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In the beginning it was never better

It’s hard to know where you are in the arc of things until after the fact.

Louis Auchincloss’s The Rector of Justin tells the story of the founder and first headmaster of a boys’ preparatory school, set in the first part of the twentieth century. Obscure and humble in its origins,  St. Justin grows into an elite institution: hundreds of students, expensive chapels, endowed lecture halls, science labs, and acres of sports fields – one of the most prestigious preparatory schools in the East. One of the characters in the story, Griscam, is a student who attended St. Justin when it was only five years old, with less than forty students, and only six teachers; as an adult looking back on those early days of the school, he writes: Continue Reading