St. Clare’s is a series of novels that were produced by Enid Blyton, a popular English Children’s author. The St Clare’s series of books centre around a boarding school by the name of St Clare’s, specifically two pupils who attend St Clare’s, Patricia and Isabel O’Sullivan. There are, in total, five books in the St Clare’s series of books, which were published between 1941 and 1945.
Order of St. Clare's Series
|1||The Twins at St Clare's||1941|
|2||The O'Sullivan Twins||1941|
|3||Summer Term at St Clare's||1943|
|4||Second Form at St Clare's||1944|
|5||Claudine at St Clare's||1944|
|6||Fifth Formers of St Clare's||1945|
|7||St Clare's: The First Year||2013|
St. Clare’s is a series of novels by Enid Blyton the popular British author of children’s adventure fiction. The name of the series is derived from a boarding school of the same name that the two protagonists Isabelle O’Sullivan and Pamela Cox attend. The first novel to be published in the series was “The Twins at St. Clare’s”, first published in 1941.
St. Clare’s is a girl’s only boarding school that is a place of jollity, games, and madcap schemes, though it has also been described as a very sensible educational institution. Miss Theobald the headmistress believes that the girls will get back from life, what they put in it. Over the course of the series, the school is a cauldron of sports matches, friendship, fun, midnight feasts, jokes, and tricks, but also snobbery, malice, hot tempers, problems, exams and hard work. In a nutshell, St Clare’s never experiences a dull moment.
The first book in the St Clare’s series is titled The Twins At St Clare’s, which was published in 1941. We are introduced to twins Patricia and Isabel O’Sullivan as they start out in their first term at St Clare’s boarding school. The twins are not happy about being sent to St Clare’s, as none of their friends will be attending the school, and they would be attending Ringmere school. We chronicle the two girls in their first term, and how they find their feet at St Clare’s, and eventually become friends with many of the girls, leading them to start playing pranks on their classmates and teachers, sometimes leading to troublesome consequences.
Like Blyton’s Malory Towers series, the books in the St Clare’s series chart the girls as they go through school, with the first three books charting their first three terms at the school. The O’Sullivan Twins focuses on their second term at St Clare’s, while Summer Term at St Clare’s focused on the twins’ first summer term at the school. We then move on to second form, in the fourth book in the series, The Second Form At St Clare’s. Finally, Blyton’s last book in the St Clare’s series, Fifth Formers of St Clare’s wraps up the story as Blyton saw fit.
Fifth Formers of St Clare’s, which was published in 1945, is a bit different to the rest of the series, as Patricia and Isabel are not as prominent in the story as they had been in other books. The book is more of an ensemble piece, with the story looking at how more power and responsibility comes the way of all the girls once they reach fifth form, and how the power goes to some of the girls’ heads. The book looks at how a combination of hard work and studies, combined with this new-found power leads to trouble for some of the girls, and how their future is going to pan out.
They miss their old sports, but soon find that lacrosse a St. Clare’s favorite is just as fun. What follows is a roller-coaster ride for the two girls as they prank their teachers and the other girls and make good friends. Despite their reluctance to go to St. Clare’s, the girls have so much fun that when schools close, they admit to their parents that they found the school quite fun. “The Twins at St. Clare’s” is an incredible novel that shows just how good of an understanding Enid Blyton has of child psychology and motivation.
Pamela Cox isn’t some mysterious author who co-wrote the books with Enid Blyton and who has only recently surfaced. Pamela is the ghostwriter that was tasked with writing additional Blyton books after the author died. Besides the few St. Clare’s novels that Pamela has written, she has also contributed to the Malory Towers series.
The St. Clare’s series follows the exploits of Patricia and Isabel O’Sullivan, twins who enroll at a boarding school called St. Clare’s. The institution is described as a very sensible sort of school, one where Headmistress Miss Theobald expects everyone to do their best, especially if they wish to get the best out of the school.
The twins meet many memorable characters during their school term, from Alison to Claudine, Carlotta and Prudence, all girls with unique sensibilities and traits. The twins must contend with different challenges, from midnight feasts to sports matches and friendships.
There is a lot of work to be done getting all that homework done, preparing for exams and dealing with all the snobbery that abounds. So the twins are guaranteed an exciting year at St. Clare’s.
Enid Blyton wrote the six original books in the St. Clare’s series, with Pamela Cox adding three more to the collection. Enid Blyton, though celebrated amongst readers, endured many harsh criticisms both during her life and even after she died.
The author was accused of spreading racist, sexist and xenophobic sensibilities and notions amongst her young readers. Professional critics also took offense with the simplistic nature of her work, arguing that her books added almost nothing to vocabularies of young readers.
The St. Clare’s series was not exempt to this criticism, though the popularity of the books has hardly suffered as a result.
St. Clare’s Books into Movies
The first adaptation of Enid Blyton’s St. Clare’s series was a Japanese Anime series in 1991 called ‘The Tales of St. Clare’s’. The series was produced by Tokyo Movie Shinsha. St. Clare’s fans would have to wait for two decades to get another adaptation of the Enid Blyton classic.
It came in the form of a German film called ‘Hanni and Nanni’ whose success was such that it spawned two sequels.
In 1991, the St. Clare’s series of novels was adapted into an anime television series that went by the name “Mischievous Twins: The Tales of St. Clare’s”. The Japanese production company TMS Entertainment CO produced the anime series. The series would also be made into a series of German movies named Hanni & Nanni that were broadcast in 2010, 2012, and 2013.
Best St. Clare’s Books
Even though Enid Blyton eventually became a punching bag for literary critics who were frustrated by the simplicity of her books, the popularity of the St. Clare’s series has never dimmed, with some of the best books in the series including:
The Twins at St. Clare’s: The first novel in the series, “The Twins at St. Clare’s” is one of its highly regarded series. Introducing a set of lovable, witty and highly relatable characters, the novel is one of the strongest ever debuts of an Enid Blyton series. Pat and Isabel didn’t want to go to St. Clare’s. And by the time they enrolled, they had all but decided to not enjoy themselves. It came as a surprise when the school term ended and the twins found that they had enjoyed their life at the boarding institution.
The first book in the St. Clare’s series introduces its protagonists to readers, twins that seem identical in every way; though, Patricia is definitely the more stubborn of the two. The twins were set on going to another school with their friends.
So the news that they must attend St. Clare’s doesn’t instill much joy. However, the activities and the friends Pat and Isabel encounter change their entire perception of their new school.
The O’Sullivan Twins: As the Easter term commences, Patricia and Isabel head back to St. Clare’s with anticipation as they prepare for all the chaos that is bound to ensue when they meet up with their friends.
The second book in the St. Clare’s series finds the twins settling into their routine even as drama is injected into their lives by three new girls. The books add a little dimension to the characters of Pat and Isabel. They are represented as having a very black and white view of the world and manifest a spiteful need to seek vengeance whenever someone doesn’t act as they expect.
Claudine at St. Clare’s: The fifth novel of the St Clare’s series of novels is a great read that opens with St Clare’s girls boarding school getting a set of interesting new girls. But none stands out more that the French girl Claudine – the daughter to the new matron. She causes quite the stir because unlike the girls in the school, she is not afraid to say and do what she likes. While she initially seems snobbish, she contributes quite a lot of the laughter and fun, particularly due to her inbred cultural inclinations, and partly due to her deceitfulness, sincerity, easygoing nature, and candor. While she does not care for the much-vaunted English sense of Honor, the girls warm up to her and soon she is the most popular girl in the school, entertaining everyone with her foreign quirks.
The Third Form at St. Clare’s: The seventh novel in the series “The Third Form at St. Clare’s” is another incredible novel. Isabel and Pat O’Sullivan have just come back from the holidays and cannot wait to get back with their friends at St. Clare’s. Everyone is interested in the question of who will be elected head girl, until a hilarious school play becomes the platform for showcasing leadership abilities in addition to showing up the cowards and cheats.
Other Book Series You May Like
St. Clare’s fans also enjoy The Adventurous Four Series by Enid Blyton. This Enid Blyton classic follows Jill and Mary who, along with their older brother and his friend, encounter adventures in Scotland during the World War II period.
The Malory Towers Series by Enid Blyton is another Enid Blyton classic. This series follows the exploits of a girl called Darrel Rivers as she encounters many unexpected experiences when she starts attending a boarding school called Malory Towers.
Fans of the St. Clare’s series of novels also recommend the “Naughtiest Girl” series by Enid Blyton then Anne Digby. The lead character in the series is Elizabeth Allen, a selfish and spoiled girl who is sent to boarding school to mend her ways only to decide to be the naughtiest girl there. Many St. Clare’s series fans also enjoy “The Worst Witch” series of novels by Jill Murphy. The novels feature Mildred Hubble, probably the worst witch apprentice in history, who never seems to get any of her spells right.