Eric, or Little by Little PDF/EPUB ¹ Eric, or ePUB

Eric, or Little by Little PDF/EPUB ¹ Eric, or ePUB

Eric, or Little by Little ➯ Eric, or Little by Little Read ➸ Author Frederic W. Farrar – Larringtonlifecoaching.co.uk Stories of school life by the theological writer, considered an eloquent preacher and a voluminous author Stories of school Little by Kindle Ö life by the theological writer, considered an eloquent preacher and a voluminous author.


10 thoughts on “Eric, or Little by Little

  1. Jane Jane says:

    Confession I have a weakness for boarding school novels From Tom Brown s Schooldays through Catcher in the Rye and on up to Winger and Looking for Alaska, I am touched and amused by them all My favorite is Rudyard Kipling s Stalky Co 1899 , the first Victorian school novel with truly like able and amusing heroes Oh Eric, do you burn with remorse and regret asks one of them after pulling off a wicked prank He s quoting an earlier novel, Eric Or Little By Little 1847 Of course I ha Confession I have a weakness for boarding school novels From Tom Brown s Schooldays through Catcher in the Rye and on up to Winger and Looking for Alaska, I am touched and amused by them all My favorite is Rudyard Kipling s Stalky Co 1899 , the first Victorian school novel with truly like able and amusing heroes Oh Eric, do you burn with remorse and regret asks one of them after pulling off a wicked prank He s quoting an earlier novel, Eric Or Little By Little 1847 Of course I had to go read it.Well I saw the point Kipling was making, Written at the height of the Oxford Movement, a religious revival that swept through England in the 1840s, the book is a big fat piece of Christian propaganda But wait Even as boys pray fervently at the drop of a hat, and are constantly struggling with abominations like strong language, smoking, drink, and impure behavior setting a bad example of the younger kids did you really think sex was going to be mentioned here something staggering is going on The masters, good Christian soldiers who exhort and pray from sunup to sundown, also beat the living bejesus out of their charges Caning, flogging, birching all standard operating procedure here Does Eric burn with remorse and regret after his caning No, he s filled with rage and humiliation How refreshingly healthy and honest of him Alas, he eventually caves and becomes a good Christian and a fine example to all his peers The book was written by a minister, after all The takeaway for me here is the weird disconnect between fervent Christian teaching and rampant physical abuse Imagine Dickens Dotheboys Hall wrapped up in a revivalist tract and you ve got Eric s school in a nutshell And hardly a female in sight it s no wonder that boys raised in this systemcame out emotionally stunted Think of Kipling, Tolkien, T.H White, to name a few all are marvelous writers who haven t got the first clue what to do with a female character Women are so foreign to them that the best they can do is make them into witches or temptresses So, Mr Farrar, I enjoyed your little book very much, but not for the reasons you would have hoped As a slice of Victorian life, manners and morals, it was very well done Horrifying to the modern ethos, but a fascinating glimpse into the past


  2. Monty Milne Monty Milne says:

    The author was a cleric and headmaster who was a pallbearer and preacher at Charles Darwin s funeral, and the grandfather of Field Marshal Bernard Montgomery This novel was hugely influential in late Victorian England, though it fell out of fashion long ago in Kipling s Stalky and Co, written a generation later, one of the schoolboy characters says, Let s have no beastly Eric ing here It has some strengths There is a fine evocation of the joyous spirit of youth s flower bedecked springtim The author was a cleric and headmaster who was a pallbearer and preacher at Charles Darwin s funeral, and the grandfather of Field Marshal Bernard Montgomery This novel was hugely influential in late Victorian England, though it fell out of fashion long ago in Kipling s Stalky and Co, written a generation later, one of the schoolboy characters says, Let s have no beastly Eric ing here It has some strengths There is a fine evocation of the joyous spirit of youth s flower bedecked springtime, given all thepower by the pathos of the tale Nowadays, you cannot write a sentence like Farrar was clearly a writer with a profound knowledge of schoolboys and a deep love for them without a knowing snigger This is a pity, as it is true There is a great deal of homo eroticism here, though I am quite sure that Farrar dutiful husband and pious father of ten would have fled in horror from any overt sexual expression outside the marital boudoir He would have held Oscar Wilde in utter scorn And yet Farrar too had a poetic soul and a poetic vision, and was alive to the grace and beauty of youth The only females in the tale are wives, aunts, and mothers, all of whom are peripheral This is about schoolboys, and their scrapes, and their intense romantic friendships.The weaknesses are many Death and suffering were faromnipresent to an earlier age nevertheless Farrar piles it on rather, so much so that it veers into sentimentalism and melodrama I feel sure the characters were modelled on real people, and are not cardboard cut outs, but in all the events that happen to them one still feels got at , all the time, by an author with an agenda That agenda is a pious form of religious evangelicalism which most today would find cloying This is a book written to persuade teenage boys to be manly honest, upright, god fearing, loyal, and sexless When we read it now we should remember that many of them were so caught up by the power of the narrative that they did try to fashion their lives just so It s easy to laugh at things like the bizarre passage where Farrar imagines the cemeteries filled with the emaciated forms of youths who have driven themselves to insanity and death as a result of indulging in masturbation but we shouldn t be too ready to laugh at those who honestly tried to fashion their lives according to an ideological vision which had love and selflessness at its core.As for the school setting itself, most nowadays would think it a bizarre description of a long vanished and scarcely believable institution And yet my own schooldays in the 1970 s were far closer to the world of Eric than to the schools of today Fortunately, death and suffering didn t mark the pages of my own tale though of course that came later Drinking alcohol in the dormitories, getting beaten by the masters, playfully quipping in Greek and Latin we had it all And of course those intense romantic friendships, which did indeed have a physical expression, though not an overtly sexual one at least not in my case Farrar would have approved The school I went to is changed beyond recognition now I caught the last fading beams of the Victorian sunset This is not a great novel, but as a record of how things were and how they were seen, it is a fascinating curiosity


  3. Farseer Farseer says:

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers To view it, click here Ah, this book What to say about this book Have you ever met the kind of person who, with the best intention, would try to scare little kids into behaving by telling them that if they are bad then their parents will die Well, Frederic W Farrar is that person.I like public school fiction, with their depiction of schoolboy s daily challenges and triumphs, their friendships and fights, their sense of honor and personal growth I have enjoyed Tom Brown s School Days, Talbot Baines Reed s works a Ah, this book What to say about this book Have you ever met the kind of person who, with the best intention, would try to scare little kids into behaving by telling them that if they are bad then their parents will die Well, Frederic W Farrar is that person.I like public school fiction, with their depiction of schoolboy s daily challenges and triumphs, their friendships and fights, their sense of honor and personal growth I have enjoyed Tom Brown s School Days, Talbot Baines Reed s works and others To a greater or lesser extent, there is an old fashioned morality associated with those old Victorian books, and I enjoy that too, associated as it is with a sense of the joy and fun of boyhood However, in this book, there s no joy It s a morality tale, like some other of these books, but this one is so incredibly heavy handed and religiously earnest without moderating it with a sense humor that I don t even know where to begin.Let s begin then by saying that my problem is not the writing Farrar wrote quite well The problem is the moral priggishness, the excessive sentimentality embittered by ruthlessly denying any possibility of redemption.We start with Eric as a young boy, and as Farrar writes well, he makes him quite likable Noble, loving, imaginative, spirited He gets us to like him, so as to make what will followdevastating He imagines that he can convey his message better that way, but when you go about it in such a heavy handed way it can be counter productive You can make sensitive kids cry, but they ll soon harden against such manipulative moral lessons.Eric s parents are in India and he is staying with his kind aunt and will soon go to boarding school We also meet his little brother Vernon, whom he worships, and the feeling is mutual.Once in school, all of Eric s good purposes start to falter The process is very gradual Little by Little, as the alternative title says There is some bullying The junior master misjudges him and punishes him unfairly He takes some bad examples from his school friends and older boys Little by little and along the years, he starts falling into moral turpitude.The saintly friend who was a good example to him dies, with an extremely tearful and sentimental deathbed scene His last thoughts are for Eric Eric reforms, but soon falls again when faced with the same temptations He first tolerates bad language without speaking up gasp , then uses bad language himself He drinks and smokes He is contemptuous of the rules He neglects his schoolwork All this causes him intense moral suffering, and from time to time he attempts to reform only to fall again He is too proud to accept the advice of hissaintly friends.Really, Eric, when boys misbehave it s usually because they enjoy it But if it makes you feel so miserable and sad, why do you keep doing it More people dear to Eric die Not directly because of something he did, but there s a feeling that it s all connected, that he has caused this gloom upon himself Then, when he finally seems willing to go back to the straight path for good, after almost being expelled, circumstances conspire to torment and destroy him Finally only Eric s own deathbed brings him redemption, only to die quickly and with relief.The whole thing is appalling, and at the same time it s quite readable, because when Farrar is not laying it on he can write an enjoyable book about school life, with likable characters Enough to make you care, so that it will beeffective.It s very very difficult to take this seriously from a modern point of view Even when it was published in 1858, shortly after Tom Brown s Schooldays, it was too much for many reviewers, and it was criticized for its lachrymose and heavy handed ways While Tom Brown was almost universally liked and praised, the opinions on Eric weremixed However, it was almost as successful as Tom Brown Many people claimed that it had a profound positive effect on them Those two books were hugely successful, received serious critical attention and were very influential in the genre They, along with Talbot Baines Reed s The Fifth Form at St Dominic s, which was published 23 years later, are the most successful of Victorian schoolboy novels Of those three, the less preachy and easiest to enjoy is The Fifth Form at St Dominic s, but I got a lot of enjoyment from Tom Brown, too Sure, Tom Brown s School Days is preachy, but in a healthy, optimistic, earnest way, full of life and vitality There s no priggishness in it Eric is well written, but it s full of priggishness To be fair, children s death is a heavier theme for us nowadays than it was in Victorian times Just like sexuality was a subject to be avoided for respectable novels then, death is extremely distasteful for us now But even so, this was heavy even back then Poor Eric, if only his parents had not been absent, if only the school had beenwatchful, if only he had been a bitstrong willed A Goodreads reviewer puts it quite succinctly It certainly was amazing, but also appalling That ll teach you, Eric, now you ve killed your best friend, your brother, your motherAnother problem is that Farrar s lack of humor and excess of sentimentality makes him write unrealistic schoolboys They are too sentimental, often crying and hugging each other in remorse.On the other hand, even at his worst, Eric the character, not the novel remains likable, which makes the gloom fest even sadder andexaggerated We also get an interesting glimpse at how public schools worked It s shocking how little supervision the boys had this is a pre Thomas Arnold version of public school, so you don t even get prefects maintaining discipline and the school spirit , along with harsh physical punishment when caught breaking rules.The novel, well written though it is, is not easy to like, even for someone like me who likes Victorian school novels This kind of story is handled better in other books published shortly afterwards For example, in Schoolboy Honour , by H C Adams, we also see a gradual moral decadence in a boy we have come to like, but it s handled with a sense of proportion, in a natural and less heavy handed way The boys behavior isbelievable and we don t get the moral torture porn Also the ending is happy, which is something you can t expect of the oppressive Eric, where it seems that a deviation from the right path is irreversible I have read that in St Winifred s , Farrar also does this in a less heavy handed way, but I haven t read that one yet


  4. Lucy Lucy says:

    How can you rate such a dreadful but such a horribly readable morality tale It certainly was amazing, but also appalling That ll teach you, Eric, now you ve killed your best friend, your brother, your mother I really don t think I can recommend this to anyone who hasn t a keen sense of the ridiculous.


  5. Erica Erica says:

    Way too didactic for me


  6. Ella Ella says:

    So this is utterly, totally hilarious.


  7. Michi Michi says:

    All the moralising of the average 19th century boarding school novel and barely any of the charm or amusing hijinks.


  8. Jer Fairall Jer Fairall says:

    Ridiculously moralistic and melodramatic, of course, but livelier than Thomas Hughesfamous Tom Brown s Schooldays, and plenty queer.


  9. Larry Piper Larry Piper says:

    Here s another of those books read by the protagonist of Of Human Bondage, Philip Gah This was pretty awful I thought it might be one of those archetypal British school boys books I rather liked Stalky and Company when I read it, both as a youth and again as amature person A year of so ago, I tried Tom Brown s School Days and found it unreadable, so I gave up on it Anyway, perhaps this book is also meant to be a British school boy book, but it was also flagrantly written to provide Here s another of those books read by the protagonist of Of Human Bondage, Philip Gah This was pretty awful I thought it might be one of those archetypal British school boys books I rather liked Stalky and Company when I read it, both as a youth and again as amature person A year of so ago, I tried Tom Brown s School Days and found it unreadable, so I gave up on it Anyway, perhaps this book is also meant to be a British school boy book, but it was also flagrantly written to provide moral teaching to young boys What it actually shows, however, is a complete moral bankruptcy on the part of the author So, we have adolescent boys doing the kinds of things adolescent boys do They have some rules handed down from above, but aren t given reasons for those rules other than being told, I suppose, that breaking them will inevitably lead to moral decay But, the masters in the school pretty much ignore the boys and they, being adolescent boys, run amok when they can Once in a while, they are caught stepping over the ill defined lines one of their masters awakes from his un noticing moralistic trance, or something , and then their good, moral masters beat the living crap out of them with sticks So, that s how we make Christians out of people set incongruous rules publicly humiliate people who break the rules, even inadvertently and beat the living crap out of them if they piss the masters off too much with their adolescent behavior Then you have teenage boys constantly crying about one thing or another, holding hands, hooking their arms around each other s necks, and so forth In what planet does that happen


  10. Jonathan Kirby Jonathan Kirby says:

    Not that I love this book It is painful to read about Crime and Punishment in Schools in the Dark Victorian Ages I think ever since I read this book I must have been around 12 years old, I guess I started to hate public schools the bullying, the ragging, the fagging I somehow got to hate Thomas Arnold, Rugby, Eton, Tom Brown, etc, etc after reading this book with its dark imagination Paints a very depressing picture of the Victorian Age, the school age I mean I think it was in react Not that I love this book It is painful to read about Crime and Punishment in Schools in the Dark Victorian Ages I think ever since I read this book I must have been around 12 years old, I guess I started to hate public schools the bullying, the ragging, the fagging I somehow got to hate Thomas Arnold, Rugby, Eton, Tom Brown, etc, etc after reading this book with its dark imagination Paints a very depressing picture of the Victorian Age, the school age I mean I think it was in reaction to this that we have the great popularity of Frank Richards and his schoolboy books Richards or Charles Hamilton, as he is known must have reacted against the brutality of the flogging in Eric, or Little by Little, so he created the sentimental cheerful stuff that we find in the Greyfriars School stories I had to give this book four stars because it is so powerful If you read it as a young lad it is going to haunt your imagination for years afterwards Your blood boils at the brutality of Victorian school life, and you want to get away from it all into the sanitized world of Gem and Magnet and Schoolboys Own Library


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