HarperCollins is proud to present its incredible range of best-loved, essential classics. Thomas Hughes' novel about the mischievous but kind-hearted schoolboy Tom Brown inspired other school novels, including Frank Richards' Billy Bunter stories and J. K. Rowling's Harry Potter series. The novel begins at Tom's childhood home in the Vale of the White Horse, where he spends his days out in the fields with his pony. This early idyllic setting it set up as a contrast to the stresses that Tom undergoes later at Rugby boarding school when he encounters the bully Flashman. Tom is helped through his struggles by his friends Harry `Scud' East and the frail but brilliant George Arthur, whom Tom protects, and who ultimately helps Tom develop into a young gentleman ready for Oxford university.