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Move over Mr Chips. Kidson had everything that central casting requires of a legendary schoolmaster: a passion for his subject, a brilliant didactic style, a silly walk, a smelly spaniel, breath-taking rudeness, eccentric mannerisms and catchphrases, a maverick attitude towards authority, and above all, a deep empathy, loyalty and dedication towards his boys. He had an extraordinary influence on his pupils – David Cameron, the Archbishop of Canterbury, Johnnie Boden, Nicky Henderson, Sir Matthew Pinsent, ‘Lupin’ and Dominic West among them.
This unique portrait features recollections and vignettes of incidents in the classroom and the tutorial. As Kidson was an inspirational History Beak (master), history is a strong theme throughout the book and through Kidson’s life story we get a vivid social history of the latter part of the twentieth century where the themes of education, culture, teaching, adolescence, discipline, mentorship, pronunciation, parenting and old age are all examined.
Jamie Blackett was born in 1964 and educated at Ludgrove, Eton (where he was tutored by Michael Kidson), the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst and later Warwick Business School (MBA).
After working in South Africa he joined the Coldstream Guards, serving in Northern Ireland, the First Gulf War, Hong Kong, the Falkland Islands, Zimbabwe and Germany. He returned to his roots in Galloway where he is now a farmer, forester, bed and breakfast and holiday cottage host, gardener and odd job man and occasional freelance journalist writing on farming and the countryside.
His housemaster would be astonished to learn that he is a Deputy Lieutenant for Dumfriesshire and a member of the Queen’s Bodyguard for Scotland Royal Company of Archers. He is married with two children.
- Book Specifications
Sub Heading The Portrait of an Eton Schoolmaster ISBN 9781846892509 Author Jamie Blackett Binding Casebound Extent 336 pages, 234mm x 153mm Illustrations Photographs Ebook No
'Michael Kidson was a wonderful eccentric and an inspiring teacher. Reading this book brought back many happy memories.' — David Cameron
'Nothing short of a triumph. I laughed out loud dozens of times... it is really, really wonderful' — Sir Matthew Pinsent
'This book, a feast of anecdotes about a remarkable schoolmaster, is a delight. Michael Kidson, for all his eccentricity, exemplified the essential character of a great teacher; read The Enigma and learn about life.' — Sir Jeremy Greenstock
My four brothers and husband all went to Eton but The Enigma of Kidson is the only book I've ever read that makes me long to have gone to the school too.' — Rachel Johnson
'This is the most delicious book. I have loved every page of it and laughed out loud. What a wonderful and extraordinary story. We should all have mavericks like Kidson in our lives.' — Penny Juror
'This book needs an H.M. Government health warning for OFSTED inspectors as it describes an inspired beak who ignored all the modern rules but put his pupils first.' — Jacob Rees Mogg
'Eccentricity is being squeezed out of teaching today. This book delightfully and powerfully shows us why our schools would benefit from more, not less of it' — Sir Anthony Seldon
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