Jo of the Chalet School by Elinor M. Brent-Dyer

Jo of the Chalet School by Elinor M. Brent-Dyer was first published in 1926 and it’s the second book in the very large Chalet School series, 58 books long in fact.

There are over thirty girls at The Chalet School now and Jo’s sister Miss Bettany is the rather young headmistress. There’s a lot going on in this book as it’s set in the winter term, an exciting time in the Austrian Tyrol with plenty of entertainments for the schoolgirls to get involved in. It’s not so great for the locals though as it’s a lean time for them economically. This results in the school getting a Saint Bernard’s pup, the only one saved from a litter.

The ‘school baby’ also arrives, Robin’s mother has died and as her father has to travel for work Robin is placed in the care of the school, she quickly becomes a favourite.

Miss Bettany launches a campaign against slang, just about none of which we would call slang nowadays. Jo is so annoyed about that and she decides to start speaking as they did in Shakespeare’s time. That’s a bit of a hoot, but otherwise there’s a lot of jeapordy for Jo as she gets ill a few times and has accidents.

I read some of the Chalet School books when I was about ten years old, and I remembered that I felt so cosmopolitan because of the smatterings of French and German in them, but I’ve been enjoying reading them recently for the charm of a bygone age, and sometimes they just hit the spot when things are grim in real life, as they were earlier in the month with the death of our friend Eric.