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Tom Brown's School Days

Tom Brown's School Days by Thomas Hughes
By: (1822-1896)

Tom Brown’s Schooldays is a novel by Thomas Hughes first published in 1857. The story is set at Rugby School, a public school for boys, in the 1830s. Hughes attended Rugby School from 1834 to 1842.

The novel was originally published as being “by an Old Boy of Rugby”, and much of it is based on the author’s experiences. Tom Brown is largely based on the author’s brother, George Hughes; and George Arthur, another of the book’s main characters, is based on Arthur Penrhyn Stanley. The fictional Tom’s life also resembles the author’s in that the culminating event of his school career was a cricket match.

Tom Brown was tremendously influential on the genre of British school novels, which began in the 19th century, and is one of the few still in print. A sequel, Tom Brown at Oxford, was published in 1861 but is not as well known.

First Page:


By Thomas Hughes



"I'm the Poet of White Horse Vale, sir, With liberal notions under my cap." Ballad

The Browns have become illustrious by the pen of Thackeray and the pencil of Doyle, within the memory of the young gentlemen who are now matriculating at the universities. Notwithstanding the well merited but late fame which has now fallen upon them, any one at all acquainted with the family must feel that much has yet to be written and said before the British nation will be properly sensible of how much of its greatness it owes to the Browns. For centuries, in their quiet, dogged, homespun way, they have been subduing the earth in most English counties, and leaving their mark in American forests and Australian uplands. Wherever the fleets and armies of England have won renown, there stalwart sons of the Browns have done yeomen's work. With the yew bow and cloth yard shaft at Cressy and Agincourt with the brown bill and pike under the brave Lord Willoughby with culverin and demi culverin against Spaniards and Dutchmen with hand grenade and sabre, and musket and bayonet, under Rodney and St... Continue reading book >>

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