In 1999, The King’s School Bibliography included about 400 OKS Authors, and since then another 298 have been added! The King's School itself has also featured in numerous works by former pupils and others - both autobiographical and fictional. Their opinions of the place have varied, and you can find out more on these on our
With such a variety of OKS authors and stories to choose from, we couldn't decide how to celebrate 2019 World Book Day, and so we asked some of the Development Team to pick their favourite works by OKS! Don't forget to let us know who your favourite OKS author is too!
Kate Chernyshov (SH 1984-1986), Director of Development
couldn't decide between two OKS works:
Charlotte Mendelson’s (SH 1989-1991) “Almost English”
Ysenda Maxtone-Graham’s (SH 1978-1980) “Terms and Conditions”
The central characters of Charlotte's 'Almost English' are the sixteen year old Marina Farkas and her mother, Laura. Marina joins Combe Abbey, a mainly boys school (which has features that may remind some readers of the King’s School of this period), as a sixth former in 1988 and much of the book concerns her time there. Ysenda's Terms and Conditions is a witty novel which reflects on life in Girls' Boarding Schools from 1939 - 1979.
archivist & former KSC History teacher, Peter Henderson,
William Somner's (1598-1669) 'The Antiquities of Canterbury' (1640),
as this year marks 350 years since his death.
This work was a major contribution to the history of Canterbury & appeared when William was in his early 40s. It was widely welcomed but the dedication of the book to his patron Archbishop Laud proved to be unfortunate. Laud was arrested for treason the following year and beheaded four years later. This setback put paid to William's original plans for a history of the whole county of Kent. When Cromwell's parliamentary soldiers smashed the cathedral font in 1642, William managed to collect the pieces and hide them. Eighteen years later, with the Commonwealth period at an end, King Charles II returned to England from exile in France, and called at Canterbury. The Mayor was pleased to present him with a bible and gold coins, and William was able to offer the king a copy of his history of Canterbury.
also said that his favourite
would have to be
, created by
Copperfield came to school in Canterbury, & it was easy for readers to believe that
“the grave building in a court-yard, with a learned air about it that seemed very well suited to the stray rooks and jackdaws who came down from the Cathedral towers to walk with a clerkly bearing on the grass-plot”
was based on the King’s School. Even more remarkable were the similarities between David’s headmaster Doctor Strong and Dr John Birt, who had been at King’s from 1816 to 1832. In particular, Birt’s young wife had deserted him. John Sidebotham (1830-1901) was a pupil at the King’s School from 1843 to 1848 under Birt’s successor, George Wallace. In 1865 he published
Memorials of the King’s School, Canterbury
. He sent a copy to Dickens and asked him about the resemblances between Birt and Strong. Dickens, in this letter dated 24 November of that year, not surprisingly replied that he had no knowledge of Dr Birt. “In thanking you for your obliging letter and its accompanying little book, allow me to assure you that I never was at the King’s School, Canterbury; and that if there be any resemblance between David Copperfield’s Doctor Strong and the Doctor Birt whom you mention, it must be purely accidental, inasmuch as I never before heard of the existence of the last-named gentleman.” Birt later became Vicar of Faversham and Headmaster of the grammar school there. He died in 1847, two years before
appeared. The letter was presented to the School by the Rev. C.E. Sidebotham in 1958.
Deputy Director of Development
Rhys Hughes, Information Officer,
Michael Morpurgo's (GL 1957-1962) "War Horse"
War Horse is set during WW1, and follows the story of Joey, a young farm horse, who is sold to the army and thrust into the midst of the war on the Western Front. With his officer, he witnesses the horror of the frontline, but Joey's courage inspires all the soldiers around him.
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