Tag Archives: Balliol

JowettlettertoBuckland1084

Benjamin Jowett—‘I am Master ‘

"Here come I, my name is Jowett
  All there is to know, I know it
  I am Master of this College
  And what I don’t know isn’t knowledge."

This squib gently mocks the pretensions of arguably Balliol College’s most famous Master. Jowett was a Greek scholar, and like many classicists through the ages, felt that a grounding in Latin and Greek was sufficient qualification to tackle most areas of knowledge. But he was also a dedicated theologian and an educational reformer. This letter, which another hand (possibly the same one that snipped out Jowett’s signature, thus losing text) has dated in pencil 5th November 1874, four years after Jowett was appointed Master, is addressed to a Mr Buckland (possibly a member of the celebrated clan of eccentric scientists). In it Jowett, who was always interested in Indian affairs and was a member of the 1854 committee drawn up to debate the future administration of the colony, shows his keenness to promote the benefits of an education at Oxford University to young men who might wish to join the Indian Civil Service. Previous to 1858, when it closed, such candidates would have been trained at Haileybury College, near Hertford, but Jowett argues that an Oxford education might prove more attractive to these young men than a stint at Haileybury, should that institution be ‘revived’.

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rbGreenwood_Savage_Life_1863

James Greenwood (1832-1929) A Janus of Journalism

Found at the front of a book catalogue ('Chat Dept.') of  J.J. Rigden from the Haining collection this well researched piece on Victorian journalist James Greenwood.

James Greenwood (1832-1929) A Janus of Journalism

This author is now a little better known than he was a few years ago. He contributed to the world of boy's books, some exciting, though bloodthirsty works of fiction that can still be avidly read today.

Relying on his experience as a sensational journalist, he leaned heavily on the plot. His charters were not much more than 'cardboard cut-outs', and to a certain extent, he seemed to be obsessed with lycanthropy. 'The Bear King' 1868, 'Purgatory of Peter the Cruel' 1868, 'Adventures of Seven Footed Foresters' 1865… all have shape-changing as a major theme. His descriptions of blood-letting in various forms were highly coloured, leaving very little to the imagination.

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