RIP BRYAN MAGEE

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Foureyes
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RIP BRYAN MAGEE

Post by Foureyes » Sun Jul 28, 2019 12:25 pm

I am saddened to report the death of a very distinguished Old Blue, Professor Bryan Magee (Barnes A 1941-45). Philosopher, academic, politician and prolific author, one of whose books left a detailed and revealing (!) record of his time at Housie. A full obituary is on the Telegraph website, but there will doubtless be others.
David :shock:
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Re: RIP BRYAN MAGEE

Post by Mid A 15 » Sun Jul 28, 2019 1:09 pm

Thank you for informing us David.

A link to The Guardian obituary:

https://www.theguardian.com/education/2 ... e-obituary

RIP
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Re: RIP BRYAN MAGEE

Post by postwarblue » Sun Jul 28, 2019 3:43 pm

Which is the book about CH please? It could bear interesting comparison to Noman Longmate's 'A Shaping Season'.
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Re: RIP BRYAN MAGEE

Post by ZeroDeConduite » Sun Jul 28, 2019 5:32 pm

PrepA 1951-2 Peele A 1953-60

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Re: RIP BRYAN MAGEE

Post by postwarblue » Sun Jul 28, 2019 7:18 pm

Thanks
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Re: RIP BRYAN MAGEE

Post by jhopgood » Thu Aug 01, 2019 7:51 pm

ZeroDeConduite wrote:
Sun Jul 28, 2019 5:32 pm
Growing up in a War. ?
https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=A72 ... &q&f=false
Read it and worth reading.
He sent something to me once for inclusion in the Blue and I was rather overwhelmed when he also sent a list of his achievements and publications.
Barnes B 25 (59 - 66)

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Re: RIP BRYAN MAGEE

Post by Foureyes » Sat Aug 03, 2019 10:46 am

There is an interesting incident in Magee's description of his life at C.H. I read the book several years ago, and may be a bit hazy on the details, but recall the story clearly. When he was 17 he was confined to the Sicker for several days. The first night he was there the night sister looked in on the ward and left after a brief conversation. The second night she came to the ward and without any discussion slipped into bed with Magee and introduced him, slowly and gently, to the joys of sex - and again on the third and fourth nights. It seems that Magee had no objection to this extra-medical treatment (no surprise there!) and it may well have speeded his recovery as he was declared fit and discharged on the fifth morning.

Magee was a scrupulously honest man and there can be no doubt that the incident took place as he described. However, it does raise an interesting question. The woman was a qualified sister which indicates that she had done her full course as a nurse and, assuming that she had started training at 17-18, she would have been at least 23-24 when she arrived at C.H. - possibly older. In other words, she was an adult and a member, in general terms, of staff at the school. On the other hand, Magee was still a pupil at the school. If it had been a man who did what she did, he would undoubtedly have been charged with - and found guilty of - abuse. But could the nameless 'night sister' have been charged with the same offence? An interesting philosophical and legal point which I am sure Magee would have enjoyed debating.
David :shock:

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Re: RIP BRYAN MAGEE

Post by loringa » Sun Aug 04, 2019 8:11 am

Foureyes wrote:
Sat Aug 03, 2019 10:46 am

Magee was a scrupulously honest man and there can be no doubt that the incident took place as he described. However, it does raise an interesting question. The woman was a qualified sister which indicates that she had done her full course as a nurse and, assuming that she had started training at 17-18, she would have been at least 23-24 when she arrived at C.H. - possibly older. In other words, she was an adult and a member, in general terms, of staff at the school. On the other hand, Magee was still a pupil at the school. If it had been a man who did what she did, he would undoubtedly have been charged with - and found guilty of - abuse. But could the nameless 'night sister' have been charged with the same offence? An interesting philosophical and legal point which I am sure Magee would have enjoyed debating.
David :shock:
Assuming he was over the age of consent which, at 17 I presume he would have been at the time of this incident, and assuming it was consensual, which it clearly was, then no offence would have been committed. Obviously it would have been seen as a breach of trust from the school's perspective and I suspect that the nursing profession would have taken a dim view but nothing illegal.

Legally I suspect this is no different from the original offences that led to Husband's dismissal - a consensual relationship with a girl in his charge. It's an interesting point, however, that Husband's activities disgust whilst I do not feel at all the same way about this incident.

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Re: RIP BRYAN MAGEE

Post by postwarblue » Sun Aug 11, 2019 7:17 pm

Our County library got me a copy of 'Growing Up in a War'. I thought it might be in demand but no, their only copy was lurking in their store so available in a few days.

VERY interesting. Almost a different CH from Longmate's! and indeed from mine (I arrived in the Upper Sept. 1947) - I found it difficult to imagine the serene, detached, Olympian Oil throwing the titanic hissy fits described, or indeed Lionel Carey losing his rag, or Boom Macnutt bullying his class. He does not mention the Prep and LF and LE not being in bluecoats so I wonder when that started (LE got bluecoats again as I arrived in it Sept. 1948). Magee is scathing about the food - an OB I knew who was in CH when the war started told me that it improved with rationing so goodness knows what it was like pre-war. Another curiosity is that by 1947 the Oil had changed the syllabus from Latin to Greek and I wonder when that happened.

CH certainly civilised Magee from pugnacious, lying Cockney tyke as he describes himself. The problem of LCC boys growing away from their family background must have bene general.
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Re: RIP BRYAN MAGEE

Post by Foureyes » Mon Aug 12, 2019 5:58 am

postwar blue,
I would be interested if, since you have the book, you could confirm my recollection of the 'Sicker incident' please - see my post above. I would also be interested in your view on the morality of what took place.

Concerning your comments on the 'different' CHs, I think that is inevitable. We could probably draw complicated Venn diagrams of each individual's involvement - house, form, stream, societies, scouts, CCF, etc, etc - and we would each have had different experiences and memories. I was in Lamb B and my brother was in Mid B; I liked/respected my senior housemaster, he hated his; he was two years behind me, and so on. So, although we have some memories in common, there are also some very distinct differences.

Bluecoats. I went from Prep B to Lamb B in September 1949 and am certain that we were initially in non-bluecoat dress (as we had been in the Prep, of course). My recollection is that the bluecoats were issued to my age group in 1950-ish. One way of checking would be through house photographs.

Food. I thought that Housie food was excellent for both quality and quantity, but that view may have been coloured by the fact that my mother was the world's worst cook!

Cockney Boys. I believe that in our time there were some 80-100 London boys at the school (LCC and other scholarships) so it was very much a shared experience.

Flecker. An awe-inspiring figure. The only time he ever spoke to me was at my leaving service. I have a copy of his recollections of a wartime head master and he comes across as a caring and humane man with some awesome responsibilities. For example, during the 1940-41 invasion scares he had to seriously face up to the possibility that if the Germans invaded, the school lay on their direct path from the landing beaches to London, so that the prospect of panzers roaring across Big Side and up the Avenue was by no means far-fetched. Thus, a degree of tetchiness is understandable.
David :shock:

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Re: RIP BRYAN MAGEE

Post by sejintenej » Mon Aug 12, 2019 8:54 am

Foureyes wrote:
Mon Aug 12, 2019 5:58 am
postwar blue,

Concerning your comments on the 'different' CHs, I think that is inevitable. We could probably draw complicated Venn diagrams of each individual's involvement - house, form, stream, societies, scouts, CCF, etc, etc - and we would each have had different experiences and memories.

Food. I thought that Housie food was excellent for both quality and quantity, but that view may have been coloured by the fact that my mother was the world's worst cook!

Cockney Boys. I believe that in our time there were some 80-100 London boys at the school (LCC and other scholarships) so it was very much a shared experience.
Very true. In this age of "equality" it is easy to forget that different people have different experiences.
Food; I had been lucky in that my mother was a professional chef (even in those days) so for mr CH food was pretty awful. (Between two households we had stayed with my aunt who would have been a worthy competitor to your mother as you describe her).
Cockney boys? Having been brought up in the wilds of Devon I found even the masters impossible to understand - cockney boys would have just been a different jumble of impenetrable sounds. I suppose now my first two terms were totally a non-learning experience. As you put it, yet another Venn diagram
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Re: RIP BRYAN MAGEE

Post by postwarblue » Mon Aug 12, 2019 10:55 am

Re the sicker nurse, Magee records a long, necessarily clandestine love affair that lasted until he left. Personally in these cases I do not fault the juvenile - and he over the age of consent - and I am ambivalent about the nurse except that today I think she would have bene struck off for an affair with a patient.

Indeed everyone's life trajectory is unique and my background was totally different from Magee's, let alone my CH time 1946-54 running a few years after his, and with no war at that, and me becoming a mathematician rather than an Arts person with a serene glide to A levels under Bill Armistead.

As too the politics, Magee seemed to think himself unique as a lefty; I thought I was the only Tory in CH.
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