Biggles and women

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Biggles and women

Post by Foolscap » Fri Nov 02, 2018 10:48 pm

Postby Jennifer » 08 Aug 2013, 13:13

I am not thinking romantically but what was Biggles' attitude to women in general? He always tries to protect the women and children in such books as Mystery Island and Takes a Holiday as was customary in those days. I wonder if he ever regretted not having a wife and family in his later years?
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Re: Biggles and women

Post by Foolscap » Fri Nov 02, 2018 10:48 pm

Postby SaintedAunt » 08 Aug 2013, 21:36

Jennifer wrote:
I wonder if he ever regretted not having a wife and family in his later years?

I don't think WEJ ever even remotely suggested such a thing - but he wouldn't, would he. Not writing for boys - they didn't like Biggles getting soft and having a girl friend - they wrote to WEJ and told him so :o

You might in an idle moment wonder if any of them regretted not having a family - but that is all for our imaginations! Not everybody wants a family, although I imagine that people who have one find that hard to believe...
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Re: Biggles and women

Post by Foolscap » Fri Nov 02, 2018 10:48 pm

Postby Jennifer » 09 Aug 2013, 09:39

When you think about it Looks Back did give him a chance to keep in touch with Marie in his later life. I suppose in our modern world it would be called "closure".
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Re: Biggles and women

Post by Foolscap » Fri Nov 02, 2018 10:49 pm

Postby SaintedAunt » 09 Aug 2013, 12:13

Jennifer wrote:
When you think about it Looks Back did give him a chance to keep in touch with Marie in his later life. I suppose in our modern world it would be called "closure".

I always thought, and I still think, that that was a really weak ending to the book, the idea that he and EVS popped down to Hampshire to talk about old times. After all, whilst Marie and EVS had previous history and friendship, and I could imagine them talking about old times, but Biggles wasn't part of it - he only knew her for about a week, and 'old times' were when they were fighting on opposite sides.

Can't see EVA, Biggles and Marie sitting down to lunch and talking about orchards in the moonlight somehow... :nono:

But I suppose it is pretty impossible to write a good "closure" (a good word, Jennifer) in a children's book, in an age when children were less sophisticated than now. Pity there were no adult books :(
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Re: Biggles and women

Post by Foolscap » Fri Nov 02, 2018 10:49 pm

Postby Jennifer » 09 Aug 2013, 12:30

Yes Marie would know EVS better than she knew Biggles. I have not read Looks Back for a long time but I think it said that when Biggles saw Marie again he felt affection rather than passion for her - or something along those lines. If Biggles was supposed to have been "wondering all his life" what happened to Marie at least he knew she was alive and safe.

Biggles actually seems to be almost fond of EVS after he has rescued him in Buries a Hatchet. I also think Biggles was quite impressed by the way Fritz was so fond of his uncle. I think this little triangle takes a lot away from the very close relationship with the rest of the team. It is quite noticeable in Buries a Hatchet that the others take a very secondary role.
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Re: Biggles and women

Post by Foolscap » Fri Nov 02, 2018 10:49 pm

Postby SaintedAunt » 09 Aug 2013, 15:34

Jennifer wrote:
I think this little triangle takes a lot away from the very close relationship with the rest of the team. It is quite noticeable in Buries a Hatchet that the others take a very secondary role.

Yes - and in Looks Back, Algy clearly did not approve, as he didn't in Buries a Hatchet.
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Re: Biggles and women

Post by Foolscap » Fri Nov 02, 2018 10:49 pm

Postby Fairblue » 09 Aug 2013, 16:37

SaintedAunt wrote:
Jennifer wrote:
I think this little triangle takes a lot away from the very close relationship with the rest of the team. It is quite noticeable in Buries a Hatchet that the others take a very secondary role.

Yes - and in Looks Back, Algy clearly did not approve, as he didn't in Buries a Hatchet.

Algy never did have time for either von Stahlein or Marie, did he? I can imagine him after Buries a Hatchet and Looks Back he would have been civil to them both for Biggles sake but would never have entirely forgiven either of them for what they did to Biggles.
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Re: Biggles and women

Post by Foolscap » Fri Nov 02, 2018 10:50 pm

Postby SopwithCamel » 09 Aug 2013, 18:20

Fairblue wrote:
SaintedAunt wrote:
Jennifer wrote:
I think this little triangle takes a lot away from the very close relationship with the rest of the team. It is quite noticeable in Buries a Hatchet that the others take a very secondary role.

Yes - and in Looks Back, Algy clearly did not approve, as he didn't in Buries a Hatchet.

Algy never did have time for either von Stahlein or Marie, did he? I can imagine him after Buries a Hatchet and Looks Back he would have been civil to them both for Biggles sake but would never have entirely forgiven either of them for what they did to Biggles.


Are you kidding? I imagine Algy glared daggers and started reaching for his gun anytime either of the two showed up within ten miles of him!
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Re: Biggles and women

Post by Foolscap » Fri Nov 02, 2018 10:50 pm

Postby Jennifer » 13 Aug 2013, 09:47

I do not think so SC. Algy would support Biggles in whatever he did. What he thought in private would be an entirely different matter :evil:
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Re: Biggles and women

Post by Foolscap » Fri Nov 02, 2018 10:50 pm

Postby RAAF Spitfire Girl » 13 Aug 2013, 13:30

Fairblue wrote:
SaintedAunt wrote:
Jennifer wrote:
I think this little triangle takes a lot away from the very close relationship with the rest of the team. It is quite noticeable in Buries a Hatchet that the others take a very secondary role.

Yes - and in Looks Back, Algy clearly did not approve, as he didn't in Buries a Hatchet.

Algy never did have time for either von Stahlein or Marie, did he? I can imagine him after Buries a Hatchet and Looks Back he would have been civil to them both for Biggles sake but would never have entirely forgiven either of them for what they did to Biggles.

I concur. It's quite plain that Algy was far less inclined to see either of these two in the forgiving and accepting manner that Biggles demonstrated. Algy would, as you say, SA, be polite because of Biggles, but I very much doubt that he would have easily forgiven them - especially MJ. And Bertie and Ginger (being quite sensible in this matter as well) don't ever come across as being as accepting of EVS after Hatchet as Biggles was. Truly, I could never see Biggles driving down for weekend visits to Marie Janis! It just seems out of character :?
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Re: Biggles and women

Post by Foolscap » Fri Nov 02, 2018 10:51 pm

Postby Jennifer » 13 Aug 2013, 13:38

Still if WEJ said it in Looks Back he must have done! I wonder if Biggles had the old attitude that "All is fair in love and war". Marie tried to have his whole squadron wiped out - including Algy and all his comrades. Even in a time of war that was a bit strong she also deceived him. He must have taken some comfort when she said she loved him but nevertheless I do not see how anyone could forgive her.
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Re: Biggles and women

Post by Foolscap » Fri Nov 02, 2018 10:51 pm

Postby Fairblue » 13 Aug 2013, 15:41

Jennifer wrote:
Still if WEJ said it in Looks Back he must have done! I wonder if Biggles had the old attitude that "All is fair in love and war". Marie tried to have his whole squadron wiped out - including Algy and all his comrades. Even in a time of war that was a bit strong she also deceived him. He must have taken some comfort when she said she loved him but nevertheless I do not see how anyone could forgive her.
Well, I certainly haven't! :evil:
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Re: Biggles and women

Post by Foolscap » Fri Nov 02, 2018 10:51 pm

Postby Jennifer » 13 Aug 2013, 15:47

No I haven't either :-x
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Re: Biggles and women

Post by Foolscap » Fri Nov 02, 2018 10:51 pm

Postby SaintedAunt » 13 Aug 2013, 18:42

Jennifer wrote:
Still if WEJ said it in Looks Back he must have done!

Well you are trusting - by the time WEJ wrote that he had made so many mistakes already :twisted:
I wonder if Biggles had the old attitude that "All is fair in love and war". Marie tried to have his whole squadron wiped out - including Algy and all his comrades. Even in a time of war that was a bit strong she also deceived him. He must have taken some comfort when she said she loved him but nevertheless I do not see how anyone could forgive her.

I think the mature Biggles would say that she was just doing her job, as was Von Stalhein. After all, how many people did Biggles kill when he destroyed the dam in Flies East? In war people get killed and if an enemy installation is bothering you, you try and take it out - as evidenced in several of the WWI stories.
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Re: Biggles and women

Post by Foolscap » Fri Nov 02, 2018 10:52 pm

Postby RAAF Spitfire Girl » 14 Aug 2013, 06:02

SaintedAunt wrote:
I think the mature Biggles would say that she was just doing her job, as was Von Stalhein. After all, how many people did Biggles kill when he destroyed the dam in Flies East? In war people get killed and if an enemy installation is bothering you, you try and take it out - as evidenced in several of the WWI stories.

The mature Biggles definitely accepted that EVS had just been doing his job, (and reminded Algy that they didn't have anything to boast about on that score either - which book was that??) Algy certainly wasn't over the moon when Biggles announced they'd be going to Sakhalin to rescue EVS. In glancing through the opening pages of Buries a Hatchet, I must confess to being just a little surprised to realise (and I cannot say how many times I've read this book, so must be slow on the uptake :oops: ) that Biggles is only now explaining to Ginger how he and Algy first encountered EVS. To be totally truthful, I do find that a little difficult to believe. It was one thing for Biggles and Algy never to have mentioned the Marie Janis affair to the others (it being none of their business until her reappearance in Looks Back), but given the number of times they all crossed swords with EVS over the years, I'm rather stunned that neither Ginger nor Bertie (especially Ginger) enquired as to the circumstances of their first encounter with Biggles' arch-enemy :?
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Re: Biggles and women

Post by Foolscap » Fri Nov 02, 2018 10:52 pm

Postby SaintedAunt » 14 Aug 2013, 08:45

RAAF Spitfire Girl wrote:
... I'm rather stunned that neither Ginger nor Bertie (especially Ginger) enquired as to the circumstances of their first encounter with Biggles' arch-enemy :?

Well that is WEJ isn't it - he just lost track of who did what and said what when... Too many stories to remember all the details, and too busy writing the next one, tossing off articles for this that and the other, fishing, gardening, enjoying wine and sun in France... He was a busy man :D
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Re: Biggles and women

Post by Foolscap » Fri Nov 02, 2018 10:53 pm

Postby Fairblue » 14 Aug 2013, 08:49

RAAF Spitfire Girl wrote:
SaintedAunt wrote:
I think the mature Biggles would say that she was just doing her job, as was Von Stalhein. After all, how many people did Biggles kill when he destroyed the dam in Flies East? In war people get killed and if an enemy installation is bothering you, you try and take it out - as evidenced in several of the WWI stories.

The mature Biggles definitely accepted that EVS had just been doing his job, (and reminded Algy that they didn't have anything to boast about on that score either - which book was that??)


Biggles Follows On. Algy says "How about spying? Wouldn't you call that shady?" to which Biggles replies "If it is, our own careers wouldn't stand close investigation."

RAAF Spitfire Girl wrote:
Algy certainly wasn't over the moon when Biggles announced they'd be going to Sakhalin to rescue EVS. In glancing through the opening pages of Buries a Hatchet, I must confess to being just a little surprised to realise (and I cannot say how many times I've read this book, so must be slow on the uptake :oops: ) that Biggles is only now explaining to Ginger how he and Algy first encountered EVS. To be totally truthful, I do find that a little difficult to believe. It was one thing for Biggles and Algy never to have mentioned the Marie Janis affair to the others (it being none of their business until her reappearance in Looks Back), but given the number of times they all crossed swords with EVS over the years, I'm rather stunned that neither Ginger nor Bertie (especially Ginger) enquired as to the circumstances of their first encounter with Biggles' arch-enemy :?

I agree, RSG, certainly about Ginger. He's always been very curious about anything and like you I can't believe that they never discussed him at Mount Street, even before WW2. Bertie, though, might not have bothered or thought about it, merely accepting him for what he was, an old enemy of his friends. Bertie can be quite pragmatic at times, you know. :D
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Re: Biggles and women

Post by Foolscap » Fri Nov 02, 2018 10:53 pm

Postby SaintedAunt » 14 Aug 2013, 09:13

Fairblue wrote:
RAAF Spitfire Girl wrote:
... In glancing through the opening pages of Buries a Hatchet, I must confess to being just a little surprised to realise (and I cannot say how many times I've read this book, so must be slow on the uptake :oops: ) that Biggles is only now explaining to Ginger how he and Algy first encountered EVS. To be totally truthful, I do find that a little difficult to believe. It was one thing for Biggles and Algy never to have mentioned the Marie Janis affair to the others (it being none of their business until her reappearance in Looks Back), but given the number of times they all crossed swords with EVS over the years, I'm rather stunned that neither Ginger nor Bertie (especially Ginger) enquired as to the circumstances of their first encounter with Biggles' arch-enemy :?

I agree, RSG, certainly about Ginger. He's always been very curious about anything and like you I can't believe that they never discussed him at Mount Street, even before WW2. Bertie, though, might not have bothered or thought about it, merely accepting him for what he was, an old enemy of his friends. Bertie can be quite pragmatic at times, you know. :D

I was curious enough to look up what you both are talking about because I didn't remember the details. Biggles probably didn't talk about WWI very much, other than hints to Ginger on flying tactics. Both the mission in Palestine and his affair with Marie were unhappy times for him - he long since had decided to push them to the back of his mind. When Ginger asked about EVS (and you are right he must have done so), Biggles probably just said he came across him on a job and left it at that, and maybe Algy even said to Ginger something along the lines of - don't press him on it, or something like that.

But by the time of Buries a Hatchet, the memories of Palestine were less painful as he was not only older, he had had so much contact with EVS in WWII and the Air Police. He always turns to Algy at these times, on this occasion and in Looks Back - some things he finds difficult to explain but knows Algy will help.
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Re: Biggles and women

Post by Foolscap » Fri Nov 02, 2018 10:53 pm

Postby Tommy Smith » 14 Aug 2013, 09:49

and I'm going to be massively boring and say the conversation about EVS with Ginger was just for the benefit of late entry readers.
Biggles was sage enough to forgive Marie is as much as she was just doing her job but I doubt strongly he would have liked being made a fool of. Or would ever trust anyone who had acted in that way. Being made a fool of/being laughed at (even if she didn't go that far) was a real thing with him. Even EVS at his worse was acting in the heat of the moment. Her actions were premeditated and calculating. But I have't read Looks Back.
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Re: Biggles and women

Post by Foolscap » Fri Nov 02, 2018 10:53 pm

Postby Fairblue » 14 Aug 2013, 09:51

SaintedAunt wrote:
I was curious enough to look up what you both are talking about because I didn't remember the details. Biggles probably didn't talk about WWI very much, other than hints to Ginger on flying tactics. Both the mission in Palestine and his affair with Marie were unhappy times for him - he long since had decided to push them to the back of his mind. When Ginger asked about EVS (and you are right he must have done so), Biggles probably just said he came across him on a job and left it at that, and maybe Algy even said to Ginger something along the lines of - don't press him on it, or something like that.

But by the time of Buries a Hatchet, the memories of Palestine were less painful as he was not only older, he had had so much contact with EVS in WWII and the Air Police. He always turns to Algy at these times, on this occasion and in Looks Back - some things he finds difficult to explain but knows Algy will help.

That seems to me to be a very logical explanation, SA. Not everyone discusses everything, do they? And Algy probably thought that if Biggles wanted things to be made public, as it were, he would do it himself, and so he would respect Biggles confidence and feelings on the matter.
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Re: Biggles and women

Post by Foolscap » Fri Nov 02, 2018 10:54 pm

Postby SaintedAunt » 14 Aug 2013, 12:18

Fairblue wrote:
SaintedAunt wrote:
Biggles probably didn't talk about WWI very much, other than hints to Ginger on flying tactics. Both the mission in Palestine and his affair with Marie were unhappy times for him - he long since had decided to push them to the back of his mind. When Ginger asked about EVS (and you are right he must have done so), Biggles probably just said he came across him on a job and left it at that, and maybe Algy even said to Ginger something along the lines of - don't press him on it, or something like that.

But by the time of Buries a Hatchet, the memories of Palestine were less painful as he was not only older, he had had so much contact with EVS in WWII and the Air Police. He always turns to Algy at these times, on this occasion and in Looks Back - some things he finds difficult to explain but knows Algy will help.

That seems to me to be a very logical explanation, SA. Not everyone discusses everything, do they? And Algy probably thought that if Biggles wanted things to be made public, as it were, he would do it himself, and so he would respect Biggles confidence and feelings on the matter.

That is so, not everyone discusses everything - least of all Biggles who I always imagine as a very private person.
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Re: Biggles and women

Post by Foolscap » Fri Nov 02, 2018 10:54 pm

Postby RAAF Spitfire Girl » 14 Aug 2013, 22:28

SaintedAunt wrote:
Fairblue wrote:
SaintedAunt wrote:
Biggles probably didn't talk about WWI very much, other than hints to Ginger on flying tactics. Both the mission in Palestine and his affair with Marie were unhappy times for him - he long since had decided to push them to the back of his mind. When Ginger asked about EVS (and you are right he must have done so), Biggles probably just said he came across him on a job and left it at that, and maybe Algy even said to Ginger something along the lines of - don't press him on it, or something like that.

But by the time of Buries a Hatchet, the memories of Palestine were less painful as he was not only older, he had had so much contact with EVS in WWII and the Air Police. He always turns to Algy at these times, on this occasion and in Looks Back - some things he finds difficult to explain but knows Algy will help.

That seems to me to be a very logical explanation, SA. Not everyone discusses everything, do they? And Algy probably thought that if Biggles wanted things to be made public, as it were, he would do it himself, and so he would respect Biggles confidence and feelings on the matter.

That is so, not everyone discusses everything - least of all Biggles who I always imagine as a very private person.

Thanks both of you for these thoughts. It does make sense :)
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Re: Biggles and women

Post by Foolscap » Fri Nov 02, 2018 10:54 pm

Postby Jennifer » 15 Aug 2013, 09:37

Please correct me if I am wrong but I always thought Biggles told Ginger about their first meeting with EVS in Biggles & Co. the first time they met EVS after the war. I do agree that Ginger would surely have asked who EVS was most likely during Biggles & Co. I am sure he asked Biggles about WW1. Of course Biggles introduced Ginger to some of the pilots he had known in the War - Sandy in South Seas for one. I think in Biggles Flies South they were going to a reunion of 266 in South Africa - it always struck me as strange that Biggles was taking Algy and Ginger as guests - surely Algy would have been invited anyway as he was in the Squardron for over twelve months :?
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Re: Biggles and women

Post by Foolscap » Fri Nov 02, 2018 10:55 pm

Postby Spitfire666 » 15 Aug 2013, 09:48

Jennifer wrote:
Please correct me if I am wrong but I always thought Biggles told Ginger about their first meeting with EVS in Biggles & Co. the first time they met EVS after the war. I do agree that Ginger would surely have asked who EVS was most likely during Biggles & Co. I am sure he asked Biggles about WW1. Of course Biggles introduced Ginger to some of the pilots he had known in the War - Sandy in South Seas for one. I think in Biggles Flies South they were going to a reunion of 266 in South Africa - it always struck me as strange that Biggles was taking Algy and Ginger as guests - surely Algy would have been invited anyway as he was in the Squardron for over twelve months :?

Biggles could have told Ginger about von Stalhein without mentioning Marie, I think. Maybe the other reference just meant that Biggles was paying for them all? It could be that Mullen did not know Algy was living with Biggles and therefore did not send an invitation for him to the Mount Street address; Biggles would have to pay for Ginger anyway, and just decided to take both of his friends as his guests. A possibility, anyway. An invitation sent to Algy care of his people might take longer to reach him.
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Re: Biggles and women

Post by Foolscap » Fri Nov 02, 2018 10:55 pm

Postby Jennifer » 15 Aug 2013, 10:04

Yes I am sure Biggles would not tell Ginger about Marie but I do think he told him quite a bit about flying in WW1 if only to give him some guidance on war flying after all before WW11 Ginger had no formal training which is one of the things I like about the inter war books as Ginger learns all about war flying etc. and is so often out of his depth.
"If you're going to leave the beaten track the first thing is to make sure you've got your sense of humour with you."
--Biggles on Mystery Island.

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