Tom Brown's School Days By an Old Boy

Tom Brown's School Days By an Old Boy

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Tom Brown's School Days By an Old Boy

Tom Brown's School Days By an Old Boy

Read FREE!

Excerpt

It is not often that in later years one finds any book as good as one remembers it from one's youth; but it has been my interesting experience to find the story of Tom Brown's School Days even better than I once thought it, say, fifty years ago; not only better, but more charming, more kindly, manlier, truer, realler. So far as I have been able to note there is not a moment of snobbishness in it, or meanness of whatever sort. Of course it is of its period, the period which people call Middle Victorian because the great Queen was then nearly at the end of the first half of her long reign, and not because she personally characterized the mood of arts, of letters, of morals then prevalent.

The author openly preaches and praises himself for preaching; he does not hesitate to slip into the drama and deliver a sermon; he talks the story out with many self-interruptions and excursions; he knows nothing of the modern method of letting it walk along on its own legs, but is always putting his hands under its arms and helping it, or his arm across its shoulder and caressing it. In all this, which I think wrong, he is probably doing quite right for the boys who formed and will always form the greatest number of his readers; boys like to have things fully explained and commentated, whether they are grown up or not. In much else, in what I will not say are not the great matters, he is altogether right. By precept and by example he teaches boys to be good, that is, to be true, honest, clean-minded and clean- mouthed, kind and thoughtful. He forgives them the follies of their youth, but makes them see that they are follies.

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