Posted by Peter Ceresole on September 02, 2006 at 11:47:30 from 126.96.36.199 user PeterC.
In Reply to: Re: Beccles or Potter posted by John Lambert on August 31, 2006 at 20:56:37:
I think the implication is that AR may have copied Susan from Bobbie, but isn't it also likely that wherever you write about a group of children (young people) you need someone like Susan or Bobbie to look after them - proper meals, bedtimes, etc?
I can't remember who said it, but isn't it true that there are only four plots? Or is it three?
If you're writing children's fiction, there are certain formulae, certain structures, that work and it would have been extraordinary if AR hadn't used them. One element is the mothering character and the other is the lovable scamp. The dynamic between them just works, makes it easier to tell a story that will be understood and enjoyed by the readers. And AR was nothing if not a professional writer. He knew the tricks as well as anyone.
So as you say, although he may have used a well-worn structure, I don't think that his characters need derive directly from any others in litterature.
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