The Chalet School in Exile
Elinor M. Brent-Dyer was born Gladys Eleanor May Dyer on April 6, 1894 in South Shields, in the northeast of England. She wrote over a hundred books of children’s literature during her life. From lower middle-class roots, she went to a small private school and became a teacher after attending the City of Leeds Training College. As a teacher, she worked at both public and private schools, and even as a governess. She had an interest in the theater, and her first book Gerry Goes to School (the first in her La Rochelle series) was written in 1922 --for the child actress Hazel Bainbridge. About this time, inspired by a vacation to the Austrian Alps, she wrote The School at the Chalet in 1923 (the first in her Chalet School series). Brent-Dyer continued to teach and tried rather unsuccessfully to run her own school from 1938 to 1948. After this, she quit teaching but continued writing until her death on September 20, 1969 in Redhill, Surrey.