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Rivals of the Chalet School by Elinor M.…
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I never read these as a child, this one was randomly found in the loft left by the previous occupant. So I thought I'd read it. I thought it was pretty terrible - dated, racist claptrap. When school girls are consulting the KKK to figure out how to deal with their rivals you know something is very amiss. ( )
  AlisonSakai | Apr 3, 2016 |
Yet another Chalet School book that I now own in hardback. Fifth in the lengthy series, which I first read in my teens. It's more than ten years since I last read this - perhaps nearer twenty - and I'd pretty much forgotten it.

I knew the overall plot was about a rival girls' school that opens at the other end of the lake, and the rivalry that develops between the two schools. However the many sub-plots seemed new to me, and as ever the characterisation is very good. There was one chapter where I had more than a few tears in my eyes too.

Much of it seems dated, particularly the medical aspects of the story and the serious worries about diseases which we now treat as mild. The idea of 'delicate' children seems rather old-fashioned too. But the educational and medical methods were probably radically modern in the late 1920s when this was first written.

All in all, great nostalgic reading :-) ( )
  SueinCyprus | Jan 26, 2016 |
Re-read on 27/10/2011. This book is simply marvellous!! I'd quite forgotten how hilarious it really was - one of my favourites, perhaps. I don't know, I'd have to read ALL of them over again to determine which are actual favourites and which I just remember the most fondly... I didn't think this one would be so up there because the girls were not really my favourites - my 'era' is that of Bride Bettany and I never loved Joey as much as you're meant to, and the Robin just annoys me. But this book - oh, this book!So, silly Miss Browne decides it would be a fantastic idea to move her English school to the Tyrol - within walking distance of the established Chalet School. (Three years it's been there, yo!) At first she tries to poach Joey, not knowing who she is, and manages to insult the Chalet School in the process... oops. Then, the term starts and within seconds the two schools have the most amazingly bitter rivalry going on, which makes for SO MUCH FUN. See, the new girls (the 'Saints' of St. Scholastika's) don't realise that the CS girls speak any English - they just think they're all silly foreigners (which is a bit rich, considering they're an English school that's just moved to Austria). So they make snide remarks about the CS girls in English within the CS girls' hearing. At one point one CS girl remarks to her friend in French how rude these newcomers are, which of course the Saints hear. So one Saint says to HER friend, in French, that the CS girls ought to be taught better manners, and then the CS girl comments to her friend how dreadful the other girl's French is... it's so fabulously bitchy!! And then, later on, the Middles decide to look to to the Ku Klux Klan for "tips" on how to deal with their enemies. OMFG. The CS girls are kind of hardcore...I kept laughing out loud and having to bother Beth with awesome lines and stuff for the whole 272 pages. Another fantastic part was when horrible Elaine, one of the Saints, said something mean about Miss Wilson. Mary Burnett, CS head girl, retorted hotly, and then:Elaine glanced at Mary. "Oh! Keen on her, are you? Sorry - didn't know, of course!"Her tone implied more than her words did...HAHAHAHA! Laughing out loud here! And then there was the brief return of Grizel with her "friend" Gerry. I don't like Grizel so I'm not just shipping them for fun - they were SO a couple, lol.I also loved how sub-prees Joey et al decided to get back at the middles (who'd sewed up all their pyjamas) by sprinkling flour on their hair as they slept. I didn't really love the whole omg-Joey-might-die drama and then the Robin totally singing her back to health, wow that was too overly sentimental! (I guess it's much less dramatic too when you're reading these after the next 57 have all been written so you know that Joey obviously doesn't die.) ( )
  lfae | Nov 11, 2011 |
Re-read on 27/10/2011. This book is simply marvellous!! I'd quite forgotten how hilarious it really was - one of my favourites, perhaps. I don't know, I'd have to read ALL of them over again to determine which are actual favourites and which I just remember the most fondly... I didn't think this one would be so up there because the girls were not really my favourites - my 'era' is that of Bride Bettany and I never loved Joey as much as you're meant to, and the Robin just annoys me. But this book - oh, this book!So, silly Miss Browne decides it would be a fantastic idea to move her English school to the Tyrol - within walking distance of the established Chalet School. (Three years it's been there, yo!) At first she tries to poach Joey, not knowing who she is, and manages to insult the Chalet School in the process... oops. Then, the term starts and within seconds the two schools have the most amazingly bitter rivalry going on, which makes for SO MUCH FUN. See, the new girls (the 'Saints' of St. Scholastika's) don't realise that the CS girls speak any English - they just think they're all silly foreigners (which is a bit rich, considering they're an English school that's just moved to Austria). So they make snide remarks about the CS girls in English within the CS girls' hearing. At one point one CS girl remarks to her friend in French how rude these newcomers are, which of course the Saints hear. So one Saint says to HER friend, in French, that the CS girls ought to be taught better manners, and then the CS girl comments to her friend how dreadful the other girl's French is... it's so fabulously bitchy!! And then, later on, the Middles decide to look to to the Ku Klux Klan for "tips" on how to deal with their enemies. OMFG. The CS girls are kind of hardcore...I kept laughing out loud and having to bother Beth with awesome lines and stuff for the whole 272 pages. Another fantastic part was when horrible Elaine, one of the Saints, said something mean about Miss Wilson. Mary Burnett, CS head girl, retorted hotly, and then:Elaine glanced at Mary. "Oh! Keen on her, are you? Sorry - didn't know, of course!"Her tone implied more than her words did...HAHAHAHA! Laughing out loud here! And then there was the brief return of Grizel with her "friend" Gerry. I don't like Grizel so I'm not just shipping them for fun - they were SO a couple, lol.I also loved how sub-prees Joey et al decided to get back at the middles (who'd sewed up all their pyjamas) by sprinkling flour on their hair as they slept. I didn't really love the whole omg-Joey-might-die drama and then the Robin totally singing her back to health, wow that was too overly sentimental! (I guess it's much less dramatic too when you're reading these after the next 57 have all been written so you know that Joey obviously doesn't die.) ( )
  lfae | Nov 11, 2011 |
I struggled a bit with motivation on this one. It seems such a "typical" and unremarkable Chalet title, the kind that would make me decide to not bother rereading the series except that I have titles I've only ever read in the abridged version before and I want to reread far enough to get to the full versions I have since purchased. The main interesting feature is that Frieda finally begins to become someone in the series and Marie becomes also a little more "real".

There is one theme though that strikes a chord with an issue I have long pondered: that of the sin of omission. All the Chalet girls are held accountable for contributing to one girl's mistakes, not because of what they did, but because of what they didn't do. Each person is considered to have a degree of influence over his or her peers, and has a responsibility to do more than avoid doing wrong themselves. They must actively support "right thinking" in all. I have very often wondered, not so much about my influence over others (I would feel rather egotistic pondering that one!) but about my lack of willingness to do more to actively help others. I am constantly reading that we gain most by helping others. But to give real, practical help, such as babysitting or otherwise being there for people, would wear me out in a day. If I were to do all the things that I currently do not do, I would become so little me that I think my health would suffer very seriously. It's an interesting conundrum - to what extent do we have a responsibility to reject self for the sake of others?

On the subject of influence, I found myself watching JAG last night - an episode in which Sturgess Turner (sp?) takes it upon himself once more to consider the morals of his fellow officers. He is a fascinating character, driven by a very strong and concrete set of moral precepts - his whole life is based on his beliefs and he has no problem in believing it his responsibility to ensure the "welfare" of others. It would be interesting to live with such moral certainty, but it also seems a very dangerous road to tread. ( )
  mandochild | Aug 10, 2010 |
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Good Herr Braun came slowly down the lake-path, his hands clasped behind his back, his lips pursed round a cigarette.
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Book description
When another school opens on the other side of the lake, it seems there will be a rival for the Chalet School. But will the girls of St Scholastica's be friends or foes? There are misunderstandings and practical jokes between the girls and soon the two schools are at daggers drawn.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0006907237, Paperback)

When another school opens on the other side of the lake, it seems there will be a rival for the Chalet School. But will the girls of St Scholastica's be friends or foes? There are misunderstandings and practical jokes between the girls and soon the two schools are at daggers drawn.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:18:44 -0400)

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