St Trinian's: the Entire Appalling Business by Ronald Searle

15th February 2008 at 00:00

Before St Trinians replaced Nuts as the socially-acceptable face of pornography, the famous teen tearaways were a bunch of straggly-haired ragamuffins happier loosening the cap from a bottle of whisky than the fastening on a suspender belt.

In his book St Trinian's: the Entire Appalling Business (out this week), their creator, the cartoonist Ronald Searle, brings together some of the original sketches from their pre-cinema days, a glorious celebration of anarchy and female bad behaviour that would have the producers of Ladette to Lady salivating into their pastrami sandwiches.

First showcased in Lilliput, the popular humour magazine of the 1940s, the pictures bear only a passing resemblance to subsequent film remakes, particularly the sputtering Russell Brand vehicle that crashed and burnt in UK cinemas last year ("It makes Spice World look like Citizen Kane," in the words of one discerning blogger).

They are a testimony to a time when girls could indulge in petty crime without being subjected to the leering gaze of libidinous comedians. A must for lovers of cartoons and mischief alike.

Log-in as an existing print or digital subscriber

Forgotten your subscriber ID?


To access this content and the full TES archive, subscribe now.

View subscriber offers


Get TES online and delivered to your door – for less than the price of a coffee

Save 33% off the cover price with this great subscription offer. Every copy delivered to your door by first-class post, plus full access to TES online and the TES app for just £1.90 per week.
Subscribers also enjoy a range of fantastic offers and benefits worth over £270:

  • Discounts off TES Institute courses
  • Access over 200,000 articles in the TES online archive
  • Free Tastecard membership worth £79.99
  • Discounts with Zipcar,, Virgin Wines and other partners
Order your low-cost subscription today