Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Autumn Term (The Marlows, #1)” as Want to Read:
Autumn Term (The Marlows, #1)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating

Autumn Term (The Marlows #1)

4.08 of 5 stars 4.08  ·  rating details  ·  357 ratings  ·  25 reviews
Twins Nicola and Lawrie arrive at their new school determined to do even better than their distinguished elder sisters, but things don't turn out quite as planned.
Paperback, 295 pages
Published October 16th 2000 by Faber Childrens' Classics (first published 1948)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Autumn Term, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Autumn Term

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,048)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Sherwood Smith
I don't know how I managed never to discover Forest when I was younger, but I'm glad to find her now. She was recommended to me by some friends on-line, and four books kindly sent to me by a friend in England. They are hard to find here—I don't know why the heck they are not in constant print. At the front introduction of one, an old friend of hers speculates that critics scorned her for her first book being a 'school story'—a type that fell into disrepute earlier in the twentieth century, due t ...more
Ruby Rose Scarlett
Oh wow! Antonia Forest's writing is so unique and wonderful, she really gets into her characters' qualities and flaws, it goes much further than anything I've read before in terms of characterization. None of her characters are entirely likable and all in all, Autumn Term is a hard sell - it's so much about the tiny interactions and the details, much more than about grand school things (though there's a good deal of that as well). Her novel is so realistic I'm inclined to say she really subverts ...more
Lindley Walter-smith
Incredibly good. One of the best school stories I have ever read, hands-down. It captures the anguish and intensity of being 12, in which every setback and humiliation looms as a huge tragedy. As a result, it is incredibly emotionally effective. The characters are astonishingly well-rounded, complex and believably flawed for a book that never really steps outside known school story formulas (new girls want to become successes, make a lot of blunders, but show hidden talents and triumph at last)a ...more
Laura Canning
I grew up on Enid Blyton, especially Malory Towers , and the boarding school genre has always been a favourite of mine. But Antonia Forest's boarding school novels are in a genre of their own.

It all starts fairly predictably - twins going to a new school, expecting glory, team success and shooting that last goal in the Big Match just as the whistle blows for time. Saying things don't work out quite as planned doesn't even start to do justice to this brilliantly written book, with its dry narrati
Lisa Vegan
Nov 09, 2007 Lisa Vegan rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: everyone who enjoys children’s lit, especially girls & women
Recommended to Lisa by: CLM
Thank you Constance for introducing me to this very memorable book/series. You've provided an abundance of book pleasure; you’ve read so many children’s books that aren’t esoteric, but were unknown to me and apparently to many others as well! Hope I can acquire/borrow all the books about the Marlow family; I see that they’re not easily found.

I have a feeling this first book might end up being my favorite. The author is a terrific storyteller and has created engaging characters. (And, like Madel
I wish I hadn't given out all those five-stars now, because Autumn term now needs its own, six-star grading. When I was a girl, everybody had read Enid Blyton's school stories, and a few people had then moved on to the Chalet School and Trebizon. But I was the only person I knew who had read Antonia Forest. And whenever I tried to persuade somebody to read Autumn Term, they'd say no thank you, they'd already read the Malory Towers books and this book would just be more in the same vein. NO! You ...more
You know you're going to enjoy a book (or at least I do) when characters chide one another with "Don't be an ass." Forest's writing is straightforward and engaging, and she caught me up in the adventures of the Marlow twins right out of the gate.

I am so pleased to have found this series and look forward to reading more of it.
I read this book quite a while ago on Constance's recommendation--if only more of Antonia Forest's books were available here! I always search them out when I'm in the UK. A great girls' school book--and thanks again, Constance!
AF is probably one of the most underrated children's authors ever. Her school stories are filled with depth and sophistication missing from most other entries in the genre. Her family stories are even better.
Sam Schulman
Absolutely the greatest schoolgirl book I have ever read. I am looking forward to "Attic Term" if i can get it away from Pansy and Sophy
Sep 03, 2008 Martine marked it as to-read
British boarding school drama that I missed when I was young and a boarding-school-drama addict. Thanks, Constance!
Jacob Combs
If you are used to school stories like Enid Blyton's and Elinor M Brent-Dyer's, you might find this a welcome change of pace. This painfully observant book about boarding school and the inner lives of young women is at times sarcastic, bitingly witty, thought-provoking, and touching.

Nicola is one of my favorite girl protagonists. While I am certain I would have been scorned by her and the other self-assured Marlows. I love getting into their world and experiencing the embarrassing realistic obs
Jan 29, 2008 Kate rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: kids
This book rubbed me the wrong way at first. I thought it was silly to have two main characters in a boarding school book with FOUR older sisters (and two essentially off-screen brothers). One might have thought it would have been wiser to reserve a younger sister for future addition. Also, it annoyed me that EVERYONE had a freaky British nickname. I mean, there was no Balmy Fotheringay-Phipps, but STILL. Pick a name. Seriously, there was this huge expositional introduction of characters and plus ...more
I really enjoyed this, and wonder how I could have missed it during the whole boarding-school frenzy we all went through as 10-year-olds. (I loved the midnight feasts at St. Clare's and Malory Towers!) Antonia Forest's book is a little older than Enid Blyton's though, and also shockingly brutal - or maybe I didn't realise all those times when girls in Blyton stories shunned the inevitable outcast, that they were really bullying her in a way that could have led to graver consequences than lip-tre ...more
Maria M. Elmvang
Oct 08, 2011 Maria M. Elmvang rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommended to Maria M. by: breathingbooks
I had this recommended to me because I mentioned loving books that take place at boarding schools, and fortunately the recommendation was spot on :-) I loved reading about Nick's and Lawrie's antics in Third Removed and especially thought the description of the play extremely well done - that is EXACTLY how it feels... right down to the melancholy and "day after blues". I think Antonia Forest must have had experience with acting herself, to be able to describe it so well.

A lovely cozy book, and
When my mother was getting her master's degree, one of her professors heard about my interest in school stories and introduced us to this amazing author. This is the first of her books about the Marlow family, and begins with Nicola and Lawrie Marlow setting off for their first term at boarding school. Kingscote is a school with more dimension than Malory Towers or St. Clare's, and the Marlows are a family you will enjoy.
I missed reading when I was younger as I wasn't a huge fan of school stories but if I'd come across this then it could well have changed my mind. The characters really come alive with all their faults and grow, change and learn lessons throughout the book. Lots of lovely subtle humour and a real feel for school life. I wish the other books in the series weren't so expensive so I could read my way through them all.
Swati Daftuar
whattay discovery this book was! A boarding school story, but SO different from Blyton's malory towers/st clare's series, though I didn't expect it to be. the characters are much more human, there is less judgement, less morality, less preaching. Though all the essentials are there, midnight parties and whatnots, but there is also much more. now if i could only find the sequel.
Mar 27, 2009 Melody rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Boarding school story fans
Recommended to Melody by: Abigail A.
The plot is standard "going away to boarding school". The characters, however, are very lively and much more interesting than the standard issue. The play-within-the-book is well described and involving, and the whole very nicely done. Another I wish I'd read when I was 12, though I'm glad I had an opportunity to read it now- thanks to Abigail!
Good fun, more a 3 1/2 star book though. None of the characters were particularly loveable, but I found their adventures to be thrilling to read about! Would read more in the series if they came my way, but am not going to begin a massive hunt for them.
Seemingly more realistic than Enid Blyton's boarding school stories. Very interesting to note how attitudes to children and their behavioural standards have changed since the 1940s. Very enjoyable and vastly better written than EBs efforts.
The characters are first rate, but this boarding school story doesn't have enough plot for my taste. The dialogue is great though, I might still read the sequels.
Feb 01, 2012 Sarah rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommended to Sarah by: Cammy M-----
Very enjoyable. Sometimes I found myself wishing the main characters were a little smarter or more academically inclined, though.
Please note this is five stars for what it is within the expectations of the school genre. Review to come.
June Schwarz
I wish she had written so much more!
Aurora Lemieux
Aurora Lemieux marked it as to-read
Feb 25, 2015
Alice marked it as to-read
Feb 23, 2015
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 34 35 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • The School at the Chalet (The Chalet School, #1)
  • The Swish of the Curtain
  • Charlotte Sometimes
  • The Turbulent Term of Tyke Tiler
  • Ordinary Jack (The Bagthorpe Saga, #1)
  • The Haunting
  • Grinny
  • The Family from One End Street: And Some of Their Adventures
  • Minnow on the Say (Puffin Books)
  • The Little Book Room
  • First Term at Trebizon (Trebizon, #1)
  • The Incredible Adventures of Professor Branestawm
  • A Traveller In Time
  • Marcelino Pan Y Vino
Antonia Forest was the pen name of Patricia Giulia Caulfield Kate Rubinstein. She was born in North London, the child of Russian-Jewish and Irish parents. She studied at South Hampstead High School and University College, London, and worked as a government clerk and a librarian. Best known for her series of novels about the Marlow family, she published her first book, Autumn Term, in 1948.
More about Antonia Forest...

Other Books in the Series

The Marlows (1 - 10 of 11 books)
  • The Marlows and the Traitor (The Marlows, #2)
  • Falconer's Lure (The Marlows, #3)
  • End of Term (The Marlows, #4)
  • Peter's Room (The Marlows, #5)
  • The Thuggery Affair (The Marlows, #6)
  • The Ready Made Family (The Marlows, #7)
  • The Cricket Term (The Marlows, #8)
  • The Attic Term (The Marlows, #9)
  • Run Away Home (The Marlows, #10)
  • Spring Term (The Marlows, #11)
End of Term (The Marlows, #4) The Cricket Term (The Marlows, #8) The Attic Term (The Marlows, #9) Peter's Room (The Marlows, #5) The Ready Made Family (The Marlows, #7)

Share This Book

No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »