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Dorita Fairlie Bruce catalogue

updated 17th August 2017

 

Dorita Fairlie Bruce
(1885-1970)

was one of the 'big three' of 20th century English girl's literature - the other two being Elsie J. Oxenham of The Abbey Girls series and Elinor Brent-Dyer, who wrote the Chalet School books.

She was a pioneer in creating series of books which followed a group of girls throughout their schooldays and even beyond. Her Dimsie, Nancy and Springdale series all follow this pattern, which was widely imitated.

The Colmskirk sequence, a set of nine novels for young adults, widened her scope, dealing with a group of families in the Scottish countryside around Largs from the seventeenth century to the twentieth.

 

  JANE WILLARD FOUNDATION - DIMSIE - in reading order





#1 DIMSIE GOES TO SCHOOL

Dimsie - Daphne Isabel Maitland - starts school at Jane Willard Foundation, makes new friends and solves a mystery involving her elder cousin Daphne.

2 copies

#2 DIMSIE MOVES UP

Dimsie and her friends Erica, Jean, Rosamund, Pamela and Mabs form the Anti-Soppist League to combat what they see as soppy crushes on mistresses.

published 1947 (1st Australian ed.) by Oxford University Press Geoffrey Cumberledge, hardback without dust jacket, in good condition, no names, slight darkening on end-papers, clean cream pages, tight binding and clean blue board covers.

BRU102a AU$6
BRU102b same with inscription dated 1948 AU$6



BRU103




#3 DIMSIE MOVES UP AGAIN

New girl Fenella Postlethwaite makes life difficult but all is well in the end as, regardless of her sometimes unorthodox methods, Dimsie has a knack for managing people and situations - involving girls and teachers alike.

published 1938 by Oxford University Press Humphrey Milford, hardback with dust jacket, both in good condition.
There are no names, clean cream pages, tight binding and clean green boards with some colour-leaching on the spine. The clipped dust jacket has faded patches. One coloured frontispiece: 'She saw Mr Higgins hurriedly lifting the VanDyk off its hook.'
BRU103 AU$8




#4 DIMSIE AMONG THE PREFECTS
Rosamund's young niece Hilary arrives at the school and is completely uncontrollable - except by Dimsie who appeals to her strong sense of honour and fair play.



#5 DIMSIE HEAD GIRL
Erica leaves school and Jean automatically becomes Head Girl where she is an utter disaster - until Miss York gives Dimsie the job. But Dimsie is faced with some enormous challenges. As usual, via some less than conventional methods, she gets to the bottom of them.

reprint 1938 Oxford University Press Humphrey Milford hardback with dust jacket, both in good condition. There is a presentation plate dated 1940 on the fep, clean white pages, foxing on closed page edges, tight binding and clean green boards. The clipped dust jacket is an austerity green number with some fading along top front and on the back. Coloured frontispiece: ' "There's a good deal going on that I can't fathom." '

BRU105 AU$10






#6 DIMSIE INTERVENES
Written retrospectively but fitting here in reading order: Hilary and her friends form The Syndicate for Supplying Smelling-Salts, Sunny Locks and Safe Slimming.



#7 DIMSIE GROWS UP

Dimsie grows up and leaves school, becomes engaged to Peter Gilmore, and plans to take over the old family home in Scotland and begin a commercial herb garden.



#8 DIMSIE GOES BACK
Jane's has deteriorated since Dimsie's day and not liking the spirit in the school, Miss Yorke asks Dimsie to come back as a secretary and see if she can fix things.


#9 DIMSIE CARRIES ON
It's WW2 and Dimsie is married to Peter with two small children while working as a herbalist at Twinkle Tap. Anne Willoughby and Primula from the Springdale books help her to solve a spy mystery.

 

  ST. BRIDE'S and MAUDSLEY - NANCY

BRU111a


#1 THE GIRLS OF ST. BRIDE'S
Morag and Christine Maclean are sent to St. Bride's, a boarding school on a Hebridean island, determined not to reveal that their grandfather used to own the house and island and lost it in a dubious business deal. They befriend Cynthia who has been ostracised for 'sneaking' and attempt to clear her name. Dated of course, but a rattling good yarn!

published 2002 by Girls Gone By Press new pb in fine condition with biography of DFB and 4 of the original illustrations in b&w.
BRU111a AU$25


BRU112a

BRU112b

BRU112c


#2 NANCY AT ST. BRIDE'S
Tells the story of Nancy's first, unhappy, term at St. Bride's. She arrived at the school determined to have a good time and refused to obey any rules. "The more a thing is dangerous", she declared, "the more I like to do it!"

published 2003 by Girls Gone By Press new pb in fine condition with biography of DFB and 5 of the original illustrations in b&w.
BRU112a AU$25

revised version published 1965 by Super Hampton Library hb with dj both in good condition, 'from Narnie' written on the title page, clean cream pages, tight binding and clean orange boards. The unclipped dust jacket has a tear across the back and angling up at the front, not very noticeable as it is under a removable plastic sleeve.
BRU112b AU$10

published 1949 reprint by Oxford University Press Geoffrey Cumberledge, hardback with dust jacket, both in good condition, a name scribbled over inside the front cover, foxing on closed page edges and a few spots throughout, clean cream pages, tight binding and clean blue board covers with edgewear. The unclipped dust jacket has chipping at spine ends and bumping at corners.
BRU112c AU$20



#3 THAT BOARDING SCHOOL GIRL
Nancy arrives at Maudsley Grammar School knowing that she will have to work hard to retrieve her father's trust
. Her classmates sense a mystery - why is she at a day school after having been at a boarding school?
The best of the Nancy series.

published 1930 reprint by Oxford University Press Humphrey Milford, illustrated by R.H. Brock, hardback without dust jacket, in good condition.There is a presentation plate dated 1935 on the fep, clean cream pages, tight binding and clean red boards. One coloured frontispiece: ' Tied tightly to a tree in the middle of the glad was a small girl' and full-page b&w drawings.
BRU115 AU$20



#4 THE NEW GIRL AND NANCY
Barbara comes to live next door - most unwillingly - and Nancy and her friends do everything they can to help her settle down. But they don't bargain on a kidnap attempt!

 



#5 NANCY TO THE RESCUE
When Nancy discovers her former St Bride's schoolmate playing the flute for money in Maudsley
she takes immediate action to change Althea's life for the better.

published 1929 1st ed. by Oxford University Press Humphrey Milford, illustrated by Gordon Browne, hardback without dust jacket, in good condition.There is an inscription dated 1932 on the fep, foxing on first few pages and closed page edges, otherwise clean cream pages, tight binding and clean red boards. One coloured frontispiece: ' "What on earth are you doing in Maudsley?" ' and 4 full-page b&w drawings.
BRU115 AU$20



#6 THE BEST BAT IN THE SCHOOL
Rosalind Blackett is the best cricket batter in the school but when sportscaptain Lois sees her behaving dishonourably she sacks her from the first eleven against Larkiston. But that's not like a Blackett girl - can Lois have blundered? This is a short novel.

 



#8 NANCY RETURNS TO ST BRIDE'S
Nancy returns for her final school year specialising on organ-playing with her chum Desda on an art scholarship - but it's The Locum Headmistress and not beloved Miss Caldwell and The Locum doesn't care for musical or artistic girls nor girls with a murky past like Nancy's.




#9 NANCY CALLS THE TUNE
Nancy has finished her organ training and is looking for a job when Angus Macrae, the young and enthusiastic minister of the South Kirk at Easterbraes insists she should become his organist.

 

  SPRINGDALE



#1 THE NEW HOUSE CAPTAIN
Primula Mary Beton and Anne Willoughby are new girls at Springdale in the Upper Third, members of Rowan House. The new house captain is Peggy, Anne's sister who was given the job over the more popular candidate Diana - who refuses to help her former best friend.

published 1933 reprint by Oxford University Press Humphrey Milford, illustrated by Mary Strange Reeve, hardback in fair condition without original dust jacket. There is a presentation plate dated 1934 on the fep, slight foxing on closed page edges, clean cream pages, the whole spine covering is missing but tight binding and clean pictorial board covers which I have copied for the scanned dust jacket. One coloured frontispiece: ' "I was afraid you might be counting on me as sports captain" ' and full-page b&w drawings.
BRU121 AU$20


#2 THE BEST HOUSE IN THE SCHOOL
Peggy is keen for Rowan to be the best house in the school, even it means having Sydney Carter for sports captain.



#3 CAPTAIN OF SPRINGDALE
To her surprise, Peggy is now Captain of Springdale with many responsibilities and the enmity of Elspeth, so the good offices of the P.D.L. run by Primula Mary, Anne and Tibbie are most useful.

published 1950 reprint by Oxford University Press Geoffrey Cumberledge, hardback with dust jacket, both in good condition, an inscription dated 1951 on the fep, clean cream pages, tight binding and clean red board covers with a brown mark on front edge, not seen under dj. The clipped dust jacket has small chips at top of spine. One b&w frontispiece by unnamed author - looks like Margaret Horder.
BRU123 AXU$25




#4 THE NEW HOUSE AT SPRINGDALE
Primula Mary
and her friends are moved from Rowans to help form Wisteria House. That's bad enough, but when they are joined by girls from St Tabitha's sparks must fly!

published by Spring Books London, no date, hardback with dust jacket both in good condition, no names, tape ghosts on front end-paper from plastic cover now removed, clean beige pages, tight binding and clean blue cloth-covered boards. The unclipped dust jacket has several tears and patching at top of spine and back with yellow paper to cover gaps. One coloured frontispiece: "Devorgilla's palfrey shied and bolted."
BRU124 AU$20



#5 PREFECTS AT SPRINGDALE
Primula Mar
y and Anne are made prefects of Wisteria House and with typical vigour and enterprise decide that their house must win the school competition designed to prove the value of their education.


published 1948 reprint by Oxford University Press Geoffrey Cumberledge, hardback with dust jacket, both in very good condition, no names, clean cream pages, tight binding and clean red board covers. The unclipped dust jacket has tiniest chips at top of spine. One b&w frontispiece by unnamed author - looks like Margaret Horder.
BRU123 AU$25

  TOBY


#1 THE SCHOOL ON THE MOOR
Toby lives happily with her painter father - but it's rather lonely and she would love to attend St Githa's, a boarding school near her home on the moor.

published 1948 1st Australian edition by Oxford University Press Geoffrey Cumberledge, hardback with dust jacket, both in good condition, no names, clean tanned pages, tight binding and clean orange board covers. The clipped dust jacket has chipping at both ends of spine.
BRU127 AU$30

  COLMSKIRK NOVELS FOR OLDER READERS

A LAVEROCK LILTING
Jentie Crawford ran away from her aunt's home on Clydeside with just her terrier Birkie and became a singer. She sang her way into fashionable Edinburgh society and after a career of ups and downs returned to Drumbuie.


published 1947 2nd ed. by Oxford University Press Geoffrey Cumberledge, illustrated by Margaret Horder, hardback without original dust jacket, both in good condition, no names, a strip of browning on both end-papers, clean cream pages, tight binding and clean brown board covers. The scanned dust jacket is very good. B&w drawings.
BRU133 AU$20


THE BEES ON DRUMWHINNIE
Set in the 1870s, this tells how Felicity and Deb came to stay with two poverty-stricken aunts and stayed to make their cottage a home and build a business around keeping bees.

published 1952 1st ed. by Oxford University Press Geoffrey Cumberledge, illustrated by Margaret Horder, hardback with dust jacket, both in good condition, a piece of the fep removed so no names, clean cream pages, tight binding and clean yellow board covers. The clipped dust jacket has slight chipping at spine ends. B&w drawings.
BRU134 AU$40


THE SERENDIPITY SHOP
Merran Lendrum inherits a quaint old shop in a seaside town where she can make a living and provide a home for her sister Julia.

published 2009 by Girls Gone By Press, illustrated by Margaret Horder, new pb in fine condition with notes on the location of the story and a description of the Colmskirk novels. B&w illustrations.
BRU136 AU$25


TRIFFENY
Triffeny finds her niche in life as a designer at her family's pottery and has a good friend in Julia Lendrum. But her cousin Phena is jealous and wants her own protege running the place.

published 1950 1st ed. by Oxford University Press Geoffrey Cumberledge, illustrated by Margaret Horder, hardback with dust jacket, both in good condition, fep removed so no names, foxing on closed page edges and first three pages otherwise clean cream pages, tight binding and clean brown board covers with bottom shelfwear. The unclipped dust jacket has a 2cm tear at bottom spine/front fold and slight chipping at top of spine. B&w drawings.
BRU137 AU$50


THE DEBATABLE MOUND
Professor Crawford moves his family to a new house in Scotland adjoining the ancient Serpent Mound which he plans to excavate. But the neighbours don't approve.

published by Oxford University Press 1953 1st ed. illustrated by Patricia M. Lambe, hardback with dust jacket both in good condition. There is a name and 1953 date on the fep, heavy foxing on first and last two pages, in between clean cream pages, tight binding and clean green boards. The clipped dust jacket in new plastic sleeve has chipping at top of the spine.
BRU138 AU$80


THE BARTLE BEQUEST

Primula Mary Beton has a wonderful new job as curator of the museum in Colskirk and a treasure in Bethia as her young housekeeper. Mr Bartle keeps interfering but Julia can control him. Lively b&w line drawings are exactly right.

published by Oxford University Press 1955 1st ed. illustrated by Sylvia Green, hardback without original dust jacket in good condition. It is ex-library with the fep neatly removed and sticker/pocket remnants in the back, a library stamp on the title page,clean cream pages, tight binding and clean yellow boards. It comes in a scanned dust jacket in new plastic sleeve.
BRU139 AU$100