All Souls College Essay

All Souls College Essay-32
" – as I was asked in my ancient history Finals – and the answer is still pretty specific.

" – as I was asked in my ancient history Finals – and the answer is still pretty specific.

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Matthew Barker (PS5) is the winner of the school’s 2019 Chichele Essay. The Chichele Essay is named after Henry Chichele (1363-1443), Archbishop of Canterbury and Founder of All Souls College Oxford.

The prize was established some fifty years ago by John Sparrow, Warden of Souls 1952-77 and a Skinner.

In the end he wrote a book on Mark Pattison, about whom he is the acknowledged expert, though it was not the one his admirers hoped he would write. Few and esoteric were the committees on which he sat at Oxford. To answer those questions one has to look at his educational ancestry. View Offer Continue reading this article, and thousands more from our complete 55 year archive, for the low introductory rate of just $1 a month.

No trumpet call sounded to summon him to sit on the Hebdomadal Council or the vice-chancellor’s throne. All Souls has been his life, and for twenty-five years he was warden of the College. If you are already a subscriber, please be sure you are logged in to your account.

And I should know quite how difficult it is – I failed it in 1994.

At least I am in eminent company: the historian Lord Dacre, the literary critic Lord David Cecil, and the writers John Buchan and Hilaire Belloc all failed.

Saturnine and handsome in his seventies, his thick well-trimmed hair still black, he remains one of Nature’s bachelors, but his makeup is not that of the inspissated reactionary. Not for nothing is he one of the line of Oxford wits of the fabled Twenties, such as Bowra, Waugh, Betjeman, Connolly, Sutro, Harold Acton, and Alan Pryce-Jones. His grouches incubate in the heat of his devotion to the Johnsonian principle of clearing the mind of cant.

This don is not a gentle old eccentric who would not harm a fly.

It says something for David Cameron's modesty that, despite getting a First in PPE in 1988, he refused to sit the exam. I sat two specialist papers on history, my undergraduate subject, two general ones and a language paper.

And then came the hardest, most brain-straining paper of all – the one simply called "Essay"; the one the All Souls softies have now decided to drop altogether.


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