Boys’ favourite books (& their pages) in the CH Library

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alterblau
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Boys’ favourite books (& their pages) in the CH Library

Post by alterblau » Sun Oct 01, 2017 5:01 pm

So many things at CH have changed since the 50s and 60s. I recollect a few books in the Library were very much read (or more precisely specific pages consulted, in situ). They were opened very often at one particular page. So on looking at the unopened book one could see relevant page(s) from dirt marks on the leaves’ edges. When put down the book would open by itself at the appropriate page. The subject matter was mainly descriptions of copulation. (So will this thread escape the censors?) I can only remember one such book. It was Sergeant Lamb of the Ninth, by Robert Graves, at one time a set book for the LE (and a good one too). There were others, but I can’t remember them. Can anyone supply other such titles?

I suspect the powers that be were totally unaware of this. Also it is unlikely such a practice continues today, due to different mores and the easy availability of absolutely anything on the internet.

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Re: Boys’ favourite books (& their pages) in the CH Library

Post by Foureyes » Mon Oct 02, 2017 8:34 pm

Ah, what blissful hours in the library! My favourite book, bar none, was 'Captain From Castile' by Samuel Shellabarger. It had plenty of action and some graphic lovemaking (as far as a 15-year old reader was concerned, anyway). I also remember a description of a high-class Spanish lady washing her hand in urine - apparently to ensure she had soft skin - which in 79 years is something I have never heard of anywhere else.

My unfavourite book was a novel written in paragraphs, without any punctuation at all apart from the terminal full stop, nor were there any capital letters, quotation marks, sentence endings, etc. I dug out some reviews, which praised it highly, but I gave up at about page 20 because it was unreadable. I suspect that the reviewers did not read much past that page, either, but were too embarrassed to say so.

David :shock:

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Re: Boys’ favourite books (& their pages) in the CH Library

Post by J.R. » Tue Oct 03, 2017 4:15 pm

Certainly NOT in the CH library at the time, as THAT court case was in progress, but someone, somehow managed to get a copy of 'Lady Chatterly's Lover' into school.

Now that WAS an eye opener at such a tender age !!
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Re: Boys’ favourite books (& their pages) in the CH Library

Post by michael scuffil » Tue Oct 03, 2017 10:11 pm

There was The Cruel Sea. Most house libraries had what was called the 'Cadet Edition' (yuk). But the school library had the unexpurgated version, with graphic descriptions of shore leave in, I think, Brazil. Mostly, of course, we had to make do with the Bible, Lot's daughters and all that.
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Re: Boys’ favourite books (& their pages) in the CH Library

Post by Phil » Wed Oct 04, 2017 3:08 pm

I too had never heard of a high-class Spanish lady, nor any other lady, washing her hands in urine to keep the skin soft.

But I had a superstitious great-aunt, of Polish peasant stock, who apparently would put some of her own urine on the forehead of one of her babies, if she believed that someone had put (or had attempted to put) the evil eye on the baby. I think it must have worked, for all her children grew up totally normal. Yet none of them followed this clearly very efficacious practice.

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Re: Boys’ favourite books (& their pages) in the CH Library

Post by rockfreak » Wed Oct 04, 2017 6:36 pm

J.R. wrote:
Tue Oct 03, 2017 4:15 pm
Certainly NOT in the CH library at the time, as THAT court case was in progress, but someone, somehow managed to get a copy of 'Lady Chatterly's Lover' into school.

Now that WAS an eye opener at such a tender age !!

Attitudes to sex were changing at precisely this time. As the unfortunate Philip Larkin wrote (approximately):

"Sex began in 1963,
After Lady Chatterley
But before the Beatles' first LP,
Which was a bit late for me."

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Re: Boys’ favourite books (& their pages) in the CH Library

Post by jhopgood » Thu Oct 05, 2017 9:52 am

Slightly off topic but to get off CCF and Other similar activities, I was part of the team to classify the books according to the Dewey Decimal System.
Big mistake, as I spent more time browsing or reading then classifying.
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Re: Boys’ favourite books (& their pages) in the CH Library

Post by sejintenej » Fri Oct 06, 2017 7:57 pm

J.R. wrote:
Tue Oct 03, 2017 4:15 pm
Certainly NOT in the CH library at the time, as THAT court case was in progress, but someone, somehow managed to get a copy of 'Lady Chatterly's Lover' into school.

Now that WAS an eye opener at such a tender age !!
Immediately after the court case there was talk that a copy would be in the school library but access would be limited.
Kit Aitken was asked if he was going to read the book but his reply was that he would wait for the film
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Re: Boys’ favourite books (& their pages) in the CH Library

Post by sejintenej » Fri Oct 06, 2017 8:01 pm

jhopgood wrote:
Thu Oct 05, 2017 9:52 am
I was part of the team to classify the books according to the Dewey Decimal System.
For my first job I lived in the Brighton YMCA (note the M) where there were two or more females for every male. The majority were librarian students and we were constantly hearing about the tribulations of learning the complete Dewey system numbers!
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Re: Boys’ favourite books (& their pages) in the CH Library

Post by sejintenej » Fri Oct 06, 2017 8:06 pm

I recall one book at school (probably from the ColA collection) about an English "gentleman" in India during the days of the Raj. Long detailed (for those days) description of the man and a local girl in a sleeper compartment on a train early one morning after a night .... My ears never having been assaulted by Dr Matthews that had to be my entire education on the subject :oops: :oops: :oops: :cry: :cry:
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Re: Boys’ favourite books (& their pages) in the CH Library

Post by Foureyes » Sun Oct 08, 2017 9:38 am

Sentinej,
Could that have been 'Bhowani Junction' by John Masters, which was about the last days of the Raj and considered rather 'racy' at the time?
David :shock:

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Re: Boys’ favourite books (& their pages) in the CH Library

Post by J.R. » Sun Oct 08, 2017 2:13 pm

Foureyes wrote:
Sun Oct 08, 2017 9:38 am
Sentinej,
Could that have been 'Bhowani Junction' by John Masters, which was about the last days of the Raj and considered rather 'racy' at the time?
David :shock:
Also made into a very good film.
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Re: Boys’ favourite books (& their pages) in the CH Library

Post by michael scuffil » Tue Oct 10, 2017 3:22 pm

but his reply was that he [Kit Aitken] would wait for the film

For an English-language film, he would have had to wait until 1981. Did he live that long?
In fact, a film was made in French long before the novel was published in Britain. But in those days, there was no video.

(Actually, Lady Chatterley is not a very nice book. It uses disability as a metaphor for worthlessness and decadence. Disability, what's more, incurred as a result of a war wound.)
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Re: Boys’ favourite books (& their pages) in the CH Library

Post by J.R. » Tue Oct 10, 2017 4:36 pm

michael scuffil wrote:
Tue Oct 10, 2017 3:22 pm
but his reply was that he [Kit Aitken] would wait for the film

For an English-language film, he would have had to wait until 1981. Did he live that long?
In fact, a film was made in French long before the novel was published in Britain. But in those days, there was no video.

(Actually, Lady Chatterley is not a very nice book. It uses disability as a metaphor for worthlessness and decadence. Disability, what's more, incurred as a result of a war wound.)
Shows you how quickly times change. I watched the repeat of 'The Graham Norton Show' last night, two of his guests, both of Afro origin were quite happy talking to each other, regularly using the 'N' word. Weird, or what ??
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Re: Boys’ favourite books (& their pages) in the CH Library

Post by keibat » Tue Oct 10, 2017 10:21 pm

I watched the repeat of 'The Graham Norton Show' last night, two of his guests, both of Afro origin were quite happy talking to each other, regularly using the 'N' word. Weird, or what ??
Was that the same episode with Kate Winslet,one of the topics being The Mountain Between Us? (which my wife and I went to see last Saturday).

But to the point: members of any historically disprivileged group have the freedom to use words about themselves which in others' mouths (or pens) would be pejorative. Persons of African descent can call each other N~, no problem. Indeed, with the sexual-orientation minorities originally pejorative terms (such as queer) have been proudly claimed and adopted.

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