The Enigma of Kidson: Portrait of an Eton Schoolmaster
"A great read about a great man" - Taki, The Spectator
The Enigma of Kidson is a moving, thought-provoking, inspiring and hilarious biography of an inspirational and controversial teacher
Move over Mr Chips! Michael Kidson had everything that central casting requires of a legendary schoolmaster: a passion for his subject, a brilliant didactic style, a silly walk, a smelly spaniel, breath-taking rudeness, eccentric mannerisms and catchphrases, a maverick attitude towards authority, and above all, a deep empathy, loyalty and dedication towards his boys.
He had an extraordinary influence on his pupils: David Cameron, the Archbishop of Canterbury, Johnnie Boden, Nicky Henderson, Sir Matthew Pinsent, Lupin and Dominic West among them.
'I didnt expect to be moved to tears by a tribute book to an Etonian schoolmaster. But the story of Michael Kidson (1929-2015) drew me in and moved me deeply' - Ysenda Maxtone Graham, The Oldie
This unique portrait features recollections and vignettes of incidents in the classroom and the tutorial. As Kidson was an inspirational History Beak (master), history is a strong theme throughout the book and through Kidson's life story we get a vivid social history of the latter part of the twentieth century, where the themes of education, culture, teaching, adolescence, discipline, mentorship, pronunciation, parenting, redemption and old age are all examined.
'If you enjoyed Dear Lupin you will love this book' - Rupert Uloth, Country Life
TestimonialsMichael Kidson was a wonderful eccentric and an inspiring teacher. Reading this book brought back many happy memories - David Cameron
This book, a feast of anecdotes about a remarkable schoolmaster, is a delight. Michael Kidson, for all his eccentricity, exemplified the essential character of a great teacher; read The Enigma and learn about life - Sir Jeremy Greenstock
This is the most delicious book. I have loved every page of it and laughed out loud. What a wonderful and extraordinary story. We should all have mavericks like Kidson in our lives - Penny Junor
Nothing short of a triumph. I laughed out loud dozens of times....it is really, really wonderful - Sir Matthew Pinsent
Eccentricity is being squeezed out of teaching today. This book delightfully and powerfully shows us why our schools would benefit from more, not less of it - Sir Anthony Seldon
My four brothers and husband all went to Eton but The Enigma of Kidson is the only book I ve ever read that makes me long to have gone to the school too - Rachel Johnson
This book needs an H.M. Government health warning for OFSTED inspectors as it describes an inspired beak who ignored all the modern rules but put his pupils first - Jacob Rees-Mogg
Anyone who has been to school, or has ever been taught, will find it fascinating. It gave me a new understanding of some of my own teachers at Sherborne - George Courtauld
A great read about a great man --Taki, The SpectatorIf you enjoyed Dear Lupin you will love this book --Rupert Uloth, Country LifeI didnt expect to be moved to tears by a tribute book to an Etonian schoolmaster. But the story of Michael Kidson (1929 2015) drew me in and moved me deeply. This sprawling hotchpotch of recollections turns out to be essential reading for anyone interested in the forming of teenaged boys minds and, in its very haphazardness, manages to paint a remarkably full portrait of a good, kind and enigmatic bachelor schoolmaster who changed boys lives by civilising them and being there for them in the ways that mattered. --Ysenda Maxtone Graham, The Oldie
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