Why is Algy so popular with women?

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Why is Algy so popular with women?

Postby Frecks » 01 Sep 2015, 08:07

Stealing your idea here Tiff but I think it will make an excellent thread :D
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Re: Why is Algy so popular with women?

Postby tiffinata » 01 Sep 2015, 09:03

That could probably be answered in a number of ways.

Why is he so popular with 'us girls' on the forum? (The Algy fans appear more vocal in their support than the Biggles/Bertie/Ginger fans)

Are there particular characteristics that we see throughout the books that make him a 'ladies' man'?

Are there any references to him (or only flies again) that show he could be romantically interested in women- or is he (as SA once described him) an Edwardian Gentleman, behaving in the correct way expected of the times?


Modern Gentlemen, please join in- don't just leave it to the ladies to debate. :)
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Re: Why is Algy so popular with women?

Postby Tracer » 01 Sep 2015, 09:28

I think it's the fanfics that portray him as a ladies' man.

However, without the fanfics, his appeal is exactly an Edwardian Gentleman, behaving in the correct way expected of the times? plus a secure background of means, plus his reliability and calm courage no matter what the situation. Add a liking for home comforts to appeal to the motherly sorts, a knowledge of classics and music to appeal to intellectuals, and - what's not to like?
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Re: Why is Algy so popular with women?

Postby Frecks » 01 Sep 2015, 09:29

I cannot recall Algy having any particular contact with women after Flies Again. His personality changed a great deal later on in the series. He is still quite cheerful and comes up with some very good quotes between the wars and in the early WW2 books but he is more sober in the Air Police books to say nothing of being left behind, somewhere on leave or waiting with the aircraft. Of course we are not told where he goes on his holidays or who he is with which could give rise to much speculation :lol:
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Re: Why is Algy so popular with women?

Postby kylie_koyote » 01 Sep 2015, 11:18

There are a couple of instances where I infer things, perhaps incorrectly, from the books. Here are my thoughts and (again, possibly incorrect) assumptions:

1. Mama Lacey tells Biggles in her letter to keep Algy away from the French minxes. Perhaps she knows women find her son irresistible.
2. In "Another Job", Biggles tells Raymond "he's off sailing somewhere on somebody's yacht". Biggles knows perfectly well where Algy is. He's being vague for Raymond's benefit.
3. In "Takes Charge", Algy is speaking to young Charles about Boris. He says "Boris had fun in Monte. I know. I was with him." To me, this screams women, but that's just my opinion.
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Re: Why is Algy so popular with women?

Postby Frecks » 01 Sep 2015, 11:28

Yes Boris might have had fun with women but there is no mention of Algy doing the same :lol: I must admit I find it a great leap from the way WEJ introduced Algy in The Boob to calling him an Edwardian Gentleman. In Flies Again Biggles introduces him as his young and irresponsible friend. I think the young Algy would have been good fun, he never took anything seriously in his younger days and I am sure he would be an entertaining companion more so than the others.

As you say Biggles must have know where Algy was in Another Job or he could not have called him back in an emergency. Of course the real reason he was vague was because WEJ could not be bothered making anything up - at the end of the day it was a book where Algy was hardly mentioned and Ginger and Bertie saw all the action although I must admit Ginger did not do well in that book at all - he definitely got lost and messed up the whole operation and Bertie saved the day in wonderful style - a great book all round :D
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Re: Why is Algy so popular with women?

Postby Fairblue » 01 Sep 2015, 12:31

We do have a tendency to portray Algy as a ladies man in Fanfics, and certainly in the RPGs his irresistible charm to women come pretty much to the fore. But leaving these aspects aside, I would have to agree with SA's wonderful description an Edwardian Gentleman, behaving in the correct way expected of the times. But I imagine Biggles behaved correctly too, and we have never described him as being irresistible to women. To me it is really only the mention of Consuelo in Flies Again that gives rise to the speculation he is a ladies man. Then again, in Terai Mr Kama Akbar describes Algy as 'a most courteous man and a delightful companion.' Not stirring stuff, but what one would expect. Not one of us woulds expect any of the four to be discourteous but the words 'delightful companion' to me gives a picture of one who is at ease in any company and takes pains to please, regardless of the sex of the person he was speaking to. Everything else, I think, comes out of our imaginations, with a touch of wistful and wishful thinking thrown in.
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Re: Why is Algy so popular with women?

Postby Frecks » 01 Sep 2015, 15:52

Yes and he had obviously made good friends with Boris in Takes Charge. Biggles himself had many friends all over the world so he must have had a certain charm although he could be very sharp with people if they did not take his missions seriously. I am sure Bertie would be an entertaining companion too.
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Re: Why is Algy so popular with women?

Postby kylie_koyote » 01 Sep 2015, 16:03

From "Takes a Hand":

“Algy, I’ll leave you to entertain Anna while I’m away. You might get her some coffee and biscuits.”
“It will be a pleasure.”


One wonders what they talked about. They must have had very little in common in the normal course of their lives. Maybe they played Scrabble.
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Re: Why is Algy so popular with women?

Postby Kismet » 01 Sep 2015, 16:15

'She asks me to see that he changes his laundry regularly, doesn't drink, doesn't get mixed up with the French minxes, and a dozen other 'doesn'ts''

I have a vision of all the mothers with sons in France, writing to each other about what they have heard, and one of the things that will consistently be mentioned is that they've heard that so and so, a friend of a friend's son has got mixed up with the minxes in France. These will always be second or third hand reports, and no one will actually possess the full details - the minxes to an extent will be an urban myth - but it will prey on their minds and be a worry that their son, too, might get mixed up with the French minxes.

The question is, is Algy's mother a needless worrier, or does she have a good knowledge of her son? Has Algy too much sense to get mixed up with the minxes or is he nice young naive lad who would be easy prey? Certainly she charges Biggles to make sure Algy changes his laundry regularly, and as Algy turns up in a dirty uniform and with long hair it sounds as if someone might need to remind him of these things.

In Flies Again we have a picture of two young men taking advantage of their circumstances to see something of the world whilst they make a living. There are lots of women in this book.

'My word, I'm glad you turned up,' breathed Algy fervently to Isobel Hollinger as he looked at the huge excavation.....


'What's she like?' asked Algy sitting up and taking an interest in the conversation.
Consuelo's the most beautiful girl in South America, Wilks tells him.

'Then again, Algy, old son, you can't go on flirting with Consuelo unless you intend marrying her.'


'Still pining for Consuelo?'he bantered.
Algy snubs Biggles, but a few lines later:

'Come and do your stuff laddie; this is more in your line,' Algy needed no second invitation.
p59 and he's flirting hopefully with a third beautiful girl.

So, Algy's presumably fairly easy on the eye. He's a decorated war hero from the sexiest branch of the Services. He has a title. He likes women and he's quite happy to offer to help rescue them from any difficulty with no thought whatsoever about the practicalities and consequences of doing so. He probably looks like he needs looking after (dirty uniform, long hair). He's not just attractive. He's irresistible.
Why wouldn't he be popular with women?
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Re: Why is Algy so popular with women?

Postby Frecks » 01 Sep 2015, 16:25

Well the dirty uniform and long hair would put me off for a start :lol: There must be more women in Flies Again than all the other books put together. You can really see why it was regarded as an adult book.
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Re: Why is Algy so popular with women?

Postby Fairblue » 01 Sep 2015, 16:29

Frecks wrote:Well the dirty uniform and long hair would put me off for a start :lol:

For some women the unkempt look would be an unmistakable message that he needed to be looked after. Obviously , the poor boy had been too busy fighting the enemy to have his uniform properly cleaned and his hair cut.
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Re: Why is Algy so popular with women?

Postby Kismet » 01 Sep 2015, 17:15

tiffinata wrote:Are there particular characteristics that we see throughout the books that make him a 'ladies' man'?

Are there any references to him (or only flies again) that show he could be romantically interested in women- or is he (as SA once described him) an Edwardian Gentleman, behaving in the correct way expected of the times?


[color=#400000]'I'm still able to recognise the female of the species when I see one,' declared Algy tartly.' .......................

'No. If she isn't an air hostess I've never seen one. A good looker, too, I'd say, before she got into the mess she's in now.'

[/color]
Algy's still keeping his eyes open in Little Green God.

I've been thinking abut the perfect Edwardian Gentleman description. I'd agree that they had good manners and knew how to behave correctly, but I feel that Algy and Biggles rather avoided places where they had to be on their best behaviour and enjoyed a rather more casual and laid back approach to life. A little less stuffy than the perfect Edwardian Gentleman.
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Re: Why is Algy so popular with women?

Postby kylie_koyote » 01 Sep 2015, 17:36

Hence Biggles' firm refusal to travel on a cruise ship in Spain, perhaps?
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Re: Why is Algy so popular with women?

Postby Kismet » 01 Sep 2015, 17:42

kylie_koyote wrote:Hence Biggles' firm refusal to travel on a cruise ship in Spain, perhaps?


I'd love to know what happened to Biggles on a liner that made him so determined not to recuperate on one. He was quite happy going on one a couple of books previously.
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Re: Why is Algy so popular with women?

Postby kylie_koyote » 01 Sep 2015, 17:54

They went by sea in "Flies North," "Flies West," and "South Seas" that I can think of offhand. Oh, and "Condor" as well.
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Re: Why is Algy so popular with women?

Postby Fairblue » 01 Sep 2015, 17:58

But there would be a world of difference between going on a cruise liner from necessity in order to travel from A to B and travelling on a Cruise liner just to lounge around on his doctor's orders.
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Re: Why is Algy so popular with women?

Postby Frecks » 01 Sep 2015, 19:08

Were they actual cruise liners as such they travelled on?
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Re: Why is Algy so popular with women?

Postby kylie_koyote » 01 Sep 2015, 19:27

Frecks wrote:Were they actual cruise liners as such they travelled on?


I doubt they'd bear much resemblance to a modern day cruise ship, with indoor water slides and Vegas-style shows every night, not to mention the all-you-can-eat buffets. I was thinking it would be more something like the White Star Line (Cunard White Star after 1934) ships.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cunard-White_Star_Line

This is the one on which my grandfather traveled home from occupied Japan in Nov. 1945. They were packed in like sardines, but it appears to have some creature comforts.

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Re: Why is Algy so popular with women?

Postby Kismet » 01 Sep 2015, 19:42

Consulting the internet, I discover that cruise ships are not the same as ocean liners. Ocean liners, which would cross the Atlantic inside of a week, were big, powerful ships, designed to travel quickly between countries whilst transporting the passengers in comfort. Cruise ships go from port to port. Apparently their life boats are also stored in different positions.
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Re: Why is Algy so popular with women?

Postby Fairblue » 01 Sep 2015, 19:45

Kismet wrote:Consulting the internet, I discover that cruise ships are not the same as ocean liners. Ocean liners, which would cross the Atlantic inside of a week, were big, powerful ships, designed to travel quickly between countries whilst transporting the passengers in comfort. Cruise ships go from port to port. Apparently their life boats are also stored in different positions.

Thank you, Kismet. I knew there was a difference but lacked the incentive to look for it. A bit lazy of me considering Google is just a click away! 8-)
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Re: Why is Algy so popular with women?

Postby Kismet » 01 Sep 2015, 19:54

I've pulled out Biggles in Spain as well. Biggles refuses to travel on a cruise ship. Presumably his ocean crossings in Condor, Flies North, Flies West et al were made by ocean liner, which he has no objection to.

Dash. I enjoyed speculating on what had happened to Biggles to put him off travelling by cruise ship and now I've done the research. it was all based on a false premise!
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Re: Why is Algy so popular with women?

Postby Fairblue » 01 Sep 2015, 20:02

He probably didn't enjoy being a captive audience. Plus, if his doctor said he needed a cruise, naturally Biggles would be agin it.
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Re: Why is Algy so popular with women?

Postby 266 » 02 Sep 2015, 02:45

I struggle with Algy as an Edwardian Gentleman, partly because he was an Edwardian child, and partly because my view of Edwardian Gentlemen has been forever coloured by the Flanders and Swann song "Have some Madeira"...his younger years seem to have been outgoing and irresponsible, but everyone grows up and he seems to me to have eventually become somewhat repressed in the name of duty. I suspect his flame of humour and adventure still burns under the demands of work but has less outlet than pre WW2. Maybe the war toned him down a bit. But getting back to topic, which Algy do ladies seem to like? Is it the young and irrepressible one, or the old and dutiful one that they like?? Or doesn't it matter as long as he's Algy? (pink smiley in this spot)
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Re: Why is Algy so popular with women?

Postby kylie_koyote » 02 Sep 2015, 03:13

I like sarcastic, irreverent Algy, it doesn't matter whether he's young (Flies Again), middle aged (Borneo), or older (Little Green God) - it's the humor that gets me.
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Re: Why is Algy so popular with women?

Postby tiffinata » 02 Sep 2015, 04:24

I think I would prefer the older Algy. The one who is Biggles' right hand man. The one to be depended upon, the team player.

But you raise a good point about him being an Edwardian child, 266. What was the upbringing of an Edwardian child like? Seen and not heard? Brought up by the servants/nanny/tutor until old enough for school?
While Biggles in India would have had quite a different (unconventional?)upbringing.

Kismet, I wondered this morning if perhaps Biggles came home from India on a cruise ship.
I think I need to delve back into my extended family research and Kylie's 'Fishing Fleet' again for examples.
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Re: Why is Algy so popular with women?

Postby J349 » 02 Sep 2015, 08:06

I think some of our assumptions on Edwardian gentlemen are incorrect or misleading. They could easily apply to Victorian gentlemen.
If we take Edward VII to epitomise the age - as he was a notorious womaniser, who had a lot of 'fun', (allbeit behind the scenes, but more openly than his Victorian counterparts) it's not unreasonable to suggest that a typical Edwardian gentleman might get up to all sorts of things.
But you don't expect to read of that in novels appropriate for young readers.
That's my penny-worth anyway. Is there ever any hint of jealousy from Biggles and the others over 'Algy's charm' and luck with women?
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Re: Why is Algy so popular with women?

Postby Frecks » 02 Sep 2015, 08:12

No definitely not. In fact after Flies Again there is no mention of it whatsoever. Biggles of course had his affair with Marie Janis during WWI and never took any interest in women at all after that. Bertie does not like women at all. Ginger had a couple of friendships one as a young boy with a native girl called Full Moon and one in Fails to Return with a French girl called Jeanette - a very exciting romance of one weeks length spent walking and swimming together :lol: There are a couple of short stories based on smuggled nylon stockings and feathers for expensive hats which I find rather unsettling - what would Biggles know about ladies underwear or fancy hats? There is also some comment about "girls fiddling with their hair" :? I cannot see why Biggles would have noticed that either.
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Re: Why is Algy so popular with women?

Postby Fairblue » 02 Sep 2015, 09:18

Frecks wrote:No definitely not. In fact after Flies Again there is no mention of it whatsoever. Biggles of course had his affair with Marie Janis during WWI and never took any interest in women at all after that. Bertie does not like women at all. Ginger had a couple of friendships one as a young boy with a native girl called Full Moon and one in Fails to Return with a French girl called Jeanette - a very exciting romance of one weeks length spent walking and swimming together :lol: There are a couple of short stories based on smuggled nylon stockings and feathers for expensive hats which I find rather unsettling - what would Biggles know about ladies underwear or fancy hats? There is also some comment about "girls fiddling with their hair" :? I cannot see why Biggles would have noticed that either.

Biggles knows nothing about ladies underwear but that's neither here nor there. Smuggling of ladies nylons was very prolific after the war and as such WEJ would have considered it a very topical subject. The object being smuggled in could be anything; it was Biggles' job to discover how it was done, regardless of what it was. And as for Biggles noticing about girls fiddling with their hair; well, he noticed a lot of things. He was a very observant after all, throughout his whole career and probably studied people automatically without it really registering that he was doing it.
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Re: Why is Algy so popular with women?

Postby Kismet » 02 Sep 2015, 11:15

Fairblue wrote:
Frecks wrote:No definitely not. In fact after Flies Again there is no mention of it whatsoever. Biggles of course had his affair with Marie Janis during WWI and never took any interest in women at all after that. Bertie does not like women at all. Ginger had a couple of friendships one as a young boy with a native girl called Full Moon and one in Fails to Return with a French girl called Jeanette - a very exciting romance of one weeks length spent walking and swimming together :lol: There are a couple of short stories based on smuggled nylon stockings and feathers for expensive hats which I find rather unsettling - what would Biggles know about ladies underwear or fancy hats? There is also some comment about "girls fiddling with their hair" :? I cannot see why Biggles would have noticed that either.

Biggles knows nothing about ladies underwear but that's neither here nor there. Smuggling of ladies nylons was very prolific after the war and as such WEJ would have considered it a very topical subject. The object being smuggled in could be anything; it was Biggles' job to discover how it was done, regardless of what it was. And as for Biggles noticing about girls fiddling with their hair; well, he noticed a lot of things. He was a very observant after all, throughout his whole career and probably studied people automatically without it really registering that he was doing it.


Biggles can recognise a handbag as being French with no prompting, which is something I couldn't do! He refers to Canson who fiddles with his moustache as being like a girl who can't leave her hair alone in Black Mask. There's a short story where he has to investigate bird of paradise feathers which decorate women's hats. I expect he was equally expert on women's underwear; we just don't have those stories.
'Major Bigglesworth' said Von Stalhein coldly, 'there are times when I seriously wonder if you were created by the devil just to annoy me.'
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