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10 review for The Charm School

  1. 5 out of 5

    Classic reverie

    -While I was listening to a radio play, "The White Cliffs of Dover", on OTR which I have seen the movie with Irene Dunne, I googled to see if it was based on a novel & found out it was a poem ("The White Cliff) written in 1940. I was disappointed because I am not really a poem person & I always love to find new books to read. Well it was a happy day anyways for I had found a new author who I was already aware of some of her works from watching older movies. Hollywood made many of Alice Duer Mill -While I was listening to a radio play, "The White Cliffs of Dover", on OTR which I have seen the movie with Irene Dunne, I googled to see if it was based on a novel & found out it was a poem ("The White Cliff) written in 1940. I was disappointed because I am not really a poem person & I always love to find new books to read. Well it was a happy day anyways for I had found a new author who I was already aware of some of her works from watching older movies. Hollywood made many of Alice Duer Miller's stories into movies & several I have already seen. Roberta (1935- a Fred & Ginger film), Irene (1940) & Wife vs. Secretary (1936) & The White Cliffs of Dover (1944). I found a collection of novels & some written in poetic verse which I was interested in reading. Alice Duer Miller is quite an interesting character being an American writer (1874-1942) whose poetry tried to sway public opinion in entering WW 2. Her poems/works had an impact on the suffrage movement. Her great, great grandfather was William Duer who served in the Continental Congress. So I selected a short story & poem to read & review. I decided on "The Charm School" (1919) because the title looked to be a fun read & it was quite charming! Austen Bevans is an attractive young man but for the life of him, he can't win Suzie's affections or her mother's approval. Funds are lacking and he has competition, so things brighten up when his aunt leaves an all girls school to her only relative & a will can not be found. Austen decides to win his fortune by turning the school into a charm school & being charming is the focus of the institution. That is where the fun begins & mishaps of sorts. Alice Duer Miller wrote several Hollywood screenplays & this has a romantic comedy feel to it. Quite fun & easy to read. One can see the feminist side of Alice views shining through without being too strong but present to prove the point & not forgetting about the romantic side of males & females. Excerpts-"Giving the public what it wants." "Giving the girls what they want?" "Mercy, no! Who cares about the girls?No, the parents --the parents of our public in education. Now, Mr. Johns, what is it that every parent who sends a girl to a fashionable school really wants?" "To get rid of her," answered Johns, with utmost conviction. "Very true, but that's not all. It's no good to get rid of them for four or five years and then have them back on their hands forever. Parents want them made into charming women-- marriageable women. Parents don't dare to say this..." "The White Cliffs". (1940) As I have written before this poem with 52 verses reads like a short story. I like poems but this form of poetry I truly loved! I have more of her works & I will read them at some point but this poem was wonderful. It was quite popular in it day & had an effect on the American public. It was turned into a movie & song. It is about an American girl who has a week vacation in England & her falling in love with an Englishman. Time frame pre WW 1 through WW 2. It is very moving & discusses the difference & similarities between the countries while telling a short of the couple. Excerpts --"We went down to Devon,In a warm summer rain, Knowing that our happiness Might never come again;I, not forgetting,"Till death us do part,"Was outrageously happy With death in my heart. Lovers in peacetime With fifty years to live, Have time to tease and quarrel And question what to give;But lovers in wartime Better understand The fullness of living,With death close at hand." "Bad news is not broken,By kind tactful word. The message is spoken Ere the word can be heard. The eye and the bearing,The breath make it clear,And the heart is despairing Before the ears hear. I do not remember The words that they said:"Killed -- Douai-- November --"I knew John was dead. All done and over--That day long ago--The white cliffs of Dover--Little did I know." "Oh, sad people, buy not your past too dearly,Live not in dreams of the past, for understand,If you remember too much, too long, too clearly,If you grasp memory with too heavy a hand,You will destroy the memory in all its glory. For the sake of the dreams of your head upon your bed. You will be left with only the worn dead story You told yourself of the dead." "Never more English than when they dared to be Rebels against her-- that stem intractable sense. Of that which no man can stomach and still be free,Writing: "When in the course of human events...Writing it out so all the world could see Whence come the powers of all just governments. The tree of Liberty grew and changed and spread, But the seed is English. I am American bred,I have seen much to hate here-- much to forgive,But in a world where England is finished and dead. I do not wish to live." I added both reviews of "Charm School" & "The White Cliffs" together because of information on the author but you can look up my Alice duer Miller shelf to see the book Charm School.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer

  3. 5 out of 5

    Sam

  4. 4 out of 5

    Arthur Pierce

  5. 4 out of 5

    Tai Wilkin

  6. 5 out of 5

    Elaine Wooley

  7. 5 out of 5

    Halina

  8. 5 out of 5

    Naomi M

  9. 5 out of 5

    rêveur d'art

  10. 5 out of 5

    Declan Tan

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