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Boarding School Syndrome: Background information when reading Sorrow and Bliss

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Sorrow and Bliss

by Meg Mason

Sorrow and Bliss by Meg Mason X
Sorrow and Bliss by Meg Mason
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  • First Published:
    Feb 2021, 352 pages
    Mar 1, 2022, 352 pages


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Book Reviewed by:
Grace Graham-Taylor
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About this Book

Boarding School Syndrome

This article relates to Sorrow and Bliss

Eton College quad In Sorrow and Bliss by Meg Mason, which explores psychological wounds and mental illness, Martha's husband Patrick was sent to boarding school at a young age. The image of boarding schools is deeply embedded in the British psyche. Writers from Enid Blyton to James Joyce have found these strange micro-societies to be rich earth. In fiction, they offer the chance to explore isolation, oppression and hierarchy from a childlike perspective. But what happens when children who begin their lives in such environments, having been separated from their families and placed in a highly regulated atmosphere, grow up?

According to some psychotherapists, negative effects of boarding school can be long-lasting, even permanently damaging. The resulting symptoms are wide-ranging, but may include an inability to share feelings, a tendency to avoid groups, a profound sense of not belonging and an acute discomfort with asking for help. Some ex-boarders struggle with depression, anxiety, obsessive or...

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