Sunday, April 3, 2011

Susan's School Play (2)

This is the cover of the Collins' Girls' Annual 1957, where Susan's School Play first saw the light of day. This is one of the easiest annuals to find. The story provided the first glimpses of St. Ronan's, but most of the characters that became well known to readers in the books, such as Ann Burton (the girl with the lisp), Hippo the prefect and teachers like Dotty and the Ferret are not mentioned. However, the disagreeable prefect Hermione Pennington-Smith is present, although she has yet to be given the nickname H. P. Sauce.
This is a scan of the annual I own. Susan's School Play was the first Susan story that I read and the third Jane Shaw story, after Crooks Tour and Family Trouble. I read it first because it was the first one to arrive when I ordered a number of JS books from various online dealers. I actually bought this annual for fifteen Canadian dollars from a bookshop in Ontario. I knew as soon as I started reading it that I would enjoy the series. When I read Midge's words describing Susan, "I could tell you plenty about Susan's character only she happens to be reading this over my shoulder," I somehow knew that I would love these stories.
Not every Jane Shaw short story was rewarded with a colour frontispiece, but this one was. Just after his arrival at St. Ronan's, Peregrine went backstage and started getting up to mischief by putting on a costume and showing off to the girls.