June 28th, 2004


Gone to the Great Staffroom

RIP Anthony Buckeridge, at 92.

What distinguished the Jennings books was their sense of humour - I remember them as the books most likely to just make me laugh out loud at some ridiculous circumstance. Although it's easy to think of these boarding schoolboy romps as dated, it was interesting to see an interview with Anthony Buckeridge in which he pointed out that he made up a fair bit of the schoolboy vocab. in order to avoid being tied too closely to a particular era.

I reckon I'm too old now, at the ripe old age of well-over-school-leaving, to judge whether they'll survive or not in a very different world, but I hope they do - the success of Harry Potter suggests that the old boarding school stories have plenty of life in them in yet, even if Harry Potter has some more fantastic trimmings. And apparently the Jennings book are still in print and selling quite well, so there is plenty hope.

Ave atque vale, Anthony Buckeridge - may Jennings and Darbishire live on in the company of William Brown and Nigel Molesworth.