This biography of Thomas Arnold combines a study of his life with an examination of Arnold's influence as an educator, a theologian and a churchman. He stands as a monument to the development of the 19th century public school system whose influence spread far beyond Britain's upper-class. Arnold was the celebrated headmaster of Rugby School and Hughes' "Tom Brown's Schooldays" (1857) fixed him in the public imagination. Copley assesses both the uncritical Victorian versions of Arnold`s life - including Hughes and Dean Stanley's original "Life" - and the sneering assessment of his influence, perpetuated by Strachey in his book "Eminent Victorians", to provide a rounded portrait of Arnold. In conclusion Copley explores the possible legacy that this great, but neglected figure, has left to our age.
Terence Copley is the Professor of Education in the University of Exeter