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5.0 out of 5 stars A very good read, 29 Jan. 2012
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This review is from: A Keen Wind Blows: The Story of Fettes College (Hardcover)
This is an extremely well produced and illustrated book. The author's surname (Philp) is unusual and unfortunately it has been misspelt in many of the listings -- including Amazon!

Fettes College was (and is) a cultural anomaly, a very English-style public school located in Scotland. It has a long and distinguished list of alumni including UK prime minister Tony Blair. It has always been seen by the mass media as an "oasis of privilege" but it certainly did not strike me that way when I was there 60 years ago.

Robert Philp has given us a broad evolutionary picture of Fettes, a useful insight even for those who were at the school themselves. Up to about 1970 Fettes seemed stuck in a Victorian time warp, then massive changes came in rapid succession: the decline of the classical languages, the arrival of computers and girls. This is all carefully chronicled with the avoidance of the two great temptations that face school historians; smug trumpet-blowing, or at the other extreme, snide criticism. Philp has included sensitive portrayals of the headmasters who steered Fettes through its 130-year history. Anthony Chenevix-Trench in particular, was an outstanding but ultimately tragic character.
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Showing 1-1 of 1 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 30 Dec 2013 22:09:48 GMT
Gonetomorrow says:
How can they have been so stupid as to appoint C-T headmaster? Didn't they wonder why he was leaving Eton or were they just blown away by his celebrity?
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