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The action takes place in a fictional boys' public school where the teaching staff are all male. The young protagonist has to deal, quite apart from the prejudices and resentments of her male colleagues, with the unwelcome attentions of some of them, and with a particularly unpleasant form of revenge from one who suspects her of being attracted to the head boy - who in turn has his own demons to overcome. The plot unfolds against a background of petty spitefulness and jealousies and lessons in Classics, and the many quotations from these remind us that human nature today is much the same as it was in the days of Ancient Rome.
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Bridget Dunseith, born in Belgium and brought up in Portugal, began her writing career in 1980 as a journalist. She has taught and lectured on Classics since getting her PhD from the University of Reading, and has written a number of classroom resource books for teachers and students of Classics. She was inspired to write this novel to promote, as she says, "the most civilising of subjects on the curriculum".Review:
"This is a must for all those who deride or love our public school system. Dunseith is so accurate in the smallest details that I felt as if I was back at school again. This tale has love between teacher and taught at its centre, with both modern and classical flavours skilfully entwined. The title harks back to the famous prayer 'Go placidly ...' and yet the 'Things Desired' in this story are anything but placid. Dunseith clearly knows her way round Ovid, whose love poems she has used for chapter headings. - Provocative, topical and a rattling good read." (Amazon.co.uk reviewer: a reader)"An excellent read ... I was ...spellbound." David Standen, JACT Review Summer 2000."Captivating ... the classical background (is) a delight and the depiction of Jessica's life at Dons completely convincing." Dr Jenny March, Editor, Classical Association News
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