If this book had a sub-title, it would run, not "A Story of Shrewsbury Life," but "A Story and a Criticism." Its modest aim is, in fact, to level destructive satire at the conventional school story, and on its ruins to erect a structure rather nearer to real life.
that Lycidas had never come in touch with any one of his own age.
As week drew into month, she cast about, wondering how she might prepare him. All the boys of thirteen years were away at school. Perhaps in the summer holidays Lycidas, who had hitherto refused, might be induced to meet them.
Meanwhile, a stray advertisement of A Realistic Tale of Public School Existence shook a brilliant idea into her brain. She would give Lycidas the experience of master-minds. Fearing delay, she hurried on her hat and cloaks Twenty minutes found her in the sole bookshop of the little country town of Nofield.
"I want," she said to the young man at the counter, "the cheapest edition--sixpenny, if possible--of all the standard school books you possess."
"Classics, mam, or Mathematics?" The shop-man had a reputation for intelligence.
"No, no! Tom Brown--Eric --- anything of that sort."
"Oh, yes, mam. I quite understand. We have both those at four-three. Kipling's S