feather_ghyll: One girl seated by an easel with a watching girl standing behind (Girl painter)
The Jolliest Term on Record: Angela Brazil, Blackie

I’ll begin, inevitably, by listing some of the names that appear in this book: Read more... )
feather_ghyll: Illustration of the Chalet against a white background with blue border (Chalet School)
I haven't posted much about books so far this year, but I haven't read many books, or so it feels, but I tried to make up for it over the past weekend.

Gerry Goes to School: Elinor M. Brent-Dyer, Chambers, ‘latest reprint’ 1952.

Read more... )
feather_ghyll: Boat with white sail on water (Sailboat adventure)
Jersey Adventure: Viola Bayley, Dent, 1969

The back flap of this book’s dust jacket quotes the Junior Bookshelf stating ‘Miss Bayley is a sort of Mary Stewart for young readers’, which is an accurate description, I think. Read more... )
feather_ghyll: Photograph of L M Montgomery at the seaside (L M Montgomery)
Last week, I went away for a few days and these are some of the books that I read then:

The School on the Moor: Angela Brazil

Read more... )

Reread: A Countess Below Stairs: Eva Ibbotson

(I think I will reread all my Ibbotsons as a project.)

Read more... )

Penelope’s Prefects: Judith Carr

Read more... )
feather_ghyll: Lavendar flowers against white background (Beautiful flower (lavender))
The Runaway Princess: Hester Browne Quercus 2013.

For a good long while, this book did not go the way I expected, influenced by the title and the blurb at the back of the book.

Read more... )
feather_ghyll: Boat with white sail on water (Sailboat adventure)
Fardingales: Elinor M. Brent-Dyer, Girls Gone By 2015
(originally published 1950)

As this book is associated with Chudleigh Hold (I understand some of the characters in it will cross paths with Chudleighs), I was looking out for similarities as I read. It features a family of young people, living in a large family house, the eponymous Fardingales, by the sea, which means picnics, caves and adventure. Read more... )
feather_ghyll: Girl reading a book that is resting on her knees (Default)
I’ll post an overview of a few books I’ve read over the holidays eventually, but this post is a look back at 2015, following a tradition started by my first post of 2015 when I said I looked forward to the next adventures of Wells and Wong. Well, Arsenic for Tea by Robin Stevens (in which the 1930s schoolgirls investigate another mystery, this time in Daisy Wells’s country house home) lived up to my expectations. I enjoyed Kate Saunders’s Beswitched, originally published a few years ago, but taking the reader back to a 1930s boarding school, a fraction more, even. I loved reading Jane of Lantern Hill by L.M. Montgomery and Gail Carriger’s Etiquette & Espionage.

Turning to hadrbacks, I enjoyed The Little Betty Wilkinson by Evelyn Smith, even though I think she’s written better books. I did read a book each by the ‘big four’: Elinor M. Brent-Dyer’s Chudleigh Hold, Sally’s Summer Term by Dorita Fairlie Bruce, Tomboys at the Abbey by Elsie J. Oxenham, which I didn’t review, and For the School Colours by Angela Brazil.

(In the first paragraph, I build up to my favourite and do the opposite in the second.)

Perhaps the best book I read this year was ‘Rose Under Fire’ by Elizabeth Wein, which is wonderful and harrowing, and I feel incapable of writing about it. I also really loved Helena McEwen’s Invisible River.

I reread Katherine L. Oldmeadow’s The Fortunes of Jacky, which stands the test of time, and now I have no more Oldmeadows to reread. I am, obviously, looking out for more by her in all the shops that sell second-hand books! I hope to read the next case Hazel Wong writes up and the second in the Finishing School series, but I expect to read EBD's 'Fardingales' as I have a copy in the depths of my 'to read' pile.
feather_ghyll: Lavendar flowers against white background (Beautiful flower (lavender))
The Honeymoon Hotel: Hester Browne. Quercus. 2014.

I found this more successful than a lot of books in this vein, because the characterisation actually works, here. Usually the heroine becomes insuuportably stupid for the plot and romantic tension’s sake. Read more... )
feather_ghyll: Illustration of the Chalet against a white background with blue border (Chalet School)
Chudleigh Hold: Elinor M. Brent-Dyer, Chambers, 1954

I’ve owned this copy since books were sold in charity shops for 30p, although all I remembered about it was that it was about a family gifted with outlandish names who seemed to have no connection to the Chalet School. As I’ve ordered the second book in the series from Girls Gone By, I thought it’d be a good idea to reread this in advance of its arrival.

Chudleigh Hold is Read more... )
feather_ghyll: Black and white body shot a row of ballet dancers (Ballet girls)
Envoy on Excursion: Caryl Brahms and S.J. Simon
Michael Joseph (this edition 1954)


Detective-Inspector Adam Quill of Scotland Yard, who has previously had to deal with the insanities of the Ballet Stroganov has a new case. It is wartime, Read more... )
feather_ghyll: Lavendar flowers against white background (Beautiful flower (lavender))
For the School Colours: Angela Brazil. Blackie & Son.

I wish I could say this was a blossomy book, borrowing the top-hole slang that its characters use, but I can’t. Well, it isn’t too bad and it doesn’t feature that dreaded chapter of made-up stories that usually dog Brazil’s books. However, I did mentally say ‘Oh, Angela’ in a ‘what are we to do with you way’ quite a lot. It is set during World War One and features a great deal of propaganda that is glaringly cartoonish and yet sincere from a century’s distance. It’s also not quite the book it seems to be in the first chapter, and perhaps I would have preferred it if it was – I’ll explain.

Read more... )
feather_ghyll: Book shop store front, text reading 'wear the old coat, buy the new book.' (Book not coat)
The Vintage Girl: Hester Browne Quercus 2014

I bought this because I have some sympathy with someone who has a weakness for old collectibles, a tendency I’ve mostly squashed in myself, except when it comes to books. Anyway, I understood some of heroine Evie’s foibles, Read more... )

(The books was earlier published in the USA under the title Swept off her Feet.)
feather_ghyll: Illustration of the Chalet against a white background with blue border (Chalet School)
Carola Storms the Chalet School: Elinor M. Brent-Dyer. 1951 (although I suspect this is a reprint) Chambers

A reread, this, because I brought a hardback copy - I had an Armada copy already – partly for sentimental reasons, as the secondhand bookshop I was buying it at was closing.

Anyhow, this is the story where Read more... )
feather_ghyll: Girl reading a book that is resting on her knees (Default)
I don't know if I'll get around to typing up a full review of 'Molly Hazeldene's Schooldays' by Maud Forsey, which I read over the holidays, but I felt it should be noted that one of the other school girls is named, rather magnificently, Leah Venus Sheepwash.

Looking back, my favourite Girls Own books read in 2014 were The Scholarship Girl at Cambridge by Josephine Elder, Dimity Drew's First Term by Nancy Breary and Mullion by Mabel Esther Allan. I also loved Murder Most Unladylike by Robin Stevens (and look forward to more Wells and Wong cases) and enjoyed rereading The Chalet School and the Lintons.
feather_ghyll: One girl seated by an easel with a watching girl standing behind (Girl painter)
The Head Girl at the Gables: Angela Brazil Blackie (the inscription on my copy suggests that this was published in 1931 or earlier)

The story begins with the headmistress of the Gables and her lieutenant considering who to appoint to the titular post of head girl of the school. Read more... )
feather_ghyll: Illustration of the Chalet against a white background with blue border (Chalet School)
The Chalet School and the Lintons: Elinor M. Brent-Dyer Chambers 1940 reprint

I’d previously read this story as split into two by Armada. It was nice to have it all in one hardback volume, although I managed to slosh some coffee over it at one point.

The story is that Gillian and Joyce LintonRead more... )
feather_ghyll: Black and white body shot a row of ballet dancers (Ballet girls)
While others DANCE: Barbara Beacham Phoenix 1991

(That is how the title is set up on the front cover, the spine and the title page, although it’s the calmer ‘While others dance’ in the British cataloguing library information.)

By the time I got my hands on this, I was already a big fan of ballet stories (having come across the Sadlers Wells series, at least, if not Drina etc) and boarding school stories (Mallory Towers, St Clare’s, the Chalet School and non-serials) so this was bound to appeal to me as a child.Read more... )

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