Girls Will Be Grils
A.S.Neill: "Bringing Happiness to some few children."
Where does A.S.Neill stand in the history of education? Has he a right at all in those august annals?
Was he not, after all, against academic learning? against the conventional wisdom of morals? against adult authority? against sexual repression? against religion? Was A.S.Neill not merely wilful: wayward in his practice? a mountebank in his books?
Or may he have been a modern Socrates, seeking to release the young from the mind-set of their elders by the giving of 'freedom'? for which he was made to drink the hemlock of public obloquy for half a century.
Just William: Boy anarchist?
How did a Classics scholar, early crippled and a lifelong spinster, write with such insight into the boy-mind? Margaret Disher, Richmal's Crompton's niece and 'William's' sister, will tell you. You will learn how the inflexible logic of 'William/Tommy's mind led him to challenge the most sacred and time-encrusted tenets of the adult mind.
You will not be surprised to read that, grown into adulthood, he was no success as a bank clerk, but hugely enjoyed the cameraderie of his 'gang' which guarded the bullion van of the Westminster Bank. 'Outlaw' turned gold-keeper.
Copyright Bryn Purdy 2007 Web design Jed Bland 04.04.07