The Enid Blyton Society

Angela Brazil

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Re: Angela Brazil

Postby Francis » 23 Apr 2014, 21:01

They must be worth reading then! I hope you get some more when you come down south.
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Re: Angela Brazil

Postby joanne_chan » 06 Dec 2016, 16:32

While I read some of her stories at boarding school which was somewhat apt, I had lost my copies so decide to treat myself to a early 70's Armada paperback of Amanda's New School which is what I knew it as rather than Nesta's.
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Re: Angela Brazil

Postby pete9012S » 06 Dec 2016, 21:25

Enikyoga wrote: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.

In fact it was during my research for my book... I'm very sorry,my book's title seems to have completely escaped me, that I came to learn of Angela Brazil, courtesy of our Anita on the Blyton Yahoo Group.









*with humble apologies to Stephen for the slight adjustment - and also warmly wishing him and his family a very Merry Christmas & a happy New year*
" A kind heart always brings its own reward," said Mrs. Lee.
- The Christmas Tree Aeroplane -


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Re: Angela Brazil

Postby timv » 15 Dec 2016, 20:11

I have been doing some research on the early 'schools by the sea; genre in UK children's fiction, into which of course Malory Towers fits; it goes right back to Victorian times, to Dean Farrar's much-ridiculed moralist ale 'Eic or Little by Little' and was particularly widespread in the Edwardian period. Enid would probably have read quite a few books of this sort and remembered them when her elder daughter went to Benenden while it was evacuated during the War to Newquay in Cornwall (the presumed immediate inspiration for MT). As well as books there was of course the Billy Bunter 'Greyfriars' stories from the late 1900s, set near the sea in Kent, in comics - and in the 1920s there were girls' school stories set on cliffs in girls comics too plus the 'Dimsie' books by Dorita Fairlie Bruce set on a cliff near Dover in Kent. Indeed, Enid's stories were a good deal less sensational and unlikely than most of these despite what critics say about her stories - she did not have spies, secret passages, smugglers , 'rotter' parents trying to buy the school up or kidnap the Head etc as in some 1910s-1930s stories. Enid may have been one of the first to use the 'longish series set at one school' genre; most earlier writers like Angela Brazil usually did one school per book. The main longer series books set at one school before her were by DFB and by Elinor Brent Dyer (the early Chalet School books) in the 1920s-30s.

Possibly the likeliest direct inspiration for an Enid storyline comes from Angela Brazil, who wrote various girls school stories set at clifftop schools - eg 'A Fourth Form Friendshp' set on a cliff near a Sussex holiday resort (1911) and 'The Head Girl of the Fifth' at St Ives in Cornwall (c. 1917). The former features 'Our Flawed Heroine', a common feature, rescuing another girl from a fire that has trapped her in the Sanatorium on an upper floor, using a 'ladder' of sheets and so showing that despite her failings (in this case fraud and lying) she is a heroine after all. I would suspect that Enid, who was 14 when this book came out, read this and remembered it; she sub-consciously or not used the idea for Margery Fenworthy's rescue in the fire drama climax of the second St Clares book.
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Re: Angela Brazil

Postby Anita Bensoussane » 15 Dec 2016, 21:17

I read Angela Brazil's A Fourth Form Friendship some years ago and found a number of things that might have inspired Enid Blyton, whether consciously or unconsciously. I mentioned them on page one of this thread.

joanne_chan wrote:While I read some of her stories at boarding school which was somewhat apt, I had lost my copies so decide to treat myself to a early 70's Armada paperback of Amanda's New School which is what I knew it as rather than Nesta's.

That's interesting, Joanne. I hadn't realised there had been name changes in any of Angela Brazil's books. Do you know if the ones that went into Armada paperback editions were abridged at all? I know that Elinor Brent-Dyer's Chalet School books were abridged for the Armada versions.
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Re: Angela Brazil

Postby joanne_chan » 25 Dec 2016, 18:26

There's no reference to 'abridged' merely "First published in this revised edition, 1970. Goes on say on the same page lower down that this revised edition was first published in 1970 by May Fair Books ltd so I suspect that's the same as the revised hardback. I'll look for a few more as these were the editions we had in school when books soon ate your pocket money up so we bought paperbacks.
The two Chalet Stories books came out in September 1970 published for paperback by Coronet as there's an advertisement on the very last page.
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Re: Angela Brazil

Postby Anita Bensoussane » 25 Dec 2016, 19:11

Thanks for the information, Joanne!
"Heyho for a starry night and a heathery bed!" - Jack, The Secret Island.

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The Youngest Girl in the Fifth by Angela Brazil

Postby jstevens1 » 15 Oct 2017, 16:29

Merged with an older topic.

Hi everyone!

I read the above book with interest. The protagonist is Gwen Gascoyne who is already the family misfit no matter what she does. The headmistress unwittingly exacerbates matters by putting up a class which sets her up to be marginalised by both her old and new classmates.

Worse follows for Gwen. A girl called Netta takes advantage of Gwen's loneliness by asking her to go into Miss Roscoe, the head's study. There Gwen breaks some china and Netta lends Gwen the money to pay for it. Unfortunately Gwen cannot pay for the china straight away and Emma the maid is asked to pay for it but Emma does not and gets a new position elsewhere soon afterwards. This leaves Gwen with a debt hanging over her and due to the fact that Gwen owes Netta money and is in no position to pay Netta back, Netta blackmails Gwen into getting her to do things for her. One day Gwen refuses and Netta makes her pay by firstly telling Miss Roscoe about a conversation Gwen was having with her boyfriend Richard. This gives Gwen a black mark in Miss Roscoe's eyes and it makes Gwen afraid to confess to breaking the china for fear of being excluded/expelled.

Gwen nearly does get expelled because the next thing that happens is that she is accused of stealing gate money at a school gymkhana in order to pay for the china (Netta's mother sent Miss Roscoe the bill with a really damning (for Gwen!) covering letter) but thankfully at the 11th hour Gwen's form teacher makes an appearance and tells Miss Roscoe that there has been a mix up with the change.

Thankfully it is Netta and not Gwen who gets permanently excluded. In order to continue to get her own back on Gwen she forges voting papers in order to get into the tennis team at Gwen's expense and Miss Roscoe finds out. Miss Roscoe also finds out about an essay that Gwen gave to Netta, Gwen had got a poor mark for a replacement essay and Netta won a prize for it - Netta was then guilty of plagiarism. Miss Roscoe then found out the full extent of Netta's blackmailing and that was enough for Miss Roscoe to send Netta home straight away.

After that Netta's further fate is unknown but as much as I hate what Netta did to Gwen I just hope that Netta had learned her lesson and will behave better in future as she has now been shown that to get positive attention at the expense and putting down another person just simply does not pay!

Things worked out very well for Gwen after that, the girls accepted her after knowing the full circumstances surrounding Gwen's behaviour and Gwen then passes an important exam. All's well that ends well.

I look forward to having your opinion on the story.

Kind regards

Joanne
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