Every so often the question of the missing Abbey titles is raised by members and non-members alike. I think it has the honour of being the most frequently asked EJO question.
It is first discussed in Issue 5 of the Chronicle (May 1990) when a member queries whether The Abbey Girls Meet Again was an overseas title. Since then not only the question of this title but also Ten of the Abbey School; Abbey Girls Apart and The School on the Hills have been frequently raised.
Whilst the mundane answer appears to be that they were all working titles for books which were later renamed – The School on the Hills for example is believed to be the prototype for Jen of the Abbey School and I would think also the likely title for Ten of … But wouldn’t it be fun if they were really new titles that EJO meant to write and didn’t, or perhaps got lost. If so I wonder what they were about. What new character was introduced? What period does it cover? What about Joy’s wedding? Could one of the missing titles have covered that? And if so who was ill this time, causing one or other of the Abbey Girls to miss the wedding? I think my solution of the missing titles is much more exciting.
I’ve just discovered this, in my copy of Girls of Rocklands School, which shows Jen’s Presents as a book title. This is the name it appeared under as a story in an annual, but the book was eventually called Second Term at Rocklands.
Fiona Dyer with additional comments by Ruth Allen