Thursday, December 30, 2010

Nurse Romance Stories: Young Love 51 - "The Will to Love"

In this November 1953 nurse romance story, an attempted suicide is brought into the hospital. From his ramblings the attending nurse deduces that he'd been ditched by his girl and subsequently not felt life was worth living. At first to help him, but then also because she has fallen in love with him, she pretends to be his girl. She finds the girl, and gets her to come into the hospital to help, but he's just not that sort of person. She really is no longer interested in him since he gave their money to a friend in need. I'll let you read the rest to find out how it ends!

I found this a heart-warming tale of innocence and true love. I thought it was interesting how the protagonist described nursing - having to be cold and impersonal to maintain sufficient detachment in order to do the job.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

British Girls' Comics: School Friend Annual 1960 selection

This post revisits School Friend, this time sampling the 1960 annual. Examples of finely drawn realistic art abound, starting with this charming ballerina tale, "The Roses That Brought Romance". What reader could resist the allure of this celebrity world of European royalty, splendorous ballet performances, and intrigue in which the young girl saves the day!?

The next story is interesting from multiple points of view. There's a clandestine group of do-gooder girls operating at this private girls' school. These middle class agents of freedom assist a working class girl in achieving justice. In a world away from the oversight of the patriarchs, females can express their full potential, even be heroines. I have no idea whether or not the Silent Three was an ongoing series in the weekly comic, but it seems it would have made a good one:

In this next somewhat unlikely scenario, Tuckshop Trudy is a young female working at a private school for teenage boys with uncanny control over their hormones!

"Peril for Her Royal Pupil" exemplifies the tendency for these middle class girls' comics to locate their universe within the British Empire, even though by this time it was already a thing of the past. A kind of reprise to former days of glory. Simultaneously, however, a strong feminist message can be read from this tale of a teenage girl's ability to thwart adult male evildoers.

"The Riddle of the Four Bells" is a fairly lame mystery tale featuring detective Terry Brent and his assistant, Irish girl Paddy MacNaught. As with many of this type of girls' story, there's a stash of jewels as the prize.

Young British ladies on holiday in Spain. It's interesting here how the British girls on holiday aren't looking forward to going back home - the Spanish people seem so happy - and yet at the end there's the hint that maybe the Spanish dancer might be fortunate enough to go to Britain to dance. I suppose everyone thinks it is a treat to be able to travel outside their own country.