( Chapter 9: Second Telephone Call )
( Chapter 10: Repercussions )
( Chapter 11: Casual Conversations )
( Chapter 12: One Verse, Set to Music )
Have at it!
So, forward to The Attic Term!
( Chapter 1: Private and Personal )
( Chapter 2: A Word with Patrick )
( Chapter 3: Family Dinner Time )
( Chapter 4: Up in Sara Crewe )
I think that's enough from me for now. Over to you!
The schedule for The Attic Term is as follows:
Chapter 1: Private and Personal
Chapter 2: A Word with Patrick
Chapter 3: Family Dinner-time
Chapter 4: Up in Sara Crewe
Chapter 5: Telephone Call
Chapter 6: Patrick Uprooted
Chapter 7: Ginty's Clanger
Chapter 8: Shopping Saturday
Chapter 9: Second Telephone Call
Chapter 10: Repercussions
Chapter 11: Casual Conversations
Chapter 12: One Verse, Set to Music
Chapter 13: Spilled Coffee
Chapter 14: Consequential
Chapter 15: Rain on the Just
Chapter 16: Daks Goes Home
If anyone would like to take on one of these posts, do let me know, either below or via pm. I'm also interested in getting volunteers to write the posts for Run Away Home, which discussion will run from 13th March-3rd April. Would people prefer to run straight on to the Players' books then, or perhaps think about a set of posts on themes in the the modern books as a whole?
Once again, many thanks to coughingbear and the mods, and to everyone who's participated to far.
As scarletlobster recently reminded me, seven years ago thewhiteowl and I were amusing ourselves by writing versions of the Marlows books in LOLCAT dialogue. (We never actually sourced any pictures of cats because it would have been too much work, and anyway, can you imagine the wars about whether Miss Ferguson should be a Scottish Fold or a foxy-looking ginger?)
As the fandom has been going through a renaissance due to lilliburlero and associates' great work on the readthroughs, I thought I'd link to the posts again so that people who missed them the first time round can share in the silliness.
Autumn Term, The Marlows And The Traitor, The Ready-Made Family, The Attic Term
Run Away Home
The Thuggery Affair
Falconer's Lure, End Of Term, The Cricket Term, Peter's Room
Loved it! Funny, witty, not as intense as some of the earlier school books, and lots of great comic/psychological moments in best AF style.
However was (unintentionally) very amused by the way nobody in their families refers to the relationship (it's clearly a boyfriend:girlfriend relationship by now) between Patrick and Ginty. I would have thought in most families Ginty's siblings would have teased her mercilessly...but the Marlows don't say ANYTHING. Nor do the two sets of parents. Patrick's mother, in his presence, tells a third person that she pities the person who marries Ginty - rather bizarre, given that Ginty is basically Patrick's girlfriend. But although everybody KNOWS nobody SAYS. Even Lawrie the tactless. The only exception I can think of is when Peter makes a couple of oblique teases to Ginty in the Ready Made Family "And who with as if we didn't know" but that is it. And Ferguson does ask Nicola obliquely if the parents approve of the "friendship" but again it's all very veiled.
Is it because they are just terribly polite and English that nobody says anything?
I guess so because in order to discuss what the buttoned-up Marlows and Merricks won't AF introduces Claudie, the amoral French au pair. She is quite prepared to ask all about Patrick's sex life (and wonder at the lack of it). Really I guess Claudie is as much of a stereotype as the amoral French girls who turn up in Enid Blyton school stories (one of them was called Claudine too) though you can never feel reading them that AF's characters are stereotypes.
Is this really how English families were at that time? Just can't believe it - even of the Marlows.
2. There seem to be so many more rules than ever before at school. I guess there must have been before, but somehow they just seem more prominent now. Nick and Miranda shopping for the play in End of Term didn't seem to involve nearly so much fuss as these shopping saturdays do - I know they were sent by a staff, but they seemed to be a lot more trusted then than later on.
3. What, exactly, were the millions of shopping party rules that they broke? OK, not telling Gina exactly where they were going - but surely girls didn't always know what shops they'd be in or what they'd be buying, specially as they were looking for things like birthday gifts, where they were undecided already about what to buy. Buying clothes? Did they know that was such an offence? they don't seem to have been aware at the time that they were breaking so many rules. Buying things for others? Well they were gifts, so was that really a problem? I know that it led to others finding Changegear, and doing illegal things like swapping clothes or getting Day Girls to provide things to swap. But what was so wrong about what Nick and Miranda did that day?
4. And why the sudden emphasis on Day Girls? Just a plot device? Or were they there all along and just not mentioned as much. Or perhaps schools by the time Attic Term was written did have a lot more day girls. (and a lot more rules!).
5. Miranda's Jewishness being such a problem at school Xmas events. (not just Attic term, but also End of Term). Why do they all care so much? I know that sometimes Jewish girls objected to being made to participate in Christian events, and fair enough, but she seems to want to do it, and is never allowed - not because her family would object, but because other people would, a feeling that it's somehow not proper/respectful etc of her to being doing it. That way around is something that seems less common, with everyone somehow worrying that someone else woudl object, but we never actually see anyone who finds it a problem. Is anyone really offended? Maybe people like Ann?
6. Patrick really does seem to be in love in Ginty at times. I tend to think of him as mostly just fancying her because she's there and she is so obviously keen on him - but that's probably because I know how it ends up. At the time, he seems quite keen on her, too, wishing she'd phone, wishing he could magic her there to be with him, etc. When he and Claudie are discussing sex, and he says he is innocent, and she gives him a long look - he then says 'no' - is she offering? I tend to read it like she is, but then sometimes I think she is just somehow questioning the fact that he doesn't want it. I don't really understand/like Patrick so much in this book. The whole crying at classical music, and just lots of other interactions, don't seem realistic to me, somehow.
For example, a page or two before the end of chapter 10 is the following passage:
Being anything but reckless, Ginty had meant to let at least two weeks go by before phoning Patrick again: and then, on the Monday evening, listening to the other four deciding to play ping-pong in the gym and mentally preparing a plausible Cat-That-Walked withdrawal, remembered that Patrick's O-levels began tomorrow: she ought - she must - phone and wish him luck.
Following that we have half-term which is when Miranda and Tim write the short Christmas carol for Nick to sing etc. Patrick has his half-term the week after Kingscote, and then along comes Chaper 13 and the fateful Maths O-level paper debacle. The chapter starts:
In the summer term, the sitting of O- and A-levels was something of an occasion: Miss Keith announced their commencement during Assembly and wished the candidates well on behalf of the school. But in the winter term, when a mere handful of unfortunates was at risk, the event was hardly mentioned, and it was only because Ginty was sitting-in on the Tutorial fifth's Latin revision that she knew when O-levels would make their delayed start as soon as Patrick did. Telephoning him that evening, she found him depressed and edgy.
Why is Patrick 'starting' his O-levels twice like that?
'having any number of more or less outlandish notions vaguely in mind: as for instance, that he might join an expedition to the Himalayas or a dig at one of the local archaeological sites or become the Queen's Falconer or unearth incontrovertible conclusive proof that the two princes were alive and well and living in the Tower when Richard Third was killed at Bosworth...'
This struck me as remarkably like Ginty's imaginings, such as the Mother Teresa fantasy when she's staying in the san. And I also noticed how very sulky both of them can be with the adults, and what teenagers they are, and remembered how one bonds with other teenagers over the total awfulness of the grown-ups. I read Attic Term first as a student, I think, and felt rather guiltily at one with Ginty as she thought 'when she was suddenly famous and interviewed on T.V. she would say There's one thing I can never forgive my mother--' and embarrassed for her over the way she speaks to Mrs Marlow on the phone from the Merricks'. But this time it occurred to me that the text doesn't suggest Patrick reacts badly to her rudeness to her mother at all (though one can feel Mr Merrick silently judging). Patrick's attempts not to be introduced to Mrs Harman at the concert had a similar feel to me, and though I admit that he has had an exceptionally stressful day, it's suggested that this mainly means he doesn't have the stubbornness to stick to his refusal.
Also I had always thought of the moment when he realised that 'If it had been Nick, he wouldn't have needed to ring off...' as conclusive in the end of his feelings for Ginty, especially as it's followed shortly afterwards by the Kissing Of Claudie. I still think it's crucial, but in fact the letter saying he is 'yours devotedly' - addressed to both Ginty and Rosina - is written after that. (Protesting too much? Attempting to open up a new dimension to their relationship after his recent exposure to the joys of the flesh?) Anyway, it's Ginty's decision to go to Monica's that seems to be the final disaster. Of course this is her chameleon qualities working against her, because if Patrick had known about Monica as her best friend from the beginning, he might have accepted that decision. Instead it just looks like running away. Which of course it is, even though it's also the right thing to do.
Probably these are not new observations, but I thought I'd toss it out and ask what other people make of Patrick and Ginty.
But asuming he were to pass them what next? Start the A'level syllabus in January? Why?
Or is he catching up as he's a year late because of falling off that cliff? But from Ginty and Patrick's converstaion at the beginning of TAT it seems as if it's policy at his school.
I was rereading the Attic Term (courtesy of
I'm talking about the first conversation we witness between Patrick and Claudie. In which, she asks him if he is sleeping with his girlfriend, and he vociferously denies having any desire to, on the grounds he is "terribly backward". At which point she offers to initiate him... and he says: "Well, since you ask, because I think it should only be with someone you - care for, or - okay - if it's paid for."
Firstly would anyone like to comment on this conversation in general - for example, is he saying he doesn't think of Ginty in that way (bad luck, Ginja) or is it he just doesn't want to talk about it with Claudie? And also, what's with the "paid for" comment? He can't possibly be saying that the only alternatives are marriage or prostitution???