DRURY AND ST. PAUL'S by Roger W. Drury


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Although written by his son, the family relationship is almost imperceptible so that this respectful but impersonal view of Samuel Drury is accomplished entirely within the context of the New England school he served as headmaster for some twenty-five years. And it is based to a large extent on the diaries which Drury kept and used as a confidant through the years. A young man who had sad almost no youth himself when he went to St. Paul's (a humorless, fatherless childhood; four years as a teacher and two as a missionary). capable of both ""unforgettable kindness"" as well as ""unpremeditated coldness"" and desiring ""dominion, anonymity, and fame"", Drury took over St. Paul's in 1911 when it was something of an insular deadwater. While a stringent disciplinarian, he was liberal in the curricular changes he innovated and in the tone of the school which became less exclusive (socially, economically); a man of tremendous spiritual purpose, he modified the forms of religious observance. Given the highest recognition, he was elected to be Rector of Trinity Parish. His rejection of the post to stay on at St. Paul's was only one temptation denied to go elsewhere, perhaps regretted later during a period of differences and dissatisfaction with the Trustees (""I refuse to be a club steward acting under a directorate of worldlings""). A man of self-containment and self-control, there can be no question of Drury's achievement and longer lasting influence, although perhaps the austerity of the man will limit the audience of the book to those particularly interested in this school in particular and schoolmastering in general.

Pub Date: March 9th, 1964
Publisher: Little, Brown