FB was not a public school boy - even though, in an interesting facet of the difference between the English and Scottish educational systems, his first school in Aberdeen, Ashley Road Primary, proudly bore the legend Public School carved into its granite facade. He barely knew what a preparatory school was. So there is some mystery in how he engaged so strongly with the characters in this series. But the stories were about boys attempting to make sense of the adult world in their own environment and about how they found degrees of freedom within the constraints that seemed to bind them tightly. And they were funny.
|Cover from one of the Jennings books|
FB might have though that the boarding school tale was a thing of the past, reflective of another world and another set of values. He has no idea whether the institutions still prosper. However as a literary genre it is still significant, as the Harry Potter stories show. What are they but a juiced up series of school tales - where Quidditch has, to the eternal shame of all involved, replaced cricket?
Happy Birthday Anthony Buckeridge. Thanks for the fun.