Wednesday, 14 October 2009

Behind the Chalet School and The Chalet Companion

After I wrote about Girls Gone By Publishing last week, Geraldine reminded me about the wonderful Bettany Press who "specialise in books for fans of British girls fiction". They have a number of Chalet School related titles (unsurprisingly given the name, which comes from the maiden name of the two key characters responsible for setting up the school in the series), both fill-ins and non fiction. It was the non fiction which caught my eye, and I promptly went off to Amazon to seek out Behind the Chalet School and The Chalet companion, both by Helen McClelland, probably the great Chalet School expert. I have read both of these titles before, a long time ago, and am now glad to have my own copies.

The Chalet Companion is a collection of articles that includes information about the locations of the books, the history of the school and the development of the fan movement as well as biographical information about Brent-Dyer and a couple of short stories. As you can see from my picture, I decided that I would rather have the original Armada edition to complement my Armada Chalet School books rather than the Bettany Press edition.

Behind the Chalet School, is a fantastic biography of Elinor M. Brent-Dyer, the writer of the Chalet School series. It goes beyond the biographical information in the Chalet Companion to give a fuller picture of her life; very little was known about the author until McClelland did this research. This is the second edition of the book and includes a chapter about the growth of the Chalet School legend.

Both of these were wonderful to dip into when they arrived, and I look forward to having time to re-read them properly, as well as re-reading more of my Chalet School books.


  1. Pleased that you followed up my comment and ended up purchasing these two excellent books. They are worthy additions to any Chalet School fan's bookshelves.

  2. Thanks for your suggestion Geraldine! I hd completely forgotten about these and they are vital reading. I very much hope to do a Chalet School tour one day; I've been to Innsbruck and quite a lot of Austria but very few of the places in the books. Would also love to go to Interlaken. In the meantime, at least I have these books!

  3. Ooh! My copy of The School at the Chalet arrived earlier in the week and very excited about rereading it!

  4. Chalet school is part of my plan - but I've had to put it on hold (see tonight's post) :)

  5. I fell in love with the Chalet School series when about 11. In one of the hardback editions borrowed from the library I read of a newsletter. When I sent for details I was bitterly disappointed to find it had recently ended due to the death of Elinor B-D but the last edition was sent to me. After reading last weeks post I went searching for it, and the few copies of the Chalet School books I have. Lovely to revisit them, I can see these two books may have to be added to the "wanted" list, purely for nostalgic reasons.

  6. Hi Fran - Girls Gone By have actually republished all of the newsletters in one book! I'm not sure if it's still in print but you might be able to get one on ebay.


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