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John Cornwell: Seminary Boy

John Cornwell: Seminary Boy

USA 2008, 321 pp., brochure,  12.39
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The author's memoir of an adolescence spent in the isolated all-male world of a seminary. Born into a destitute family with a dominating Irish-Catholic mother and an absconding father during WW II in London, John Cornwell experienced a deeply dysfunctional childhood. When he was sent to a remote seminary for boys in the countryside at 13. While he lived under an austere monastic regime he wrestled with his emotional and spiritual demons. In the hothouse atmosphere of the seminary he strove to find stable, loving friendships among his fellows and fatherly support from the priests, one of whom proved to be a sexual predator. Few circumstances enabled him to persevere. But while other teenagers at the time were being swept up by the rock 'n' roll era, Cornwell and his fellow continuously repressed. Secret romantic attachments between them were quite common.
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