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As described, sent in very good time. An excellent seller! September 2014


Dorita Fairlie Bruce.

Dimsie Among The Prefects I first remember seeing the name 'Dorita Fairlie Bruce' on a Dimsie title in my local library. At the time that I was devouring everything from Enid Blyton's Famous Five, Alfred Hitchcock's The Three Investigators to Elinor M. Brent-Dyer's Chalet School books. Now seeing the Dimsie titles on a fairly regular basis, I realized that I did not know anything about the author of the Dimsie books, so here is a little of the information that I discovered:

Dorita Fairlie Bruce (or her full name Dorothy Morris Fairlie Bruce), was born in Spain on May 20th 1885, where her father was working as a civil engineer. However, much of her early childhood was spent in Scotland. As with many writers, Dorita showed promise from an early age - even winning a poetry competition when she was six years old.

In around 1895 the family moved to Ealing in London. Due to her parents spending much time abroad, Dorita was sent to boarding school at Clarence House in Roehampton, but she spent many holidays with family members in Ayrshire, Scotland, or with her aunt in Ealing.

The experiences and lifestyle that Dorita became accustomed to at Clarence House is obviously what would inspire many of her different series of school stories for girls. The Dimsie series starts with Dimsie, aged 10, on her first day at boarding school, and follows her throughout her schooldays into adult life. This is a change from some of the same genre of books which focus just on the girls' school life.

Nancy returns to St. BridesDorita's first novel (following some poems and short stories), was 'The Senior Prefect', published in 1921 which was later republished as 'Dimsie Goes to School'. In total there were nine titles in the Dimsie series. Another series is the 'Nancy' books, sometimes referred to as 'St. Bride's' or 'Maudsley' books. There are again nine titles in this series, eight of them featuring Nancy, a character we first meet in the Dimsie books. Many of the author's series of books are interconnected this way, through characters appearing in different titles across different series.

Throughout the Second World War, Dorita cared for her parents in Ealing. During her time in Ealing, Dorita also dedicated time to one of her interests, the Girl's Guildry, and was Guardian of an Ealing Company. However, in 1949 she made a permanent move to Scotland - an area that is reflected in many of her writings and where she appeared to move away from writing so much for younger girls with tales of boarding school life. Instead her novels concentrated more on older characters in their late teens and early twenties. Throughout her life, as well as writing stories for girls, she also wrote historical and other novels.

Dorita Fairlie Bruce died, in Scotland, in 1970.

Serendipity Shop

Thinking back to the few Dimsie books that I read, in the late 1980's and early 1990's - it is amazing to think that they were originally published around 60 years previously and were about a time that I really knew little about. However, the likeable, but realistic characters in these books still made them appealing and enjoyable to me. This is I think a testament to the author who wrote about what she knew well.

If you have never read a Dorita Fairlie Bruce title, please check our stock here and I hope you enjoy them, as I did.


Contributed by Joanne Hill.


A selection of Dorita Fairlie Bruce books in stock

Bruce, Dorita Fairlie. Illustrated by Horder, Margaret. Stock no. 1708152
Oxford University Press, Humphrey Milford. 1ST. 1944. Almost very good condition in an almost very good dustwrapper. Beige cloth, purple title to spine and vignette to front cover. Colour frontis. B/w illustrations. 192 pages. New endpapers. Foxing to outer page edges. Wrapper has 1/2" loss to top of spine and chipping to base, also grubby. [S]
Price: £48.00
Bruce, Dorita Fairlie. Illustrated by Thompson, Joan. Stock no. 1309769
Blackie. 1st. 1961. Very good condition in a very good dustwrapper. Red boards, black title to spine. B/w illustrations. 224 pages. Spine bumped. Prize inscription in ink and pencil erasure marking to front endpaper. Foxing to page edges else contents clean. Dustwrapper is just a little worn at spine and corners (very minimal loss) and is a bit grubby to rear panel. [R]
Price: £60.00
Bruce, Dorita Fairlie. Illustrated by Anson, G.M.. Stock no. 1309768
Oxford University Press, Humphrey Milford. 1st. 1940. Very good condition in an almost very good dustwrapper. Gold cloth, red title and vignette to spine and red vignette to front cover. Colour frontis plate plus 6 b/w illustrations. 256 pages. Spine bumped and slightly darkened. Light foxing else contents clean. Later dustwrapper (lists a Dimsie book published in 1942 and is a few mm too short for the book!) is price-cut with a few small tears at edges, minimal loss to base of spine. Wrapper is also just a little grubby. [R]
Price: £325.00
Bruce, Dorita Fairlie. Illustrated by Brock, R.H.. Stock no. 1309762
Oxford University Press, Humphrey Milford. 1926. Fair condition with no wrapper. Pretty pictorial boards with wraparound picture by Sybil Tawse. Colour frontis and b/w illustrations. 160 pages. Spine worn with old tape marks to spine and also to edges of covers. Corners worn. Covers scuffed, small patch of surface paper damage to rear cover. Prize plate to front endpaper. Small splash marks to margins of pages 90 & 91, contents are well fingered with light foxing. A decent copy of a very early reprint. [R]
Price: £58.00
Bruce, Dorita Fairlie. No illustrator listed. Stock no. 1309636
Oxford University Press, Humphrey Milford. 1930. Good condition with no wrapper. Orange cloth, black title to spine and embossed title and vignette to front cover. Colour frontis and b/w illustrations. 191 pages. Spine and corners bumped and worn. Some splash marks to edge of front cover and a couple of light marks to rear cover. Tiny booksellers sticker to front pastedown, prize-plate to front endpaper. Pencil scribbles to front endpapers (mainly erased). Foxing to contents and a few marks to page margins but contents generally clean. [R]
Price: £28.00
Bruce, Dorita Fairlie. No illustrator listed. Stock no. 1309490
Oxford University Press. 1940. Very good condition with no wrapper. Containing 'Nancy to the Rescue', The School on the Moor' and 'Prefects at Springdale'. Brown cloth, blue title and vignette. B/w illustrations. 288 pages. 8 x 5". A chunky volume. Spine and corners bumped and slightly rubbed. Cover edges very slightly grubby. Long but neat inscription in ink to verso of front endpaper. Some corner creases and some small margin tears. Foxing and some fingermarks but contents generally clean. [R]
Price: £30.00

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