I just found a journal article, published in 1907, that details the establishment and running of an “epileptic colony” for under-privileged children in the UK. Apparently these existed not only in England, but also in North America. Given my life-long obsession with orphans and boarding schools, I’m understandably enthusiastic about the concept. Two separate hours rigidly scheduled for singing every Sunday? Forty-five minutes set aside to consume “bread-and-butter, cake, and tea”? This is the stuff that musicals are made of. Even the chance to be “deputed” for domestic duties is pretty appealing. As a bonus, only children “who are not imbeciles” are admitted—no need to mingle with the dim-witted. And here lies the danger of reading too many boarding school books as a kid: an eternally romanticized idea of a category of institutions that includes both Oliver-style orphanages and Eton-like prep schools.
But yeah, sign me up.