The World of DES

DES gives her readers extra pleasure in her series (where the events of one book lead to the next) and her many linked stories, where readers can meet old friends in new books.
DES created her own towns and villages, all over England and Scotland, and populated them with her characters.

In Scotland, we find a host of characters living in and near the town of Ryddleton (based on Moffat, where DES and her husband lived for many years) or the village of Drumburly, and in several books we visit the wild and romantic highlands around Ardfalloch.

In England we visit the quiet village of Shepherdsford, in the Cotswolds, and the bustling town of Wandlebury, out in the country but within commuting distance of London.
Many DES women were educated at St. Elizabeth's and their brothers at Bell's Hills, both near the old walled town of Larchester, and the popular romance novelist, Janetta Walters , is a favourite (or not) among DES characters, even before she shows up as a heroine in her own right.

And many Londoners in DES live in Wintringham Square.
new editions

Series/Chains: Recommended reading order within each series Title Time Frame Date Pub Unifying locations Characters who appear in other books
Connected Books (but don't have to be read in any order)
These books come earlier These books come after
Mrs Tim 1 Mrs Tim of the Regiment (Mrs. Tim Christie) Jan-May, 1932 (or 1940) 1932        
Mrs Tim 1a Golden Days (Mrs. Tim Christie) June 1932 (or 1940) 1934        
Mrs Tim 2 Mrs Tim Carries On 1940 1941 Wintringham Square Janetta Walters's books are mentioned.

Hester grew up in a house in Wintringham Square in London, where her brother now lives, as do characters from Spring Magic, Listening Valley and Anna and her Daughters
Mrs Tim 3 Mrs. Tim Gets a Job 1947 1947 Ryddleton and environs      
Mrs Tim 4 Mrs. Tim Flies Home 1952 1952 Old Quinings Susan and Richard Morven and Miss Crease from Kate Hardy appear;

Kenneth Hardy is read.

Mr. Tyler, the lawyer that Richard Morven consults about Mrs. Stroud's will is the same Mr. Tyler from Miss Buncle Married.

Mr. Grace comes over from Chevis Green to fill in for the absent vicar one Sunday.

Tony and Hester have lunch at the Apollo and Boot in Wandlebury, where Miss Buncle and her friends live.
Kate Hardy  
Miss Buncle 1 Miss Buncle's Book 1934 1934   "Miss Buncle's Book" (the book by DES) is mentioned (not by name) in Anna and her Daughters    
Miss Buncle 2 Miss Buncle Married 1934-35 1936 Wandlebury and environs      
Miss Buncle 3 The Two Mrs. Abbotts 1942 1943 Wandlebury and environs Many characters from Miss Buncle Married appear again. Many characters show up again in The Four Graces, but no characters go all the way from Miss Buncle 1 to Miss Buncle 4    
Miss Buncle 4 The Four Graces 1943 1946 Wandlebury and environs Archie, Jane, Miss Marks and others from The Two Mrs. Abbotts.

Mr. Grace shows up again in Mrs. Tim Flies Home.

Tilly, Liz and Addie attended Hill House, as did The Young Clementina.
Amberwell 1 Amberwell 1927-1947 1955 Westkirk Characters appear again in Still Glides the Stream    
Amberwell 2 Summerhills 1948? 1956 Westkirk Characters appear again in Still Glides the Stream   Still Glides the Stream
Dering Family 1 Vittoria Cottage 1948-1949 1949 near Wandlebury, but not a Wandlebury book Dr. Wrench from Miss Buncle series appears    
Dering Family 2 Music in The Hills 1949 1950 Drumburly and environs      
Dering Family 3 Winter and Rough Weather 1951 1951 Drumburly and environs Third of Vittoria Cottage trilogy;

James and Rhoda and the Johnstones show up again in Bel Lamington.
  Bel Lamington
Bel Lamington 1 Bel Lamington 1960 1961 Shepherdsford Jock, Mamie, James and Rhoda from Vittoria Cottage trilogy appear.

Dr. Armstrong is a cousin to the Armstrong sisters, as is Mark Desborough's mother.

The Owl Inn, in Shepherdsford, appeared in The Tall Stranger
Winter and Rough Weather  
Bel Lamington 2 Fletchers End 1960-1961 1962 Shepherdsford Many characters from The Musgraves show up here.

Rhoda (Vittoria Cottage trilogy) pops up at Bel's wedding (thanks, Jerri)
The Musgraves  
Katherine 1 Katherine Wentworth 1964 1964   Alex Maclaren is partner of Andrew Firth of Forth (Anna and her Daughters).

Mr. Heath, the vicar, helped with Dorrie Morris's funeral in Sarah Morris Remembers
Katherine 2 Katherine's Marriage 1965 1965 Ardfalloch MacAslan of Smouldering Fire appears.

Mr. Sandford appears again in House on the Cliff, though much younger.
Gerald 1 Gerald and Elizabeth 1969 1969 Drumburly and environs Freda Lorimer from Five Windows (also ref to Johnstones?)    
Gerald 2 House of the Deer 1970 1970 Ardfalloch Phil MacAslan from Katherine's Marriage.

Donny Eastwood from Charlotte Fairlie
Katherine's Marriage

Charlotte Fairlie
Sarah Morris 1 Sarah Morris Remembers 1925-1944 1967 Ryddleton and environs Larchester Mr. Heath from Limbourne (Katherine Wentworth) is mentioned;

Andre Delormes from Still Glides the Stream appears as a child.
Sarah Morris 2 Sarah's Cottage 1945-1958? 1968 Ryddleton and environs Larchester characters from Celia's House and Listening Valley appear;

Mr. McTavish, the surgeon from The Blue Sapphire, operates on Sarah's grandmother.
Celia's House

Listening Valley
  Smouldering Fire 1934 1935 Ardfalloch MacAslan shows up in Katherine's Marriage;

MacAslan and Linda's children appear in House of the Deer.
  Katherine's Marriage

House of the Deer
  Spring Magic 1942?? 1942 Wintringham Square Janetta Walters's books are mentioned;

Frances lives in Wintringham Square with her aunt and uncle.
  Celia's House 1905-1942 1943 Ryddleton and environs Many characters show up again in Listening Valley. Some are are mentioned or appear briefly in Sarah's Cottage.   Listening Valley

Sarah's Cottage
  Listening Valley ca. 1930-1944 1944 Ryddleton and environs; Wintringham Square Celia, Courtney Dale and many others show up from Celia's House.

Some characters appear again in Sarah's Cottage.
Celia's House Sarah's Cottage
  Kate Hardy 1947 1947 Old Quinings some characters reappear in Mrs Tim Flies Home

The writer Kenneth Hardy is mentioned in Mrs Tim Flies Home
  Mrs. Tim Flies Home
  Five Windows 1937-1953? 1953 Drumburly and environs Freda Lorimer appears again in Gerald and Elizabeth;

Barbie and Nell are protagonists of The Tall Stranger;

David and Janet also appear again in The Tall Stranger.
  The Tall Stranger
  Charlotte Fairlie 1952-53 1954 Larchester and environs Sarah and Lottie Morris attend St. Elizabeth's, as does Freddie Hudson ; Lewis and Willy attend Bells Hills, all from the Sarah Morris books.

All three Musgrave girls also went to St. E's, as did Bel Lamington and Louise Armstrong

Donnie Eastwood appears again in House of the Deer.
  Sarah's Cottage

House of the Deer
  The Tall Stranger 1957 1957 Shepherdsford Barbie and Nell first appeared in Five Windows.

Janet and David from Five Windows also appear.

Edward Steyne and Daphne appear again in The Musgraves
Five Windows The Musgraves
  Anna and her Daughters 1948-1957 1958 Ryddleton and environs; Wintringham Square Anna's second husband & cousin is partner to Katherine Wentworth's second husband.

References to all known Ryddletonians at the time.

reference to Erica Clutterbuck and Tocher House from Mrs Tim gets a Job.
  Still Glides the Stream 1957-59 1959   Ayrtons from Amberwell, Summerhills, make guest appearance

Will goes to Nivennes, France, where Sarah Morris also visited.

Andre Delormes (from Sarah Morris Remembers) is mentioned
  The Musgraves 1960 1960 Shepherdsford The dramatic society puts on The Mulberry Coach, by Jane Harcourt, one of Anna's Daughters;

Edward Steyne, Daphne Bloggs, Ledy Steyne and Miss Penney, from The Tall Stranger
The Tall Stranger  
  The Blue Sapphire 1963 1963   Julia lives at May Martineau's lodging house (from House on the Cliff)

Mr. MacTavish, the surgeon who operates on Uncle Ran, also operated on Sarah Morris's grandmother (Sarah's Cottage)
  The House on the Cliff 1966 1966   Elfrida lives at May Martineau's lodging house, as does Julia from The Blue Sapphire.

Mr. Sandford was also the lawyer in K's Marriage.

Standalone Books

Time Frame
Publication Year
Peter West 1920-23? 1923  
The Young Clementina 1895-1935 1935 Clementina is sent to Hill House, the school attended by three of the Four Graces.
The Empty World 1973 1936 No connections, thank goodness, or we would know the terrible fate of all DES's characters.
The Story of Rosabelle Shaw 1890-1915 1937  
Miss Bun the Baker's Daughter 1936-37 or 1937-38 1938  
Green Money 1938 1939 near Wandlebury, but not a Wandlebury book
Rochester's Wife pre-war 1940  
The English Air 1938-1940 1940  
Crooked Adam 1942 1942  
Young Mrs. Savage 1948 1948  
Emily Dennistoun 1920s 2011  
The Fair Miss Fortune 1930s 2011  
Portrait of Saskia 1920s 2011  
Jean Erskine's Secret WWI era 2013  
Found in the Attic various 2013