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Tom Brown's Schooldays (Oxford World's Classics) Paperback – 12 Jun 2008


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Product details

  • Paperback: 464 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford Paperbacks; Reissue edition (12 Jun 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0199537305
  • ISBN-13: 978-0199537303
  • Product Dimensions: 19.6 x 2.8 x 12.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 633,719 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By B. Davison on 16 Feb 2006
Format: Paperback
Tom Brown's Schooldays is part novel, part education theory, but it is a great read. It is true that boys these days are unlikely to incur the wrath of their friends for not recognising a beech tree on sight, and that particular incident highlights the difference between the world described and the world as we know it. Despite this, it does not present an unrecognisable world and it actually allows us to look back on a time and a tradition long gone from modern Britain, and to smile at the innocence of children in the Victorian Era. The characters are what keeps the novel alive. To watch Tom grow from young boy to troublemaker to responsible, caring young man ready for Oxford, is a moving experience. The cast of characters around him ensure that he gets into all sorts of scrapes along the way, and the portrait painted of the great Dr. Thomas Arnold is one of a very intelligent, strong, yet caring man who quietly goes about the business of turning Tom into a young man worthy of praise. It is true that this book contains possibly the worst opening chapter in all of English literature, but get past that and you'll discover something quite special.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 15 Nov 2002
Format: Paperback
I first tried to read this when I was 12 and found it very heavy going. Several attempts later, I managed it all the way through and was very glad I did. The glimpses of lost England it gives are fascinating and anyone skipping the first chapter misses so much legend and history. I grew up in this area of Berkshire (now Oxfordshire) and found this chapter very interesting.
Yes, it is sentimental, but you have to remember the time in which it was written. It is probably the first ever school story written and one of the first fiction books for children that aimed at entertaining rather than merely lecturing.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 23 Jan 2001
Format: Paperback
Ignore the first chapter which is one of the worst written book openings ever. The rest of the book describes in incredibly sentimental terms a young boy's education at Rugby. The boy's adventures are compelling not least to have an idea of what an English Public school was in the early 1800s. The best part however, concerns the fabulous character that Thomas Hughes created in the bully Flashman. You need to have read this book to fully appreciate the genius of the Flashman Papers subsequently written by George MacDonald Fraser. Thomas Hughes' book is seminal work and must be viewed as a great reference book.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful By mike on 5 Nov 2003
Format: Paperback
Jeeze louise, after taking more than three weeks to mull over the first hundered pages of this at times hard going but brilliant book i finished the following two hundered in about a day and a half as i found it truly 'can't put it down' style reading . At times the novel was beautiful, touching, whilst at the same time a brilliant effective guide for not just contempary but also modern day youths on how to conduct themselves and behave like gentlemen . The book was like a sermon with enough charm not to seem overbearing and with enough mischief to make an entertaining coming of age tale . Apart from the ridicioulsly slow and stogy opening the rest of the tale was told with such charm and charisma that although the book is not one of my dearest, I developed a keen interest in the characters and wantend to read on and on soley for the purpose of seeing them develop . The characters and the way they behaved and changed was superbly identifiable and satisfying and for that reason i was mildly dissapointed with the novels ending . I have discovered that the is a little known sequal to this called 'tom brown at oxford'
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
An affectionate tale of rites of passage in an old England public school. i was surprised how meritocratic the school was. The masters understood boys well and were firm and fair.i think modern school discipline can be protracted and verge of psycho-bullying.
The author is clearly quite religious and does overdue that aspect a little for my taste. Wonderful vocabulary with many lovely old English words that have slipped out of common usage.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Dave_42 on 6 Nov 2009
Format: Paperback
"Tom Brown's Schooldays" by Thomas Hughes (1822 - 1896) was originally published in 1857, and clearly inspired other school novels for many years to come. One can see the impact it had on Wodehouse's school stories, as well as "Goodbye, Mr. Chips", and others as well. Add to that, the use of the character Flashman (the school bully in the first part of the book) by George MacDonald Fraser for his series of stories, and you begin to see just how much influence this book has had over the years. The novel centers on Tom Brown; from his childhood, through his attendance at Rugby, a public school and a bit beyond. The novel is divided into two books, the first deals with Tom's early life and days in school and he is headed down the wrong path at the end. The second book is where things turn around and Tom starts to find his way down the right path.

Book one is an odd mix, with the early chapters dealing with Tom's life before attending school. For me this was the most difficult part of the story to read, as it is the worst written part of the book, added to which I was adjusting to Thomas Hughes writing style, but these chapters help define Tom's character and so they are important to the story. It is in this period where Tom first attends a private school, but when a fever hits the school the students are sent home, and as a result, Tom is sent to Rugby. Chapter four covers Tom's journey to Rugby, including his building excitement of attending a public school.

Tom arrives and finds himself in very good circumstances; he is in School-house, the best of the houses; he is taken on as friend by East, who is the nephew of the friend of his family, and they become close friends.
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