some sort of joint custody arrangement which Edward was happy with, or at least some moment when Edward would break down and we would get some glimpse of the distress he was going through, and of the complexities of what was going on.   

Another was how united the Marlows were in their pursuit of returning Edward, and how completely they dismissed Ann's opinion about it - what do you think AF wants us to feel about Ann in this book?  Her religious views are obviously against AF's own, and she comes across as rather dogmatic in othe ways - is her support of Judith meant to be another example of how she takes the side of the law without considering the facts and emotions of the case?  

Then, despite this, it seemed like AF was trying to make the point that the case wasn't cut and dried, by introducing Judith's overdose and also portraying Judith as a likeable character when she appears, but that doesn't seem to lead to much genuine reflection on the part of the Marlows, just momentary second thoughts in some cases. 

But then, after reading RAH, I felt that most of the Marlows did not get portrayed as possessing much capacity for self-reflection, and also didn't appear to communicate much with each other! Giles in particular appeared to simply decide what to do, announce it and then do it.  I was reminded of that comment made by someone (Lois Sanger?) in Cricket term I think (am just remembering so have probably got it wrong) about Nicola thinking, like Rowan, that what more could one ask out of life than to be a Marlow.  It seemed like they just acted, assuming that somehow, their very Marlowness would mean they were on the right side.   

What does anyone else think?  Will a re-reading resolve these issues, or are they intrinsic to the book? 


[identity profile] emylno.livejournal.com
Hello there! I'm still working my way through the marlow books, but one thing that I really like so far are the bits when the narrative switches from Nicola's point of view to one of the others in the family.

I find it fascinating to see the family ins-and-outs from the different perspectives, it seems to become so much more three-dimensional, and I only wish Antonia Forest did it more. I like Nick a lot, but I sometimes find her limiting, and often wish I knew the true dynamics and what was really going on at the 'top' of the family, between the boys, and between the 'middles' like Ginty and Ann.

Obviously I still have some reading to do, but I think so far (in the first 4 books) I've come across the p.o.v's of nicola (obviously) and Lawrie, Peter, Ginty, and a bit of Patrick and a Teensy bit of Karen, but still no Giles, Rowan, or Ann. So I'm just curious as to whether we ever get to see through their eyes too?
(I don't mind spoilers a bit, so no worries about that!)
[identity profile] lavenderhill.livejournal.com
Hi there – I am also new to this group, but have been an avid reader of AF for over 15 years. I have all the books, and have re-read them frequently.

I have been thinking for a while that the Marlow stories would make a great early Sunday evening family television series. When you think about it, they combine the teenage school highs and lows of The OC (bullies/ school teams/ boyfriends) with the kind of drama reserved for Eastenders (step families/ runways/ child abduction..). It also has some kind of glamour, as the main protagonists are of a class that most people are not.

The more I thought about it, though, the more I realised that the stories would have to be set in the present day, in order to gain enough interest from viewers, and also the backing from a production firm. This started me thinking about how to update some of the storylines, which are often a product of the time they were written in. The telephone saga in The Attic Term, would be an interesting one, although in my mind, I would have Ann owning the ‘family’ mobile, on which calls home are made. Ginty ends up using the office phone due to the queues and lack of privacy on the payphones near the common room. Some schools are strict about mobiles and insist that the housemistress keeps them until after classes are over, and I could see Kingscote doing this, and Ann obviously obeying.

Another issue would be the make-believe in Peter’s Room, which I cannot see teenagers in 2006 doing. An interesting way round this, would be to have ‘Gondal’ as a new online computer game, which they start playing whilst hold up in Peter’s Shippen, and gradually become addicted to – apart from Nicola, who would much rather be herself out doing something! There was some research done about these kind of online ‘quest’ games, where quite ordinary people in real life, are ‘kings’ of these online worlds. This plot would not only allow the story to develop as it does in Peter’s Room, but also look at the effect of kids spending too much time on computers..

The Thuggery Affair I would love to turn into Chavs, but this is probably rather un-PC!! And the Marlows and the Traitor would have to be drug smuggling as I don’t want to touch 21st century terrorism..

Talking to my sister, another AF fan, about this, we got onto the characters. She says that Nicola is unlike any modern day teenage girl. What 12/13/14 year old is mad about the Navy and into cricket? If there was someone like that at school, they would be really picked on by the ‘trendy gang’ .But I don’t know – I think Nicola as she is in the books would work, and I would still have her dropping her new penknife out of the train (do modern trains have windows that open, though?). She is also safe from the ‘trendies’ in that she a Marlow, and is actually part of the Main Clique with Tim, Miranda and Lawrie. I would, however, have Lawrie and Tim as being quite skinny-jeaned/ Top Shop cool, whereas Miranda would be in Seven jeans and a Chloe top. Nick would be more jeans and tatty converse boots (previously Rowan’s). If any of you live in London, the Top Shop, H&M and Zara on Kensington High Street on a Saturday are full of upper middle class teenage girls in all their glory…. Just to give you an idea of what Kingscote girls would be like in 2006…

Anyways, just wanted to share these thoughts, and wondered what you all think. Would it work? Is it worth me writing a proposition and sending it to the BBC??!

Apols for long post...
[identity profile] leapingirbis.livejournal.com
The discussion about Kay below made me wonder how many children each of the Marlows would end up producing. I hope this hasn't been discussed before - if so I apologise! My thoughts are as follows:

Giles - lots, of course. Borne by a meek and long-suffering wife?
Kay - not sure. Maybe two, by a later marriage.
Rowan - I haven't decided whether Rowan will settle down in a same-sex partnership, in which case I don't think she will bother with children, or whether she will marry, initially decline children, but then suddenly decide in her mid-thirties that her biological clock is ticking and ultimately end up with two sons.
Ann - Ann will marry mid-twenties and - ironically and unfairly - have great difficulty conceiving. They will adopt two children before she finally produces a daughter.
Ginty - boy and girl? Followed by divorce?
Peter - don't know. Perhaps he will surprise everyone by becoming the real pater familias?
Nick - I reckon four boys, and would quite like them to be by Robert Anquetil.
Lawrie - after a succession of affairs with her leading men (and because she likes to shock and likes the attention probably a couple of leading ladies too), Lawrie will settle down with a somewhat older and very dashing film star, will initially reject the idea of children, but aged 37 will suddenly decide she wants one and immediately and without difficulty produce a daughter, which will really rub Ann's nose in it.

What does everyone else think?
[identity profile] res23.livejournal.com
Let's hope this works. I have finally remembered my user name, but it's taken me ages to remember how to post a new message instead of a comment...

Anyway, I've always wondered what the various Marlow siblings were like as children, and a comment in the thread below about prequels made me think about it even more. I find the twins different in Autumn Term than pretty much everywhere else, somehow very much younger (Nick jumping out of the train, etc). And I'd be curious about how much all the others changed as they grew up, too. It would be easiest to write a prequel with them all much as they are now - Ann being very good, Rowan still supremely confident, Kay very academic, but I think that would be losing something. Was Rowan as insecure as Nick sometimes is about her capabilities? Was Ann always so at peace with helping everyone, or did she sometimes resent it more as a child? Was Karen ever silly? How did Ginty's bomb shelter experience change her? Was she always pretty, and did she notice as a child, or is some of her shallowness later on a result of that? What was Lawrie like before she realised she was supremely good at acting? (and indeed, was that actually known before the play in Autumn Term? It seemed like it was really sort of discovered then - was Nick always seen as the one who was best at everything before then?) Did Peter hide his fears just as well as a child? (I guess we get some clues in Falconer's Lure, that Patrick at least knew some of them. Come to that, we also hear a little about Nick as a child in that one too, wanting to trail after the boys), and a million other similar questions... So, what do you think all the characters were like as children??
[identity profile] childeproof.livejournal.com
We know that Nicola has a fairly well-established Family Liking List, according to which she habitually ranks the members of her family, with Ann always coming last, presumably after Bucket, Tessa, and assorted Marlow horses. We might also assume that Giles tops the list, with Rowan close behind him.

My questions are (because I've just begun what looks to be hellish workday, full of politicking and collegial back-stabbing, and I fancy some Marlovian amusement on the side):

How do the rankings work in the middle of Nicola's list - who is next to Ann as second-last? Ginty? Does Lawrie figure as a kind of twinnish second-self or would she get her own independent liking ranking?

Also, f we imagine the other Marlows to have their own Family Liking Lists, how do they rank each other? (If Ann were to allow herself for a moment to be uncharitable enough to deviate from 'But of course I love them all the same - they are my family', who would she like most? Karen, who seems to be least unpleasant to her?) What does Giles really think of the Marlovian Lower Deck? Are we to assume Peter hero-worships Giles, or does his slightly-taken-aback reaction to no longer being the only male on the scene in Run Away Home indicate seething sibling-Naval rivalry?
ext_6283: Brush the wandering hedgehog by the fire (Default)
[identity profile] oursin.livejournal.com

I've been thinking a bit lately about Ann, who is the recurrent character whose inner life we know least about - I'm trying to remember if there are any scenes anywhere in any of the books from her pov at all. If her physical resemblance to her siblings wasn't mentioned, one might think that they'd got the babies mixed up at the hospital. On the other hand, she does do classically Marlovian things like being good at games (cf the discussion with her form about throwing the match in The Cricket Term, in which it's assumed that she will be playing, until her ethical position comes into conflict with the general feeling on the subject), and her impressive performance as Mary in the Nativity Play - where she manages compelling stillness and silence; not to mention the general taking charge, being a dorm prefect and probably on the fast-track to Head Girl (she is so the kind of thing Miss Keith likes, though I could, actually, imagine conflicts). Oh yes, and she also plays the piano, well.

Although her selflessness and helpfulness are shown as intensely annoying to her siblings, there's never any doubt that Ann is entirely sincere, and is not one of those characters who recur in the novels of Charlotte Yonge, who are apparent epitomes of virtue but whose spiritual pride leads them to a fall.

Yet, it's a curious insight into her character when, in Peter's Room, she admits to identifying with Charlotte Bronte - it's almost as startling as if she'd confessed to wanting to be Amy March rather than Beth (she must surely regret the lack of modern opportunities to take gruel to the infectious deserving poor). This is an identification which involves completely eliminating Giles and Lawrie from the picture, and killing off Karen and Rowan. Not to mention their mother. Hmmm. And suggests a hidden romanticism at odds with what we thought we knew about her.

Is she really going to placidly continue on to become a nurse? Might she fall victim to a cult? Given the opportunities for women now in the C of E, might she seek ordination? Are there surprises in store?


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