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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Just what I was looking for - a complete collection of Ronald Searle's St Trinians cartoons
Not to be confused with the detailed stories in the latest St Trinians movies, that were remakes of the equally good Frank Launder movies of the 1950s/1960s, this is Ronald Searle's series of original 1940s cartoons (of the Hogarth variety not Scooby Doo), about the dastardly going-ons in the fictional all girls public school, St Trinians. These 1940/50s dark, but very...
Published on 24 Jan 2012 by Keith_Joseph

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14 of 39 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars The Entire Appalling Business-NOT
Here was me thinking I would get the stories about St Trinian's as well as Ronald Searles brilliant cartoons.After waiting 3 months for the book(Not Amazon's fault)It was most disapointing! Maybe Americans can only appreciate visual & not written words!Or has it taken all that time to catch up with our English sense of humour.
Published on 21 Mar 2008 by Sam


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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Just what I was looking for - a complete collection of Ronald Searle's St Trinians cartoons, 24 Jan 2012
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Keith_Joseph (West Berkshire, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: St. Trinian's: The Entire Appalling Business (Hardcover)
Not to be confused with the detailed stories in the latest St Trinians movies, that were remakes of the equally good Frank Launder movies of the 1950s/1960s, this is Ronald Searle's series of original 1940s cartoons (of the Hogarth variety not Scooby Doo), about the dastardly going-ons in the fictional all girls public school, St Trinians. These 1940/50s dark, but very amusing cartoons by Ronald Searle were themselves inspired by Edinburgh's real St Trinneans School (1920) where discipline was encouraged to be self rather than school imposed - leading to the jibe that the girls were taught to do whatever they want. Searle met a few former pupils during the war and the cartoons evolved from his jokes with them. The real school closed in 1946 when the headmistress retired. A typical cartoon by Searle in this book would be the headmistress and a teacher walking past a girl lying face down in the corridor and the headmistress commenting 'tsk, tsk, tsk, The cleaners are getting slack'...

The book has a two page modern 'post Hogwarts' introduction by the US publishers, and then 162 pages of Searle's line-drawn cartoons, typically one per page. The cartoons are more amusing than laugh out loud funny, and the enjoyment and humour often comes from the finely executed detail in the drawings rather than the tag line underneath. I learned to love them as a child because my Grandparents had an old St Trinians book in their bookcase during the 1960s and I regularly got it out to read. I was a bit miffed when it suddenly vanished off to a charity shop after I left school because they didn't realise I cherished it. Anyway now I have my own quality St Trinians book, this one. The book is 24 x 19 x 2 cm, hard bound with nice paper dustjacket. The dust cover has cartoons on it whereas the underlying white cover sports a purple St Trinians skull-n-crossbones school crest. The paper pages are good quality and stitched together with the bits of coloured cotton in the spine. I also have Searle's illustrated The Compleet Molesworth, written around the fictional boys school of St Custards, where I forked out for an expensive Folio Society edition, but this far cheaper book is almost as well presented, just has no slipcase. So 5* for the book, the content and value. It contains all of his St Trinians cartoons, the first one published in 1941, and the rest after 1946, which are far darker (after his experiences as a Japanese prisoner of war). One later book The Terror Of St Trinian's had text as well as cartoons being co-authored just like the Molesworth series, however this St Trinians book is just the St Trinians cartoons that inspired the later films.

The humour in this book set is quintissential English (and 1950s English at that). The cartoons were drawn in the era of the British school cane, which, for better or worse, certainly gave teenage boys being cheeky to a teacher a daring edge unknown to youngsters today. British girls only schools were generally slightly different, some taking that 'Jolly hockeysticks' approach as girls were seen as more mature in secondary schools and requiring much less strict control than boys aged 12 to 17. St Trinians is a satire of those girls schools that took this rather modern liberal approach (for the time), and also mocks the cheaper public [private] schools in Britain that couldn't afford the best teaching staff (hence the staff and children's interest in any money making extra-curricular activity). I expect life in an American or mainland European school of the time was quite different to ours, and I think British children schooled in the 30s to 60s probably had surprisingly similar school experiences - although boys in all boys schools were often treated differently, ie. whereas girls were often encouraged to think for themselves, this was considered a little dangerous in boys. Or as Searle himself puts it "A St Trinians girl would be sadistic, cunning, dissolute, sordid, lacking morals of any sort and capable of any excess. She would also be well spoken, polite, sardonic, witty and very amusing. In short she would be good company, typically human and despite everything, endearing..."
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14 of 39 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars The Entire Appalling Business-NOT, 21 Mar 2008
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This review is from: St. Trinian's: The Entire Appalling Business (Hardcover)
Here was me thinking I would get the stories about St Trinian's as well as Ronald Searles brilliant cartoons.After waiting 3 months for the book(Not Amazon's fault)It was most disapointing! Maybe Americans can only appreciate visual & not written words!Or has it taken all that time to catch up with our English sense of humour.
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St. Trinian's: The Entire Appalling Business
St. Trinian's: The Entire Appalling Business by Ronald Searle (Hardcover - 13 Mar 2008)
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