Elinor Brent-Dyer
File:Elinor Brent-Dyer.jpg
Born April 6, 1894(1894-04-06)
Died September 20, 1969 (aged 75)
Occupation Novelist
Writing period 1922-1970
Genres Adventure, School stories

Elinor M. Brent-Dyer (1894 – 1969) was a children’s author who wrote over 100 books during her lifetime, the most famous being the Chalet School series.

Short Biography

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. Gladys had a half-brother, Charles Arnold Lloyd Dyer, who was a product of Charles Morris Brent Dyer'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 Charles senior 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. Eventually, 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 there a briefly (though she may have taught there for a short time). After finishing her education, she attended 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, Elinor published her first book — Gerry Goes to School, which went on to become 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, following the death of her mother several years earlier, Elinor moved to Redhill. She died there in 1969, and her final book was published posthumously the same year.


Chalet School Series

(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

19a Mystery at the Chalet School

19b Tom Tackles the Chalet School

19c 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

32 The Chalet School Does it Again

33 A Chalet Girl from Kenya

34 Mary-Lou of the Chalet School

35 A Genius at the Chalet School

36 A Problem for the Chalet School

37 The New Mistress at the Chalet School

38 Excitements at the Chalet School

39 The Coming of Age of the Chalet School

40 The Chalet School and Richenda

41 Trials for the Chalet School

42 Theodora and the Chalet School

43 Joey and Co. in Tirol

44 Ruey Richardson - Chaletian

45 A Leader in the Chalet School

46 The Chalet School Wins the Trick

47 A Future Chalet School Girl

48 The Feud in the Chalet School

49 The Chalet School Triplets

50 The Chalet School Reunion

51 Jane and the Chalet School

52 Redheads at the Chalet School

53 Adrienne and the Chalet School

54 Summer Term at the Chalet School

55 Challenge for the Chalet School

56 Two Sams at the Chalet School

57 Althea Joins the Chalet School'

58 Prefects of the Chalet School

La Rochelle Titles

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

Other titles

Chudleigh Hold

The Condor Crags Adventure

Top Secret


The Susannah Adventure

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

Monica Turns Up Trumps

They Both Liked Dogs

The School by the River

The Little Marie-Jose

Elizabeth the Gallant

The Little Missus

The Lost Staircase

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

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

External links/references


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