Saturday, March 31, 2012

Griselda's Basket

Here's an illustration from the Griselda story entitled The Magic Basket. Griselda is delighted that the witch has mended her evil ways and returned her basket to her. After this, they even become friends and have long talks in the evenings.

Jane Shaw Quiz 33

At St. Ronan's, what is a Brother Where Art Thou?

The answer to Quiz 32: The opening chapter of Fivepenny Mystery is set in Johannesburg.

Quote of the Day

Tish obviously thought this was rather a tame way of tackling the business, but she's very good-natured and usually agrees with me, so she said all right. We cautiously came out of hiding and went across to the house. Halfway down the little brick path between the flower-beds Tish suddenly grabbed my arm.
"Look!" she whispered.
Out of an upstairs window two little coloured birds had darted, flashing their bright wings in the sunshine.
With one accord we turned and dashed back again into the shelter of the yew hedge.

From WILLOW GREEN MYSTERY, Chapter 7, Lost Boy Number Two.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Places in Jane Shaw: Dulwich College

Wichwood College is sometimes mentioned in the Susan books and is described as a "very powerful body". In real life it is Dulwich College, a very beautiful and imposing building.

No Trouble for Susan - Collins spine

A giant scan of the original Collins spine of No Trouble for Susan, one of the best in the series.

Jane Shaw Quiz 32

In which city is the opening chapter of Fivepenny Mystery set?

The answer to Quiz 31: When Midge and Susan first meet Gabrielle Gascoigne, they are helping themselves to peaches.

Quote of the Day

Penny's was the smallest parcel - she unwrapped the tissue paper and there was the Queen Anne Maundy Money, the whole set, and the Elizabethan noble and halfpenny and hammered sixpence. Penny was dumb with joy, but her eyes shone.

From THREEPENNY BIT, Chapter 16, Keeping Shop.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Susan's Kind Heart illustration

Oliver sings and plays guitar at Monsieur Deltour's Café Hortensia, attracting some much needed customers for the propriertor. From Chapter 7, A Day to Remember. Susan's Kind Heart was the last story that Jane Shaw wrote about Binic.

Jane Shaw Quiz 31

Which fruit are Susan and Midge in the midst of pinching from the garden next door when they first encounter Gabrielle Gascoigne?

The answer to Quiz 30: Dizzy and Alison's Aunt Sophie specializes in writing whodunits. 

Quote of the Day

There was a whistle under the window, Don's old whistle, the old war-cry whistle that he used when we formed a pretty invincible team against Louise and Edward. I ran to the window and stuck my head out. There was Don, very tidy for a change in his blazer and white flannels, looking up. "Aren't you coming to the dance, Nicky?" he called. "I've been waiting for you for ages by the gate."
Goodness, I thought, my heart isn't broken after all! Not even chipped! Not even cracked! I leant half-out of the window and yelled, "Don! Don, wait for me, I'm coming!"

From the short story FAMILY TROUBLE.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Family Trouble: Nicky and Tubs

A nice illustration from the 1961 short story, Family Trouble. This story is a bit different from the stories that Jane Shaw usually published in the Collins annuals. First of all, it is set in Cornwall and secondly it contains some romance. Even more surprising is that one of the characters is the victim of a violent crime, although this is presented in a semi-comic fashion. Here we can see Nicky, the narrator, hearing from her little sister Tubs that a dangerous escaped convict is on the loose in the vicinity and that the police stopped her father and searched his car on their way home from a shopping expedition. .

Places in Jane Shaw: Dulwich Park

Susan and the Carmichaels are often found in the park, which they can sneak into from their house even when the gates are closed. Bill and Susan first went to the park in Chapter 3 of Susan Pulls the Strings to escape the wrath of the furious Major Banks, whose car they had opened in search of smuggled watches. Here is the park in real life on a fine sunny day.

Jane Shaw Quiz 30

In the Dizzy and Alison books, the girls' trips abroad are financed by their benevolent Aunt Sophie, a successful author. Which genre of books does Aunt Sophie specialize in?

The answer to Quiz 29: The special breakfast treat that Susan learns to enjoy at St. Ronan's is sausages with marmalade.

Quote of the Day

She dared not ride the bicycle in the dark. She pushed it across the road until the front wheel hit the bank on the other side. She left it in the ditch and ran on, numb and clumsy and stumbling with cold, her sodden coat flapping round her knees, shuffling her feet along the road in case she missed her footing and stumbled towards the river again. But the road bent away from the river here, the frightening rushing of the water seemed to lessen, and as she shuffled on she raised her head, and there before her was a blessed, glorious sight, the light of the call-box.

From NORTHMEAD NUISANCE, Chapter 14, A Cry for Help, a description of Gail's daring midnight adventure in search of Dr. Wilkinson.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Jane Shaw Quiz 29

What unusual breakfast treat does Susan learn to like at St. Ronan's?

The answer to Quiz 28: The Plum, also referred to as Miss Plum, is the nickname of Aunt Lucy's new friend Miss Pershore in Susan Pulls the Strings.

Quote of the Day

By tea-time she was her sunny self again. She and Tessa and Midge, hurrying to the prefects' room to make the tea, found a full-scale row going on, Diana very heated and cross, Hermione Pennington-Smith icy and superior. Hermione was saying in her coldest voice, "Well, somebody must have moved it, Hippo, I've asked all the others and none of them did. I had to go to my lesson without it and Dotty was furious. I do think it's too bad that one can't leave one's books on the table without a great clumsy elephant comng and moving them."
"I didn't touch your old book!" cried Diana, who didn't like being called a clumsy elephant.

From SUSAN AT SCHOOL, Chapter 2, Super Fags.

Susan at School (Collins spine)

Monday, March 12, 2012

Highland Holiday spine

This is the spine of  Highland Holiday, showing Sara with her prized camera, which does not actually feature heavily in this story. You can read my review of this book here. Although the attitude of even Jane Shaw's most dedicated admirers to this story is lukewarm, I enjoyed it immensely and have just finished my second reading of the story. It introduces us to all of Sara's family and has some of the author's funniest scenes. One scene in particular (Sara's hilarious run-in with the countess) would serve as the basis for the comic scene in Susan and the Spae Wife many years later. 

Jane Shaw Quiz 28

In the Susan stories, who is nicknamed The Plum?

The answer to Quiz 27: The Cornish village of Crackington Haven is Pendragon Haven in The Moochers and Hallow Haven in The Penhallow Mystery, the latter published under the pen name Jean Bell in 1967. 

Quote of the Day

Nicky and Fullerton D were limbering up on the dormitory floor, and Fullerton J was grumbling about her stupid old back and saying that she hoped that New House would swim well and not disgrace themselves, but she did not sound too hopeful.

From NEW HOUSE AT NORTHMEAD, Chapter 8, Swimming Gala.