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Angela Brazil

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Angela Brazil

Postby Enikyoga » 19 Nov 2013, 11:14

One of the most forgotten children's writers is none other than Angela Brazil, who is believed to have been one of the inspirations behind Enid Blyton's school stories and books (https//www.google.com/#q=Angela+Brazil). In fact it was during my research for my book, The Famous Five: A Personal Anecdotage that I cam to learn of Angela Brazil, courtesy of our Anita on the Blyton Yahoo Group. In fact Anita said she had found some parallels between some incidents in Angela Brazil's A Fourth Form Friendship and a Malory Towers book, which I currently do not remember. After anita's mention of A Fourth Form Friendship , I ordered the book where I confirmed the semblances between some incidents in that book and The Malory Towers book Anita had pointed out. Unfortunately, as I have stated, I do not remember the Malory Towers book. Maybe, Anita may want to refresh us about the Malory Towers book, that is if she can remember.

Though, to date, I have only read one book by Angela Brazil i.e. [/i]A Fourth Form Friendship, perusing through the titles of Angela Brazil's bibliography suggests that certainly Enid Blyton was in several instances inspired by Angela Brazil's books. For instance, Angela Brazil had a book, titled, The Third Form (Class) at Miss Kaye's , whereas Enid Blyton had a book titled, The Second Form At St. Clare's. Angela had a book, titled, The Nicest Girl In The School Could that title have inspired Enid Blyton to go in the opposite and maybe rebellious direction by baptizing her book, The Naughtiest Girl In The School? The same could be asked of Angela Brazil's The Head Girl at the Gables and Enid Blyton's The Naughtiest Girl in The School, and the parallels go on. At this time, I can see parallels between the titles of these books between the two women, I cannot tell whether Enid Blyton was inspired by more of the Angela Brazil's books since, with the exception of A Fourth Form Friendship, I have as yet to read more of Angela's books.
https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/2 ... ela_Brazil
http://www.en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Angela_Brazil)
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Last edited by Enikyoga on 21 Nov 2013, 02:36, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Angela Brazil

Postby Domino » 19 Nov 2013, 12:09

What a shame! You had to go and mention the unmentionable, which means that this thread will have to be eradicated. Still, it'll provide work for the Daleks.

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Re: Angela Brazil

Postby Anita Bensoussane » 19 Nov 2013, 13:00

If you mean The Famous Five: A Personal Anecdotage, Domino, the thread about that is now in the "Other Authors" section.


**SPOILERS FOR A FOURTH FORM FRIENDSHIP**


I've mentioned Angela Brazil's A Fourth Form Friendship (1911) before, but the information is relevant to this thread too. I first read it about ten years ago (and have read it again since) and I found quite a few similarities to Enid Blyton's St Clare's and Malory Towers books:

In A Fourth Form Friendship, a girl named Aldred decides to play a trick on her teacher, Miss Webb. Aldred slips into the classroom before lessons and chalks the teacher's chair so that when Miss Webb sits on it, a white impression of the cane seat will be left on her black dress. The trick goes wrong when the Headmistress, rather than Miss Webb, sits on the chair. This reminds me of Second Form at Malory Towers, when the girls chalk Mr Young's stool and Mam'zelle Dupont's chair - though they use special chalk which is invisible when applied to furniture.

Aldred and her friends have no respect for Miss Webb's authority and purposely cause chaos in her classes, later regretting their misbehaviour and feeling ashamed of themselves. This is similar to The Twins at St Clare's, when the girls cause mayhem in Miss Kennedy's classes, only to feel sorry later when they learn that Miss Kennedy is considering resigning from her job because of their behaviour.

During the school holidays Aldred stays with her friend, Mabel, and gets to know Mabel's boy cousins. One of them, Godfrey, says of another, Piers: "When Piers begins an argument he'll hold forth for hours together. We don't want to discuss 'Women's Sphere,' or the 'Education Question' ! Leave those to the Debating Society, and let's enjoy ourselves!" There is a remarkably similar passage in Summer Term at St Clare's: "She (Prudence) fancied herself at clever conversation, and was always trying to get the other girls to argue about such things as 'Should women rule the world instead of men?' and 'Should girls be given exactly the same education as boys?' 'Oh shut up!' Janet would say. 'Keep that sort of thing for the Debating Hour, for goodness sake!' "

As a dramatic finale, Angela Brazil has Aldred rescue Mabel from the sanatorium, which is on fire. Of course, exactly the same thing happens towards the end of The O' Sullivan Twins, when Margery rescues Erica from a burning sanatorium. In both stories, the girls escape by climbing out of a window down knotted sheets which they've tied to a bed.

A Fourth Form Friendship was published in 1911 when Enid Blyton would have been 13 or 14 years old, so she might have read it as a teenager. However, even if she did we can't say for definite whether or not she was influenced by that book because tricks, mayhem and daring rescues were very common in school stories.

I read a number of other Angela Brazil books about a decade ago but wasn't struck by any other similarities - though the title The Nicest Girl in the School also put me in mind of The Naughtiest Girl in the School. Regarding The Second Form/Third Form at..., school stories by many authors have such titles.

My opinion is that Angela Brazil might possibly have influenced a few episodes in the Malory Towers and St. Clare's series, but we can't be sure and it would be easy to overstate the case.
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Re: Angela Brazil

Postby Domino » 19 Nov 2013, 15:51

By the cringe! Do you really think Stephen gives a twopenny ice-lolly which thread he plugs his book on?
You've now mentioned it, too, Anita, as well as responding at length to his assertions. You're only encouraging him, you know. It's only a matter of time (up to six months) before we see his reply which starts:

"With respect, Anita, ............"

And before you know it, the whole thing will get out of hand again.

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I said I must come down a peg, I know not where I stand.
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Re: Angela Brazil

Postby Anita Bensoussane » 19 Nov 2013, 16:09

This thread is open to anyone who wants to talk about Angela Brazil. I posted because I've read about ten Angela Brazil books, and one in particular caught my attention because some episodes reminded me of episodes in Enid Blyton books.
"Heyho for a starry night and a heathery bed!" - Jack, The Secret Island.

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Re: Angela Brazil

Postby Poppy » 19 Nov 2013, 16:16

My friends mum likes these books and bought one the other day when I was out with them. They reminded me of the Malory Towers books and decided to look out in the library for them. I will write my opinions here if I do manage to find them in the library. Perhaps they have not been printed recently, though.
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Re: Angela Brazil

Postby Anita Bensoussane » 19 Nov 2013, 16:32

A bonus is that Angela Brazil wrote mainly one-off books (though I think there are a few duos) so you don't have to worry about trying to collect a series. Of the ones I've read, A Fourth Form Friendship is my favourite and it was reprinted by Girls Gone By Publishers a few years ago. I'm not sure whether any of Angela Brazil's other books are still in print, Poppy, though they should be available second-hand.
"Heyho for a starry night and a heathery bed!" - Jack, The Secret Island.

"There is no bond like the bond of having read and liked the same books."
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Re: Angela Brazil

Postby Kate Mary » 19 Nov 2013, 17:43

I love Angela Brazil's books. My favourite school story is "The Nicest Girl in the School" with "A Fourth Form Friendship" a close second, of the non-school titles I like "Bosom Friends; A Seaside Story", which I think has a flavour of Frances Hodgson Burnett.
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Re: Angela Brazil

Postby Moonraker » 19 Nov 2013, 17:48

Hmm, after careful consideration, I think I'm with Domino on this one! :wink:
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Re: Angela Brazil

Postby Anita Bensoussane » 19 Nov 2013, 22:25

Kate Mary wrote:My favourite school story is "The Nicest Girl in the School" with "A Fourth Form Friendship" a close second, of the non-school titles I like "Bosom Friends; A Seaside Story", which I think has a flavour of Frances Hodgson Burnett.

Did you read the books when you were a child, Kate, or did you discover them later on? I read The Nicest Girl in the School around the same time I first encountered A Fourth Form Friendship, but I can't remember much about it now and unfortunately I no longer have a copy. All the titles I read were interesting, with engaging characters. I liked it when the girls went out to enjoy nature - there was at least one book in which Thoreau's Walden was mentioned.

My sister and I only had one Angela Brazil novel when we were children - an Armada paperback of The Manor House School. We didn't like it as much as Enid Blyton's school stories, regarding it as fuddy-duddy. We thought the same about The Chalet School and Jo by Elinor M. Brent-Dyer, which again was an Armada paperback. I wish we'd tried other books by those authors as I think it was just a case of getting accustomed to the slightly old-fashioned language. It probably didn't help that those Armada editions had very likely been abridged, spoiling the flow of the story - not that I was aware of that until years later.
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Re: Angela Brazil

Postby Katharine » 19 Nov 2013, 22:31

My mum has her childhood copy of The Nicest Girl in the School. I think it's possibly her favourite book. I read it a couple of times as a child, but it's left no impression on me either way, not like her Enid Blyton books which I read over and over again.

I really must ask to borrow it again to refresh my memory.
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Re: Angela Brazil

Postby Daisy » 20 Nov 2013, 00:03

My mother had read Angela Brazil and suggested I would like them too, but I couldn't take to them as a child and haven't really enjoyed them as an adult. I have now got rid of the few I had as I need as much shelf space as possible for books I want to read over and over again. :)
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Re: Angela Brazil

Postby Kate Mary » 20 Nov 2013, 07:42

I started reading Angela Brazil as an adult, when I picked up The Nicest Girl in the School for 10p at a bazaar years ago. I have about ten titles altogether including the Girls Gone By edition of A Fourth Form Friendship. It is a pity they didn't reprint more, I particularly enjoyed reading the long publishing history of that book.
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Re: Angela Brazil

Postby Julie2owlsdene » 20 Nov 2013, 10:41

I have never read any of these books. I've started off reading them but somehow lost interest, they didn't grab me like Enid Blyton did. Infact I have about three on my bookshelf for sale if anyone is interested.

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Re: Angela Brazil

Postby Carlotta King » 20 Nov 2013, 12:23

I have never read any either. Actually, no author that I have ever read since Enid has ever grabbed me like Enid does! Agatha Christie comes very close but Enid is the one I keep going back to and reading every day!! :)
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