The Bagthorpe Saga

  • Book
  • By Helen Cresswell 
  • Reviewed by Kit

The following are out of 5

Racial Representation: 0

LGBTQ+ Representation: 0

Disability Representation: 0

Body Size Representation: 0

Gender Representation: 5

Socioeconomic Representation: 0

Mental Health Representation: 0

Religious Representation: 0

Own Voice: Yes

The Bagthorpe saga tells the purple prose-ridden, hysterical tale of the chaotic and terrible Bagthorpes, a deeply dysfunctional and quirky clan whose every misadventure bleeds into an even more over-the-top misadventure. Admittedly the series has little going for it rep-wise but it’s notable for the way the female Bagthorpes are depicted. In most comedies up until recently female characters were mostly limited to sexist stereotyping/reacting to what the men do and being annoyingly superior about it. The female Bagthorpes are just as awful and loopy as their male counterparts and have no trouble inserting themselves right in the middle of the chaos. A highlight is the 7th book Bagthorpes Liberated where, Laura, the matriarch of the family, attempts to inspire a mini-feminist revolution on the house which fails because the rest of the female Bagthorpes, who are living a very privileged life (white middle-class etc.) have no notion of being oppressed and being just as humorously self-absorbed as their male counterparts aren’t particularly concerned with helping their fellow women. It comes off as a satire of white/neoliberal feminism, a long while before it became a mainstream talking point.

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