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The Papers of A.J. Wentworth, BA
Close to retirement, A.J. Wentworth, though well-intentioned, is a humourless, ineffective educator of the old school. Despite an unshakeable faith in his own methods, he is ill-equipped to deal with the devious vagaries of the modern schoolboy.
Hardcover, Prion Humour Classics, 158 pages
Published February 1st 2001 by Prion
(first published 1949)
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This is a humorous book about A J Wentworth, school master at a British school, who teaches Algebra to 11-13 year old children. The entire novel has a touch of Wodehouse to it as it follows the bumbling but sincere actions and reactions in the life of Wentworth, his dealings with cocky, impudent students and in the latter half of the book, his army life during WW II. A light-hearted novel but without any intricacies or convoluted plot of a Wodehouse. Could have been developed much more than the ...more
H.F. Ellis is a superb author of humor, who perhaps doesn't get the respect he deserves, and A.J. Wentworth is a brilliant and timeless comic creation. The fun is in the contrast between Wentworth's view of himself and the reality of his role at Burgrove School, where his bumbling and fussy obsessions make him a figure of fun. The humor is devoid of cruelty, however, as the impression comes through that the other members of staff and even the boys may not accord him the respect he thinks they do ...more
This is real old-school (literally in this case), classic British comic writing. H. F. Ellis's accident-prone prep school teacher first appeared in Punch in the 1930s. He proved so popular that he became a regular fixture of that august magazine. It's a very Pooteresque humour, relying chiefly on the slightly pompous nature of Wentworth and his obliviousness to the pratfalls that lay in wait for him at every turn. The world he inhabits is long gone, but beautifully evoked in these lovely short p ...more
H F Ellis is going to be one of my favourite authors from now on. A. J. Wentworth. B.A., is very life like. I once knew a chap just like him, working together with me in a Professional services firm. The way their minds worked and the capers they got into could not be more similar.