Re-reading my Childhood

I have been a member of the Jane Austen Society for several years now and for some time I have been toying with the idea of joining another literary society. I was think of something along the lines of the societies for Anthony Trollope, Dorothy L Sayers or Margery Allingham.

In the event – and almost on the spur of the moment – I went for something less literary. The Friends of the Chalet School is something I have known about for a while but have never joined before now.

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My first newsletter arrived this week and I am so looking forward to reading it. I have to admit though that part of the draw for me was their lending library of Chalet School books.

I only recently discovered that almost all of the paperback editions were heavily cut or altered – which means that although I have read a good many of the books I have almost certainly never read a complete one. Therefore, I will obviously have to go back and re-read the whole series from the beginning.

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It is a prospect which fills me with great joy. I have already sourced a 1955 edition of the first book which I hope is complete. I have found a couple of differences within the first few pages so things are looking promising.

However, finding the whole series could (would) be a difficult and expensive project – hence my interest in the library! I am very much looking forward to all of the reading though.

9 thoughts on “Re-reading my Childhood

    • It’s going to take ages! The differences are very interesting – the 1960s paperback doubles their income and removes all mention of the troubles in Ireland. I’m sure there are plenty more to find but I’m going to actually read the book now and stop comparing them!

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  1. I loved the Chalet School back in the day! it really captured my imagination and I wanted so badly to go there! even though I don’t speak multiple languages and am too lazy to learn, so the days where you’re only allowed to speak French or German and so-forth would be a nightmare, I didn’t think it through, lol.

    and that’s so interesting that the books were abridged, I wonder what the differences are!

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    • I so wanted to go too! I’m fairly sure the days when you could only speak French or German would help you learn them pretty quickly!
      I don’t know all the differences yet but within the first couple of pages I’ve found a section referencing the Irish troubles which was completely removed and their income was doubled – presumably to make it more relevant to the sixties.

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  2. Some of the books are much more badly cut than others. Sadly, the worst cuts are in the Tyrolean and British books, which IMHO are the best ones – some of them are only missing minor bits, or descriptions rather than storylines, but a few are missing whole chapters. I first read them as a kid in the ’80s and had no idea that Armada had chopped bits out! Most of the cuts aren’t essential to the plot, but some lovely descriptions of Tyrol were cut, and some interesting wartime details in the British years. Enjoy rediscovering them 🙂 .

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    • I had no idea they had been cut! My favourites are definitely the Tyrolean books and I am very excited to go back and read them again in full. Do you know why they were cut? I’d be very interested to know – at the moment I’m assuming they just wanted to shorten them, since it was mostly descriptions which were cut.

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