"Reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body." Sir Richard Steele

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Review of A School in the Country

A School in the Country
Jillian R Mann
Reardon Publishing 2011
ISBN 1874192529

   This book shows the reader the development of education in rural England during the 19th and 20th centuries. It mainly focuses on the Didbrook School and the changes in the education system and society of the times. There is much more to this little book then that; but is a historical record of sorts written by Jillian Mann, who was brought up around Didbrook and attended the school like her parents , uncle, two sisters and a brother.
   This is not my usual type of read , but I found this book thoroughly engrossing. I read this book in one sitting. It was quite fascinating to follow the development of this school and how it changed over the years. Didbrook amalgamated with Stanway School in 1921. In July of 2008 it closed and amalgamated with Toddington School and reopened in September 2008 as Isbourne Valley School. Since I am not familiar with the school system in England, it was quite interesting to see the curriculum changes through the years, as well as, the school structure in general. I realize this is a small rural school; but it was fascinating to read about a school that has so few students on its roll. The number varied but we are talking the neighborhood of 60 students. Compare this to one of our local schools that has 500 in a graduating class. There was a tremendous amount of research done for this book. Anyone interested in this sort of reading will find it quite informative. I might also add that there are many historical pictures included throughout the book. All in all, an excellent book.
   Disclosure: I wish to thank Nicholas Reardon of Reardon Publishing, England, for providing me with a copy of the book. It will most definitely remain in my library.

I give this book 5 out of 5 stars.



  1. How fascinating! I always find it interesting to read books outside my genre. This sounds like a good nonfiction read. Thanks for the review.


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