Chapter one reveals the attitudes of Victorian England towards class and society in general. The first few chapters of the book also revealed a comparison of Saxon and Norman influence. This time period was marked by the rule of Queen Victoria; who ruled from to Swisher et al.
I don't know how many other Flashman readers actual take the trouble to wade through the original source material. But I can observe that it was much easier to get ahold of the Flashman books than "Tom Brown's Schooldays. So I can only conjecture that, at least as far as Melbourne goes, most people just plunge directly into the meat of the Flashman series.
It's possible this book is more famous in it's home country of Britain. Or I don't know--maybe it's famous everywhere, and it's just my ignorance.
If anyone else out there has heard of this book before, let me know. George MacDonald Fraser, however, does constantly reference back to this book in his Flashman series, however, starting with the very first chapter in which Flashman complains of his portrayal by Thomas Hughes while admitting it was accurate for the most part.
And many of the characters from this book make appearances throughout the Flashman series. So I imagine anyone who hasn't waded through this book first will miss a lot of the references in the Flashman series. Even if the Flashman books are a lot more fun than this one.
I'm sure you've noticed, as I do whenever I read a Victorian era book, that some of these classics have aged better than others. Some of them read like they could have been written yesterday.
And some of them are written with a more antiquated style. This book is one of the latter. Still, if you're willing to put in the effort of engaging the book, there's a lot to be gained from it.
As with any old book, the main value of it is in being able to get a glimpse of what life was like before you were born. What did schoolboys do in the days before television, video games, and the internet?
How did they entertain themselves? What sort of mischief did they get up to, and what sort of values were instilled in them? What was boarding school like in England in the 19th century?
Of course a work of fiction from a single writer can't be counted on to represent faithfully all the complexities of life as it is or was.
But in this case one has reason to think that most of the book is true to life. The book is based on the same school that Thomas Hughes himself went to as a boy. And takes place around the same time that Thomas Hughes himself was a student there.
And real life figures, such as Doctor Thomas Arnold Wthe headmaster of the school at the time, are incorporated into the story.
And although Tom Brown and his friends are fictional characters, many of the incidents in this book are probably based off of real life. Much of the book has a realistic feel to it, and details the kind of mischief that it's easy to imagine real boys getting into.
Although every generation likes to imagine that they were the first to discover rebellion, it is always interesting to read older books and discover that even the respectable Victorian gentleman started out as young boys causing mischief years ago.
The book is written with a heavy moralizing tone, but it's not exactly the strict schoolmarm type of "never speak unless spoken to and stay out of trouble," type morality.
It's more of the British bulldog old fashioned morals of the schoolyard: Never pick on boys smaller than you, but don't be afraid to stand up to bullies even if they are bigger than you. Never shirk from a fight if challenged.
Always throw yourself fully into sports without worrying about getting injured. A certain amount of mischief is natural for a young boy, but never lie or be dishonest about it when caught.
Harry Flashman is the villain of this book, and represents the antithesis of everything our young heroes stand for. He mercilessly bullies younger boys when he thinks he can get away with it, but "toadies" to all the older boys.
He takes great pleasure in inflicting pain on others, but shrinks away from a fight as soon as someone stands up to him. Although Flashman is only in a small portion of the book he doesn't make much of an appearance until the book is a quarter finished, and he gets kicked out of rugby school before the book is halfway through his character, and the younger boys struggle against him, dominates the part of the book that he is in.
One can certainly see in this short section all the bad qualities which George MacDonald Fraser would later make a series out of.
It was a stroke of comic genius for Fraser to take the character of Flashman and decide to explore what kind of man he would turn out to be.
Parts of the morality bit, or at least the preachy way in which a lot of it is conveyed, maybe a bit tiresome for the modern reader.
But it was readable as far as it went. The real problem with this book is when the characters find religion. I'm over the stage of my life where I have much patience for religious morality.
But even then, if the religious preaching had been well written I would have had less of a problem with it.Tom Brown's Schooldays is more a junior Pilgrim's Progress than the jolly romp most of us remember.
Kathryn Hughes on the moral fable written for a son who died before he was old enough to go to Rugby.
Tom Brown's Schooldays, written by Thomas Hughes and published in , is one of the classics of the Boarding School genre. The main character is eleven- . ‘Tom Brown’s Schooldays’ was written as fiction, but is very probably autobiographical. The author himself has stated that he intended to ‘preach’. His narrative voice, therefore, is almost certainly biased and it is very clear that he has strong views on a variety of important issues. Find Tom Brown's School Days, By an Old Boy by Hughes, Thomas at Biblio. Uncommonly good collectible and rare books from uncommonly good booksellers.
Context: As a young man of nineteen, Tom Brown spends his last day at Rugby playing cricket against a rival school. It is an important match, and Tom, as befits a senior boy who is a good cricket.
Thomas Hughes’ Tom Brown’s School Days The story portrays Tom’s schooldays from his first day on the rugby field as the plucky youngster to his last day at the school as the principled captain of the cricket team.
The mischievous, fun-loving boy of an English village matures into a Christian gentleman who is ruled by magnanimity. Tom Brown's Schooldays Summary & Study Guide Description Tom Brown's Schooldays Summary & Study Guide includes comprehensive information and analysis to help you understand the book.
This study guide contains the following sections. The story portrays Tom’s schooldays from his first day on the rugby field as the plucky youngster to his last day at the school as the principled captain of the cricket team.
The mischievous, fun-loving boy of an English village matures into a Christian gentleman who is ruled by magnanimity.
Tom Brown's School Days Homework Help Questions. What are a few basic ideas from "Tom Brown's Schooldays" that portray historically what There were rigid gender issues.