The Chalet School series by Elinor Brent-Dyer seems to be one of the most popular school series. There were 62 books altogether which is why it is so difficult to collect the whole set. There were also additional books and newsletters. Recently new authors have written ‘fill-in’ books where they feel there should be extra information not provided by the author herself. Some of the books are extremely rare and some paperbacks, even reprints can sell for £30+ making some of the hardback first editions extremely valuable indeed.
If you have started a collection or would like to I have some tips for you. Firstly decide whether you wish to collect paperbacks, hardbacks or either and whether you want to get every title or just the actual series of books and not the newsletters, additional books and books by other authors. Once you have decided you will need to get together a list of these titles. Most of the more modern reprints carry a full list of titles in the front and you can also look these up on various websites. I have included a list at the end of the article (It includes all of the original books plus some additional ones. I know I have missed some of the additional ones out).
Now you need to know where to start looking for these books. EBay is an obvious choice but some of the rarer books are hard to find even on eBay and when they do appear it is easy to be outbid. However it is still worth looking and listing on the ‘wants’ pages of eBay. There are other websites that sell second hand books but they do tend to be more expensive. Therefore I would tend to look in second hand bookshops, bookfairs and at charity book sales. You can sometimes pick up the titles slightly cheaper and you can also ask the dealers to look out for copies for you and put them by for you. Girls Gone By publish some of the out of print titles in unabridged paperbacks and some new authors who have written ‘fill-in’ books. These go out of print very quickly but you can usually find copies on eBay for a while. These are ideal if you are looking to fill gaps in your collection and do not mind that the books are a different size to the originals. Other publishers of fill-in titles are Bettany Press and Troubador publishing.
If you want to, for example, read the whole series but also get a nice hardback collection, I would recommend buying any title you see that you do not own. It may take a long time to get every book in hardback and you can always sell the paperback on eBay once you find a hardback version. You can also do this with paperbacks if you want a particular cover style or if you want to replace some of your tattier copies with neater ones.
Full List of Titles
Original series by Elinor Brent-Dyer : The School at the Chalet, Jo of the Chalet School, The Princess of the Chalet School, The Head Girl of the Chalet School, Rivals of the Chalet School, Eustatia Goes to the Chalet School, The Chalet School and Jo, The Chalet School in Camp, The Exploits of the Chalet School, The Chalet School and the Lintons, A Rebel at the Chalet School, The New Houseat the Chalet School, Jo Returns to the Chalet School, The New Chalet School, A United Chalet School, The Chalet School in Exile, The Chalet School at War, The Highland Twins at the Chalet School, Lavender Leigh at the Chalet School, Gay Lambert at the Chalet School, Jo to the Rescue, The Mystery at the Chalet School, Tom Tackles the Chalet School, The Chalet School and Rosalie, Three go to the Chalet School, The Chalet School and the Island, Peggy of the Chalet School, Carola Storms the Chalet School, The Wrong Chalet School, Shocks for the Chalet School, The Chalet School in the Oberland, Bride Leads the Chalet School, Changes for the Chalet School, Jey Goes to the Oberland, The Chalet School and Barbara, The Chalet School Does it Again, A Chalet Girl From Kenya, Mary-Lou of the Chalet School, A Genius at the Chalet School, Chalet School Fete, A Problem for the Chalet School, The New Mistress at the Chalet School, Excitements at the Chalet School, The Coming of Age of the Chalet School, The Chalet School and Richenda, Trials for the Chalet School, Theodora and the Chalet School, Joey and Co in the Tirol, Ruey Richardson at the Chalet School, A Leader in the Chalet School, The Chalet School Wins the Trick, A Future Chalet School Girl, The Feud in the Chalet School, The Chalet School Triplets, The Chalet School Reunion, Jane and the Chalet School, Redheads at the Chalet School, Adrienne and the Chalet School, Summer Term at the Chalet School, Challebge for the Chalet School, Two Samsat theChalet School, Althea Joins the Chalet School, Prefects at the Chalet School