The History Boys: Comprehensive Guide for AS/A Level

Clear textual commentary; very useful background material. I particularly like this resource because it is clearly organised. Well written challenging and not patronising. H Hook, English Teacher and Satisfied Customer (comments from previous edition)
Set text for:
  • OCR AS Level

Follow the story of eight unruly sixth-form boys preparing to take scholarship exams for Oxbridge. Their teachers are at odds about the role of education, and their headmaster is obsessed with results. Throw in adolescent anarchy, and you have Bennett’s witty, intelligent and bittersweet play. Detailed background information and comprehensive notes on the play’s many intertextual references make this guide an essential companion for study.

Engage your students!


  • talking points
  • key literary and linguistic terms

The pack tackles the key stages of text analysis:

  1. Walk-through Thorough section-by-section commentary walks students through each act
  2. Drawing it all together In-depth discussion of whole text focuses on: characterisation, relationships, genre, themes, language, form, structure, context, literary approaches
  3. Indicative content Supports teaching by ensuring all key areas are covered

Plus! Glossary of key terms ensures full understanding

A highly intelligent guide to the play which would enhance the thinking of both teachers and students. I liked the detailed background knowledge, which students would probably not automatically appreciate. This is important as an ability to demonstrate contextual knowledge and how it affects our reading of any text is key to meeting the assessment objectives. Furthermore, the comprehensive treatment of the frequent allusions to other texts would be welcome to teachers who don’t have time to trace every allusion. This is important as these allusions often make the humour of the play.M Courtney-Holt, English Teacher and Independent Reviewer (comments from previous edition)