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Scouting for Boys: A Handbook for Instruction in Good Citizenship (Original 1908 Edition reprint)

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A startling amalgam of Zulu war-cry and Sherlock Holmes, of practical tips on health and hygiene and object lessons in woodcraft, Scouting for Boys (1908) is the original blueprint and inspiration for the Boy Scout Movement. An all-time bestseller in the English-speaking world, second in its heyday only to the Bible, it is one of the most influential manuals for youth ever published, known and loved around the world.
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A startling amalgam of Zulu war-cry and Sherlock Holmes, of practical tips on health and hygiene and object lessons in woodcraft, Scouting for Boys (1908) is the original blueprint and inspiration for the Boy Scout Movement. An all-time bestseller in the English-speaking world, second in its heyday only to the Bible, it is one of the most influential manuals for youth ever published, known and loved around the world.

Including all of Baden-Powell's original illustrations, this new critical edition of Scouting for Boys serves up a wonderful hodge-podge of true crime stories, stern moralizing, stock adventure tales, natural history, first-aid tips, advice on observation and tracking, and much more. Readers will find a roughly composed pastiche of jingoist lore and tracker legend, padded with lengthy quotations from adventure fiction--from Rudyard Kipling and James Fenimore Cooper, to Alexander Dumas and Arthur Conan Doyle--and seamed through with the multiple anxieties of its time: fears of degeneration ("the fall of the Roman empire was due to bad citizenship") and a constant worry over imminent war.

Alongside practical instructions on how to light fires, build a boat, or stalk animals (or men), it includes sections on chivalry, self-discipline, self-improvement, and citizenship. Indeed, the book brims with Baden-Powell's philosophy of life, one that replaces self with service, puts country before the individual, and duty above all. The introduction by Elleke Boehmer illuminates the book's maverick complexity and her notes clarify obscure references. Though almost a century old, Scouting for Boys continues to fascinate, surprise, and motivate readers today. It will delight anyone interested in popular culture, Victorian history, and literature for children.

  • Baden-Powell's bestselling manual has become a bestseller all over again. This is the first, and only, critical edition of Scouting for Boys, whose republication in hardback in 2004 prompted huge review coverage and popular interest, with serialization in The Times and coverage from the THES to The Oldie
  • The editorial material reveals the true complexity of this fascinating book: the introduction examines the text in relation to several to date unexplored topics - its status as children's literature; its literary and anti-literary qualities; its mosaic effects; its advice on male bonding and masculinity; its intertwining of the health of the body,the nation, and the empire.
  • The edition not only explores contradictions which earlier scholars of Scouting for Boys have attempted to ignore (about sexuality, the environment, and empire) but it is also richly annotated with references to Baden-Powell's original manuscript, pointing to important excisions, borrowings, and revisions.
  • The Notes relate the book to its many informing contexts, from Kipling to Samuel Smiles (author of Self-Help), woodcraft lore to detective fiction, amateur theatre to sex manuals
  • Baden-Powell's original advice about masturbation, cut from the original, and all subsequent editions of Scouting for Boys, appears as an Appendix.
  • All Baden-Powell's illustrations for the first edition are included.

Additional Info

Author Robert Baden-Powell
Publisher Oxford University Press
Place London
Year 2005-02-10
ISBN 9780192802460
Binding Paperback
Condition Good
Comments Page edges yellowed.

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