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The Abbey girls

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Initial post: 8 Jun 2014 20:50:44 BDT
Feeling nostalgic and wishing Elsie j Oxenham was available on kindle as I never got to read the whole series. Anyone else out there a fan?

In reply to an earlier post on 9 Jun 2014 08:20:05 BDT
Damaskcat says:
Yes - I am hoping they'll appear as e-books eventually. I haven't read any of them for about fifty years but I still remember all those marvellous trains for the Queens.

In reply to an earlier post on 9 Jun 2014 09:38:42 BDT
Rosie2 says:
I remember reading Schoolgirl Jen at the Abbey - that's the title which springs to mind - must be about 60 years ago?

In reply to an earlier post on 9 Jun 2014 10:09:05 BDT
Damaskcat says:
According to fantasticfiction there are nearly 40 of them plus other novels about some of the characters who also appear in the Abbey School series. I think one of the reasons why I liked reading them was that they featured adults as well as schoolgirls.

The characters grow up and get married and have children and careers of their own and then their children go to the Abbey School. Ok there are rather more sets of twins than is perhaps realistic - just as there were in the Chalet School series - but they were still an interesting read. I suspect they were ahead of their time in that while being a wife and mother was important having a career was too.

Posted on 9 Jun 2014 11:13:59 BDT
I have about 20 of them that I inherited from my dear late best friend. I'm a Chalet girl myself but I'm quite enjoying them. I wish there were more old school (literally!) books available on Kindle. The ones that are are usually very pricey as well

In reply to an earlier post on 9 Jun 2014 13:19:32 BDT
Damaskcat says:
I used to read both series:-) Maybe eventually the publishers or the estates of the authors concerned will realise there is a market for all these old school stories as e-books. I would certainly buy both series if they were available. Authors such as Noel Streatfield and Pamela Brown are starting to appear so maybe they will eventually too.

In reply to an earlier post on 9 Jun 2014 14:09:43 BDT
Last edited by the author on 9 Jun 2014 14:20:21 BDT
Sharon4 says:
There's loads of Enid Blyton, not that that's a huge surprise as she never seems to lose her popularity. Her Naughty Amelia Jane books were some of the first, proper chapter books I read, and I'm delighted to see that the worst doll in the toy box is available on Kindle should I want a nostalgic wallow.

Re the Chalet School books, I only read the Chalet School in Exile. IIRC, it's powerful stuff. The writer sets her plucky girls on some Nazi thugs when they catch them attacking an elderly Jewish shopkeeper. They pay dearly for it however.

In reply to an earlier post on 9 Jun 2014 14:33:04 BDT
Damaskcat says:
Yes I was surprised to see Enid Blyton and I do recall reading some of her school stories. But then I also read Billy Bunter and William and the Jennings books too!

Yes some of the Chalet School stories contain some difficult issues and the author didn't talk down to her readers.

In reply to an earlier post on 9 Jun 2014 14:51:37 BDT
Sharon4 says:
No Jennings on Kindle unfortunately, though Audible have some. I wasn't so smitten by William and Billy Bunter, but I loved Jennings and his flair for getting into scrapes without even trying. I also loved the Molesworth books, with their hilarious illustrations and completely anarchic approach to spelling. 'Hello clouds, hello sky, hello, skool sosages.'

I think the fact that Brent-Dyer didn't talk down to her readers was one of the things that made her so popular. We see it again with what we now call young adult fiction; young people know the world can be a brutal place and they aren't comforted by grown-ups who refuse to acknowledge it. It's not always easy for adults to find the words though and that's where good books for children and teenagers come in.

In reply to an earlier post on 9 Jun 2014 15:30:33 BDT
Powderfinger says:
The publishers 'Girls Gone By' have 4 of the Chalet School series as e-books that can be purchased from their website at: (they are £7.00 each and payable via PayPal).

They say they don't have plans for more but perhaps writing to them may encourage them to reconsider...

In reply to an earlier post on 9 Jun 2014 15:47:36 BDT
Damaskcat says:
Yes there are similarities between the Chalet School and modern YA fiction. K M Peyton is an author whose work is aimed at teenagers but which can be read and enjoyed by adults.

I read the Bunter stories when I was under 12 I should think and primarily because it was a TV series - black and white - as well.

In reply to an earlier post on 9 Jun 2014 15:47:51 BDT
Damaskcat says:
Useful to know - thank you :-)

Posted on 9 Jun 2014 23:17:56 BDT
Last edited by the author on 9 Jun 2014 23:27:12 BDT
Despite seeing them around, I don't think I ever read Streatfeild. I did go through a phase of Lorna Hill books based at Sadlers wells. Again not on kindle format yet

Have you ever read any Eva Ibbotson. A modern author -well by comparison to Oxenham- (and she is available on kindle) but some of her stuff has an echo of these writers. I listened to a couple through my Library's service ( The Dragonfly Pool and Journey to the River Sea) and they were great- a plot, an adventure, friendship , trials and tribulations and locations you could only dream of visiting as a child.

In reply to an earlier post on 10 Jun 2014 08:05:39 BDT
Damaskcat says:
I've read a couple of books by Eva Ibbotson in recent years and found them good reading.

In reply to an earlier post on 10 Jun 2014 19:20:12 BDT
Bufo Books says:
Elsie J Oxenham (1880-1960) actually wrote about 90 books - 87 of which were published in her lifetime, and 2 since. 38 were in the main Abbey Series and there are several connecting series, as well as some which were completely separate. More information on the Elsie J Oxenham Appreciation Society website if anyone is interested.
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Discussion in:  kindle discussion forum
Participants:  7
Total posts:  15
Initial post:  8 Jun 2014
Latest post:  10 Jun 2014

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