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The Loom of Youth
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The Loom of Youth

2.96  ·  Rating Details ·  71 Ratings  ·  18 Reviews
This is a pre-1923 historical reproduction that was curated for quality. Quality assurance was conducted on each of these books in an attempt to remove books with imperfections introduced by the digitization process. Though we have made best efforts - the books may have occasional errors that do not impede the reading experience. We believe this work is culturally importan ...more
Paperback, 292 pages
Published October 11th 2007 by BiblioLife (first published 1917)
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Robert Dunbar
Oct 19, 2013 Robert Dunbar rated it did not like it
This book needs a glossary. Toad-in-the-hole turns out not to be a sexual position.
Perry Whitford
Oct 17, 2015 Perry Whitford rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Semi-autobiographical novel about life at an English Public School in the years leading up to WWI, written by a seventeen year old Waugh when he had only just left his alma mater, Sherborne.

This book was controversial in its time for lifting the lid on the bullying, idleness, and homosexuality inherent in the Public School system, though these revelations were mild and déclassé long before today, as the author recognised in his introduction to a 1954 reprinting:

'The modern reader will find nothi
I was smitten with this book. If you enjoy a general book about the life of an early 1900's school boy, look no further. It doesn't have a great amount of plot or anything, concerning itself with detailing the passage of a public school boy, but I thought it was lovely all the same. Lots of cricket and footer, lots of cribbing on their translations, private things in private studies, lots of believable boy characters getting sent down, beat up, winning house caps and house games. It's another of ...more
Oct 15, 2011 Esdaile rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Very disappointing. The book caused a scandal, which must have bewildered some thinking people even at the time, because of very fleeting references to what I think is referredto as "silliness". The main interest of the characters in the book and apparently of the author too, is school cricket scores. Only worth reading, in my opinion, if you are making a collection of all school novels that exist.
Sep 07, 2014 David rated it did not like it
Shelves: big-white-square
I really think you had to be there to make much sense of what's going on in this.
Sarah (Presto agitato)
Alec Waugh (older brother of the more famous Evelyn) wrote this semi-autobiographical novel about a fictional British public school over a six week period when he was 17 years old and doing military training during World War I. It's a school story in the tradition of Tom Brown's Schooldays, but updated for the pre-war generation. Unlike Tom Brown, The Loom of Youth contains several pointed criticisms of the public school system. It was controversial at the time for those criticisms, and also for ...more
Oct 02, 2012 Kate rated it liked it
For years I wished--how I wished!--that I had been able, as a small lad, to attend Eton College. Many were the tears I shed as I reflected that I would never be able to "rag" on the smaller boys, be beaten by the Headmaster, or play the hallowed Eton Wall Game.

Instead my shiftless parents sent me to lower-case public schools, where I learned how to vandalize things, and, after a great struggle, to name 18 of the 26 letters of the alphabet. But I learned nothing of the nobility of the human spir
Edward Butler
Jul 25, 2011 Edward Butler rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Read this in conjunction with Hughes' Tom Brown's Schooldays. I highly recommend this, in order to appreciate either novel fully. They are closer parallels than any two novels I've read, and together form a comprehensive investigation of the ideals of the English public school system. These ideals are set forth in Tom Brown, at the beginning of the Victorian era, and are subjected to a thorough critique in The Loom of Youth, at the beginning of World War I, a critique all the more incisive in th ...more
David Lowther
The Loom of Youth had its moments but it took at least three-quarters of the narrative to work out what was actually going on in this fictional pre-war public school. Sometimes it was difficult to work out who was a teacher and who was a pupil and the inter mural sports programme was incomprehensible.

It's great strengths were the portrayal of the trials and tribulations of adolescence, the clash between the reactionary and the modern in the school curriculum and the shadow of the First World Wa
Chris Fellows
Aug 15, 2014 Chris Fellows rated it it was amazing
Probably the best book to read in August 2014, thinking about August 1914 and all those about to be ground into pet mince in the trenches. It is a good eye-opener for people like me who are prone to romanticise the glories of the Edwardian period before Western Civilisation went down the toilet. These boys are just as cynical, self-centred, lazy, and obliviously contemptuous of the civilisation they live in as we were in the dying years of the Cold War.

Alec Waugh wrote it when he was 17, which
Feb 04, 2015 Katharine rated it liked it
Shelves: dissertation
Not the most riveting read, but an excellent account of English public schoolboyhood in the early 20th century. Definitely a must if you're doing queer studies related to Britain and this time period.

I read this memoir/novel because I was looking at queer authorship in the UK during the interwar period. This book was informative. Alex Waugh occupies a very interesting space temporally, as he was actually serving in France at the time this book was published (1917), whereas his more famous brothe
Dec 16, 2011 Elizabeth-Anne rated it liked it
I thought this would be primarily an interesting period peice, and yet there were still some passages that I found evocative of my own experience of adolescence, even though mine is so removed from the author's! The contraversal passages are really very innocent, but it is easily possible to see why they would have caused a stir at the time, not just because of the mention of homosexuality but because of the damning indictment of the school system - no one cares what you do as long as you don't ...more
Jan 27, 2014 Cordelia rated it did not like it
This is not a good book. I read it because I thought it would be a scandalous portrayal of historical homosexuality. I was disappointed. Roughly a third of the book is descriptions of football matches and another third is devoted to cricket. Some books are best forgotten by history.
Jun 16, 2012 Andrew rated it liked it
A bit too much emphasis on sports for me, but I suppose that is the authentic portrayal of private school life I was looking for. The scandalous gay scene however left me wanting, scandalous for the time but very subtle and a total tease for the present!
Gerard De bruin
Jun 15, 2015 Gerard De bruin rated it it was ok
Shelves: english
I thought I had to read this too. I can hardly imagine now that it provoked a literary riot: public school and homosexuality. Today you'd think: right, of course! It is mainly boring. He wrote a load of books, probably many more than his famous brother. I did like 'Islands in the sun' though.
Ayu Palar
Mar 05, 2009 Ayu Palar marked it as to-read
A cult in gay-themed novel scene. I want to read it so much but I don't know where to find it.
Jul 08, 2010 Nancy rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2010
I spent several weeks reading this book but found myself only 27% through when I decided to bail. The culture of a British public school was interesting but I could never detect a plot.
Aug 14, 2010 WillJ rated it did not like it
I couldn`t finish it..and I usually like fiction from
this era, but it didn't hold..felt tedium trying to
push through it. I might re-read.
Nina rated it did not like it
Apr 03, 2015
Sean rated it liked it
Aug 29, 2012
Seth rated it really liked it
Sep 26, 2012
reed rated it really liked it
Jul 25, 2008
Rjnick rated it it was ok
Jun 28, 2008
Melissa rated it did not like it
Sep 11, 2015
Pat Padden
Pat Padden rated it liked it
Feb 10, 2014
Veronica rated it liked it
Jun 03, 2014
Jen rated it it was ok
Aug 16, 2011
Kathy rated it liked it
Jul 05, 2011
Katy rated it liked it
Jul 06, 2012
Max Shepherd
Max Shepherd rated it liked it
Mar 01, 2017
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Born Alexander Raban Waugh to Arthur Waugh, author, literary critic, and publisher. He was the elder brother of the better-known Evelyn Waugh . His third wife was Virginia Sorenson, author of the Newbery Medal-winning Miracles on Maple Hill.

Waugh was educated at Sherborne School, a public school in Dorset, from where he was expelled. The result of his experiences was his first, semi-autobiographic
More about Alec Waugh...

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