Today we have a post from a highly esteemed guest – those of you who like to read Girls’ Own fanfiction will surely be familiar with Finn’s Brothers in Arms and Tea and Militancy. She has also just started her own wonderful blog, Outskirts of the Twenties. Finn joins us today to guide us through the tricky process of selecting a mistress from those available at the Chalet School.
When Abi asked me to compile a list of the sexiest Chalet School mistresses, I thought, that should be easy. After all, Nell Wilson is one of the most attractive women in fiction, isn’t she? But then I got to thinking about it and realised that, while my own idea of sexy is someone with a wicked tongue (steady on at the back!) and a steely determination, that might not appeal to everyone. Therefore, dear reader, I have changed my brief (oh, do be quiet)! Instead of a top ten list, I have devised a pick-your-own set of sexy attributes, and have classified our mistresses accordingly. Without further ado, here are my suggestions!
Beauty is a conventional, though highly subjective form of sexiness; it is also not a great deal of use in refining our search for sexy CS mistresses, since so very many of them are amazingly attractive, with elusive beauty and clear complexions, not to mention their terribly trig outfits.
But there are a few that stand out in their appearance. Con Stewart is a fiery-tressed siren, and tall with it; Biddy O’Ryan with her tumbling black locks and petite Irish beauty, is another stunner; Grizel Cochrane, small, curly-haired and fair, is described as very good-looking, though I suspect some of her beauty is lost from her face, given how miserable she seems to be much of the time.
Kathie Ferrars – petite, fresh, young (see also Unavailability, below)
Hilda Annersley – check out those eyes! (see also The Dominatrix Effect, below)
Gillian Linton – quietly pretty, prettily quiet (see also Wholesome Health, below)
Madge Bettany/Russell – elusive, elfin, climbs trees, what’s not to like? (see also Cookery, The Dominatrix Effect, below)
Everyone else, really, apart from Nell Wilson. And even she’s pretty damned hot (speaking entirely subjectively, of course).
It may be the lowest form of wit, but sarcasm is a sign of a sense of humour, and a GSOH is one of the sexiest traits around (look in any Personals column and you’ll see I’m right). Furthermore, it can be an immensely useful teaching aid (I am minded of a friend of mine who, in his first piano lesson with a very eminent teacher, played through his piece and, after he finished, had the following sympathetic remark: “Darling, I’m so sorry about your disability.” “What disability?” sez he. “Well,” sez, the Eminent Personage, “your left foot seems to be entirely useless!”). Anyway, there is very little as sexy as watching the person you fancy doing their job well, so here is my sarcastic selection.
Nell Wilson is the greatest proponent of the fine art of sarcasm in the Chalet School novels, but Grizel Cochrane comes a close second (though perhaps with rather less of genuine sense of humour than Nell). Pam Slater is also known to be rather cutting, what with her references to back-street slums and being a tartar in lessons.
Mollie Maynard – known to be scathing about Joey’s bad mathematics (see also Wholesome Health, below)
Ivy Stephens – she may have taught juniors, but she still had a tongue on her. (Tongue! Filthy!)
Matron Lloyd – a sharp tongue and a starched uniform, nothing more need be said (see Starched Uniforms, below).
Because there’s nothing that says “sexy” like a real French accent, especially uttered with those low tones favoured by the Chalet School. And if Allo, Allo is anything to go by, you never know WHAT they might be wearing underneath those trig tweeds!
Jeanne de Lachennais is the first really sexy French CS mistress, but Julie Berné wins points for being a genuine Parisienne (we ALL know what they get up to in Paris! Phwoar!)
Simone Lecoutier – she had “gifted French fingers” – golly! (see also Cookery, below)
Thérèse Lepattre – she utters ejaculations in French. Filthy! (see also The Dominatrix Effect, below)
Now, this might be an unusual selection, but there are some people that go for wholesome as a sexy characteristic in a woman. I don’t know whether it is the underlying suggestion of the domestic bliss to come, the rosy glow (not sweat, dear, never sweat!) that comes from a woman whose energies are focused entirely on healthy, strenuous exercise, or the delight that one gets from corrupting such innocent purity, but it seems to have done it for lots of the chaps in the series and, as such, deserves to be counted.
Hilary Burn merits a mention on this list, as there is nothing more robustly
healthy than a games mistress, and all that anatomical training she did will have been more concerned with muscle groups, digestion and the respiratory tract than with the reproductive system. Also in this group are Mollie Maynard, the English rose of the Tyrol days, who went home to look after her mother, and Ivy Norman, the Kindergarten sweetheart who didn’t like big girls.
Biddy O’Ryan – despite her Irish wildness, she panicked when her hat blew away (God forbid a man should see her hair!) (see alsoBeauty, above)
Gillian Linton – the artist chap she married wanted to paint her like one of his French girls (see also Frenchness, above.)
As we all know, nothing is as guaranteed to spark attraction than knowing someone is off limits. Nancy Wilmot and Kathie Ferrars are the obvious couple in this category; their predecessors in the Tyrol days, Nell Wilson and Con Stewart, are also valid entrants.
Hilda Annersley – any woman who gets herself the nickname “The Abbess” is flying high in the skies of unavailability (see also The Dominatrix Effect, below)
Any CS mistress who is married. By the end of the series, that’s quite a lot. Take your pick.
A handy skill as regards domestic bliss – the way to a person’s heart, and all that – but this category has an extra sexy edge to it: food and sex go together like strawberries and cream, chocolates and champagne, chilli sauce and…no, wait, let’s leave chillis out of the bedroom.
In this category: Anna Mieders, a woman who can bring a banquet to bed, and whip up a mean breakfast the morning after. Also Matron Lloyd – there are more uses for jam than simply spreading it on toast.
Madge Bettany/Russell – a woman with a gift for sweets and desserts. (see also Beauty, above, The Dominatrix Effect, below)
Simone Lecoutier – she has her own cookbook – what couldn’t she knock up? (see also Frenchness, above)
Karen and Anna – not technically mistresses, but I’ll stretch a point if they’ll bring some of their famous featherbeds of whipped cream.
One for the connoisseur, but uniforms have been known to drive people wild with lust. Matron Lloyd is the obvious choice for this category, but special kudos must also go to Gertrude Rider for having such a filthy surname.
Margot Venables – mother of six, so she must have had something going for her.
Barbara Henschell – ooh, Matron!
Gwynneth Gowland – so good, they named her twice.
Special exclusions from this category:
Matron Webb, for having a voice like the whistle on a steam train.
Matron Besley – Nurse! The screens!
The Dominatrix Effect
Another category for the specialist. Teachers are attractive simply by their authoritative role, and headmistresses are mistresses with added authority, and canes. Steady on.
The obvious candidate is, naturally, Hilda Annersley, a woman able to reduce a child to tears with a mere glance of her grey eyes. EBD never tells us what went on in those “sessions with the headmistress”, but I’m fairly sure Colonel Black didn’t keep coming round just to advise her on blackout regulations.
Madge Bettany – something must have kept Tristan Denny coming round at all sorts of unearthly hours to “talk about the madrigal society” (see also Beauty, Cookery, above)
Thérèse Lepattre – thigh-high boots and a French accent – oh, wait, is that my imagination? (see also Frenchness, above)
Mabel Bubb – a “strict disciplinarian” who wanted to whitewash the windows. I think we all know why…
So there we have it – my listings for the sexiest mistresses in the Chalet School series. I hope that by narrowing down your favourite traits you can pick out your own sexy CS mistress. As for me, I’m off to the Auberge with Nell Wilson, but before I go, there’s just time for my:
No list of sexy CS anything would be complete without a mention of Joey Maynard. It is suggested that pregnancy is a very attractive trait in a woman – something to do with the appeal of obvious fecundity – and Joey was certainly pregnant enough times to draw attention to herself, wanted or unwanted. And the number of pregnancies does suggest that she and Jack Maynard spent a fair old amount of time in the bedroom. Goodness knows how they fitted it into the day. Perhaps she had all the San doctors on a rota – actually, that might explain the very varied colouring of her offspring. Whatever her secret, it could well be that Joey Maynard was the Sexiest Chalet School Mistress of all!
Once again, don’t forget to take a trip over to Finn’s blog, Outskirts of the Twenties!