[E. V. Knox, editor of Punch.] Autograph Text of Prize-giving speech for speech day at Brookfield Secondary School for Girls, Highgate, with two versions of programme, and covering note.

E. V. Knox [Edmund George Valpy Knox] (1881-1971, 'Evoe'), editor of Punch, 1932-1949, essayist, poet and humorist [Brookfield Secondary School for Girls, Highgate, London]
Publication details: 
Speech dated by Knox 19 July 1951. The two programmes for Brookfield Secondary School for Girls [Highgate, London], Speech Day, 1951. Knox's covering note on his letterhead, 110 Frognal, NW3.
SKU: 23223

See Knox's entry in the Oxford DNB, along with those of his father and three brothers. The school was in existence in various places and under various names between 1914 and 1965. Four items, in good condition, lightly aged. ONE: Autograph Speech by Knox, headed 'BROOKFIELD SCHOOL'. Dated 19 July 1951. 3pp, 12mo. On three leaves held together with brass stud, with directions to the school on reverse of last leaf. Written in capital letters. Knox begins by noting the prizes: 'Difficult to think of anything else when one sees this table loaded with gifts. But before the Prizes, we have to consider the praises, and it is very right and proper that we should.' He makes two quotes before recalling the 'first day I went to school [...] though it wasn't severe, it was not very imaginative'. He notes 'the immense advance in system and ideas of education. Not cramming things into heads, but trying to get the best out of them. Training minds to think for themselves and characters to mould themselves in the best way they can. I think we live in a Golden Age of education in spite of all the difficulties of the times, especially in a school like this, in the greatest city in the world, with all its opportunities for education in Art, Drama and Places of Historical Interest.' He refers to the head mistress and 'diagrams and pictures', stating: 'Everything done to interest and stimulate the mind. | It wasn't so, once, I assure you'. Looking at the school he wishes he could go back to school himself, and 'learn things I never did learn. Not perhaps cookery and sewing but nature-study and drawing and better ways of learning history and geography and French'. TWO: 12mo letterhead for Knox's home in Hampstead (now bearing a blue plaque), on which is written in capitals: 'You must have pleasant memories of your school time and gratitude'. THREE: Programme for 'Brookfield Secondary School for Girls | Speech Day - 19th July, 1951'. Duplicated typescript including '6. DISTRIBUTION OF PRIZES AND SPEECH by Mr. E. V. Knox'. Stapled into buff folder with crudely-printed design on front cover, including Festival of Britain motif, headed 'Brookfield Secondary School for Girls. Speech Day 1951.' FOUR: Another copy of the programme, this time inserted in a buff folder carrying a childish watercolour of a riverside vista, headed 'Brookfield Secondary Central School. Speech Day 1951.' From the E. V. Knox papers.