Jersey

Rare insight into a 1900s Jersey girls' school

Image caption The 15 Elysian House year books cover the period from 1903 to 1912

Books giving a rare insight into life at a private school in Jersey a century ago have been donated to the Jersey Archive.

The year books from Elysian House School on St Saviour's Road cover a period between 1903 and 1912.

The 15 books include poems and illustrations about "dreaded Latin lessons", a much feared head teacher and the suffragette movement.

There is even one cartoon showing a suffragette punching a policeman on the nose.

The illustrated works were called "the Jackdaw" and include poems, paintings, stories and photographs showing the girls activities.

Trudi Foster from Jersey Archive said it was clear the girls had money.

She said: "They seem to have been a privileged group of girls - they had access to cameras because there are hundreds of photographs."

The girls who attended the school expressed strong opinions about the world they lived in and how they saw it.

The head teacher, Miss Stevens, always included a line or two about pupils who had left the school.

Some came out as debutantes who would have been presented to the King.

In one editorial she writes about pupils in Australia, Switzerland, and France as well as two who are living in Germany and one who has gained a scholarship to Oxford.

Ms Foster said it was rare to get this sort of information on a private school.

"It is such a rare thing to have, the records of these tiny private schools, even the bigger ones, tend to disappear with the school."

There are contributions from old girls. One ex pupil, Edith Ereaut, writes of a situation familiar to many Jersey families, making a new life in Canada.

She describes passing through Quebec, Montreal, Winnipeg and Port Arthur on the way.

She writes: "The lakes are beautiful, especially Superior - it is immense. I never had enough imagination before I saw it to picture its size."

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