Debrett’s

In recent years, I’ve got to know the people at Debrett’s, who publish People of Today, which has always been a tiny bit more democratic than Who’s Who.   It was first published in 1982 and used to sit on the shelf besides Who’s Who in those long-forgotten, pre-digital days when one needed to find out who somebody was, their career and what they had published, plus hobbies.   The firm was founded by John Debrett, the son of a Huguenot cook, Jean de Bret.   Debrett worked for John Davis, a bookseller in Piccadilly.   The New Peerage first appeared in 1769, a year after the Royal Academy, and maybe belongs to the same era of grand systems of social stratification and the policing of professional boundaries.   Now, they have set up a foundation which is dedicated to doing precisely the opposite, encouraging young people from underprivileged backgrounds to go to the best universities.

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2 thoughts on “Debrett’s

  1. Dear Charles

    It was a privilege hosting you at Debrett’s and thank you so much for focussing on our Foundation in your blog. I just wanted to clarify that, while most of our Foundation students aspire to attend a Russell Group university, the Debrett’s Foundation is not dedicated solely to having them attend the best universities — or indeed I might be so bold as to add university in general! As one of our recent Debrett’s 500 members points out, despite having the opportunity to attend university, he instead opted for work experience and today leads one of the UK’s foremost advertising & creative agencies.

    What the Foundation does hope to promote is social mobility by providing high achieving, economically challenged students with the soft skills necessary to be successful in furthering their education or confidently starting their careers.

    Thank you again for recognising our efforts to help address social mobility issues in the UK.

    Warmest regards,
    Renee Kuo
    Joint Managing Director, Debrett’s

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