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‘It appears to me that a simple, straightforward account of my life in retirement from day to day should suffice to show that, for a variety of interests, civic sense, tolerance and a readiness to meet and mingle with all sorts and conditions of men and (up to a point of course) women, a retired schoolmaster can hold a candle to any Tom, Dick or Harry …’
So writes A. J. Wentworth (B.A.), formerly a teacher of mathematics at Burgrove prep school for boys, now passing his retirement years in a typically English rural village where somehow he seems unable to stay out of trouble. Wentworth is the comic creation of H. F. Ellis, and was first introduced to readers in the pages of Punch. There is pathos as well as great humour in Wentworth’s self-delusion, and he ranks alongside the Grossmiths’ Mr Pooter as a classic comic study in blinkered English manners.
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