Thomas Hughes, Thomas Arnold, Tom Brown & the English Public Schools

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Thomas Hughes was a barrister, writer, social reformer, MP, judge and committed Christian as well as a family man devoted to his wife of nearly fifty years and his nine children.

He strove to improve the conditions of deprived people as a Christian Socialist and principal of London's Working Men's College. A leader of the co-operative movement, he gave influential support to trade unions, denounced industrial slavery at home and black slavery in the United States and founded a utopian colony in Tennessee for young British settlers.

Hughes was famous throughout the English-speaking world because of his first book, written in 1857 for his young son. Based on his own experience as a pupil at Rugby School under Dr Thomas Arnold. Tom Brown's School Days broke with all existing conventions and created a new category of school-based literature. hughe had a rare genius in writing for young people and the book was a massive best-seller during his lifetime. More than that, as this new biography shows, it had an important influence on the development of the English public schools and their imitators well into the twentieth century.


Isle of Man local author, Derek Winterbottom was born in the UK in 1944 and read Modern History at the University of Oxford and a further degree in Mediaeval Studies at the University of York. Derek has experience of five well-known independent schools as a pupil, teacher and governor.

He was for many years Head of the History Department at Clifton College, in Bristol, and he served as President of the Bristol Historical Association. He has written some thirty publications in the fields of history, local history, and biography, with his two specialties being the English public school system and the history and culture of the Isle of Man, where he is a well-respected resident. He spends the winter in Tenerife. where he does most of his writing.


Paperback, c216pages, illustrated in colour and black & white.