Elinor Brent-Dyer

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Elinor Brent-Dyer
Elinor Brent-Dyer.jpg
Born Gladys Eleanor May Dyer
(1894-04-06)6 April 1894
Died 20 September 1969(1969-09-20) (aged 75)
Occupation Novelist
Period 1922–1969
Genre Adventure, School stories

Elinor M. Brent-Dyer (6 April 1894 – 20 September 1969) was a children's author who wrote more than 100 books during her lifetime, the most famous being the Chalet School series.


Elinor M. Brent-Dyer was born Gladys Eleanor May Dyer on 6 April 1894. She was the only daughter of Eleanor Watson Rutherford and Charles Morris Brent-Dyer. She had a half-brother, Charles Arnold Lloyd Dyer, from her father's first marriage to Helen May Arnold. Several accounts have declared at this point that Charles Arnold "never lived with his father", but he is shown on the census with him living in Fanshawe Street, Southampton in 1891 and in Brownhill Road, Lewisham in 1901.

When Elinor was three years old, her father abandoned his family, which by then included his second son, Henzell. Elinor's father moved in with another woman who had been a servant at his lodgings in 1901, bore him another namesake son, Morris, and in 1911 was living with him as Mrs Dyer.

Elinor was educated in her birthplace town of South Shields. She claimed in later interviews to have attended Dame Allan's School but this can only have been briefly (though she may have taught there for a short time). After finishing her education, she attended City of Leeds Training College and returned to teach in her hometown. It was around this time that she adopted the name Elinor Mary Brent-Dyer.

In 1922, she published her first book – Gerry Goes to School, which became the first of the La Rochelle titles.

She was received into the Roman Catholic Church in 1930.

In 1933, Elinor and her mother moved to Hereford. For a while, Elinor was a commuting governess, but she eventually opened her own school in Hereford – the Margaret Roper School. This school was closed in 1948. Elinor then devoted all her time to writing.

In 1964 Elinor moved to Redhill. She died there in 1969, and her final book was published posthumously the same year.


Chalet School Series[edit]

Main article: Chalet School

(in reading order)

  1. The School at the Chalet
  2. Jo of the Chalet School
  3. The Princess of the Chalet School
  4. The Head-Girl of the Chalet School
  5. The Rivals of the Chalet School
  6. Eustacia Goes to the Chalet School
  7. The Chalet School and Jo
  8. The Chalet Girls in Camp
  9. The Exploits of the Chalet Girls
  10. The Chalet School and the Lintons
  11. The New House at the Chalet School
  12. Jo Returns to the Chalet School
  13. The New Chalet School
  14. The Chalet School in Exile
  15. The Chalet School Goes to It
  16. Highland Twins at the Chalet School
  17. Lavender Laughs in the Chalet School
  18. Gay From China at the Chalet School
  19. Jo to the Rescue
    a Mystery at the Chalet School
    b Tom Tackles the Chalet School
    c The Chalet School and Rosalie
  20. Three Go to the Chalet School
  21. The Chalet School and the Island
  22. Peggy of the Chalet School
  23. Carola Storms the Chalet School
  24. The Wrong Chalet School
  25. Shocks for the Chalet School
  26. The Chalet School in the Oberland
  27. Bride Leads the Chalet School
  28. Changes for the Chalet School
  29. Joey Goes to the Oberland
  30. The Chalet School and Barbara
  31. The Chalet School Does it Again
  32. A Chalet Girl from Kenya
  33. Mary-Lou of the Chalet School
  34. A Genius at the Chalet School
  35. A Problem for the Chalet School
  36. The New Mistress at the Chalet School
  37. Excitements at the Chalet School
  38. The Coming of Age of the Chalet School
  39. The Chalet School and Richenda
  40. Trials for the Chalet School
  41. Theodora and the Chalet School
  42. Joey and Co. in Tirol
  43. Ruey Richardson – Chaletian
  44. A Leader in the Chalet School
  45. The Chalet School Wins the Trick
  46. A Future Chalet School Girl
  47. The Feud in the Chalet School
  48. The Chalet School Triplets
  49. The Chalet School Reunion
  50. Jane and the Chalet School
  51. Redheads at the Chalet School
  52. Adrienne and the Chalet School
  53. Summer Term at the Chalet School
  54. Challenge for the Chalet School
  55. Two Sams at the Chalet School
  56. Althea Joins the Chalet School
  57. Prefects of the Chalet School

La Rochelle Titles[edit]

  • Gerry Goes to School
  • A Head Girl's Difficulties
  • The Maids of La Rochelle
  • Seven Scamps
  • Heather Leaves School
  • Janie of La Rochelle
  • Janie Steps In

Title Connected to the Chalet Series[edit]

These books have characters who also appear in the Chalet series.

  • The Lost Staircase
  • Monica Turns Up Trumps

The Chudleigh Hold Books[edit]

A loosely connected series of adventure books

  • Chudleigh Hold
  • The Condor Crags Adventure
  • Top Secret
  • Fardingales
  • The Susannah Adventure

Other titles[edit]

  • A Thrilling Term at Janeways
  • Caroline the Second
  • The School by the River (1930)
  • The New House-Mistress
  • Judy the Guide
  • The Feud in the Fifth Remove
  • Carnation of the Upper Fourth
  • They Both Liked Dogs
  • The School by the River
  • The Little Marie-Jose
  • Elizabeth the Gallant
  • The Little Missus
  • Lorna at Wynyards
  • Stepsisters for Lorna
  • Kennelmaid Nan
  • Nesta Steps Out
  • Beechy of the Harbour School
  • Leader in Spite of Herself
  • The School at Skelton Hall
  • Trouble at Skelton Hall
  • Bess on Her Own in Canada
  • A Quintette in Queensland
  • Sharlie's Kenya Diary
  • Verena Visits New Zealand
  • Jean of Storms

Further reading[edit]

  • McClelland, Helen. Behind the Chalet School. (2nd ed.) Bettany Press.

External links/references[edit]