[These selections from contemporary reviews appear in the frontmatter of an American edition of Hughes's The Scouring of the White Horse.]

"It is difficult to estimate the amount of good. which may be done by 'Tom Brown's School Days.' It gives in the main a most faithful and interesting picture of our public schools, the most English institutions in England, and which educate the best and most powerful elements in our upper classes But it is more than this; it is an attempt, a very noble and successful attempt, to Christianize the society of our youth through the only practicable channel — hearty and brotherly sympathy with their feelings; a book, in short, which a father might well wish to see in the hands of his son." — London Times

"Its tone is so hearty, its good sense so strong and so thoroughly national, its morality so high, and yet so simple and practical, that it must recommend itself as one of the most delightful, and at the same time true pictures of the better sort of schoolboy life ever yet published. . . . The book will amuse, delight, and elevate boys, and, at the same time, is worthy of being placed on the same shelf with 'Stanley's Life of Arnold,' as a memorial of a wise man, and a singularly successful governor and teacher of boys." —Spectator

"Tom's plain, unvarnished tale is told in simple language,'but the highest themes are often touched on, and with an earnestness so natural and unaffected that the serious tone never jars. The book will be read with general pleasure. . . . manly, honest thoughts, expressed in plain words, and no mistake, will, we trust, long find an echo in thousands of English hearts." — Quarterly Review

"School-life in general is described in these pages with vast liveliness and truth; the feelings of boys are thoroughly understood, and the way to win their confidence ably pointed out. . . . The 'Old Boy' has given us a display of true boyish sentiment without a tinge of exaggeration." — Press

"Of all the memorials of the truly good and great Arnold, which the world has ever seen, this book is the one most satisfactory to us." — Saturday Review

References

[Hughes, Thomas.] The Scouring of the White Horse; or, the Long Vacation Ramble of a London Clerk. Boston: Ticknor and Fields, 1859.


Victorian Overview Thomas Hughes Victorian education Literary relations

Last modified 13 July 2006