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The Enigma of Kidson


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Two part serialisation in the Daily Mail to coincide with the launch of the book.

About the Author

Jamie Blackett was born in 1964 and educated at Ludgrove, Eton (where he was tutored by Michael Kidson), the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst and later Warwick Business School (MBA). After working in South Africa he joined the Coldstream Guards, serving in Northern Ireland, the First Gulf War, Hong Kong, the Falkland Islands, Zimbabwe and Germany. He returned to his roots in Galloway where he is now a farmer, forester, bed and breakfast and holiday cottage host, gardener and odd job man and occasional freelance journalist writing on farming and the countryside. His housemaster would be astonished to learn that he is a Deputy Lieutenant for Dumfriesshire and a member of the Queen's Bodyguard for Scotland Royal Company of Archers. He is married with two children.


Michael Kidson was a rebellious Mr Chips, who stood up for the problematic boys at Eton with fire, and without fear of the school's ruling classes. To be taught history by this unique force of nature was, for me, a privilege. In his biography, The Enigma of Kidson, Jamie Blackett captures the spleen, and the heart, of a great teacher and a magnificent man. -- Charles Spencer
Hilarious and touching, The Enigma of Kidson, is the account of an Eton history master, never to be made a housemaster but up there with Jean Brodie and Mr Chips. With a light touch but penetrating perception, Jamie Blackett as written the story of a maverick; a man who could be quirky, unbelievably rude, unbelievably funny and an inspiration to all those boys who were up to him as their personal tutor or 'Modern Tutor' in Eton parlance... It is a delight. * Dumfries & Galloway Life *
Michael Kidson, history master at Eton, educated a generation during his 40 years at the school and inspired many. This funny and fascinating book, with a foreword by Sir Matthew Pinsent, includes contributions from the Archbishop of Canterbury, David Cameron, Jacob Rees-Mogg and William Fox-Pitt to name a few. The illustrated, scribbled notes to MGMK are marvellous and the deep affection so many boys held for him is touching.

This portrait of Kidson and Eton serves as a reminder of the maverick, growling, pedantic, irascible madness of so many extraordinary teachers. A delight to read and a fitting testament. -- Alexandra Henton * The Field *

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