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Breaking the bond with nanny


Early school days
John Julius Norwich Writer
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Then, when I was a very small child, I went to Miss Betty's kindergarten in the middle of Regent's Park from which I graduated in 1936 to Egerton House, number 20 Dorset Square, in the North-West corner of the square. The building's still there. And where I... it was perfectly ordinary; not, I think, particularly distinguished, but of its kind, of its day, a perfectly good little prep school. And I stayed there until the war broke out and then the whole school was evacuated en masse to join a boarding school in Northamptonshire, Westbury Manor, where we were to stay for the war. And that was rather exciting, I rather loved that because Egerton House had been a fairly poky little place and this at least had space and it even had a swimming pool, unheated of course, full of dead leaves but at least it was a swimming pool. And that is where I was when the war broke out, but I have to go back a little bit because... and tell you about the other things that my mother did for me.

John Julius Norwich (1929-2018) was an English popular historian, travel writer and television personality. He was educated at Upper Canada College, Toronto, at Eton, at the University of Strasbourg and on the lower deck of the Royal Navy before taking a degree in French and Russian at New College, Oxford. He then spent twelve years in H.M. Foreign Service, with posts at the Embassies in Belgrade and Beirut and at the Disarmament Conference in Geneva. In 1964 he resigned to become a writer. He is the author of histories of Norman Sicily, the Republic of Venice, the Byzantine Empire and, most recently, 'The Popes: A History'. He also wrote on architecture, music and the history plays of Shakespeare, and presented some thirty historical documentaries on BBC Television.

Listeners: Christopher Sykes

Christopher Sykes is an independent documentary producer who has made a number of films about science and scientists for BBC TV, Channel Four, and PBS.

Tags: kindergarten, prep school, evacuation, swimming pool

Duration: 1 minute, 28 seconds

Date story recorded: 2017

Date story went live: 03 October 2018