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on 28 February 2017
So happy to have bought this at last as it always seemed a little overpriced. As some part of the book is about an ancestor who was one of the main headmasters at Harrow school it is of particular interest to me.
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on 16 April 2018
This is the best history of public school life I've ever seen, and it should be better known. What's most amazing about it is the author often seems appalled by what he has found. The book is clearly an authorised history. Goodness knows what the Harrow authorities made of it when it appeared. Knowing them they probably didn't bother to read it. At last I understand why Richard Curtis, who was head boy in 1975, included in Four Weddings and a Funeral, an unpleasant character who states, 'my head of house buggered me senseless. Taught me a lot about life of course'. If you want to know why this little vignette appears, read the book. And how about the Queen's cousin who was a pupil and why he set fire to the school !!!! Great stuff.
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on 7 December 2000
This is a most honest analysis of public school life as it really was. Tyerman is in no way nostalgic, nor does he try to restore any love that may have been lost between Harrow School and the general public. His scholarly account of fraudulence, 'wife-swopping', social incapability and sexual promiscuity is well researched. One asks oneself why the governers commissioned such a book. Truth is stranger than fiction!
3 people found this helpful
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on 30 March 2001
a great read, and thoroughly topical in todays society of school change. It accurately describes the history of this once nondescript grammer school into the now world famous establishment it is now. Well worth 30 quid!!
One person found this helpful
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on 21 October 2004
Personally I would not read this book if I had the chance to start again-it is dreary and too perdantic.
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on 5 December 2000
A good book with a great topic. Not going into too much detail even though it is 600 pages long, it is a light cover-story.
4 people found this helpful
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on 1 May 2001
This is a scholarly and impartial history of a public school. It is also a great read, vividly representing the men (they were and are always men) involved in running it. His treatment of Vaughan, Montagu Butler and the other eccentric Victorian giants of the school is particularly brilliant. Tyerman gently mocks the people who sentimentalise Harrow by showing how short their memories are, and how the reforms that the traditionalists fought to prevent are staunchly defended by their successors fifty years later. He shows a school which is always reinventing itself, mostly following Eton and fashion, but later trying to keep hold of an antiquated conservative ideal, and trying to balance this with the need to attract pupils. Scholarly, thought-provoking and enjoyable.
4 people found this helpful
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