Marlborough College enveloped a very large part of John Wilkinson’s life. His memoir, ‘Boy, Beak and Beyond’ is being launched at The White Horse Bookshop on Saturday next week – 13 November between 6 and 8pm.
Education: being educated as a ‘Boy’ – then taking a post at The College post University to become a tutor (a ‘Beak’) for a further twenty-five years represented educating, and ‘Beyond’ – leaving after a quarter of a century before ‘teacher burnout’ started to emerge and take hold, retreating in early retirement to run a restaurant in a delightful Gascon village in the rural hinterland of Toulouse in South West France (where he still lives) as well as a retreat in the stunning Rif mountains of Morocco.
So much of John Wilkinson’s life centres around Marlborough College, one of the UK’s most prestigious public schools as well as a key part of what makes Marlborough ‘Marlborough’. So where better than to launch his memoir and to revisit so much of what made John who he is today than at another of Marlborough’s iconic institutions, The White Horse Bookshop.
Has much changed since John started at The College in the late sixties? To pass on what he’d gained and between 1967 and 1992 when educating those that he taught?
John describes this memoir as ‘vivid, honest and entertaining’, adding that it is ‘an intimate, moving portrait of life in a great public school, followed by nearly three eclectic decades in style as an Englishman abroad’.
Some practices, habits and aspects of culture will have prevailed across the years, inevitably. Particularly some of the culture and the emphasis on education. But many have likely experienced the ups and downs of the standard lifecycle and will now be consigned to corners of history. But John’s memoir should reawaken the experiences of life at The College that many former students and staff will recognise, and experiences that are personal to those from the days and life of ‘The College’ past.
‘Boy, Beak and Beyond’ is – as noted above – being launched at the White Horse Bookshop, 136 High Street (near to the town Hall) on Saturday week, 13 November, between 6pm and 8pm.
If you would like to join John, and probably many of his contemporaries as well, then please let John and the White Horse team know by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org to make sure that you will be expected and welcomed.