"He had been at a famous public school"
Eton Quadrangle
Creative Commons AttributionEton Quadrangle - Credit: jtriefen
"Hook was not his real name," writes Barrie, for "to reveal who he really was would even at this date set the country in a blaze." He is believed to be the disowned son of a British nobleman, writes J.V. Hart in Capt. Hook: The Adventures of a Notorious Youth (2005). As such, Hook was educated at England's finest, writes Barrie, and that means one institution in particular: Eton College.

Hook appeared to confirm this himself when he spoke these final words in the play: "Floreat Etona." The school itself says that their unofficial motto is...

"...Often thought to be Floreat Etona, which can be translated as “May Eton Flourish” or “Let Eton Flourish”; but Esto perpetua ("May it last forever") came into usage if anything a little earlier. In fact, neither phrase is officially a motto; they are unofficial creations that, over time, have stuck."

Barrie confirmed Hook as an Etonian in his speech, "Hook at Eton," delivered to pupils in 1927. "James Hook, the pirate captain," he declared, "was a great Etonian, but not a good one."

Eton accepts boys between the ages of 13 and 18 years. It is often considered the most famous school in the world. Located near Windsor and founded in 1440 by King Henry VI, it is one of the original nine English "public schools" defined by the Public Schools Act 1868. Hook, as a disreputable Old Etonian, is in excellent company; other fictional characters given OE status include James Bond, Lord Sebastian Flyte, Bertie Wooster and Davey Jones (see more).

A video tour of Eton College