Letter: Past imperfect

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Sir: I left school 60 years ago totally ignorant of any of the items of general knowledge Susan Elkin appears to believe were once acquired or taught in her schooldays (letter, 15 April). In my family we had plenty of books but we didn't discuss them or current affairs at mealtimes. Mealtimes were fun, with lots of chat and laughter but no politics or 'constructive talk'. My parents were interesting and intelligent but didn't guide the family talk, school had no 'current affairs' slot and teachers had no time for 'casual but enhancing' interactions with students.

History was dates; geography was exports and imports; English was Shakespeare. Where was this society she so nostalgically describes?

Yours sincerely,

JEAN SOMERVELL

Kendal, Cumbria

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