Category Archives: Notes and Comments

My observations and comments, with space for readers to respond

The Savoy Shower Principle

My parents-in-law got married in London in 1940, during the Blitz. For their honeymoon they booked a weekend at the Savoy Hotel. On their second night the hotel’s windows were blown out by a bomb; but they were having such a good time, it … Continue reading

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Dura virum nutrix

Kate Bucknell, the novelist, was curious about the origin of Sedbergh School’s Latin motto Dura Virum Nutrix – ‘harsh nurse of men’ . She wrote to me: ‘I am working out a preoccupation of Auden’s, 1927ish, with the Latin motto, the harsh … Continue reading

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Failing at All Souls

In 1983 I received my Finals results at Oxford, along with a note from Simon Hornblower, who had tutored me in Ancient History for a year, saying ‘Congratulations. Try for All Souls?’ I duly sat the exams for the All … Continue reading

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