purplerabbits: me at the computer, taken at work (Default)
[personal profile] purplerabbits
Just putting this here since it's in the LJ community and I'm here now. The Marlow's and the Traitor isn't my favourite of the books, but it's interesting to see someone else's take on it...

[identity profile] legionseaglelj.livejournal.com
For TMATT aficionados, a bit of Pathe 1948 footage showing the daily routine at a Lancashire lighthouse, including filling up the oil in the lantern and polishing the reflectors.
[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
ext_22860: Dr Who in a t-shirt reading 'trust me, I'm a Doctor' (widget)
[identity profile] coughingbear.livejournal.com
Looking for something else, I came across this brief review by Gillian Avery of Player's Boy in The Tablet from 1971, so thought I would put it here in case other people don't know it:

Sweeping forward some three thousand years to 1590 Antonia Forest in The Player's Boy plunges into the uncertainties of England in the reign of Elizabeth the First. Her eleven year-old hero moves into a world of intrigue and secret plotting via the death of Kit Marlowe, an encounter with Lord Southampton and a place with Will Shakespeare's company of players. He works his way through the girl's parts and we leave him as a promising Hotspur. The background to the story is skilfully laid in. Antonia Forest catches the atmosphere of the players in a society totally dependant upon the patronage of the powerful and succeeds in conveying a wholly satisfactory impression of day to day living in a world of conflicting loyalties and uncertain futures which both lives vividly in the mind of the reader and satisfies the most demanding historian.There is a moving chapter in which we see through the eyes of our young actor hero a Tyburn execution of three Papists, one of whom he recognises.

I had a quick search in the archives to see if there were other reviews of her books, but only found one, from December 1953, by Pamela Whitlock:

Miss Antonia Forest's The Marlows and the Traitor (Faber, 10s. 6d.) is one of those novels for young people of which the standard seems to get higher every year. She has taken one of the most baffling problems of today, the psychology of treachery, and deals with it in terms of the experience of children none of whom are out of their teens, and though there are, of course, grown-ups in the story, and the traitor himself is one, yet the whole story turns on the attitude of the children to their discovery that the naval officer whom their brother thinks wonderful is, in fact, on the wrong side : the algebraical equation of The Heat of the Day, in other terms. The dialogue is vivid and assured, the plot integrated and the characterization is neatly defined, and we really care about the nice Marlows and their friends ; one even cares about the traitor, which of course would happen in real life.
[identity profile] lilliburlero.livejournal.com
Chapter 11: Saturday Afternoon. Mutiny in the Golden Enterprise. )

Chapter 12: Saturday Night. Foley's Folly Light )

Chapter 13. Sunday Morning: Ships in the Bay )

Enough from me! Have at it.

Next week we'll be beginning Falconer's Lure, and I'll post a schedule for that in a couple of days (I'm away and don't have my copy to hand to carve up the chapters for each week's reading). I've been wondering if someone else in the comm might like to do a guest post for a few chapters of Falconer's? I'm happy to start things off next week, but if you'd like to take over for perhaps the week beginning July 25th or August 1st, do send me a PM.


Jun. 29th, 2014 09:35 pm
[identity profile] jackmerlin.livejournal.com
I have attempted my first fanfic, on Ida Cross, inspired by a couple of comments in the recent discussion. I'm not brave enough to do any of AF's main characters. This is my first time so I don't even know how to post a link, but here goes, i hope it works.

[identity profile] lilliburlero.livejournal.com
I had originally planned to go through to chapter 7 this week, but that turned out to make for a very large volume of commentary, so I think I'll stop at Chapter 6, if that's all right with everyone: I think that leaves us with plenty of material to think about, and if the discussion spills over, no harm done. I'll begin with Chapter 7 next week in any case.

Chapter 3. Thursday Morning: Return to Mariners )

Chapter 4. Thursday Afternoon (1): Lawrie Runs For It )

Chapter 5. Thursday Night (1): Midnight Conference )

Chapter 6. Thursday Afternoon (2): Shipwreck )

Looking forward to your thoughts. Have at it!
[identity profile] lilliburlero.livejournal.com
The Marlows and the Traitor takes place over four and a half days, and the chapters are arranged accordingly, so I thought the schedule might go something like this:

20th June: Chapters 1 & 2 (Wednesday)
27th June: Chapters 3-76 (Thursday) [addendum: the volume of commentary got a bit unmanageable, so I did four chapters instead of five]
4th July: Chapters 7-10 (Thursday Night (2), Friday and Saturday Morning)
11th July: Chapters 11-13 (Saturday Afternoon and Sunday Morning*)

(*wh. sounds like a little-known novel by a Mildly Miffed Young Man)

Author's Note: I took this to refer to the problem of Dartmouth changing its minimum entrance age from 13 to 16, then 18, which means that a 14-year-old Peter could not be a cadet at the time of publication in 1953. But on re-reading it, I was struck by Forest's comment "the happenings described must have taken place between September 1946 and May 1949". Well, the novel is very clearly set at the Easter holidays after Autumn Term, and in the next book, Falconer's Lure, we learn that it is summer 1948. So I haven't a notion what she's on about here. Anyone care to enlighten?

Chapter 1. Wednesday Morning: Encounter in a Thunderstorm )

Chapter 2. Wednesday Afternoon: The Hidden Sea )

Well, that's it from me. Looking forward to your comments--have at it.
[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] nnozomi.livejournal.com
( I hope it’s all right suddenly to post here; have lurked for some time but not contributed before. Please ignore my ramblings if not interesting/pertinent.)

So I finally read Spring Term and on the whole enjoyed it much more than I expected to, am looking forward to pleasant rereads. Didn’t agree with everything, but there you are. I did take issue, though, with something the author mentions in her afterword: that the Marlows in general and Nicola in particular, usually very much against lying, depart from this point of honor in Run Away Home, and that she has decided to assume this was a temporary aberration and return them to their previous stance in Spring Term.

It seems to me, thinking about this, that Nicola (used as a proxy for most-Marlows-in-general) admits of two kinds of lying: lying for one’s own convenience, which is a bad thing (cf Lois, Marie, Tim and the pears, etc.), and lying in a good cause, which is acceptable. For instance, Nicola’s conscience seems untroubled, at the time and thereafter, by lying her head off to Foley (over Peter’s “death”) way back in The Marlows and the Traitor. This was necessary to save their lives, therefore it isn’t a moral issue. I think the whole Edward Oeschli Project was filed under “a good cause and therefore acceptable to lie about” by the Marlows, excepting Ann. (And possibly, after the fact, Rowan—now there’s a fic I’d like someone to write. I always had the feeling that the last scene of Run Away Home was a major emotional turning point for Rowan, and would have liked to see something of that in Spring Term.)

It also interested me to think about Tim, specifically Tim being told off for lying (about Esther’s absence) by Miss Cromwell just before the Play in End of Term. We’re given the impression that Tim is deeply shaken by Miss Cromwell’s calling her a liar, which—while rather moving—seems a little out of character. My guess would always have been that Tim would think to herself “But obviously it wasn’t a bad thing to do, because if I had come out with ‘Esther’s not here’ the whole Lawrie substitution plan wouldn’t have worked out, but I can’t tell Crommie that because she’ll never see it my way,” and have remained silent, resigned rather than upset. But not? (As well, chance has allowed Nicola here to let the more morally flexible Tim do the lying, a handy escape route which does not seem to give Nicola any qualms.)

I don’t know what I’m talking about any more, but those are some of the ideas I had about the way lying works out in some of the books. Any thoughts…?


Feb. 10th, 2010 11:16 am
[identity profile] ooxc.livejournal.com
Please can someone help me?
Aren't I right that Ginty got buried during the blitz - before the events of Traitor? It's buried under cardboard boxes, so I can't check - but I've just been told that I'm RONG about this.
[identity profile] pisica.livejournal.com
I just finished The Marlows and the Traitor and wondered if anyone knew the answer to the riddle that is the author's note - that the book takes place between 1946 and 1949, which you'll get if you know some piece of esoteric information that has to do with Peter. I don't know it. Does anyone here? My best guess is that after 1949 you couldn't be training for the navy if you were however young he was.
[identity profile] intrepid--fox.livejournal.com
Oursin's thoughts about Ann's Marlovian qualities made me think about Peter's. I mean, just how Marlovian is he, when you really think about him? He's scared of heights (can't imagine his naval ancestors gibbering in the rigging, somehow) and this fear, coupled with his pointblank refusal to admit to it, gets him into major strife, like freezing on the cliffs, and feeling pressured into breaking back into the Foley house, all just in case people might suspect something most of them already know anyway.

He's got appalling taste in friends, starting with horrid Hugh and kleptomaniac Dickie as described in Traitor, and extending all the way up to Foley. He and Patrick seem to be friends more through force of circumstance than genuine liking. And you can't help suspecting that his mate Selby at Dartmouth is as dull as ditchwater, can you? Of course, you could argue that poor taste in friends is a trait he shares with Ginty, Karen and possibly Lawrie (Ann doesn't have any friends that we ever see).

Possibly because of all the strongminded siblings he's surrounded by, he's underconfident and has a tendency to be dominated by others (Patrick, Rowan, Giles). And in his turn, he tends to bully other people when he feels he can get away with it, shading into the sadistic when he's acting the part of the chief brigand in Peter's Room.

Although he's good at sailing, there's no particular reason to suspect that he's got anything else which will enable him to make a successful career as a naval officer: he's got no head for navigation, panics under pressure and makes seriously stupid decisions about the best way of handling crises (hmm, we have a large gang of drug-dealing thugs. Tell you what, I'll get a bunch of them to chase me round the countryside brandishing bicycle chains and razors, while you break into their house and my (presumably) virginal and inexperienced young sister is left on her own with a horny and experienced gang-member. What's that? Let the police handle it? Naah.)

Thoughts, anyone?


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