|Title:||The Girls of the Hamlet Club (Abbey #1)|
|Publisher:||W & R Chambers|
|Tags:||fiction, girls, juvenile, school stories|
This is the first in a long series, some 60+ books, of a series of girls who are students in a day/boarding school in the west of England.
The Hamlet Club, formed in the first book in the series, Girls of the Hamlet Club, was set up to combat snobbery in the school. Underlying the club’s overt activities of folk-dancing and rambles was its motto ‘To be or not to be’, and its badge, the Whiteleaf Cross. These were both symbols of deeper meanings. The motto, deliberately using a quote from the Shakespeare play Hamlet is taken to mean to make the right choice, usually duty above self-interest, when it arises. Throughout the Abbey Series the various main characters come up against this choice and its consequences, and are shown growing and maturing through making difficult decisions. The badge, taken from a landmark local to the area in which the series is set, is also symbolic—as is any cross—of sacrifice. [Suggest a different description.]
Author Bio for Dunkerley, Elsie Jeanette
A celebrated English girls’ school story writer, Elsie J. Oxenham's real name was Elsie Jeanette Dunkerley. Born in 1880 in Southport, Lancashire, she was the daughter of writer William John Dunkerley, whose chosen pseudonym - ‘John Oxenham’ - was a clear influence upon her own. Her brother, Roderic Dunkerley, was also an author (published under his own name), as was her sister Erica, who used the 'Oxenham' name as well. Oxenham grew up in Ealing, West London, where her family had moved when she was a baby, living there until 1922, when the family moved again, to Worthing. After the deaths of her parents, Oxenham lived with her sister Maida. She died in 1960.
Oxenham, whose interests included the Camp Fire movement, and English Folk Dance traditions, is primarily remembered as the creator of the 38-book Abbey Girls series. In her lifetime she had 87 titles published, and another two have since been published by her niece, who discovered the manuscripts in the early 1990s. She is considered a major figure among girls' school story writers of the first half of the twentieth century -- one of the 'Big Three,' together with Elinor Brent-Dyer and Dorita Fairlie Bruce.--goodreads.com.
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