Welcome to the Elsie J Oxenham Society’s Website
Welcome to the new home of the EJO Society.
Cleeve Weekend 2023
Betula O’Neill has asked me to let everyone know that she has received a number of bookings for the Cleeve Weekend, but she hasn’t been able to acknowledge them yet, though she hopes to do so by the end of the week. She was away for a couple of weeks, and has been unwell since she returned. She is now beginning to be able to use the computer, so will work through the bookings as she is able. So please don’t chase her, as it is unlikely your form has gone astray, and it will almost certainly be sitting in her ‘to do’ pile.
The Elsie Jeanette Oxenham Appreciation Society was founded in 1989, by Monica Godfrey and Olga Lock Kendell, to provide a postal ‘meeting place’ for all those who collect her books and are interested in her work. The Society’s magazine, The Abbey Chronicle, is published three times a year, in May, September and January. Visit About Us for more details about the benefits of joining the Society and how to become a member.
Elsie Jeanette Dunkerley, was an English girls’ story writer, who took the name Oxenham as her pseudonym when her first book, Goblin Island, was published in 1907. Her Abbey Series of 38 titles are her best-known and best-loved books. In her lifetime she had 87 titles published and another two have since been published by her niece, who discovered the manuscripts in the early 1990s. She is considered a major figure among girls’ story writers of the first half of the twentieth century, being one of the ‘Big Three’ with Elinor Brent-Dyer and Dorita Fairlie Bruce. Angela Brazil is as well-known – perhaps more so – but did not write her books in series about the same group of characters or set in the same place or school, as did the Big Three.
Oxenham is best known for her Abbey Series of 38 titles which chart the lives of the main characters from their mid-teens until their daughters reach a similar age. You can read more about Oxenham and her work.
Oxenham’s books are widely collected and there are several Appreciation Societies: in the UK, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa; with a total membership of over six hundred people.
This site is a work in progress so more elements will be added, as and when there is time and opportunity. Please do come back to see what we’ve added.
Please do get in touch with us on EJOSoc@gmail.com if you have any questions about the Society, Oxenham or her work.
Photo: Peter Hubbard