Vice Versa or A Lesson to Fathers

June 23, 2019

Author: F Anstey

Publish: October 9, 2008

Page: 265 pages

Language: English

Format EBook: PDF

Review: Vice Versa: A Lesson to Fathers is a comic novel by Thomas Anstey Guthrie, writing under the pseudonym “F. Anstey”, first published in 1882. The title originates from the Latin phrase, “vice versa”, meaning “the other way around”.

Set in contemporary Victorian times, the novel concerns businessman Paul Bultitude and his son Dick. Dick is about to leave home to return to a boarding school run by the cane-wielding headmaster, Dr. Grimstone. Bultitude, seeing his son’s fear of returning to school, asserts that schooldays are the best years of a boy’s life, and how he wishes he were the one going.

At this point, thanks to a magic stone brought by an uncle from India which grants the possessor one wish, the father becomes a boy identical to the son. They are now on even terms. Dick, holding the stone, is ordered by his father to return him to his own body, but Dick refuses, and decides instead to become a man identical to how his father looked before the change. Mr Bultitude has to begin the new term at his son’s boarding school, while Dick gets a chance to run his father’s business in the City. In the end, both are restored to their own bodies, with a better understanding of each other.

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