Wednesday, 5 April 2017

A-Z Challenge 2017 - Houses, some real, some not - 'D'

D - Dotheboys Hall

A presentation copy of 'The Life of Dickens' in the British Library contains a photographic reproduction of - 

In his novel Nicholas Nickleby describes the brutal regime at the Yorkshire school of Dotheboys Hall run by an evil headmaster, Wackford Squeers.

In 1838 Dickens and illustrator Hablot Brown had travelled to Yorkshire to see school conditions for themselves. The preface to Nicholas Nickleby describes the school masters as

"Traders in the avarice, indifference, or imbecility of parents, and the helplessness of children; ignorant, sordid, brutal men, to whom few considerate persons would have entrusted the board and lodging of a horse or a dog; they formed the worthy cornerstone of a structure, which, for absurdity and a magnificent high-minded laissez-aller neglect, has rarely been exceeded in the world."

Dotheboys Hall may be a fictional house, but unfortunately the actual school on which it was based was not. This was - 

Bowes Academy
It is believed that Dickens based Squeers on William Shaw, headmaster at Bowes Academy when Dickens and Browne made their two day visit. Earlier William Shaw had been convicted of ill treating children at his school.

Today Bowes Academy has been converted into flats and looks much different, not at all like the fictional Dotheboys Hall.

Bowes Hall
(ex - By David Rogers, 7 April 2009 - CC BY-SA 2.0)


Eva A. said...

Sad memories for this one!

Eva - Mail Adventures
D is for Degollado. Which makes a curious name for a building...

FinnBadger said...

I can only imagine how grim some places must have been in the past.

Phillip | D is for Dream Delivery

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Bob - the first illustration looks almost French like in appearance - and oh dear another brutal place ... But a good "D" for Dotheboys Hall used by Dickens - cheers Hilary

Kristin said...

I hope that the present inhabitants of the flats don't hear the ghosts of the mistreated boys crying in the night.

Finding Eliza

M. Denise C. said...

Very interesting! Going to check out A, B, and C!

Donna B. McNicol said...

Hard to believe bad things actually happened in the idyllic setting of the current property. Wow!

D: Dominica & D-Day Museum
DB McNicol, author & traveler
Theme: Oh, the places we will go!

Sharon M Himsl said...

I could devote an entire vacation to exploring Dickens and his novels. One of my favorite authors.

"Female Scientists Before Our Time"

Emily Bloomquist said...

Quite a sad place.

By the way, I saw your comment about clickable links on the A-Z Challenge D page. For reasons unknown to me I was not able to reply to your comment. I am not sure how to explain it without actually making a clickable link so instead I will point you where to go. Go to this page

Look for where it says POST: and there it will explain the format to make a clickable link. Hope this helps.

Emily | My Life In Ecuador