I heard Revd.Clarissa Cridland talking on Woman's Hour recently about Girls Gone By Publishing. I had a lovely Dorita Fairlie Bruce flurry about two years ago when I first discovered GGB and bought and more importantly read several.
Written in 1923, The Girls of St Bride's by Dorita Fairlie Bruce was a gloriously politically incorrect book by present day standards which made for a fascinating social insight if you could get yourself beyond the nostalgic wallow of the boarding school on the remote Scottish island reached by steamer.For example there is a "cripple" in a wheelchair who is lonely and isolated within the school and disliked for being selfish by many of the other girls.All this must be read in the context of 1923 to be fully appreciated but it makes these books far more than just a simple journey back in time.
I was that keen I wrote to Eva Lofgren in Stockholm who had written and published her thesis Schoolmates of the Long-Ago:Motifs and Archetypes in Dorita Fairlie Bruce's Boarding School Stories. Getting money to Sweden wasn't easy but we managed it and I bought a copy.There was something about these books that made me want to know and understand more and Eva Lofgren's book is well worth reading.
Chin Up and Chest Out Jemima and You're a Brick Angela both by Mary Cadogan are readily available here and well worth the effort.
Now I've been dragged back in along with the rest of the blogclass and I'm sorely tempted to enrol in The Chalet School as a mature student.
I was a Mallory Towers diehard loyalist in my childhood and nothing could tempt me away from my friends there but I only have to glimpse the Chalet school covers now and I feel as if I'm a lost cause.I am a sucker for anything with a bit of snow and throw in a sleigh and that's me done for, that's why I read books like Ethan Frome by Edith Wharton and Dawn Powell's The Bride's House over and over.
But what did I miss with The Chalet School? I can't bear not to know.
And while I'm browsing in Girls Gone By there it is, Malcolm Saville's first in his Lone Pine Series, Mystery at Witchend I loved these and how fascinating it would be to read these as an adult.
Then there are all the Monica Edwards books, Punchbowl Farm. I'm not a lover of horses but I tried very hard to be on the strength of reading Monica Edwards, I loved those.
This could get very silly and very expensive and I'll need a trunk and a tuck box at least, and probably a lacrosse stick.Then perhaps I'll have a pony.