[[caption-width-right:350:The old book covers compared to the new ones.]]
''Malory Towers'' is a series of six novels by British children's author Creator/EnidBlyton, featuring the fictional Cornish seaside boarding school of the same name. Though the originals were written from 1946 to 1951, the series OutlivedItsCreator - in 2009 six more books were added to the series by author Pamela Cox, who has also made additions to Blyton's series ''Literature/StClares''.
The series follows the heroine, [[GenderBlenderName Darrell Rivers]], from her first year at Malory Towers to when she leaves. Other characters include Sally Hope, Darrell's level-headed best friend; Felicity Rivers, Darrell's younger sister; Gwendoline Mary Lacey, the form's spoilt martyr; Alicia Johns, who is sharp tongued, competitive and intelligent; Mary-Lou, small and timid, but very kind hearted; Irene, scatterbrained music and maths genius; Belinda, scatterbrained artistic genius; Jean, shrewd and straightforward, and Wilhelmina (Bill), completely horse-mad.
The characters are very similar to those in the ''Literature/StClares'' series.
The series is believed to be semi-autobiographical, and the name "Darrell Rivers" is clearly drawn from Blyton's second husband's name, Kenneth Darrell Waters. It is also widely supposed that Blyton based the creation on the famous Scottish boarding school St Leonards School in St Andrews, which is, of course, the heroine’s University destination.
A lot of information on the series can be found [[http://www.enidblyton.net/malory-towers here]].
!!Contains examples of:
** Gwendoline is a subversion. She's pretty, vain, spoilt, lazy and often pretends to take timid girls like Mary-Lou or Clarissa "under her wing" while trying to manipulate them to do her bidding. However, most of the girls are so disgusted by her personality that she rarely gets her way.
** Alicia is an unusually positive version. She's one of the most popular girls in her form and Darrell was very eager to be her friend during her first year in Malory Towers. She's also sarcastic and condescending towards people who are not as brilliant as herself, but she's never truly malicious, and many of the girls admire her wit and honesty.
** Daphne initially comes off as another Gwendoline. She is beautiful, rich, and boastful, but manages to use her charms to have Mary-Lou and Mam'zelle Dupont wrapped around her finger. She gets much better at the end of book 2, where she saves Mary-Lou's life and becomes her best friend.
* AlwaysIdenticalTwins: Averted - Connie and Ruth are technically identical twins, but their development has left them different, with Connie being straight-haired, larger, stronger and plumper than her sister, whereas Ruth is smaller and skinnier with wavy hair.
* AnachronismStew: One infamous book cover of ''Upper Fourth at Malory Towers'' shows the girls in [[http://www.qbd.com.au/products/l/9289/9780749719289.jpg modern day t-shirts, drinking lemonade out of a plastic bottle.]]
* AnnoyingYoungerSibling: Bridget to Moira. June is an annoying younger cousin to Alicia. Averted with Darrell's younger sister Felicity.
* ApronMatron: Their school's matron is plump and strict, but fair and motherly.
* ArmorPiercingSlap: God, Darrell. She slaps Gwen and shoves Sally in the first book, has a big fight with Ellen in the second and shakes June in the fourth.
* BeautifulAllAlong: Clarissa, once she [[TheGlassesGottaGo takes off her glasses]] and gets her braces removed is revealed to be strikingly beautiful instead of just "plain" as she was considered before.
* BecomingTheMask: At first, Daphne only befriends Mary-Lou to get the latter's help with her French homeworks. However, she eventually gets to like Mary-Lou for real.
** Darrell is a NiceGirl most of the time, but she has a really nasty temper and no problems with using physical violence when she gets mad.
** Alicia has a very sharp tongue, and reacts to any imagined or real slight by using it liberally. One of the worst examples was when she started nursing a grudge against Sally because Sally was made Head Girl, but Alicia wasn't even considered as an option. Keep in mind here that Sally had no idea that this was happening and no control over who was selected.
* BigSisterInstinct: Darrell feels extremely protective towards Felicity when the latter first arrives at the school in ''Upper Fourth at Malory Towers'', and warns her not to be too friendly with Alicia's cousin June, whom Darrell considers a bad influence. Inverted when [[spoiler: June gets Darrell sacked from her position as Head Girl and gloats about it to Felicity. Little sister is NOT amused.]]
* BirdsOfAFeather: Many of the girls pair up due to their similarities.
** Both Darrell and Sally are sensible, hardworking and reliable girls, and were the favourite choice for head girls in their later forms.
** Alicia and her best friend Betty are very bright, but are also mischievous tricksters who [[BrilliantButLazy rarely need to work hard to do well in their studies]].
** Irene and Belinda are a pair of very talented artists (Irene in music and maths and Belinda in arts/drawing), who are also forgetful, scatterbrained, and generally a bad influence to one another.
** Bill bonds with Clarissa over their shared love for horses.
** Invoked with Maureen and Gwendoline. Upon realizing that Maureen is just as vain and silly as Gwendoline, the other girls try to push them together and get both out from everyone else's way.
* BlatantLies: All of Gwen's boasting is seen as this by all other characters, except her mother, her governess and whichever gullible new kid is following her around this term.
* BoardingSchool: The titular school.
** Gwendoline is the most notable example. She almost consistently keeps her position as the bottom of her class, her teachers remark on her terrible work, and the only reason she is allowed to move on to the fifth form despite failing her exams is that she's far too old to be kept in the fourth form.
** Zerelda Brass in the third book. She is one year older than the protagonists, but since she couldn't keep up with the work of the fourth formers, she was sent down to the third.
** Connie, who needs her twin's help to get good grades. In the fifth novel, she is held back for a year for failing her Certs, while Ruth moves on to the fifth form with the others.
* BrilliantButLazy: Alicia is very smart, has good memory, and can easily achieve one of the top ranks in her form without studying much. Darrell initially tries to imitate her, but finds that, despite being a bright girl, she cannot afford to slack off, or her grades will slip badly.
* CatchYourDeathOfCold: Mavis suffers from this in the third book and she loses her voice for a while.
* CatholicSchoolGirlsRule: Not Catholic, no, but near-constantly uniformed since they live at the school.
* CharacterDevelopment: Almost every girl in the school learns a valuable lesson at some point and begins to change.
* CharacterFocus: Generally, the first few chapters have quite a bit of this for each new girl to allow the reader to get to know them all.
* CheatersNeverProsper: Gwendoline tries to skip an exam by faking a heart disease. She is exposed and forced to take the exam anyway. Played with [[spoiler: Ellen: A scholarship girl, she knows that she's a pretty average student and thus must work as hard as she can to keep up. Unfortunately, all the stress takes its toll on her and she resolves to cheat because she can't see another way to keep up. The ensuing events make her state of health become even worse until she becomes extremely ill. However, once the truth comes out, Ms Grayling has no problems with forgiving her.]]
* ChuckCunninghamSyndrome: Many of the girls fails to be mentioned after a couple of books. Sometimes, the narrative handwaves it by saying that they moved up a form, but most of the times, they just disappear.
** A lot of girls introduced in Darrell's first year was never mentioned again in the sequels. These includes Katherine, the head girl of the first formers, and Emily, who was Darrell's sort-of friend before she befriends Sally. Emily is mentioned again, but another girl called Violet was mentioned once in the first book when naming everyone in the form, and was never mentioned again.
** Daphne, a major character in the second book who becomes Mary Lou's best friend at the climax of the novel, fades into the background after this fact. Her name re-appeared once in the fifth book, and she was enlisted to get Clarissa away from Gwen in the fourth book, but she was otherwise gone. Ellen, also introduced in Book 2, and played a major role there, all but disappeared in the following books. However, she appeared in the third and was mentioned in the fourth. In both books, she was in the form above the main characters, justifying her disappearance.
** In the fifth form, we were introduced to Janet, a student held back from the previous batch of girls who was later revealed to be a very talented seamstress, did not return in the final book. However, she was mentioned when the girls were talking about some of the girls who has left school to do other things (e.g. Mavis went to train in singing, and Catherine stayed home to help out her mother).
* ClearTheirName: Happens several times, e.g. when [[spoiler: Ellen is wrongly accused of stealing in ''Second Form at Malory Towers'']].
* CloudCuckoolander: Irene and Belinda are both scatterbrains, frequently turning up in the wrong classroom, losing their stuffs, forgetting their class duties... the list go on.
* ComingOfAgeStory: Speaking about the whole series, yes.
* CorporalPunishment: Edited out in more recent versions. Alicia reminding her annoying cousin of how she was "spanked with a hairbrush" over the summer is changed to her reminding June of how she was "scolded".
* CostumePorn: Some of the outfits made for the school play are stated to count as a combination of this and GorgeousPeriodDress, as made by a talented schoolgirl seamstress who was aided by legions of lower-formers.
* DeadpanSnarker: Alicia is very infamous for her sharp tongue and her readiness to offer some biting remarks at those she considers stupid.
* DivideAndConquer: When rivalries over who is whose best friend get to a head.
* DontSplitUsUp: The twins Connie and Ruth, at least at first. Connie's marks are much worse than Ruth's and she knows that she might have to be kept back a year, [[spoiler: so she forces Ruth to purposely do badly in her tests so that they both are held back a year, and Ruth agrees]]. Things eventually work out, however, and Ruth discovers she actually likes not always being in Connie's shadow.
* DreadfulMusician: Maureen, who has a powerful voice, but is quite tone deaf. Her attempts at "singing" are mistaken for "yowling" by Bridget and Connie.
* DumbBlonde: Both Gwendoline Mary Lacey and her near-double, Maureen, have distinctive blonde hair and both do poorly in school.
* DysfunctionalFamily: Quite a sad one actually. Gwendoline's mother is an ignorant airhead who, together with her old governess, spoils Gwendoline completely while her father tries to stop this (which results in much tears and screaming) and is often disappointed by his daughter's actions. In turn, Gwendoline shuns him and acts like a brat as a punishment.
* ExtremeDoormat: Mary-Lou initially, but she got better. Ruth expands from this, although strangely, being a doormat means letting Connie do everything for her, not the other way around. Catherine is this ''on purpose'', and dear God does it annoy everyone- as she never really learns, being helpful is one thing, but when nobody wants you to help them, it's best to just back off and try being you instead of a saint.
* FatAndSkinny: The two French mistresses. Mamzelle Dupont is a FatComicRelief who gets the most brunt of jokes from the girls but is very good-natured very popular because of it, while Mamzelle Rougier is very strict, LeanAndMean, and is not very well-liked.
* FatalFlaw: Jealousy for Sally. In the first book, she behaves unpleasantly because she is jealous of her younger sister, who she believes to be stealing their parents' attention. In the third book, she is jealous of Alicia for being over-friendly with Darell (because Alicia's best friend, Betty, is away) and treats them both coldly until Betty finally returns to school.
* FoodPorn: If written descriptions of dinners and midnight feasts count.
* FunnyForeigner: Their French mistresses. One is generally nice, but tends to overreact to everything. The other is just plain mean.
* GenderBlenderName: The heroine's name, Darrell, is based on Enid's husband's middle name.
* GreenEyedMonster: Sometimes the girls can get rather... possessive over each other.
--> ''Darrell... didn't like to see the faithful Mary-Lou sitting so long with somebody else. Why, Mary-Lou had tagged along behind Darrell and Sally for terms and terms! Surely she wasn't going to make that awful Daphne her friend.''
* GreenEyes: Clarissa, and its status as a rare colour is portrayed quite realistically.
* GuiltByCoincidence: [[spoiler: Ellen. Things are going missing, and because nobody really likes Ellen, they decide that she is the scapegoat. In reality, Ellen is overworking herself to the detriment of her health as she tries to get good marks, and her only real crime was trying to cheat on the tests because her marks were failing. The real thief was Daphne, who, to be fair, was absolutely horrified when she realised that Ellen was going to be unfairly blamed for her crimes.]]
* HeterosexualLifePartner: Almost everyone has one, as the story is set in an all-girl school, and most of them go about in pairs. Darrell is best friends with Sally, Alicia almost always hangs out with Betty, Irene and Belinda are a pair of artistically talented scatterbrains, Bill and Clarissa gets along ''very'' well due to their love for horses, etc.
%%* HairTriggerTemper: Both the Mam'zelles and Darrell before she learns to control it.
* HugeSchoolgirl: Amanda, who is about 6 feet tall and weighs about 13 stones.
* IAmNotMyFather: [[spoiler: Gwendoline for her mother after she repents and realises how weak she always was.]]
* IHaveBrothers: Bill, the tomboy of the cast, has seven. Alicia has three and, although she is not that much of a tomboy, blames some of her mischievous tendencies on them.
%%* IncorruptiblePurePureness: Mary-Lou, consistently.
* InferioritySuperiorityComplex: Daphne enjoys boasting about her family's riches to hide the fact that [[spoiler:she is actually a thief, and had been expelled ''six'' times before coming to Malory Towers for stealing money and jewellery that she otherwise couldn't afford to buy, since her family is poor.]]
* IntergenerationalFriendship: Before Clarissa's arrival and her eventual friendship with her, Bill is very good friends with Miss Peters, the third-form mistress who shares her love for horses and masculine qualities.
* IrritationIsTheSincerestFormOfFlattery: In the first book, Darrell saves Mary-Lou from Gwendoline's bullying, and she began following her around ever since, trying to help her in every way possible. Mary-Lou's "help" often bothers Darrell instead, and her classmates (especially Alicia) likes to make fun of Darrell's "new puppy dog".
* JerkWithAHeartOfGold: Alicia. She's fun and popular, but she has absolutely no problem with using her sharp tongue on anyone who annoys her, and she lacks compassion, even refusing to consider that a friend might not have done something wrong.
* LadyLooksLikeADude: If it's not for her skirt (and the fact that she's attending an all-girl school), Bill is undistinguishable from a boy.
* LargeHam: Zerelda fancies herself as a great actress, but the way she tries to "act" is to be so over-the-top with her voice and movements, that those who watches thinks she's fooling around.
* ManipulativeBitch: Gwendoline, to the point that it's a wonder that the girls never got sick of her and just told Ms Grayling what she's done.
* MeaningfulName: "Mavis" means "song thrush", and Mavis has a unique and beautiful singing voice, and leaves school early for to have her voice trained for opera.
* NewTransferStudent: The school gets a few new ones every year. One notable example was Amanda, after her old school burned down.
* NewYearSameClass: Averted - although the core cast of characters stays the same, some girls go up a form early or stay behind due to bad results.
* NuclearFamily: Most in the series - this was TheFifties, after all - including the protagonist's.
* OneGenderSchool: The titular Malory Towers is an all-girl school.
* OnlySaneMan: Gwen's father. His daughter is a SpoiledBrat and his wife- and Gwen's governess- are airheads who think the world of her and spoil her rotten. He alone is trying to teach his daughter to be a decent human being.
* PlayingSick: Gwendoline tries this in ''Upper Fourth at Malory Towers'', faking a serious heart condition to get out of difficult end-of-term exams.
* PoolScene: In ''Upper Fourth at Malory Towers'' the girls have a midnight picnic by the pool.
* RealWomenDontWearDresses: The more feminine ladies who fusses over their appearance and are averse to playing sports, such as Gwendoline, Maureen and Daphne, are portrayed in a more negative light than the more tomboy girls like Alicia, Darrell and Bill.
%%* ReasonableAuthorityFigure: Pretty much every teacher.
%%* RichInDollarsPoorInSense: The Jones' family.
* RomanticTwoGirlFriendship: Almost all of the girls go about in pairs - Betty and Alicia, Darrell and Sally, Irene and Belinda, Mary-Lou and Daphne, Bill and Clarissa (who double up as TomboyAndGirlyGirl), Jean and Ellen, Mavis and Zerelda -- and their relationship can get quite intimate. And if another girl joins the group, it is called "Threesomes", as was with Felicity, Susan and June. This was quite common in the fifties.
* RuleOfPool: Students reluctant to swim are frequently pushed in, especially Gwendoline, who is just lazy and cowardly.
* ScholarshipStudent: Ellen comes from a lower-middle class family, and it was repeatedly mentioned that the only reason she could afford to go to Malory Towers is because she won a scholarship (and even then, the cost of the uniform and school supplies still takes a toll on her family's finances).
* SchoolNurse: The Matron also fills this role.
* SchoolPlay: The girls write and produce their own pantomime in ''In The Fifth At Malory Towers''.
%%* SchoolUniformsAreTheNewBlack: Pretty much enforced, as the girls live at their school.
%%* SeriousBusiness: Sports. And plays.
* SheCleansUpNicely: Clarissa was initially considered plain-looking, or even ugly, due to her thick spectacles and braces. When she takes them off, she becomes one of the most attractive girls in the cast.
%%* SpiritedYoungLady: Zerelda Brass.
%%* SpoiledBrat: Gwendoline, and a huge one at that.
* StepfordSmiler: Zerelda always appears happy and carefree, even when she is having problems at school (i.e. when she is forced to go down one grade because she is unable to keep up with the fourth form's work standard)
%%* SternTeacher: Many.
* StickyFingers: [[spoiler: Daphne]] was the one who stole the girls' stuffs from the second book. They forgave her, though.
* TakeMyHand: Twice! Firstly, in ''Second Form at Malory Towers'' [[spoiler: Mary-Lou falls off a cliff and needs to be rescued like this]], and then in ''Last Term at Malory Towers'' [[spoiler: overconfident swimmer Amanda nearly drowns and we hear this during her rescue]].
* TeachersPet: Various. Daphne manages it very successfully by turning on the charm with Mam'zelle Dupont.
* TeenGenius: Irene at music and maths (if nothing else), Belinda at art and Mavis at singing.
%%* TheQuietOne: Mary-Lou.
* TheReasonYouSuckSpeech: Zerelda gets given one by an angry drama teacher who tells her very bluntly that her acting is terrible. After everyone's calmed down, the same drama teacher tells her kindly but firmly that she simply doesn't have the gift that all great actors need, the ability to lose yourself in the character, and advises her to give up, which she does.
* TomboyAndGirlyGirl: Bill and Clarissa, who formed a RomanticTwoGirlFriendship by the end of ''Upper Fourth''. Bill is very boyish and could easily be mistaken for a guy if not for her uniform. Clarissa, while not explicitly stated to be feminine (particularly since she's as much a horse lover as Bill is), is much more dainty than her friend.
* TomboyishName: Bill. It's short for Wilhelmina, but almost nobody calls her that. Unusual in that she never faces criticism for her boyish ways or people trying to make her change.
%%* WeatherReportNarration: Fairly frequent at the start of chapters.
* WritingLines: Happens quite often. Occasionally, if the punishment was deemed undeserved by the other girls they help do it together.
* YoungerThanTheyLook: Zeralda Brass is only a year older than the other girls, but she has been mistaken for a grown woman. Justified, since she tries to act older than she is, and it's noted that without her makeup she almost looks like a different person.