SLOC has just obligingly come up with a price for an adult novel published at around the same time in the early 1930s as The Chalet School and Jo: Anthony Powell's first novel, Afternoon Men, was first published at a price of seven shillings and sixpence (37½ pence), whereas And Jo cost less than half that, at three shillings and sixpence (17½ pence).
I'm glad someone clarified that the parenthetical pence were new pence just after decimalization, as I was trying to convert how many pennies I thought were in a British shilling and becoming very confused! Anyhow, it was helpful to have the two prices in the same units.
But back to the book-
I really enjoy Jo Returns
, although in many ways it reads to me as though it were originally meant to round off the series, with the protagonist moving into adulthood. For purposes of the story, Mlle. LePâttre's illness mainly ensures that Joey gets a full term to explore the staff side while writing her first book. There's every expectation within the text that the CS will continue as we've come to know it, with Mlle. fully recovered. Polly is a lovely character, but also a particularly effective focus, allowing the author to weave the viewpoints of all CS constituencies into an organic whole, rather than a loose series of episodes. I think EBD is also near her peak with the bits that bring even minor characters to life, as when we see Herr Laubach go from irascible art teacher caricature to worried, caring husband seeing promise in the Hobbies Club.