The Patmans of Sweet Valley: An English country estate

Have you been up at night wondering about the accomplishments of an incredibly privileged and hateful family?

Look no further. We get to meet the people that have built the Patman social strata. This one is a magna edition, which means it is over two hundred pages. I am going to split it up because the drama is so overwhelming!

So we start in an English country estate. Sophie is the daughter of the Duke. She is going swimming in her underwear. TROLLOP!! JEZEBEL!!! I am not even sure what trollop means.

So while she is swimming around, reflecting on her privileged life, a guy pops out of the trees. They have a convo that I am gonna summarize for you:

Sophie: hey, who are you?
Henry: Oh, I was just perving at you behind this tree. You look like a mermaid.
Sophie: well maybe I am
Henry: well I can see your shoes and stockings over there so you’re prolly not
Sophie: yea prolly lol
Henry: I’m Henry Patman
Sophie: I’m Sophie Edmonson
Henry: oh you’re the duke’s daughter, cool
Sophie: yea
Henry: ok gotta go, ttyl
Sophie: k bye

And from that stimulating conversation, Sophie decides she’s in love. They really really throw the word love around too much in these books. Sure, lust at first sight, but come on. I’ve had more thrilling conversations with my dentist.

The next day, the fam learns they are getting a new stable boy. Sophie’s sister Mel is swooning over him. Turns out it’s Henry Patman. Fast forward a few months, and Soph and henry are having a torrid, secret affair. When her father announces her marriage to Lord Elliott. So she and Henry decide to elope. Melanie is still jealous, reads Soph’s diary and tells on her. Lord Edmonson stops Sophie and threatens Henry and he leaves, and apparently is deported to America. Sophie ends up marrying Lord Elliott.

Then Henry Patman is in New York City, living on the streets among beggars, thieves and gangs. And it’s totally all Gangs of New York-y (awesome and underrated movie, btw). He vows to make something of himself and maybe one day finding Sophie again. He gets really good at gambling, and ends up winning a whole plantation. So he heads off the be a slave master. Great.

Whoever wrote this tried to write it in Jane Austen-esque language, and it is really embarrassing.

What does this tell us about Bruce Patman?
That his desire to see women naked in water is genetic. Now we know why he untied Jessica’s bikini top. It wasn’t his fault! It was a biological imperative!

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20 thoughts on “The Patmans of Sweet Valley: An English country estate

  1. kiwimusume says:

    his desire to see women naked in water is genetic. Now we know why he untied Jessica’s bikini top. It wasn’t his fault! It was a biological imperative!

    *sprays soup over laptop*

  2. EnidRollins says:

    The cover screams “steamy, overcooked 1980’s Harlequin Romance”

    The contents scream “wet-chick-lovin’ h***y Patmans!”

    • Blessing says:

      I have to say that while I thought your aailysns of the plotline of the book was amusing, I think your character aailysns is a bit inaccurate.I think the book is clearly biased against the kind of free-spirited fun that Jess personifies. I also don’t think its fair to take the narrator’s opinions on Jess entirely at face value, when those opinions are so clearly skewed.Picture Liz (in her ridiciulous bow-tie), unwilling to share her car with own sister, who in fact scorns Jess because of the people Jess is associating with! Then Liz steals Todd Wilkins away from her!I believe Jess has a right to be angry, and that, as a 16 year old girl, its only natural for her to be somewhat dramatic over the whole ordeal!Let’s not forget that the book does not question the fact that the entire town of Sweet Valley should be aghast at (and spread rumors regarding) Jess hanging out with the wrong kind people (and we know they are the wrong kind of people based solely on the fact that they drink). I believe that Jess’ chaffing at this kind of scrutiny from her peers is normal and even healthy, yet Francine Pascal would paint Jess as the abnormal deviate who must be brought in line through community shunning![]

  3. Eli says:

    God, I loved this book. And I always thought Bruce’s cowboy ancestor was smoking hot, in spite of the stupid bandana around his neck.

  4. Erin says:

    I loved the Fowlers’ special edition. It was the only one I read and was fascinated (at the time) by how perfectly revolutionary France tied to 1990s America.

  5. carniealjaime says:

    Yeah, I’m a little embarrassed to say that the Fowlers’ of Sweet Valley was probably “my favorite book, EVER!” at one point.

    I love how the main theme in ALL of the saga books is that there is a love interest in the beginning that is passed down through the generations and finally culminates with the SVH characters’ parents hooking up sometime in the early 70’s.

    I almost studied my genealogy because of these books, but then I realized that my parents ancestors weren’t boinking in the 18th century.

  6. Lila Fowler is Ugly says:

    The Fowler Saga is the best one, hands down, although the whole thing between Mrs. Wakefield and Bruce Patman’s father is funny as hell. Aren’t they supposed to end up together or something? (I never read the Wakefield Saga because, well, fuck them.) Anyway, I think she’s the trollop. Didn’t those sneaky twin bitches think they were having an affair once?

  7. Count Tisiano says:

    ***Breaking News***

    While the Patmans, the Fowlers and the maternal Wakefield line may have many amazing historical coincidences and tragically comic lost loves in their editions, the generally dull ‘Wakefield Legacy’ volume has a bigger revelation- Jessica and Elizabeth are… 1/4 Jewish! (And 1/32 Native American.)

    Ned Wakefield’s mother was born Hannah Weiss. She grew up in Sweet Valley, the daughter of Austrian immigrants, and meets Robert Wakefield while serving as a navy nurse in the South Pacific during the war…and lest we think this is just a random coincidence, this passage confirms it:

    ‘”It’s great to have you back on campus,” Ned told Rachel (his first cousin on his mother’s side) as they walked across the quadrangle. “I missed you last year.”

    Rachel had spent her junior year in Vienna, doing research on the pre-World War II Austrian Jewish community of which her father and Aunt Hannah’s relatives had been a part.’

    I’m surprised that they never used this plotline in one of those “Elizabeth helps outsiders feel more comfortable in lily-white Sweet Valley” books.

  8. ihatewheat says:

    WHAT????? Ned’s mother was Jewish? Does that mean he was raised Jewish? So why does he put up with all the Xmas crap????

    Damn Alice, and her Aryan looks.

    Also, I cannot claim the Wakefield twins as my people.

  9. Jessa Fields says:

    WHAT????? Ned’s mother was Jewish? Does that mean he was raised Jewish? So why does he put up with all the Xmas crap????

    OMG this totally explains his Xmas tree hang-ups. Blue and silver colors only, huh?

    Honestly, if someone in SVH has to be ambiguously Jewish, I’ll take “dark and handsome” Ned over Winston Egbert any day.

  10. Robyn says:

    Knowing that Ned Wakefield is jewish is making me feel not so bad about my silver and blue christmas tree that I’m about to put up.
    I was actually planning on justifying my tree by pointing out to everyone that those are the colours of hanukkah. But I guess Ned already beat me to that too. He’s so wiley…

  11. Sarah says:

    Regarding comments about the lack of s-e-x in Sweet Valley, I seem to remember that in the Wakefield saga, an ancestress of J&E’s does the dirty without being married and gets pregnant. The setting is San Francisco (later home of Enid’s cousin and Tom Mckay’s crush Jake) during the 1906 earthquake (I think?–it’s hard for me to believe that these books adhere to the historical record in any meaningful way). I seem to remember a line like “she wanted to take their love as far/high as it could go.” Apparently our heroine and her true love are stuck under rubble or something and think they might not make it. They sort of do their own marriage vows. Anyway, he doesn’t in fact make it and she’s knocked up, and her family disowns her, so she tells the resulting child that she’s his aunt. I remember finding this very scandalous as a fourth grader.

    I love this blog so much.

  12. Onnie says:

    I am sitting in Secured Transactions, dying, and reading this definitely makes the time pass by quickly… My memory of this one is fuzzy. What generation are we starting with here? The great-great grandparents?

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