Archives 4

Posted by admin on October 9, 2015

After having sent us pages from the St. Stephen's prospectus (1925-26) here, here, and here, the Academy's librarian has forwarded three further documents from the box that was uncovered by this summer's intern. Click for full-size images.

notice boards jcr.jpgnotice boards football.jpgnotice boards timetable.jpg

The librarian writes:

These three pages, dated from Lenten Term 1926, are fairly unusual even for the surviving (post-1940) archival holdings in that they are--as typed memos for the notice boards--essentially ephemera. Nevertheless, they provide a window into the timetables as well as a record of prefectorial appointments (the JCR) of that term. The paper ranges from woven cotton rag (rugby schedule) to a cheap scrap-quality paper (the timetable), with no apparent logic behind the choices. There are no pin holes in these pages, which suggests that they would have been displayed inside frames (used commonly before 1981, at which time the Cloisters were glassed in from the elements).

The rugby schedule is likely referring to matches between the House First XV's, unless the Colts (junior teams) are specified. The First XV that plays Pocklington School would have been the School First XV, composed of the strongest (or most influential) members of the House XV's. 

Two old style conventions: The timetable refers to lessons by Latin ordinals (Primus=first lesson, Ultimus=last lesson). Also, the Houses are named by Housemaster. (The present House names were not established until 1962). 

Archives 3

Posted by admin on October 5, 2015

Following on the first two dispatches (here and here) from the archives of St. Stephen's, here are the last available pages from the 1925-26 Prospectus.

The librarian writes:

The Prospectus has been bound with a type of yarn or twine. It originally contained two more pages as well as an outer wrapper, but these are damaged beyond repair and cannot be deciphered or even handled.

One curiosity about this Prospectus is that it bears striking similarities to some other school brochures of the time, for instance one (inexplicably found in the same box as this) from the Friends School Saffron Walden. It is possible that the schools engaged the same person or firm to design their brochures, though no credit is given in any Prospectus for design, copywriting, or photography.

prospectus 4.jpgprospectus 5.jpgprospectus 6.jpg


Archives 2

Posted by admin on October 2, 2015

As previously discussed, the librarian from St. Stephen's Academy has been sending us some recovered documents from the school archives. Here are two more pages from the 1925-26 Prospectus.

prospectus 2.jpg prospectus 3.jpg

The librarian writes:

The use of the dagger somewhat disturbs the typographical arrangement of these pages, which suggests the prospectus may have been written some years before and simply amended. Since we lack earlier documents for comparison, it is impossible to say with certainty; however, knowing the Academy's financial pressures after the War, it is likely the Headmaster instructed the printers to insert what notes they could without reflowing the page, rather than go to the expense of re-designing the entire booklet.

Click for full-sized images.

Archive Discoveries

Posted by admin on September 15, 2015

prospectus 1.jpgWe're very excited to be able to share some rare items from the archives of St. Stephen's Academy. A fire in 1940 destroyed most of the school's early archives, but thanks to the sharp eye of an intern this summer, a previously unknown archival box has been discovered. Even more fortunate, the box contained several items from 1926, and the librarian has been kind enough to forward them to us. Many thanks to St. Stephen's librarian and administrative intern for these discoveries!

Here is the first page of the School Prospectus for the 1925-26 school year. The librarian writes that the photograph had fallen off and was not to be found in the box. Alas!

Click for full-sized image.

Pre-order Audiobook

Posted by admin on July 17, 2015

Great news for audiobook listeners: not only is Audible publishing the audiobook for Wilberforce, but it's available now for pre-order, scheduled to release on September 15 simultaneous with the hardcover. Also, the narrator, Alex Bloch, is excellent. More later!


Cover Mystery

Posted by admin on April 14, 2015

Wilberforce jacket simple.pngLet's talk about the beautiful jacket cover of Wilberforce, designed by Jonathan Lippencott and his brilliant team at FSG. The painting here is period, and so the clothing is accurate to the novel: cricket flannels, shirt, school tie around waist. But what is he holding in his hand? This took some deep googling, but turns out this is an  open-palm batting glove.


You wear it over the back of your hand, fingertips through slots on the reverse side. The strap wraps around your wrist, and the nubby bit goes over your thumb. The point is to let you feel the bat while protecting your hand from getting thwacked by the cork. 

Here are Hobbs and Sutcliffe wearing a lighter, spikey version that shows the wraparound:


I think this photograph is from the Ashes, 1926. 

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