Tom Brown’s School Days

Hughes, Thomas. Tom Brown’s School Days. New York: Harper & Brothers, 1911.

Reason read: to finish the series started in April in honor of George MacDonald Fraser’s birth month…even though this has nothing to do with George MacDonald Fraser.

Victorian-era literature always gets to me. I know that Tom Brown’s School Days centers on the manner and customs of the mid 1850s and is the basis for the Flashman series by George MacDonald Fraser, but I found myself completely bored. Aside from the great illustrations this wasn’t the most entertaining of reads.

An odd quote, “They can’t let anything alone which they think going wrong” (p 5).

As an aside – Hughes called his readers either gentle or simple. I couldn’t decide which category I fell into.

Author fact: Thomas Hughes looked like Mario Balzic from the cover of Always a Body to Trade by K.C. Constantine.

Book trivia: I tried reading both an electronic and print versions of this. The full title on the 1911 electronic version was Tom Brown’s School~Days By An Old Boy (Thomas Hughes) with Numerous Illustrations Made at Rugby School by Louis Rhead, MCMXI. And to be fair, the illustrations were great. Introduction was by W.D. Howells.
The print version (published in 1918) was a little different. Title page reads, “Tom Brown’s School-Days By an Old Boy (Thomas Hughes) Edited by H.C. Bradby, B.A. Assistant Headmaster at Rugby School Illustrated by Hugh Thomson.” Interesting, huh?

BookLust Twist: from Book Lust in the chapter called “George MacDonald Fraser: Too Good To Miss” (p 93). Except…Tom Brown’s School Days was not written by George MacDonald Fraser as I mentioned earlier.



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