Books about Bedales

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"I hate the modern trick, to tell the truth,
    Of straightening out the kinks in the young mind,
Our passion for the tender plant of youth,
   Our hatred for weeds of any kind.
   Slogans are bad: the best I can find
Is this: 'Let each child have that's in our care
As much neurosis as the child can bear"
                -- W.H.Auden  Letter to Lord Byron IV


  • Bedales School; A School for Boys. Outline of its aims and system
    J H Badley Cambridge University Press, 1892
  • Bedales School; Outline of its aims and system: An essay in education
    J H Badley Cambridge University Press, 1900.
  • Notes and suggestions for Those who Join the staff at Bedales School
    J H Badley Cambridge University Press, 1922.
  • Bedales: A Pioneer SchoolJohn Haden Badley 1865-1967
    J H Badley; Methuen, 1923 .
  • A quoit tient la superiorité des Anglo-Saxons?
    Edmond Demolins
  • Bedales Since the War
    Geoffrey Crump; Chapman and Hall, 1936 .
    Valuable for a fairly detailed account of the regime and beliefs in the 20's. Complete with blandness and humbug.

  • Memories and Reflections
    J H Badley Alan and Unwin, 1955.
    Fascinating memoir by the man himself. See tea with Oscar Wilde and other episodes.  [Out of print but quite easy to come by.]
  • John Haden Badley 1865-1967
    Giles Brandreth & Sally Henry; Bedales Society, 1967 .
  • English Progressive Schools
    Robert Skidelsky; Penguin, 1969 .
  • Irregularly Bold: A Study of Bedales School
    James Henderson; Andree Deutsch, 1978 .

Autobiography & Other Bedaliana

  • World Without End
    Helen Thomas; Heinemann, 1931  Autobiography Edward Thomas's widon taught at Dunhurst
  • But to what purpose
    E L Grant-Watson ; Cresser, 1946 ."low, rough fellows of distinctly inferior types"
  • Summers Lease
    John Rothenstein; Hamish Hamilton, 1965 .  Autobiography
  • Out of Bounds
    Giles & Esmond Romilly  Hamish Hamilton , 1935 .
    A public school rebel who spent two terms at Bedales, has a chapter on his experiences at Bedales
    "social sex of a lemonadish variety"
  • Not old Madame, but Vintage
    Lady Allen of Hurtwood Galaxy press 1975 . Autobiography
  • Memoirs of an Uneducated Lady
    Lady Allen of Hurtwood Thames and Hiudson 1975 .Autobiography
  • Julia
    Julia Strachey & Frances Partridge Penguin, 1984 .
  • BrookeBookRupert Brooke
    Nigel Jones.  Richard Cohen Books; 1999 ISBN 1860661718
    Includes an account of Brooke's infatuation with Noel Brooke : numerous index entries mentioning   interactions with pre-first war Bedalians including visits to Edward Thomas and to the school. "When you see the pale men who teach slide wearily and alone around Bedales, pity them. They too are human and alive (in a way)."


  • Regiment of Women
    Clemence Dane. Heinemann 1917
    Describes a new recently-founded co-educational school 'Dene Compton'
  • Private Place
    Amanda Craig   Flamingo, London, 1991  ISBN 0 586216928
  • Savage but rather inept satire clearly based on a Bedales derivative.
    For the most part succeeds only in being relentless rather than funny,
    but worth a glance just to play spot le clef. Her second book Vicious circle is much better.

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©1999,2003 Nicholas Knowles