Stalky & Co.

Rudyard Kipling published Stalky & Co. in 1899. Set at an English boarding school in a seaside town on the North Devon coast. The photo above shows the old United Services College buildings from the pebble ridge.
The town, Westward Ho!, is not only unusual in having an exclamation mark, but also in being itself named after a novel, by Charles Kingsley. It is special to me as I spent my holidays in my grandmother’s house overlooking the old school and the town, it was where my father grew up. This explains his love for these stories and therefore (in part) mine.  For me the additional part is Stalky’s healthy disrespect for authority!
The book is a collection of linked short stories, with some information about the eponymous Stalky’s later life. Beetle, one of the main trio, is said to be based on Kipling himself, while Stalky may be based on Lionel Dunsterville. The stories have elements of the macabre (dead cats), bullying and violence, and hints about sex, making them far from the childish and from the idealised world of a typical school story. Edmund Wilson in The Wound and the Bow, was both shocked and uncomprehending.
Play00 0 – Opening Poem Tim Bulkeley 00:03:07
Play01 1 – In Ambush Tim Bulkeley 00:59:36
Play02 2 – Slaves of the Lamp – Part 1 Tim Bulkeley 00:39:12
Play03 3 – An Unsavory Interlude Tim Bulkeley 00:57:42
Play04 4 – The Impressionists Tim Bulkeley 00:47:27
Play05 5 – The Moral Reformers Tim Bulkeley 00:42:02
Play06 6 – A Little Prep Tim Bulkeley 00:46:06
Play07 7 – The Flag of their Country Tim Bulkeley 00:44:29
Play08 8 – The Last Term Tim Bulkeley 00:43:58
Play09 9 – Slaves of the Lamp – Part II Tim Bulkeley 00:41:27

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