Robert Grace (1990) Anecdote

One does, however, have memories of isolated incidents: Seamus Deane almost fainting during a lecture on the War Poets; the only thing I can remember of Andrew Carpenter’s lectures is that he told us about a student years before who wore silver eye-shadow that used to dazzle him. I reminded him of this, years later, and he said that people only remember the footnotes; which is true.

I also (cruelly) remember poor Ronan Fanning desperately trying to speak of Sir James Chichester-Clarke (S-s-s-s-sir J-j-j-j-j-j-James Tch-tch-tch-tch-tch-Chichester-C-k-k-k-k-k-Clarke. Dr Primrose Thornley was, for me, a delightful tutor and central casting’s “Lady Academic (over 50)” while Dr Jerusha McCormack (another tutor) was central casting’s “Lady Academic (under 50)”. They entertained me, but I would not say they inspired me.

Looking back, there was torpor about the place that may have been shaken up. I worked in Admin for a while (Accommodation and later Development) and “going behind the magic curtain” was a much more rewarding experience, where I was inspired by certain of those I worked with, and grew adept at politics, the most useful “takeaway” of all.