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Molesworth (Penguin Modern Classics) Paperback – November 2, 2000


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Product Details

  • Series: Penguin Modern Classics
  • Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books, Limited (UK) (November 2, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0141186003
  • ISBN-13: 978-0141186009
  • Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 0.9 x 7.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #572,358 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Geoffrey Willans, a one-time schoolmaster, in addition to writing the four Molesworth books, now in Penguin Classics in the U.K., was a feature writer for the BBC before his untimely death at the age of forty-seven.

Ronald Searle, is best known as the creator of the St. Trinian's schoolgirl cartoons, collected for the first time and published by Rookery as St. Trinian's: The Entire Appalling Business. His work includes nearly forty covers for The New Yorker, political illustrations for Le Monde, and the animal illustrations of Beastly Feasts! (Overlook). --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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See all 12 customer reviews
Very funny indeed.
Timothy Robinson
This has all of Searle's Molesworth books, and the illustrations are priceless.
warbirdali
I read "How to be Topp" years ago when I was a schoolkid (USA publics...).
Carl Witthoft

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Paul Magnussen on March 20, 2009
Format: Paperback
Ronald Searle was one of Britain's best-loved cartoonists, and Geoffrey Willans (if I remember correctly) a former teacher. If there is such a thing as a genius, then Willans and Searle together were one.

The Molesworth books purport to be instructional manuals by an English public schoolboy named Nigel Molesworth, about how to survive the school experience. From the day the first was published in 1953, they became a wild success, especially with schoolchildren. They are still in print and still eminently applicable (which says something both about the quality of the books, and about the nature of the British school system, which even at that point hadn't changed much in 400 years).

The wild misspelling that permeates them caused hysteria among parents, and their removal from many school libraries (the books, not the parents). Nevertheless, many phrases from them have since gone into the English lexicon, particularly "enuff said" and "as any fule kno".

The quartet consists of:

Down with Skool
How to be Topp
Whizz for Atomms
Back in the Jug Agane

and an omnibus edition,

...Read more ›
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Carl Witthoft on April 15, 2008
Format: Paperback
I read "How to be Topp" years ago when I was a schoolkid (USA publics...). Everyone should read these-- and I mean your kids, while they are in elementary or Jr High school.
"Molesworth 2 start blubbing because he have not got the reel RollsRoyce he wanted.." plus the picture of the trap for St. Nick: priceless.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By warbirdali on May 3, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This was indeed banned in England for its atrocious spelling. As a product of Grammar skools this has had me in stitches as a tiny and now as an -ahem- older chap. This has all of Searle's Molesworth books, and the illustrations are priceless. It is an exact copy of the dog-eared original I used to have un the U.K. so if you are worried it may be condensed, abridged or edited (as I wondered) fear not, here it is in all its glory. Descriptions of masters are wonderful and expecially moving is Nigel Fotherington-Thomas' Maters' speech for getting the benefactor award ("Cor blimey guv'nor, strike a lite etc etc")
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By opera maven on February 13, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
An English friend gave me this book years ago, knowing that I would love it. I recently chose it as a gift for a fellow Anglophile who is also sure to become a "Molesworth" fan. Molesworth is not for everyone, but will appeal to people who appreciate English humor and/or who understand the English school system. Uproariously funny.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By MOLLOY on May 29, 2008
Format: Paperback
That the quadriga (how pretentious!) produced by the author and artist is screamingly funny is to vastly under-rate the brilliance of their oeuvre (oh jeeze...).

Eternal truths about children and the deformative pressures of society upon them are illuminated with style that cuts, bludgeons, and pierces yet produces only tears of laughter.

The books were published in the 1950's and Ronald Searle (b 1920 -) shot to the top decades ago. Geoffry Willans (1911 - 1958) wrote at least a half dozen more books after MOLESWORTH. I read these when in my early twenties; now in my 60s, I can't wait to read them again.

As another reviewer pointed out; these are children's books for adults and adult's books for children but are much, much more than children's books!
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I first saw this when I was 9, and my English teacher recommended that I read it but only if I worked on my spelling. I now have spell check, but the book is still hilarious. A modern reader might need to check some of the references, and an American reader may be out of their depth , but as an image of 50's Britain it is spot on.
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