Saturday, May 11, 2019

The Flaw in the Eton Education

So far it would appear that work played a small part in our lives; this was not so, however for the first two years most boys did not enjoy their work and found it a tedious drudgery. It was not smart at Eton to work; to be a "sap" was a disgrace and to compete for prizes eccentric. Everybody used cribs though the punishments for being caught were severe. For boys at Eton wanted one thing, popularity, and the flaw in the Eton education was that work was unpopular. Indeed for twenty years I was never able to grasp that the love and friendship which I sought were in this world the rewards not of seeking them but of hard work and success.

- Cyril Connolly in Enemies of Promise [published in 1938]

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