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Book Title: The School at the Chalet|
The author of the book: Elinor M. Brent-Dyer
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 14.39 MB
Edition: Girls Gone By
Date of issue: 2005
ISBN 13: 9781904417699
Read full description of the books The School at the Chalet:Well, I've reread about ten of these today (not going to rate them all, thinking of your poor feeds), and I've only got about twenty in the series, which must contain over fifty books...
I tend to divide the copies I've got into two sets. The first set is the beginning of the school, which is a boarding school that Madge Bettany, all of twenty-four years old, starts in the Austrian Tyrol, while her sister Joey becomes one of the first students. It's entertaining, particularly the obsession with slang. If you've ever read any British boarding school stories, nothing about these will surprise you: lots of emphasis on honor and the prefect system and pranks and proper behavior. The series is also a weird mix of cosmopolitan (students from all over Europe, even a few Americans) with casual misogyny and asides that smack of racism, which honestly isn't the oddest thing in old-school British boarding school stories.
The second set takes place some fifteen or twenty years later, when Madge and Joey and a bunch of former students, of course, have children attending the school. The stories aren't really new there, but again, I grew up with stories like these, and they have a certain charm nevertheless. And it's fun reading about the school now that it's so established!
I don't know how the books deal with the two world wars that take place during the time these stories take place. There are references to the school moving to either northern England or Ireland for a few years, but I can't quite figure out during which books, or if the books even cover it with any specificity. Mostly, the stories feel like they take place in a bubble, where old-fashioned living and schooling are predominant, everyone marries happily, and all their children come back to the school - this despite countless illnesses and rows and kidnappings by any number of crazed people. It's classic melodrama, but it's fun anyway.
Read information about the authorElinor M. Brent-Dyer was born as Gladys Eleanor May Dyer on 6th April 1894, in South Shields in the industrial northeast of England, and grew up in a terraced house which had no garden or inside toilet. She was the only daughter of Eleanor Watson Rutherford and Charles Morris Brent Dyer. Her father, who had been married before, left home when she was three years old. In 1912, her brother Henzell died at age seventeen of cerebro-spinal fever. After her father died, her mother remarried in 1913.
Elinor was educated at a small local private school in South Shields and returned there to teach when she was eighteen after spending two years at the City of Leeds Training College. Her teaching career spanned 36 years, during which she taught in a wide variety of state and private schools in the northeast, in Middlesex, Bedfordshire, Hampshire, and finally in Hereford.
In the early 1920s she adopted the name Elinor Mary Brent-Dyer. A holiday she spent in the Austrian Tyrol at Pertisau-am-Achensee gave her the inspiration for the first location in the Chalet School series. However, her first book, Gerry goes to school, was published in 1922 and was written for the child actress Hazel Bainbridge. Her first 'Chalet' story, The School at the Chalet, was originally published in 1925.
In 1930, the same year that Jean of Storms was serialised, she converted to Roman Catholicism.
In 1933 the Brent-Dyer household (she lived with her mother and stepfather until her mother's death in 1957) moved to Hereford. She travelled daily to Peterchurch as a governess.
When her stepfather died she started her own school in Hereford, The Margaret Roper School. It was non-denominational but with a strong religious tradition. Many Chalet School customs were followed, the girls even wore a similar uniform made in the Chalet School's colours of brown and flame. Elinor was rather untidy, erratic and flamboyant and not really suited to being a headmistress. After her school closed in 1948 she devoted most of her time to writing.
Elinor's mother died in 1957 and in 1964 Brent-Dyer moved to Redhill, where she lived in a joint establishment with fellow school story author Phyllis Matthewman and her husband, until her death on 20th September 1969.
During her lifetime Elinor M. Brent-Dyer published 101 books but she is remembered mainly for her Chalet School series. The series numbers 59 books and is the longest-surviving series of girls' school-stories ever known, having been continuously in print for more than 70 years. 100,000 paperback copies are still being sold each year. Among her published books are other school stories; family, historical, adventure and animal stories; a cookery book, and four educational geography-readers. She also wrote plays and numerous unpublished poems and was a keen musician.
In 1994, the year of the centenary of her Elinor Brent-Dyer's birth, Friends of the Chalet School put up plaques in Pertisau, South Shields and Hereford, and a headstone was erected on her grave in Redstone Cemetery, since there was not one previously. They also put flowers on her grave on the anniversaries of her birth and death and on other special occasions.
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