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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Turn, pause, look back and wave
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...
Published on 16 Feb. 2006 by B. Davison

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3.0 out of 5 stars book
good item and it was as described. Thank you. I would order again in the future if i needed to.
Published 20 months ago by Wendy Lee


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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Turn, pause, look back and wave, 16 Feb. 2006
By 
B. Davison "donutboy2k" (Glasgow, Scotland) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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
4.0 out of 5 stars Historically fascinating, 15 Nov. 2002
By A Customer
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
4.0 out of 5 stars Nauseatingly sentimental at times but an essential reference, 23 Jan. 2001
By A Customer
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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4.0 out of 5 stars Understanding the ethos of Rugby football, 26 Aug. 2011
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This review is from: Tom Brown's Schooldays and Tom Brown at Oxford (Paperback)
I'm sure many of us of a certain age will remember reading Thomas Hughes's story of young Tom Brown moving to Rugby school in the 1850's and discovering the early version of the 'Rugby' game. Legend has it that it was created some years earlier. There is a commemorative plaque on the Headmaster's Wall in the Close at Rugby School, known as the (William) Webb Ellis stone, describing the boy's sudden wild enthusiasm rather appropriately. Part of the inscription reads `... who with a fine disregard for the rules of football as played in his time first took up the ball in his arms and ran with it, thus originating the distinctive feature of the rugby game...'.
Of course Hughes went to Rugby school himself, and writes from experience. In the mayhem the boys realised how much fun they could have with the game that Webb Ellis had unexpectedly created. It was a thrill to run with the ball,(these were made by the school's local boot and shoe maker William Gilbert, whose name still appears on rugby balls today) to test one's strength against others' and to meet a more physical challenge.
Re-reading the book gives as much pleasure today, as he describes in Chapter VI `After the match'. `Then there's fuddling about in the public-house, and drinking bad spirits and punch, and such rot-gut stuff. That won't make drop-kicks or chargers of you, take my word for it.' 150 years later -as the French say, `plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose'.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great, 5 Nov. 2003
By 
mike (Manchester, England) - See all my reviews
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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4.0 out of 5 stars an inspiring tale of life in old English public school, 22 Nov. 2014
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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
4.0 out of 5 stars Influential School Novel, 6 Nov. 2009
"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. The house is led by Brooke, an older student who is admired by nearly everyone, and whose natural leadership abilities have united School-house like no other, and he keeps the bullying in check. Lastly, Tom arrives on the day that the School-house takes on all the others in football, and though not allowed a big part, Tom has one key play which catches the eye of Brooke.

Things change though, when Brooke moves on as do the other older boys who followed Brooke's example of behavior, and so the house loses its united spirit, and the bullies start to create havoc. Chief among the bullies is Flashman, who has a sadistic streak, but is actually a coward, like many bullies. Unfortunately, he decides to pick on Tom and East. Eventually Tom and East stand together and defeat Flashman, but even after that Flashman manages to keep Tom and East as outcasts due to his rumor spreading. Their being outcasts results in Tom and East pretty much doing what they please, and deciding that rules don't apply to them as they only can count on each other. This leads to a stern talking to by the headmaster, known as the Doctor just before the holiday, as he sees the two of them heading down the wrong path, and this is where book one ends.

Book two picks up with Tom and East's return from the holidays. In the break, it has been decided to try to separate the two for their own good, and the method is in the form of George Arthur, a boy whose father has passed away. Tom reflects quickly on what this means to his plans, but quickly sets those aside and takes on this new responsibility. Tom takes care of George, but in fact George teaches Tom far more. The second book develops the strength of this relationship, including Tom's continuing friendship with East, and the inclusion of Martin into their group of friends. Martin is known as "Madman" for his unusual behavior, involving a love a nature, which he passes on to George.
The other key events in book two include a fight between Tom and Williams, a boy from another house. The fight takes place because Tom defends George against a threat made by Williams. The narrator uses the fight to teach a lesson about fighting, but the chapter is a bit out-of-place for the most part. There is also a illness which nearly takes George Arthur's life, and which inspires Tom to be a better student, and he takes East along with him on that road. Tom says goodbye to Rugby with a cricket match. Sporting matches became a fixture for Wodehouse's school novels at the start of his career, and this is undoubtedly one source of inspiration for him. The closing chapter deals with a few years later, when Tom is at Oxford and learns of the death of his old Master and his return to Rugby to pay his respects, and reflect back on all he learned there.

The reader takes a long journey with this novel, both in terms of the story told, as well as the impression one has of the book itself. One starts with the difficulty of trying to deal with the poorly written early chapters, to enjoying the free-spirit adventures of Tom and East at Rugby, and then on into experiencing the growth of responsibility and maturity as they develop in Tom and his friends. Overall, it is a great experience, and though flawed, it is not too surprising that this novel survives on reading lists, as well as influences so many other works.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Tom Brown School days., 5 July 2012
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This review is from: Tom Brown's Schooldays (Audio CD)
This cd of Tom Brown School days were great to hear. I enjoy every part of the story line and you can picture the film as well. If you are into your story cds this one is the one to purchase.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A classic that doesn't lose anything by age, 19 May 2013
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A great view of public achool life in times gone by and a really good read. I was surprised at how much Flashman is not a major part of the story and entranced with other areas described.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Take the time to read this true classic, 17 Aug. 2011
By 
Dr John N Sutherland (Skelmorlie, Scotland, UK) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Tom Brown's Schooldays and Tom Brown at Oxford (Paperback)
At the time of writing we see the UK in chaos and disorder, socially and financially. The old adage says, "Seek the ancient paths." And in an age where history is so easily forgotten, we are poorer - and stupider - if we do not seek the wisdom of those who have gone before us.

For this book is about a school which Dr Arnold inherits which was, in modern parlance, a failing school. And, yes, it is also about a wild boy who knows no boundaries. And under Dr Arnold - a real person btw - Rugby School transforms from a haunt of bullies, cheats and thieves to a place where young boys can mature into rounded and useful men. At the same time Tom is an examplar we follow through Dr Arnold's path. He arrives as a ne'er-do-well, a waster in modern parlance, and is slowly changed by direct application of Dr Arnold's remedies into a man fit to enter the world.

There is a long setting of scene at the start. Do read this. It is nowhere near as painful as the start of The Lord of The Rings, and does place the context clearly in an England of the early 19th century. Thereafter there are scene-chapters of Tom learning about life and how to live it with society (the school) and other citizens (the boys and masters).

I do like the cricket scene at the end where Tom is the captain of the team. It is his job to choose who will bat next. Twice he sends in a weak player. The first time because younger boys want someone to be given a chance. The second time because he wants his young protege, an academic boy, to be given a last chance to perform at sport. His team just loses the match. But do they? For it is the classic situation where he has reached the maturity where he has to decide who goes on, and he makes allowances, offers chances, and everyone gains, even if the team marginally lose. This is cricket drawn as a way of life in parallel, for to do otherwise, to put nothing but the 'best' in every time is a poor show and just isn't cricket.

So, back to the UK. We are currently (i) falling apart into regions/nations and (ii) utterly incapable of finding our moral compass in our country and in the world. Dr Arnold shows where and how such a moral compass was set. England (pax Celts!) found its glory and its greatness in the world by playing the Christian way: aim high, encourage the weak, punish the errant. For, ultimately, this is a novel about how to raise a traditional, useful, helpful, maximised young man: aim him at the highest point - God - and train him to go in a direction, and he won't go wrong.

You may not buy the morale of the story. But, that is the point, isn't it? It is there for you to buy into, or to find another way to set up the good, moral society which the UK has lost. For Dr Arnold's way was the moral compass of the UK up until the 1950's. Read the book and see how he did it. For many of us still do it this way.
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Tom Brown's Schooldays and Tom Brown at Oxford
Tom Brown's Schooldays and Tom Brown at Oxford by Thomas Hughes (Paperback - 5 April 1993)
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