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35 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars First of the lengthy series of books about the Chalet School
The wonderful part about the Chalet School series is that it never ended! Elinor Brent-Dyer never concluded the books and the Chalet School was allowed to exist beyond her death.
The School was opened in Tyrol, was forced to flee during the Second World War to Guernsey, and then again to Wales. Finally the School returned to foreign lands, this time to Switzerland a...
Published on 25 May 2002 by Ms. K. E. Fallows

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3 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Time Travel!
I'm not sure why I bought this - trying to recapture my youth I suppose! I would have first read most of the Chalet School books in the 1950's and was completely besotted by them. How I wished the school was real and I could go there! But to read them now.......Well, I can still see a little of the old charm, but they are impossibly dated and completely out of touch with...
Published on 4 July 2009 by felicitas


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35 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars First of the lengthy series of books about the Chalet School, 25 May 2002
By 
The wonderful part about the Chalet School series is that it never ended! Elinor Brent-Dyer never concluded the books and the Chalet School was allowed to exist beyond her death.
The School was opened in Tyrol, was forced to flee during the Second World War to Guernsey, and then again to Wales. Finally the School returned to foreign lands, this time to Switzerland a move back to Tyrol being impossible in the political climate of the time.
A truly wonderful series of books capturing brilliantly the changing morals and outlooks of differing generations through changing and turbulent times. In fact it is easy to think the Chalet School as adapatable as ever would still be functioning and flourishing today.
The books are educational and thought provoking but provide a wonderful read without preaching. There are elements of fun, mystery and danger and the most engaging element of the books is that the stories of the Chalet School girls follow them into adulthood - they do not merely disappear into the great wide world!! In fact in some instances their children come to the school too. As well as the girls we are also given insights into the lives of the Staff - which is not to be found in many "school books". In truth the Chalet series is more than a girls school series of stories - they are much more encompassing than that and I would strongly recommend anyone read them - I can guarantee they will become hooked on this wonderful series of books
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The School at the Chalet, 3 May 2003
This is the first book in the Chalet School series. It's a great book about Madge and Joey's problems and joys at starting a school with help from Mademoiselle Le Pattre. They have many adventures including sleeping in a sheperd's home half way up a mountain and Simone's attempts to gian Joey's exclusive friendship. This book is a must for any Chalet School Fan.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The opening to a wonderful series, 3 April 1999
By A Customer
Despite occasional glitches this is a marvellous book. It effortlessly transports you back to a time that is still loved filled with unforgettable characters. Add to this a beautiful setting and the stunning innocence of the narrative and you have a school story which is really something you have to read.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Classic, 13 Jan 2013
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This review is from: The School at the Chalet (Paperback)
This is a classic of the boarding school genre, and the beginning of a very long series. The only problems is that this version is an abridged version. If you can, try and find the full edition published by Girls Gone By.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not just for girls!, 23 April 2012
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Redhenry (Northern England) - See all my reviews
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It's something like 45 years since I read most of these books. There was nothing remotely comparable for boys then - there isn't now. As one of the other reviewers says, the languages used, the new ideas, experiences and places described were hugely exotic to a youngster in northern England in the 1960s. It didn't matter that these were girls' books - there was nothing 'girly' in them. Miss Brent-Dyer conveniently ignored puberty, boys, anything at all nasty, but dealt well with the sort of relationships young people of the same sex have. The things which, for me, make this still a wonderful series of books are -
1. the assumption that everyone should aim to be trilingual, self-sufficient, widely read, able to argue a point of view
2. the superb sense of place - I went on a bus trip from Innsbruck some years ago to Pertisau on the Achensee, the setting for the early books, and have just re-read 'The School at the Chalet' out of curiosity and as a little nostalgia trip. It captures the atmosphere perfectly and I still want to be there NOW
3. the strong sense of integrity which shines out of every book.

Yes, they're old-fashioned, yes you'll giggle at some of the language and the attitudes, but Miss B-D was revolutionary in her time and the books are still, nearly 90 years after the first one appeared, SIMPLY TOPPING!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars brings back memoires, 16 Sep 2013
This review is from: The School at the Chalet (Paperback)
fantastic value liked the surprise of it arriving recomend to anyone still young at heart brings back memoires great to read know autumns here
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars As good as I remember, 24 Jun 2013
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I bought this book as a replacement of a childhood favourite, it was good to meet the Chalet gang again
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic, I grew up with this series!, 28 Aug 2001
By A Customer
I'm not embarrassed to admit to being a 22 year old Chalet School fan, or to returning to my parents' house to re-read the well-worn copies of many of the books, even though I left home some four years ago! I started reading Chalet School when I was about 8 and became hooked. It's so sweet and naive in places, yet the stories are realistic and the characters have presence. No-one can help wanting to be just a little bit like Joey Bettany with her wild impulses and deep sense of moral duty! It may take readers a while to get into the series, with there being so many books, my advice - start at the beginning, otherwise any sense of cronology and continuity will be lost. The School at the Chalet is the start of something amazing, it's a breath of fresh air, a delicious form of escapism. I longed for the day my mother would tell me I was being sent away to school in Austria, sadly it never happened, but I can keep dreaming!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Try to get an unabridged version!, 11 Feb 2014
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I started reading these books over 30 years ago - mostly Armada paperbacks. I've revisited them as an adult. However, I've recently discovered that many (not all) of the Armada paperbacks are abridged versions, with so much detail cut out.

So I've been on a quest to purchase the unabridged versions (complete with Nina K. Brisley's gorgeous original illustrations). I have to say, the unabridged versions are so much better. They give lots of little details, description and conversation missing from the Armada (and Collins) paperbacks. In some books entire paragraphs, and even chapters, have been cut.

So I bought 'The School At The Chalet' from a seller who was selling an unabridged version by a publishing company called 'Girls Gone By'. Girls Gone By it seems have bought the copyright to all of Elinor M Brent Dyer's books and have published some of the series - all books they publish are copies of the original unabridged editions. Unfortunately they seem to only publish a few at a time and then those few quickly go out of print. So I have also been looking at purchasing second hand Chambers original hardbacks. Chambers originally published the Chalet School series so my hunt for unabridged versions starts there.

Anyway, back to the story. This is the very first book in the Chalet School series. Set around 1925 it takes us to the Austrian Alps where a young Madge Bettany sets up a girls boarding school, accompanied by her little sister, Joey.

The only other school stories I've read are the Enid Blyton ones and I think they fair poorly held up against Elinor M Brent Dyer's creation. There is so much more depth of character, whereas Blyton's characters were very one dimensional.

When reading books from this era have a mind to when they were written. There are some attitudes and figures of speech that today would be considered offensive or bordering on offensive. Certainly Dyer deserves some criticism for her national stereotyping, her attitude to the Ku Klux Klan (that comes later), attitudes to religion, class division, the almost feudal set up of grateful adoring servants and graciously patronising employers. I could go on, but you get the picture. However I find I am able to be highly critical but still enjoy the books by placing them firmly in another era.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A wonderful start to an outstanding series, 25 July 2012
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I have read others' comments with interest and agree with so much that has been said. I first read the Chalet school books when I was 9, and I am still returning to them with love. It is easy to dismiss them as dated / old fashioned / out of keeping with modern youth, but the combination of the wonderful settings (oh, the mountains) and the well observed relationships (Elinor Brent-Dyer was after all a teacher) make a fresh and absorbing read. Above all, the heart of these books is their integrity: honesty, honour, friendship, care for others are held up as ideals to strive for. If you haven't read them, try them. They are addictive.
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The School at the Chalet
The School at the Chalet by Elinor M. Brent-Dyer (Paperback - 1 Jun 1987)
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