Dulwich College

Cradle of Writers *

I attended Dulwich College 1963/69. Scholastically, it was time ill-spent, but illness meant a year away, and I still have friends from all those years ago. Researching various radio documentaries, I was fascinated by the eminent authors this – relatively- modest English public school produced. Best known was P.G.Wodehouse, whose time at Dulwich was “idyllic”. It is still not widely known that the doyen of hard-boiled American fiction, Raymond Chandler, also spent four contented years at the school. During my time there, “must read authors” included Dennis Wheatley and C.S. Forster, both of whom were Old Alleynians, and hated the school. Another eminent OA was A.E.W. Mason, forgotten now, but whose The Four Feathers has been repeatedly filmed. For the school’s 400th anniversary in 2019, I was asked to write a book about the school and its authors; those were the five I selected. The research was a delight, having lunch with history teachers who had intimidated me half a century before. Delving into the immaculately kept school archives and finding juvenilia. I was very pleased with the result. It made a nice change from trying to track down keyboard players on Nick Drake’s second LP. Talking of whom…