R.C. Woodthorpe was a pretty successful author in the 1930s, and his best known novel, which I have in a green Penguin edition, is my Forgotten Book for today. This is The Public School Murder, and its school setting, Polchester, is evidently based on Christ’s Hospital, where Woodthorpe taught in the Twenties before going into journalism.
The story is agreeably written, and it makes a virtue of the public school ethos, about which views are probably as divided today as they were in the Golden Age. Much of the tale is told from the viewpoint of one of the teachers, although it is the head of the governing body of the school who eventually acts as amateur detective and comes up with a solution to the mystery of how Polchester’s headmaster died.
I’ve never read anything else by Woodthorpe, but I would like to do so. The trouble is that his books are now rather elusive – it would be good if someone could bring them back into print. However, very little information seems to be available about Woodthorpe, and such detection work as I’ve been able to do has been rather poignant.