Saturday, November 30, 2013

Île de Bréhat

An aerial view of the Île de Bréhat. This island is the scene of almost a whole chapter in Twopence Coloured. But in Susan's Kind Heart the visit the young people make to the island is only briefly described, and apart from their picnic and very quick shopping for souvenirs and gifts and dinner, the whole visit is over in less than two pages. The Île de Bréhat is famous for its pink granite rocks. 

Susan Interferes (CP spine)

The Children's Press laminated board spine of Susan Interferes. This edition was published in 1969.

Places in Jane Shaw: Saint Quay Portrieux (2)

Places in Jane Shaw: Saint Quay Portrieux

The spectacular green waters of Brittany are mentioned a great deal in all Jane Shaw stories set there. The two photographs posted today link to Flowers Way Voyages, which you can access here.

Trip to the Île de Bréhat

A map of Brittany. Here we can see the route that Susan, Midge, Charlotte, Oliver, Willy, René and Gaston took to the Île de Bréhat in Susan's Kind Heart. They sailed there on Gaston's boat, L'Hirondelle. On the way, they stopped at Saint Quay, docking at the Portrieux harbour. Gaston sent René to buy cakes in the famous pâtisserie.

Quote of the Day

Gaston put in at Portrieux, which was the harbour for St. Quay, and very kindly sent René to buy cakes in the famous pâtisserie. He himself had a call to make, but the young people enjoyed the harbour and watched the hard-bitten old salts lounging about and the vociferous holidaymakers embarking on motor-boats for the Île de Bréhat and felt very nicely superior because they had their own boat.

From SUSAN'S KIND HEART, Chapter 7, A Day to Remember.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

The Adventures of a Snowman

Quote of the Day

Caroline was hanging on every word, but Sara was still scowling and muttering to herself, "Unlucky, that's what I am. Anybody else finds a treasure-chest, and it's full of treasure. I - we rather, for it's all Caroline's doing - find a chest and what's in it? Mouldy old books. And not even readable at that. Beautiful! All yellow and musty and the pictures like postage stampls. Gosh! They've gone mad - where are they off to with the blooming chest? If it's a bonfire, I don't want to miss it-"

From BRETON ADVENTURE, Chapter 16, The Last Adventure.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

The Boathouse

A "cleaned-up" scan of the dramatic scene in Chapter 12 of Threeepenny Bit when the boathouse catches fire.

Quote of the Day

Supper is nice too on the first night, sausages and mash and ice-cream, we told Lisa to make the most of it because the next day it would be back to revolting macaroni-cheese and sago pudding.

From A GIRL WITH IDEAS, the 1960s short story written for Collins under the pen name of Jean Bell. This story was only published posthumously in Susan and Friends. Some of the punctuation is a bit strange, but this may be deliberate as the story is told by a young girl in the first person.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Sara the Unsuspecting Smuggler

The most common criminal activity in Jane Shaw is smuggling. In several stories, diamonds and watches are smuggled into the UK by middle age women and little old ladies who call everyone "My dear". This illustration from the 1953 short story Sara's Adventure shows Sara falling victim to a nice old lady who asks her to take some French butter to her daughter in London who misses her "petit déjeuner". Of course, butter is laced with diamonds.

Quote of the Day

Chang went with the girls when Susan trotted Tessa down Tollgate Road very early next morning. The Carmichaels were tall and fair and extremely good-looking, with the possible exception of Midge who at present just looked like a midge, according to Susan, all big eyes and little pointed face. Susan, in contrast, had dark eyes and dark curls and rosy cheeks. Beside her, Tessa, who had straight flaxen hair, looked like an ethereal creature from another world. She behaved like one too, Susan sometimes thought. Old Tessa lived in a daze most of the time.

From A JOB FOR SUSAN, Chapter 1, Bluebeard's Chamber.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Willow Green Mystery

A "cleaned up" scan of the last illustration from Willow Green Mystery. David and Tish have come to rescue Thomas..

Quote of the Day

In the car going back to Rosendorf they talked and argued about what was to be told to Aunt Lucy and Uncle Charles. Nothing, said Lise. Everything, said the others. "But if we tell them everything and then Herr Doktor Carmichael finds that his conscience will not allow him to smuggle Rudi into England?" asked Lise.
The Carmichaels were quite insulted. How could Lise think of such dreadful things to say about their father who, to hear them talking, was the most reckless law-breaker in England?

From SUSAN INTERFERES, Chapter 12, Auf Wiedersehen!

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Quote of the Day

Suddenly she lifted her head, which was bent against the driving rain; there was a light shining somewhere ahead. She hesitated for a second, but after all she had to go on. If it was a car she might be very lucky and get a lift; if it was a house, well, people had a right to have their lights on at half past twelve in the middle of the night if they felt like it - it was none of her business. Shining her torch down at her feet she hurried on. And as she came round a turn in the lane she came on the cottage. The door was open and the light was streaming across the road; a woman was standing there beside the door with a lantern in her hand. As Gail came into the stream of light the woman darted across the road and caught herby the arm.
"Can you ride a bicycle?" she demanded.

From NORTHMEAD NUISANCE, Chapter 13, Drastic Measures.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Susan and the Home-made Bomb

Horrible Peregrine Gascoigne teases Susan after her face is covered in green spots by the potion he had concocted using his chemistry set in the Gascoignes' infamous "Rumpus Room". Click on the image for a more detailed view.

Quote of the Day

In the gloom of the van's interior, Ricky's blue eyes were round and scared.
"Now, where are we going?" she whispered.
"Straight into the lion's den, I should think," said Julie cheerfully.

From CROOKS LIMITED, the 1962 short story featuring Ricky, Julie and Fay from Crooks Tour.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

The Dumbarton Castle

In Venture to South Africa, the Eliot family set sail on the Dumbarton Castle and the story gives full details of their voyage. Jane Shaw based the trip on her own journey to South Africa. When her husband took up a post as an accountant in Johanessburg, the Evans family sailed to Cape Town on the Warwick Castle. The Eliots played deck games and made friends with Candy and Peter Rivett, who would show up again later and play an interesting role in the plot. Venture to South Africa is considered the most unusual book that Jane Shaw ever wrote, and you can read a review of it by clicking here.

Quote of the Day

Adrian paid some attention at last. "Roy Maxwell! Is he here?" he asked.
"Mm. Camping," said Gabrielle. "We told him that we knew Dicky Fountain frightfully well, he was thrilled to meet us. He's very Scotch, I can hardly make out what he's saying, you can practise your Scotch on him."
"Hoots, awa' mon, and dinna haver," said Adrian.
Susan observed to no one in particular that she had never in her life heard any living creature say Hoots, but the Gascoignes didn't seem to care.

From SUSAN MUDDLES THROUGH, Chapter 4, Mystery Man.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Susan and the Spae Wife

People queue to have their fortunes told, but Mirren has been called away on a family emergency. So, who will take her place? Susan, of course! This was the last Susan short story and it is as packed as all the others. Besides the fortune telling, there is a robbery at the local post office and thearrival of the famed author Mr. Rock Carlisle. And there are quite a few surprises. Click on the picture for higher resolution. 

Quote of the Day

"Oh, but we can't wait till Tuesday! We only have a week before Mr Gauntlett has to make up his mind!"
"Then," said Jill, "Cam and Ricky must watch tonight and tomorrow, and we'll all watch on Tuesday."
"Is that all right then, Ricky?" Richard nodded. "Good," said John. "Then you two must watch for the boy and-"
"We've seen him, I think," said Cam. "Just a glimpse, disappearing behind the yews on the top terrace."
"Well, you must watch again," said John, "and follow him."
"Follow him?" said Cam in rather a wavering voice.

From CROOKED SIXPENCE, Chapter 2, Doing Good. 

Monday, November 4, 2013

Charlotte's Baking Disaster

After her disastrous stint as a nurse in Susan Pulls the Strings, Charlotte tries her hand at cooking in the ensuing short story, The Wilsons Won't Mind. The results are less than successful and her career as a baker is short-lived. Charlotte's crazes, a characteristic she shares to a certain degree with Aunt Lucy, are a running gag in the series. She goes from nursing to cooking to collecting china and then to archaeology before she finally settles on art as her chosen career.

Places in Jane Shaw: the Mouse Tower

In Chapter 7 of Bernese Adventure, John points out the Mouse Tower to Sara as they drive from Koblenz to Bingen. He explains that the evil Bishop Hatto was eaten alive by mice there as punishment for burning poor people alive. During the burning, the bishop shouted "Hear the mice scream", according to local legend. He was attacked by mice and fled across the river to the tower (located on a small island). But the mice pursued him across and attacked him.

Quote of the Day

Thomas and I had cameras, really decent jobs, thirty-five millimetre, with light filters, telescopic lenses and so on, which I am sure you will agree was much more exciting than pendants, although perhaps not for girls. The first photo I took - by special permission - was of the Red Roses of Rinigen, but unfortunately it didn't come out.

From THE TALL MAN, Chapter 9, The End of the Adventure.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Crew of the Belinda

The New Challenge Library, Children's Press edition of The Crew of the Belinda.

Quote of the Day

Even Caroline enthused at the scenery from Koblenz to Bingen, and though Sara missed the Lorelei rock, through having a little nap, John took care to point out the Mouse Tower where, he said, the wicked Bishop Hatto was devoured by mice for his sins; for Sara's horror of mice was always giving rise to little touches like that from the more hard-hearted members of her family.


Friday, November 1, 2013

Highland Holiday Cover

Quote of the Day

They tackled Peregrine from behind and took him quite by surprise, laid him low and sat on him. It was very uncomfortable because he wriggled so much, and he complained bitterly that it wasn't very sporting of two great big lumps to attack one very small boy who wasn't very strong, had they forgotten how ill he had been in the night?
"Oh, do shut up, Pea-green, and keep still. I want to watch this dog because she belongs to Wullie-from-up-the-glen and you keep bumping me about so."

From SUSAN MUDDLES THROUGH, Chapter 8, Trials and Tribulations.