“It was the first afternoon of the Christmas term and Mr. Carter was enjoying the peace and stillness, so soon to be shattered by the arrival of sixty-seven boys on the school train”.
So begins Jennings Goes to School, published in 1950, the first of more than twenty Jennings books.
Further books were published regularly up to Jennings at Large (1977) followed by Jennings Again (1991) and finally That’s Jennings (1994)
The books were translated into a number of other languages, proving especially popular in Norway where several were filmed.
The Norwegian books and films were re-written completely for a Norwegian setting with Norwegian names; Jennings is called Stompa. In Germany Jennings is known as Fredy, in France he is called Bennett.
Aside from Jennings at Large which is set during school holidays, all the stories are based during term time at Linbury Court, a preparatory, boarding school. A number of Jennings and Darbishire’s adventures take place away from the school grounds, not always on official school activities. Generally they only venture as far as the nearby village of Linbury or the town of Dunhambury, 5 miles away.
The earliest novels were set in roughly the period they were written. However, although the world around them evolves, Jennings and Darbishire, mysteriously never advance. Jennings arrives at the school aged “ten years two months and three days last Tuesday”. While he goes on to celebrate his 11th birthday, despite completing 20 odd school terms, he never reaches 12.
1. Jennings Goes to School 1950
2. Jennings Follows a Clue 1951
3. Jennings’ Little Hut 1951
4. Jennings and Darbishire 1952
5. Jennings’ Diary 1953
6. According to Jennings 1954
7. Our Friend Jennings 1955
8. Thanks to Jennings 1957
9. Take Jennings, for Instance 1958
10. Jennings, as Usual 1959
11. The Trouble with Jennings 1960
12. Just Like Jennings 1961
13. Leave it to Jennings 1963
14. Jennings, Of Course! 1964
15. Especially Jennings! 1965
16. A Bookful of Jennings 1966 (also titled ‘The Best of Jennings’)
17. Jennings Abounding 1967 (also titled ‘Jennings Unlimited’)
18. Jennings in Particular 1968
19. Trust Jennings! 1969
20. The Jennings Report 1970
21. Typically Jennings! 1971
22. Speaking of Jennings! 1973
23. Jennings at Large 1977
24. Jennings Again! 1991
25. That’s Jennings 1994