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St Clare’s Books In Order

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Publication Order of St. Clare's Books

The Twins at St Clare's (1941)Description / Buy at Amazon
The O'Sullivan Twins (1941)Description / Buy at Amazon
Summer Term At St Clare's (1943)Description / Buy at Amazon
Second Form at St Clare's (1944)Description / Buy at Amazon
Claudine At St Clare's (1944)Description / Buy at Amazon
Fifth Formers Of St Clare's (1945)Description / Buy at Amazon

St. Clare’s is the name of a series written by Enid Blyton (beloved children’s author) and Pamela Cox. St. Clare’s is also the name of the boarding school around which the plots of the series revolve.

The Story

The St. Claire’s series revolves around heroines Patricia and Isabel O’Sullivan. Chronicling the pair’s journey from their first year in the boarding school on-wards, the series is home to quite the large cast, with prominent characters including Alison O’Sullivan, Hilary Wentworth, Janet Robins, Kitty Flaherty, Annmarie, Miss Roberts and Miss Adams to mention but a few.

The St. Claire’s series is primarily targeted towards young readers, telling of life within the confines of a girls’ boarding school and utilizing themes of the times to reveal the various goings-on of school life, typically littered with mischief, adventure, humor and a little mystery.

Standing at the center of this often charming story are the twins, Patricia and Isabel, primary protagonists of the series; upon finishing their time at Redroofs, an elite school, the twins fully expect to transition seamlessly into life at Ringmere, another school of equally elite status, along with their friends. And it is their intention to continue their tradition of being as difficult as possible.

Upon being marooned at St. Claire’s, the pair are furious at their parents and determine to have a miserable time; eventually making friends, this fun, witty and fast paced series follows the girls as they find new life at their unexpected home, engaging in one caper after another.

Appropriate for all children aged nine and above, of the several books in the St. Claire’s series, Enid Blyton wrote six, Pamela Cox then publishing the rest.

The Author

Enid Mary Blyton was a celebrated English author; having produced some of the world’s greatest bestsellers (her books having sold more than six hundred million copies since 1930), Enid Blyton still enjoys considerable popularity.

Her works have been translated into nearly one hundred languages and has become essential reading in various parts of the world. Enid’s first book was called ‘Child Whispers’. It was a 24 page collection of poems published in 1922. Following ‘Child Whispers’, Enid crafted a number of works within a wide variety of fields, from mystery to natural history, education and even biblical narratives.

Enid Blyton’s career bloomed relatively early and grew very rapidly, the author known for sometimes churning out up to fifty books in a given year, this along with her contributions to mediums such as magazines and Newspapers. Most of Enid’s work was unplanned and she often spoke of typing stories just as they were unfolding in her mind.

It was probably because of the sheer volume of her work that rumors regarding the author’s employment of numerous ghost writers emerged, rumors that she denied.

Enid Blyton faced a number of controversies during her career, chief amongst which was the fact that her writing approach and the themes of her books were labeled as being particularly unchallenging. In fact a number of her works were banned in a number of libraries because of what literary critics called a lack of literary merit. Even with the various criticisms about the elitist, sexist and xenophobic nature of her work, Enid’s books continued to outsell her rivals even after she died in 1968.

Enid Blyton was known for encouraging her readers to rise up and support worthy causes, often setting up clubs to raise funds for numerous charities. The author’s life was dramatized by the BBC in a movie called ‘Enid’. Her books have also been adapted into plays, movies and Television series.

The Twins at St Claire’s

Patricia and Isabel go to St. Claire’s determined not to enjoy themselves; however by the time the term closes, they cannot help but admit the considerable amounts of fun they had at their new school.

Many older readers have fond memories of this, the first book in the St. Claire’s series. While hardly the strongest start in an Enid Blyton series, at least when compared to the likes of the Mallory towers series, ‘The Twins at St. Claire’s’ is none the less quite the fun read.

The primary characters, Pat and Isabel, largely indistinguishable from one another, are infuriated when their parents dump them off at a boarding school of a standard far lower than the elite Redroofs they had been attending. Yet, while initially reluctant to interact with their fellow class mates or engage in the various activities (quickly attracting the name ‘The Stuck-Up Twins), Pat and Isabel cannot help but acclimate to their new environment, making unexpected friends and finally settling down for a fun term.

‘The Twins at St. Claire’s’ is the sort of book that used to have children yearning for boarding school, and which many an adult has been known to re-read, if only to relieve a fun memory or two.

The book is a pretty easy read, written in a manner simple enough for even the young to comprehend but without completely losing its older audience. And despite the stereotypical characters (who might not translate as well today) and the moral driven plot, ‘The Twins at St. Claire’s’ is still an entertaining enough read for today’s children, filled with fun and mischief.

The O’Sullivan Twins

As the Easter Term starts, Patricia and Isabel are anticipating reuniting with their friends from St. Claire’s. The twins prove to be quite the source of entertainment.

The second book in the St. Claire’ series enjoys a surprising amount of popularity, in some cases superseding even the first novel; many readers have commended the novel for providing so much detail about the minutiae of school life even while keeping things quite lively and interesting.

A lot of effort is invested into describing the world of St. Claire, especially its colorful cast of students and teachers and (especially) the food.

The majority of weaknesses in this book emanate from some of the character discrepancies, specifically the puzzling behavior of some individuals. More importantly, the story as a whole is rather formulaic, though the story arc of the twins keeps things interesting, especially as they begin to understand the consequences of their actions.

The departure from a number of stereotypes, especially regarding Pat and Isabel’s cousin is particularly appreciated. Providing a decent bridge between the first and third book, ‘The O’Sullivan Twins’ has an unexpected charm to it.

Book Series In Order » Characters » St Clare’s

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