Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Malory Towers

Have you read them?

First Term at Malory Towers
Second Form at Malory Towers
Third Year at Malory Towers
Upper Fourth at Malory Towers
In the Fifth at Malory Towers
Last Term at Malory Towers


I have!

And not only once, I must say.

I already spoke about the series earlier, not realising that in the original language the girls' names weren't Pitty, Eline, Alice and Wim, as they are in Dutch, but Darrell, Gwendoline, Alicia and Bill.
Now if this hasn't rung a bell yet, it's not going to happen anymore either.

Darrell (Pitty) Rivers! My BFF.

My Mum and her four sisters used to read the books, so that's how the series, written by Enid Blyton, came into my life.

For those who don't know this brilliant series, it's about an English girl going to boarding school in the 1940's, and together with her friends and frenemies she has all kinds of (innocent) adventures. She sometimes has to choose between right and wrong (and wrong is often going to the cinema or having a mid-night snack) and about developing talents.
The stories are totally predictable but yet re-readable (at least for me).

When starting on writing this article, I realised I had lent the first book of the series, Pitty naar kostschool (Pitty to boarding school - First Term at Malory Towers) to my cousin. Oops! Ah well, it isn't very different from the others, especially the state in which the book is in - poor, very poor.

5 girls and their daughters reading and re-reading the books - it takes its toll..!

I'll now show you some pictures and let you observe and think.

So, what do you think?
Especially keeping in mind the books were written and published in the years 1946-1951..?
Yes, my Mum and her sisters grew up in the '60s and '70s...
And that was when they started reading the books.
The drawings! I don't think anyone has pictured Darrell (or Pitty) in her mind with sexy cat-eye makeup.
Also: where is the school uniform?
Because I'm preeeetty sure the uniform wasn't a pink-yellow dress with matching tights.
Ah well, who cares. They're great books anyway.

As for the stories and characters, though!
The literary aspect... Well isn't there actually.
It is so poorly written, when I read somewhere on Wikipedia that one book was written in 3 days, it sounded sarcastic but actually I wouldn't be surprised if it were true...

There were way too many girls saying to each other 'hey, have you seen Mam'zelle Dupont, the French teacher?' Come on! School girls would never say 'the French teacher' when they all know very well who Dupont is.
Giving information in quotes is never a good idea.

Shame on you, Enid!

We don't have such a boarding school tradition here in the Netherlands, but still the mean girl-to-girl 'friendships' are very recognisable.

Oh by the way, after the shocking 60's book covers, here are some original first prints:


Bye bye losers!

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