THE HEADMASTER by John McPhee

THE HEADMASTER

Frank L. Boyden Of Deerfield

KIRKUS REVIEW

From The New Yorker, this effortless portrait of Frank Learoyd Boyden, who came to Deerfield Academy in 1902 at the age of twenty-two and is still, in his own words, an "indestructible and infallible" figure, is full of life--a remarkable life. Actually much more interesting than Roger Drury's Drury of St. Paul's (1964). An inconspicuous little man (originally five foot four), an intuitive educator (who had planned once to go on to law school but stayed with the school he built up from fourteen boys), firm, foxy if necessary (when he goes out to fund raise he just looks "old and frail and sick"), Boyden is a remarkable character. His greatest talent is the ability to awaken "ethical sensitivity" in the young and to deal with "unlikely material." He's played it all by ear--now he's quite deaf--but as he has said in one of the hundred letters he writes every day, to everyone, about everything, "my work (has) just gone ahead from day to day without any particular theory or any particular policy except a real personal interest in the boys..." He's well in his eighties now, going right along, and so is his wife whom he married off the faculty and who has been teaching 5 hours a day ever since--for 61 years.....A casual autocrat, he's a wonderful presence in print as he must be to all those who have known him.
Pub Date: Nov. 21st, 1966
ISBN: 0374514968
Page count: 148pp
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1st, 1966




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