Chalet School, The

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20110920The crime writer Val McDermid on her love of the Chalet School boarding school novels.|She credits them with inspiring her to go to Oxford and becoming a writer.|So what did they have that the other boarding school books did not?|Nearly sixty Chalet School novels were published between 1925 and 1970, written by the South Shields novelist, Elinor Brent-Dyer.|The school was initially located in Austria, but moved to Guernsey following the Anschluss.|It relocated again after the Nazi invasion of The Channel Islands.|The books centred on Madge Bettany, the founder of the school, and her young sister Joey, its first pupil.|The books dealt with financial hardship, illness and politics, which Val argues, is absent from most other boarding school novels of the period.|The programme is produced in Manchester by Nicola Swords.|The crime writer Val McDermid on how boarding school novels inspired her to be a writer.