The Enigma of Kidson

The Portrait of a Schoolmaster

Jamie Blackett



ISBN: 9781846892653

PUBLICATION DATE: September 26, 2018

CATEGORY: Biographies

BINDING: Paperback

EXTENT: 344 pages

Also available as: Ebook


"A great read about a great man" - Taki, The Spectator

The Enigma of Kidson is a moving, thought-provoking, inspiring and hilarious biography of an inspirational and controversial teacher

Move over Mr Chips! Michael 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.

'I didnt expect to be moved to tears by a tribute book to an Etonian schoolmaster. But the story of Michael Kidson (1929-2015) drew me in and moved me deeply' - Ysenda Maxtone Graham, The Oldie

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, redemption and old age are all examined.


Meet the author Jamie Blackett

Jamie Blackett is a former army officer and a farmer on the beautiful Arbigland peninsula on the Solway Firth in Dumfries and Galloway. He is also an award-winning journalist and a regular columnist for the Daily Telegraph, Country Life and other publications. He appears regularly on television and radio as a commentator on politics and rural issues.

His first book, The Enigma of Kidson has been adapted for the stage. Land of Milk and Honey is the sequel to his second book, the much-acclaimed Red Rag to a Bull. In 2020 he won the Charles Douglas-Home Memorial Trust award for journalism and his essay has been published in a short book On Wilding. Jamie is married with two grown-up children.

Books by Jamie Blackett

Red Rag To A Bull

Jamie Blackett


Land of Milk and Honey

Jamie Blackett