Tom Brown’s School Days

Once I had started reading this found copy of Tom Brown’s School Days my sister mentioned that it is the original “School Days” story in English literature, and wondered how it compares to contemporary school stories. I hadn’t read much of the book yet then, (Tom wasn’t even at Rugby yet), but now that I’ve finished it, the answer is yes.

Harry Potter is the school story that I know best, and it’s full of elements that appear inspired by Tom’s days at Rugby: A long, & special, journey to get to school, a special attachment to the headmaster, and a new and novel sport are some examples.

Novelists from more than 150 years ago seem to need an editor, though. There are parts where the author drags on – similar to what I found in The Last of the Mohicans, (although it’s even older).

I enjoyed the older production qualities of my particular edition of the book, from the “Blackie’s Library for Boys and Girls.” I think this is from 1952, old enough that the letters are pressed into the pages, sometimes with a bit too much ink, and the pages themselves are so thick that it’s tough to push my book darts onto the page. At 272 pages my copy is also shorter than many non-abridged editions, so it may be abridged, in which case I would like to know and read what I missed.

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