Auden's public memories of school

Click to follow
The Independent Online
Sir: I read with great interest Marianne Macdonald's article on W H Auden, and was most grateful to hear that his notebook is coming up for sale at Phillips in the near future ("Auden: How school taught me about fascism", 7 February). Although he cited the English public school as a fascist state, he did in fact enjoy his time at Gresham's and, on the page you have photographed for your newspaper, you can read the actual words he wrote specifically about Gresham's which he refers to as Holt -the town where Gresham's is located. He says (and I quote): "It says much or perhaps little - for Holt that I was never bullied or molested, was allowed to make friends where I chose, and was, taking all things into consideration, very happy throughout my time there."

Although Auden strongly criticised the principles of a public school, he was actually happy at Gresham's and praised it for being most enlightened among public schools at that time.

Yours sincerely,



Gresham's School



8 February