I have a new appreciation for Blyton right now, because I’ve been reading some early Angela Brazil novels, and, well.
Brazil was one of the pioneers of the girls boarding school novel as a genre in its own right, but her early stuff, at least, hasn’t aged well. I don’t just mean the old-fashioned, episodic narrative structure, I mean the bit where the heroine’s sister writes minstrel songs for a hobby (a … different term is used), or the long digression about the inhumanity of the Chinese. I have a new appreciation for Blyton’s “everyone is white, and we’ll just be prejudiced against the Europeans who aren’t English” approach.
Anyway, stay tuned for more about Brazil in the podcast I’m launching with my friend Heidi in the new year. Yes, it’s about boarding school stories. Obviously.
When we left Malory Towers, scholarship girl Ellen was flouncing out in tears after Daphne makes a just-barely-inaudible jibe about her limited finances.