Another perfectly delightful and outdated dinosaur!
The education of the girls at the remote Welsh boarding school of the Woodlands reads like an extended girl scout camp. They are hearty, sporty children who collect nature specimens and willingly tramp for miles through difficult terrain to reach a favoured meadow. The main plot revolves around Ulyth and Rona. Ulyth is a prim and proper moral stalwart, and Rona, the newcomer, is a rough "backwoods girl" from New Zealand (but we "mustn't take her for a model of New Zealand"). Ulyth, at great pains, takes it upon herself to smooth out Rona's rough edges.
No book of this era is free of romanticism, but the characters are still fairly relateable and recognizable, despite seeming inhumanly obedient on occasion. Either the author exaggerates, or some turn of the century schools had actually figured out how to keep children both busy and happy. Rules are broken and children are naughty, but our heroine Ulyth never falters. She is also, I should point out, and obvious author stand-in.
It's a story about doing what's right even when it's hard, and overcoming your own prejudices, and looking out for your friends. I say again: delightful.
And, like The Head Girl at the Gables
, this one's also kinda subtextually gay.