Stanley Rice (1905-1981): Reading & Writing

In Stanley Rice’s autobiography, although he dedicates a section to memories of education and to his flair for Art, he never mentions reading or writing. He does state that he was never good at answering questions or exams in school, and blamed that on moving schools a lot, due to parents having to relocate homes. His reading and writing skills may have been quite poor as a result of this instability of education, and reflects a stereotypical working-class child. Maybe this is why he turned to Art, because it was more visual and creative, rather than quizzical and perplexing for him. Although, he seemed to do really well in school with Art and enjoyed doing his homework, however, he had to give this up to find a job and work, to bring an income in for the family.

Rice never talks about any books that he read as a child, or any book that inspired him to write his autobiography. It is written with a real flair, though, with very few spelling mistakes. I suppose the inspiration for writing were all the things he had witnessed throughout his fascinating life, which are definitely included in this captivating memoir.

RICE, Stanley, ‘The Memories of a Rolling Stone: Times and incidents remembered’, TS, pp.68 (c. 33,600 words). Brunel University Library, Volume 2:661.

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