Last year, the British Library published a compact volume called Manners for Schoolboys. It was a repackaging of A manual of manners; or, hints for the proper deportment of school boys, published in 1829 by an obscure schoolmaster named J. Robinson, and appears to have been intended as a joke, since it is described on the cover as being “packed with frank and funny observations on boys at work and play”—not a description that would have been recognized by J. Robinson. Robbie Millen, reviewing it for The Times, classed it among those “historical curios” which the BL will occasionally “republish as classy lavatory books,” though he allows that, in its own time, “it helped, for good or ill, to cement an idea of what an Englishman ought to be.” Obviously, neither he nor the publishers would dream of claiming any such...

 
Introduce yourself to The New Criterion for the lowest price ever—and a receive an extra issue as thanks.
Popular Right Now