Anthony Buckeridge

Anthony Buckeridge (1912-2004) is an award winning British author, awarded the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in 2003.

He is most famous for his series of novels starring the character Jennings which he wrote drawing on his experiences as a teacher in both state and public schools in England.

JenningsEdit

Jennings is a series of 25 children's books the first of which was published in 1950, the last one in 1994.

SettingEdit

The settings of the Jennings series of novels is the fictional English Public school of Linbury Court and tells of the adventures and misfortunes of several pupils and teachers. Written in the 3rd person the stories are highly comical, drawing on the mistakes made due to the literal nature of many of the characters who misunderstand many things they are told.

The highly idealised nature of a public school is a common theme in the books and despite reflecting the lifestyle of a small minority of children have been highly popular amongst all age groups and levels of society. The books have a large European following too.

Frequent plots revolve around Jennings and his best friend, Darbishire, discovering some mystery such as missing trophies from the schools sports cabinet, thefts from fellow pupils lockers or attempting some adventure such as smuggling contraband items into the school, setting up a radio in their dormitory or building small huts on wasteground on school campus.

Upon the discovery of an opportunity for adventure Jennings will usually drag his long-suffering friend into heaps of trouble.

CharactersEdit

John Christopher Timothy, also known as Jennings, is a bright young lad freshly arrived at Linsbury Court and having to adjust to Public School life. He is rash and impulsive, however, frequently misunderstanding the simplest things and taking orders from teachers far too literally. He is the instigator of most adventures.

Charles Edwin Jeremy, also known as Darbishire, is Jennings best friend, often dragged into the adventures through loyalty rather than enthusiasm he is a fairly undependable right-hand man. Described as short-sighted, with large glasses and nervous attitudes to physical activity in contemporary times Darbishire would be a geek.

PunishmentsEdit

Although not the stable of the stories - especially in comparison to such 'serious' novels as Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time - there are multiple punishments within Jennings. Mostly 'off-camera' they are often discussed at length afterwards. In traditional British style there is a certain amount of dark, or gallows-humour about the whole affair and the underclassmen (younger pupils in the junior school attached) take an almost perverse interest in their elder superiors being disciplined.

In Jennings Punishments are carried out by the Headmaster using the cane, often in his office and in a highly formal manner. The so-called Six of the best.
After a caning scene, it is common for the punished and sore pupil (Usually Jennings) to be mocked in the corridor outside the headmasters office by the shrill-voiced underclassmen Binns-minor with his cries of "Pheeeeew-Whack!" mimicking the sounds of the caning.

See alsoEdit