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The Academy of St. Felix Oliver Carr

The Academy of St. Felix

Oliver Carr

Published July 12th 2007
ISBN : 9781425993979
Paperback
280 pages
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 About the Book 

The Academy of St Felix is an imaginary account of an inner-city schools life through a years three terms. The book is full of amusing anecdotes of daily occurring incidents between and among staff members. The school year begins with the ageingMoreThe Academy of St Felix is an imaginary account of an inner-city schools life through a years three terms. The book is full of amusing anecdotes of daily occurring incidents between and among staff members. The school year begins with the ageing and avuncular parish priest, Father Rudge, preparing for retirement. The narrator finds it hard to understand why some teachers who are directly influenced by the recalcitrant Sr. Barney are so insular in their approaches to education, preferring a direct-style teaching from behind a desk to a more balanced approach involving the immediate world outside the classroom. Like rebellious recalcitrant children, they block every attempt at change. The narrative is written in the first person through the eyes of a headmaster. The book abounds with the bright sounds and sights of country life through all the seasons filtering through the closed world of inner-city school life. The headmaster recalls the boredom of his own early school lessons and remembers the heart-stopping sounds of a threshing mill, unable to wait for the bell at end of day to ring. He hears, too, the call of the bell of hammer on anvil ringing from the blacksmiths forge. The narrative follows the seasons and the changing face of nature through personal observation. The book contains some images of remembered superstitions, such as the strong heady smell of elder flowers, flowers the narrator used to fear in his school days, this together with a dread of witches, spells and magic potions. When he sees elder flowers fading, he remembers cow parsley blowpipes and mouthfuls of elderberries in September in school and sees again faces dotted with purple splashes of juice. When a magpie flies off in panic, Paddy, the caretaker, makes a cursing gesture as he spits over his left shoulder to ward off a considered impending evil, this followed by a gesture of prayer in the form of a rushed Sign of the Cross, accompanied by a few mumbled words. The he