An evening with Charles Spencer  

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Wednesday 3 April 7pm

Hatchards is honoured to invite you to a very special evening with Charles Spencer to talk about his new memoir “A Very Private School”. 

Joining us to talk about his memoir A Very Private School, in this poignant event Lord Spencer recounts the trauma of being sent away from home at age eight to attend a boarding school. 


A Very Private School offers a clear-eyed, first-hand account of a culture of cruelty at the school he attended in his youth and provides important insights into an antiquated boarding system. Drawing on the memories of many of his schoolboy contemporaries, as well as his own letters and diaries from the time, he reflects on the hopelessness and abandonment he felt aged eight, viscerally describing the intense pain of homesickness and the appalling inescapability of it all. Exploring the long-lasting impact of his experiences in this special conversation with Justine Picardie, Lord Spencer presents a candid reckoning with his past and a reclamation of his childhood. 

“Compelling, insightful and heartbreaking. A moving must-read for all parents considering sending their children away for their education” – Philippa Perry, psychotherapist and bestselling author ofThe Book You Wish Your Parents Had Read 

“Moving and beautifully written, what Spencer’s courageous book reveals will be horribly familiar to the thousands of us who endured the same vile abuse in dozens of schools that were clones of each other. Most of us will go to our graces with the wounds unhealed” – Louis De Bernières, novelist and bestselling author of Captain Corelli’s Mandolin. 

For those who purchase the book-in-ticket option, the books will be available to collect at the event. We will also be selling copies of “A Very Private School” on the evening.