Elinor Brent-Dyer
The Chalet School Series
and other girls' stories Article © Clarissa Cridland

Non-Chalet Books and Short Stories | NEW REPRINTS - Girls Gone By |
The new edition Paperbacks and how paperbacks are abridged

EBD was born Gladys Eleanor May Dyer in South Shields on 6th April 1894, the only daughter of Eleanor (Nelly) Watson Rutherford and Charles Morris Brent Dyer. Her father had been married before and had a son, Charles Arnold, who was never to live with his father and stepmother. This caused some friction between Elinor’s parents and her father left home when she was three and her younger brother, Henzell, two. Her father eventually went to live with another woman by whom he had a third son, another Charles. Elinor’s parents lived in a respectable lower middle class area and the family covered up the departure of her father by saying that her mother had ‘lost’ her husband.

In 1912, Henzell died of cerebro-spinal fever, another event which was covered up. Friends of Elinor’s who knew her after his death were unaware that she had had a brother. Death from illness was, of course, common at this time and Elinor’s familiarity with this is reflected in her books, which abound with motherless heroines.

Elinor was educated privately in South Shields and returned there to teach after she had been to the City of Leeds Training College. In the early 1920s she adopted the name Elinor Mary Brent-Dyer. She was interested in the theatre and her first book, Gerry Goes to School, published in 1922 was written for the child actress Hazel Bainbridge - mother of Kate O’Mara. In the mid twenties she also taught for a short while at St Helen’s Northwood in Middlesex and in Fareham near Portsmouth. She was a keen musician and a practising Christian, converting to Roman Catholicism in 1930, a major step in those days.

In the summer of 1924, 70 years ago, she spent a holiday in the Austrian Tyrol at Pertisau-am-Achensee - which she was to use so successfully as the first location in the Chalet School series. (Many of the locations in her books were real places.) In 1933 she moved with her mother and stepfather to Hereford, travelling daily to Peterchurch as a governess. When her stepfather died she started her own school in Hereford, The Margaret Roper, which ran until 1948. Unlike the Chalet School it was not a huge success and probably would not have survived had it not been for the Second World War. From 1948 she devoted all her time to writing. Her mother died in 1957 and in 1964 she moved to Redhill where she died on 20th September 1969.

In 1994 Friends of the Chalet School celebrated the centenary of Elinor Brent-Dyer’s birth. Plaques were put up in Pertisau, South Shields and Hereford, and we had a headstone erected on her grave, since there was not one previously. We are now raising money so that we can put flowers on her grave twice a year, on the anniversaries of her birth and death.
The above article was provided by Clarissa Cridland and is (c)copyright to Clarissa Cridland and may not be reproduced elsewhere without the written author's permission.

Chalet School Hardbacks
These are only available from secondhand booksellers, unless you are lucky enough to pick them up at jumble sales or charity/op shops.

1 The School At The Chalet
2 Jo Of The Chalet School
3 The Princess Of The Chalet School
4 The Head-Girl Of The Chalet School
5 The Rivals Of The Chalet School
6 Eustacia Goes To The Chalet School
7 The Chalet School And Jo
8 The Chalet Girls In Camp
9 The Exploits Of The Chalet Girls
10 The Chalet School And The Lintons
11 The New House At The Chalet School
12 Jo Returns To The Chalet School
13 The New Chalet School
14 The Chalet School In Exile
15 The Chalet School Goes To It
16 Highland Twins At The Chalet School
17 Lavender Laughs In The Chalet School
18 Gay From China At The Chalet School
19 Jo To The Rescue
19a Mystery At The Chalet School *
19b Tom Tackles The Chalet School **
19c The Chalet School And Rosalie ***
20 Three Go To The Chalet School
21 The Chalet School And The Island
22 Peggy Of The Chalet School
23 Carola Storms The Chalet School
23 The Wrong Chalet School
25 Shocks For The Chalet School
26 The Chalet School In The Oberland
27 Bride Leads The Chalet School
28 Changes For The Chalet School
29 Joey Goes To The Oberland
30 The Chalet School And Barbara
32 The Chalet School Does It Again
33 A Chalet Girl From Kenya
34 Mary-Lou Of The Chalet School
35 A Genius At The Chalet School
36 A Problem For The Chalet School
37 The New Mistress At The Chalet School
38 Excitements At The Chalet School
39 The Coming Of Age Of The Chalet School
40 The Chalet School And Richenda
41 Trials For The Chalet School
42 Theodora And The Chalet School
43 Joey And Co In Tirol
44 Ruey Richardson - Chaletian
45 A Leader In The Chalet School
46 The Chalet School Wins The Trick
47 A Future Chalet School Girl
48 The Feud In The Chalet School
49 The Chalet School Triplets
50 The Chalet School Reunion
51 Jane And The Chalet School
52 Redheads At The Chalet School
53 Adrienne And The Chalet School
54 Summer Term At The Chalet School
55 Challenge For The Chalet School
56 Two Sams At The Chalet School
57 Althea Joins The Chalet School
58 Prefects Of The Chalet School
* This story was published in The Chalet Book for Girls but is listed here since it covers a whole term in the saga.
** Tom Tackles The Chalet School was originally published in two parts in the Second and Third Chalet Book for Girls. It was published in book form as no 31 but is listed here in its chronological place.
*** The Chalet School and Rosalie was originally published as a paperback by Chambers and was therefore not shown in the numbered list of titles on the back of the dustwrappers of the Chambers’ hardbacks.

The Chalet Book For Girls
The Second Chalet Book For Girls
The Third Chalet Book For Girls
The Chalet Girls’ Cookbook

Chalet School Paperbacks
Many of the paperbacks are abridged. For details of these in general see FOCS 29 and different issues for individual comparisons. Some of these are available new in bookshops. Others are only available secondhand.

1 The School at the Chalet
2 Jo of the Chalet School
3 The Princess of the Chalet School
4 The Head Girl of the Chalet School
5 (The) Rivals of the Chalet School
6 Eustacia Goes to the Chalet School
7 The Chalet School and Jo
8 The Chalet Girls in Camp
9 Exploits of the Chalet Girls
10 The Chalet School and the Lintons
11 A Rebel at the Chalet School
12 The New House at the Chalet School
13 Jo Returns to the Chalet School
14 The New Chalet School
15 A United Chalet School
16 The Chalet School in Exile
17 The Chalet School at War
18 The Highland Twins at the Chalet School
19 Lavender Leigh at the Chalet School
20 Gay Lambert at the Chalet School
21 Jo To The Rescue
22 Tom Tackles the Chalet School
23 The Chalet School and Rosalie and The Mystery at the Chalet School *
24 Three Go to the Chalet School
25 The Chalet School and the Island
26 Peggy of the Chalet School
27 Carola Storms the Chalet School
28 The Wrong Chalet School
29 Shocks for the Chalet School
30 The Chalet School in the Oberland
31 Bride Leads the Chalet School
32 Changes for the Chalet School
33 Joey Goes to the Oberland
34 The Chalet School and Barbara
35 The Chalet School Does It Again
36 A Chalet Girl From Kenya
37 Mary-Lou of/at the Chalet School
38 A Genius at the Chalet School
39 Chalet School Fête
40 A Problem for the Chalet School
41 The New Mistress at the Chalet School
42 Excitements at the Chalet School
43 The Coming of Age of the Chalet School
44 The Chalet School and Richenda
45 Trials for the Chalet School
46 Theodora and the Chalet School
47 Joey and Co in Tirol
48 Ruey Richardson at the Chalet School
49 A Leader in the Chalet School
50 The Chalet School Wins the Trick
51 A Future Chalet School Girl
52 The Feud in the Chalet School
53 The Chalet School Triplets
54 The Chalet School Reunion
55 Jane and the Chalet School
56 Redheads at the Chalet School
57 Adrienne and the Chalet School
58 Summer Term at the Chalet School
59 Challenge for the Chalet School
60 Two Sams at the Chalet School
61 Althea Joins the Chalet School
62 Prefects of the Chalet School

* The Chalet School and Rosalie was originally published in paperback on its own, and then as a double with Mystery at the Chalet School

Paperback doubles
1 The School at the Chalet/Jo of the Chalet School
2 The Princess of the Chalet School/The Head Girl of the Chalet School
3 Rivals of the Chalet School/Eustacia Goes to the Chalet School
4 The Chalet School and Jo/The Chalet Girls in Camp
5 Exploits of the Chalet Girls/The Chalet School and the Lintons
6 A Rebel At the Chalet School/New House at the Chalet School
7 Jo Returns to the Chalet School/The New Chalet School
8 A United Chalet School/The Chalet School in Exile
9 The Chalet School at War/Highland Twins at the Chalet School

Non Chalet Books By Elinor Brent-Dyer
Most are out of print and hardbacks are available only secondhand. NEW pb reprints of some from Girls' Own.

Gerry Goes To School *
A Head Girl’s Difficulties *
The Maids Of La Rochelle *
Seven Scamps *
Heather Leaves School *
Janie Of La Rochelle *
Janie Steps In *
A Thrilling Term At Janeways
Caroline The Second
The New House-Mistress
Judy The Guide
The Feud In The Fifth Remove
Carnation Of The Upper Fourth
Monica Turns Up Trumps
They Both Liked Dogs
The School By The River
The Little Marie-Jose
Elizabeth The Gallant
The Little Missus
The Lost Staircase
Lorna At Wynyards
Stepsisters For Lorna
Bess On Her Own In Canada **
A Quintette In Queensland **
Sharlie’s Kenya Diary **
Verena Visits New Zealand **
The Susannah Adventure
Chudleigh Hold ***
The Condor Crags Adventure ***
Top Secret ***
Kennelmaid Nan
Nesta Steps Out
Beechy Of The Harbour School
Leader In Spite Of Herself
The School At Skelton Hall
Trouble At Skelton Hall
Jean of Storms (Available from Bettany Press, Marmic, Stanway Green, Colchester, Essex CO3 5RA)

* La Rochelle series
** Geography Reader
*** Chudleigh hold series

Short Stories By Elinor Brent-Dyer
These are all out of print and available only secondhand.

Carlotta To The Rescue published in The Children’s Circus Book
Jack’s Revenge by ‘May Dyer’ published in Sunday in 1914
The Robins Make Good published in Volume 57 of The Girl’s Own Annual
The Lady In The Yellow Gown published in The Big Book For Girls in 1925
Rescue In The Snows published in My Favourite Story
The House Of Secrets published in The Sceptre Annual For Girls
Cavalier Maid published in The Second Coronet Book For Girls

This article was provided by Clarissa Cridland and is (c)copyright to Clarissa Cridland and may not be reproduced elsewhere without the written author's permission.

The New edition Paperbacks and how paperbacks are abridged

The following titles are all in print: School (1), Jo of (2), Princess (3), Head Girl (4), Rivals (5), Eustacia (6), And Jo (7), Camp (8), Exploits (9), Lintons (10), Rivals (11), New House (12), Exile (16), At War (17). Three Go (24) and Island (25) are still to be published in May and June. In addition, August sees the publication of the Modern Children’s Classic edition of The School at the Chalet and Visitors will probably be coming in February 2000. However, Piers Sanford has got a bit behind with all his artwork, so Bride (31) and Changes (32) have been delayed from July 1999 and August 1999 to January 2000 and February 2000. Does It Again, Kenya, and Changes have been indefinitely delayed.

The editor responsible for the Chalet paperbacks at HarperCollins mentions that sales out of the bookshops have been poor. It has been pointed out that out that this is probably because the titles done so far were all done as double paperbacks in the not very distant past, with many shops having both editions in stock at once. If you would like to write about this, please write to HarperCollins Children’s Books, 77-85 Fulham Palace Road, Hammersmith, London W6 8JB.

If the books don’t sell, further titles will not be reprinted. You can help.

Differences Between Chalet School Hardbacks And Paperbacks

A lot of people have asked which paperbacks are the most cut. This list originally appeared in August 1998 in Le Petit Chalet, the booklet for members aged 13 and under produced by Friends of the Chalet School.

Unabridged uncut or with only occasional words updated (e.g. ‘charabancs’ changed to ‘coaches’)

CS And Jo, Camp, Exploits, Lintons+Rebel, New+United, War (Goes To It), Tom, Rescue, Rosalie/Mystery, Island, Wrong, Bride, Does It Again, Joey Oberland, Genius +Fete, Tirol, Reunion, Jane, Redheads, Future, Adrienne, Summer Term, Challenge, Two Sams, Althea, Prefects.

Minor Frequent Cuts

Jo Of, Princess, Rivals, Eustacia, New House, Jo Returns, Lavender, Peggy, Carola, Changes, Barbara, Kenya, New Mistress, Excitements, Leader, Wins The Trick, Triplets

Major Cuts - Either In Chunks Or Very Frequent Smallish Passages

School*, Highland Twins, Gay, Shocks, CS Oberland, Mary-Lou, Theodora, Coming Of Age

Very Major Cuts - Chapters Missing - Plus Other Cuts

Head Girl, Exile, Three Go, Problem, Coming Of Age, Richenda, Trials, Ruey, Feud

* The 1994 facsimile of School is of course uncut.

If you are interested in details of what has and has not been cut, the Friends of the Chalet School newsletter includes one comparison of hardback / paperback text in most issues. The following have appeared (the numbers given are the issue number of the newsletter.

School (16 and 22), Princess (25), Head Girl (16 and 26), Rivals (30), Eustacia (16) Exploits (34), New House (33), New Chalet School (33), Exile (22), The CS Goes To It / At War (34), Highland Twins (43), Lavender (24), Gay (32), Three Go (32), Carola (37), Shocks (38) CS Oberland (22), Bride (24), Changes (30), Barbara (29), Problem (36), New Mistress (41), Excitements (27), Coming of Age (28), Joey & Co in Tirol (35), Richenda (42), Theodora (44), Adrienne (21), Challenge (24), Two Sams (24)

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