Another GGS treasure from the School Archives

School literary magazines were an important part of a boy’s education in the 1930s and 40s. In 1929, the magazine If was first published, with the title taken from a speech delivered by the jester Touchstone in Shakespeare’s As You Like It, in which he refers to the possibilities in life denoted by the word If. As Touchstone explains, there is ‘Much virtue in if’. The magazine became an outlet for boys with literary gifts to publish their work, notably the poems of Michael Thwaites and John Manifold who also acted as editors.

If was replaced by other, more newsy student publications from the mid-1930s but was brought back to life as If Revived in 1949. Its first editor was Rupert Murdoch, who hoped to publish ‘creative work that might have some literary value’ (Corian). The publication was printed on the school press which had been donated by Rupert’s father, Sir Keith Murdoch. Headmaster James Darling was impressed with Rupert’s efforts, commending him for the high quality of the articles as well as his business acumen – advertising charges were forty times higher than the usual rate!