Memoir

An Education by Lynn Barber

By Lynn Barber

While the journalist Lynn Barber used to be sixteen, she used to be picked up at a bus-stop via an enticing older guy who drew up in his activities vehicle - and her lifestyles used to be virtually wrecked. A vibrant convinced lady, on track to visit Oxford, she started a courting which, awfully, used to be inspired via her traditional, suburban mom and dad and which took her into the louche, semi-criminal international of west London simply because the Nineteen Sixties begun. spoil beckoned, till at some point she made an enormous discovery. "An Education", the outlet piece of this interesting memoir, was once hugely praised whilst first released in "Granta" journal, and is presently being filmed by way of the BBC with a Nick Hornby script.

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He also taught English, and responded keenly to whoever wrote good 'compositions'. A. Henty and Hcrbert Strang) as well as other novels by Alcxandre Dumas (especially the d'Artagnan series), ::nd Hugo's Hunchback of Notre Dame and The Toilers of the Sea. Thirty or forty books were kept in the bedroom cupboard, mostly novels but also history, geography, and French grammars. An ex-Guardsman living nearby let me have his one-inch ()rdnance Survey sheet of the Aldershot ' rraining Area, which greatly increased my knowledge of map-reading.

I was persuaded to give up my Identity Card, on which he rubbed out my name and inscribed his own, so that he could go to the Labour Exchange and ~pply for a job. This was a successful ruse, and he would have lived out the war working in a factory had not a neighbour suspected that he was a deserter and told the police. When in court for, among other things, having a false Identity Card, he said he had stolen it rather than incriminate my mother or myself. After a few sessions at Wollaton Hall, school was resumed in the normal buildings.

One such primer contained a plan of Paris, making me familiar with the buildings and street names of that place much sooner than with those of London. In the week before taking the scholarship examination I felt set apart from those in the class, though the proportion of pupils sitting for it was not small. ' Needless to say, I did not pass, though two boys did, one whose father ran a hardware shop, and another whose mother owned a cafe. The unfamiliar puzzles and conundrums I was asked to solve might just as well have been Chinese ideograms, for I had expected to be tested on knowledge rather than intelligence.

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