Dr. Joliffe's Boys; A Tale of Weston School

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This a very enjoyable book about life in a boy's boarding school in the late nineteenth century. Despite school-rules, the boys get out of bounds for a number of reasons, for instance visiting a forbidden tuck shop; engaging in various cruel country sports, like rat baiting; going skating on a frozen lake, especially near the thin ice; poaching on a large nearby estate; and suchlike attractions.

Every scene is beautifully drawn, and I have wondered many times why the author did not write more, and indeed why this book is not more well known than it is. Until I found a copy in an old book shop I had never heard of either the author or of the book.

The characters of the various principal actors in the story are very well drawn, and one feels one knows them all quite well by the end of the book.

Lewis Hough, an Englishman who was probably born in the third or fourth decade of the nineteenth century, became an expert in Sir Isaac Pitman's new invention, phonography—better known today as Pitman shorthand. He wrote a number of stories in that script which were printed as exercises for students. They were printed by lithography. He also wrote a number of boys' books which enjoyed success. Of them, most interest today is in "For Fortune and Glory: A Story of the Soudan War", whose one edition was illustrated by Walter Paget, the younger brother of Sidney Paget, the creator of the original illustrations of Sherlock Holmes for the Strand Magazine.

Since his time, he has been confused frequently with Lewis Sylvester Hough ("Paulus"), an American essayist on economics and politics, who was his contemporary.

A PDF of scans and an HTML version of this book are provided. We also provide a plain TEXT version and full instructions for using this to make your own audiobook. To find these click on the PDF, HTML or TXT links on the left.

These transcriptions of books by various nineteenth century authors of instructive books for teenagers, were made during the period 1997 to the present day by Athelstane e-Books. Most of the books are concerned with the sea, but in any case all will give a good idea of life in the nineteenth century, and sometimes earlier than that. This of course includes attitudes prevalent at the time, but frowned upon nowadays.

We used a Hewlett-Packard scanner, a Plustek OpticBook 3600 scanner or a Nikkon Coolpix 5700 camera to scan the pages. We then made a pdf which we used to assist with editing the OCRed text.

To make a text version we used TextBridge Pro 98 or ABBYY Finereader 7 or 8 to produce a first draft of the text, and Athelstane software to find misreads and improve the text. We proof-read the chapters, and then made a CD with the book read aloud by either Fonix ISpeak or TextAloud MP3. The last step enables us to hear and correct most of the errors that may have been missed by the other steps, as well as entertaining us during the work of transcription.

The resulting text can be read either here at the Internet Archive or at www.athelstane.co.uk

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