Tuesday, 5 April 2011

D is for...Darrell Rivers

I badly wanted to be Darrell Rivers from Malory Towers when I was a kiddie. She had it made – a stable family background, a gorgeous fairy-tale of a school, popular with her peers, respected by teachers, good at sports, and a talent for writing stories. Her one fault is a terrible temper, but even that only appears when she catches someone bullying or being unjust or spiteful. As role models go, she’s not a bad one to adopt.

The thing I liked most about Malory Towers is that the school life depicted was very different to my London comprehensive education. They played lacrosse, had midnight feasts, rode horses, and lived at school. We played truant, stayed up past midnight, rode buses, and lived for home time. It was a world apart, really, which made Enid Blyton’s books so enchanting!

Malory Towers
Published: 1946 – 1951
Author: Enid Blyton

School fact one: In my school the make-shift temporary huts used for some lessons were a health hazard. You had to turn the lights on with a block of wood when it was raining as water ran down the wall!

School fact two: We thought the library at the top of the school was haunted.

School fact three: Any school trip to France ended up with teachers and pupils in a Benny Hill style chase around the ferry.

School fact four: The art room was my favourite place.

School fact five: I once climbed out the bathroom window to have a sneaky ciggie on the roof and the window accidentally closed behind me, leaving me stranded. Never again!

Three A-Z Highlights for 'D'!
Niki over at Wool 'n' Nuts shares pictures of her lovely Dog tucking into Dinner!
Steven Chapman explains about that writer's cop out, the Deus ex machina
Plain Jane talks about Delicious Donuts!


Steven Chapman said...

Thanks for the highlight, Jayne! I love your posts so far, really like the idea of the highlights and the facts...makes mine seem kind of boring now though!

Out on the prairie said...

That perfect life didn't always match ours.I haven't seen this series, but like the character supporting those who are being picked on.

Old Kitty said...

Yay for Enid Blyton!! I've not read any Malory Towers (yikes!!!!) but this Darrell Rivers sounds brilliant!! Take care

Maria Zannini said...

School Fact #5 is worthy of at least a short story. :)

Who finally let you back in?

wannabe a writer said...

Hi Jayne

Oh how I loved Enid Blyton when I was a kid - you couldn't get my nose out of her books.

F has got to be for the Faraway Tree - I read all three as fast as I could and have bought them again and read them to my boys. Timeless.


mise said...

Darrell Rivers! I hadn't thought about her for 33 years or so, and it's all flooding back to me. I meant to name a child of mine Darrell, way back then. Imagine how low I feel at having forgotten that when the time came.

Sophia Richardson said...

I might have to read this, I love the feel of old timey schools where kids are living away from their parents and the revamping the traditonal school got in Rowling's Hogwarts.
- Sophia.

Hannah Kincade said...

I've never heard of either one of these books! I must go on the hunt.

Sue H said...

I never read the Mallory Towers books, by my Mother-in-Law gave one to my daughter when she was about eight and she was hooked!

Given the M-i-L was, herself, a boarding school 'gel' (who indeed played lacrosse!) she would never let on if she and her schoolmates had such thrilling adventures!

But when WW2 broke out and she and her older sister couldn't get back home to her parents in India, the entire school contingent moved from London to Devon - she seemed to spend the war in an unlikely but idyllic haze of beach cricket, rounders and board games!

SueH I refuse to go quietly!

Laura Marcella said...

I haven't seen this series, but it looks like a good one for kids! I'm really enjoying your A-Z posts. :)

Monti said...

What a fun-sounding book series! Now going to France on the ferry sounds fascinating to me especially since my last book Night Watch starts off with a murder on one of those ferries! Getting chased around would be much more fun!


Paula Martin said...

This brought back such happy memories. I loved the Malory Towers books!
Some of the first stories I ever wrote were my versions of the adventures of Darrell Rivers and her friends.
Thanks for the memory!

Jessica Bell said...

I loved Enid Blyton stuff as a kid. I really got into the FAraway Tree series! :o)

Karen said...

Oh I loved the Malory Towers series - and St. Clare's!

Love the school facts too - the library was my favourite place but then ours wasn't haunted!

Kathy said...

Absolutely love your book covers. They made me stop! Do you by any chance know the name of the illustrator of the first Malory Towers book? Looking forward to the rest of the challenge.

I found you with the ‘surprise me’ button. I’m a new follower of yours. I'd love to have you check out my take on the A to Z Challenge, comment and follow, if you'd like.
Kathy at Oak Lawn Images

Plain Jane said...

Eek! I feel so special to be mentioned in your blog. And, I think your A to Z is my favorite topic so far. I love all reminders of old stories. Malory Towers I have never read, but now I will have to seek them out. Yay, new books!

Joe Richardson said...

I've a few books with covers inked in a similar style, that I read as a kid. I may never read them again.

But I can't let them go.

Thanks for sharing these.

D: Devious Devices from the DeMoulin factory

Anne K. Albert said...

You had me at "school trips to France"!

Spacerguy said...

Its estimated Enid Blyton wrote 800 books over 40 years. She sure was a busy little beaver.

Myne Whitman said...

I was thinking about your school and then you mentioned school trips to France, lol.

I loved Enid Blyton's books, my favorite thought were the Famous Five series, I loved adventure.

Lynda R Young said...

I think Enid Blyton was the first author I ever read. I borrowed my mums books and loved them.

Ann said...

I climbed out a bathroom window once and got locked out too.

Those good old school days.

Bz said...

I read your ABC, and these are just classics, I love it that you reminder me of the best books out there :) Thank you!

Áine Tierney said...

I'm thinking of the poor kid out on the roof not able to get back in again!! Who found you?
Loved Malory towers and the St.Claires books too!

Kit Courteney said...

Oh my giddy aunt!

I've just seen this post - how spooky.

My D wasn't for Darrell, but I DID mention her!

Excellent post :D

Pamela Terry and Edward said...

I've never met Malory Towers. What a fabulous name! I don't think Enid Blyton was well known here in the states. I'm off now to do some searching for her! Thanks!