School is 'wet and weedy', according to Nigel Molesworth, the 'goriller of 3B', 'curse of St Custard's' and superb chronicler of fifties English life. Nothing escapes his disaffected eye and he has little time for such things as botany walks and cissy poetry with an assortment of swots, snekes and oiks. Instead he is very good at missing lessons, charming masters and putting down little brothers, in fact he is exceptional at most things except spelling. Wildly funny and full of sharp observations on life, the `Molesworth tetralogy' is magnificently complemented by the illustrations of Ronald Searle
Philip Hensher is the editor of the highly-praised two-volume Penguin Book of the British Short Story. He is Professor of Creative Writing at Bath Spa University. His most recent novel is The Friendly Ones (2018).