Good-Bye, Mr. Chips
is considered a classic of sorts, but not in the orbit of Dickens or Jane Austen. I don't believe I ever read it back in the old days. Basically it's about a guy, Mr. Chipping—fondly referred to as "Chips" to his students—who becomes a school master (teacher) at a second-rank "public" school, Brookfield, in Britain beginning around 1870. So-called "public" schools were in fact, private schools where the better off went to be educated along with their upper crust peers. The lower classes went to "council" schools, if they got any schooling at all. Anyway, Mr. Chips association with Brookfield covered a period of some sixty years. In essence, his life and that of Brookings were rather closely intertwined.
Mostly, we have musings by Mr. Chips, himself, remembering his long association with Brookfield. It's a rather charming book. I wonder if people who don't have some association or knowledge of the British "public" school system of yore would understand much in this book. But, I had a lot of fun reading this book. It was a nice break from literature alleged to be more crucial for one's development into a well-read gentleperson, some of which isn't so hot, like Robinson Crusoe
. Also a nice respite from the more manly things I'm ridiculed into reading, stuff from the likes of Robert E. Howard (not so hot) or Edgar Wallace (ok).Good-Bye, Mr. Chips
provided a nice calming finish to the "old" year.