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My Scottish Youth Paperback – 30 Nov 1993

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Product details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Black and White Publishing (30 Nov. 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 187363126X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1873631263
  • Product Dimensions: 19.4 x 13 x 2.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,720,119 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

The loveliest Scottish boyhood ever re-created. --The Guardian

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By W. Scott on 17 Oct. 2011
Format: Paperback
I have now read this three times and will do so again, though I have memorised parts of it.
I came to it after a life of teaching, some of it at George Watson's and some in comprehensives where I had tried to get the kinds of results in that less advantageous world; and enjoyed some success. But I believed in the comprehensive ideal and not in the public school. I thought it was elitist and favoured the rich and provided great advantages to them over the able children of the poor. Worst of all, the public schools (at least in Scotland: Watson's, Heriot's and Fettes, for sure) had been set up to educate the poor. Of course, they had been taken over by the rich who now control them. I might have been a house master at Watson's, was offered this; could have made a career in the public schools, but chose not to.
Lockhart's book was a revelation. The argument for public schools is there and it is impressive. In 1914, there were 1000 Fettesians under 40. A quarter were killed in the war and 207 medals awarded to them: 2 Vc's, 59 DSO's, 146 MC's.
Also, just before (Lockhart was at Fettes from 1899- 1904) the Scottish XV before an international would play the school and usually win by a handful of points only. I remember matches between Watson's and Fettes and how superior their system was: clearly, they spent 24 hours a day at war, learning to win, learning to cooperate, to lead and acquire and exercise skill. That is the reason for their success; but how useful to the country at that time.
Lockhart's account is fascinating, every page of it. The different value system of that time is clear. His father, on holiday at Strachur, rows to Kenmore and then walks 6 miles into Inverary where there is an apothecary (There still is!}.
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