Chalet school Books

(61 Posts)
deaddei Thu 22-Oct-09 21:33:32

Just been browsing Amazon (like you do) and seeing these took me back 40 years. I loved the series so much - I seem to remember there were dozens of them and I owned every one. Why didn't I keep them? I must get some for dd (and me!)

cleanandclothed Thu 22-Oct-09 21:39:27

There is a JoeyBettany on here I noticed the other day - perhaps she will come over for a chat! I love them too - were you looking at the reissued GGBP books or do HarperCollins still do a few?

I loved these books too, tho can't remember very much about them at the moment.

I loved books about boarding schools and would read any I could get my hands on.

DD is only 4, but I do wonder if she will like these when she is older.

differentWitch Thu 22-Oct-09 21:40:00

<sneaks in>

I have quiet a lot of them in a cupboard- my friends don'tunderstand why I like them and kept hold of them.

CMOTdibbler Thu 22-Oct-09 21:41:16

You'd really wish you had held onto them if you look at how much the books sell for now. My mum collects them, and some of the rarer ones go for amazing prices

deaddei Thu 22-Oct-09 21:41:36

differentwitch- can I come over? smile

snickersnack Thu 22-Oct-09 21:41:46

I have all my old Chalet School books in a box at my parents. Am slowly repatriating them and re-reading them.

The stories and characters are great - I can see why I loved them so much. But they are written in quite an irritating style, when I read them now...

deaddei Thu 22-Oct-09 21:42:09

How many were there?

seeker Thu 22-Oct-09 21:42:29

I tried them on my dd and she disn't get them at all - to my eternal chagrin! She loves Antonia Forest though, so I decided not to disown her.

differentWitch Thu 22-Oct-09 21:42:56

I have a few Angela Brazil and I have 3 Josephine ELder books as well.

I'm gonna check the boxes in the loft at my mum's house. I hope they are still there [whistful]

I also loved sue barton books
Sue Barton - District Nurse

deaddei Thu 22-Oct-09 21:44:47

Well what a nostalgic thread! Angela Brazil and Sue Barton- I loved Sue Barton.

cleanandclothed Thu 22-Oct-09 21:45:29

Things that make you realise EBD knew nothing about small children.....

No. 1 - in Chalet School goes to it/at War, when after crossing the channel and getting really sick Joey is forced to 'stop feeding the triplets herself - besides they look so sweet with cups and spoons'. Breastfeeding triplets? She wouldn't have been swanning all over the place like she has been doing for the past few months then!!

Anyone else?

snickersnack Thu 22-Oct-09 21:47:06

No 2. The way all the children have been trained to "instant obedience". Or maybe that's me failing as a parent...

fishie Thu 22-Oct-09 21:47:07

it is a dread fascination. the chalet school is horrible and all the characters are hateful. but ebd is a very compelling writer.

deaddei - Lovely to hear of another Sue Barton fan

I'm gonna look for those in the loft too, bet they are desperately old fashioned

Some of them cost a fortune now - I have 38 at last count, but most of the rest are completely out of my price range. Even the GGBP titles go out of print really fast, as they do quite limited print runs. On the other hand, you can pick up job lots of the more common titles very cheaply on Ebay.

Elk Thu 22-Oct-09 22:00:24

If you like the chalet school books then you should have a look at for lots of discussions of the books and lots of fanfic. It is probably best not to look if you are a Joey or Mary-Lou fan.

Seeker, my DD is exactly the same. Loves Antonia Forest (and Angela Brazil and Malory Towers) won't touch the Chalet School,

deaddei Thu 22-Oct-09 22:04:53

Ooh Antonia Forest- doesn't ring a bell?

Autumn Term - best school story ever written according to my DD and me. Also End of Term.

RatherBeOnThePiste Thu 22-Oct-09 22:09:25

I loved Antonia Forest - her stories were about the Marlow sisters, hawking as well I seem to think.

deaddei Thu 22-Oct-09 22:10:49

Well I can feel an Amazon order coming on tomorrow. What a nice way to start halfterm!!!

piscesmoon Thu 22-Oct-09 22:11:09

I haven't even seen one since I was a DC. I loved them and even belonged to the club-I can't remember what it was called, but you got a news letter. It would be interesting to see what I think of them as an adult.

RatherBeOnThePiste Thu 22-Oct-09 22:13:23

Lady GP - Cricket Term too!!!

Also had Peter's Room plus some others - still got them somewhere. DD 12 read Malory Towers obsessively for a while but not nearly as good as Antonia Forest methinks.

CMOTdibbler Thu 22-Oct-09 22:21:46

If you are thinking about buying some, could I recommend buying direct from GGB ? The ladies who run it are lovely, and their reprints are unabridged

dearprudence Thu 22-Oct-09 22:30:44

I just read Last Term at Malory Towers (picked up on a charity stall this summer). After 30 odd years, I was amazed how incredibly familiar it was!

thedollyridesout Thu 22-Oct-09 22:42:00

DD 8 has read and reread Malory Towers. Is Antonia Forest just as tame then?

cleanandclothed Fri 23-Oct-09 09:03:22

No Antonia Forest is much 'richer'. The 'good' characters are flawed, the 'bad' characters have redeeming features and don't always get their come uppance, and there is quite a bit of cross referencing other books because the main characters are wide readers, but it is subtle so if you don't pick up on it it doesn't matter. 8 is maybe slightly young for them - 10 or 11 would be perfect.

ADifferentMe Fri 23-Oct-09 09:12:37

My ungrateful DDs refused point blank to read the ones I've bought in charity shops having given away my huge collection once I thought I was too old.

My happiest memories are of being left alone when my parents were working in the school holidays with just a biscuit tin and a new Chalet School book.

hackneybird Fri 23-Oct-09 18:07:14

I loved The Chalet School too - I was inspired to buy some older titles from ebay after a trip to Innsbruck but I never got round to reading them.

I might go and fish them out now.

PrincessFiorimonde Fri 23-Oct-09 21:05:03

Yes, loved the Chalet School books too. Don't think I read them all - weren't there a lot of them?

I seem to remember thinking it was a bit unrealistic when Joe(?) had dozens of children, including twins and triplets - or have I misremembered? (Apart from the triplets, mentioned earlier.)

What was her sister called, and didn't she have lots of kids too?

Wasn't there one when they all escaped from the Nazis through a tunnel, and by the time they reached the end of the tunnel the headmistress's hair had turned completely white from the trauma of it all?

lankyalto Fri 23-Oct-09 21:14:22

Ratherbeonthepiste if you are ever thinking of getting rid of your Antonia Forest books, I would love to take them off your hands (for spondoolicks, of course smile) as I am currently ADDICTED.

Am going to have to re-read Chalet School and Malory Towers too soon.

Yorky Fri 23-Oct-09 21:23:37

Think there were over 50 chalet school books, my mum has them all, and lots of EJ Oxenham/Abbey girl books. I enjoyed Malory towers - what is it about girls school books?
All the nice/main chalet characters had swarms of kids IIRC

seeker Fri 23-Oct-09 22:14:32


mrsmike Fri 23-Oct-09 22:23:32

oh and they always had coffee and cakes in the afternoon, how civilised that seemed, how envious I was, remeber that?!

dwardle Sat 24-Oct-09 08:06:58

Can anyone remember who wrote the Sue Barton series? I loved them and had forgotten about them until I saw this thread. My school library had all the chalet school books - I loved them. I also remember a series by someone called mazo della roche??? But cannot remember what they were about! I think they had red and white covers!

Pogleswood Sat 24-Oct-09 12:17:18

Helen Dore Boylston wrote Sue Barton,dwardle.Loved those - and the Chalet School,but Antonia Forest the most! I think Eleanor M Brent Dyer got a little carried away when it came to Old Girls having families though,a little "two or three children are lovely, so how much better if they have 10 or 12".

LauraIngallsWilder Sat 24-Oct-09 12:19:46

This thread is fab!

Sue Barton district nurse - I had forgotton all about those
I loved the malory towers series
and the Naughty Elizabeth series

Purchases may be required

Idontknowhowtohelpher Sat 24-Oct-09 12:29:36

dwardle - I remember Mazo de la Roche! I just looked on Amazon here and found Jalna - I haven't thought of that for years! All the unusual names etc.

neversaydie Sat 24-Oct-09 13:09:45

Did you know that Helen Dore Boylston was a friend of Rose Wilder Lane, who was the daughter of Laura Ingalls Wilder who wrote all the Little House books? In 1926, Lane, Helen Dore Boylston and their French maid traveled from France to Albania in a car they had named "Zenobia".

lemonpuff Sat 24-Oct-09 14:01:49

Does anyone remember a book titled Marsha? believe there were two books, set in Russia. Ballet theme, would love to get hold of them again.

Have most of the Chalet books, later ones are more expensive - smaller print run. Even have a copy of the cookbook!!!

Pogleswood Sat 24-Oct-09 14:36:25

lemonpuff,do you mean Masha,and The Youngest Lady in Waiting? They were set in Russia, but I don't remember a ballet theme.In the first one I think she was in an orphanage,and the second she was at court,and there was sub plot about the decembrist uprising.I loved these too - they are available on the second hand market,but sadly way above my price range!
And if it wasn't these,I hope someone else can help!

lemonpuff Sat 24-Oct-09 14:50:34

Pogleswood, thimk you may be right. I will have too look again have tried various sites with no results, I still love sitting down with a thick book thinking this is me for the day, please supply tea and wine at apporiate times

MummyDoIt Sat 24-Oct-09 14:56:41

I have the full set of Chalet School books. I only owned about a dozen when I was a child but have built up the set over the years. I actually reread the lot last year from start to finish and it was a bit of an eyeopener. Quite funny to see what was acceptable at the time - women were definitely second-class citizens as were foreigners. I am still very fond of them, though.

Did anyone read the sequel called 'The Chalet Girls Grow Up'? Not written by EBD and not at all in the keeping with the original series. The main characters all had affairs, went mad, committed suicide or suffered other dire fates.

maggotts Wed 04-Nov-09 22:36:03


I am pretty sure you do mean Masha! I remember reading the Youngest Lady in Waiting when I was about 10 and finally finding Masha at the library. Oh the joy of getting home, lying on the bed and reading the whole book in a day!! Searched for it for dd1 some time ago and it costs hundreds now.

Loving this thread as also read entire Malory Towers, St Clares, Chalet School, Sue Barton ect.

Was also a big fan of Jill books (Jill gets a pony etc.) DD1 has read these recently and they stand up very well. Jill is quite a determined feisty sort!

breastsofjordan Wed 04-Nov-09 22:42:28

I loved the quaint sounding German names for meals. Didn't they have kaffee und kuchen or something mid morning?

gio71 Thu 05-Nov-09 07:51:10

love this thread, can I join? They had coffee in cakes in the afternoon as well didnt they? Wasn't it coffee with "delicious bread twists" or some such thing mid morning? How were they always so slim?? Seem to remember chubby or plump was not an admired chaletian quality smile

Kaffee und Kuchen was mid afternoon - instead of tea. I started with The Chalet School and Eustacia which I found in teh school library when I was 10. Carried on reading collecting until Imy mid teens and then picked up again in my early 20s when I discovered FOCS (Friends of the Chalet School).

There were 58 books in the origional hardback series, 62 in the abridged Armada reprints.

I love the early Tyrolean books and these are the ones I tend to read most frequently. Joey does get a bit wearisome in the later books, as she acquires hoardes of immpecably behaved babies, and EBD's attempts to be 'modern' towards the end of the series are a bit cringeworthy.

But my Chalet School books are like a comfort blanket, to be taken out and re-read in times of stress. I loved reading boarding school stories when I was young (they seems so exotic in comparison with my local comprehansive!) but the CS is the only series I still go back to. I suppose that, dispite the irritations, its a world populated by characters that I care about.

RosieMBanks Sun 06-Dec-09 12:52:12

Oh I loved Sue Barton - this thread brings back some memories! I found a complete set in a charity shop and bought them for DD to read when she is older. I had the seventies set with cover photos of a red-headed girl in different uniforms...I wanted to marry a doctor like Bill Barry. I think she had a daughter Tabitha, and maybe twins?? - and friends called Kit and Connie...will have to rummage in the loft for the box they are in!

gallery Fri 18-Dec-09 21:07:48

this is brill thread. I loved chalet school and managed as a child to hunt some weird titles down (the highland twins at the chalet school). They were fun and I read loads and agree about re reading them. Sue Barton- I had totally forgotten. She was rather more grown up though. Thanks for bringing fond memories back.
I recalled Antonia Forrest recently and went on a hunt to find her books- there are more than I read at the time- and they are rathre too expensive to buy for nostalgic read.
All fun memories - though I am now trying to remember the tennis based series I read which was also a boarding school

(Tiptoes in...)
Do you remember the perfect Christmas Chalet school when Joey and her sister and the Robin went to stay with Freda's family? The Christmas silk dresses and the presents in the shoes...
DD is just not interested. She prefers vampires to cold baths. Can't think why.

earthpixie Wed 23-Dec-09 20:08:26

I loved them for their lost world ambience. Even in the midst of war it all seemed to safe and cosy and posh.

Kaffee und kuchen!!

Joey was always a bit odd and irritating though. She fainted at the Oberammergau passion play, it moved her so much. She was spirited, talented, deeply moral and hugely attractive to everyone especially possessive French Simone.

TipsyFairydifferentID Wed 23-Dec-09 20:10:13

gallery- that was the Trebizon series.

kettlechip Fri 25-Dec-09 21:46:11

Happiness for me aged 9 was either practising gymnastics or reading a Chalet School book..

I loved the Chalet School - remember they spoke English, French and German on different days? Great idea.

I also loved the Malory Towers carved rock swimming pool, and the Trebizon series. When I did actually get to go to boarding school myself I was a little disappointed tbh. Not nearly as dramatic as in the books!

SnowyBoff Fri 25-Dec-09 22:13:39

I went off to boarding school happily thinking all the other girls would be like the ones in Chalet School books, Mallory Towers, St Clare's and so on, and that I would make lots of friends quite easily (because I am secretly a bit like one of those jolly hockeysticks girls underneath).

What did I find? My school was full of very many Saudi and Kuwait-based boarders who were actually quite unfriendly in a nasty way, mainly because they had been abandoned at the school and the age of 7 and hardly tended to since IMO. There were also some very cliquey Hong Kong Chinese as well, who came later on. There were hardly any UK-based girls on the boarding side, and certainly no jolly hockeysticks ones. I still feel very sad I had to spend seven years like this with them.

What would I find now? Probably a load of Russians and mainland Chinese, equally abandoned and unfriendly.

Schools are not what they were. sad

choosyfloosy Fri 25-Dec-09 22:38:38

[has been standing in the corner for some time]

Loved Chalet School obsessively aged about 11 and have had various phases since. I longed to be a prefect and have nice meetings in the room decked with gay cretonnes. Unfortunately actually being a prefect was a nightmare...

I loved then and still love Sue Barton, also like Carol the actress. Reading the obstetric/children's bits now are a bit chilling - babies all getting a brisk slap on birth and no parents allowed to stay with their children because it would OBVIOUSLY be inconvenient for the staff.

Having had a crush on Antonia Forest's Patrick for a couple of years, I suddenly realised he was a complete prick. That was sad.

DwayneDibbley Mon 28-Dec-09 18:58:49

Maggotts I LOVED the Jill books, I still have several and re-read them from time to time. Did you also read the Flicka books? I was horse mad as a child! Loved the Chalet School books too, though not as much as Malory Towers/ St Clare's ones.

I have two bookshelves full of my old reads to pass onto dd who is 4 and loves reading hoping she loves them as much as I did!

daffodill6 Tue 29-Dec-09 22:01:31

Oh - I loved all the St Clares, Malory Towers and Chalet School books - had them all , gave them away and have been slowly repurchasing for DD now 11.

Done St C and MT and now starting her on CS but they are so hard to get hold of or expensive! Bought her the first 2 for Xmas!!
Why doesn't somebody reprint??????

JaneS Sun 03-Jan-10 15:19:44

Didn't Joey end up with triplets who were identical but with different coloured hair?! I remember being a bit hmm even at 11 or 12!

Also loved the idea of them growing up trilingual ... sure that's why I was so keen on DP who is bilingual.

nymphadora Sun 03-Jan-10 16:25:57

I have all the CS books and am gradually collecting the re-prints (girls gone by publishing if nooone has mentioned them so far). I also have all the fill ins. official (GGBP) and unofficial (Chalet girls grow up and the one on either Hilda or Nell -one is offical one isnt!)

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