A Future Chalet School Girl by Elinor M. Brent-Dyer

A Future Chalet School Girl by Elinor M. Brent-Dyer My rating: 3 of 5 stars It recently hit me that there were still a few titles to do in my review of the Chalet School series and, that A Future Chalet School Girl is quite poor in every definition of the word, so where elseContinue reading “A Future Chalet School Girl by Elinor M. Brent-Dyer”

The School by the River by Elinor M. Brent-Dyer

The School by the River by Elinor M. Brent-Dyer My rating: 4 of 5 stars I reread The School by The River for a lecture I attended online this week, one concerned with the role of memory and how the act of reading is in itself situated across our lives. What does it mean toContinue reading “The School by the River by Elinor M. Brent-Dyer”

Trials For The Chalet School, an audio review

I’ve been contemplating doing some audio content for a while (I feel like I need to hashtag that liberally but I honestly can’t bear it, so forgive me). The current situation in the world has given me that opportunity and so, here we are with a review of Trials For The Chalet School – aContinue reading “Trials For The Chalet School, an audio review”

Lorna at Wynyards by Elinor M. Brent-Dyer

Lorna at Wynyards by Elinor M. Brent-Dyer My rating: 4 of 5 stars Lorna at Wynyards by Elinor M. Brent-Dyer is a lot of fun and, I suspect, worth five stars for the fabulously awful “JO BETTANY IS MY FAVOURITE AUTHOR I HAVE ALL HER TITLES AND OH YES SHE IS ALSO A FAMILY FRIENDContinue reading “Lorna at Wynyards by Elinor M. Brent-Dyer”

Monica Turns up Trumps by Elinor M. Brent-Dyer

Monica Turns Up Trumps by Elinor M. Brent-Dyer My rating: 4 of 5 stars The more I read of Elinor M. Brent-Dyer‘s connectors, the more I’ve come to realise that she is an author of extremes. She is either very good or very bad, and only sometimes does she land in the middle. Were IContinue reading “Monica Turns up Trumps by Elinor M. Brent-Dyer”

The Oberammagau Passion Play and the Chalet School

It’s no secret that we support the works of Elinor M. Brent-Dyer on this blog (and if it is, then welcome! stay! let us talk about romantic omelettes and improbable speedboat shenanigans!), and the Chalet School books in particular. One of the earlier titles in this sprawling series, The Chalet School And Jo, is ofContinue reading “The Oberammagau Passion Play and the Chalet School”

Janie Steps In : Elinor M. Brent-Dyer

Janie Steps In by Elinor M. Brent-Dyer My rating: 5 of 5 stars It’s hard to know where to begin with this delightful little box of tricks, so perhaps we shall be like Fraulein Maria and start at the beginning for that is a very good place to start. And beginnings, really, are a strangeContinue reading “Janie Steps In : Elinor M. Brent-Dyer”

Seven Scamps : Elinor M. Brent-Dyer

This is my last read of 2017! I wish you a lovely new year, and if festivities aren’t your thing, I also wish you the chance to spend the evening with a Very Good Book…. Seven Scamps by Elinor M. Brent-Dyer My rating: 4 of 5 stars This is such a delightfully weird book. I’mContinue reading “Seven Scamps : Elinor M. Brent-Dyer”

The Wrong Chalet School : Elinor M. Brent-Dyer

The Wrong Chalet School by Elinor M. Brent-Dyer My rating: 5 of 5 stars This is so wholeheartedly a good book. In a way, it’s a prototype for the ideal school story. The new girl arrives; highjinks jink, a Talent Is Discovered, and another girl gets her comeuppance. The difference with The Wrong Chalet SchoolContinue reading “The Wrong Chalet School : Elinor M. Brent-Dyer”

The Chalet School and Barbara : Elinor M. Brent-Dyer

The Chalet School and Barbara by Elinor M. Brent-Dyer My rating: 4 of 5 stars This is the point in the series where we have what we’d now refer to as a reboot. There are now two branches of the Chalet School, plus St Mildred’s, plus the girls who act as companions to sick relativesContinue reading “The Chalet School and Barbara : Elinor M. Brent-Dyer”

Shocks for the Chalet School : Elinor M. Brent-Dyer

Shocks for the Chalet School by Elinor M. Brent-Dyer My rating: 4 of 5 stars There’s a point somewhere around Peggy that the Chalet School series seems to start to mark time a little. The novelty of the Island setting has worn off, a batch of eminent faces have been shipped off to the OberlandContinue reading “Shocks for the Chalet School : Elinor M. Brent-Dyer”

The Lost Staircase : Elinor M. Brent-Dyer

The Lost Staircase by Elinor M. Brent-Dyer My rating: 4 of 5 stars I rather love this slim, eccentric story that doesn’t quite know what it’s meant to be. I came to it from the Chalet School series which sees two of the characters from The Lost Staircase attend the school. It’s a bravura stepContinue reading “The Lost Staircase : Elinor M. Brent-Dyer”

The Chalet School and the Island : Elinor M. Brent-Dyer

The Chalet School and the Island by Elinor M. Brent-Dyer My rating: 4 of 5 stars It’s perhaps the context that I’m in right now, swithering from thesis research to thesis research, that when I reread The Chalet School and the Island, I was deeply amazed to find a book that I’d never read before.Continue reading “The Chalet School and the Island : Elinor M. Brent-Dyer”

Three go to the Chalet School : Elinor M. Brent-Dyer

Three Go to the Chalet School by Elinor M. Brent-Dyer My rating: 5 of 5 stars One of my favourite films is Stagecoach, which stars John Wayne. There’s a shot in this film (which you can see here) that makes John Wayne a star. The camera swings into him with such exuberance, and then whenContinue reading “Three go to the Chalet School : Elinor M. Brent-Dyer”

A Leader in the Chalet School : Elinor M. Brent-Dyer

A Leader in the Chalet School by Elinor M. Brent-Dyer My rating: 4 of 5 stars Two Chalet School reviews in a row! I imagine you can guess that I am in a mood for comfort reads at the moment; I want fat, luscious, clean reads that I can just sink into and enjoy. PerhapsContinue reading “A Leader in the Chalet School : Elinor M. Brent-Dyer”

The Feud In The Chalet School : Elinor M. Brent-Dyer

The Feud in the Chalet School by Elinor M. Brent-Dyer My rating: 4 of 5 stars The Feud In the Chalet School bears some deep similarities to Rivals of the Chalet School. Following the slightly dramatic incident of ‘their new school having burnt down to the ground overnight’, the new school St Hilda’s is forcedContinue reading “The Feud In The Chalet School : Elinor M. Brent-Dyer”

The New House Mistress : Elinor M. Brent-Dyer

The New House Mistress by Elinor M. Brent-Dyer My rating: 3 of 5 stars I almost missed this book. I was settling into my traditional ‘let’s check the B section in the bookshop just in case but there won’t be anything there’ frame of mind, and when I saw The New House Mistress tucked behindContinue reading “The New House Mistress : Elinor M. Brent-Dyer”

The New Chalet School : Elinor M. Brent-Dyer

The New Chalet School by Elinor M. Brent-Dyer My rating: 5 of 5 stars There’s a moment in this book, relatively early on, where Joey is advised to rub butter on a bruise and it is a moment which fascinates me to this day. Would the butter have to be salted or unsalted? How muchContinue reading “The New Chalet School : Elinor M. Brent-Dyer”

A United Chalet School : Elinor M. Brent-Dyer

A United Chalet School by Elinor M. Brent-Dyer My rating: 4 of 5 stars Full of the vibrant light and deft skill that characterises her early Tyrolean work, A United Chalet School sees Brent-Dyer working at the top of her powers. She’s on her way here to the great heights and nuances of The ChaletContinue reading “A United Chalet School : Elinor M. Brent-Dyer”

First Pages : Eustacia goes to the Chalet School by Elinor M. Brent-Dyer

Welcome back to another one of my intermittent looking at the first pages of books series. I’ve chosen the great Eustacia Goes To The Chalet School for today’s post, and a lot of it hinges on that near legendary first sentence: “There is no disguising the fact that Eustacia Benson was the most arrant little prigContinue reading “First Pages : Eustacia goes to the Chalet School by Elinor M. Brent-Dyer”

The Chalet School at War : Elinor M. Brent-Dyer

The Chalet School at War by Elinor M. Brent-Dyer My rating: 5 of 5 stars It’s easy for me to be flippant about the Chalet School and, to be frank, it is a mode I adopt quite often when discussing this bizarre, brilliant and all too frustrating series. But it is not easy for meContinue reading “The Chalet School at War : Elinor M. Brent-Dyer”

First Pages : ‘The School at the Chalet’ by Elinor M. Brent-Dyer

Welcome to a new feature here on DYESTAFTSA, and what better book to debut it with than one of my beloved Chalet School books? ‘First Pages’ is precisely that. I plan to have a look at some of the first pages of some of the best books in the world, she says nonchalantly, and tryContinue reading “First Pages : ‘The School at the Chalet’ by Elinor M. Brent-Dyer”

The Head Girl of the Chalet School : Elinor M. Brent-Dyer

The Head Girl of the Chalet School by Elinor M. Brent-Dyer My rating: 4 of 5 stars It always fascinates me how early this series shifts things; how early things change. The status quo of the first few books is already being changed at this point. Head girls have been and gone (my beloved BetteContinue reading “The Head Girl of the Chalet School : Elinor M. Brent-Dyer”

The Susannah Adventure : Elinor M. Brent-Dyer

I’d never heard of this book. Isn’t that awful? I’d never heard of it. And so, when I came across it at a book fair, I bought it and reader, I read it. It’s not the best of Brent-Dyer’s efforts. I feel that’s something we need to make clear almost immediately. It’s part of theContinue reading “The Susannah Adventure : Elinor M. Brent-Dyer”

Jo of the Chalet School : Elinor M. Brent-Dyer

Jo of the Chalet School by Elinor M. Brent-Dyer My rating: 5 of 5 stars There’s very little to say about the early Chalet School books other than to rhapsodise over how awfully lovely they are. And they are. They are like snow on the day when you don’t have to go to school. There’sContinue reading “Jo of the Chalet School : Elinor M. Brent-Dyer”

The Chalet School In The Oberland : Elinor M. Brent-Dyer

The Chalet School in the Oberland by Elinor M. Brent-Dyer My rating: 4 of 5 stars Coming back to the Chalet School after some time away is the most comforting of things. Whilst my books have been in storage, I’ve been relying on public libraries and second hand bookshops and the odd, hysteria-inducing car bootContinue reading “The Chalet School In The Oberland : Elinor M. Brent-Dyer”

Happy Birthday Elinor M. Brent-Dyer

It’s hard sometimes to quantify the influence that Brent-Dyer has had on my life. Clearly there are the obvious factors, such as my longing for every doctor to be both good in a crisis and rather dashing (and also a solid lump of comfort), and the fact that I now know enough German to order coffee andContinue reading “Happy Birthday Elinor M. Brent-Dyer”

Summer Term at the Chalet School : Elinor M. Brent-Dyer

Summer Term at the Chalet School by Elinor M. Brent-Dyer My rating: 4 of 5 stars So, I need to tell you about somebody I met twenty years ago. I was eleven, but that’s not a problem. I think she’d be the perfect guardian for my child-that-I-have-for-the-purposes-of-making-this-point and so I think I’m going to putContinue reading “Summer Term at the Chalet School : Elinor M. Brent-Dyer”

Carola Storms the Chalet School : Elinor M. Brent-Dyer

Carola Storms the Chalet School by Elinor M. Brent-Dyer My rating: 4 of 5 stars It’s interesting to look back at the phases of Chalet School life. We have the glorious idealism of the early Tyrol phase; epitomised in moments such as Madge going, “Well, I thought I’d start a school.” Later in the series,Continue reading “Carola Storms the Chalet School : Elinor M. Brent-Dyer”

Mary-Lou of the Chalet School : Elinor M. Brent-Dyer

Mary Lou at the Chalet School by Elinor M. Brent-Dyer My rating: 3 of 5 stars Dearest Mama, I lifted up mine eyes to the hills, from whence cometh my wealth, and I thought lo, it is Alpengluckwhateveritis tonight. The pink and dusky sky made me think of you and your habit of bringing GodContinue reading “Mary-Lou of the Chalet School : Elinor M. Brent-Dyer”

Joey and Co. In Tirol : Elinor M. Brent-Dyer

Joey and Co. in Tirol by Elinor M. Brent-Dyer My rating: 4 of 5 stars Ladies, control yourselves, but this is the book in which Hot Roger makes his debut. Oh, we all know Reg is the official hottie in the Chalet School series (Joey’s first born does, after all, memorably swoon into his arms)Continue reading “Joey and Co. In Tirol : Elinor M. Brent-Dyer”

A Problem for the Chalet School : Elinor M. Brent-Dyer

A Problem for the Chalet School by Elinor M. Brent-Dyer My rating: 4 of 5 stars I rather love A Problem for the Chalet School though I have the suspicion that I’m not meant to. I suspect I’m meant to be Team Chalet and Team Good Egg throughout but I can’t help sort of lovingContinue reading “A Problem for the Chalet School : Elinor M. Brent-Dyer”

The Coming of Age of the Chalet School : Elinor M. Brent-Dyer

The Coming of Age of the Chalet School by Elinor M. Brent-Dyer My rating: 3 of 5 stars “Hey, so you know that Jane? Well, we ran into her Sister’s Aunt’s Uncle who taught us music that one time back in Tyrol and he’s agreed to sign over his firstborn to the School! Isn’t thatContinue reading “The Coming of Age of the Chalet School : Elinor M. Brent-Dyer”

A 21st Century Chalet School Girl

I’ve mentioned this previously on Twitter but I thought I’d share it with you. This, the below, is part of my Great Project . I am writing a book about the Chalet School series. (I know, right? Joyous nerdery abounds) And these are the two introductory chapters. They’re subject to change, naturally, but I thoughtContinue reading “A 21st Century Chalet School Girl”

The Chalet School Triplets

Chalet School Triplets by Elinor M. Brent-Dyer My rating: 2 of 5 stars It’s the one where, well, things happen? You know, that thing? And the other one? And that other onezzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz sorry where was I? Ah yes, I was recounting the tales of the Chalet School Triplets, immortalised forever in their distinctly sack-like blueContinue reading “The Chalet School Triplets”

Jane of the Chalet School : Elinor M. Brent-Dyer

Jane and the Chalet School by Elinor M. Brent-Dyer My rating: 4 of 5 stars The later Chalet School books are, to be fair, somewhat poor. That is to say, they lack the vibrant quality and resolute ‘otherness’ that made the early ones so spectacularly unique and glorious in their genre. But every now andContinue reading “Jane of the Chalet School : Elinor M. Brent-Dyer”

Fat, the Chalet School, and a bit of a rant

The other night, I had a dream. I woke up and I had a book idea, formed, whole in my hands. This book was to tell the story of girls in a genre that I love, that of the Girls’ Own Novel. The turn of the century boarding school story. The jolly japes and theContinue reading “Fat, the Chalet School, and a bit of a rant”

Bride leads the Chalet School : Elinor M. Brent-Dyer

Bride Leads the Chalet School by Elinor M. Brent-Dyer My rating: 4 of 5 stars I have a soft spot for Bride Leads the Chalet School because it’s one of those books where Important Things Happen. This is one of the ways that the Chalet School is almost impenetrable should you enter it at theContinue reading “Bride leads the Chalet School : Elinor M. Brent-Dyer”

A Genius At The Chalet School : Elinor M. Brent-Dyer

A Genius at the Chalet School by Elinor M. Brent-Dyer My rating: 3 of 5 stars It strikes me as curious that I’ve never actually reviewed this until now. Nina Rutherford is very much a fascination of mine and so this is a book that is very much overdue a review. Brent-Dyer once wrote aContinue reading “A Genius At The Chalet School : Elinor M. Brent-Dyer”

Two Sams at the Chalet School

Two Sams at the Chalet School by Elinor M. Brent-Dyer My rating: 2 of 5 stars Two Sams at the Chalet School is a book of peaks and troughs and near-unbearable coincidence. So the same old thing really. Samantha Van Der Byl and Samaris Davies are two new girls at the Chalet School. Although they’reContinue reading “Two Sams at the Chalet School”

The Chalet Girls in Camp : Elinor M. Brent-Dyer

The Chalet Girls in Camp by Elinor M. Brent-Dyer My rating: 5 of 5 stars If there was anything that Brent-Dyer was particularly good at, it was shifting tone. She had a skill whereby the farcical could be transferred to the heartbreaking, often within moments on the same page. Whether it was from the RobinContinue reading “The Chalet Girls in Camp : Elinor M. Brent-Dyer”

Jo to the Rescue : Elinor M. Brent-Dyer

Jo to the Rescue by Elinor M. Brent-Dyer My rating: 3 of 5 stars An odd one this, one of only a couple in the series set wholly outside of the school context and as such reading as a sort of curious hybrid of impenetrable relationships stuck in a picture postcard setting somewhere totally alien.Continue reading “Jo to the Rescue : Elinor M. Brent-Dyer”

Lavender Leigh at the Chalet School

Lavender Leigh at the Chalet School by Elinor M. Brent-Dyer My rating: 4 of 5 stars I have a soft spot for Lavender Leigh at the Chalet School for some very particular reasons. Published in 1943, during both the real Second World War and the Chalet School wartime books, it’s a tightly domestic book thatContinue reading “Lavender Leigh at the Chalet School”

The New Mistress at the Chalet School : Elinor M. Brent-Dyer

The New Mistress at the Chalet School by Elinor M. Brent-Dyer My rating: 5 of 5 stars It’s rare in the later books for a character to so firmly bounce from the page as Kathy Ferrars does. Jack does, almost, and I think Flavia does, sort of, but in the rapid character turn and turnContinue reading “The New Mistress at the Chalet School : Elinor M. Brent-Dyer”

The Chalet School in Exile : Elinor M. Brent-Dyer

The Chalet School in Exile by Elinor M. Brent-Dyer My rating: 5 of 5 stars I’m surprised to realise that I’ve not formally reviewed The Chalet School in Exile. I’ve mentioned it repeatedly across my blog, and made no bones of my admiration for it. So now, it’s time to redress the balance and letContinue reading “The Chalet School in Exile : Elinor M. Brent-Dyer”

Prefects of the Chalet School : Elinor M. Brent-Dyer

Prefects of the Chalet School by Elinor M. Brent-Dyer My rating: 1 of 5 stars There’s a sort of addictive quality to the Chalet School series when you reach this point; an awareness that the best books are many moons behind us and somehow all that’s left is melodrama and farce, but it’s a melodramaContinue reading “Prefects of the Chalet School : Elinor M. Brent-Dyer”

The Chalet School and Richenda : Elinor M. Brent-Dyer

The Chalet School and Richenda by Elinor M. Brent-Dyer My rating: 3 of 5 stars I have a lot of love for this one, even though it’s left me with the following ailment. Whenever I’m introduced to somebody with the surname of “Fry”, I automatically think “Fry. Are you related to Elizabeth Fry, the greatContinue reading “The Chalet School and Richenda : Elinor M. Brent-Dyer”

The Chalet School Reunion : Elinor M. Brent-Dyer

The Chalet School Reunion by Elinor M. Brent-Dyer My rating: 4 of 5 stars This one cracks me up, primarily because it’s such a sort of underwhelming exercise. If you’ve got this far in the series, you’re fairly committed to the Chalet School. You get it. You get the whole ‘mountains shifting position’ and theContinue reading “The Chalet School Reunion : Elinor M. Brent-Dyer”

Peggy of the Chalet School : Elinor M Brent Dyer

Peggy of the Chalet School by Elinor M. Brent-Dyer My rating: 3 of 5 stars If there’s ever a point in the Chalet School series, where it could be described as to having jumped the shark, that point comes for me in this book. It comes for me in several ways; the chicken scene, theContinue reading “Peggy of the Chalet School : Elinor M Brent Dyer”

The nature of inspiration

I recently went to see the Jersey Boys in London and was struck in particular by the story of Bob Gaudio. Gaudio was the songwriter behind some of the greatest and most enduring songs in 20th century music – ‘Big Girls Don’t Cry’, ‘Walk Like a Man’, ‘Rag Doll’, ‘Beggin”, and so many more. There’sContinue reading “The nature of inspiration”

Theodora and the Chalet School

Theodora and the Chalet School by Elinor M. Brent-Dyer My rating: 4 of 5 stars Theodora is one of the titles I have many many copies with. There’s something amusing to me about how it pushes its way into my collection, either bundled up as part of a double with Trials or as a fallingContinue reading “Theodora and the Chalet School”

A Rebel at the Chalet School

A Rebel at the Chalet School by Elinor M. Brent-Dyer My rating: 5 of 5 stars This book explains everything. It took a long time for me to find a copy of it, and when I finally did get a copy, it explained everything. Want to find out what happened to X ? Want toContinue reading “A Rebel at the Chalet School”

Elinor M. Brent-Dyer’s Short Stories

Elinor M. Brent-Dyer’s Short Stories by Elinor M. Brent-Dyer My rating: 4 of 5 stars A collection of Elinor M.Brent-Dyer’s other work brought under one title is a great and glorious thing and it’s one that produces several very lovely treasures. At one level it’s naturally appealing to the academic, revealing themes and nuances lostContinue reading “Elinor M. Brent-Dyer’s Short Stories”

The Chalet School and Jo : Elinor M. Brent-Dyer

The Chalet School and Jo by Elinor M. Brent-Dyer My rating: 5 of 5 stars Destined for head-girl ever since day one, she’s finally done it. The Chalet School and Jo sees Joey assume the mantle of head girl. She’s not happy at the prospect and goes off grumbling to the intensely serene now-married-and-making-of-the-babies formerContinue reading “The Chalet School and Jo : Elinor M. Brent-Dyer”

Jo Returns to the Chalet School : Elinor M. Brent-Dyer

Jo Returns to the Chalet School by Elinor M. Brent-Dyer My rating: 5 of 5 stars Jo Returns To The Chalet School, or ‘the one where EBD couldn’t let go’, is, as nearly all of the Tyrolean books are, of a distinctly high standard. This book sees Joey, our darling, return to the school inContinue reading “Jo Returns to the Chalet School : Elinor M. Brent-Dyer”

Adrienne and the Chalet School : Elinor M. Brent-Dyer

Adrienne and the Chalet School by Elinor M. Brent-Dyer My rating: 2 of 5 stars There’s no escaping that Adrienne is, as a whole, a relatively poor book. It’s written with the tiredness that affects the end of the series, a sort of written by rote and necessity attitude that pervades the entire book. So,Continue reading “Adrienne and the Chalet School : Elinor M. Brent-Dyer”

Althea Joins the Chalet School : Elinor M. Brent-Dyer

Althea Joins the Chalet School by Elinor M. Brent-Dyer My rating: 2 of 5 stars It’s no secret that quality dips substantially towards the end of the Chalet School series, and Althea is emblematic of that shift. Following the now traditional format of ‘new girl attending the school’, we witness Althea’s eventual and inevitable integrationContinue reading “Althea Joins the Chalet School : Elinor M. Brent-Dyer”

The Princess of The Chalet School : Elinor M. Brent Dyer

The Princess of the Chalet School by Elinor M. Brent-Dyer My rating: 5 of 5 stars The Tyrolean part of the Chalet School series remains a constant and beguiling delight to me. There’s something so obvious about Brent-Dyer’s love for the surroundings and her brand new school that I can’t help but adore these earlyContinue reading “The Princess of The Chalet School : Elinor M. Brent Dyer”

When you read one book, but can’t stop thinking of another

It’s an act of literary bigamy. That moment when you pick up your new read but can’t help but contrast it against that other book you read. And it happened to me this week. I’m not going to review the new read because I don’t think I can do it objectively. I’ve got no bonesContinue reading “When you read one book, but can’t stop thinking of another”

Identifying geniuses in children’s literature

Genius is one of those almost unidentifiable things. You either have it, or you don’t, and until you become able to manifest it in ways we understand and can legitimise (ie: through a Mensa Test) , it may remain a relatively hidden talent. It’s a difficulty faced by geniuses in children’s literature and one that I’m goingContinue reading “Identifying geniuses in children’s literature”

Redheads at the Chalet School : Elinor M. Brent-Dyer

Redheads at the Chalet School by Elinor M. Brent-Dyer My rating: 5 of 5 stars Firstly, I think, I have to clarify the five star rating of this book. When it comes to Redheads, it is necessary to rate it on a wholly different level to the rest of the series. Whilst it’s nowhere nearContinue reading “Redheads at the Chalet School : Elinor M. Brent-Dyer”

Gay Lambert at the Chalet School : Elinor M. Brent-Dyer

Gay Lambert at the Chalet School by Elinor M. Brent-Dyer My rating: 4 of 5 stars It’s interesting to compare and contrast parts of this book with the much later A Genius at the Chalet School. Both books feature a genius, or highly talented individual, and yet both books treat their characters distinctly differently. It’sContinue reading “Gay Lambert at the Chalet School : Elinor M. Brent-Dyer”

The Chalet School and Sickness

Once upon a time there was a fictional school with a predilection for near-death incidents. These ranged from the understandable (clinging onto a precipice in the middle of raging floods, climbing a mountain and er hanging off a precipice, or falling into a frozen lake – no precipices involved in that one) through to theContinue reading “The Chalet School and Sickness”

Eustacia Goes to the Chalet School : Elinor M. Brent-Dyer

Eustacia Goes to the Chalet School by Elinor M. Brent-Dyer My rating: 5 of 5 stars The sixth in the series, rich with the gorgeous detail of the Tyrol and the sheer thrill of the early titles, Eustacia Goes To The Chalet School is spectacular. It’s sort of a blueprint of everything the Chalet SchoolContinue reading “Eustacia Goes to the Chalet School : Elinor M. Brent-Dyer”

An esoteric and distinctly biased list of 50 children’s books you probably really should read (part three)

The Last Unicorn – Peter S. Beagle I came to this after watching the amazing animated film (I’m ALIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIVE) and fell in love. It’s a fantasy classic that tells the story of the last unicorn and her journey to find all the others of her kind. It shifts from pantomine, to pathos, to heart-breaking. Beautiful.Continue reading “An esoteric and distinctly biased list of 50 children’s books you probably really should read (part three)”

The nature of genius in GirlsOwn Literature

Margia Bettany. Maidlin di Ravarati.Mildred Lancaster. Three characters, from three distinctly different authors. The one thing they have in common (apart from starting with the letter M..)? They’re all gifted and talented characters in their respective books. Genius in GirlsOwn Literature is a curious thing. It’s almost precluded to be gender specific due to the dominanceContinue reading “The nature of genius in GirlsOwn Literature”

New Beginnings at the *insert name here* School

This post is part of Playing By The Book’s blog carnival: “I’m looking for a book about…”. Every month bloggers convene on a given topic and this months is: (Starting) School. The concept of the new pupil arriving at school is a common conceit amongst school-stories. Whether ranging from gym-slip time-slip classics such as CharlotteContinue reading “New Beginnings at the *insert name here* School”

Baby, it’s cold outside

Well. Er. I wish. But doesn’t that single line conjure an amazing image? Did it make you think of Kurt and Blaine, Cerys and Tom, Ella and Louis or Ricardo and Esther? Did it make you think of Christmas and burning log fires and snow piling down outside? Weather (typo *most* intentional) it did orContinue reading “Baby, it’s cold outside”

The Chalet School : If There’s A Mountain, We’ll Try To Jump Off It

I wondered once,  somewhat facetiously, how much the insurance premiums would be for the Chalet School. There are very few titles in the series that don’t have some sort of life-threatening incident. It’s one of the hallmarks of the Chalet School for me, that sort of insouciant disregard for Common Sense and staff members withContinue reading “The Chalet School : If There’s A Mountain, We’ll Try To Jump Off It”

On Elinor M. Brent-Dyer

“The world of juvenile literature is made the poorer by the death on Saturday of Miss Elinor Brent-Dyer, whose 56 “Chalet School” stories, set in the Austrian Tyrol, attracted a huge readership from all over the world – not only of children but adults also.”  (The Times : 1969) Poorer. I like that. It speaksContinue reading “On Elinor M. Brent-Dyer”

The Girls’ Own Blog Carnival: First round up

I am so pleased to be able to share with you two early submissions for the Girls’ Own Blog Carnival on Elinor M. Brent-Dyer.  I will do another sweep of posts tomorrow (1st April) and post an update then. For now, please enjoy these amazing posts on Brent-Dyer and do leave a comment! Bert ofContinue reading “The Girls’ Own Blog Carnival: First round up”

It is a truth universally acknowledged…

… that Summer Term at the Chalet School is a little bit pants. Train crashes! Swarming wasps! Impoverished orphans! Craters! But oh, this illustration is superb. The edition I’m reading is a very tattered old hb (on loan from library) and so I’ll apologise for the picture quality. If I had a scanner, I’d haveContinue reading “It is a truth universally acknowledged…”

The Highland Twins at the Chalet School : Elinor M Brent-Dyer

The Highland Twins at the Chalet School by Elinor M. Brent-Dyer My rating: 5 of 5 stars I used to always think that The Highland Twins at the Chalet School was one of the poorer books. Coming so soon after the dizzy heights of the Chalet School In Exile, I always found Highland Twins atContinue reading “The Highland Twins at the Chalet School : Elinor M Brent-Dyer”

Eustacia and Eustace

The lovely Ali from Fantastic Reads has done a post which I am ridiculously pleased to be able to share with you today.  If you’ve not checked out Fantastic Reads, may I heartily reccommend it? Ali knows her children’s literature and her reviews and posts are always an utmost delight to read.  Now – to backContinue reading “Eustacia and Eustace”

The Chalet School and Genius

“That’s what comes of being a genius, my dear. You be thankful you aren’t one. It makes you a sickening nuisance to your friends and relatives at times!” Excitements at the Chalet School  Nina is unlike any other girl to join the Chalet School community. She’s really got no choice in being so unique. HerContinue reading “The Chalet School and Genius”

Meet the family (confessions of a book collector)

My books! My lovely lovely books! Behold the heart of my Temple of Solitude! The left hand side is all Brent-Dyer, and a few Lorna Hills on the bottom. When you’re a book collector, you remember where so many of them came from. It’s almost as important as the book itself. My Chalet School collectionContinue reading “Meet the family (confessions of a book collector)”

The School at the Chalet

The School at the Chalet by Elinor M. Brent-Dyer My rating: 5 of 5 stars I love the Chalet School. It’s my big book crush of my life. Something about it is just so perfect and undying to me. This is one of the best books – and it’s worth trying to hunt out anContinue reading “The School at the Chalet”

“We want to make strong, helpful women of them – not spineless jellyfish!”

Jo returns to the Chalet School sees the beloved headmistress, Mademoiselle Leppâtre, discovered unconscious in her room and rushed to the Sonnalpe for an emergency operation. If it fails she’ll die. It’s not the first time that the reader of the Chalet School series has been presented with illness. In fact there are times when the early TyroleanContinue reading ““We want to make strong, helpful women of them – not spineless jellyfish!””

“Gosh, odds bodkins!” expostulated Jemima : The very curious tale of the British Boarding School story

There’s something distinctly British about the boarding school story. It struck me the other day on my commute home. For some reason I had Sally from Malory Towers stuck in my head. Good old solid loyal steadfast Sally (poor sod!) was always doomed to be second fiddle to Darrell’s central role. And then I gotContinue reading ““Gosh, odds bodkins!” expostulated Jemima : The very curious tale of the British Boarding School story”