Thursday, February 14, 2013

Photo of the Day: Harry Potter’s School

Well, okay, don’t get excited….I know it’s not Hogswarts Academy. And technically speaking, the imposing building on the right wasn’t even where Daniel Radcliffe, the actor who played everyone’s favorite boy wizard, attended classes. No, Harry Potter—I mean Mr. Radcliffe—attended a red brick structure on Queen Victoria Street that superseded the one in this picture (which I took, incidentally, on a bus tour of London two weeks ago).

But for generations—a full century, if you want to know the truth—many of Britain’s illuminati walked through this particular set of doors of the City of London School. From 1883 to 1987, this handsome structure, done in high Victoria style on Victoria Embankment (naturally!), housed the boys’ independent day school on the River Thames. Through here, struggling with many of the same issues that have plagued plebeians like you and me, passed novelists Kingsley Amis and Julian Barnes, director Michael Apted, and Heaven knows who else.  

We Yanks might call graduates of primary or secondary schools alumni. Across the pond, however, they’d be termed “Old Boys” or “Old Citizens”—though, judging from the looks of him, Mr. Radcliffe would seem to be still a young person. Just another one of those reasons why a quote (popularly attributed to George Bernard Shaw) holds that the U.S. and Great Britain are two nations divided by a common language…

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