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FAQ 8: What are Abbey Connectors?

This answer to a frequently asked question has been prepared by Ruth Allen.

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Like many authors, EJO grew fond of her creations, and found ways to bring them back in later books. As well as the main Abbey Series, which follows the stories of Joan, Joy and Jen through their schooldays, marriages and children, EJO wrote several other series, and some of their characters also turn up as 'walk-on parts' or occasionally major players, in the Abbey books. There are five series with close connections to the Abbey Books and four 'remotely' connecting series.

Close connectors:
Camp Keema
CK1 - The Crisis in Camp Keema 1928
CK2 - Peggy and the Brotherhood 1936
CK3 - The Camp Mystery 1932
CK4 - The Abbey Girls Play Up (A19) 1930
These books give the background history for Maribel Ritchie (later Marchwood), Rosalind Firth and Cecily Brown/Perowne. Maribel and Cecily appear occasionally in later Abbey books. It is apparent from the publication dates that Camp Mystery was written to fill in more details of the story related in AG Play Up, and that Peggy was an even later 'fill-in'.
K1 - Patch and a Pawn 1940
K2 - Rosamund's Tuckshop (A25, QW2) 1937
K3 - The Secrets of Vairy 1947
K4 - Rosamund's Castle (A27, QW3) 1938
K5 - Jandy Mac Comes Back (A29) 1941
K6 - The Song of the Abbey (A37) 1954
Patch, Rhoda and Tansy all appear and are mentioned in other books in the main Abbey series, but these follow their stories. Only Patch and a Pawn and Secrets of Vairy are not in that main series.

QW1 - The Girl Who Wouldn't Make Friends 1909
QW2 - Rosamund's Tuckshop (A25, K2) 1937
QW3 - Rosamund's Castle (A27, K4) 1938
QW4 - New Girls at Woodend 1957
QW5 - Robins in the Abbey (A32) 1947
This series follows the story of Robin Brent. Robin is mentioned in later Abbey books but does not appear again. The Woodend girls also make a brief appearance at Rosamund's wedding in Maidlin Bears the Torch.

Ro1 - A Go-Ahead Schoolgirl 1919
Ro2 - Tickles; or The School that was Different  1924
Ro3 - Jen of the Abbey School (A12) 1927
Ro4 - Rosamund's Victory (A22) 1933
Rena Mackay is the main character of Go-Ahead Schoolgirl and this series follows her story, though she doesn't take a major part again until Rosamund's Victory. Lisabel Durrant also appears in New Girls at Woodend, so making a link between the Quellyn/Woodend and Rocklands series. Betty Maclean, who plays a large part in Tickles and Jen, joins the main Abbey Series from AG At Home onwards
Rachel & Damaris/Rainbows
Ra1 - Damaris at Dorothy's 1937
Ra2 - Maidlin to the Rescue (A23) 1934
Ra3 - Damaris Dances 1940
Damaris Dances is often counted as part of the Abbey Series, as it overlaps Joy's New Adventure, Rosamund's Tuckshop and Maidlin Bears the Torch (see also FAQ 7: What is the Best Order in which to Read the Abbey Series?). Rachel and Damaris are often referred to and join the main series again from Guardians onwards. In another direction, the series continues, joining again with the main Abbey Series after Margery:
Ra4 - Adventure for Two 1941
Ra5 - Elsa Puts Things Right 1944
Ra6 - Pernel Wins 1942
Ra7 - Daring Doranne 1945
Ra8 - Margery Meets the Roses 1947
The first part of Adventure for Two overlaps with Damaris Dances. Pernel Wins only counts as part of this series because its main characters appear in Daring Doranne. The 'Roses' - Nanta in particular - join the main Abbey Series in Fiddler.
A precursor to this series is:
Ra0 - Mistress Nanciebel 1910
This relates the early history of the Seymour/Morgan family in the seventeenth century, giving background on the characters in Elsa.
Remote Connectors:
The Torments
T1 - The School Torment 1920
T2 - The Testing of the Torment 1925
T3 - The Camp Fire Torment 1926
The only connection here is that Tormentil Grant shares a room with the Abbey Girls in AG Go Back to School.
Sussex Set
Sx1 - The Junior Captain 1923
Sx2 - Peggy Makes Good 1927
Sx3 - The School Witout a Name 1924
Sx4 - Ven at Gregory's 1925
Sx5 - The Trouble of Tazy (Sw4) 1926
Sx6 - Patience and her Problems (Wd3, Sw5) 1927
Swiss Set
Sw1 - The Two Form Captains  1921
Sw2 - The Captain of the Fifth 1922
Sw3 - Camp Mystery (CK3) 1932
Sw4 - The Troubles of Tazy (Sx5) 1926
Sw5 - Patience and her Problems (Wd3, Sx6) 1927
Woody Dean Set
Wd1 - The School of Ups and Downs 1918
Wd2 - Patience Joan, Outsider 1922
Wd3 - Patience and her Problems (Sx6, Sw5) 1927
Characters from the Sussex, Swiss and Woody Dean sets are all brought together in Patience and her Problems. The main connections with the Abbey Series are through Tazy Kingston, who appears in both AG Go Back to School and Abbey Champion, and via the Camp Keema set in Camp Mystery.
There is also a precursor to the Woody Dean Set:
Wd0 - A School Camp Fire 1917
This stands alone, but its main characters are guests at Helen Robinson's wedding in School of Ups and Downs.
EJO wrote another twenty titles which have no connections with the Abbey Series, and a number of short stories that are sometimes taken from books, or perhaps developed into books, and sometimes stand alone.
Ruth's booklet, The Books of Elsie J Oxenham - which lists all EJO's books in reading order - is available from the EJO Society at £1.00 plus SAE to members, £1.50 plus SAE to non-members of the Society.
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