The Enid Blyton Society
First Term at Malory Towers
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Book Details...

First edition: 1946
Publisher: Methuen
Illustrator: Stanley Lloyd
Category: Malory Towers
Genre: School
Type: Novels/Novelettes

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Reprint Covers
Review by Jo Chambers
Further Illustrations


Wraparound dustwrapper from the 1st edition, illustrated by Stanley Lloyd

Wraparound dustwrapper from the 1957 reprint, illustrated by Lilian Buchanan

Wraparound dustwrapper from the 1981 edition, illustrated by Hilda Offen
Brief Summary by Julie Heginbotham: Darrell Rivers' first glance at Malory Towers, the boarding school in Cornwall standing on the cliff, with the sea behind, brought a warm feeling racing through her heart. What would the coming term hold for her, as she makes friends with Alicia, Sally, Mary-Lou and Gwendoline, all girls in the North Tower. But Darrell has one thing she really must control and that is her bad temper.

Full Review (This may contain spoilers):

Jo Chambers' Review
In this first of the Malory Towers series we are introduced to Darrell Rivers, the heroine, and several of the girls who are to be key players throughout the series. We first see Darrell as a 'new girl', arriving at school two terms behind most of her classmates and feeling strange and bewildered. She is quickly taken under the wing of the quick witted and sharp tongued Alicia Johns and settles down to work and fun.

Darrell's first term contains some ups and downs, however. She has a difficult relationship with prim new girl Sally Hope, who appears to resent Darrell's happy family life. And an incident of bullying in the school swimming pool results in Darrell losing her temper and slapping another of the form's new girls, the spoiled Gwendoline Mary Lacey. The other girls are taken aback by this show of temper on the behalf of the previously popular Darrell but she earns their respect and admiration by swiftly apologising for her mistake.

Events take a more serious turn at half term when, after Sally has been especially provoking, Darrell accidentally pushes her and sends her flying. Sally later does not appear at supper and the girls learn that she has been taken to the san with a terrible pain in her stomach. Darrell believes herself to be responsible for this and is amazed to discover that she is too cowardly to own up to her mistake. This realisation causes her to be more friendly towards the timid Mary-Lou, whose advances she has hitherto consistently rejected.

Darrell's father restores Sally to health and Darrell is relieved to learn that she was not the responsible party after all. The two girls become friends and Darrell learns that Sally's main problem was jealousy of her younger sister. This is resolved when Sally's mother comes to see her, leaving the new baby behind.

The term culminates with a nasty tricks campaign by Gwendoline on the hapless Mary-Lou. Events turn black for Darrell when she is suspected of having been the culprit, but thanks to Mary-Lou's bravery the real culprit is discovered and the girls apologise to Darrell for having falsely suspected her. The term ends with her having done well in her exams and having made two close friends in Sally and Mary-Lou. These illustrations are hidden by default to ensure faster browsing. Loading the illustrations is recommended for high-speed internet users only.