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Malory Towers series by Enid Blyton (Spoilers Included)

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I got stuck on a train so I'm now halfway through book 2! :giggle2:

 

Very much enjoying the nostalgia trip. I love how beast is a massive insult and how being sensible is one of the best compliments!

 

Alicia doesn't come out of book 2 at all well. I think in book 1 she comes across as a bit of a fair weather friend, but in book 2 she seems a bit nastier really.

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I reread these a few years ago so wasn't going to join in, but all this chat is tempting me!

I'm certain there are toast references, Kay.  There must be?   I vaguely remember toasting forks although that might be a different Blyton book.

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I've had a busy two day stretch and haven't had time to come on here for any deeper convo. I haven't finished the first book yet, but I'll be expecting to go straight to the second one when I've finished the first one. I've been reading the book in bed and so haven't made any notes but tomorrow I want to go over the pages, leaf them through and write about the things that I've noticed, and talk to you about them and/or ask questions. I'll also come back to you guys' previous posts! 

 

One thing I do remember at the moment: I noticed the phrase 'sending someone to Coventry' being used at some point in the book and I started to wonder where the expression comes from. I've heard it a few times, and I've learned the expression on this forum, as a matter of fact :D Do you guys know/remember where the expression comes from? There's stuff on wikipedia on it

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Off the top of my head, and without checking the link, I have always assumed it must be something to do with Lady Godiva and Peeping Tom?

 

ETA: Well, you learn something new every day!!  :D

Edited by Janet

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I've never thought about it .. just heard it and used it (though I've never actually sent anyone there myself .. not unless they sent me first and then that's not the same because of course .. they wouldn't notice :D

I thought the incident where the girls were talking about sending Darrell to Coventry was funny. It was because she'd cheeked Katherine!! What noble little things they were :D 

Thought they were all extremely mean to Mary-Lou .. all this 'it's for her own good' stuff doesn't wash with me. Calling her a coward and all. She has a right to be scared of water and spiders if she wants to (even though ... incredibly brave to throw herself in .. what a hero Mary-Lou!! :D) These girls scare me .. if you were even slightly off your game they'd be down on you like a ton of bricks. I think I would've had a nervous breakdown if I had to share a dorm with them :D Off go the lights .. and they're all asleep within five secs. What would I have done with my raging insomnia? .. be told to get a grip you ninny I expect  :blush2:  :D 

 

'Is that old Popps whimpering again'? .. 'Yes .. silly little idiot .. what should we do?' .. 'I say we put a pillow case over her head .. and if that doesn't work we'll go to matron and tell her she's keeping us awake and making us ill' .. 'good idea .. shall I write to her mother as well?' .. 'yes .. might as well .. perhaps that'll shame her into having a backbone' .. 'do it now and maybe her father will be straight down to fetch her .. it's Shorty's birthday tomorrow and there'll be cake .. Popps will be miserable if she misses that'  :D .. 'serves her right .. the goose!' 

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*snort* Brilliant post! Yes they did have very high conformity standards! I find it very weird how the head girl has so much respect and authority - our head girl at school wasn't a bit like that. No talking! Surely a bit of whispering after lights out won't kill you :D

 

I don't think they'd have liked me - apart from playing goalkeeper in hockey I was hopeless at sports.

 

One thing that has confused me is that in book 1 we are definitely told there are separate dining rooms and common rooms for each tower - and Betty is in West, but in the second book she seems to constantly be in the common room and dining room. What's that about?

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*snort* Brilliant post! Yes they did have very high conformity standards!

:I-Agree: !! They are pretty much a bunch who could turn into become something out of Lord of the Flies in an instant  :o .

 

Thought they were all extremely mean to Mary-Lou .. all this 'it's for her own good' stuff doesn't wash with me. Calling her a coward and all. She has a right to be scared of water and spiders if she wants to (even though ... incredibly brave to throw herself in .. what a hero Mary-Lou!! :D

:I-Agree: . They would turn into little savages, or if given orders of any type, from anyone with some authority. Very scary lot, to me, :o

 

I've never thought about it .. just heard it and used it (though I've never actually sent anyone there myself .. not unless they sent me first 

Thought they were all extremely mean to Mary-Lou .. all this 'it's for her own good' stuff doesn't wash with me. Calling her a coward and all. 

'Is that old Popps whimpering again'? .. 'Yes .. silly little idiot .. what should we do?' .. 'I say we put a pillow case over her head .. and if that doesn't work we'll go to matron and tell her she's keeping us awake and making us ill' .. 'good idea .. shall I write to her mother as well?' .. 'yes .. might as well .. perhaps that'll shame her into having a backbone' .. 'do it now and maybe her father will be straight down to fetch her .. it's Shorty's birthday tomorrow and there'll be cake .. Popps will be miserable if she misses that'  :D .. 'serves her right .. the goose!' 

 

  :rolol:  :rolol: Oh Popps, I nearly wet myself with laughter when I read that post!!! :giggle:

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*snort* Brilliant post! Yes they did have very high conformity standards! I find it very weird how the head girl has so much respect and authority - our head girl at school wasn't a bit like that. No talking! Surely a bit of whispering after lights out won't kill you :D

 

I don't think they'd have liked me - apart from playing goalkeeper in hockey I was hopeless at sports.

 

One thing that has confused me is that in book 1 we are definitely told there are separate dining rooms and common rooms for each tower - and Betty is in West, but in the second book she seems to constantly be in the common room and dining room. What's that about?

I suppose as they get older they will be a bit more daring after lights out .. I mean that must be where the midnight feasts come in .. I felt sure one would have turned up by now but the regularity of them was only in my imagination :D

Oh I was a total dud at sports .. in fact not sure I was good at anything much  :blush2: Bit of a clown but not in Alicia's/Betty's league and anyway would never have had the confidence. 

 

I hadn't noticed that about Betty .. well observed Alex  :smile: 

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:I-Agree: !! They are pretty much a bunch who could turn into become something out of Lord of the Flies in an instant  :o

 

They would turn into little savages, or if given orders of any type, from anyone with some authority. Very scary lot, to me, :o

 I hadn't thought about this but .. I think you're right Marie  :D

:rolol:  :rolol: Oh Popps, I nearly wet myself with laughter when I read that post!!! :giggle:

:D

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Where are you guys all up to now? 

 

I'm starting to wonder if the midnight feasts were more in the St Clare's books, because we haven't yet read about one and I seem to remember a lot of them  :giggle2:  :D

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(Oh and is Darrell a normal girl's name? I'm sorry if this is politically incorrect, but when I hear the name, I think of an African-American man :blush::shrug:)

 

I've only read a few pages of the first book so far, but I'm glad you brought this up because I was thinking that Darrell seemed like a really odd name for a girl, and perhaps not the type of name that was common when these books were written. But from other comments it seems like it was unusual name, even for that time, so I feel justified for questioning it. :D

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I may well see if I can get them cheaply for my kindle and join in, although I fear I may be slow in starting. It's been years since I read these books, but I loved them as a kid and desperately wanted to go to that school!!!

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Where are you guys all up to now? 

 

I'm starting to wonder if the midnight feasts were more in the St Clare's books, because we haven't yet read about one and I seem to remember a lot of them  :giggle2:  :D

 

That's exactly what I've been thinking!!! No feasts none what so ever :D So disappointed! 

 

 

I've only read a few pages of the first book so far, but I'm glad you brought this up because I was thinking that Darrell seemed like a really odd name for a girl, and perhaps not the type of name that was common when these books were written. But from other comments it seems like it was unusual name, even for that time, so I feel justified for questioning it. :D

 

I'm glad I wasn't the only one :D We are right to question things!  :friends3:  :cool:

 

(Another busy day for me, but should have a day off tomorrow and can get back to the book(s) and other comments on here :exc:)

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That's exactly what I've been thinking!!! No feasts none what so ever :D So disappointed!

Me too. I was very disappointed as there were plenty midnight fears in the St Claire series  :mellow: .

I started the 2nd MT book last night.

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I may well see if I can get them cheaply for my kindle and join in, although I fear I may be slow in starting. It's been years since I read these books, but I loved them as a kid and desperately wanted to go to that school!!!

I wanted to go there too!  :giggle2:

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I finished the third book this evening.  I'm going to carry on with the rest of the series as well.

 

With regards to the midnight feasts, I've been thinking about it, and although I haven't read the St. Clare's books and I don't know about midnight feasts in those, I'm sure I remember reading about midnight feasts in another Enid Blyton books and I'm sure they included boys, so I think it must have been in a different book.  I've still got all the ones from childhood, so I might have a browse through those at the weekend and see what I can find.

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My third book has turned up  :cows: There'd better be a midnight feast in this one :D

 

After saying they never mention boys .. a Prince was mentioned in the last book .. sadly he was entirely invented by Daphne but nevertheless .. it was a mention :D 

 

There were big similarities between the first book and the second as regards Darrell and her temper .. and her slapping someone who was (unknowingly) ill and them ending up in the san and her worrying that she'd caused it etc etc. I thought she went a bit OTT with Ellen tbh (and Sally for that matter) .. 'how dare you come here to Malory Towers'  :D 

 

I remember too much about the books (because .. like everyone else who read them in childhood ..I read them until they fell apart  :blush2: ) which means I know the outcome of all these situations and I know what the new girls will turn out like etc etc which in a lot of ways is a pity. I've forgotten some of the smaller incidents though and it's a pleasure to read them and be reminded. Also the pics bring back memories .. I can remember studying them for clues as to what the girls and the teachers looked like. In the last book though .. Mr Young looked completely different on the cover to how he looked inside in the illustrations :D clearly a later edition.  

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I finished the third book this evening.  I'm going to carry on with the rest of the series as well.

 

With regards to the midnight feasts, I've been thinking about it, and although I haven't read the St. Clare's books and I don't know about midnight feasts in those, I'm sure I remember reading about midnight feasts in another Enid Blyton books and I'm sure they included boys, so I think it must have been in a different book.  I've still got all the ones from childhood, so I might have a browse through those at the weekend and see what I can find.

I know the girls definitely fried sausages in one midnight feast .. and they were out by the sea or swimming pool in another. It may have been at St Clare's though. I suppose that means Claire that there ISN'T a midnight feast in the third book .. oh bother!! :D

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I will go on too once I can get hold of the books (bother .. why didn't I get a set in the first place?) Can't leave them half way through their school life :blush2:  

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Now you've said about the sea I have a recollection that was Malory Towers but I think it might have been later - I seem to remember Darrell's little sister being at one by the swimming pool?

 

If you couldn't tell, I also reread the Malory Towers books repeatedly as a kid :D I only ever read the first three in the St Clare's series though for some reason.

 

I'm plowing on with book 4 now.

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Hi all. May I please join in? I am going into hospital for a few days and wanted something nice and easy to read so I have downloaded the first three books. Thank you

 

I may well see if I can get them cheaply for my kindle and join in, although I fear I may be slow in starting. It's been years since I read these books, but I loved them as a kid and desperately wanted to go to that school!!!

 

Of course you can join! The more the merrier! :D I can imagine how lovely it is to read your old favorites that make you walk down the memory lane... It's also interesting for me to read these books for the first time and see what you guys have been reading as kids!

 

 

 

I've started now and am up to half term. Lots of memories .. this was like the Hogwarts of our generation. Would like to talk about the swimming pool incident when we've all got that far. I'm wondering how it played out in the newer editions? I've just read my first 'simply wizard'  I remember not liking Darrell much in this first book .. I think I probably identified with the terribly nervous Mary-Lou 

 

Haha yes, a good point: the Hogwarts of your generation. There was no real wizardry but at least the word 'wizard' is there :D 

 

It's really difficult to say how different the new edition is from the old one. I thought the swimming pool incident was horrid :( Why do some of these kids need to be so mean? Lives are risked, sillies!!! 

 

I don't like Darrell either. And I've wondered if Enid intended her to be a likable character. I could overlook her temper tantrums at times (if I must!) but I hate the way she thinks about some of the other girls. Like Mary-Lou, for example. Tut tut!!!

 

 

When I read it when I was little, I just thought Darrell was an odd name that I'd never heard of before for a boy or a girl. But then, that was also the same for the exotic Alicia … not a name us working class types came across back then … I didn't even know how to pronounce it!

 

Having said that, it's not the first time Blyton had given a girl a boys name, as there's George in The Famous Five series, although that's shortened from Georgina. I think she might have done it elsewhere too, but I can't remember off the top of my head. Someone I know gave all her girls names like Robyn, or Georgina and Phillipa, so they would be shortened to George and Phil (or Pip) and be boys names.

 

Yes I thought that Alicia must've been an exotic name at the time. And hey, how about that Zerelda :D Sure, she's from the States so she would have an even more exotic name by Enid's standards, but I've never ever heard of a Zerelda before!! 

 

And yes, you're right in that Enid has used boys names or at least nicknames for girls before, but Darrell is more of an 'exception' because it's such an exotic name for that period of time. 

 

I've read the first 6 chapters - and Gwendoline was a right pain! But I wonder how many Gwendoline-types there are in the present day? There seems to be so many of princesses/right little madams, in my opinion.

 

 It's too scary to think how many there are...!!

 

Thanks all. I have not started yet hopefully I can join in the conversation when I am getting discharged. Looking forward to reading the books and having a chat! Talk soon

 

 I hope everything's going smoothly with you and hope you can join in on the conversation soon! xo

 

Such a different time though. Claire and I were talking about it yesterday .. how boys don't seem to feature .. unless they are brothers or cousins .. and the girls aren't talking about popular singers or pop bands. Very different from thirteen year old girls these days. 

I'm writing down the sentences/expressions that amuse me .. will have a list by the end. No toast quote yet though .. I'm surprised .. hopefully one will turn up soon. No midnight feast yet either ... I thought one turned up in every book 

 

 Now that you mention it, boys do not feature in the book at all :o Except for that one odd exception. Odd girls :D

 

I really wanted to write a list of words and expressions, too, but there were too many! The ones I've found and can remember by heart are beastly/beast, wizard, golly, pluck (as in someone having pluck, and not as I'm used to: plucking up one's courage) and hmmm.... I'll have another think later. 

 

 

 

Are we carrying one with the second book straight away, or just finishing the first?

 

I finished the first one this afternoon, and loved reliving my childhood reading. I must have read it at least a dozen times when I was young, and it was just like meeting someone from my own school days and reminiscing about stories from back then.

 

Sorry, I didn't realize it would be nice to say where one's at! But there are so many of us it's only good that everyone's been going at their own pace, as long as they've been commenting :D 

 

Very much enjoying the nostalgia trip. I love how beast is a massive insult and how being sensible is one of the best compliments!

 

I've noticed the beast word thrown around, and I've been wondering just how much of an insult it is. I mean sometimes you can call someone a name and it's something not to get too upset over, and sometimes it's a massive insult. So where does the word 'beast' lie on this spectrum...? 

Edited by frankie

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I reread these a few years ago so wasn't going to join in, but all this chat is tempting me!

 

I'm certain there are toast references, Kay.  There must be?   I vaguely remember toasting forks although that might be a different Blyton book.

 

So why are you  not reading the books already? :D You know you want to!! 

 

Are there toast references. I can't remember! I may have come across some, but I've done the reading mainly in bed and it's always difficult to get a paper and pen and write things down when one's horizontally inclined! 

 

Off the top of my head, and without checking the link, I have always assumed it must be something to do with Lady Godiva and Peeping Tom?

 

ETA: Well, you learn something new every day!!

 

Well done, you got it without checking the link :D There were too many references in the link, though, that it was exhausting :D Too long, didn't read :blush: And I'm awful at history, I have no idea who Lady Godive and Peeping Tom are :blush: 

 

And this is actually the first thing that comes to my mind from Peeping Tom these days:

 

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Thought they were all extremely mean to Mary-Lou .. all this 'it's for her own good' stuff doesn't wash with me. Calling her a coward and all. She has a right to be scared of water and spiders if she wants to (even though ... incredibly brave to throw herself in .. what a hero Mary-Lou!!) These girls scare me .. if you were even slightly off your game they'd be down on you like a ton of bricks. I think I would've had a nervous breakdown if I had to share a dorm with them. Off go the lights .. and they're all asleep within five secs. What would I have done with my raging insomnia? .. be told to get a grip you ninny I expect 

 

'Is that old Popps whimpering again'? .. 'Yes .. silly little idiot .. what should we do?' .. 'I say we put a pillow case over her head .. and if that doesn't work we'll go to matron and tell her she's keeping us awake and making us ill' .. 'good idea .. shall I write to her mother as well?' .. 'yes .. might as well .. perhaps that'll shame her into having a backbone' .. 'do it now and maybe her father will be straight down to fetch her .. it's Shorty's birthday tomorrow and there'll be cake .. Popps will be miserable if she misses that'   .. 'serves her right .. the goose!' 

 

They've been terribly mean to Mary-Lou! :( And Darrell and Sally are supposedly her friends in the second book but it seems like they really are not, not in a real way. Can't they just understand that some are more sensitive about things and scared? In a way I thought it was nice to try and encourage Mary-Lou with the plan in the pool, but on the other hand, they try to change her into a whole other person, seems like! 

 

I laughed my ass of when reading your own MT text :lol: You should honestly write novels!!! 

 

*snort* Brilliant post! Yes they did have very high conformity standards! I find it very weird how the head girl has so much respect and authority - our head girl at school wasn't a bit like that. No talking! Surely a bit of whispering after lights out won't kill you

 

I don't think they'd have liked me - apart from playing goalkeeper in hockey I was hopeless at sports.

 

High conformity standards is exactly what they are about! Good god. It's rather annoying, in my opinion. I know it's about life lessons and the making of the back bone and blah blah but we're all individuals, so deal with it :D 

 

 

There were big similarities between the first book and the second as regards Darrell and her temper .. and her slapping someone who was (unknowingly) ill and them ending up in the san and her worrying that she'd caused it etc etc. I thought she went a bit OTT with Ellen tbh (and Sally for that matter) .. 'how dare you come here to Malory Towers'  :D 

Yep, I noticed that, too. And it's been a tiny bit predictable at times. But I haven't let that bother me so far.

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