[identity profile] nickwhit.livejournal.com
Am reading (and very much enjoying)  H is for Hawk by Helen Macdonald. But was thrown a bit by her assertion that British goshwaks were extinct by the end of the nineteenth century, and only reintroduced in the 1960s and 70s. Did I miss the bit where Jon brought Jael back from the Continent?
[identity profile] ankaret.livejournal.com
(or, have your mods gone entirely round the bend? The answer, very probably)

As [livejournal.com profile] scarletlobster recently reminded me, seven years ago [livejournal.com profile] 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 [livejournal.com profile] 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
[identity profile] lilliburlero.livejournal.com
Thank you very much to guest posters [livejournal.com profile] highfantastical and [livejournal.com profile] sprog_63 for their thoughtful and detailed prompts to discussion; I’m very grateful to both of them for taking over.

Chapter 10: High Diving )

Chapter 11: The Jump-Off )

Many thanks again to our guest posters, and to everyone who’s participated so far: go for it!

I think there was general agreement that a break at this point might suit us all. Can I propose that we resume discussion on 29th August with End of Term? That should let most people get their summer hols out of the way (and write some fic?) and has a pleasing confluence with the back-to-school mood of the novel.

Before I go, I should just mention that legionseagle has given the hall-stand a happy ending in this fic, which also features a cameo by a teenage Robert Anquetil, already Bristol-fashion, bless his cotton socks. It was a great relief to me to know that the hall-stand did not end its days far from sea.
[identity profile] highfantastical.livejournal.com
Before we get down to business: a tremendous thank you to the heroic [livejournal.com profile] lilliburlero for so many fantastic posts (talk about a hard act to follow!) and to the mods and book-sharers without whom this would not be happening at all. I am very glad to be with you for one week to talk about Falconer's Lure, Chapters 4-6.

Chapter 4: Colebridge Market )

Chapter 5: Jael is Entered and Peter Gate-crashes )

Chapter 6: The Day it Rained )

Well: that was great fun! And now -- with renewed thanks to [livejournal.com profile] lilliburlero for letting me step briefly into her esteemed shoes -- over to you.
[identity profile] lilliburlero.livejournal.com
Thanks to all contributors for a very informative and engaging discussion of The Marlows and the Traitor. We're on to #3 in the series, Falconer's Lure.

Chapter 1: Jael in the Morning )

Chapter 2: Grand Stoop )

Chapter 3: No One Ever Tells Us Anything )

It's goodbye from me for a bit, as [livejournal.com profile] highfantastical will be taking over next week, and [livejournal.com profile] sprog_63 the week after that.

So, looking forward to your comments. Have at it!
[identity profile] lilliburlero.livejournal.com
We'll be reading Falconer's Lure from Friday. If you need a copy of the text, there are people in the comm who can help with that; send me a pm. You're also probably all pretty sick of me by now too, so I'm delighted to say there'll be some guest posts by other [livejournal.com profile] trennels members for this one.

18th July: Chapters 1-3
25th July: Chapters 4-6 -- guest post by [livejournal.com profile] highfantastical
1st August: Chapters 7-9 -- guest post by [livejournal.com profile] sprog_63 (tbc)
8th August: Chapters 10 & 11.

It's also been mooted that we take a break at some point. How would people feel about, say a 2-week holiday after the end of Falconer's Lure, resuming with End of Term on 22nd August? Do also feel free to make your own suggestions in comments. If you're willing to undertake a guest post at any point, do indicate your interest by sending me a pm.
[identity profile] lilliburlero.livejournal.com
I'm working out a timetable for the promised Forest readthrough, but in the meantime, I think some [livejournal.com profile] trennels readers might enjoy this, which was one of my splendid gifts in the recent Renault Exchange.  You probably do need a working knowledge of The Charioteer to get the most out of it, but it's a superb take on some perennial Forestian topics of interest: social class, religion, the Navy.

To Strive, To Seek (4128 words) by AJHall
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: The Charioteer - Mary Renault, The Marlows - Antonia Forest
Rating: General Audiences
Warnings: Author Chose Not To Use Archive Warnings
Relationships: Ralph Lanyon/Laurie Odell
Characters: Mervyn (The Charioteer), Ralph Lanyon, Laurie Odell, Ann Marlow, Peter Marlow, Regina (falcon)
Additional Tags: Class Differences, Navy, the times they are a changing
Summary:

Admiralty and Adjustments.

The smallest thing can change a life. In Mervyn's case, it was the position of a bed in a surgical ward in war-time Bridstow and the chance gift of a copy of the East Africa Pilot.

[identity profile] antfan.livejournal.com

This kind of follows along from the last discussion, but I thought I would give it a new thread.  It’s basically that I just can’t get along with Falconer’s Lure.  I fell joyfully on my GGB copy, having not read it for decades, only to find it a crushing disappointment.  (And Marlows and the Traitor, too, sad to say.)

 

It feels so dated. The characters seem much less complex than in later books (for the first time I understand why people find Nicola annoying) and the style doesn’t seem so assured.  It’s a much more conventional family story than the other holiday books: dad makes the decisions – nobody really questions his authority – mum is gently supportive -  the only character who really steps out of line (Ginty) is shown the error of her ways.

 

In terms of her writing craft, AF doesn’t seem to handle her material well: a key theme is Jon’s death and the family’s reactions, yet we hardly get to know Jon; all the Unity Logan discussion seems a bit pointless when we never encounter her (and I just can’t imagine the adults being that interested in a totally unknown adolescent); in the scene in the attic, there are no less than three big chunks of poetry read/sung aloud to intense reactions from the audience – over-egging it surely?   (And so many blooming competitions: diving, sailing, swimming, reciting, singing, gymkhana…) Its structure is a bit of a mess, and usually that is something AF does so well.  

 

Above all, there are no really magnificent, memorable passages, like, say, the hunt in Peter’s Room.  (Here I don’t think AF did herself a favour picking falconry.  “It was quite impossible to make them understand why the flight at gull had been so thrilling” – quite. )

 

So I’m wondering:

 

i)                    Is Falconer’s Lure irredeemably “dated”?

ii)                   Or do AF’s books simply need to be read several times?  Will I eventually come to appreciate FL? 

iii)                 Or does AF’s writing simply get better as she grows into her style/gets to know her characters?  Are the middle books just better than the earlier ones?

[identity profile] alliekiwi.livejournal.com
I've started re-reading Falconer's Lure and came across the following snippet:

~*~*~

Patrick said suddenly, "Oh dear. I do wish it was six years from now."

"Six years?" said Nicola, who sometimes wished it was this time next week, but had never looked that far ahead.

"Yes. Well. In six years, I'll have finished school, I'll have done National Service, and if Dad's still M.P. I can come back here and look after things. And then Jon and I can keep hawkes properly.

pg 52/53 GGB edition

~*~*~

That made me wonder about how AF changed things to suit the times, yet retained some things that were already 'canon' despite them being 'out of time'.

For example, when the red uniforms came back in, the book they were mentioned in was written *past* the time rationing finished in the early 1950s in Real Life? That was Falconer's Lure as well, but haven't reached that bit in the book, yet. I know the book is set in 1948, and clothes rationing ended in 1949...but the book was written/published in 1955.

What I'm leading up to here is... will Patrick do his National Service, despite that going out before potential later books would have been written, and presumably set? Especially since it had already been mentioned that he was going to do it? Or would AF have just ignored that?
[identity profile] richenda.livejournal.com
Today, despite strong sunshine, has a distinctly cold wind, which reminds me of Chapter Eleven (?) of Falconer's Lure. But autumn before that term begins, how often does that happen?
I have clear recollections of boarder envy in the first week of the autumn term, sweltering in their gymmies or skirts while the day girls were cool and comfortable in their cotton frocks. This would have been in the 1950s, mostly in South East England and the Thames Valley.
owl: Stylized barn owl (nemesis)
[personal profile] owl

The remaining four novels:

FALCONARS LURE

END OF TERM

PETARS ROOM

CRIKKET TERM

Now we return to your regularly scheduled discussion.

ext_22860: Dr Who in a t-shirt reading 'trust me, I'm a Doctor' (marlows)
[identity profile] coughingbear.livejournal.com
There’s been a lot of discussion on the girlsown mailing list recently about Marie Dobson and how she is bullied, and Nicola’s character in relation to this. And it’s recently segued into a discussion of how good Antonia Forest is, compared to all authors, not just school story ones. Obviously this is a community of fans, so I’m not really expecting anyone to pop up here and start explaining why they don’t really like Forest (though it’s fine if anyone wants to!). But I thought it might be interesting, since [livejournal.com profile] trennels has been quite quiet lately, to ask here what people particularly enjoy about her – style, characterisation, plot, description, drama? – and examples of that - and indeed what you don't like.

For me she has been a favourite writer since I first encountered her books as a child. Some of her books I wasn’t able to find until I was an adult anyway, and I found them just as gripping. I think her biggest strengths are in her style, and the depth of her characterisation of a wide range of people. Almost no one is unambiguously good or bad in her books, and I’m able to understand and get involved with characters I don’t necessarily like as people, but find fascinating nonetheless. Even someone like Rowan, who is mainly and effectively held up as an admirable person, can and does hold grudges, make mistakes and mishandle people. I think one of Forest’s strengths is her ability – despite plainly having strong views on many things – not necessarily to have her favourite characters share her beliefs, or give one the sense that the world she’s created is being forced into shape to vindicate them. She does I think fail at this in her handling of Ann in Run Away Home and in the accounts given of the post-Conciliar Catholic church particularly in Attic Term – though to the extent that the latter come from Patrick, I think they are in character. Nicola shares some of her enthusiasms – for the Navy, Nelson, and Hornblower for example – but that works very differently.

I don’t rate all the books equally highly, but even those which I consider lesser, such as Thuggery Affair have some scenes I’d be very reluctant to lose, like the canoe trip at the beginning. Though I think Thuggery Affair has too much plot, and that plotting is not one of her strengths. Instead, she’s good at themes, like death and betrayal in Falconer’s Lure and Peter’s Room. In fact I wonder if the school/family story genre suits her partly because it is rather episodic, and I think her best books (Cricket Term, End of Term, Falconer’s Lure) are episodic. There is drama, there are crises, but nothing is fully resolved and other bits of life are always going on around the big moments.

One other aspect which came up on girlsown was whether school stories as a genre are generally not that good when compared to other children’s or adult literature. Thinking about other books than Forest’s with a strong school aspect which I would put on any list of good books, as opposed perhaps to my favourite school stories (not that I am any good at lists, they change every time I make them), I’ve come up with the following on a first think; books that have a strong shape and feel in my mind still, even though I may not have read them for many years:

Frost in May, Antonia White
Charlotte Sometimes, Penelope Farmer
Ballet Shoes, Noel Streatfeild
Swarm in May, William Mayne
Nightwatch Winter, Jenny Overton

(ETA: Am temporarily deleting my lj as I need not to be distracted at the moment; I will be back.)
[identity profile] rosathome.livejournal.com

I just moved to America (okay, it's not quite a desert island) and had to make agonising choices about which books to bring.  Specifically about which AF books to bring.  My final list was: The Cricket Term, The Attic Term, Falconer's Lure, Run Away Home and Players Boy.  The last one made it because it's new and I've only read it a couple of times.  I'm starting to wonder if I'll miss End of Term when it gets nearer Christmas.  But the others are just books I can't live without.

So which would make it onto your list?

[identity profile] forester48.livejournal.com
Does anyone know the answer to the crossword clue in the morning paper (Times or Telegraph, I bet, not the Guardian) at Trennels in Falconer's Lure? It's 'Shakespeare said it 5,3'. I thought it might be an anagram from Fear No More but can't do it.

It's in Chapter 2 p38, my hardback copy when they're all sitting round the breakfast table and Kay's got the paper.
[identity profile] ankaret.livejournal.com
Was re-reading Falconer's Lure and was struck by Patrick's description of the family ghost that walks outside his bedroom - can someone who's read the historicals tell me whether the ghost appears (so to speak) in those? Or is the ghost one of the characters from the historicals?

Any help appreciated!
[identity profile] ejarh.livejournal.com
In Falconer's Lure, Lawrie gets upset when Nicola cuts her hair as they no longer look alike, but in End of Term she's upset at having to walk in the choir procession just because she looks like Nick. I don't have my books anywhere nearby (sob!) so I can't trace this in any of the other books, but I'm wondering which is more important for her - looking like Nick or not. Lawrie is such an individual - there's no one like her - and SHE certainly thinks she's special, unique, destined for greatness, etc. - so her huge upset over the hair making them different seems a bit strange. In fact, you'd think she would be the one to cut her hair first. Thoughts, insights?

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