Tom Brown’s Schooldays – Thomas Hughes

It is years since I last read this book and decided to reread it on a whim having spotted it on my bookshelf.

I think the book is from a holiday with my parents, staying at my aunt’s house in a rainy and windswept Whitley Bay.  My parent’s kept me amused with a constant steam of books and, concerned that I was devouring books at a rapid rate of knots, decided to start me on some books meant for older children.  This was one and Hans Brinker was the other.

I really enjoyed re-meeting the characters in the book and there was so much I don’t remember.  I also don’t remember the social commentary and the way the book highlights what were then seen as desirable traits in young English gentlemen.  I suspect I didn’t notice these things when I was younger because although I had the vocabulary and reading ability for the book I didn’t have the emotional maturity.

I enjoyed reading about how Tom stood up to Flashman and I’d forgotten just what a horrible person Flashman is.  It has completely put me off reading George MacDonald Fraser’s books.

It was also good to read the ending where Tom hears of the death of Dr Arnold and contemplates how much influence he had on his life.  I’d also completely forgotten about this ending too.

All in all this was an excellent re-read and I would recommend it.

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