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Book 1 of the series
|Genre||Children's literature, bildungsroman|
|No. of books||6 (in the original series)|
Malory Towers is a series of six novels by English children's author Enid Blyton. In 2009, six more books were added to the series by author Pamela Cox, who has also made additions to Enid Blyton's St. Clare's series. The school is based on the girls' boarding school Benenden School that Blyton's daughter attended, and that relocated during the war to the Cornish seaside. The series follows the protagonist, Darrell Rivers on her adventures and experiences in boarding school. Pamela Cox's 2009 books, however, take place after she has left the school and focuses on her younger sister, Felicity Rivers. The first protagonist Darrell Rivers' name is clearly drawn from Blyton's second husband's name, Kenneth Darrell Waters.
Darrell Rivers, the main character, begins her school life ingloriously at Malory Towers in Cornwall. Determined to do well and make friends, she falls under the spell of the brilliant but mischievous Alicia Johns, neglecting her schoolwork in favour of fooling around and playing pranks on the staff.
The reader is treated to an early exposition of her violent temper (inherited from her father) when she rescues Mary-Lou, a smaller, weaker girl in her form, who is being held underwater by the malicious Gwendoline Mary Lacey, and slaps Gwendoline hard and when Katherine, the head-girl, rebukes her, she snaps at her, too. A few minutes later, Darrell is ashamed and apologizes to Katherine who accepts the apology and admires Darrell for doing that but says she has to apologize to Gwen as well.
Darrell says she already has, but Gwen says she didn't, but Katherine and the others take Darrell's word for that. She rebuffs Mary Lou's attempts to make friends, since she believes Mary-Lou to be feeble and unable to stand up for herself, and clashes with fellow new girl Sally Hope, who insists that she is an only child despite written and verbal assurances from Darrell's mother that she has an infant sister. This leads to another altercation, and Darrell shoves Sally across the room. Later that evening, she doesn't turn up for dinner and says she's got a pain in her tummy which turns out to be appendicitis.
Darrell is in a real panic, thinking she caused it, but Darrell's father (a surgeon) performs an impromptu appendectomy in the school's sick-bay and then explains that appendicitis could not be caused by a fall. The experience of thinking that she has made Sally seriously ill, leads Darrell to a greater determination to conquer her temper. Sally's attitude is revealed as pathological jealousy, which is resolved by her parents leaving her infant sister behind to visit her.
Sally and Mary-Lou later stand by Darrell during a malicious episode (orchestrated by Gwendoline) in which Darrell is unjustly accused of spitefully destroying Mary-Lou's fountain pen, and Mary-Lou clears Darrell's name by conquering her fear of the dark. The first book ends with Darrell and Sally being firm friends and Mary-Lou an associate.
Darrell's career from this point is smoother, and she eventually covers herself in the personal, scholastic and sporting glory that was originally expected of her. She is head of the fourth form, games captain of the fifth, and Head Girl in her final year as well as being a successful lacrosse and tennis player. When she is in the fourth form, her younger sister, Felicity, joins her as a first former at the school. From then up until "Last Term at Malory Towers", we also focuse on Felicity and the rest of her form, especially June, the troublesome cousin of Alicia. In all of the books Darrell plays a pivotal role, though she is not always successful in her endeavours and indeed is temporarily stripped of her fourth-form captaincy (she is caught shaking a smaller girl (June) who was threatening to reveal the secret of a midnight feast held by the fourth formers out of personal spite), though she gets it back again by resolving a particularly complicated case of sibling rivalry. She is on friendly terms with most of her classmates and even makes her peace with Gwendoline Lacey at the end, when a personal tragedy strikes the vain, selfish class outcast.
At the end of her school life, Darrell is bound for the University of St Andrews with her best friend Sally Hope. She charges her younger sister Felicity to uphold the standard that she and her classmates set.
The second series of six books follows Darrell's younger sister Felicity, from the third year to her final term.
In the seventh book, New Term at Malory Towers, Felicity battles with clingy friends as well as her enemy and snobbish new girl, Amy. In the eighth book, Summer Term at Malory Towers, you see the girls helping out old school friends of Darrell’s when someone is trying to ruin their new horse riding stables.
Winter Term at Malory Towers, the ninth book, shows the struggles of trying to put on a successful show whilst dealing with the troubles of pushy Sylvia, sullen Olive and interfering Miss Tallant. Millicent and June clash in "Fun and Games at Malory Towers" when girls must choose between music and sport. The eleventh book, Secrets at Malory Towers, sees the return of a familiar face from the second book: Jo, a girl who was expelled back when Felicity was in the second form, returns as Alice. A kind and caring girl who eventually saves another girl from a burning building; changing the girl’s view of her forever.
In this book, you also follow the mischievous adventures of Daffy Hope. A new first former who happens to be Sally Hope’s (from the first six books) younger sister. The final book in the Malory Towers series, Goodbye Malory Towers, sees Felicity through the ups and downs of her last term at Malory Towers. It also sees the return of Gwendoline Lacey, an extremely disliked girl from Darrell’s year. In the second half of the book, you see Darrell’s year having a reunion and you see them solving the case of who is trying to see Gwen get the sack. The book series finishes with Felicity saying goodbye to Malory Towers.
The six official books of the series are:
- First Term at Malory Towers (1946)
- Second Form at Malory Towers (1947)
- Third Year at Malory Towers (1948)
- Upper Fourth at Malory Towers (1949)
- In the Fifth at Malory Towers (1950)
- Last Term at Malory Towers (1951)
Pamela Cox wrote six sequels of the series in 2009 which focus on the adventures of Felicity Rivers, June Johns and Susan Blake:
- New Term at Malory Towers (2009)
- Summer Term at Malory Towers (2009)
- Winter Term at Malory Towers (2009)
- Fun and Games at Malory Towers (2009)
- Secrets at Malory Towers (2009)
- Goodbye Malory Towers (2009)
Darrell Rivers is the main character of the first six books. She is hot tempered and this causes her many problems, but she learns to control it as she goes up the school, and she is also a very responsible, hard-working girl. She is very popular with her form, as is her best friend Sally Hope. When she gets into the upper school she becomes head-girl of the fourth form, games captain in the fifth and finally, in sixth form, Head Girl of the school. As she gets older at Malory Towers she begins to realise her talent for writing and goes on to be a writer. She is very well known in the school and was looked up to by all the smaller children in her time as Head Girl.
Gwendoline Lacey was a silly girl, always thinking that she was good, even when she was doing the wrong things. Alicia especially liked to pick on her, making Gwen (Gwendoline's nickname) both afraid and angry towards her. Her attitude only changed when her father fell very sick during her last term, and she was told that he will die. Realising that she had to stop being so fussy about things, she starts to wonder about her dreadful future. She had wished to go for a university overseas, but since her father had lost his job, she will have to live poorly, and go for a local one.
Alicia Johns was the form joker. There was no end to the tricks she played on the poor teachers. Although she was very popular because of her pranks and jokes she was also very sharp-tongued and scornful of those less talented or healthy than her. She had a very quick brain and if she really worked hard at something then it would be amazing however, she was far too busy playing the fool. Her years at Malory Towers did soften her and she became less sharp-tongued and hard. She was never given any role of responsibility because she was far too fond of playing the fool.
Sally Hope was Darrell's best friend. Although at first she was very odd and quiet because of troubles at home, she soon blossomed into a calm, responsible young lady. The troubles at home were all because Sally was jealous of her younger sister, Daffy, for taking all her parents' attention. Poor Sally was so upset that she thought her parents sent her away to Malory Tower because they didn't want her. The issue was resolved when Sally fell ill and her parents left the baby at home and came all the way down to Cornwall, which was where the school was, to see Sally. Convinced that her parents did love her, she turned into a much nicer and happier girl and soon Sally and Darrell became best friends. Jealousy had always been an issue with Sally and she tried hard to get rid of it while she was at Malory Towers and she definitely succeeded. In second form she became head girl and then in the sixth became games captain and a very good one too.
Betty was Alica's best friend from a different tower and she was very similar to Alica, that's why Miss Grayling (the head mistress) wouldn't let Betty move into Alicia's tower.
Mary-Lou- A timid little thing who was even scared of her own shadow when she first came. However she did get better. She was Gwen's 'best friend' but Gwen was only using her really, then she made a threesome with Darrell and Sally before she finally found a friend of her own, Daphne, who appeared in the second form.
Daphne was a silly, pretty girl who joined in the second form. She initially made friends with Gwendoline, before becoming a better person and befriending Mary-Lou.
Felicity Rivers was Darrell's younger sister who joins the first form when Darrell is in the fourth. She is the main character of Pamela Cox's sequel series.
June Johns was Alicia's cousin who was in Felicity's form. Like her cousin, she was extremely mischievous and troublesome, but not quite as good-hearted and ended up hurting many other girls' feelings.
Susan Blake was Felicity's best friend. She was very sensible and responsible but with a good sense of humour and therefore very popular among her form.
Miss Potts was the first form mistress and head of North Tower. She was very strict and always had an eye on mischief-makers such as Alicia and June.
Mam'zelle Dupont was one of the two French mistresses. She was very silly and was afraid of many things, meaning that she was the victim of most of the girls' tricks and pranks, although she had a very hot temper. Because of her general jolliness and good-humour she was popular with the girls.
Miss Grayling was the headmistress. She was very sensible and strict, but also kind and gentle. Every girl in the school was in awe of her.
The school has 4 towers that are 4 storeys high. The kitchen, dining hall and common rooms are on the ground floor, dormitories are on the first and second floors, teachers rooms and storage are on the top floor.
The school forms a square with a courtyard in the middle. The sides of the school are 3 stories high. Between the west and the north towers there are the classrooms. Between the north and east towers is the San and the headmistresses rooms. Between the east and south towers are the entrance, gym, assembly hall, labs and art room. Between the south and west tower are the mistresses rooms.
The school also has stables, tennis courts, sports pitches and an outside, natural swimming pool.