Saturday, January 8, 2011

Jane Allen #4, Jane Allen, Junior

Well, as I thought, this story doesn't resume the second semester of junior year. That semester will be forever lost to human history. Judy and Jane are juniors again, with the explanation of, "An extension course in special work kept Jane with her junior friends," or, "Judith and I decided on this extra year to specialize," in sociology. This doesn't mean much for this book, but it will for the next, so file it away. Anyway, they're juniors again (?), and the Allen scholarship this year has gone to an unfortunate, raw-boned country girl, Shirley Duncan, who's both obnoxious and gauche. The other "pet freshie" this year is Sarah "Sally" Howland.

Dol Vin (as she's now known) has opened her beauty shop of iniquity at the gates of Wellington, and Shirley and Sally seem to be somehow involved with her, although Sally's well-liked by everyone. There's also a ghost haunting Lenox Hall and scaring the poor little freshies, and some mystery surrounding Shirley and Sally. It turns out that Sally and Shirley have swapped identities at the suggestion of Dol Vin, who taught them in gym--the real Shirley ("Kitten") needs money to send her brother Ted back to college and sells her scholarship to Sally ("Bobbie"), who, while brilliant at math, is unable to pass the other subject exams to get into college. Of course, in the end, Bobbie makes nice with Jane and her friends, and Shirley's father's fortunes are reversed, so they're both able to stay at Wellington. Because the dean is willing to overlook multiple fraudulent elements in light of good intentions.

  • The first proof of Bobbie's awfulness: "She was garbed in a baronet satin skirt of daring hue with an overblouse of variegated georgette. This as a school frock!"
  • Sarah Howland is considered a "most atrocious name." I'm sure I don't see how. Apparently Sarah is "old fashioned" and "country."
  • Bobbie is forced to dust Dozia's room with a feather glued to her nose as her freshman initiation. When the girls clean her up afterward, she refuses to let Jane brush her hair with a damp brush. "Not wet it?" she [Jane] thought quickly. "That must mean treatment, and treatment meant the forbidden beauty shop!"
  • More classless dressing, on Vin's part this time: "She was gowned in a very close fitting and striking black satin 'clinger' gown. Her hair was done in the most modern of styles, like a window show for her hair dressing parlor, and her foreign face, with its natural olive tones, was very much fixed up with many touches of peach and carmine, as well as darker hints under the eyes; and her lashes--well, perhaps Dolorez had been crying inky tears; that was the effect one gathered from a glance at the vampish make-up."
  • The Project Gutenberg text repeatedly refers to "Jane Alien." Can you imagine? It makes me think of the whole Pride and Prejudice and Zombies business.
  • There are boys at dances now! Judith is, of course, more interested than Jane in this. Series heroines are never allowed to be interested in boys or romance, only sidekicks.
  • I'm completely lost now on the authorship of these books. The missing time is a pretty glaring inconsistency, but this book continues the new cast of characters from the previous book.

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