The School on North Barrule
Mabel Esther Allan
Voirrey and Andreas Qulliam, whose Manx father, now dead, bequeathed them their exotic Manx names, react very differently when told that they are going to Barrule House, a co-educational boarding school on the Isle of Man. Voirrey is thrilled that she will be living in her father's native island; Andreas hates the idea of boarding with girls, and is in no way mollified when he discovers that Barrule House does not play cricket or 'footer'. Both sister and brother tread a dangerous path once on the island: Andreas's rebellious behaviour causes problems, and Voirrey's determination to discover her father's sister, Mona Quilliam, estranged from Voirrey's parents since their marriage, leads her into some difficult situations. Voirrey also has to cope with her attraction to lively, intelligent Christian Brent, who does not seem to reciprocate. How Voirrey learns the truth and how Andreas becomes reconciled to Barrule House form the exciting and entertaining plot of The School on North Barrule.
Preview of Chapter 1.
Available now: Ordering Information.

Chiltern Adventure
Mabel Esther Allan
The children of the England family were upset when learning that their summer holiday was to be spent, not at the usual seaside hotel, but in the heart of the country. Francesca, the youngest and completely crazy on ballet, is quite irreconcilable. Their parents are prevented from going, so in the charge of the eldest sister, they settle down to life in the cottage. Almost at once the three elder children come under the spell of the lovely Chiltern country, but Francesca remains a problem.
Preview of Chapter 1.
Available now: Ordering Information.

The School on Cloud Ridge
Mabel Ether Allan
When Pussy and Collie Alleyne go to a co-educational boarding school in the Cotswolds, the other fifty or so boys and girls are new too, for it is the school's first term. Pussy is thrilled when she is elected to the first School Council, but she soon realizes that it is going to be a difficult position, especially as she and the unfriendly and sophisticated Helen cannot get on. But, she make friends with the three Kavanaghs from Ireland, with Myra Drury from Lancashire, and with a boy called Hugo, who is instrumental in starting them off on a very originl treasure hunt...
Preview of Chapter 1.
Presently Unavailable


Mabel was an incredibly prolific writer, publishing some 180 books and contributing over 300 short stories and articles to annuals and magazines, both under her own name and the pseudonyms of Jean Estoril, Priscilla Hagon and Anne Pilgrim.

Mabel announced to her family at the age of eight that she planned to be a writer. They took this seriously and when the family moved a few years later Mabel was given a spare room to use as a study. Her father bought a large office desk which she was to use for the rest of her life, and presented her with a typewriter upon which she taught herself to type. Although Mabel had a number of short stories published during the 1930s and had a couple of books accepted by publishers, the war intervened. Mabel joined the land army, and taught in a prep school and in a nursery in a slum area of Liverpool where she taught 48 two- to five- year-olds at a time. It was 1948 before Mabel received from her publisher the first copy of The Glen Castle Mystery, one of three books to be published that year. It was the start of a very successful writing career.

The first book by Mabel Esther Allan that Fidra Books will be publishing is The School on North Barrule. Subsequent titles will include Cilia of Chilternís Edge, Swiss School, Lost Lorrenden and Clues to Connemara. Her school stories are particularly interesting in that they are strikingly different from the typical school story of the 1950s. Heavily influenced by the writings of A S Neil, the progressive educationalist who founded Summerhill, Mabelís schools are unconventional, teaching children self-discipline rather than relying on imposed discipline and many were coeducational. Her non-school stories were often mystery-thrillers for older children set in the places to which Mabel loved to travel: the Scottish islands, Switzerland, Wales, Ireland and New York and her descriptions of settings are evocative and detailed.


Mabel Esther Allan

The Adventurous Summer (1948)
Glen Castle Mystery (1948)
The Wyndhams Went to Wales (1948)
Cilla of Chiltern's Edge (1949)
Holiday at Arnriggs (1949)
Mullion (1949)
Trouble at Melville Manor (1949)
Chiltern Adventure (1950)
Everyday Island (1950)
Jimmy John's Journey (1950)
Over the Sea to School (1950)
School Under Snowdon (1950)
The Exciting River (1951)
Clues to Connemara (1952)
MacIains of Glen Gilleon (1952)
Return to Derrykereen (1952)
School in Danger, A (1952)
The School on Cloud Ridge (1952)
The School on North Barrule (1952)
Lucia Comes to School (1953)
Room for the Cuckoo (1953)
The Secret Valley (1953)
Strangers at Brogwerne (1953)
Three go to Switzerland (1953)
Adventure Royal (1954)
Here We Go Round (1954)
Margaret Finds a Future (1954)
Meric's Secret Cottage (1954)
New Schools for Old (1954)
The Summer at Town's End (1954)
Adventures in Switzerland (1955)
Changes for the Challoners (1955)
Glenvara (1955)
Judith Teaches (1955)
Mystery of Deddydane (1955)
Swiss School (1955)
Adventure in Mayo (1956)
The Amber House (1956)
Balconies and Blue Nets (1956)
Flora at Kilroinn (1956)
Lost Lorrenden (1956)
Strangers in Skye (1956)
Two in the Western Isles (1956)
The Vine Clad Hill (1956)
Ann's Alpine Adventure (1957)
At School in Skye (1957)
Black Forest Summer (1957)
Murder at the Flood (1957)
Sara Goes to Germany (1957)
Seven in Switzerland (1957)
Summer of Decision (1957)
Blue Dragon Days (1958)
The Conch Shell (1958)
The House by the Marsh (1958)
Rachel Tandy (1958)
Amanda Goes to Italy (1959)
Catrin in Wales (1959)
A Play to the Festival (1959)
Shadow over the Alps (1960)
A Summer in Brittany (1960)
Tansy of Tring Street (1960)
Bluegate Girl (1961)
Holiday of Endurance (1961)
Pendron Under the Water (1961)
Home to the Island (1962)
Signpost to Switzerland (1962)
The Ballet Family (1963)
Kate Comes to England (1963)
The Sign of the Unicorn (1963)
The Ballet Family Again (1964)
Fiona on the Fourteenth Floor (1964)
It Happened in Arles (1964)
Summer at Sea, A (1965)
In Pursuit of Clarinda (1966)
Skiing to Danger (1966)
The Way Over Windle (1966)
It Started in Madeira (1967)
Missing in Manhattan (1967)
Selina's New Family (1967)
The Wood Street Secret (1968)
Climbing to Danger (1969)
The Kraymer Mystery (1969)
Christmas at Spindle Bottom (1970)
Dangerous Inheritance (1970)
The Wood Street Group (1970)
The May Day Mystery (1971)
The Secret Dancer (1971)
The Wood Street Rivals (1971)
An Island in a Green Sea (1972)



Behind the Blue Gates (1972)
Time to Go Back (1972)
The Wood Street Helpers (1973)
A Chill in the Lane (1974)
Crows Nest (1974)
The Secret Players (1974)
Ship of Danger (1974)
Away from Wood Street (1975)
The Bells of Rome (1975)
Bridge of Friendship (1975)
The Flash Children (1975)
Romansgrove (1975)
The Rising Tide (1976)
Trouble in the Glen (1976)
My Family's Not Forever (1977)
The View Beyond My Father (1977)
Pine Street Pageant (1978)
New York for Nicola (1979)
Tomorrow is a Lovely Day (1979)
Wood Street and Mary Ellen (1979)
The Mills Down Below (1980)
Pine Street Goes Camping (1980)
Haunted Valley and Other poems (1981)
The Horns of Danger (1981)
Pine Street Problem (1981)
A Strange Enchantment (1981)
Strangers in Wood Street (1981)
Goodbye to Pine Street (1982)
Growing Up in Wood Street (1982)
The Night Wind (1982)
Alone at Pine Street (1983)
The Crumble Lane Adventure (1983)
A Dream of Hunger Moss (1983)
Friends at Pine Street (1984)
A Secret in Spindle Bottom (1984)
The Flash Children in Winter (1985)
The Pride of Pine Street (1985)
The Crumble Lane Captives (1986)
Mystery in Spindle Bottom (1986)
The Road to Huntingland (1986)
The Crumble Lane Mystery (1987)
Trouble in Crumble Lane (1987)
Up the Victorian Staircase (1987)
First Term at Ash Grove (1988)
We Danced in Bloomsbury Square (1989)
Chiltern School (1990)
Mystery of Serafina (1990)
Ragged Robin Began It (1993)
Way to Glen Braden (1993)
Cat off a Barrow (1994)

Jean Estoril

Ballet for Drina (1957)
Drina's Dancing Year (1958)
Drina Dances in Exile (1959)
Drina Dances in Italy (1959)
Drina Dances Again (1960)
Drina Dances in New York (1961)
Drina Dances in Paris (1962)
Drina Dances in Madeira (1963)
Drina Dances in Switzerland (1963)
Drina Goes on Tour (1964)
Drina Ballerina (1991)

Anne Pilgrim

Clare goes to Holland (1964)
First Time I Saw Paris (1964)
Strangers in New York (1964)
Summer in Provence (1964)

Priscilla Hagon

Cruising to Danger (1966)
Dancing to Danger (1967)
Mystery at the Villa Bianca (1967)
Castle of Fear (1968)
Mystery of the Secret Square (1970)


The de Grummond Children's Literature Collection at The University of Southern Mississippi houses the Mabel Esther Allan Papers - a collection of manuscripts, typescripts, galleys, correspondence, and personal items created and accumulated by Mabel Esther Allan between 1915 and 1998.