ENGLISH PUBLIC SCHOOL: A Personal and Irreverent History


ENGLISH PUBLIC SCHOOL: A Personal and Irreverent History

MARTIN STEPHEN    Book Number: 89060    Product format: Hardback

There cannot be anybody better qualified to write on that most English of institutions, the Public School, than Martin Stephen. Having attended one he went on to become the highest achieving Head of his generation, occupying the post of High Master at two of the most prestigious establishments in England (at one point he and his wife Jenny could claim to have been Heads of five of the top 30 schools in the country) so this book is both memoir and top insider exposé. So, unlike most accounts, this book is neither a fawning sycophancy nor a demonic condemnation, recognising as it does the strengths and weaknesses of these extraordinary schools, loved and despised in equal measure across social and political divides. Also unlike most accounts, it is extremely funny, revealing the traditional and ludicrous elements in schools that take themselves so ridiculously seriously. In their defence, Stephen points out that in truth all they have been or are still doing is mirroring what society wants for the education of their sons and is, more pertinently, prepared to pay handsomely for it. Rather than an historical progression through the centuries, the book offers a history by topic such as "Sexuality and the Public School", "Fagging and Casual Cruelty", "Play up and Play the Game", "Muscular Christianity", "Spare the Rod" and, naturally, our favourite, "Billy Bunter and Friends", the author's list of the greatest/worst/essential/utter tripe fiction ever written concerning public schools and those that inhabit them. A highly enjoyable and enlightening read which shows how easy it can be to admire these schools whilst simultaneously being irritated by them. 309pp.
Published price: £16.99
Bibliophile price: £7.00


Additional product information

ISBN 9781786068774
Browse these categories as well: Modern History/Current Affairs, Humour

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