Let Dons Delight [ePub]

by Ronald Arbuthnott Knox

Whimsical, published just before the war. The narrator (Knox?) has been invited to an Oxford college for the evening, which ends up in the college's smoking room (formerly the senior common room). The year is 1938. He falls asleep (or does he? his sleep apparently lasts only a quarter of an hour, according to witnesses) and he sees and hears, but cannot take part in, conversations which have taken place in the same room in similar circumstances at 50-year intervals, beginning in 1588. Each one touches on history, politics, religion, philosophy, and in the later ones, education and the role of Oxford. It's a bit dry in places but it's an interesting idea, and conveys the sense of continuity in an ancient place. Even in 1938, when he is awake, he doesn't seem able to get a word in edgeways, so he is still an observer. It's an interesting idea, and the structure provides the framework for snapshots of history at interesting moments (finishing in the real world with war about to break out).



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