Peterhouse Blues

by Henry Farrell on June 1, 2008

Nearly five years ago (it’s a bit terrifying to think how long I’ve been blogging here), I wrote a “post”: on the artistic, humorous and malicious uses of book indexes. Now this bit from the _LRB_ describing Hugh Trevor Roper’s revenge on his Cambridge college.

bq. Trevor-Roper had taken the title of Lord Dacre of Glanton, and had left the Regius Professorship of Modern History at Oxford for the mastership of Peterhouse, the oldest and most conservative college in Cambridge. His years at Peterhouse (from 1980 to 1987) were far from happy. An ultra-reactionary caucus attempted to frustrate the master’s attempts – however cautiously liberal – to reform the college. …As it happened, the doings of 17th-century Peterhouse featured in the splendid collection of essays he published in the year of his retirement, Catholics, Anglicans and Puritans. The index entry for ‘Cambridge Colleges, Peterhouse’ betrayed uncanny parallels, some believed, with Trevor-Roper’s perception of its members in the 1980s: ‘high-table conversation not very agreeable . . . four revolting fellows of; main source of perverts’. Just as admirers of his hero Gibbon often head straight for the footnotes, so the first port of call for connoisseurs of Trevor-Roper is the index.

Not Necessarily All in the Right Order

by Harry on June 1, 2008

Here’s one of the few bits of parenting advice I offer my students: Do not allow your child to see Monty Python’s Life of Brian until they have seen Spartacus.

Other nominations of films that must not be watched in the wrong order?