Daisy Dunn's fascinating portrayal of academic Oxford in the first half of the 20th century is profoundly perceptive, frequently funny, and remarkably well written. Focussed mainly on the world of classical scholarship, she provides a lucid account of the professional and private lives of such remarkable figures as, among others, Gilbert Murray, Maurice Bowra, T.S. Eliot and Louis MacNeice, all depicted with an exceptional understanding not only of the characters themselves but the eccentric world which they inhabited.
Naturally the subject is one which will always interest me, having known all these people as "the grown ups" in my youth... an amazing book, elegantly erudite.
Focusing on the rivalry of three classical scholars, Daisy Dunn skillfully tells the story of Oxford between the wars: a story of passion, jealousy, debate, exuberance and foreboding.
A work of mature and meticulous scholarship that weaves a compelling picture of Oxford at a time when the world was turned on its head, but the university soldiered on, tolerating eccentricity and nurturing greatness.