Orwell played for the Colleger Wall Game team
where he assisted in scoring a goal
against the Oppidans on St. Andrew's Day.
ORWELL & HARRY AT ETON
Prince Harry came within inches of making history in the famous Wall Game
when his team almost scored a goal.
But in last November's match, with his father watching,
Harry scored a "shy"
in one of the most exciting matches for decades.
To Orwell Today,
I am sending you another article I found about Orwell in the Chronicle from 2000 about the fifty year anniversary of his death. This one was written by a boy at Eton, Josh Neicho KS (the KS means he was a King's Scholar, like Orwell I believe).
Yes, Orwell was a KS, one of 14 boys in all of England to earn a scholarship to Eton in 1916. I write a bit about it in LOOKING FOR ORWELL AT ETON.
Thank you for sending the article by the KS student at Eton, which I've posted for all to read: THE LION AND THE LAMB.
He makes the valid point that Orwell didn't particularly specifiy Eton when he wrote criticism of England's public schools in his classic essay The Lion and the Unicorn and actually gave it credit for allowing him to be himself. That really is the essence of Orwell's opinion of Eton and that's quite high praise.
Orwell much preferred Eton to his prep school, St. Cyprian's, which was the object of his exaggerated essay Such, Such Were the Joys. And he certainly preferred Eton to Wellington, the school he first went to after coming in 14th on the Eton scholarship exams when only 13 made it in that year. But then in May 1917 a space in Eton opened up when a Sixth Form boy went off to join the war, and Eric packed his bags and left Wellington. His parents had no qualms about decking him out in a second kit of Eton clothes.
Here's an excerpt from Jeffrey Myers' biography ORWELL: WINTRY CONSCIENCE OF A GENERATION which describes Orwell's impressions of Wellington and Eton, pages 28-29:
"In January 1917, in a lonely transition from prep school to Eton, the awkward thirteen-year-old Eric was sent to Wellington College, in Berkshire, for the winter term. According to Harold Nicolson, it was (like St. Cyprian's) 'designed to provide a large number of standardized young men fitted for the conquest, administration and retention of a vast Oriental Empire.' Wellington believed that 'intellectual prowess was in some way effeminate,' that one could show manliness only by physical force. Eric found the Spartan school oppressively militaristic. His only pleasant memory was of skating on the frozen lake. Asked what he thought of Eton, when he turned up in May, he gave a typically backhanded compliment: 'It can't be worse than Wellington. That really was perfectly bloody.'
I thought of Orwell's Wellington words when it was announced that Prince Harry would be attending Sandhurst after graduating from Eton in 2003. It too sounds "perfectly bloody" as can be attested to by the article below:
At 21 Prince Harry stands at ease. Washington Post, Sep 15, 2005
...Prince Harry, in interviews earlier this week, said he expected to be spending his birthday in a trench. Currently enrolled at Sandhurst, the prestigious British Army officer training center in Surrey, he said he had no champagne birthday bash planned, despite his reputation as the "party prince." Rather, he said, he would be doing military exercises with the other lads. Red-haired Harry, third in line to the throne, said he could "easily see" himself spending 35 to 40 years in the army: "I do enjoy running down a ditch full of mud, firing bullets. It's the way I am. I love it." Harry, using more colloquial language than is usually heard from the royal family, said he had no intention of being an army officer if he couldn't be deployed to active service. "I hope I would not drag my sorry arse through Sandhurst . . . I would not have joined if they had said I could not be in the front line. The last thing I would want to do is for my soldiers to be sent away to Iraq and have me held back at home twiddling my thumbs, thinking what about David, what about Derek or whatever..."
Poor Prince Harry, thinking he has something to prove (having been maligned in the press for normal boyhood rites of passage) or that it's his duty to go to Iraq "on the front line" while the mature men (his father included) sit cozily at home on the sidelines. Orwell disparaged "Vile Old Men" who were all that remained after England's loss of millions of its young men in World War One. At that time Prince Harry's great-great-uncle, the future King Edward VIII, was the Prince of Wales and he DID go to the front line and was there for the entire four years. Prince Harry's great-grandfather, the future King George VI, didn't serve at the front, having come down with an appendicitis attack as soon as he was sent into action. See THE PEOPLE'S GOOD KING EDWARD. I don't think Harry's mother, Princess Diana, would be happy about him attending Sandhurst with the idea of going off to war. Nor would any mother who knows what Orwell said about war in "1984". Go to Ministry of Peace (War) and MAMAS DON'T LET YOUR BABIES.
Orwell has the reputation (in the biographies and in his own words) of slacking off at Eton. But actually, in my opinion, Orwell's career at Eton wasn't as mediocre as he and others make it out to be. He accomplished quite a lot while he was there, ie he wrote and edited for two publications, The Colleger and The Election Times (and got written up in The Chronicle); he was a "dry bob" (meaning he did sports on dry land), not a "wet bob" (those who do sports on the river), or a "slack bob" (boys who do neither). He played for the Colleger "Wall Game" team where he assisted in scoring a goal against the Oppidans on St. Andrew's Day and he was actually one of the chosen speakers for the biggest Etonian event of the year - King George III's birthday on June 4th - which is tied in with Sixth Form graduation ceremonies.
The first photo is Orwell in 1941 working for the BBC. The second photo shows the Eton Wall Game team of 1921 with Orwell on the top far-left. The third shows Orwell sitting on the Chapel steps on graduation day perhaps. The fourth is personally signed by Eric Blair, dated 1921. Who'd ever have imagined that the chubby, ruddy-faced youth ("hair the colour of hay and extraordinary sea-blue eyes") would one day become the gaunt, ravaged-faced man we've all come to recognize.
There's a picture of the infamous "wall" on The Wall Game section of the Eton website. And you can see photos of Prince Harry playing the Wall Game in the article below:
Prince Harry's final days at Eton. BBC, Jun 12, 2003 (...The young prince has distinguished himself at school in art classes and on the sports field. He has excelled at the unique Eton Wall Game, the Field Game, football - he supports Arsenal - rugby, polo and cricket. In his final year he was house captain of games and also enjoys swimming and athletics....He came within inches of making history in the famous Wall Game when his team almost scored a goal. ...As he left school for the last time, the prince turned to photographers, threw his fists in the air and said "At last" with a grin.
Orwell actually commemorates Eton (in a roundabout way) in his 1934 novel Burmese Days where he said:
"The chief virtue of the great public schools (with their traditions of High Anglicanism, cricket and Latin verses)...is their atmosphere of literary scholarship...and...masters...the kind from whom one absorbs wisdom unawares."
Orwell's main complaint about Eton seems to have been the uniform. He hated the way the collar cut into his neck. He said one time that he'd send a son of his to Eton if it weren't for the uniform. Other than that Orwell gives Eton high praise as can be seen in the following excerpt from Myers, pages 46-47:
"Orwell retained the lanquid, weary manner of an Old Etonian, yet also had a commanding presence (intensified by his ascetic gauntness) that enabled him to assume authority in dangerous situations. W.H.J. Christie, an Old Boy at St. Cyprian's, quoted a woman who'd known Eric in Burma to show that his liberal beliefs and conscientious character, the idealistic values and inner resources he drew on in difficult circumstances, were strongly influenced by his public school. 'I once remarked to him,' she said, 'on the minute care with which he sifted each case, his passion for justice, his dislike of prejudiced remarks about anyone, however lowly, and his sense of utter fairness in his minutest dealings. He replied: 'This was the most important part of the education I received at Eton - this and the capacity to think for myself.'"
I think that proves that Eton deserves some of the credit for the great man Orwell became: a man who lived his life according to Shakespeare's credo: "This above all: to thine own self be true, and it must follow, as the night the day, thou canst not then be false to any man."
All the best,
ORWELL TRULY A GLOBAL FIGURE and ORWELL GREATEST ETONIAN OF ALL
PEOPLE'S PRINCESS & PRINCESS'S PEOPLE
TV shows Prince Harry kidnapped by Taliban (subjected to mock executions/brainwashed). Telegraph, Oct 6, 2010. Go to 16.MiniTru(Lies) & 25.Prolefeed
DOUBLETHINK BLACKWHITE RACISM (...It's Orwellian "doublethink" the way the "blackwhite" powers-that-be (the "Brotherhood" who control the media and governments at all levels) are accusing Princess Diana's younger son Harry (third in line to the British throne) of racism for saying: "Ahh, our little Paki friend Ahmed". Everyone knows that if the situation were reversed and the Pakistani person had said about his British fellow-military cadet: "Ahh, our little Brit friend Harry" he wouldn't be accused of "thoughtcrime" by the "thought police" and hauled off to a military tribunal, as is happening to Harry.
Prince Harry [so-called] Racist Video Tape. You Tube
Prince's Harry's [so-called] racist remark sparks anger. BBC, Jan 11, 2009 (...Harry issued an apology after the News of the World published a video diary in which he calls one of his then Sandhurst colleagues a "Paki"....
...Prince Harry had to apologise in 2005 for wearing a swastika armband to a party, which offended Jewish people...
These double standards applied against Prince Harry (an "ungoodthinkful" politically incorrect white male) are similar to the double standards that were applied to Sarah Palin (an "ungoodthinkful" politically incorrect white female) during the recent USA presidential election campaign. It's not just about colour (because double standards are imposed on whites by all colours, including by whites themselves). What this "doublethink" is really all about is creating a mind-set bent on destroying Western World culture...)
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