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The History Boys: A Play Paperback – April 4, 2006
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“Nothing could diminish the incendiary achievement of this subtle, deep-wrought and immensely funny play about the value and meaning of education . . . In short, a superb, life-enhancing play.” ―The Guardian
“Brilliantly funny . . . The History Boys is moving, disquieting: one follows it with a heart brimful . . . His finest work in decades.” ―Financial Times
About the Author
Alan Bennett is a renowned playwright and essayist whose screenplay for The Madness of King George was nominated for an Academy Award. He lives in London, England.
Top Customer Reviews
This mission conflicts with the goals of the English and History teachers. Hector, the motor-cycle-riding English teacher, has taught the students reams of poetry, and they readily apply it to real-life situations. He has taught the French subjunctive (though it is not his subject) by conducting the class in French and having students pretend to be negotiating at a brothel. His classes are free-wheeling, often student-directed--taking the long view and valuing education for its own sake. The History teacher, Dorothy Lintott, has taught the facts: "They know their stuff. Plainly stated and properly organized facts need no presentation, surely," she remarks to the headmaster.
As the three teachers and the headmaster perform their duties, the eight students react as teenagers everywhere react, albeit a bit more politely. They banter and feed off each other's joking remarks, tease their teachers, get bopped on the head by Hector, challenge him to identify scenes from films (which they act out), and explore their favorite subject, sex.Read more ›
There is also a darker current in which child molestation and sexual power are examined frankly and unabashedly with no judgements or prior assumptions. Bennett does an excellent job of keeping out of the way and allowing his characters to defend themselves without blurring the lines of morality and ethics. The dialogue is sparklingly witty and smart and although there are many characters they each have a distinct spirit. I couldn't help but fall in love with nearly every character in this play.
I cannot recommend this play any more highly. Buy it, rent it, borrow it, steal it - whatever you do - READ IT.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
“History is a commentary on the various and continuing incapabilities of men. What is history? History is women following behind with the bucket. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Kristi Richardson
Excellent play to read for a book club. Very intricate and very interesting historically - also very timely in today's political climate.Published 5 months ago by Mary Peterson
I wanted to read the play after seeing it on stage. I missed a lot of the dialogue with accents. It is an amazing play, and it is delicious to toss about with friends after... Read morePublished 6 months ago by Duane M. Timm
Absolutely amazing in its prose and message. 10/10 would recommend.Published 10 months ago by blahblah0625
As a gay man I hated the anti hero of this plot. He is charismatic enough that we are almost prepared to forgive him for making the school into his personal playground. Read morePublished 11 months ago by Murray C. Gauntlett
The History boys is a delightful comedy of culture with unforgettable characters. It may seem on the surface to be about the English public school system and the common problems... Read morePublished 12 months ago by E Kyle StClaire jr
This is mostly my problem. I misread the ad and thought this was for the play version of the script. It was okay. The material was not as risky as I thought it would have been. Read morePublished 19 months ago by John