The short story “The Happiest Days of Your Life” by Penelope Lively begins with Mr and Mrs Manders driving through Sussex with their son, Charles. They are on their way to visit St Edwards Preparatory School, where they are thinking of enrolling Charles. Mr and Mrs Manders discuss the headmaster’s background and the school’s fees. The school has been recommended to them by the Wilcox family.

The couple and their son are received by a maid, who tells them to wait for the headmaster. Mrs Manders appreciates the maid’s outfit and thinks about how she will have to wear nice clothes when she visits the school. Her husband comments on the people who enrol their children at St Edwards, suggesting that it will be an advantage to connect with them. Mrs Manders then asks Charles if he feel...

The text shown above is just an extract. Only members can read the full content.

Get access to the full Study Guide.

As a member of, you get access to all of the content.

Sign up now

Already a member? Log in