The 1933 Girl’s Own Annual

(What are heatwaves made for if not to enjoy books that are eighty-eight years old?) If you’ve never come across a Girl’s Own Annual, you’re missing out. They were yearly bindups of the Girl’s Own paper – a publication that ran from 1880 – 1956 – and included work from authors as legendary as NoelContinue reading “The 1933 Girl’s Own Annual”

Unexpected Archive Delights : 1920s Children’s Book Adverts

I am constantly surprised by archives. I know that’s an incredibly strange thing to say and one that sounds even stranger when you are supposed to know what you are looking at, but it’s true. I am surprised by archives; the way they give me something that I request that comes with a thousand otherContinue reading “Unexpected Archive Delights : 1920s Children’s Book Adverts”

Princess Anne by Katherine L. Oldmeadow

Princess Anne by Katharine L. Oldmeadow My rating: 2 of 5 stars Princess Anne by Katharine Oldmeadow is a pleasant enough diversion from the world, but it was fairly unremarkable. It reads like a sort of Sara Crewe / Abbey Girls / Pollyanna mash-up, which is delightful but not the sort of thing I’m everContinue reading “Princess Anne by Katherine L. Oldmeadow”

The Vicarage Children In Skye by Lorna Hill

The Vicarage Children in Skye by Lorna Hill My rating: 4 of 5 stars I’d like you to imagine a very suppressed scream. That’s the noise I made when spotting this in my library’s book-sale. Now, a library must always have a book-sale because they are not ginormous buildings with elastic sides, and books mustContinue reading “The Vicarage Children In Skye by Lorna Hill”

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”

Pandora of Parrham Royal : Violet Needham

Pandora of Parrham Royal by Violet Needham My rating: 4 of 5 stars I’ve known about Violet Needham for a while but never really known about her, the specifics, at all. I had a vague idea that she was a contemporary of Elinor M. Brent-Dyer and Elsie Oxenham, but then, as I never found herContinue reading “Pandora of Parrham Royal : Violet Needham”

The New School at Scawdale : Angela Brazil

The New School at Scawdale by Angela Brazil My rating: 4 of 5 stars I have a lot of time for Angela Brazil and The New School at Scawdale is a very distinctively Brazil book. It drifts rather pleasantly from set piece to set piece but doesn’t really do much with what it has. BackContinue reading “The New School at Scawdale : Angela Brazil”

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”

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”

Peace Comes to the Chalet School : Katherine Bruce

Peace Comes to the Chalet School by Katherine Bruce My rating: 4 of 5 stars As a rule, I find the Chalet School fill in novels complex. A part of me welcomes their presence as it reflects that readerly hunger of mine for this series, and yet another part of me rampantly dislikes it andContinue reading “Peace Comes to the Chalet School : Katherine Bruce”

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 Class Murder : Robin Stevens

First Class Murder by Robin Stevens My rating: 5 of 5 stars It’s strange, sometimes, how books can make you long to read them and then freeze a little when you have them finally in your hands. And this was one: I love the work of Robin Stevens. I have adored Murder Most Unladylike andContinue reading “First Class Murder : Robin Stevens”

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”

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”

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”

The Chalet School Encyclopaedia (volume one) : Alison McCallum

ISBN: 978-1-84745-157-6 Doing pretty much what it says on the tin, in distinctly impressive style, The Chalet School Encyclopaedia is an encyclopaedia of everybody who has played a part in the Chalet School world (up to D). Interspersed between the letter sections are a few one-off entries detailing various aspects of Brent-Dyer’s work. This volumeContinue reading “The Chalet School Encyclopaedia (volume one) : Alison McCallum”

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”

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”

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”

Chalet Girls Grow Up : Merryn Williams

The Chalet Girls Grow Up by Merryn Williams My rating: 3 of 5 stars Oh. So, where to begin with this? It’s a book that has, rightly or wrongly, reached an almost mythological status. I remember when it first came out and the mailing list I lurked, somewhat awkwardly on, exploded. My memories of thatContinue reading “Chalet Girls Grow Up : Merryn Williams”

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”

“Dance like there’s nobody watching” (I love you Lorna Hill)

I’m not quite sure when I fell in love with Lorna Hill. I think it may have been the moment when she threw ponies into the mix. Ponies + dance books = holy grail for the book obsessed individual that I was (am/is). So as part of my contribution towards @playbythebook‘s monthly festival of themedContinue reading ““Dance like there’s nobody watching” (I love you Lorna Hill)”

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”

Textual transformations in children’s literature : adaptations, translations, reconsiderations – (ed) Benjamin Lefebvre

Textual Transformations in Children’s Literature: Adaptations, Translations, Reconsiderations by Benjamin Lefebvre My rating: 3 of 5 stars Textual Transformations is a collection of chapter long essays dealing with diverse aspects of ‘textual transformations’, that is to say a certain form of ‘transforming’ of an original source text to something ‘other’ be that a mashup ofContinue reading “Textual transformations in children’s literature : adaptations, translations, reconsiderations – (ed) Benjamin Lefebvre”

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 New Normal : The Normalising of Creativity

Recently I’ve been thinking about doing a PhD ( Me! A PhD! Me who didn’t even get her GCSE Maths!), and as part of this I’ve been considering what I’d do it on. There’s a part of me that yearns, genuinely, just to get buried in the books and occasionally pop up and produce aContinue reading “The New Normal : The Normalising of Creativity”

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”

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”

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”

Loyal to the School : Angela Brazil

Loyal to the School by Angela Brazil My rating: 2 of 5 stars It may be the result of me binging on a lot of Angela Brazil novels at the moment, but Loyal To The School genuinely struck me as a bit poor. Lesbia Ferrars’ guardian and his family decide to emigrate to Canada andContinue reading “Loyal to the School : Angela Brazil”

A Pair of Schoolgirls : Angela Brazil

A Pair of Schoolgirls by Angela Brazil My rating: 4 of 5 stars There’s always a difficulty in reviewing an Angela Brazil for me in that all of her books pretty much resemble another. We have the girl in transition who is caught at a key point in her life (if you ignore all theContinue reading “A Pair of Schoolgirls : Angela Brazil”

Dear Lorna Hill, this is why I love you

“Mary Martin, coming out of the class to seek a register, paused on the threshold of the practice room and held an astonishing sight. An extraordinarily beautiful and graceful little girl was dancing exquisitely all by herself in the empty room! Moreover she was dancing with all her heart and soul. Jealous filled Mary’s heart.Continue reading “Dear Lorna Hill, this is why I love you”

The curious case of Con Maynard

I’ve spoken before on how Giftedness in the Chalet School series is a strange and curious thing. But I’ve never really spoken about the curious case of Con. Consider Con. She’s a girl who is ‘dreamy’ (Daniel bit the Lions), speaks before she thinks (the whole Theodora/Ted/Margot going bonkers incident), and a girl who getsContinue reading “The curious case of Con Maynard”

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”

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”

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”

Children’s literature, food, and frenchwomen

Food is a central theme in children’s literature and school stories in particular. It’s something which has stayed eternally present from the cookery lessons of  the Chalet School, the roundness of Billy Bunter through to the chocolate frogs of Harry Potter. Food is a magical device and it’s particularly magical when used in the schoolContinue reading “Children’s literature, food, and frenchwomen”

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”

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”

Angela Brazil and the Case Of The Verb Vendetta

Angela Brazil taught me a lot of things. There’s a lot of fun to be had with a camp fire and a well meaning lady of suitable class to ‘pash’ on. Don’t go for a walk in the countryside without a handy story on the local mythology. And never ever drive a motor car whenContinue reading “Angela Brazil and the Case Of The Verb Vendetta”

The Girls’ Own Blog Carnival: Elinor M. Brent-Dyer round

  Hello! This is the final round up of posts for the Girls’ Own Blog Carnival round on Elinor M. Brent-Dyer. I will add (most welcome) latecomers to this list – so please keep an eye on it! 🙂 I’d like to thank the bloggers who took part in this round. Although it’s small, it’sContinue reading “The Girls’ Own Blog Carnival: Elinor M. Brent-Dyer round”

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”

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”

The Girls’ Own Blog Carnival – Call For Submissions

WE HAVE A TOPIC (Or, rather, due to the nature of the deadlock, we have two topics (author-specific / character-specific) of which I, in a fit of editorial authority type thing, have chosen one) So, for this round … (drum roll please) The Girls’ Own Blog Carnival first topic is Elinor M. Brent-Dyer That means,Continue reading “The Girls’ Own Blog Carnival – Call For Submissions”

Girls’ Own Blog Carnival

Hello. I would cordially like to invite you to participate in what is, I believe, the first Blog Carnival of Girls’ Own Literature. At this stage, I’m seeking topics and ideas – please feel free to chuck your thoughts in the below poll. If there’s no consensus as to specific topic, we’ll do a generalContinue reading “Girls’ Own Blog Carnival”

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”

You’re a Brick, Angela! : Cadogan and Craig

You’re a Brick, Angela!: The Girls’ Story 1839-1985 by Mary Cadogan My rating: 4 of 5 stars You’re a Brick, Angela! is an encyclopedic review of girls’ books between 1839 and 1985 and is practically essential for anybody interested in the study of children’s literature. Cadogan and Craig provide a sweepingly brisk overview of theContinue reading “You’re a Brick, Angela! : Cadogan and Craig”

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 animated Chalet School

An alternative title for this post would be “The One Where I Reached A Zenith Of Nerdiness” Behold. It’s that scene where they all bobbed off for a walk around the Tiernsee and Joey gained go-go-gadget legs and somehow managed to jump into the lake. I think it’s safe to say that this was oneContinue reading “The animated Chalet School”

On fan-fiction and fill-ins

I am a fanfiction author. I dabble in fandoms. I do fanfic.  My fanfiction is mainly Buffy the Vampire Slayer. To be more precise, I write stories about Faith and Xander. I’ve done a few Doctor Who things but nothing too exciting. My big thing is Faith and Xander. I write them because I getContinue reading “On fan-fiction and fill-ins”

Val McDermid’s doing a Chalet School documentary!

Or to be more accurate, she’s done her part now as it was yesterday, but mixing my tenses makes for a less exuberant title. Anyhoo. Here’s the info straight from the lady herself via the awesomeness that is Twitter: http://twitter.com/#!/valmcdermid/status/80526573844955137 http://twitter.com/#!/valmcdermid/status/80767151551676416 Thanks to Ali of Fantastic Reads  for the heads-up 🙂 ** UPDATED *** AndContinue reading “Val McDermid’s doing a Chalet School documentary!”

“I take it we’re engaged? Like it darling?”

So. You may have heard that a certain couple is getting married tomorrow. As I’m never going to be the one to refuse the opportunity to jump onto a bandwagon, here are four of my favourite marriages /partnerships / expressions of love from children’s literature. Love, as one great sage once said, love changes everything.Continue reading ““I take it we’re engaged? Like it darling?””

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!””

Elsie Oxenham, the Abbey Girls and talent vs marriage

Elsie Oxenham (EJO) and the Abbey books is one of those series I fell towards following my love-affair with Brent-Dyer. EJO is an odd writer; one who’s dated greatly and then, in some queer little moments, not at all. I’m reading my Abbey books at present with a view towards gaining research for my dissertationContinue reading “Elsie Oxenham, the Abbey Girls and talent vs marriage”

“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”