[identity profile] vilakins.livejournal.com

I have now read all the modern-day Marlow books I can lay my hands on, which is all but The Marlows and the Traitor (which I remember quite well from when I was 11 or so) and The Thuggery Affair (which I gather is no great loss).

I love these books and mourn the lack of any more. In fact: sorrow! I will probably read the Player ones on the strength of them. The characters are so well drawn and well understood and not always likeable either, which makes them feel very real (except for Giles whom I dislike for being so arrogant and full of himself--and unkind in Autumn Term; I hope he never marries) and I also like how we see a part of their lives with so much more having happened and about to. We'll never know what happened between Nicola and Esther when she went back to school, or how Judith recovered from Edward running away, or how Kay coped with her family, and after all, RL is untidy like that too.

Does anyone know whether AF had any plans for future books and what would have happened in them?

The one thing I find jarring in the books is the very obvious placement of each in a different time and often decade. Why did AF feel it was necessary? The mention of the war in the earlier ones is part of them and places them, as does Ginty having to go through an operator to phone London, but apart from that a reader could, if allowed to, imagine the books to be set in their own era; country life and boarding school haven't changed much. Kingscote in the 50s wasn't much different to my school decades later. So I find gratuitous references to the Beatles, Up Pompeii, punks, Morecombe and Wise etc not just jarring but unnecessary to the story and Pastede On. If the Marlows were watching TV without the programme being mentioned, I would just keep reading, but mention a specific programme for no reason and I stop in my tracks, disconcerted.

The deliberate insertion of current slang feels odd too, or is it just because it's no longer current? Did people really call clothes 'gear' back in the 70s? OTOH I do love what I assume is specifically Marlow family slang like natch, trimmensely (both of which I used as a kid), and sorrow. Come to think of it though, 'sorrow' can't be a Marlowism because Patrick says it too.

I'm curious about Peter's dreadful nickname of Binks. How do you get that from Peter? Is it a baby name they keep on calling him? I'm totally with him on his objections to it, but the others persist in using it. Is it some sort of common baby name in England that might stick? My mother had a friend called Bunty and I could never understand how she put up with it. [shudders]

What exams?

Jan. 2nd, 2008 11:03 pm
[identity profile] alliekiwi.livejournal.com
I was vaguely pondering Karen today, and wondering what exams she would have sat before leaving Kingscote...if we were to do an AF and put the exams in the time of the writing of that novel. Didn't Karen finish school before 1951 when O-levels and A-levels came in?

I have a feeling it was something like School Certificate before that. However I'm not certain what year in school you sat those exams, considering it was 5th Form in New Zealand, with Higher School Certificate in 7th (Upper 6th), and I think some states/territories in Australia still have Higher School Certificate, and they must have got those exams from somewhere.

Anyone know?
[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] smellingbottle.livejournal.com
Partly because of the changing timeschemes, I always have difficulty envisaging the Marlows' clothes, especially the non-handmedowns and the various special party dresses of Run Away Home and Doris's fabrications in Peter's Room.

I don't have a copy of the latter, but in RAH, Nick gets as a Christmas present of a dress of 'green and white striped silk', while Lawrie's has 'a black velvet bodice and black taffeta skirt sprigged with roses', both with matching velvet 'wraps'. Miranda's dress, given to Nicola after the Changear row (with its very specifically seventies tunics with pea-green swirls and tartan trousers), is 'cream-coloured silk, finely pleated, falling from a high yoke' and makes Nick look ravishingly like Ginty. AF is always attentive to fabric and colour, but I, for one, have absolutely no sense of what any of these dresses would look like in practice, other than the fact that Miranda's dress is clearly (at least for Nick) a version of The Platonic Dress which makes the wearer look endlessly beautiful.

(a) Is AF being deliberately non-specific on these, with the aim of not dating her work? Or because she is not all that interested in the specifics of people's appearance, famously non-specific on Esther's beauty etc?
(b) How does anyone else picture these garments?
(c) Bonus points for incorporating references to the Bridesmaid's Horror, anything from Mum's Chest, or their ideas on how an entire school uniform could possibly be scarlet and not make Kingscote look as though it is drowning in arterial blood.
aella_irene: (collective lunacy)
[personal profile] aella_irene
Do we ever find out a rough date for Patrick's birthday? He is presumably an academic year below  Ann, and therefore the same year as Ginty,  since, in Attic Term, Ann has taken her O-levels, and he is getting ready to take them, but do we know when he was born?
[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] 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] geebengrrl.livejournal.com
This has been puzzling me (ignorant young colonial with no clue about how the British school system works that I am).

In Autumn Term, Karen is in the Sixth. Rowan is Upper Fifth, as is Lois Sanger. Jan Scott is in the Sixth also. In End of Term / Cricket Term, Lois is Games Captain, which presumably means she is in the Sixth; and she leaves at the end of Cricket Term, as does Jan Scott.

However, Rowan says that Jan Scott was always a year ahead of her.

So is this just an inconsistency? Or is the Sixth actually two years long and members of the Sixth can leave at the end of either year? Or what?


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